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Sample records for brazilian semi-arid region

  1. Using GNSS observations to investigate variations of Pluviometry in the Semi-Arid Brazilian region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Mario; Fernandes, Rui; Nascimento, Aderson; Petta, Reinaldo; Matschullat, Jörg; Monico, João; Bos, Machiel; Sá, Andre; Barbosa, Marx

    2014-05-01

    The Semi-Arid Brazilian region is the most densely populated, semi-arid region in the world. It is located in the Northeastern part of Brazil and corresponds to approximately 982,563 square kilometers (about 11% of the total Brazilian territory). The temperatures remain nearly uniform throughout the year and are typically tropical, often extremely hot with little interannual variability, exert a strong effect on the potential evapotranspiration, which in turn determine the annual water deficit leading to extensive droughts in some years. The annual rainfall averages between 500 and 800 millimeters and have great climatic variability and an irregular distribution in space and time. Most of the year the region is strongly influenced by the inter-tropical convergence zone which remains in the northern hemisphere near the equator most of the year due to the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The GNSS technique has been established as a valid tool to sense the amount of PWV in the atmosphere. The direct estimated product is the ZTD (Zenith Troposphere Delay) that can be transformed to PWV by knowing the Pressure and Temperature at the station position. However, such values are not always collected together with the GNSS observations, which can force us to limit the analysis to the ZTD directly. In this work we have used data of the existing continuous GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) stations in the Semi-Arid Brazil to investigate the variability of precipitable water vapor (PWV) in the region. We firstly analysis the accuracy of using global models of pressure and temperature fields to calculate the PWV at the GNSS station locations in the Northeast of Brazil. To do such, we have estimated and compared values of PWV using both global models and local measurements at Natal city, Brazil. The differences provide us a reliable estimate of the error associated with the use of global models to compute the PWV from ZTD measurements for Northeastern Brazil. Secondly

  2. Loxosceles niedeguidonae (Araneae, Sicariidae) a new species of brown spider from Brazilian semi-arid region

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute Maria; Bertani, Rogério; Nagahama, Roberto Hiroaki; Barbosa, Maria Fatima Ribeiro

    2012-01-01

    Abstract A new species of recluse spider, Loxosceles niedeguidonae sp. n., is described from the Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara, State of Piauí, Brazil. This is the first endemic species described from Brazilian semi-arid environment. The species is included in gaucho group of Gertsch (1967) due to its spermathecal shape and is considered close to Loxosceles chapadensis Bertani, Fukushima & Nagahama, 2010 by the unusual long male palpal tibia, a character not common for species of this group. An updated key for Loxosceles species of gaucho group is presented. PMID:22451789

  3. Loxosceles niedeguidonae (Araneae, Sicariidae) a new species of brown spider from Brazilian semi-arid region.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute Maria; Bertani, Rogério; Nagahama, Roberto Hiroaki; Barbosa, Maria Fatima Ribeiro

    2012-01-01

    A new species of recluse spider, Loxosceles niedeguidonaesp. n., is described from the Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara, State of Piauí, Brazil. This is the first endemic species described from Brazilian semi-arid environment. The species is included in gaucho group of Gertsch (1967) due to its spermathecal shape and is considered close to Loxosceles chapadensis Bertani, Fukushima & Nagahama, 2010 by the unusual long male palpal tibia, a character not common for species of this group. An updated key for Loxosceles species of gaucho group is presented. PMID:22451789

  4. Soil Moisture Comparison between SMOS and MUSAG for a Brazilian Semi-Arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Antonio Geraldo; Lopez-Baeza, Ernesto; De Andrade, M. Fernando C. M.

    In this paper a comparison between soil moisture information generated by MUSAG a Model of Soil Moisture for Agricultural Activities and SMOS a polar orbit satellite which forms part of ESA's Living Planet Programme will be made. MUSAG was calibrated for Ceará State, in the northeastern part of Brazil Region, a semi-arid region. The model makes a soil water balance taking meteorological and soil parameters in different climatic stations operated by FUNCEME (Ceara State Foundation for Meteorology and Water Resources. The MUSAG’s input data are daily precipitation (from the 184 raingauges distributed along of Ceará), evaporation and soil type, and the model’s output are soil moisture maps where moisture is presented as the percentage of soil moisture on the soil water maximum storage capacity. SMOS generates soil moisture information by data retrieval by using MIRAS (Microwave Imaging Radiometer) a sensor on board SMOS. The comparison will consider data selected from mainly Ceara’s rainy season (frebuary to may) for the years 2011 and 2012 and 2013.

  5. Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentration in the Brazilian northeast semi-arid region: the influence of local circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almeida, Gerson P.; Borrmann, Stephan; Leal Junior, João B. V.

    2014-08-01

    Ground-based aerosol instrumentation covering particle size diameters from 25 nm to 32 µm was deployed to determine aerosol concentration and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)-activation properties at water vapor supersaturations in the range of S = 0.20-1.50 % in the remote Brazilian northeast semi-arid region (NEB) in coastal (maritime) and continental (inland) regimes. The instruments measured aerosol number concentration and activation spectra for CCN and revealed that aerosol properties are sensitive with respect to the sources as a function of the local wind circulation system. The observations show that coastal aerosol total number concentrations are above 3,000 cm-3 on average, exhibiting concentration peaks depending on the time of the day in a consistent daily pattern. The variation on aerosol concentration has also influences on the fraction of particles active as CCN. At 1.0 % water vapor supersaturation, the fraction can reach as high as 80 %. Inland aerosol total concentrations were about 1,800-1,900 cm-3 and did not show much diurnal variation. The fraction of particles active as CCN observed inland depend on the history of the air masses, and was much higher when air masses were originated over the sea. It was found that (NH4)2SO4 and NaCl are the major soluble inorganic fraction of the aerosols at the coast. The major fraction of NaCl was present in the coarse mode, while ammonium sulfate dominates the inorganic fraction at the submicron range, with about 10 % of the total aerosol mass at 0.32 µm. Inorganic compounds are almost absent in particles with sizes around 0.1 μm. The study suggests that the air masses with high concentration of CCN originate at the sea. The feasible explanation lies in the fact that the NEB's beaches have a particular morphology that produces a wide surf zone and creates a large load of aerosols when combined with strong and permanent winds of the region.

  6. Modelling radiation and energy balances with Landsat 8 images under different thermohydrological conditions in the Brazilian semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de C. Teixeira, Antônio H.; Leivas, Janice F.; Andrade, Ricardo G.; Hernandez, Fernando B. T.; Momesso, Franco R. A.

    2015-10-01

    Four Landsat 8 images were used together with a net of seven agro-meteorological stations for modelling the large-scale radiation and energy balances in the mixed agro-ecosystems inside a semi-arid area composed by irrigated crops and natural vegetation of the Petrolina municipality, Northeast Brazil, along the year 2014. The SAFER algorithm was used to calculate the latent heat flux (λE), net radiation (Rn) was acquired by the Slob equation, ground heat flux (G) was considered as a fraction of Rn and the sensible flux (H) was retrieved by residue in the energy balance equation. For classifying the vegetation into irrigated crops and natural vegetation, the SUREAL algorithm was applied to determine the surface resistance (rs) and threshold values for rs were used to characterize the energy fluxes from these types of vegetated surfaces. Clearly one could see higher λE from irrigated crops than from natural vegetation with some situations of heat horizontal advection increasing its values until 23% times larger than Rn, with respective average λE ranges of 5.7 (64% of Rn) to 7.9 (79% of Rn) and 0.4 (4% of Rn) to 4.3 (37% of Rn) MJ m-2 d-1. The corresponding H mean values were from 1.8 (18% of Rn) to 3.2 (28% of Rn) and 5.4 (60% of Rn) to 9.2 (94% of Rn) MJ m-2 d-1. Average G pixel values ranged from 0.3 to 0.4 MJ m-2 d-1, representing 3 and 4% of Rn for natural vegetation and irrigated crops, respectively.

  7. Waste biorefinery in arid/semi-arid regions.

    PubMed

    Bastidas-Oyanedel, Juan-Rodrigo; Fang, Chuanji; Almardeai, Saleha; Javid, Usama; Yousuf, Ahasa; Schmidt, Jens Ejbye

    2016-09-01

    The utilization of waste biorefineries in arid/semi-arid regions is advisable due to the reduced sustainable resources in arid/semi-arid regions, e.g. fresh water and biomass. This review focuses on biomass residues available in arid/semi-arid regions, palm trees residues, seawater biomass based residues (coastal arid/semi-arid regions), and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. The present review aims to describe and discuss the availability of these waste biomasses, their conversion to value chemicals by waste biorefinery processes. For the case of seawater biomass based residues it was reviewed and advise the use of seawater in the biorefinery processes, in order to decrease the use of fresh water. PMID:27072789

  8. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Mimosa tenuiflora (Willd.) Poir from Brazilian semi-arid.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Tancredo Augusto Feitosa; Rodriguez-Echeverría, Susana; de Andrade, Leonaldo Alves; Freitas, Helena

    2016-01-01

    Many plant species from Brazilian semi-arid present arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in their rhizosphere. These microorganisms play a key role in the establishment, growth, survival of plants and protection against drought, pathogenic fungi and nematodes. This study presents a quantitative analysis of the AMF species associated with Mimosa tenuiflora, an important native plant of the Caatinga flora. AMF diversity, spore abundance and root colonization were estimated in seven sampling locations in the Ceará and Paraíba States, during September of 2012. There were significant differences in soil properties, spore abundance, percentage of root colonization, and AMF diversity among sites. Altogether, 18 AMF species were identified, and spores of the genera Acaulospora, Claroideoglomus, Dentiscutata, Entrophospora, Funneliformis, Gigaspora, Glomus, Racocetra, Rhizoglomus and Scutellospora were observed. AMF species diversity and their spore abundance found in M. tenuiflora rhizosphere shown that this native plant species is an important host plant to AMF communities from Brazilian semi-arid region. We concluded that: (a) during the dry period and in semi-arid conditions, there is a high spore production in M. tenuiflora root zone; and (b) soil properties, as soil pH and available phosphorous, affect AMF species diversity, thus constituting key factors for the similarity/dissimilarity of AMF communities in the M. tenuiflora root zone among sites. PMID:26991277

  9. Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid regions

    SciTech Connect

    Felker, P.

    1980-01-01

    Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid and arid regions are reviewed. This review is divided into sections according to the following general use categories: fuels; human food; livestock food; to increase yields of crops grown beneath their canopies;and control of desertification. (MHR)

  10. Helminthological records of six-banded armadillos Euphractus sexcinctus (Linnaeus, 1758) from the Brazilian semi-arid region, Patos county, Paraíba state, including new morphological data on Trichohelix tuberculata (Parona and Stossich, 1901) Ortlepp, 1922 and proposal of Hadrostrongylus ransomi nov. comb.

    PubMed

    Hoppe, E G L; Araújo de Lima, R C; Tebaldi, J H; Athayde, A C R; Nascimento, A A

    2009-05-01

    This work aimed to evaluate the gastrointestinal helminthfauna composition of six-banded armadillos from the Brazilian semi-arid region. Gastrointestinal contents of six road-killed adult animals from Patos County, Paraíba State, were analyzed. Six species of nematodes, comprising five genera and four families, were recovered from the analyzed animals. New morphological data on Trichohelix tuberculata is given, along with a new taxonomical proposal for Hadrostrongylus ransomi (Travassos, 1935) n. comb. This is the first record for parasitic helminths in this host from the Brazilian semi-arid. PMID:19675948

  11. Droughts and governance impacts on water scarcity: an~analysis in the Brazilian semi-arid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, A. C. S.; Galvão, C. O.; Silva, G. N. S.

    2015-06-01

    Extreme events are part of climate variability. Dealing with variability is still a challenge that might be increased due to climate change. However, impacts of extreme events are not only dependent on their variability, but also on management and governance. In Brazil, its semi-arid region is vulnerable to extreme events, especially droughts, for centuries. Actually, other Brazilian regions that have been mostly concerned with floods are currently also experiencing droughts. This article evaluates how a combination between climate variability and water governance might affect water scarcity and increase the impacts of extreme events on some regions. For this evaluation, Ostrom's framework for analyzing social-ecological systems (SES) was applied. Ostrom's framework is useful for understanding interactions between resource systems, governance systems and resource users. This study focuses on social-ecological systems located in a drought-prone region of Brazil. Two extreme events were selected, one in 1997-2000, when Brazil's new water policy was very young, and the other one in 2012-2015. The analysis of SES considering Ostrom's principle "Clearly defined boundaries" showed that deficiencies in water management cause the intensification of drought's impacts for the water users. The reasons are more related to water management and governance problems than to drought event magnitude or climate change. This is a problem that holdup advances in dealing with extreme events.

  12. Distribution and density of the mollusk Donax striatus (Linnaeus, 1767) in a tropical estuarine region in the brazilian semi-arid.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, E L; Fernandes, G V; Henry-Silva, G G

    2015-11-01

    This study evaluated the spatial and temporal distribution and density of the bivalve Donax striatus, at beaches close to the Apodi/Mossoró River estuary, through, six semiannual sampling campaigns were performed between April/2009 and October/2011. The sampled area was delimited by 20 transects that were laid perpendicular to the beach line and extended over 300 m in the intertidal zone. Seven sampling points were established in each transect, organisms and sediment were collected, and water temperature and salinity were recorded. The highest D. striatus average density (103 individuals.m-2) was observed in April/2009 and the lowest (18 individuals.m-2) in October/2010. The highest D. striatus densities occurred in beaches further from the estuarine region as demonstrated by a significant positive correlation (r2 = 0.67 and p = 0.0007). The D. striatus densities presented significant negative correlations with the percentages of organic matter in the water. This species demonstrated an aggregated distribution in the studied area. PMID:26675907

  13. The relationship between anthropogenic dust and population over global semi-arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, Xiaodan; Huang, Jianping; Zhang, Yanting; Xie, Yongkun; Liu, Jingjing

    2016-04-01

    Although anthropogenic dust has received more attention from the climate research community, its dominant role in the production process is still not identified. In this study, we analysed the relationship between anthropogenic dust and population density/change over global semi-arid regions and found that semi-arid regions are major source regions in producing anthropogenic dust. The results showed that the relationship between anthropogenic dust and population is more obvious in cropland than in other land cover types (crop mosaics, grassland, and urbanized regions) and that the production of anthropogenic dust increases as the population density grows to more than 90 persons km-2. Four selected semi-arid regions, namely East China, India, North America, and North Africa, were used to explore the relationship between anthropogenic dust production and regional population. The most significant relationship between anthropogenic dust and population occurred in an Indian semi-arid region that had a greater portion of cropland, and the high peak of anthropogenic dust probability appeared with 220 persons km-2 of population density and 60 persons km-2 of population change. These results suggest that the influence of population on production of anthropogenic dust in semi-arid regions is obvious in cropland regions. However, the impact does not always have a positive contribution to the production of anthropogenic dust, and overly excessive population will suppress the increase of anthropogenic dust. Moreover, radiative and climate effects of increasing anthropogenic dust need more investigation.

  14. Useful plants of the semi-arid northeastern region of Brazil--a look at their conservation and sustainable use.

    PubMed

    Lucena, Reinaldo F P; Albuquerque, Ulysses P; Monteiro, Júlio M; Almeida, Cecília De Fátima C B R; Florentino, Alissandra T N; Ferraz, José Serafim Feitosa

    2007-02-01

    The use of native plants was examined in three rural communities in the semi-arid of the state of Pernambuco, in northeastern Brazil. The techniques employed in the present study combined a number of different techniques of data-gathering, including semi-structured interviews, guided tour, key-informants, and participating observation, and sampling of the vegetation to evaluate the biodiversity of useful plants. A total of 61 woody species were cataloged, mostly used for construction purposes or fuel. Among the species that stood out for their local importance and multiplicity of uses were: Myracrodruon urundeuva (Engl.) Fr. All., Schinopsis brasiliensis Engl., and Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell.) Brenan. The first two species are included in Brazilian lists of threatened species. Arguments are presented for strategies of management and conservation of plant resources in the semi-arid region that seek alternatives to the use of timber species and the development of alternative non-timber resources. PMID:17219240

  15. Tropical Warm Semi-Arid Regions Expanding Over Temperate Latitudes In The Projected 21st Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajaud, A.; de Noblet, N. I.

    2015-12-01

    Two billion people today live in drylands, where extreme climatic conditions prevail, and natural resources are limited. Drylands are expected to expand under several scenarios of climatic change. However, relevant adaptation strategies need to account for the aridity level: it conditions the equilibrium tree-cover density, ranging from deserts (hyper-arid) to dense savannas (sub-humid). Here we focus on the evolution of climatically defined warm semi-arid areas, where low-tree density covers can be maintained. We study the global repartition of these regions in the future and the bioclimatic shifts involved. We adopted a bioclimatological approach based on the Köppen climate classification. The warm semi-arid class is characterized by mean annual temperatures over 18°C and a rainfall-limitation criterion. A multi-model ensemble of CMIP5 projections for three representative concentration pathways was selected to analyze future conditions. The classification was first applied to the start, middle and end of the 20th and 21st centuries, in order to localize past and future warm semi-arid regions. Then, time-series for the classification were built to characterize trends and variability in the evolution of those regions. According to the CRU datasets, global expansion of the warm semi-arid area has already started (~+13%), following the global warming trend since the 1900s. This will continue according to all projections, most significantly so outside the tropical belt. Under the "business as usual" scenario, the global warm semi-arid area will increase by 30% and expand 12° poleward in the Northern Hemisphere, according to the multi-model mean. Drying drives the conversion from equatorial sub-humid conditions. Beyond 30° of latitude, cold semi-arid conditions become warm semi-arid through warming, and temperate conditions through combined warming and drying processes. Those various transitions may have drastic but also very distinct ecological and sociological

  16. Karst characterization in a semi-arid region using gravity, seismic, and resistivity geophysical techniques.

    SciTech Connect

    Barnhart, Kevin Scott

    2013-10-01

    We proposed to customize emerging in situ geophysical monitoring technology to generate time-series data during sporadic rain events in a semi-arid region. Electrodes were to be connected to wireless %5Cnodes%22 which can be left in the eld for many months. Embedded software would then increase sampling frequency during periods of rainfall. We hypothesized that this contrast between no-volume ow in karst passageways dur- ing dry periods and partial- or saturated-volume ow during a rain event is detectable by these Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) geophysical nodes, we call this a Wireless Resistivity Network (WRN). The development of new methodologies to characterize semi-arid karst hydrology is intended to augment Sandia National Laboratorys mission to lead e orts in energy technologies, waste disposal and climate security by helping to identify safe and secure regions and those that are at risk. Development and initial eld testing identi ed technological barriers to using WRNs for identifying semi-arid karst, exposing R&D which can be targeted in the future. Gravity, seismic, and resis- tivity surveys elucidated how each technique might e ectively be used to characterize semi-arid karst. This research brings to light the importance and challenges with char- acterizing semi-arid karst through a multi-method geophysical study. As there have been very few studies with this emphasis, this study has expanded the body of practical experience needed to protect the nations water and energy security interests.

  17. Thin scale ecohydrological data and relations at semi-arid regions: a methodological approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In semi-arid regions worldwide the vegetation is organized in patches surrounded by bare soil with marked differences in their soil properties that play important roles in runoff and infiltration. Chihuahuan-Sonoran and Patagonian Monte deserts regions show floristic similarity greater than that ex...

  18. Understanding sources of uncertainty in flash-flood forecasting for semi-arid regions 1913

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    About one-third of the earth’s landsurface is located in arid or semi-arid regions, often in areas suffering severely from the negative impacts of desertification and population pressure. Reliable hydrological forecasts across spatial and temporal scales are crucial in order to achieve water securit...

  19. Radioecological characterization of a uranium mining site located in a semi-arid region in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Horst M; Lamego Simoes Filho, F Fernando; Perez, Valeska; Franklin, Mariza Ramalho; Gomiero, Luiz Alberto

    2006-01-01

    The work presents the radioecological characterization of the new Brazilian uranium mining and milling site located in a semi-arid region of the country. The process characterization demonstrated that in heap leach plants most of the 226Ra remains in the leached ore. Despite the potential higher availability of radium isotopes in the soils of the studied region the lack of precipitation in that area reduces the leaching/mobilization of the radionuclides. High 226Ra and 228Ra concentrations were found in manioc while 210Pb was significant in pasture. It was suggested that a range from 10(-3) to 10(-1) may conveniently encompass most of the transfer factors (TF) values for soil/plant systems (i.e. involving different cultures, different soils and natural radionuclides). Impacts due to aerial transportation of aerosols and radon generated in the mining were proved to be minimal and restricted to an area not greater than 15 km2. Finally, uranium complexation by carbonates was shown to be the main mechanism responding for the elevated radionuclide concentration in groundwater. PMID:16545512

  20. Microbial community biogeographic patterns in the rhizosphere of two Brazilian semi-arid leguminous trees.

    PubMed

    Lançoni, Milena Duarte; Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvêa; Kavamura, Vanessa Nessner; de Melo, Itamar Soares

    2013-07-01

    Arid environments are regular and well distributed over all continents and display drought characteristics whether full-time or seasonal. This study aims to characterize how the microbial communities of the rhizosphere of two leguminous trees from the Brazilian semi-arid biome the Caatinga are geographically and seasonally shaped, as well as the factors driving this variation. With that purpose, the soil rhizosphere from two leguminous trees (Mimosa tenuiflora and Piptadenia stipulacea (Benth.) Ducke) were sampled in two different seasons: rainy and drought at five different sites. Assessment of bacterial and archaeal communities occurred by T-RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA and archaeal amoA genes. By these means, it was observed that the seasons (wet and dry periods) are the factors that most influence the composition of the microbial community from both analyzed plants, except for the results obtained from the CCA applied to Archaeas. Furthermore, soil physical-chemical factors also had a significant influence on the community and indicated a geographical pattern of the bacterial community. It was not possible to observe significant modifications in the composition in relation to the plant species. We have seen that soil characteristics and rainfall were the factors that most influenced the microbial composition. Also, the bacterial community had a significant correlation with soil characteristics that indicates that these rhizosphere communities might be selected by environmental characteristics. Furthermore, the data suggest that climate plays a key role in structuring the microbial community of this biome. PMID:23435935

  1. Contribution of Afforestation Practices to Changing Hydrology in Arid and Semi-arid Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, X.; Meng, S.; Li, J.

    2014-12-01

    Arid and semi-arid regions are generally susceptible to land degeneration due to limited precipitation and high potential evapotranspiration (ET). Afforestation has been assumed to be a feasible strategy to conserve water and to improve ecological environment. For example, the Northern China, as a typical arid and semi-arid region has experienced large-scale and long-term afforestation practices since the early 1980s. The land cover has been altered to some degree as tree planting with increasing greenness. However, the effectiveness of afforestation might not be as expected due to the interference of climate change. In this study, we attempted to quantify the contribution of afforestation practices to the hydrological system in the Northern China. A macro-scale hydrological model, i.e., the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC), was employed to simulate ET, soil moisture and runoff for the period 1959 - 2009. Fractional simulation scenarios were designed regarding different conditions of land cover and climate changes. The results indicate that the land cover has minor impact on the variability of hydrological variables at regional scale, comparing with the climate change. Particularly, the decreasing precipitation plays a dominant role in shaping the trends of ET, soil moisture and runoff. The findings have significant implications for the implementation of the afforestation practices and for the management of water resources in arid and semi-arid regions.

  2. The impacts of precipitation on land- atmosphere interaction over the semi-arid Loess Plateau region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WANG, G.; Huang, J.

    2015-12-01

    To understand the impacts of precipitation on land-atmosphere interactions over semi-arid regions, 6-year continuous measurements data in situ were analyzed to investigate the influence of precipitation on soil moisture, evapotranspiration, energy partitioning and plant growing over Loess Plateau in northwest China. Results show that annual precipitation had obvious inter-annual variability, and the variation of soil moisture; evaporation and CO2 flux were very consistently with the annual cycle and intensity of precipitation. Soil moisture is the key participant in land-atmosphere interaction. However, as the water shortage and disconnected from water table over the semi-arid region, it is much more sensitive with precipitation compensation and evaporation feedbacks. Soil water can cooling the near surface air temperature by evaporation (latent heat flux), and also as the main energy partitioning consumer of net radiation in humid area or pluvial period in arid area, yet it was water limited in arid and semi-arid region, sensible heat flux predominated net radiation for enhancing the surface air temperature. We also found that soil moisture profile significantly affected the plant physiology, which was also consistent with the annual cycle and intensity of precipitation.

  3. Effect of irrigation systems on temporal distribution of malaria vectors in semi-arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohta, Shunji; Kaga, Takumi

    2014-04-01

    Previous research models have used climate data to explain habitat conditions of Anopheles mosquitoes transmitting malaria parasites. Although they can estimate mosquito populations with sufficient accuracy in many areas, observational data show that there is a tendency to underestimate the active growth and reproduction period of mosquitoes in semi-arid agricultural regions. In this study, a new, modified model that includes irrigation as a factor was developed to predict the active growing period of mosquitoes more precisely than the base model for ecophysiological and climatological distribution of mosquito generations (ECD-mg). Five sites with complete sets of observational data were selected in semi-arid regions of India for the comparison. The active growing period of mosquitoes determined from the modified ECD-mg model that incorporated the irrigation factor was in agreement with the observational data, whereas the active growing period was underestimated by the previous ECD-mg model that did not incorporate irrigation. This suggests that anthropogenic changes in the water supply due to extensive irrigation can encourage the growth of Anopheles mosquitoes through the alteration of the natural water balance in their habitat. In addition, it was found that the irrigation systems not only enable the active growth of mosquitoes in dry seasons but also play an important role in stabilizing the growth in rainy seasons. Consequently, the irrigation systems could lengthen the annual growing period of Anopheles mosquitoes and increase the maximum generation number of mosquitoes in semi-arid subtropical regions.

  4. The Dynamics of a Semi-Arid Region in Response to Climate and Water - Use Policy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mustard, John F.; Hamburg, Steve; Grant, John A.; Manning, Sara J.; Steinwand, Aaron; Howard, Chris

    2000-01-01

    The objectives of this project were to determine the response of semi-arid ecosystems to the combined forcings of climate variability and anthropogenic stress. Arid and semi-arid systems encompass close to 40% of the worlds land surface. The ecology of these regions are principally limited by water, and as the water resources wax and wane, so should the health and vigor of the ecosystems. Water, however, is a necessary and critical resource for humans living in these same regions. Thus for many and and semi-arid regions the natural systems and human systems are in direct competition for a limited resource. Increasing competition through development of and and semi-arid regions, export of water resources, as well as potential persistent changes in weather patterns are likely to lead to fundamental changes in carrying capacity, resilience, and ecology of these regions. A detailed understanding of these systems respond to forcing on a regional and local scale is required in order to better prepare for and manage future changes in the availability of water. In the Owens Valley CA, decadal changes in rainfall and increased use of groundwater resources by Los Angles (which derives 60-70% of its water from this region) have resulted in a large-scale experiment on the impacts of these changes in semi-arid ecosystems. This project works directly with the Inyo County Water Department (local water authority) and the Los Angles Department of Water and Power (regional demand on water resources) to understand changes, their causes, and impacts. Very detailed records have been kept for a number of selected sites in the valley which provide essential ground truth. These results are then scaled up through remote sensed data to regions scale to assess large scale patterns and link them to the fundamental decisions regarding the water resources of this region. A fundamental goal is to understand how resilient the native ecosystems are to large changes in water resources. Are they are

  5. Assessment of the performance of water harvesting systems in semi-arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasage, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    Water harvesting is widely practiced and has the potential to improve water availability for domestic and agricultural use in semi-arid regions. New funds are becoming available to stimulate the implementation of water harvesting projects, for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and to help communities to adapt to climate change. For this, it is important to understand which factors determine the success of water harvesting techniques under different conditions. For this, we review the literature, including information on the crop yield impacts of water harvesting projects in semi-arid Africa and Asia. Results show that large water harvesting structures (> 500 m3) are less expensive than small structures, when taking into account investment costs, storage capacity and lifetimes. We also find that water harvesting improves crop yields significantly, and that the relative impact of water harvesting on crop yields is largest in low rainfall years. We also see that the governance, technical knowledge and initial investment are more demanding for the larger structures than for smaller structures, which may affect their spontaneous adoption and long term sustainability when managed by local communities. To support the selection of appropriate techniques, we present a decision framework based on case specific characteristics. This framework can also be used when reporting and evaluating the performance of water harvesting techniques, which is up to now quite limited in peer reviewed literature. Based on Bouma, J., Hegde, S.E., Lasage, R., (2016). Assessing the returns to water harvesting: A meta-analysis. Agricultural Water Management 163, 100-109. Lasage, R., Verburg P.H., (2015). Evaluation of small scale water harvesting techniques for semi-arid environments. Journal of Arid Environments 118, 48-57.

  6. A Methodology to Assess and Evaluate Rainwater Harvesting Techniques in (Semi-)Arid Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Ammar; Riksen, Michel; Ouessar, Mohamed; Ritsema, Coen

    2015-04-01

    Arid and semi-arid regions around the world are generally facing water scarcity problems due to lack of precipitation and unpredictable rainfall patterns. For thousands of years rainwater harvesting (RWH) techniques have been applied to cope with water scarcity. Many researchers have presented and applied different methodologies for determining suitable sites and techniques for RWH. However, there is still little attention given to evaluation of the performance of RWH structures. The aim of this research was to design a scientifically-based and generally applicable methodology to evaluate and assess the performance of existing RWH techniques in (semi-) arid regions. The methodology takes engineering, biophysical, and socio-economic criteria into account to assess the performance of RWH using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) supported by Geographic Information System (GIS). The Oum Zessar watershed in south-eastern Tunisia is used as a case study site to test this evaluation tool. The performance of 58 RWH locations (14 jessour and 44 tabias) in three main sub-catchments of Oum Zessar watershed were assessed and evaluated. Based on the criteria selected, 60performance, 36received good performance scores. The results very accurately represent the real performance of each site. This integrated methodology, which is highly flexible, saves time and costs, and is easy to adapt in different regions, provides a scientifically based analytical tool to support designers and decision makers aiming to improve the performance of existing and new RWH sites.

  7. The biogeophysical effect of large-scale afforestation in semi-arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yosef, Gil; Avissar, Roni; Walko, Robert; Medvigy, David; Yakir, Dan

    2015-04-01

    Forestation in the semi-arid region can significantly influence the surface energy budget and, in turn, the local atmospheric circulations. Such effects could be particularly important in regions under the influence of monsoon regimes, such as the Sahel and North Australia. In these regions, summer solar heating leads first to migration of the equatorial through and the tropical convergence zones (ITCZ) and to the monsoon rain. And second, to a meridional surface temperature gradient that generates low-level easterly jet that acts as a barrier to the penetration of the precipitation into the semi arid areas. In this study we tested the hypothesis that large-scale afforestation in these semi-regions can result in changes in local and regional atmospheric circulation and, consequently, in the precipitation and potential changes in land cover and land use. The GCM OLAM was used to performing high-resolution simulations (50km horizontal grid scale and 50 vertical layers) of afforestation scenarios in the Sahel and North Australia. These areas (Sahel 2.6 E6 km2 and North Australia 2.1 E6 km2) were afforested with a mature pine forest, using the extensive data form the long-term semi-arid Yatir forest in Israel as a reference forest for surface parameterization. The regional effect of the afforestation was analyzed for the following parameters; Surface energy budget, temperature, Easterly jet stream location and intensity, above forest atmospheric instability, water recycling and precipitation. Afforestation in the Sahel resulted in large increase of the surface net radiation (45 W m-2), mainly as a result of decrease in albedo (43 W m-2), decrease of incoming short wave radiation (21 W m-2) and increase of downward long wave radiation (13 W m-2) due to higher clouds cover, and decrease in long wave upward radiation (10 W m-2), as a result of the lower surface temperature. Increasing soil moisture because of the new forest is expressed into higher evapotranspiration, i

  8. Drought Quantifications in Semi-Arid Regions Using Precipitation Effectiveness Variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otun, J. A.

    2009-04-01

    This study proposes a new drought index based on several precipitation -based parameters to quantify drought hazard in semi arid region. In addition to the practice of using only rainfall volume for indexing drought, the proposed index verifies the potentials of nine (9) other precipitation effectiveness variables PEVs, (onset of rain, cessation of rain, length of rainy and dry season, wet days and dry days within a wet season, dry days within the year, maximum dry spell length within a wet season and mean seasonal rainfall depth (MAR) in quantifying the drought conditions over a place. In formulating the index, each standardized deficit for each PEV is magnified using the Kridging principle and summed up together. A statistical comparison test using historical drought data is used to determine the most appropriate PEVs set that can be conjunctively included in indexing the drought hazard at each location. The daily rainfall data from seven stations in the semi-arid region of Nigeria (namely Gusau, Kano, Katsina, Maiduguri, Nguru, Potiskum, and Sokoto) were used to verify the effectiveness of this new method.

  9. New species and records of Anacroneuria (Plecoptera: Perlidae) from the northeastern semi-arid region of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Tácio; Lecci, Lucas Silveira

    2016-01-01

    The genus Anacroneuria is widely distributed in the Neotropical Region. There are about 80 species listed from Brazil, five of which are recorded from the northeastern semi-arid region of Brazil, an area characterized by irregular and low precipitation. Examination of adult Anacroneuria material from this including areas of Caatinga desert vegetation and Atlantic forest revealed two new species records, A. debilis (Pictet) and A. terere Righi-Cavallaro & Lecci. Additionally, two new species, A. calori n. sp. and A. singela n. sp., are described from this material. These new records and new species reflect a major effort to document the biodiversity of the aquatic insects of the northeastern semi-arid region of Brazil by the Research Program in Semi-arid Biodiversity. PMID:27396007

  10. Acupunctural Afforestation for Desertification Mitigation over Semi-Arid Regions in East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myoung, B.; Choi, Y.; Park, S. K.

    2011-12-01

    Desertification over the arid/semi-arid regions in East Asia and dust transports from the regions have been serious concerns for the societies not only in adjacent Asian countries but also in the western US. One of the strategies for desertification mitigation is tree planting over the semi-arid areas. However, unless the newly planted vegetation changes the feedback characteristics between land-surface and the atmosphere, the impact is not profound and effective for a long time. Here we show afforestation effects on the coupling strength between the land-surface and atmosphere, measured by the monthly anomalies of precipitation and evapotranspiration. The coupling strength is an important parameter to diagnose the aridity of a region since the stronger coupling strength is indicative of the higher vulnerability of the local climate to droughts. Simulations of a regional vegetation-climate coupled model reveal that afforestation substantially modulates local coupling strength mainly through controlling variability of evapotranspiration. The coupling strength decreases most significantly with an increase of unit vegetation fraction over the northern and central China including Manchurian Plains and highly populated areas of Beijing and Tianjin. The coupling characteristics of these regions are expected to reduce the occurrence of extreme weather events such as droughts by alleviating positive responses of the surface to precipitation deficit. Therefore, afforestation concentrated on these regions, which is called "acupunctural afforestation", may most effectively contribute to desertification mitigation than other regions by attenuating mechanisms maintaining warm season droughts. This study suggests that our attention should be paid to understanding the coupling strength between land and the atmosphere for desertification mitigation.

  11. [Effect of Biochar on Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Semi-arid Region].

    PubMed

    Guo, Yan-liang; Wang, Dan-dan; Zheng, Ji-yong; Zhao, Shi-wei; Zhang, Xing-chang

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effects of biochar addition on the emission of greenhouse gases from farmland soil in semi-arid region. Through an in-situ experiments, the influence of sawdust biochar(J) and locust tree skin biochar (H) at three doses (1%, 3%, and 5% of quality percentage) on C2, CH4 and N2O emissions were studied within the six months in the south of Ningxiaprovince. The results indicated that soil CO2 emission flux was slightly increased with the addition doses for both biochars, and the averaged CO2 emission flux for sawdust and locust tree skin biochar was enhanced by 1. 89% and 3. 34% compared to the control, but the difference between treatments was not statistically significant. The soil CH4 emission was decreased with the increasing of biochar doses, by 1. 17%, 2. 55%, 4. 32% for J1, J3, J5 and 2. 35%, 5. 83%, 7. 32% for H1, H3, H5, respectively. However, the difference was statistically significant only for J5, H3 and H5 treatments (P <0. 05). Across addition doses, there was no apparent effect on soil N2O emission. Our study indicated that the biochar has no significant influence on soil CO2 and N2O emissions within six months in semi-arid region and can significantly influence soil CH4 emissions (P < 0. 05). As for biochar type, the locust tree skin biochar is significantly better than the sawdust biochar in terms of restraining CH4 emission(P = 0. 048). PMID:26717703

  12. Determine the optimum spectral reflectance of juniper and pistachio in arid and semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadaei, Hadi; Suzuki, Rikie

    2012-11-01

    Arid and semi-arid areas of northeast Iran cover about 3.4 million ha are populated by two main tree species, the broadleaf Pistacia vera. L (pistachio) and the conifer Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos (Persian juniper). Natural stands of pistachio in Iran are not only environmentally important but genetically essential as seed sources for pistachio production in orchards. In this study, we estimated the optimum spectral reflectance of juniper forests and natural pistachio stands using remote sensing to help in the sustainable management and production of pistachio in Iran. In this research spectral reflectance are able to specify of multispectral from Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) that provided by JAXA. These data included PRISM is a panchromatic radiometer with a 2.5 m spatial resolution at nadir, has one band with a wavelength of 0.52-0.77 μm and AVNIR-2 is a visible and near infrared radiometer for observing land and coastal zones with a 10 m spatial resolution at nadir, has four multispectral bands: blue (0.42-0.50 μm), green (0.52-0.60 μm), red (0.61-0.69 μm), and near infrared (0.76-0.89 μm). Total ratio vegetation index (TRVI) of optimum spectral reflectance of juniper and pistachio have been evaluated. The result of TRVI for Pistachio and juniper were (R2= 0.71 and 0.55). I hope this research can provide decision of managers to helping sustainable management for arid and semi-arid regions in Iran.

  13. Alternative Crop Rotations in the Semi-arid Central Great Plains Region: How Much Fallow? Evaluating the Economics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The traditional crop production system in the semi-arid Central Great Plains Region (CGPR) of the U.S.A. is winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-summer fallow (WF) or one crop every two years. This system is not a long-term sustainable dryland system. It is conducive to soil degradation and provide...

  14. Assessment of pesticide residues in two arable soils from the semi-arid and subtropical regions of China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ligang; Zhao, Zhenhua; Jiang, Xin; Wu, Jinshui; Martens, Dieter

    2005-10-01

    The residues of 31 chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHCs), 25 chlorophenols (CPs), 30 organophosphorus (OP) and pyrethroid (PRT) in two arable soils from the semi-arid and subtropical regions of China were assessed. Data obtained indicate that the main compounds of CHC pesticide residues in the semi-arid soil were 4,4'-DDE (25.3 ng/g) and beta-HCH (14.1 ng/g), which totally accounted to about 90% of total CHC residues detected. The total content of CHC residues detected in the subtropical soil was only 3.1 ng/g, of which approximately 50% was beta-HCH. However, the total content of CP residues in both of the soils was about 11 ng/g. In the semi-arid soil, only parathion-methyl amongst the 30 compounds of OP and PRT residues was detected (32.5 ng/g), whilst malathion and parathion-methyl (8.7 and 17.7 ng/g, respectively) detected in the subtropical soil. Based on these results, it was suggested the environmental risk of pesticide residues ranked in an order as CHCs (mainly as 4,4'-DDE, beta-HCH) > OP (parathion-methyl) > CPs for the semi-arid soil, and as OPs (parathion-methyl and malathion) > CPs > CHCs (beta-HCH) for the subtropical soil. PMID:16240205

  15. Physiological basis for diurnal activity in dispersing juvenile Bufo granulosus in the Caatinga, a Brazilian semi-arid environment.

    PubMed

    Navas, Carlos A; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Carvalho, José E; Suzuki, Hana; Jared, Carlos

    2007-07-01

    Diurnal activity is characteristic of many toad species, including Bufo granulosus from the Brazilian semi-arid biome called the Caatinga. Because of their patterns of activity, juvenile toads are exposed to hot and dehydrating conditions. Our investigation focuses on temperature and water relationships, and is based on the prediction that anuran diurnal activity in a semi-arid environment must be associated with morphological, physiological and behavioral traits enhancing thermal tolerances, capacity for performance at high temperatures and water balance. To test specific hypothesis related with this prediction, we investigated postmetamorphic B. granulosus and collected data on thermal tolerances and preferences, thermal safety margins, thermal dependence of locomotor behavior, thermal and kinetic properties of citrate synthase (CS), and skin morphophysiology. This information was compared with additional data from adult conspecifics and adult toads from sympatric species or from species from more moderate environments. We found that juvenile B. granulosus exhibit the highest critical maximum temperature reported for toads (44.2 degrees C) and are well suited to move at high temperatures. However, and in contrast with juveniles of other Bufo species, they do not show thermal preferences in a gradient and appear to hydroregulate more than thermoregulate. The CS of adult and juvenile toads shows typical patterns of thermal sensibility, but the thermal stability of this enzyme is much higher in juveniles than in adult Bufo of any other species studied. The inguinal skin exhibits a complex folding pattern and seems highly specialized for capillary water uptake. Diurnal activity in juvenile B. granulosus is possible given high thermal tolerances, keen ability to detect and uptake water, and avoidance behaviors. PMID:17234442

  16. Developing a CFD-based Approach to Estimate Evaporation from Water Surfaces in (Semi-) Arid Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbasi, Ali; Annor, Frank; van de Giesen, Nick

    2015-04-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions where evaporation highly exceeds rainfall, approximately one half of the stored water in shallow lakes may be lost due to evaporation. Precisely estimating this for very shallow lakes is however a daunting tasks due to the complexity of lake thermodynamics and the interactions between the water surface and air. Evaporation in water is largely uncoupled from land based evapotranspiration and most methods used are case-specific equations which are usually not applicable for other lakes. In this study a Computational Fluid Dynamics(CFD) Evaporation Model is established to adequately quantify the evaporation losses by simulating the air flow and heat transfer in the atmospheric boundary layer. Consideration of the air flow and heat transfer is required to simulate the fetch effect. This model will help to understand the complexities involved in open water evaporation and consequently will lead to more accurate estimates and better strategies for managing and controlling the evaporative loss of fresh water in arid and semi-arid regions. The proposed approach is used to drive a convective mass-transfer coefficient (wind function) required for estimating evaporation of water bodies with the mass-transfer method. The model was applied for a small shallow (with a surface area of 45 hectares and 3m deep on the average) artificial lake in Ghana called Binaba. The heat and mass transfer coefficient over the water surface and their distributions were extracted from the CFD analysis. The results showed that the CFD-derived wind functions were very similar to those empirically derived from the measurements over the lake using Eddy Covariance(EC) System. The evaporation rates calculated with the synthetic wind functions were in good agreement with hourly and daily evaporation measurements for the lake. The established CFD-model is generalizable and cost effective, since it needs low input data. Besides, the model is able to provide additional

  17. Improving Modeling of the Summer Climate of Semi-Arid Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eltahir, E.; Marcella, M.

    2009-04-01

    Presented is a study on the importance of certain land surface processes in accurately simulating the summertime climate of Southwest Asia. A nearly 4 degree C bias is simulated in summertime temperatures, by standard Regional Climate Model version 3 (RegCM3). Biases are also found in surface albedo, shortwave incident, and surface vapor pressure. Using satellite data, (Earth Radiation Budget Experiment-ERBE) modifications are introduced to match simulated surface albedo to the ERBE data. In addition, by incorporating RegCM3's dust module with sub-grid variability, surface shortwave incident biases are reduced. Lastly, representing the irrigation and marshlands of Mesopotamia reduces vapor pressure deficits in the region. All of these factors combined, along with errors in observational datasets, account for the 4 degree C warm bias in RegCM3 simulations. We conclude that accurate representations of albedo, irrigation, and dust emissions are important processes to be included for accurate summertime climate modeling in semi-arid regions around the world.

  18. Peach response to water deficit in a semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paltineanu, C.; Septar, L.; Moale, C.; Nicolae, S.; Nicola, C.

    2013-09-01

    During three years a deficit irrigation experiment was performed on peach response under the semi-arid conditions of south-eastern Romania. Three sprinkler-irrigated treatments were investigated: fully irrigated, deficit irrigation treatment, and non-irrigated control treatment. Soil water content ranged between 60 and 76% of the plant available soil water capacity in fully irrigated, between 40 and 62% in deficit irrigation treatment, and between 30 and 45% in control. There were significant differences in fruit yield between the treatments. Irrigation water use efficiency was maximum in deficit irrigation treatment. Fruit yield correlated significantly with irrigation application. Total dry matter content, total solids content and titrable acidity of fruit were significantly different in the irrigated treatments vs. the control. Significant correlation coefficients were found between some fruit chemical components. For the possible future global warming conditions, when water use becomes increasingly restrictive, deficit irrigation will be a reasonable solution for water conservation in regions with similar soil and climate conditions.

  19. Animal-Based Remedies as Complementary Medicines in the Semi-Arid Region of Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Rômulo R. N.; Barbosa, José A. A.; Santos, Silene L. D. X.; Souto, Wedson M. S.; Barboza, Raynner R. D.

    2011-01-01

    Animals (and their derived products) are essential ingredients in the preparation of many traditional remedies. Despite its prevalence in traditional medical practices worldwide, research on medicinal animals has often been neglected in comparison to medicinal plant research. This work documents the medicinal animals used by a rural community in the semi-arid region, inserted in Caatinga Biome, where 66 respondents provided information on animal species used as medicine, body parts used to prepare the remedies and illnesses to which the remedies were prescribed. We calculated the informant consensus factor to determine the consensus over which species are effective for particular ailments, as well as the species use value to determine the extent of utilization of each species. We recorded the use of 51 animal species as medicines, whose products were recommended for the treatment of 68 illnesses. The informant consensus in the use of many specific remedies is fairly high, giving an additional validity to this folk medicine. Eight species not previously reported as having medicinal use were recorded. The local medicinal fauna is largely based on wild animals, including some endangered species. Given a high proportion of medicinal animals observed in the study area, it is logical to conclude that any conservation strategy should include access to modern health care. PMID:19729490

  20. Ecosystem Services and Reallocation Choices: A Framework for Preserving Semi-Arid Regions in the Southwest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation of freshwater systems is a paramount issue in the semi-arid Southwestern U.S. Over time, these systems have been degraded by anthropogenic activities and, more recently, are threatened by climate change. For water reallocation efforts to succeed in preserving these systems, a policy mak...

  1. Holocene semi-arid oak woodlands in the Irano-Anatolian region of Southwest Asia: natural or anthropogenic?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asouti, Eleni; Kabukcu, Ceren

    2014-04-01

    It is commonly accepted that, following the end of the Pleistocene, semi-arid deciduous oak woodlands did not spread in the Irano-Anatolian region of Southwest Asia as quickly as they did in the Levantine Mediterranean littoral, despite the fact that climatic improvement occurred broadly at the same time in both regions. Prehistoric impacts on woodland vegetation (such as woodcutting, burning and clearance for cultivation), the harsh continental climate of inland Southwest Asia and its distance from late Pleistocene arboreal refugia have all been discussed in the literature as likely causes of the delay. In this paper we argue that semi-arid deciduous oak woodlands should not be viewed as part of the “natural” vegetation of the Irano-Anatolian region that has been progressively destroyed by millennia of human activities since the Neolithic. They represent instead one of the earliest anthropogenic vegetation types in Southwest Asia, one that owes its very existence to prehistoric landscape practices other scholars commonly label as “destructive”. Drawing on anthracological, pollen and modern vegetation data from central Anatolia we describe how the post-Pleistocene species-rich and structurally diverse temperate semi-arid savanna grasslands were gradually substituted by low-diversity, even-aged Quercus-dominated parklands and wood pastures in the course of the early Holocene. Economic strategies that encouraged the establishment and spread of deciduous oaks included sheep herding that impacted on grass and forb vegetation, the controlling of competing arboreal vegetation through woodcutting, and woodland management practices such as coppicing, pollarding and shredding that enhanced Quercus vegetative propagation, crown and stem growth. Understanding the origin and evolution of the Irano-Anatolian semi-arid oak woodlands of Southwest Asia is of critical importance for reconstructing the changing ecologies and geographical distributions of the progenitors of

  2. Controlling stomatal aperture in semi-arid regions-The dilemma of saving water or being cool?

    PubMed

    Chaves, M M; Costa, J M; Zarrouk, O; Pinheiro, C; Lopes, C M; Pereira, J S

    2016-10-01

    Stomatal regulation of leaf gas exchange with the atmosphere is a key process in plant adaptation to the environment, particularly in semi-arid regions with high atmospheric evaporative demand. Development of stomata, integrating internal signaling and environmental cues sets the limit for maximum diffusive capacity of stomata, through size and density and is under a complex genetic control, thus providing multiple levels of regulation. Operational stomatal conductance to water vapor and CO2 results from feed-back and/or feed-forward mechanisms and is the end-result of a plethora of signals originated in leaves and/or in roots at each moment. CO2 assimilation versus water vapor loss, proposed to be the subject of optimal regulation, is species dependent and defines the water use efficiency (WUE). WUE has been a topic of intense research involving areas from genetics to physiology. In crop plants, especially in semi-arid regions, the question that arises is how the compromise of reducing transpiration to save water will impact on plant performance through leaf temperature. Indeed, plant transpiration by providing evaporative cooling, is a major component of the leaf energy balance. In this paper we discuss the dilemma of 'saving water or being cool' bringing about recent findings from molecular genetics, to development and physiology of stomata. The question of 'how relevant is screening for high/low WUE in crops for semi-arid regions, where drought and heat co-occur' is discussed. PMID:27593463

  3. Integrated Water Resources Planning and Management in Arid/Semi-arid Regions: Data, Modeling, and Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, H.; Liu, Y.; Wagener, T.; Durcik, M.; Duffy, C.; Springer, E.

    2005-12-01

    Water resources in arid and semi-arid regions are highly sensitive to climate variability and change. As the demand for water continues to increase due to economic and population growth, planning and management of available water resources under climate uncertainties becomes increasingly critical in order to achieve basin-scale water sustainability (i.e., to ensure a long-term balance between supply and demand of water).The tremendous complexity of the interactions between the natural hydrologic system and the human environment means that modeling is the only available mechanism for properly integrating new knowledge into the decision-making process. Basin-scale integrated models have the potential to allow us to study the feedback processes between the physical and human systems (including institutional, engineering, and behavioral components); and an integrated assessment of the potential second- and higher-order effects of political and management decisions can aid in the selection of a rational water-resources policy. Data and information, especially hydrological and water-use data, are critical to the integrated modeling and assessment for water resources management of any region. To this end we are in the process of developing a multi-resolution integrated modeling and assessment framework for the south-western USA, which can be used to generate simulations of the probable effects of human actions while taking into account the uncertainties brought about by future climatic variability and change. Data are being collected (including the development of a hydro-geospatial database) and used in support of the modeling and assessment activities. This paper will present a blueprint of the modeling framework, describe achievements so far and discuss the science questions which still require answers with a particular emphasis on issues related to dry regions.

  4. Monitoring small reservoirs in semi-arid region by satellite SAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolina Papa, Maria; Mitidieri, Francesco; Amitrano, Donato; Ruello, Giuseppe; Di Martino, Gerardo; Iodice, Antonio; Riccio, Daniele

    2016-04-01

    The work presents a novel tool for the monitoring of small reservoirs in semi-arid regions. The pilot project was developed in the Yatenga region, a Sahelian area in northern Burkina Faso. In semi-arid regions, small reservoirs are widely employed for facing seasonal variability in water availability due to the alternation of a rainy (3 months) and a dry (9 months) season. Beside their crucial importance, the small reservoirs are not appropriately monitored, they are often built for the initiative of small local communities and even basic data as their location and capacity are not available. Another major problem is linked to soil erosion due to water and consequent reservoirs' sedimentation that reduces the amount of available water and the life span of reservoirs. This lack of data prevents the implementation of strategies for the optimization of water resources management. It is therefore necessary to improve the data availability through the development of cost-effective monitoring techniques and to adapt the hydrological modeling to the limited available data. In this context the use if satellite data can highly contribute to the achievement of crucial information at low costs, high resolution in time and wide areas. In the present work, we used COSMO-SkyMed Stripmap (3m resolution) and Spotligth (1m resolution) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data acquired under the aegis of the 2007 Italian Space Agency Announcement of Opportunity and of the HydroCIDOT project. The shorelines of the reservoirs were extracted from the series of SAR images by employing an innovative change-detection framework. A digital elevation model (DEM) of the study area was obtained via standard interferometry processing of images acquired at the end of the dry season, when small reservoirs are completely empty, and information about the surface usually covered by water can be retrieved. The obtained DEM and shorelines were used for bathymetry extraction of reservoirs. For the

  5. Hydrological Modelling in a semi-arid region using remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, F.; Jensen, K. H.; Sandholt, I.; Stisen, S.; Jorreto, S.; Pulido-Bosch, A.

    2006-12-01

    The 2,265 km2 Andarax river basin is located in Southern Spain. It is one of the most arid regions in Europe with a mean annual precipitation of 250-350 mm, which mainly falls (70%) in autumn and winter. The terrain changes from sea level at the coast to more than 2,500 m in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Most of the net precipitation falling in the mountains is either converted into overland flow, which runs directly to the rivers or infiltrated and then subsequently routed through fractures before discharging into the main river. All the water in the river infiltrate into the highly permeable Detritic aquifer. The total recharge within the catchment determines the water availability in the delta region. In semi-arid or arid areas groundwater recharge can be as low as 1 % of the precipitation, mainly because the rate of evapotranspiration is very high. It is essential to improve the estimation of actual evapotranspiration (ET), because it will result in a better estimate of the groundwater recharge. The hydrological behaviour of the Andarax river basin is simulated by the MIKE SHE code, which is a physically based, distributed and integrated hydrological model. The traditional hydrological data is rather sparse for the Andarax river basin especially the data for estimating ET. To improve the estimate of ET a SVAT (Soil Vegetation Atmosphere Transfer) model, which is implemented in the MIKE SHE code, is used. The MIKE SHE SVAT model is an energy-based two-layer land-surface model. The SVAT model enables the use of remote sensing data. The advantage of using remote sensing data to estimate ET is the high spatial and temporal resolution of data. Important variables that will be derived from remote sensing images are: Surface temperature, Global radiation, Albedo and LAI (Leaf Area Index).

  6. Groundwater recharge estimation in semi-arid zone: a study case from the region of Djelfa (Algeria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali Rahmani, S. E.; Chibane, Brahim; Boucefiène, Abdelkader

    2016-03-01

    Deficiency of surface water resources in semi-arid area makes the groundwater the most preferred resource to assure population increased needs. In this research we are going to quantify the rate of groundwater recharge using new hybrid model tack in interest the annual rainfall and the average annual temperature and the geological characteristics of the area. This hybrid model was tested and calibrated using a chemical tracer method called Chloride mass balance method (CMB). This hybrid model is a combination between general hydrogeological model and a hydrological model. We have tested this model in an aquifer complex in the region of Djelfa (Algeria). Performance of this model was verified by five criteria [Nash, mean absolute error (MAE), Root mean square error (RMSE), the coefficient of determination and the arithmetic mean error (AME)]. These new approximations facilitate the groundwater management in semi-arid areas; this model is a perfection and amelioration of the model developed by Chibane et al. This model gives a very interesting result, with low uncertainty. A new recharge class diagram was established by our model to get rapidly and quickly the groundwater recharge value for any area in semi-arid region, using temperature and rainfall.

  7. [Nutritional and feeding status of preschool children in the semi-arid region of Bahia (Brazil): I. Anthropometric assessment].

    PubMed

    Santos, L M; Marlúcia O Assis, A; Baqueiro, C M; Quaglia, G M; Morris, S S; Barreto, M L

    1995-12-01

    A survey of 754 preschool children was undertaken in the urban areas of seven small towns of the semi-arid region of Bahia, Northeast Brazil. The study set out to determine the prevalence of weight and height deficits, as well as to correlate them with variables such as age, family income, mother's schooling and food consumption. A prevalence of 22.9% of Height for Age (HA) below -2.0 SD was found (stunting) and prevalence of 19.1% and 3.6% were determined, respectively for Weight for Age (WA) and Weight for Height (WH) below -2.0 SD (wasting). Regarding food consumption, only 6.8% of the children received a diet with an adequate energy supply for their age group in the previous day. There was a close association between inadequate HA and WA and family income per capita (p = 0.001 and p = 0.000, respectively). Children from families with income < 1/4 of the minimum wage per capita had twice the chance of being malnourished as compared with those from the > or = 1/2 minimum wage per capita stratum. The children included in this study showed prevalences of inadequate WH and WA significantly higher than those found in a national survey conducted in the same period (p = 0.047 and p = 0.000 respectively). This fact is surprising since in the last decade important reductions in child malnutrition and mortality were reported in the country as a whole; this may indicate that children from this region probably were not benefitted in the same way as the rest of the Brazilian child population. PMID:8734971

  8. Modelling long-term sustainability of irrigation practices in semi arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guyennon, Nicolas; Romano, Emanuele; Portoghese, Ivan

    2016-04-01

    The impact of climate change on groundwater or surface water resources can be investigated through models simulating the hydrological and hydrogeological processes at the atmosphere/surface water/soil/groundwater interfaces. However, in aquifers extensively exploited for irrigation purposes, the water demand variability related to actual water availability, as well as to variation of the crops, and associated supply management options should be considered to evaluate impacts. Moreover, in the case of a multi-resources water supply system it is necessary to develop models able to simulate also the variation of the total demand distribution among each resource. We proposed a modeling scheme able to simulate an integrated multiple-resources and multiple-purposes water supply system by merging distributed crop water requirements with surface reservoir and ground water mass balance, considering resources availability and management, with emphasis on irrigation practices. The overall framework has been implemented for the case study of the Fortore water supply system, a semi-arid region in south Italy. It permits to simulate the conjunctive use of the water from the Occhito artificial reservoir (160 Mm3) and from groundwater to supply domestic, industrial and agricultural demand. The overall model successfully reproduces the Occhito dam level variability (both seasonal and inter-annual) as well as the observed groundwater depletion. The proposed model was forced by 60 years of meteorological observation to test the long-term sustainability of the current irrigation practices and has been extended to the next decades under a1b IPCC scenario using three ENSEMBLES member to test adaptation strategies.

  9. Keeping Sediment and Nutrients out of Streams in Arid/Semi-Arid Regions: Application of Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yongping, Yuan

    2015-04-01

    Climatic and hydrological characteristics in the arid/semi-arid areas create unique challenges to soil, water and biodiversity conservation. These areas are environmentally sensitive, but very valuable for the ecosystems services they provide to society. Some of these areas are experiencing the fastest urbanization and now face multiple water resource challenges. Low Impact Development (LID)/Green Infrastructure (GI) practices are increasingly popular for reducing stormwater and nonpoint source pollution in many regions around the world. However, streamflow in the arid/semi-arid regions is largely dependent on seasonal, short term, and high intensity rainfall events. LID has not been very common in the arid/semi-arid regions due to a lack of performance evaluation, as well as the perception that LID may not be very useful for regions with little annual precipitation. This study focused on investigating the hydrologic and pollutant removal performance of LID/GI systems in arid/semi-arid climates. Ten types of practices were found in use in the Western/Southwestern U.S.: rainwater harvest systems, detention ponds, retention ponds, bioretention, media filters, porous pavements, vegetated swales/buffer/strips, green roofs, infiltration trenches, and integrated LIDs. This study compared the performance of these practices in terms of their effectiveness at pollutant removal and cost-effectiveness. This analysis provides insight into the future implementation of LID/GI in the arid/semi-arid areas. Key words: LID/GI, arid/semi-arid, effectiveness of pollutant removal, cost-effectiveness analysis

  10. Carbon dioxide and methane supersaturation in lakes of semi-humid/semi-arid region, Northeastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Zhidan; Song, Kaishan; Zhao, Ying; Jin, Xiuliang

    2016-08-01

    Understanding concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in lakes is an important part of a comprehensive global carbon budget. We estimated data on the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and CH4 (pCH4) from sampling with 95 lakes in semi-humid/semi-arid region of Northeastern China during ice-free period. Both pCO2 and pCH4 varied greatly among the study sites. p(CO2) values in these lakes ranged from 21.9 to 30,152.3 μatm (n = 403), and 91% of lakes in this survey were supersaturated with CO2. p(CH4) values ranged from 12.6 to 139,630.7 μatm with all sites in this study of CH4 sources to the atmosphere during the ice-free period. The collected urban lakes samples exhibited higher pCO2 and pCH4 than wild lakes samples. Either the mean value of p(CO2) or p(CH4) in saline waters is higher than in fresh waters. Correlation analysis implied that the partial pressure of the GHGs (CO2 and CH4) showed statistically correlations with water environment indicators like pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and chlorophyll a (Chla). However, the most of the relationships showed a high degree of scatter, only pH might be used as the predictor of the gas partial pressure based on the result of this study (rpCO2 = -0.437, p < 0.01, n = 382; rpCH4 = -0.265, p < 0.01, n = 400). Furthermore, salinity could be a good predictor for p(CO2) and p(CH4) in 83 freshwater lakes in our study (rpCO2 = 0.365, rpCH4 = 0.323, p < 0.01, n = 348). The mean CO2 flux increased with the decreasing lake area size. The calculated annual areal carbon emission rate is 560.2 g C m-2 from 95 lakes in Northeastern China. We could not extrapolate carbon emission from these lakes to the boreal region or a wider scale because of the change of environmental conditions.

  11. Direct radiative forcing properties of atmospheric aerosols over semi-arid region, Anantapur in India.

    PubMed

    Kalluri, Raja Obul Reddy; Gugamsetty, Balakrishnaiah; Kotalo, Rama Gopal; Nagireddy, Siva Kumar Reddy; Tandule, Chakradhar Rao; Thotli, Lokeswara Reddy; Rajuru Ramakrishna, Reddy; Surendranair, Suresh Babu

    2016-10-01

    This paper describes the aerosols optical, physical characteristics and the aerosol radiative forcing pertaining to semi-arid region, Anantapur for the period January 2013-December 2014. Collocated measurements of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Black Carbon mass concentration (BC) are carried out by using MICROTOPS II and Aethalometer and estimated the aerosol radiative forcing over this location. The mean values of AOD at 500nm are found to be 0.47±0.09, 0.34±0.08, 0.29±0.06 and 0.30±0.07 during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon respectively. The Angstrom exponent (α380-1020) value is observed maximum in March (1.25±0.19) and which indicates the predominance of fine - mode aerosols and lowest in the month of July (0.33±0.14) and may be due to the dominance of coarse-mode aerosols. The diurnal variation of BC is exhibited two height peaks during morning 07:00-08:00 (IST) and evening 19:00-21:00 (IST) hours and one minima noticed during afternoon (13:00-16:00). The highest monthly mean BC concentration is observed in the month of January (3.4±1.2μgm(-3)) and the lowest in July (1.1±0.2μgm(-3)). The estimated Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing (ADRF) in the atmosphere is found to be +36.8±1.7Wm(-2), +26.9±0.2Wm(-2), +18.0±0.6Wm(-2) and +18.5±3.1Wm(-2) during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, respectively. Large difference between TOA and BOA forcing is observed during summer which indicate the large absorption of radiant energy (36.80Wm(-2)) which contributes more increase in atmospheric heating by ~1K/day. The BC contribution on an average is found to be 64% and is responsible for aerosol atmospheric heating. PMID:27344510

  12. Transport of multiple tracers in variably saturated humid region structured soils and semi-arid region laminated sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayes, M. A.; Jardine, P. M.; Mehlhorn, T. L.; Bjornstad, B. N.; Ladd, J. L.; Zachara, J. M.

    2003-05-01

    The processes governing physical nonequilibrium (PNE)—coupled preferential flow and matrix diffusion—are diverse between humid and semi-arid regions, and are directly related to climate and rock/sediment type, and indirectly related to subsequent soil profile development. The fate and transport of contaminants in these variably saturated undisturbed media is largely a function of the influence of PNE processes. Large cores of laminated silts and sands were collected from the US Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in semi-arid south central Washington. Additional cores of weathered, fractured interbedded limestone and shale saprolite were collected from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in humid eastern Tennessee. PNNL cores were collected parallel (FBP) and perpendicular (FXB) to bedding, and the ORNL core was 30° to bedding. Saturated and unsaturated transport experiments were performed using multiple nonreactive tracers that had different diffusion coefficients (Br -, PFBA, and PIPES), in order to identify the influence of PNE on the fate and transport of solutes. In the ORNL structured saprolite, solute transport was governed by coupled preferential flow and matrix diffusion, as evidenced by tracer separation and highly asymmetric breakthrough curves (BTC). BTCs became more symmetric as preferential flowpaths became inactive during drainage. Tracer separation persisted during unsaturated flow suggesting the continued importance of nonequilibrium mass transfer between flowpaths and the immobile water that was held in the soil matrix. No evidence of PNE was observed under near-saturated conditions in the semi-arid region (PNNL) laminated silts and sands. Unsaturated flow in cores with discontinuous layering resulted in preferential flow and the development of perched, immobile water as evidenced by early breakthrough and separation of tracers. Conversely, transport parallel to laterally continuous beds did not result in

  13. a Proposed New Vegetation Index, the Total Ratio Vegetation Index (trvi), for Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadaei, H.; Suzuki, R.; Sakai, T.; Torii, K.

    2012-07-01

    Vegetation indices that provide important key to predict amount vegetation in forest such as percentage vegetation cover, aboveground biomass, and leaf-area index. Arid and semi-arid areas are not exempt of this rule. Arid and semi-arid areas of northeast Iran cover about 3.4 million ha and are populated by two main tree species, the broadleaf Pistacia vera (pistachio) and the conifer Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos (Persian juniper). Natural stands of pistachio in Iran are not only environmentally important but also genetically essential as seed sources for pistachio production in orchards. We investigated the relationships between tree density and vegetation indices in the arid and semi-arid regions in the northeast of Iran by analysing Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) data PRISM is a panchromatic radiometer with a 2.5 m spatial resolution at nadir, and has one band with a wavelength of 0.52-0.77 μm (JAXA EORC). AVNIR-2 is a visible and near infrared radiometer for observing land and coastal zones with a 10 m spatial resolution at nadir, and has four multispectral bands: blue (0.42-0.50 μm), green (0.52-0.60 μm), red (0.61-0.69 μm), and near infrared (0.76-0.89 μm) (JAXA EORC). In this study, we estimated various vegetation indices using maximum filtering algorithm (5×5) and examined. This study carried out of juniper forests and natural pistachio stand using Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) and field inventories. Have been compared linear regression model of vegetation indices and proposed new vegetation index for arid and semi-arid regions. Also, we estimated the densities of juniper forests and natural pistachio stands using remote sensing to help in the sustainable management and production of pistachio in Iran. We present a new vegetation index for arid and semi-arid regions with sparse forest cover, the Total Ratio Vegetation Index (TRVI), and we investigate the relationship of the new index to tree density by analysing data from the

  14. Modeling the Surface Water-Groundwater Interaction in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions Impacted by Agricultural Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Y.; Wu, B.; Zheng, Y.

    2013-12-01

    In many semi-arid and arid regions, interaction between surface water and groundwater plays an important role in the eco-hydrological system. The interaction is often complicated by agricultural activities such as surface water diversion, groundwater pumping, and irrigation. In existing surface water-groundwater integrated models, simulation of the interaction is often simplified, which could introduce significant simulation uncertainty under certain circumstance. In this study, GSFLOW, a USGS model coupling PRMS and MODFLOW, was improved to better characterize the surface water-groundwater interaction. The practices of water diversion from rivers, groundwater pumping and irrigation are explicitly simulated. In addition, the original kinematic wave routing method was replaced by a dynamic wave routing method. The improved model was then applied in Zhangye Basin (the midstream part of Heihe River Baisn), China, where the famous 'Silk Road' came through. It is a typical semi-arid region of the western China, with extensive agriculture in its oasis. The model was established and calibrated using the data in 2000-2008. A series of numerical experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of those improvements. It has been demonstrated that with the improvements, the observed streamflow and groundwater level were better reproduced by the model. The improvements have a significant impact on the simulation of multiple fluxes associated with the interaction, such as groundwater discharge, riverbed seepage, infiltration, etc. Human activities were proved to be key elements of the water cycle in the study area. The study results have important implications to the water resources modeling and management in semi-arid and arid basins.

  15. Morphology and Chemical composition of Atmospheric Particles over Semi-Arid region (Jaipur, Rajasthan) of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, S. K.; Agnihotri, R.; Yadav, P.; Singh, S.; Tawale, J. S.; Rashmi, R.; Prasad, M.; Arya, B. C.; Mishra, N.

    2012-12-01

    Uncertainties associated with the radiative forcing of atmospheric dust particles is highest, owing to lack of region-specific dust morphology (particle shape, size) and mineralogy (chemical composition) database, needed for modeling their optical properties (Mishra and Tripathi, 2008). To fill this gap for the Indian region, we collected atmospheric particles (with aerodynamic size <5um, PM5 and a few bulk particles; TSP) from seven sites of Jaipur and nearby locales (semi-arid region, in the vicinity of Thar Desert of Rajasthan) at varying altitude, during late winters of ca. 2012. PM5 particles were collected on Teflon filters (for bulk chemical analyses), while pure Tin substrates (~1×1 mm2) were used for investigating individual particle morphology. Using Scanning Electron Microscope equipped with Energy Dispersive X ray (SEM-EDX) facility at NPL, images of individual particles were recorded and the morphological parameters (e.g. Aspect ratio; AR, Circulatory parameter; CIR.) were retrieved following Okada et al. (2001), whereas chemical compositions of individual particles were determined by EDX and bulk samples by X ray fluorescence (XRF). The geometrical size distributions of atmospheric particles were generated for each site. Based on NIST (National Institute of Standard and Technology, USA) morphology database, the site-specific individual particle shapes reveal predominance of "Layered" (calcite and quartz rich), "Angular" structures (quartz rich) and "Flattened" particles over all the sites. Particles were found to be highly non-spherical with irregular shapes (CIR varying from 1 to 0.22 with median value ~0.76; AR varying from 1 to 5.4 with median value ~1.64). Noteworthy to mention, that unit values of AR and CIR represent spherical particles. Chemical analyses of PM5 particles revealed dominance of crustal elements e.g. Si, Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, in general. Particles over Kukas Hill (27.027° N, 75.919° E; ~800 MAGL) showed highest Fe mass fractions (~43

  16. Different responses of MODIS-derived NDVI to root-zone soil moisture in semi-arid and humid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xianwei; Xie, Hongjie; Guan, Huade; Zhou, Xiaobing

    2007-06-01

    SummarySurface representation of the root-zone soil moisture is investigated so that feasibility of using optical remote sensing techniques to indirectly map root-zone soil moisture is assessed. Specifically, covariation of root-zone soil moisture with the normalized difference of vegetation index (NDVI) from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is studied at three sites (New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas) selected from the Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN). The three sites represent two types of vegetation (shrub and grass) and two types of climate conditions: semi-arid (New Mexico and Arizona) and humid (Texas). Collocated deseasonalized time series of soil moistures at five depths (5 cm, 10 cm, 20 cm, 50 cm, and 100 cm) and NDVI (8-day composite in 250 m resolution) during the period of February 2000 through April 2004 were used for correlation analysis. Similar analysis was also conducted for the raw time series for comparison purposes. The linear regression of both the deseasonalized time series and the raw time series was used to estimate root-zone soil moisture. Results show that (1) the deseasonalized time series results in consistent and significant correlation (0.46-0.55) between NDVI and root-zone soil moisture at the three sites; (2) vegetation (NDVI) at the humid site needs longer time (10 days) to respond to soil moisture change than that at the semi-arid sites (5 days or less); (3) the time-series of root-zone soil moisture estimated by a linear regression model based on deseasonalized time series accounts for 42-71% of the observed soil moisture variations for the three sites; and (4) in the semi-arid region, root-zone soil moisture of shrub-vegetated area can be better estimated using NDVI than that of grass-vegetated area.

  17. Satellite observation of aerosol - cloud interactions over semi-arid and arid land regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klüser, L.; Holzer-Popp, T.

    2012-04-01

    Satellite observations from three different sources are used to study the interactions between aerosol and ice clouds in five semi-arid and arid land regions over Africa and Asia, reaching from the South-African Kalahari to the Taklimakan and Gobi in Mongolia. (1) Six years of Aqua MODIS cloud and aerosol observations (including "Deep Blue" retrievals) which contain a qualitative separation into coarse and fine mode aerosol are analysed. (2) Five years of APOLLO cloud observations and SYNAER aerosol retrievals which allow discriminating between mineral dust and soot dominated cases from AATSR and SCIAMACHY on ENVISAT are exploited. (3) Moreover IASI provides one year of ice cloud and mineral dust observations over land retrieved with a newly developed method based on singular vector decomposition. Cloud top temperature observations are used to asses the state of convection and to statistically re-project observation distributions of cloud properties to background conditions. Then the difference between observation density distributions of background and re-projected aerosol-contaminated samples can be evaluated. By such way of analysis the influence of different cloud development stages, which also manifest in seasonal cycles of cloud properties, can be minimised. The analysis of the various observation density distributions shows that liquid water and ice effective radius is mainly decreased for increased total aerosol content for both aerosol types, biomass burning aerosols and mineral dust, separately. Two different modes of aerosol impacts on cloud optical depth can be shown. Optical depth is mainly increased, directly following the theory of the so-called "Twomey effect". In the West African Sahel a decrease of cloud water path (for both liquid water and ice) under the influence of absorbing aerosols results also in decreased optical depth. As at the same time the cloud fraction does not decrease under aerosol influence, the statistical decrease of mean

  18. Hierarchical distance-based fuzzy approach to evaluate urban water supply systems in a semi-arid region.

    PubMed

    Yekta, Tahereh Sadeghi; Khazaei, Mohammad; Nabizadeh, Ramin; Mahvi, Amir Hossein; Nasseri, Simin; Yari, Ahmad Reza

    2015-01-01

    Hierarchical distance-based fuzzy multi-criteria group decision making was served as a tool to evaluate the drinking water supply systems of Qom, a semi-arid city located in central part of Iran. A list of aspects consisting of 6 criteria and 35 sub-criteria were evaluated based on a linguistic term set by five decision-makers. Four water supply alternatives including "Public desalinated distribution system", "PET Bottled Drinking Water", "Private desalinated water suppliers" and "Household desalinated water units" were assessed based on criteria and sub-criteria. Data were aggregated and normalized to apply Performance Ratings of Alternatives. Also, the Performance Ratings of Alternatives were aggregated again to achieve the Aggregate Performance Ratings. The weighted distances from ideal solution and anti-ideal solution were calculated after secondary normalization. The proximity of each alternative to the ideal solution was determined as the final step. The alternatives were ranked based on the magnitude of ideal solutions. Results showed that "Public desalinated distribution system" was the most appropriate alternative to supply the drinking needs of Qom population. Also, "PET Bottled Drinking Water" was the second acceptable option. A novel classification of alternatives to satisfy the drinking water requirements was proposed which is applicable for the other cities located in semi-arid regions of Iran. The health issues were considered as independent criterion, distinct from the environmental issues. The constraints of high-tech alternatives were also considered regarding to the level of dependency on overseas. PMID:26221535

  19. Temporal Changes in Land-Surface Coupling Strength: an Example in a Semi-Arid Region of Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo, M. H.; Wu, W. Y.; Ryu, D.

    2015-12-01

    Land surface models provide the boundary conditions for the land-atmosphere interaction in the global climate models; hence, the mechanisms whereby water transport influences terrestrial water storage might impact the climate. The high spatial and temporal variability in soil water storage over Australia plays an essential role in affecting the variability of land-surface coupling strength. While previous studies focused more on the spatial variations of land-atmosphere interaction and resulting hotspots, in this study, we attempt to explore temporal variations of the land-surface coupling strength in the semi-arid regions. Preliminary results show high temporal variability of the coupling strength across the seasons. The land-surface coupling strength usually increases with soil moisture in the semi-arid climate. However, during the flood events, the coupling strength decreases when the evaporation approaches to the potential evaporation. After recovering from the floods, the coupling strength increases again during the recessing phase of soil water. Such temporal variations of the land-surface coupling strength have important implications to land-atmosphere interactions and climate predictions, and warrant further investigations using observational datasets.

  20. A Framework Predicting Water Availability in a Rapidly Growing, Semi-Arid Region under Future Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, B.; Benner, S. G.; Glenn, N. F.; Lindquist, E.; Dahal, K. R.; Bolte, J.; Vache, K. B.; Flores, A. N.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change can lead to dramatic variations in hydrologic regime, affecting both surface water and groundwater supply. This effect is most significant in populated semi-arid regions where water availability are highly sensitive to climate-induced outcomes. However, predicting water availability at regional scales, while resolving some of the key internal variability and structure in semi-arid regions is difficult due to the highly non-linearity relationship between rainfall and runoff. In this study, we describe the development of a modeling framework to evaluate future water availability that captures elements of the coupled response of the biophysical system to climate change and human systems. The framework is built under the Envision multi-agent simulation tool, characterizing the spatial patterns of water demand in the semi-arid Treasure Valley area of Southwest Idaho - a rapidly developing socio-ecological system where urban growth is displacing agricultural production. The semi-conceptual HBV model, a population growth and allocation model (Target), a vegetation state and transition model (SSTM), and a statistically based fire disturbance model (SpatialAllocator) are integrated to simulate hydrology, population and land use. Six alternative scenarios are composed by combining two climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) with three population growth and allocation scenarios (Status Quo, Managed Growth, and Unconstrained Growth). Five-year calibration and validation performances are assessed with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. Irrigation activities are simulated using local water rights. Results show that in all scenarios, annual mean stream flow decreases as the projected rainfall increases because the projected warmer climate also enhances water losses to evapotranspiration. Seasonal maximum stream flow tends to occur earlier than in current conditions due to the earlier peak of snow melting. The aridity index and water deficit generally increase in the

  1. Comparison of deep soil moisture in two re-vegetation watersheds in semi-arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Lei; Chen, Liding; Wei, Wei; Yu, Yang; Zhang, Handan

    2014-05-01

    Soil moisture stored below rainfall infiltration depth is a reliable water resource for plant growth in semi-arid ecosystems. Along with the large-scale ecological restoration in Chinese Loess Plateau, identifying the ecohydrological response to human-introduced vegetation restoration has become an important issue in current research. In this study, soil moisture data in depth of 0-5 m was obtained by field observation and geostatistical method in two neighboring re-vegetation watersheds. Profile characteristics and spatial pattern of soil moisture was compared between different land use types, transects, and watersheds. The results showed that: (1) Introduced vegetation drastically decreased deep soil moisture when compared with farmland and native grassland. No significant differences in deep soil moisture were found between different introduced vegetation types. (2) An analysis of differences in soil moisture for different land use patterns indicated that land use had significant influence on deep soil moisture spatial variability. Land use structure determined the soil moisture condition and its spatial variation. (3) Vegetation restoration with introduced plants diminished the spatial heterogeneity of deep soil moisture on watershed scale. The improvement of land use management was suggested to improve the water management and maintain the sustainability of vegetation restoration.

  2. Green Infrastructure Management Techniques in Arid and Semi-arid Regions: Software Implementation and Demonstration using the AGWA/KINEROS2 Watershed Model

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increasing urban development in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States has led to greater demand for water in a region with limited water resources and has fundamentally altered the hydrologic response of developed watersheds. Green Infrastructure (GI) p...

  3. Representing Green Infrastructure Management Techniques in Arid and Semi-arid Regions: Software Implementation and Demonstration using the AGWA/KINEROS2 Watershed Model

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increasing urban development in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States has led to greater demand for water from a region of limited water resources which has fundamentally altered the hydrologic response of developed watersheds. Green Infrastructure (GI)...

  4. Satellite-based monitoring of decadal soil salinization and climate effects in a semi-arid region of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hesong; Jia, Gensuo

    2012-09-01

    Soil salinization is a common phenomenon that affects both the environment and the socio-economy in arid and semi-arid regions; it is also an important aspect of land cover change. In this study, we integrated multi-sensor remote sensing data with a field survey to analyze processes of soil salinization in a semi-arid area in China from 1979 to 2009. Generally, the area of salt-affected soils increased by 0.28% per year with remarkable acceleration from 1999 to 2009 (0.42% increase per year). In contrast, the area of surface water bodies showed a decreasing trend (-0.08% per year) in the same period. Decreases in precipitation and increases in aridity due to annual (especially summer) warming provided a favorable condition for soil salinization. The relatively flat terrain favored waterlogging at the surface, and continuous drought facilitated upward movement of soil water and accumulation of surface saline and calcium. Meanwhile, land-use practices also played a crucial role in accelerating soil salinization. The conversion to cropland from natural vegetation greatly increased the demand for groundwater irrigation and aggravated the process of soil salinization. Furthermore, there are potential feedbacks of soil salinization to regional climate. The salinization of soils can limit the efficiency of plant water use as well as photosynthesis; therefore, it reduces the amount of carbon sequestrated by terrestrial ecosystem. Soil salinization also reduces the absorbed solar radiation by increasing land surface albedo. Such conversions of land cover significantly change the energy and water balance between land and atmosphere.

  5. Impact of possible climate and land use changes in the semi arid regions: A case study from North Eastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montenegro, Suzana; Ragab, Ragab

    2012-04-01

    SummaryThis paper combines hydrological observations and modelling results of a semi arid catchment in Brazil that could lead to a better understanding of the hydrology of similar catchments in semi-arid regions. The Tapacurá catchment (area 470.5 km2) in the Northeast of Brazil was selected for this study. The Distributed Catchment Scale Model, DiCaSM, was calibrated and validated for the stream flows of the Tapacurá catchment. The model performance was further tested by comparing simulated and observed scaled soil moisture. The results showed the ability of the model to simulate the stream flow and the scaled soil moisture. The simulated impacts of climate change of low emission (B1) scenarios, on the worst perspective, indicated the possibility of reduction in surface water availability by -13.90%, -22.63% and -32.91% in groundwater recharge and by -4.98%, -14.28% and -20.58% in surface flows for the time spans 2010-2039, 2040-2069, 2070-2099, respectively. This would cause severe impacts on water supply in the region. Changing the land use, for example by reforestation of part of the catchment area which is currently arable land, would lead to a decrease in both groundwater recharge by -4.2% and stream flow by -2.7%. Changing land use from vegetables to sugar cane would result in decreasing groundwater recharge by almost -11%, and increasing stream flow by almost 5%. The combination of possible impacts of climate change and land use requires a proper plan for water resources management and mitigation strategies.

  6. Breeding under unpredictable conditions: Annual variation in gonadal maturation, energetic reserves and plasma levels of androgens and corticosterone in anurans from the Brazilian semi-arid.

    PubMed

    Madelaire, Carla Bonetti; Gomes, Fernando Ribeiro

    2016-03-01

    Anurans living in arid and semi-arid habitats are subjected to unpredictable rain patterns. Consequently, they should be prepared to reproduce at the onset of rain events. We investigated the covariation between calling behavior, testicular maturation, abdominal fat body index (FBI), plasma levels of androgens (T-DHT) and corticosterone (CORT) of males from three species of anurans in the Brazilian semi-arid during the reproductive period and drought. One of these species aestivates during the drought, while the other two species remain foraging. Although the three species display different behavioral strategies during the dry period, they present the same general reproductive patterns. T-DHT levels on the plasma and germinative cyst diameters were higher during the reproductive and breeding period compared to the drought. Additionally, the germinative cysts had all cell stages including sperm bundles during the dry season, however, it was only during the breeding event that free spermatozoa were found in the cyst lumen. These results suggest that these species present the reproductive pattern typical of desert anurans, consisting of opportunistic breeders that reproduce when triggered by a rain stimulus. Rhinella jimi and Pleurodema diplolister had higher CORT when males were calling. Moreover, Rhinella granulosa and P. diplolister showed lower FBI during breeding event, when males were calling. The high levels of CORT and lower FBI during reproductive period are associated, indicating that CORT modulates the recruitment of energy stores to prepare and maintain reproduction, particularly the expensive calling effort. PMID:26808964

  7. A review of groundwater recharge estimation in humid and semi-arid African regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Il-Moon; Kim, Nam Won

    2016-04-01

    For the review of African recharge estimation, the distinct methods such as the geochemical approach, a method using groundwater level data, the streamflow method, and the water balance methods were first outlined. The major challenge of an African recharge study is the lack of basic data. Thus, this work suggests how to deal with this limitation and from future perspective using recently developed technologies such as RS, GIS, etc. With the rapid growth of information technology, more and more data, in terms of both volume and variety, are expected to be made available on the internet in the near future. RS technology has a great potential to revolutionize the groundwater development and management in the future by providing unique and completely new hydrological and hydrogeological data. However, at present, the RS data should be considered along with the conventional field data. In spite of the weaknesses of water balance methods in semi-arid areas, recently developed water balance methods combined with GIS technology are powerful tools for estimating groundwater re-charge, when spatial-temporal variability of components in water balance is taken into account (Lerner et al., 1990; De Vries and Simmers, 2002; Eilers et al., 2007).When enough data sets are available, integrated surface-groundwater modeling is recommended for more accurate estimation of groundwater recharge and discharge. Acknowledgements This work was supported by a grant(14RDRP-B076275-01-000000) from Infrastructure and transportation technology promotion research Program funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government.

  8. Influence of Agricultural Developments on Net Primary Productivity (NPP) in the Semi-arid Region of India: A Study using GloPEM Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholkar, M. D.; Goroshi, S.; Singh, R. P.; Parihar, J. S.

    2014-11-01

    The present study aims to assess the effect of agricultural developments on inter-annual variations in the agricultural Net Primary Productivity (NPP) of selected districts of the semi-arid region of India by using GloPEM model. Advancements in farming practices have been contributing to the increase of net primary productivity, which ultimately leads to increase in the agricultural production. The study shows that increase in the gross irrigated area, fertilizer consumption, use of high yielding crop varieties and adoption of agricultural mechanization in terms of tractors and irrigation pumps have contributed significantly in the increase in agricultural NPP in the semi-arid region of India. The agricultural NPP of the semi-arid region of India has shown a very good correlation with the gross irrigated area (R2 = 0.668) and fertilizer use (R2 = 0.701). The anthropogenic factors influencing the agricultural NPP were grouped in 3 major Factor Components (FC) (eigenvalues > 1) as: FC1-nutrients application, FC2-irrigation potential and agricultural mechanization (irrigation pumps and tractors) and irrigated area while FC3-cultivated area and area under high yielding crop varieties. The study showed that most of the semi-arid region of India has a good agricultural production potential which needs to harness by increasing the supply of irrigation water, promoting agricultural mechanization and adoption of integrated nutrient management approach.

  9. MACROINVERTEBRATE SAMPLING TECHNIQUES FOR STREAMS IN SEMI-ARID REGIONS. COMPARISON OF THE SURBER METHOD AND A UNIT-EFFORT TRAVELING KICK METHOD

    EPA Science Inventory

    Streams of the arid and semi-arid regions of the western United States are characterized by irregular flow patterns resulting in highly unstable macroinvertebrate habitats and a sparse macrobenthic fauna. The use of a standard square-foot Surber stream-bottom sampler is of limite...

  10. Assessment of Grazing Effect on Sheep Fescue (Festuca valesiaca)Dominated Steppe Rangelands in the semi-arid Central Anatolian Region of Turkey

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Because of increased grazing pressure over the last fifty years, vegetation of the steppe rangelands in the semi-arid Central Anatolian Region of Turkey has been severely degraded. In these pastures, Festuca valesiaca (a sod forming short-grass) and Thymus sipyleus ssp rosulans (a prostrate shrub) a...

  11. Gastrointestinal nematodes of the lizard Tropidurus hispidus (Squamata: Tropiduridae) from a semi-arid region of north-eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Anjos, L A; Avila, R W; Ribeiro, S C; Almeida, W O; da Silva, R J

    2013-12-01

    The tropidurid lizard Tropidurus hispidus has a wide distribution in South America. However, knowledge about its helminth fauna is patchy and has been reported for only a few localities along its range of distribution. This study presents data on helminth fauna composition and parameters of infection for a population of T. hispidus from an area within the Brazilian Caatinga biome (semi-arid physiognomy). We found five nematode species within the gastrointestinal tract of lizards: Parapharyngodon sceleratus (Pharyngodonidae); Physaloptera lutzi, Physaloptera retusa and Physalopteroides venancioi (Physalopteridae); and Strongyluris oscari (Heterakidae). The overall prevalence was 84.2% and the mean intensity of infection was 8.5 ± 1.1. The body size of adult male lizards influenced positively the intensity of infection. The infracommunities of nematodes presented an intermediate aggregated distribution (discrepancy index; D= 0.519) and a depauperate nematode fauna. The presence of generalist parasite species has contributed to an increase in the overall richness of the component community. This sampled host population presented the highest prevalence of parasites compared with other studies on T. hispidus, but their relatively low richness can be related to the disturbed environment of the study area. PMID:23069649

  12. Quantifying the impact of groundwater depth on evapotranspiration in a semi-arid grassland region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soylu, M. E.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Lenters, J. D.; Wang, T.

    2011-03-01

    Interactions between shallow groundwater and land surface processes play an important role in the ecohydrology of riparian zones. Some recent land surface models (LSMs) incorporate groundwater-land surface interactions using parameterizations at varying levels of detail. In this paper, we examine the sensitivity of land surface evapotranspiration (ET) to water table depth, soil texture, and two commonly used soil hydraulic parameter datasets using four models with varying levels of complexity. The selected models are Hydrus-1D, which solves the pressure-based Richards equation, the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS), which simulates interactions among multiple soil layers using a (water-content) variant of the Richards equation, and two forms of a steady-state capillary flux model coupled with a single-bucket soil moisture model. These models are first evaluated using field observations of climate, soil moisture, and groundwater levels at a semi-arid site in south-central Nebraska, USA. All four models are found to compare reasonably well with observations, particularly when the effects of groundwater are included. We then examine the sensitivity of modelled ET to water table depth for various model formulations, node spacings, and soil textures (using soil hydraulic parameter values from two different sources, namely Rawls and Clapp-Hornberger). The results indicate a strong influence of soil texture and water table depth on groundwater contributions to ET. Furthermore, differences in texture-specific, class-averaged soil parameters obtained from the two literature sources lead to large differences in the simulated depth and thickness of the "critical zone" (i.e., the zone within which variations in water table depth strongly impact surface ET). Depending on the depth-to-groundwater, this can also lead to large discrepancies in simulated ET (in some cases by more than a factor of two). When the Clapp-Hornberger soil parameter dataset is used, the critical zone

  13. Characterization of the deforestation effect in a semi-arid region by the use of satellite images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benhanifia, Khatir; Haddouche, Driss; Smahi, Zakaria; Bensaid, Abdelkrim; Hamimed, Abderrahmane

    2004-02-01

    In Algeria, arid and semi-arid regions occupy over than 95% of whole territory. Forests in the semi arid zone constitutes a front face to the advance of the desert towards northern sides. Like in other regions of the world, deforestation phenomenon have a serious consequences on the fragile ecosystem. Severe continuous drought, fires, pasture, insects as well as the absence of a clear forest politics are so many factors that reduced forest areas in this country. However, the conservation of this patrimony must be a priority of any regional development project. This paper describes an evaluating study of the deforestation impact on forests in the region of Djelfa situated in the Saharian Atlas using multitemporal satellite remote sensing data. In order to establish a forest change map, a methodology based on the comparison between normalized difference vegetation indexes (NDVI) generated from satellite images was adopted. For this purpose, a pair of Landsat and (ETM+) images acquired over the region on April 11th, 1987 and march 24th, 2001 have been used. Until being processed, data used have been geometrically and atmospherically corrected. Then, an (NDVI) have been produced for each date. Resulting from compared (NDVI) image presents the forest change map in the study area. Radiometric values of resulting image have been regrouped into three classes according to change types as follow : Increased radiometry = more active vegetation Decreased radiometry = deterioration in vegetation activity Non changed areas = Non changed Investigations made on the terrain permitted to interpret many causes of detected evolutions. Regressive changes were considerable and demonstrates however, the degradation effect on the vegetation state. Some of regressed radiometry are related to forest fires that affected the region in 1994. Almost of regressive changes are due to a deterioration of vegetation caused by multiple factors. Drought, deceases, pasture and infection are considered

  14. Global semi-arid climate change over last 60 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Jianping; Ji, Mingxia; Xie, Yongkun; Wang, Shanshan; He, Yongli; Ran, Jinjiang

    2016-02-01

    This study analyzes areal changes and regional climate variations in global semi-arid regions over 61 years (1948-2008) and investigates the dynamics of global semi-arid climate change. The results reveal that the largest expansion of drylands has occurred in semi-arid regions since the early 1960s. This expansion of semi-arid regions accounts for more than half of the total dryland expansion. The area of semi-arid regions in the most recent 15 years studied (1990-2004) is 7 % larger than that during the first 15 years (1948-1962) of the study period; this expansion totaled 0.4 × 106 and 1.2 × 106 km2 within the American continents and in the Eastern Hemisphere, respectively. Although semi-arid expansion occurred in both regions, the shifting patterns of the expansion are different. Across the American continents, the newly formed semi-arid regions developed from arid regions, in which the climate became wetter. Conversely, in the continental Eastern Hemisphere, semi-arid regions replaced sub-humid/humid regions, in which the climate became drier. The climate change in drying semi-arid regions over East Asia is primarily dominated by a weakened East Asian summer monsoon, while the wetting of semi-arid regions over North America is primarily controlled by enhanced westerlies.

  15. A conjunctive use hydrologic model for a semi-arid region with irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruud, N. C.; Harter, T.

    2003-04-01

    A GIS-based sub-basin scale conjunctive use (CU) model is developed for a semi-arid agricultural area in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California. The study area is 2230 square kilometers, and consists of 9114 individual landuse units and 26 water service districts. The CU model consists of three sub-models: 1) a surface water supply (SWS) model, 2) an unsaturated zone water budget (UZWB) model, and 3) a groundwater flow model. The study period is 1970-99. For each modeled surface water channel, the SWS model computes monthly surface water deliveries to each district and conveyance losses due to evaporation and seepage. The UZWB model then calculates the monthly water storage changes in the soil root zone and deep vadose zone of each landuse unit. The UZWB model is driven by surface water applications, precipitation, and crop consumptive use (evapotranspiration) demands. Its outputs are the recharge to the unconfined aquifer and the groundwater pumping demand from the unconfined and confined aquifers. The transient recharge and pumping rates become input for the groundwater flow model which calculates changes in unconfined aquifer water levels and inter-district groundwater fluxes. The groundwater flow model was calibrated against data from 1970-85 and validated with data from 1986-99. From 1970-99, a total of 18500 million cubic meters (MCM) of surface water was applied to land units in the study area. Precipitation added from 219 MCM (1990) to 1200 MCM (1998) annually. The combined total annual agricultural and urban consumptive use ranged from 1070 MCM in 1970 to 1540 MCM in 1999. Total annual channel seepage varied over almost two orders of magnitude from a low of 10 MCM in 1977 to 576 MCM in 1983. Diffuse recharge from surface applied water ranged from 79.9 MCM in 1992 to 432 MCM in 1983. The estimated total pumping ranged from 183 MCM in 1978 to 703 MCM in 1990. As expected, pumping was heaviest during the droughts of 1975-77 and 1987-92, and lightest

  16. Aerosol radiative effects over global arid and semi-arid regions based on MODIS Deep Blue satellite observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzianastassiou, Nikolaos; Papadimas, Christos D.; Gkikas, Antonis; Matsoukas, Christos; Sayer, Andrew M.; Hsu, N. Christina; Vardavas, Ilias

    2014-05-01

    Aerosols are a key parameter for several atmospheric processes related to weather and climate of our planet. Specifically, the aerosol impact on Earth's climate is exerted and quantified through their radiative effects, which are induced by their direct, indirect and semi-direct interactions with radiation, in particular at short wavelengths (solar). It is acknowledged that the uncertainty of present and future climate assessments is mainly associated with aerosols and that a better understanding of their physico-chemical, optical and radiative effects is needed. The contribution of satellites to this aim is important as a complementary tool to climate and radiative transfer models, as well as to surface measurements, since space observations of aerosol properties offer an extended spatial coverage. However, such satellite based aerosol properties and associated model radiation computations have suffered from unavailability over highly reflecting surfaces, namely polar and desert areas. This is also the case for MODIS which, onboard the Terra and Aqua satellites, has been providing high quality aerosol data since 2000 and 2002, respectively. These data, more specifically the aerosol optical depth (AOD) which is the most important optical property used in radiative and climate models, are considered to be of best quality. In order to address this problem, the MODIS Deep Blue (DB) algorithm has been developed which enables the retrieval of AOD above arid and semi-arid areas of the globe, including the major deserts. In the present study we make use of the FORTH detailed spectral radiative transfer model (RTM) with MODIS DB AOD data, supplemented with single scattering albedo (SSA) and asymmetry parameter (AP) aerosol data from the Global Aerosol DataSet (GADS) to estimate the aerosol DREs over the arid and semi-arid regions of the globe. The RTM is run using surface and atmospheric data from the ISCCP-D2 dataset and the NCEP global reanalysis project and computes the

  17. [Developing models on water-saving agriculture through rainwater harvesting for supplemental irrigation in northern China semi-arid region].

    PubMed

    Sun, Huimin; Cheng, Manjin; Zheng, Dawei; Zhang, Jianxin

    2005-06-01

    Zhungeer of Inner Mongolia, an arsenic-bearing sandstone area of northern Loess Plateau, is one of the sites with most serious soil and water losses in China, while rainwater harvesting (RWH) for supplemental irrigation is the only approach to abate droughts in this region. In the ongoing water saving agriculture project, a national 863 project of China, Zhungeer was chosen as a demonstration zone of water-saving dryland agriculture through rainwater harvesting for supplemental irrigation in northern China semi-arid region. The traditional RWH and utilization lacks of holistic consideration, resulting in the blindness in engineering planning and production arrangement. Based on the analysis of the ecological, economic and societal conditions in the demonstration zone, this paper summarized the technological system of dryland cropping production centered on RWH for supplemental irrigation, and developed three models of RWH and highly effective crop-planting, RWH and ecological pasturing, and domestic RWH and economy. The water demand standards for integrative rainwater utilization in the demonstration zone were determined, and the ecological and socio-economic assessment on the three years implement effects of the models was conducted. PMID:16180756

  18. A Reservoir of Natural Perchlorate in Unsaturated Zones of Arid and Semi-Arid Regions, Southwestern USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, B. A.; Stonestrom, D. A.; Anderson, T. A.; Orris, G. J.; Rajagapolan, S.; Sandvig, R. M.; Scanlon, B. R.; Walvoord, M. A.; Jackson, W.

    2006-12-01

    Natural perchlorate (ClO4-) is generally present in unsaturated zones of steppe-to-desert regions of the arid and semi-arid southwestern United States. The perchlorate is associated with atmospherically deposited chloride that has accumulated throughout the Holocene. To assess this natural reservoir, we analyzed unsaturated-zone profiles from ten sites across Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah for perchlorate and other anions. The sampled sites represent a wide range of precipitation (0.1 0.5 m yr-1), dominant vegetation, soil type, underlying geology, and include five distinct ecological regions: Chihuahuan, Mojave, and southern Great Basin deserts; Arizona-New Mexico semi-desert; and Texas High Plains dry steppe. Concentrations of perchlorate correlated closely with chloride and bromide. The perchlorate reservoir (up to 1 kg ha-1) is sufficiently large to impact groundwater when natural recharge during pluvial periods or induced recharge after conversion to agriculture flushes accumulated salts from the unsaturated zone. This little explored source can explain perchlorate in milk and other agricultural products far from anthropogenic contamination, and should be considered when evaluating overall exposure risk.

  19. Hydrochemical evolution of Na-SO4-Cl groundwaters in a cold, semi-arid region of southern Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parnachev, V. P.; Banks, D.; Berezovsky, A. Y.; Garbe-Schönberg, D.

    1999-12-01

    The Shira region of Khakassia in southern Siberia exhibits many features governing the evolution of groundwater and surface-water chemistry that are common to other cold, semi-arid areas of the world: (1) a continental climate, (2) location in a rain shadow, (3) low density of surface-water drainage, (4) occurrence of saline lakes, and (5) occurrence of palaeo- and modern evaporite mineralisation. In lowland areas of Shira, the more saline groundwaters and lake waters have a sodium-sulphate (-chloride) composition. Results of thermodynamic modelling suggest that these evolve by a combination of silicate weathering and gypsum and halite dissolution, coupled with carbonate precipitation to remove calcium and bicarbonate ions. An approximately 1:1 sodium:sulphate ratio occurs even in groundwaters from non-evaporite-bearing aquifers. This may indicate the formation of secondary sodium sulphate evaporites (in or near saline lakes or in soil profiles where the water table is shallow), which are subsequently distributed throughout the study area by atmospheric transport. Several urban groundwaters are characterised by very high nitrate concentrations, conceivably derived from sewage/latrine leakage.

  20. Structural variations among monocot emergent and amphibious species from lakes of the semi-arid region of Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Leite, K R B; França, F; Scatena, V I

    2012-02-01

    Temporary lakes are common in the semi-arid region of the State of Bahia and form water mirrors in the rainy season. In this period, various vegetal species appear having different life forms adapted to the seasonality conditions of the rainfall regime. This work surveyed the adaptive anatomical structures of some emergent and amphibious monocot species occurring in these lakes. We studied the anatomy of roots, rhizomes, leaves and scapes of Cyperus odoratus, Oxycaryum cubense, Pycreus macrostachyos (Cyperaceae) - amphibious species; and of Echinodorus grandiflorus (Alismataceae), Eichhornia paniculata (Pontederiaceae) and Habenaria repens (Orchidaceae) - emergent species. The anatomical features of the dermal, fundamental and vascular systems confirming the tendency of the adaptive convergence of these plants to temporary lacustrine the environment include: single layered epidermal cells with a thin cuticle layer in the aerial organs; the presence of air canals in all the organs; few or no supporting tissues; and less numerous conducting elements and thinner cell walls in the xylem. The reduction of the supporting tissues, the number of stomata, which can even be absent, and the number of conducting elements and the degree of cell wall lignification in the xylem of the emergent species is more accentuated than that of the amphibious species. The pattern of distribution of aerenchyma in the roots of the studied species was considered important to distinguish between amphibious and emergent life forms. PMID:22437397

  1. Dimethylamine as a major alkyl amine species in particles and cloud water: Observations in semi-arid and coastal regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youn, J.-S.; Crosbie, E.; Maudlin, L. C.; Wang, Z.; Sorooshian, A.

    2015-12-01

    Aerosol and cloud water measurements of dimethylamine (DMA), the most abundant amine in this study, were conducted in semi-arid (Tucson, Arizona) and marine (Nucleation in California Experiment, NiCE; central coast of California) areas. In both regions, DMA exhibits a unimodal aerosol mass size distribution with a dominant peak between 0.18 and 0.56 μm. Particulate DMA concentrations increase as a function of marine biogenic emissions, sulfate, BVOC emissions, and aerosol-phase water. Such data supports biogenic sources of DMA, aminium salt formation, and partitioning of DMA to condensed phases. DMA concentrations exhibit positive correlations with various trace elements and most especially vanadium, which warrants additional investigation. Cloud water DMA levels are enhanced significantly during wildfire periods unlike particulate DMA levels, including in droplet residual particles, due to effective dissolution of DMA into cloud water and probably DMA volatilization after drop evaporation. DMA:NH4+ molar ratios peak between 0.18 and 1.0 μm depending on the site and time of year, suggesting that DMA competes better with NH3 in those sizes in terms of reactive uptake by particles.

  2. Dimethylamine as a major alkyl amine species in particles and cloud water: Observations in semi-arid and coastal regions

    PubMed Central

    Youn, J.-S.; Crosbie, E.; Maudlin, L.C.; Wang, Z.; Sorooshian, A.

    2016-01-01

    Aerosol and cloud water measurements of dimethylamine (DMA), the most abundant amine in this study, were conducted in semi-arid (Tucson, Arizona) and marine (Nucleation in California Experiment, NiCE; central coast of California) areas. In both regions, DMA exhibits a unimodal aerosol mass size distribution with a dominant peak between 0.18 and 0.56 μm. Particulate DMA concentrations increase as a function of marine biogenic emissions, sulfate, BVOC emissions, and aerosol-phase water. Such data supports biogenic sources of DMA, aminium salt formation, and partitioning of DMA to condensed phases. DMA concentrations exhibit positive correlations with various trace elements and most especially vanadium, which warrants additional investigation. Cloud water DMA levels are enhanced significantly during wildfire periods unlike particulate DMA levels, including in droplet residual particles, due to effective dissolution of DMA into cloud water and probably DMA volatilization after drop evaporation. DMA:NH+4 molar ratios peak between 0.18 and 1.0 μm depending on the site and time of year, suggesting that DMA competes better with NH3 in those sizes in terms of reactive uptake by particles. PMID:26807039

  3. Regional differences in the surface temperature of Naked Neck laying hens in a semi-arid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Souza, João Batista Freire; de Arruda, Alex Martins Varela; Domingos, Hérica Girlane Tertulino; de Macedo Costa, Leonardo Lelis

    2013-05-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the regional differences in the surface temperature of Naked Neck hens that were subjected to different temperatures in a semi-arid environment. The surface temperature was measured in four body regions (face, neck, legs and feathered area) of 60 Naked Neck hens. The following environmental variables were measured at the center of the shed: the black globe temperature ( T G ), air temperature ( T A ), wind speed ( U) and relative humidity ( R H ). The T A was divided into three classes: 1 (24.0-26.0 °C), 2 (26.1-28.9 °C) and 3 (29.0-31.0 °C). An analysis of variance was performed by the least squares method and a comparison of the means by the Tukey-Kramer test. The results showed a significant effect of T A class, the body region and the interaction between these two effects on the surface temperature. There was no significant difference between the T A classes for the face and neck. The legs and feathered area showed significant differences between the T A classes. Regarding the effect of body regions within each T A class, there was a significant difference among all regions in the three T A classes. In all T A classes the neck had the highest average followed by the face and legs. The feathered area showed the lowest average of the different T A classes. In conclusion, this study showed that there are regional differences in the surface temperature of Naked Neck hens, with the legs acting as thermal windows.

  4. Regional differences in the surface temperature of Naked Neck laying hens in a semi-arid environment.

    PubMed

    de Souza, João Batista Freire; de Arruda, Alex Martins Varela; Domingos, Hérica Girlane Tertulino; de Macedo Costa, Leonardo Lelis

    2013-05-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the regional differences in the surface temperature of Naked Neck hens that were subjected to different temperatures in a semi-arid environment. The surface temperature was measured in four body regions (face, neck, legs and feathered area) of 60 Naked Neck hens. The following environmental variables were measured at the center of the shed: the black globe temperature (T G ), air temperature (T A ), wind speed (U) and relative humidity (R H ). The T A was divided into three classes: 1 (24.0-26.0 °C), 2 (26.1-28.9 °C) and 3 (29.0-31.0 °C). An analysis of variance was performed by the least squares method and a comparison of the means by the Tukey-Kramer test. The results showed a significant effect of T A class, the body region and the interaction between these two effects on the surface temperature. There was no significant difference between the T A classes for the face and neck. The legs and feathered area showed significant differences between the T A classes. Regarding the effect of body regions within each T A class, there was a significant difference among all regions in the three T A classes. In all T A classes the neck had the highest average followed by the face and legs. The feathered area showed the lowest average of the different T A classes. In conclusion, this study showed that there are regional differences in the surface temperature of Naked Neck hens, with the legs acting as thermal windows. PMID:22689146

  5. Downscaling Precipitation and Temperature Under Climate Change Over Semi-Arid Regions of Southwestern United States of America.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Bijaya Prakash

    Two different space-time models are developed to estimate downscaled precipitation and temperature under the rm 2 times CO_2 scenario of climate change over semi-arid regions of southwestern USA, represented by Arizona and New-Mexico (upper Rio-Grande river basin). Local precipitation and temperature are assumed to be dependent upon two effects: the first one, a global effect, is captured by atmospheric circulation pattern (CP) types and the other, a local effect, is reflected by spatially averaged daily pressure heights of the 500 hPa pressure field (h) within the region. CP classification is performed for the 500 hPa pressure fields of observed data and that obtained from the output of the Max Plank Institute (MPI) general circulation (GCM) model T21 for the rm 1times CO_2 and rm 2 times CO_2 scenarios. The evolution of CP types for different scenarios are modeled by a Markov process. Daily precipitation and temperature conditioned on a CP type are modeled by multivariate autoregressive processes. The daily precipitation probability is linked to h through a parametric regression and daily precipitation amount is modeled by a gamma distribution. The daily temperature is modeled by a two sided normal distribution whose parameters are estimated conditioned on fitted values of h. Models are validated using split sampling. Simulations are performed to generate a series of daily rainfall and temperature (maximum and minimum) both in Arizona and New Mexico stations. Statistical properties of model outputs and statistical significance tests are carried out for current conditions and under climate change using rm 2 times CO_2 scenarios. The results show that precipitation and temperature are increasing significantly with the increase in CO _2 content. Increases in temperature are more prominent in spring and fall. However the actual amounts of increase in precipitation and temperature depend both on the season and station location.

  6. Large scale characterization of unsaturated soil properties in a semi-arid region combining infiltration, pedotransfer functions and evaporation tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shabou, Marouen; Angulo-Jaramillo, Rafael; Lassabatère, Laurent; Boulet, Gilles; Mougenot, Bernard; Lili Chabaane, Zohra; Zribi, Mehrez

    2016-04-01

    Water resource management is a major issue in semi-arid regions, especially where irrigated agriculture is dominant on soils with highly variable clay content. Indeed, topsoil clay content has a significant importance on infiltration and evaporation processes and therefore in the estimation of the volume of water needed for crops. In this poster we present several methods to estimate wilting point, field capacity volumetric water contents and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the Kairouan plain (680 km2), central Tunisia (North Africa). The first method relies on the Beerkan Estimation of Soil Transfer parameters (BEST) method, which consists in local estimate of unsaturated soil hydraulic properties from a single-ring infiltration test, combined with the use of pedotransfer functions applied to the Kairouan plain different soil types. Results are obtained over six different topsoil texture classes along the Kairouan plain. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is high for coarse textured and some of the fine textured soils due to shrinkage cracking-macropore soil structure. The saturated hydraulic conductivity values are respectively 1.31E-5 m.s-1 and 1.71E-05 m.s-1. The second method is based on evaporation tests on different test plots. It consists of analyzing soil moisture profile changes during the dry down periods to detect the time-to-stress that can be obtained from observation of soil moisture variation, albedo measurements and variation of soil temperature. Results show that the estimated parameters with the evaporation method are close to those obtained by combining the BEST method and pedotransfer functions. The results validate that combining local infiltration tests and pedotransfer functions is a promising tool for the large scale hydraulic characterization of region with strong spatial variability of soils properties.

  7. Assessment of rainfall and NDVI anomalies in semi-arid regions using distributed lag models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zewdie, Worku; Csaplovics, E.

    2015-05-01

    The semiarid regions of Ethiopia are exposed to anthropogenic and natural calamities. In this study, we assessed the relationship between Tropical Applications of Meteorology using Satellite data (TAMSAT) and MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data for the period 2000 to 2014 on decadal and annual basis using multivariate distributed lag (DL) models. Decadal growing season (June to September) values for kaftahumera were calculated from MODIS NDVI data. The growing season NDVI values are highly correlated with the precipitations during the whole study period. A lag of up to 30 days observed in most parts of our study region in which the rainfall has effects on vegetation growth after 40 days. The lag-time effects vary with the distribution of land use types and seasons. A lower correlation was observed in the woodland regions where significant deforestation occurred due to expansion of croplands. The loss in vegetation contributed to the low biomass production attributable to extended loss in vegetation cover.

  8. A comparative study of the effects of albedo change on drought in semi-arid regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charney, J.; Quirk, W. J.; Chow, S.-H.; Kornfield, J.

    1977-01-01

    Numerical simulation studies of the effects of changes in albedo on rainfall involve comparisons of semiarid areas, lying at the boundary between a major desert and an adjacent monsoonal region, with areas of the same size located within the monsoonal region itself. The sensitivity of the rainfall to the ground hydrology was determined by performing the albedo simulations with two different evapotranspiration parameterizations, one giving too high evaporation over land and the other giving negligible evaporation over land. The evaporation rate is, in general, found to have as important an effect as changes in albedo. The mechanism by which an increase of albedo reduces the rainfall during conditions of high evaporation is considered.

  9. Traditional uses of medicinal animals in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The present work presents an inventory of the traditional medicinal uses of animals in the municipality of Bom Sucesso in Paraíba State (PB) in the semiarid northeastern region of Brazil. Information was obtained through the use of semi-structured interviews with 50 people who use zootherapeutic products. A total of 25 animal species used for medicinal purposes were identified (18 vertebrates and seven invertebrates) distributed among five taxonomic categories; the groups with the largest numbers of citations were: mammals (8 citations), insects (7), and reptiles (5). The most cited animal species were: Tubinambis merianae “teju” lizards (44 citations); Apis mellifera Italian honeybees (318 citations); Gallus gallus chickens (31 citations); Ovis aries sheep (31 citations); Crotalus durissus rattlesnakes (14 citations); Boa constrictor (12 citations); and Bos taurus cattle (12 citations). A significant number of illnesses and conditions treated with animal-based medicines were cited, and the category with the greatest number of citations was “problems affecting the respiratory system”. Our results suggest that the use of zootherapeutics in the region is persistent, and that knowledge about these curative practices is an integral part of the regional culture. As such, studies concerning the uses of zootherapeutics are important windows to understanding human/environmental/cultural interactions and a pathway to conciliating regional cultures with efforts to conserve the native fauna. PMID:23050756

  10. Traditional uses of medicinal animals in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; Neta, Rita Oliveira de Sousa; Trovão, Dilma Maria de Brito Melo; Barbosa, Jose Etham de Lucena; Barros, Adrianne Teixeira; Dias, Thelma Lucia Pereira

    2012-01-01

    The present work presents an inventory of the traditional medicinal uses of animals in the municipality of Bom Sucesso in Paraíba State (PB) in the semiarid northeastern region of Brazil. Information was obtained through the use of semi-structured interviews with 50 people who use zootherapeutic products. A total of 25 animal species used for medicinal purposes were identified (18 vertebrates and seven invertebrates) distributed among five taxonomic categories; the groups with the largest numbers of citations were: mammals (8 citations), insects (7), and reptiles (5). The most cited animal species were: Tubinambis merianae "teju" lizards (44 citations); Apis mellifera Italian honeybees (318 citations); Gallus gallus chickens (31 citations); Ovis aries sheep (31 citations); Crotalus durissus rattlesnakes (14 citations); Boa constrictor (12 citations); and Bos taurus cattle (12 citations). A significant number of illnesses and conditions treated with animal-based medicines were cited, and the category with the greatest number of citations was "problems affecting the respiratory system". Our results suggest that the use of zootherapeutics in the region is persistent, and that knowledge about these curative practices is an integral part of the regional culture. As such, studies concerning the uses of zootherapeutics are important windows to understanding human/environmental/cultural interactions and a pathway to conciliating regional cultures with efforts to conserve the native fauna. PMID:23050756

  11. Land Surface Model and Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm Based on the Model-Optimization Method for Improving Soil Moisture Simulation in a Semi-Arid Region

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Qidong; Zuo, Hongchao; Li, Weidong

    2016-01-01

    Improving the capability of land-surface process models to simulate soil moisture assists in better understanding the atmosphere-land interaction. In semi-arid regions, due to limited near-surface observational data and large errors in large-scale parameters obtained by the remote sensing method, there exist uncertainties in land surface parameters, which can cause large offsets between the simulated results of land-surface process models and the observational data for the soil moisture. In this study, observational data from the Semi-Arid Climate Observatory and Laboratory (SACOL) station in the semi-arid loess plateau of China were divided into three datasets: summer, autumn, and summer-autumn. By combing the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm and the land-surface process model SHAW (Simultaneous Heat and Water), the soil and vegetation parameters that are related to the soil moisture but difficult to obtain by observations are optimized using three datasets. On this basis, the SHAW model was run with the optimized parameters to simulate the characteristics of the land-surface process in the semi-arid loess plateau. Simultaneously, the default SHAW model was run with the same atmospheric forcing as a comparison test. Simulation results revealed the following: parameters optimized by the particle swarm optimization algorithm in all simulation tests improved simulations of the soil moisture and latent heat flux; differences between simulated results and observational data are clearly reduced, but simulation tests involving the adoption of optimized parameters cannot simultaneously improve the simulation results for the net radiation, sensible heat flux, and soil temperature. Optimized soil and vegetation parameters based on different datasets have the same order of magnitude but are not identical; soil parameters only vary to a small degree, but the variation range of vegetation parameters is large. PMID:26991786

  12. Land Surface Model and Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm Based on the Model-Optimization Method for Improving Soil Moisture Simulation in a Semi-Arid Region.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qidong; Zuo, Hongchao; Li, Weidong

    2016-01-01

    Improving the capability of land-surface process models to simulate soil moisture assists in better understanding the atmosphere-land interaction. In semi-arid regions, due to limited near-surface observational data and large errors in large-scale parameters obtained by the remote sensing method, there exist uncertainties in land surface parameters, which can cause large offsets between the simulated results of land-surface process models and the observational data for the soil moisture. In this study, observational data from the Semi-Arid Climate Observatory and Laboratory (SACOL) station in the semi-arid loess plateau of China were divided into three datasets: summer, autumn, and summer-autumn. By combing the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm and the land-surface process model SHAW (Simultaneous Heat and Water), the soil and vegetation parameters that are related to the soil moisture but difficult to obtain by observations are optimized using three datasets. On this basis, the SHAW model was run with the optimized parameters to simulate the characteristics of the land-surface process in the semi-arid loess plateau. Simultaneously, the default SHAW model was run with the same atmospheric forcing as a comparison test. Simulation results revealed the following: parameters optimized by the particle swarm optimization algorithm in all simulation tests improved simulations of the soil moisture and latent heat flux; differences between simulated results and observational data are clearly reduced, but simulation tests involving the adoption of optimized parameters cannot simultaneously improve the simulation results for the net radiation, sensible heat flux, and soil temperature. Optimized soil and vegetation parameters based on different datasets have the same order of magnitude but are not identical; soil parameters only vary to a small degree, but the variation range of vegetation parameters is large. PMID:26991786

  13. Effects of different agricultural managements in soil microbial community structure in a semi-arid Mediterranean region.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugan, Alicia; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Scow, Kate

    2013-04-01

    Agriculture has been practiced in semi-arid Mediterranean regions for 10.000 years and in many cases these practices have been unsuitable causing land degradation for millennium and an important loss of soil quality. The land management can provide solutions to find the best agricultural practices in order to maintain the soil quality and get a sustainable agriculture model. Microbiological properties are the most sensitive and rapid indicators of soil perturbations and land use managements. The study of microbial community and diversity has an important interest as indicators of changes in soil quality. The main objective of this work was to asses the effect of different agricultural management practices in soil microbial community (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Four different treatments were selected, based on the most commonly practices applied by farmers in the study area, "El Teularet Experimental Station", located at the Enguera Range in the southern part of the Valencia province (eastern Spain). These treatments were: a) ploughing, b) herbicides c) mulch, using the types applied by organic farmers to develop a sustainable agriculture, such as oat straw and d) control that was established as plot where the treatment was abandonment after farming. An adjacent area with the same type of soil, but with natural vegetation was used as a standard or reference high quality soil. Soil samples were taken to evaluate the changes in microbial soil structure, analysing the abundance of PLFA. The results showed a major content of total PLFA in soils treated with oats straw, being these results similar to the content of PLFA in the soil with natural vegetation, also these soils were similar in the distribution of abundance of different PLFA studied. However, the herbicide and tillage treatments showed great differences regarding the soil used as reference (soil under natural vegetation).

  14. Ecotoxicology of organisms adapted to life in temporary freshwater ponds in arid and semi-arid regions.

    PubMed

    Lahr, J

    1997-01-01

    Hot arid and semi-arid zones are characterized by an abundance of temporary ponds. Most of these depend on rain for their existence. These habitats are distinguished by fluctuating and unpredictable changes in their hydrological regime and of physical and chemical conditions.They contain a uniquely-adapted fauna that copes in different ways with changing and often extreme temperatures, oxygen levels, pH, salinity and turbidity. A classification is presented of the most distinctive adaptations,the various tactics that organisms apply to survive dry periods. The main strategies are dormancy (escape in time) and dispersal (escape in space). These adaptations may affect the impact of toxicants on individuals, populations and communities of temporary ponds. The physiological adaptations of species found in temporary ponds are likely to alter the sensitivity to pollutants of characteristic species. Results from laboratory experiments,for example, suggest that fairy shrimp (Branchiopoda, Anostraca) may react differently to heavy metals and pesticides as the standard test species Daphnia. Life history strategies influence recovery rates of populations after exposure to acutely toxic substances such as pesticides. It is also suggested that slow growth and decreased reproductive capacity of organisms caused by toxicants may, in ephemeral ponds, result in the failure of annual recruitment. Whether assemblages of organisms in temporary ponds are generally more vulnerable or more resilient than those in permanent waters or temperate regions could not be determined conclusively with the limited data available. Ecological concepts for studying the habitat and the development of risk assessment methods for temporary ponds are briefly discussed. PMID:9002434

  15. Use patterns and knowledge of medicinal species among two rural communities in Brazil's semi-arid northeastern region.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Julio Marcelino; de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Lins-Neto, Ernani Machado de Freitas; de Araújo, Elcida Lima; de Amorim, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti

    2006-04-21

    The present work seeks to quantify the knowledge of two rural communities in the semi-arid region of the state of Pernambuco (northeastern Brazil) concerning two species of native medicinal plants: "aroeira do sertão", Myracrodruon urundeuva (Engl.) Fr. All. (Anacardiaceae) and "angico", Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell.) Brenan (Mimosaceae). Semi-structured interviews were carried out, combined with a checklist/inventory method, which yielded different indexes for quantifying knowledge and use of these species. In addition, the reliability of local knowledge was tested using analytical techniques to determine actual tannin concentrations. Although both communities possess knowledge concerning these two species, one of them stood out in terms of the diversity of information presented (P < 0.05), a difference that may be related to its lower degree of modernization. In general, older people had a greater variety of information about these plants, although both men and women demonstrated similar knowledge. Of the 101 people interviewed in Riachão, 85% stated that they knew of uses for both species studied; in Ameixas, of the 55 interviewees, 63% responded that they knew of uses for Myracrodruon urundeuva, and 45% knew of uses for Anadenanthera colubrina. A total of 97 different uses were reported by all informants for the two species studied. Of these, 62 were mentioned in only a single community, confirming our hypothesis of differences in knowledge between them. Informants from both communities knew of a great variety of uses for these plants as well as a number of different collection techniques. We expected that knowledge about the two species would differ in relation to both gender and age, but this was only true for one of the communities. Greater concentrations of tannins were expected to be found consistently in the tree bark, but experimental data demonstrated that tannin concentrations can vary among plant parts during the year. PMID:16298502

  16. Sources and Pathways of Nutrients in the Semi-Arid Region of Beijing–Tianjin, China

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Semiarid regions worldwide are particularly prone to eutrophication, which causes immense ecological and economic problems. One region that is in transition and requires systematic research for effective intervention is the dry landscape of Beijing-Tianjin (P. R. China). We investigated the sources and spatiotemporal loads of nitrogen and phosphorus species over a one-year period in the Haihe catchment that drains the megacity of Beijing. Although wastewater treatment was improved in recent years, the rivers were heavily contaminated by 0.3–5.3 mgP L–1 and 3.0–49 mgN L–1, with toxic levels of nitrite (≥1 mgNO2–N L–1) and ammonia (≥0.6 mgNH3–N L–1). The average NH4+ (16.9 mgN L–1) increased by 160% compared to 1996-levels. Mass fluxes and δ15N-signatures revealed that nutrients originated almost exclusively from sewage. Furthermore, the water balance demonstrated that >90% of the polluted river water was diverted for irrigation, thereby threatening food safety and groundwater quality. Per capita loads of 1.42 kgN/yr and 115 gP/yr were comparable to the peak discharges typical of Europe and the United States in 1970–1990, but concentrations were 2–3 times higher in the Beijing–Tianjin region. Our research identified sewage as the predominant nutrient source in this semiarid region, which suggests that state-of-the-art wastewater treatment would drastically mitigate eutrophication and even more rapidly than was previously observed in Europe. PMID:22401269

  17. The influence of agricultural management on soil's CO2 regime in semi-arid and arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eshel, G.; Lifshithz, D.; Sternberg, M.; Ben-Dor, E.; Bonfile, D. J.; Arad, B.; Mingelgrin, U.; Fine, P.; Levy, G. J.

    2008-12-01

    Two of the more important parameters which may help us better evaluate the impact of agricultural practices on the global carbon cycle are the in-situ soil pCO2 profile and the corresponding CO2 fluxes to the atmosphere. In an ongoing study, we monitored the pCO2 to a depth of 5 m in two adjacent irrigated Avocado orchards in the coastal plain of Israel (semi-arid region), and to a depth of 2 m in a semi- arid rain-fed and a arid rain-fed wheat fields in southern Israel. The soil pCO2 profiles and CO2 fluxes measurements were supplemented by measurements of soil moisture and temperature. The results showed differences in the CO2 profiles (both in the depth of the highest concentration and its absolute values) and the CO2 fluxes between the orchards and the wheat fields as well as along the year. In the irrigated Avocado orchards pCO2 values were in the range of 1.5 kPa at a depth of 0.5 m up to 8 kPa at depths of 3-5 m (even though Avocado trees are characterized by shallow roots). Such levels could affect reactions (e.g., enhancement of inorganic carbon dissolution) that may take place in the soil and some of its chemical properties (e.g., pH). As expected, soil pCO2 was affected by soil moisture and temperature, and the distance from the trees. Maximum soil respiration was observed during the summer when the orchards are under irrigation. In the wheat fields pCO2 level ranged from 0.2- 0.6 kPa at a depth of 0.2 m to 0.2-1 kPa at depths of 1-1.5 m (in arid and semiarid respectively). These pCO2 levels were much lower than those obtained in the irrigated orchards and seemed to depend on the wheat growing cycle (high concentration were noted at depth of 1-1.5 m close to the end of grain filling) and precipitation gradient (arid vs. semiarid). Since CO2 fluxes are directly affected by the pCO2 profile and soil moister and temperature the CO2 fluxes from the wheat fields were much lower (0.02- 0.2 ml min-1 m-2) compared to those obtained from the Avocado orchards (2

  18. Uncertainties in downscaled relative humidity for a semi-arid region in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anandhi, Aavudai

    2011-06-01

    Monthly scenarios of relative humidity ( R H) were obtained for the Malaprabha river basin in India using a statistical downscaling technique. Large-scale atmospheric variables (air temperature and specific humidity at 925 mb, surface air temperature and latent heat flux) were chosen as predictors. The predictor variables are extracted from the (1) National Centers for Environmental Prediction reanalysis dataset for the period 1978-2000, and (2) simulations of the third generation Canadian Coupled Global Climate Model for the period 1978-2100. The objective of this study was to investigate the uncertainties in regional scenarios developed for R H due to the choice of emission scenarios (A1B, A2, B1 and COMMIT) and the predictors selected. Multi-linear regression with stepwise screening is the downscaling technique used in this study. To study the uncertainty in the regional scenarios of R H, due to the selected predictors, eight sets of predictors were chosen and a downscaling model was developed for each set. Performance of the downscaling models in the baseline period (1978-2000) was studied using three measures (1) Nash-Sutcliffe error estimate ( E f), (2) mean absolute error (MAE), and (3) product moment correlation ( P). Results show that the performances vary between 0.59 and 0.68, 0.42 and 0.50 and 0.77 and 0.82 for E f, MAE and P. Cumulative distribution functions were prepared from the regional scenarios of R H developed for combinations of predictors and emission scenarios. Results show a variation of 1 to 6% R H in the scenarios developed for combination of predictor sets for baseline period. For a future period (2001-2100), a variation of 6 to 15% R H was observed for the combination of emission scenarios and predictors. The variation was highest for A2 scenario and least for COMMIT and B1 scenario.

  19. Impact of sublimation losses in the mass balance of glaciers in semi-arid mountain regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayala, Alvaro; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Burlando, Paolo; MacDonell, Shelley; McPhee, James

    2016-04-01

    Glaciers in semiarid mountain regions may lose an important part of their winter snow accumulation through sublimation processes that are enhanced by the high-elevation, intense radiation and dry atmosphere of these environments. As glaciers in these regions secure freshwater resources to lower valleys during summer and drought periods, it is important to advance in a detailed quantification of their sublimation losses. However, logistical concerns and complex meteorological features make the measuring and modelling of glacier mass balances a difficult task. In this study, we estimated the spring-summer mass balances of Tapado and Juncal Norte glaciers in the semiarid Andes of north-central Chile by running a distributed energy balance model that accounts for melt, refreezing and sublimation from the surface and blowing snow. Meteorological input data were available from on-glacier Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) that were installed during the ablation season of years 2005-06, 2008-09, 2013-14 and 2014-15. Snow pits, ablation stakes and a time-lapse camera that provided surface albedo were also available. Distributed air temperature and wind speed were dynamically downscaled from NASA MERRA reanalysis using the software WINDSIM and validated against the data from the AWSs. The rest of the meteorological variables were distributed using statistical relations with air temperature derived from the AWSs data. Initial snow conditions were estimated using satellite images and distributed manual snow depth measurements. Preliminary results show that total ablation diminishes with elevation and that, during the early ablation season (October-November), melt is the main ablation component below 4500 m with sublimation dominating the ablation above this elevation. Above 4500 m an important fraction of meltwater refreezes during night. As the ablation season advances (December-February), melt extends to higher elevations, refreezing plays a smaller role and sublimation is

  20. Hunting strategies used in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Rômulo RN; Mendonça, Lívia ET; Confessor, Maine VA; Vieira, Washington LS; Lopez, Luiz CS

    2009-01-01

    Hunting for wild animals is stimulated by the many different human uses of faunal resources, and these animals constitute important subsistence items in local communities in the Caatinga region. In order to gain access to these resources, hunters have developed a series of techniques and strategies that are described in the present work. The principal hunting techniques encountered were: waiting, especially directed towards hunting diurnal birds; calling ("arremedo"), a technique in which the hunters imitate the animal's call to attract it to close range; hunting with dogs, a technique mostly used for capturing mammals; tracking, a technique used by only a few hunters who can recognize and follow animal tracks; and "facheado", in which the hunters go out at night with lanterns to catch birds in their nests. Additionally, many animal species are captured using mechanical traps. The types of traps used by the interviewees were: dead-fall traps ("quixó"), iron-jaw snap traps ("arataca"), wooden cages with bait ("arapuca"), iron-cage traps ("gaiola'), "visgo", multi-compartment bird cages ("alçapão"), buried ground traps with pivoted tops ("fojo"), and nooses and cages for carnivorous. The choice of which technique to use depends on the habits of the species being hunted, indicating that the hunters possess a wide knowledge of the biology of these animals. From a conservation perspective, active hunting techniques (waiting, imitation, hunting with dogs, and "facheado") have the greatest impact on the local fauna. The use of firearm and dogs brought greater efficiency to hunting activities. Additional studies concerning these hunting activities will be useful to contribute to proposals for management plans regulating hunting in the region – with the objective of attaining sustainable use of faunal resources of great importance to the local human communities. PMID:19386121

  1. Hunting strategies used in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Alves, Rômulo R N; Mendonça, Lívia E T; Confessor, Maine V A; Vieira, Washington L S; Lopez, Luiz C S

    2009-01-01

    Hunting for wild animals is stimulated by the many different human uses of faunal resources, and these animals constitute important subsistence items in local communities in the Caatinga region. In order to gain access to these resources, hunters have developed a series of techniques and strategies that are described in the present work. The principal hunting techniques encountered were: waiting, especially directed towards hunting diurnal birds; calling ("arremedo"), a technique in which the hunters imitate the animal's call to attract it to close range; hunting with dogs, a technique mostly used for capturing mammals; tracking, a technique used by only a few hunters who can recognize and follow animal tracks; and "facheado", in which the hunters go out at night with lanterns to catch birds in their nests. Additionally, many animal species are captured using mechanical traps. The types of traps used by the interviewees were: dead-fall traps ("quixó"), iron-jaw snap traps ("arataca"), wooden cages with bait ("arapuca"), iron-cage traps ("gaiola'), "visgo", multi-compartment bird cages ("alçapão"), buried ground traps with pivoted tops ("fojo"), and nooses and cages for carnivorous. The choice of which technique to use depends on the habits of the species being hunted, indicating that the hunters possess a wide knowledge of the biology of these animals. From a conservation perspective, active hunting techniques (waiting, imitation, hunting with dogs, and "facheado") have the greatest impact on the local fauna. The use of firearm and dogs brought greater efficiency to hunting activities. Additional studies concerning these hunting activities will be useful to contribute to proposals for management plans regulating hunting in the region - with the objective of attaining sustainable use of faunal resources of great importance to the local human communities. PMID:19386121

  2. Recharge estimation and soil moisture dynamics in a Mediterranean, semi-arid karst region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ries, F.; Lange, J.; Schmidt, S.; Puhlmann, H.; Sauter, M.

    2015-03-01

    Knowledge of soil moisture dynamics in the unsaturated soil zone provides valuable information on the temporal and spatial variability of groundwater recharge. This is especially true for the Mediterranean region, where a substantial fraction of long-term groundwater recharge is expected to occur during high magnitude precipitation events of above-average wet winters. To elucidate process understanding of infiltration processes during these extreme events, a monitoring network of precipitation gauges, meteorological stations, and soil moisture plots was installed in an area with a steep climatic gradient in the Jordan Valley region. In three soil moisture plots, Hydrus-1D was used to simulate water movement in the unsaturated soil zone with soil hydraulic parameters estimated by the Shuffled Complex Evolution Metropolis algorithm. To generalize our results, we modified soil depth and rainfall input to simulate the effect of the pronounced climatic gradient and soil depth variability on percolation fluxes and applied the calibrated model to a time series with 62 years of meteorological data. Soil moisture measurements showed a pronounced seasonality and suggested rapid infiltration during heavy rainstorms. Hydrus-1D successfully simulated short and long-term soil moisture patterns, with the majority of simulated deep percolation occurring during a few intensive rainfall events. Temperature drops in a nearby groundwater well were observed synchronously with simulated percolation pulses, indicating rapid groundwater recharge mechanisms. The 62-year model run yielded annual percolation fluxes of up to 66% of precipitation depths during wet years and of 0% during dry years. Furthermore, a dependence of recharge on the temporal rainfall distribution could be shown. Strong correlations between depth of recharge and soil depth were also observed.

  3. Carbonaceous aerosol over semi-arid region of western India: Heterogeneity in sources and characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudheer, A. K.; Aslam, M. Y.; Upadhyay, M.; Rengarajan, R.; Bhushan, R.; Rathore, J. S.; Singh, S. K.; Kumar, S.

    2016-09-01

    Carbonaceous species (elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC), water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC)) and water-soluble inorganic species (Na+, NH4+, K+, Ca2 +, Mg2 +, Cl-, NO3-, SO42 -) in PM10 and PM2.5 from Ahmedabad and Jodhpur (urban and semi-urban locations, respectively) in western India were measured during May-September, 2011. Stable isotope composition of carbonaceous aerosol (δ13C of TC) in PM10 samples was also determined. Average EC concentration in PM10 at Ahmedabad was 1 μg m- 3 (range: 0.34 to 3.4 μg m- 3), almost 80% of which remained in PM2.5. Similarly, 70% of EC in PM10 (average: 0.9 μg m- 3) resided in PM2.5 at Jodhpur. Average OC concentration at Ahmedabad was 6.4 μg m- 3 and ~ 52% of this was found in PM2.5. On the contrary, OC concentration at Jodhpur was 40 μg m- 3, 80% of which was found in coarse particles contributing substantially to aerosol mass. δ13C of TC (average: - 27.5‰, range: - 29.6 to - 25.8‰) along with WSOC/EC ratio shows an increasing trend at Jodhpur suggesting the possibility of aging of aerosol, since aging results in enrichment of heavier isotope. OC and WSOC show significant correlations with K+ and not with EC, indicating biogenic origin of OC. Different size distributions are also exhibited by WSOC at the two stations. On the other hand, δ13C exhibits an inverse trend with sea-salt constituents at Ahmedabad, indicating the influence of air masses transported from the western/south-western region on carbonaceous aerosol. These results suggest that a strong heterogeneity exists in the sources of carbonaceous aerosol over this region and potential sources of non-combustion emissions such as bio-aerosol that need further investigation.

  4. Aerosol pollution in the arid and semi-arid regions of southern Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artamonova, Maria; Chkhetiani, Otto; Gledzer, Evgeny; Golitsyn, Georgy; Iordansky, Michael; Kadygrov, Evgeny; Khapaev, Alexey; Knyazev, Alexander; Kurgansky, Michael; Lebedev, Vladimir; Maksimenkov, Leonid; Minashkin, Vyacheslav; Obvintsev, Yury; Pogarsky, Fedor

    2014-05-01

    We present the systematized data results from field measurements of submicron aerosol. These measurements were carried out in the steppe regions of Rostov region and in semi-desert areas of Kalmykia Republic (the Caspian lowland) in the summer period of years 2007-2013. These data include the diurnal variation of the counting and mass aerosol concentration in the range of 0.1-15 microns, the diurnal variation of the counting and mass concentrations of the various fractions of submicron aerosol, the elemental composition of aerosol and soil samples, meteorological parameters of the atmosphere, soil temperature and radiation balance. Fine sand fraction (86.6%) is predominant in the soil. It is significantly higher than the percentage of silt fractions, medium and coarse sand. The chemical composition of sand is aluminum-silicon one. Elemental and mineralogical analysis of soil and aerosol particles confirmed the identity of the chemical composition of the soil and the fine fraction of the aerosol, respectively. Obtained data show the presence, in hot and dry weather, of convective lifting and outflow of fine aerosol in the daytime over dry sandy areas and dry loamy soils, in these areas. Studies have shown that the removal of the fine aerosol increases proportionally to the temperature lapse rate in the surface air layer and decreases with increased wind speed. The coarser fraction of aerosol prevails in the airflow for wind speed of 5 m/s and more. Relationship between the aerosol emission and the stability of the atmospheric boundary layer (Monin-Obukhov length-scale) is considered. Aerosol mass concentration at different periods of observations (2007-2013) was from a few dozen to several hundred mg/m3. Calculations of the average annual value of the convective flow of the aerosol into the atmosphere from sand areas in Kalmykia are presented. Distribution of lifted aerosol particles depends on the weather conditions (wind speed, relative humidity air and soil

  5. Ecological restoration and effect investigation of a river wetland in a semi-arid region, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Jiang, X.; Liu, Y.; Fu, Y.; Zhao, Q.

    2015-05-01

    River wetlands are heavily impacted by human intervention. The degradation and loss of river wetlands has made the restoration of river ecosystems a top priority. How to rehabilitate rivers and their services has been a research focus. The main goal of it is to restore the river wetland ecosystems with ecological methods. The Gudong River was selected as a study site in Chaoyang city in this study. Based on the analysis of interference factors in the river wetland degradation, a set of restoration techniques were proposed and designed for regional water level control, including submerged dikes, ecological embankments, revegetation and dredging. The restoration engineering has produced good results in water quality, eco-environment, and landscape. Monthly reports of the Daling River show that the water quality of Gudong River was better than Grade III in April 2013 compared with Grade V in May 2012. The economic benefit after restoration construction is 1.71 million RMB per year, about 1.89 times that before. The ratio of economic value, social value and eco-environmental value is 1:4:23.

  6. Root density of cherry trees grafted on prunus mahaleb in a semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paltineanu, Cristian; Septar, Leinar; Gavat, Corina; Chitu, Emil; Oprita, Alexandru; Moale, Cristina; Lamureanu, Gheorghe; Vrinceanu, Andrei

    2016-07-01

    Root density was investigated using the trench method in a cherry (Prunus avium grafted on Prunus mahaleb) orchard with clean cultivation in inter-rows and in-row. Trenches of 1 m width and 1.2 m depth were dug up between neighbouring trees. The objectives of the paper were to clarify the spatial distribution of root density of cherry trees under the soil and climate conditions of the region to expand knowledge of optimum planting distance and orchard management for a broad area of chernozems. Some soil physical properties were significantly worsened in inter-rows versus in-row, mainly due to soil compaction, and there were higher root density values in in-row versus inter-rows. Root density decreased more intensely with soil depth than with distance from trees. The pattern of root density suggests that the cherry tree density and fruit yield could be increased. However, other factors concerning orchard management and fruit yield should also be considered. The results obtained have a potential impact to improve irrigation and fertilizer application by various methods, considering the soil depth and distance from trees to wet soil, in accordance with root development.

  7. Too Much or Too Little? Eco-hydrology in Arid and Semi-arid Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toch, S. L.

    2009-04-01

    Around the world, disastrous effects of floods and droughts are painful evidence of our continuing struggle between human resource demands and the sustainability of our hydrologic ecosystems. Too much or too little rainfall is often deemed the culprit in these water crises, focusing on water "lacks and needs" instead of exploring the diverse mechanisms of the hydrologic functions and processes that sustain us. Applicable to regions around the world, this unified approach focuses on the connections between our human and ecological qualities, with user friendly concepts and how-to guides backed up by real life experiences. From the poorest parts of Africa to Urban France to the wealthiest state in the USA, examples from surface to groundwater to marine environments demonstrate how the links between vulnerable natural areas, and the basins that they support are integral to the availability, adequacy and accessibility of our drinking water. The interactions of watersheds within our diverse communities can link our resource practices with our human needs, serving as a basis for our ecological health and human well-being. Hydrologic ecosystems provide links to geographic and cultural information traversing physical and social boundaries. This international, community-based project demonstrates how our human resource demands can be managed within ecological constraints. An inter-disciplinary process is used that specifically explores the connections between ecological integrity and the preservation of potable supplies. A monitoring strategy is developed that assesses risk to human health from resource use practices, and explores the similarities and interactions between our human needs and those of the ecosystems in which we all must live together. This work is geared as a reference for groups, individuals and agencies concerned with land use and watershed management, a supplement for interdisciplinary high school through University curriculum, for professional

  8. What Climate Conditions Enhance Hillslope Erosion in Semi-Arid Regions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, J. L.; Riley, K. E.; Kenworthy, M.; Poulos, M. J.; Weppner, K.; Nelson, N.; Svenson, L.

    2011-12-01

    Researchers have long pondered the question of how climate and climate change influence rates and processes of erosion: this question has become more relevant in the face of ongoing and future anthropogenic warming. We examine evidence of hillslope erosion and sedimentation on alluvial fans over Holocene and Quaternary timescales throughout a range of ecosystems in Idaho, USA. Records of erosion include fire-related and non-fire related deposition on alluvial fans, and landscape-scale analysis of hillslope slope angles. Over Holocene timescales, five independent records of forest-fires and fire-related erosion from sagebrush steppe, pinion-juniper, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine and mixed conifer ecosystems indicate that sedimentation rates and processes on alluvial fans vary temporally with Holocene climate and spatially with vegetation type. Despite variations in ecosystem type and associated fire regimes, all sites show similar broad-scale temporal patterns. The mid-Holocene (~4-8 ka) is characterized by few fire-related deposits and many non-fire related sheetflooding events (vs. debris flows); this relatively fire-free interval is punctuated by fire peaks and associated sheetflooding ~7-6 ka. As regional paleoclimatic reconstructions generally indicate this time was generally warm and dry the lack of fire is somewhat counterintuitive; however, decreased fuel loads, combined with perhaps a more stable climate may reduce fire and storm intensity and frequency. Late Holocene (last ~3 ka) cooler, wetter and more variable climates (as compared to the mid-Holocene) are characterized by increased fire activity at all sites, and more large debris flows. Medieval droughts correspond with major fire and debris flow peaks ~1000-800 cal yr BP; decadal to annual droughts during the generally cooler and wetter LIA also promote fire peaks ~500-300 cal yr BP. Modern observations of hillslope erosion indicate north-facing or moister slopes are characterized by dense vegetation

  9. Changes in evapotranspiration in semi-arid and semi-humid regions of China based on upscaling eddy covariance measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Huimin; Gong, Tingting; Yang, Dawen

    2015-04-01

    The semi-arid and semi-humid region (about 4.98×105 km2) of China is a critical climate zone, not only because it is in the climate transitional zone with strong coupling of soil moisture and precipitation, but also because it is an ecologically vulnerable zone and a main crop-producing region. In addition, human activities in this region have been largely ongoing such as afforestation, deforestation, farmland management and intense grazing. Evapotranspiration (ET) is a main component of the water cycle and plays an important role in such a climate-land system. Thus, changes in evapotranspiration are fundamental to understand how climate and human activities affect water cycle and to guide agricultural water management and ecological restoration. In this study, data-driven regional ET is upscaled from 12 flux towers using a support vector regression (SVR) model, by combining satellite remote sensing data and ground-based meteorological observations. Two ET products will be generated with different spatial resolution and time span. One is based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) products with a spatial resolution of 1 km during 2000~2011, and the other is based on the AVHRR Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) with a spatial resolution of 8 km during 1982~2011. Variables that may have influences on ET, such as land surface temperature (LST), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI), short-wave radiation (SWR), water vapor deficit (VPD), will be selected as explanatory variables. The SVM model will first be tuned and trained at the site scale, and then applied to estimate regional ET. Based on the upscaled regional ET, this study will evaluate how changes in ET respond to climate change; moreover, the impacts of human activities on ET will be examined, such as how afforestation and farmland management affect ET. Furthermore, impacts of changes in ET on other water cycle components will be analyzed

  10. Mashhad Wise Water Forum: a path to sustainable water resources management in a semi-arid region of Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabatabaee, Seyyed Alireza; Neyshaboori, Shahnaz; Basirat, Ali; Tavakoli Aminiyan, Samaneh; Mirbehrooziyan, Ahmad; Sakhdari, Hossein; Shafiei, Mojtaba; Davary, Kamran

    2016-04-01

    Water is key to sustainable development especially in semi-arid regions in which the main source of water provision is groundwater. Water has value from a social, economic and environmental perspective and is required to be managed within a sound, integrated socio-economic and environmental framework. Mashhad, the second big city in Iran, has been faced with rapid growth rates of population and economic activities. The groundwater in Mashhad basin has been overexploited to meet the increasing trend of water demand during the past 20 years. Consequently, the region has faced with water scarcity and water quality problems which originates from inefficient use and poor management. To tackle the water issue on a durable basis, within the economic, ecological, and political constraints (i.e. the integrated water resources management, IWRM concept), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), named as Mashhad Wise Water Forum (MWWF), has been established in 2013 that encompasses contribution of experts from academia, industry, and governmental policy-makers. The MWWF considers the UN-Water IWRM spiral conceptual model (which contains four stages: Recognizing and identifying; Conceptualizing; Coordinating and planning; Implementing, Monitoring and Evaluating) by implicating participatory water management (water users' involvement) methods in Mashhad basin. Furthermore, the MWWF has planned to look at all dimensions of water crisis (i.e. physical, economic, policy and institutional) particularly institutional dimension by gathering all stockholders, beneficiaries and experts in different parts of water policy making in Mashhad basin. The MWWF vision for Mashhad basin is achieving to sustainable equilibrium of water resources and consumptions in the basin by the prospect to 2040 year. So far, the MWWF has tried to understand and deal with regional diversity in legal systems as well as conflicts between private interests and public welfare in water allocation and management. At

  11. Atmospheric SO2 oxidation efficiency over a semi-arid region: Seasonal patterns from observations and GEOS-Chem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francis, Timmy; Sarin, M. M.; Rengarajan, R.

    2016-01-01

    The oxidation efficiency of atmospheric SO2, measured as a molar ratio of SO42- to total SOx (SOx = SO2 + SO42-), referred as S-ratio, have been studied from a high altitude site (Gurushikhar, Mt. Abu: 24.6° N, 72.7° E, 1680 m ASL) in a semi-arid region of western India. A global 3-dimensional Chemical Transport Model (CTM), GEOS-Chem (v8-03-01), is employed to interpret the observed patterns. The S-ratios derived from time series SO2 and SO42- measurements exhibited a pronounced seasonality, with relatively low ratios in Feb-Mar 2010, high ratios in Nov-Dec 2009 and intermediate values in Sep-Oct 2009. The lower S-ratios for Feb '10 and Mar '10 (median values 0.10 and 0.08 respectively) have been attributed to the relatively high planetary boundary layer (PBL) heights - to reduce the SO2 loss from the atmosphere via dry deposition - as well as the lower OH radical levels and low 'aged air mass influx' during these months. On the other hand, low PBL heights and significant long range transport contributions are projected to be the possible causes for the higher S-ratios during Nov '09 and Dec '09 (median values 0.30 and 0.28 respectively). The seasonal patterns for the S-ratios predicted by the CTM for the GEOS-Chem 4° × 5° grid cell containing the sampling site showed highest ratios in Jul-Aug, and the lowest in Apr. The model has been employed further to study the contributions from various parameters to the S-ratios such as PBL, OH, RH, dust load, transport pattern and dry deposition. Sensitivity simulations showed the S-ratios enhancing with dust load with the peak in May (˜4.7% (median)). Similarly, the 'dry deposition' is seen to boost the S-ratios with the peak in August (˜66.3% (median)). Also, model simulations to assess the 'altitudinal dependence of S-ratios' have revealed a pronounced seasonal behaviour.

  12. Fluvial transport and surface enrichment of arsenic in semi-arid mining regions: examples from the Mojave Desert, California.

    PubMed

    Kim, Christopher S; Stack, David H; Rytuba, James J

    2012-07-01

    As a result of extensive gold and silver mining in the Mojave Desert, southern California, mine wastes and tailings containing highly elevated arsenic (As) concentrations remain exposed at a number of former mining sites. Decades of weathering and erosion have contributed to the mobilization of As-enriched tailings, which now contaminate surrounding communities. Fluvial transport plays an intermittent yet important and relatively undocumented role in the migration and dispersal of As-contaminated mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Assessing the contribution of fluvial systems to tailings mobilization is critical in order to assess the distribution and long-term exposure potential of tailings in a mining-impacted environment. Extensive sampling, chemical analysis, and geospatial mapping of dry streambed (wash) sediments, tailings piles, alluvial fans, and rainwater runoff at multiple mine sites have aided the development of a conceptual model to explain the fluvial migration of mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Intense and episodic precipitation events mobilize mine wastes downstream and downslope as a series of discrete pulses, causing dispersion both down and lateral to washes with exponential decay behavior as distance from the source increases. Accordingly a quantitative model of arsenic concentrations in wash sediments, represented as a series of overlapping exponential power-law decay curves, results in the acceptable reproducibility of observed arsenic concentration patterns. Such a model can be transferable to other abandoned mine lands as a predictive tool for monitoring the fate and transport of arsenic and related contaminants in similar settings. Effective remediation of contaminated mine wastes in a semi-arid environment requires addressing concurrent changes in the amounts of potential tailings released through fluvial processes and the transport capacity of a wash. PMID:22718027

  13. Spatial Distribution of Aboveground Carbon Stock of the Arboreal Vegetation in Brazilian Biomes of Savanna, Atlantic Forest and Semi-Arid Woodland.

    PubMed

    Scolforo, Henrique Ferraco; Scolforo, Jose Roberto Soares; Mello, Carlos Rogerio; Mello, Jose Marcio; Ferraz Filho, Antonio Carlos

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to map the spatial distribution of aboveground carbon stock (using Regression-kriging) of arboreal plants in the Atlantic Forest, Semi-arid woodland, and Savanna Biomes in Minas Gerais State, southeastern Brazil. The database used in this study was obtained from 163 forest fragments, totaling 4,146 plots of 1,000 m2 distributed in these Biomes. A geographical model for carbon stock estimation was parameterized as a function of Biome, latitude and altitude. This model was applied over the samples and the residuals generated were mapped based on geostatistical procedures, selecting the exponential semivariogram theoretical model for conducting ordinary Kriging. The aboveground carbon stock was found to have a greater concentration in the north of the State, where the largest contingent of native vegetation is located, mainly the Savanna Biome, with Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna phytophysiognomes. The largest weighted averages of carbon stock per hectare were found in the south-center region (48.6 Mg/ha) and in the southern part of the eastern region (48.4 Mg/ha) of Minas Gerais State, due to the greatest predominance of Atlantic Forest Biome forest fragments. The smallest weighted averages per hectare were found in the central (21.2 Mg/ha), northern (20.4 Mg/ha), and northwestern (20.7 Mg/ha) regions of Minas Gerais State, where Savanna Biome fragments are predominant, in the phytophysiognomes Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna. PMID:26066508

  14. Spatial Distribution of Aboveground Carbon Stock of the Arboreal Vegetation in Brazilian Biomes of Savanna, Atlantic Forest and Semi-Arid Woodland

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to map the spatial distribution of aboveground carbon stock (using Regression-kriging) of arboreal plants in the Atlantic Forest, Semi-arid woodland, and Savanna Biomes in Minas Gerais State, southeastern Brazil. The database used in this study was obtained from 163 forest fragments, totaling 4,146 plots of 1,000 m2 distributed in these Biomes. A geographical model for carbon stock estimation was parameterized as a function of Biome, latitude and altitude. This model was applied over the samples and the residuals generated were mapped based on geostatistical procedures, selecting the exponential semivariogram theoretical model for conducting ordinary Kriging. The aboveground carbon stock was found to have a greater concentration in the north of the State, where the largest contingent of native vegetation is located, mainly the Savanna Biome, with Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna phytophysiognomes. The largest weighted averages of carbon stock per hectare were found in the south-center region (48.6 Mg/ha) and in the southern part of the eastern region (48.4 Mg/ha) of Minas Gerais State, due to the greatest predominance of Atlantic Forest Biome forest fragments. The smallest weighted averages per hectare were found in the central (21.2 Mg/ha), northern (20.4 Mg/ha), and northwestern (20.7 Mg/ha) regions of Minas Gerais State, where Savanna Biome fragments are predominant, in the phytophysiognomes Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna. PMID:26066508

  15. Potential of the Thermal Infrared Wavelength Region to predict semi-arid Soil Surface Properties for Remote Sensing Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisele, Andreas; Chabrillat, Sabine; Lau, Ian; Hecker, Christoph; Hewson, Robert; Carter, Dan; Wheaton, Buddy; Ong, Cindy; Cudahy, Thomas John; Kaufmann, Hermann

    2014-05-01

    Digital soil mapping with the means of passive remote sensing basically relies on the soils' spectral characteristics and an appropriate atmospheric window, where electromagnetic radiation transmits without significant attenuation. Traditionally the atmospheric window in the solar-reflective wavelength region (visible, VIS: 0.4 - 0.7 μm; near infrared, NIR: 0.7 - 1.1 μm; shortwave infrared, SWIR: 1.1 - 2.5 μm) has been used to quantify soil surface properties. However, spectral characteristics of semi-arid soils, typically have a coarse quartz rich texture and iron coatings that can limit the prediction of soil surface properties. In this study we investigated the potential of the atmospheric window in the thermal wavelength region (long wave infrared, LWIR: 8 - 14 μm) to predict soil surface properties such as the grain size distribution (texture) and the organic carbon content (SOC) for coarse-textured soils from the Australian wheat belt region. This region suffers soil loss due to wind erosion processes and large scale monitoring techniques, such as remote sensing, is urgently required to observe the dynamic changes of such soil properties. The coarse textured sandy soils of the investigated area require methods, which can measure the special spectral response of the quartz dominated mineralogy with iron oxide enriched grain coatings. By comparison, the spectroscopy using the solar-reflective region has limitations to discriminate such arid soil mineralogy and associated coatings. Such monitoring is important for observing potential desertification trends associated with coarsening of topsoil texture and reduction in SOC. In this laboratory study we identified the relevant LWIR wavelengths to predict these soil surface properties. The results showed the ability of multivariate analyses methods (PLSR) to predict these soil properties from the soil's spectral signature, where the texture parameters (clay and sand content) could be predicted well in the models

  16. A Two-source Energy Balance Model for estimating evapotranspiration over an olive orchard in a semi-arid region of Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ezzahar, Jamal; Chehbouni, Abdelghani; Er-Raki, Salah; Aouade, Ghizlane; Khabba, Said; Merlin, Olivier; Boulet, Gilles; Jarlan, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions, about 85% of the available water is used for irrigated agriculture, and therefore a sound and efficient irrigation practice is an important step towards achieving sustainable management of water resources in these regions. In this regard, a better understanding of the water balance is essential for exploring water-saving techniques. One of the most important components of the water balance in semi-arid areas is the evapotranspiration (ET). Therefore, a precise estimation evapotranspiration is of crucial importance for agricultural water management. In this work, a two source energy balance model (TSEB) is used to estimate ET over an irrigated olive orchard located near located near to the Marrakech city (Centre of Morocco). In addition to its simplicity, TSEB does not require a large number of input parameters that are not readily available. Evapotranspiration and micrometeorological parameters were continuously measured during the year 2003 in order to evaluate the performance of TSEB estimates. The comparison between daily estimated and measured evapotranspiration yielded a good agreement although the complexity of the study surface with a correlation coefficient of 0.78 and a root mean square of 61.9wm-².

  17. Co-occurrence of arsenic and fluoride in groundwater of semi-arid regions in Latin America: genesis, mobility and remediation.

    PubMed

    Alarcón-Herrera, María Teresa; Bundschuh, Jochen; Nath, Bibhash; Nicolli, Hugo B; Gutierrez, Melida; Reyes-Gomez, Victor M; Nuñez, Daniel; Martín-Dominguez, Ignacio R; Sracek, Ondra

    2013-11-15

    Several million people around the world are currently exposed to excessive amounts of arsenic (As) and fluoride (F) in their drinking water. Although the individual toxic effects of As and F have been analyzed, there are few studies addressing their co-occurrences and water treatment options. Several studies conducted in arid and semi-arid regions of Latin America show that the co-occurrences of As and F in drinking water are linked to the volcaniclastic particles in the loess or alluvium, alkaline pH, and limited recharge. The As and F contamination results from water-rock interactions and may be accelerated by geothermal and mining activities, as well as by aquifer over-exploitation. These types of contamination are particularly pronounced in arid and semi-arid regions, where high As concentrations often show a direct relationship with high F concentrations. Enrichment of F is generally related to fluorite dissolution and it is also associated with high Cl, Br, and V concentrations. The methods of As and F removal, such as chemical precipitation followed by filtration and reverse osmosis, are currently being used at different scales and scenarios in Latin America. Although such technologies are available in Latin America, it is still urgent to develop technologies and methods capable of monitoring and removing both of these contaminants simultaneously from drinking water, with a particular focus towards small-scale rural operations. PMID:22920686

  18. An Overview of the Land Surface Processes Experiment (Laspex) over a Semi-Arid Region of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vernekar, K.G.; Sinha, S.; Sadani, L.K.; Sivaramakrishnan, S.; Parasnis, S.S.; Mohan, Brij; Dharmaraj, S.; Patil, M.N.; Pillai, J.S.; Murthy, B.S.; Debaje, S.B.; Bagavathsingh, A.

    To understand and quantify the land-surface-vegetation interactionwith the atmospheric boundary layer, and validate or improve upon the existing surfaceflux parameterization schemes in various weather forecast models, a LAnd SurfaceProcesses EXperiment (LASPEX), was designed and executed in the semi-arid regionof Gujarat, India during January 1997-December 1998. Micrometeorological tower observations,soil and vegetation parameters, radiation, turbulence and upper airobservations were taken continuously for two years at five sites, separated by about60-100 km from each other. Towers of 9 m height with instruments at four levels wereinstalled at sites that are agricultural fields and characterized with a variety of soilproperties, vegetation and diverse crops. An overview of the experiment is presented.Some results, such as the seasonal variation of surface energy balance and turbulence statistics,are discussed.

  19. Comparison Of Multi-Frequency SAR Land Cover Signatures For Multi-Site Semi-Arid Regions Of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spies, Bernard; Lamb, Alistair; Brown, Sarah, Balzter, Heiko; Fisher, Peter

    2013-12-01

    This study shows the analysis and comparison of different SAR backscatter signatures (σ0 distributions) for distinguishable land cover types over two semi-arid test sites in Africa. The two sites that were chosen are located in Tanzania and Chad, where existing multi- frequency data was available from the different synthetic aperture radar (SAR) archives. Images were grouped into wet and dry season for the Tanzania site, whereas only dry season imagery was available for the Chad site. An IsoData unsupervised classification was applied on all three sets of images to classify seven land cover classes. Random samples were taken from each of the classes, resulting in σ0 distributions for the different classes for each site. These SAR land cover signatures are interpreted and discussed, with further steps identified.

  20. Water Quality and Toxic Element Effects on Isohumic Soil Properties and Crops in Semi-arid Regions.

    PubMed

    Azouzi, Rim; Charef, Abdelkrim; Ayed, Lamia

    2015-06-01

    Treated wastewater (TWW) and freshwater used separately or within the same agricultural soil is a key element in soil parameter evolution, soil-plant pollution and crop yields. The long-term application of TWW increased CaCO3, P, N, K, TOC, metal contents, pH and salinity in isohumic soil in semi-arid and arid climates. Also, it was found that using freshwater after TWW within the same land leached soil compounds and pollutants. Consequently, a clear decline of salinity, pH, macronutrient and pollutant concentrations occured. Therefore, the economic profitability in topsoil decreased. TWW contributed to crop production increase, despite high fertilizer and metal concentrations in TWW and soil. Also, no toxic metal trace was detected in cultivated plants despite soil pollution. Occasional rainwater removed the stable part of fertilizers in topsoil and slightly improved plant development. PMID:25661007

  1. Potential of Carbon Sequestration as Soil Carbonate in Arid and Semi-arid Region of North China: Impacts of Land Use Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Wang, J.; Li, X.; Guo, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Soil carbonate (SIC) exceeds organic carbon (SOC) greatly in (semi-)arid lands, thus may be important for carbon sequestration. However, field data for studying SIC dynamics and quantifying SIC accumulation have been lacking. This paper consists of two parts. We first present our recent findings of SIC accumulation in the croplands of north China (Wang et al., 2014; 2015). We then report a meta-analysis of field based SIC data from 745 soil profiles in China. Our recent findings were based on two sets of data: >100 soil samples recently collected from the Yanqi Basin of central Xinjiang and ~200 archived soil samples from four long-term experiment (LTE) sites in the north China. Our study showed that intensive cropping in the arid and semi-arid region leaded to a greater increase in SIC than in SOC; organic amendments enhanced SIC accumulation in the cropland of north China. Our meta-analysis shows that despite a large variation of SIC stock (5-42 kg C m-2), SIC storage in agricultural soils is generally higher relative to non-agricultural soils. We provide assessment how land use change may affect SIC storage in north China.

  2. Soil temperature investigations using satellite acquired thermal-infrared data in semi-arid regions. Thesis. Final Report; [Utah

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Day, R. L.; Petersen, G. W.

    1983-01-01

    Thermal-infrared data from the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission satellite were used to map the spatial distribution of diurnal surface temperatures and to estimate mean annual soil temperatures (MAST) and annual surface temperature amplitudes (AMP) in semi-arid east central Utah. Diurnal data with minimal snow and cloud cover were selected for five dates throughout a yearly period and geometrically co-registered. Rubber-sheet stretching was aided by the WARP program which allowed preview of image transformations. Daytime maximum and nighttime minimum temperatures were averaged to generation average daily temperature (ADT) data set for each of the five dates. Five ADT values for each pixel were used to fit a sine curve describing the theoretical annual surface temperature response as defined by a solution of a one-dimensinal heat flow equation. Linearization of the equation produced estimates of MAST and AMP plus associated confidence statistics. MAST values were grouped into classes and displayed on a color video screen. Diurnal surface temperatures and MAST were primarily correlated with elevation.

  3. Future Water Management in the South Platte River Basin: Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing, Population, Agriculture, and Climate Change in a Semi-Arid Region.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, E. L.; Hogue, T. S.; Anderson, A. M.; Read, L.

    2015-12-01

    In semi-arid basins across the world, the gap between water supply and demand is growing due to climate change, population growth, and shifts in agriculture and unconventional energy development. Water conservation efforts among residential and industrial water users, recycling and reuse techniques and innovative regulatory frameworks for water management strive to mitigate this gap, however, the extent of these strategies are often difficult to quantify and not included in modeling water allocations. Decision support systems (DSS) are purposeful for supporting water managers in making informed decisions when competing demands create the need to optimize water allocation between sectors. One region of particular interest is the semi-arid region of the South Platte River basin in northeastern Colorado, where anthropogenic and climatic effects are expected to increase the gap between water supply and demand in the near future. Specifically, water use in the South Platte is impacted by several high-intensity activities, including unconventional energy development, i.e. hydraulic fracturing, and large withdrawals for agriculture; these demands are in addition to a projected population increase of 100% by 2050. The current work describes the development of a DSS for the South Platte River basin, using the Water Evaluation and Planning system software (WEAP) to explore scenarios of how variation in future water use in the energy, agriculture, and municipal sectors will impact water allocation decisions. Detailed data collected on oil and gas water use in the Niobrara shale play will be utilized to predict future sector use. We also employ downscaled climate projections for the region to quantify the potential range of water availability in the basin under each scenario, and observe whether or not, and to what extent, climate may impact management decisions at the basin level.

  4. Modelling forest lines and forest distribution patterns with remote sensing data in a mountainous region of semi-arid Central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinge, M.; Böhner, J.; Erasmi, S.

    2014-10-01

    Satellite images and digital elevation models provide an excellent database to analyse forest distribution patterns and forest limits in the mountain regions of semi-arid Central Asia at the regional scale. For the investigation area in the northern Tien Shan a strong relation between forest distribution and climate conditions could be found. Additionally areas of potential human impact on forested areas are identified at lower elevations near the mountain border based on an analysis of the differences of climatic preconditions and present occurrence of forest stands. The distribution of spruce (Picea schrenkiana) forests is hydrologically limited by a minimum annual precipitation of 250 mm and thermally by a minimum monthly mean temperature of 5 °C during the growing season. While the actual lower forest limit increases from 1600 m a.s.l. in the northwest to 2600 m a.s.l. in the southeast, the upper forest limit takes the same course from 1800 to 2900 m a.s.l. In accordance with the main wind directions, the steepest gradient of both forest lines and the greatest local vertical extent of the forest belt of 500 to 600 m and maximum 900 m occur at the northern and western mountain fronts. The forests in the investigation area are strongly restricted to north facing-slopes, which is a common feature in semi-arid Central Asia. Based on the presumption that variations in local climate conditions are a function of topography, the potential forest extent was analysed with regard to the parameters slope, aspect, solar radiation input and elevation. All four parameters showed a strong relationship to forest distribution, yielding a total potential forest area that is 3.5 times larger than the present forest remains of 502 km2.

  5. Ectoparasite Infestations and Canine Infection by Rickettsiae and Ehrlichiae in a Semi-Arid Region of Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Araes-Santos, Ana Isabel; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Peixoto, Renata M; Spolidorio, Mariana G; Azevedo, Sérgio S; Costa, Mateus M; Labruna, Marcelo B; Horta, Mauricio C

    2015-11-01

    This study investigated the prevalence of Rickettsia spp. and Ehrlichia canis infection in dogs and their ectoparasites from rural and urban areas of two municipalities, Petrolina and Juazeiro, within a semiarid region (Caatinga biome) of northeastern Brazil, by immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Overall, 12.1% (61/504) and 23.0% (116/504) of canine plasma samples had antibodies reactive to Rickettsia spp. and E. canis. E. canis DNA was detected by PCR in 8.3% (42/504) of canine blood samples, whereas no blood sample was positive for Rickettsia spp. The infection by E. canis was determined by PCR in 4.9% (14/285) Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (s.l.) ticks and by Rickettsia felis in 1.1% (3/285) and 40.6% (74/182) ticks and fleas, respectively. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that canine seropositivity to Rickettsia spp. was associated statistically with the variables "to reside in Petrolina" and "presence of ectoparasites." Our results indicate that canine infection by E. canis might be endemic in the Caatinga biome as it is in other Brazilian biomes. Although no previous serosurvey for Rickettsia spp. has been conducted on dogs from the Caatinga biome, our values are much lower than the ones reported for rural dogs from other Brazilian biomes. These differences are likely related to the semiarid climate of the aatinga biome, which minimizes the exposure of rural dogs to Amblyomma spp. ticks, the most common vectors of Rickettsia spp. in Brazil. Considering that dogs are excellent sentinels for human exposure to Rickettsia spp., we can infer that the risks of human acquiring tick-borne rickettsiosis in the Caatinga region of the present study are low. The rickettsial infection rates in fleas and ticks were not related to canine seropositivity; i.e., areas with higher Rickettsia infection rates in fleas had the lowest canine seroreactivity to Rickettsia spp. PMID:26565771

  6. Joint meteorological and hydrological drought model: a management tool for proactive water resources planning of semi-arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modaresi Rad, Arash; Ahmadi Ardakani, Samira; Ghahremani, Zahra; Ghahreman, Bijan; Khalili, Davar

    2016-04-01

    Conventionally drought analysis has been limited to single drought category. Utilization of models incorporating multiple drought categories, can relax this limitation. A copula-based model is proposed, which uses meteorological and hydrological drought indices to assess drought events for ultimate management of water resources, at small scales, i.e., sub-watersheds. The study area is a sub basin located at Karkheh watershed (western Iran), utilizing 41-year data of 4 raingauge stations and one hydrometric station located upstream and at the outlet respectively. Prior to drought analysis, time series of precipitation and streamflow records are investigated for possible dependency/significant trend. Considering the semi-arid nature of the study area, boxplots are utilized to graphically capture the rainy months, which used to evaluate the degree of correlation between streamflow and precipitation records via nonparametric correlations and bivariate tail dependence. Time scales of 3- and 12-month are considered, which are used to study vulnerability of early vegetation establishment and long-term ecosystem resilience, respectively. Among four common goodness of fit tests, the Cramér-von-Mises is found preferable for defining copula distribution functions through Akaike & Bayesian information criteria and coefficient of determination. Furthermore the uncertainty associated with different copula models is measured using the concept of entropy. A new bivariate drought modeling approach is proposed through copulas. The proposed index, named standardized precipitation-streamflow index (SPSI) is compared with two separate indices of streamflow drought index (SDI) and standardized precipitation index (SPI). According to results, the SPSI could detect onset of droughts dominated by precipitation as is similarly indicated by SPI index. It also captures discordant case of normal period precipitation with dry period streamflow and vice versa. Finally, combination of severity

  7. Determination of unit nutrient loads for different land uses in wet periods through modelling and optimization for a semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Özcan, Zeynep; Kentel, Elçin; Alp, Emre

    2016-09-01

    Diffuse pollution abatement has been a challenge for decision-makers because of the intermittent nature and difficulty of identifying impacts of non-point sources. Depending on the degree of complexity of the system processes and constraints related to time, budget and human resources, variety of tools are used in diffuse pollution management. Decision-makers prefer to use rough estimates that require limited time and budget, in the preliminary assessment of diffuse pollution. The unit pollution load method which is based on the pollution generation rate per unit area and time for a given land use can aid decision-makers in the preliminary assessment of diffuse pollution. In this study, a deterministic distributed watershed model, SWAT is used together with nonlinear optimization models to estimate unit nutrient pollution loads during wet periods for different land use classes for the semi-arid Lake Mogan watershed that is dominated by agricultural activities. Extensive data sets including in-stream water quality and flowrate measurements, meteorological data, land use/land cover (LULC) map developed using remote sensing algorithms, information about agricultural activities, and soil data are used to calibrate and verify the hydraulic and water quality components of SWAT model. Results show that the unit total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) loads (0.46 kg TN/ha/yr and 0.07 kg TP/ha/yr) generated from the watershed during wet periods are very close to the minimum values of the loads specified in the literature and highly depend on the variations in rainfall. Estimated unit nutrient loads both at watershed scale and for different land use classes can be used to assess diffuse pollution control measures for similar regions with semi-arid conditions and heavy agricultural activity.

  8. Detecting and quantifying the extent of desertification and its impact in the semi-arid Sub-Saharan Africa: A case study of the Upper East Region, Ghana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owusu, Alex B.

    The semi-arid Sub-Saharan region of Africa is in a state of permanent instability at a variety of spatio-temporal momentum. Efforts at sustaining and managing this fragile but all-important ecosystem and its processes require collecting, storing and analyzing multispatial and temporal data that are accurate and continuously updated in terms of changes (degradation), types and magnitude of change. Remote sensing techniques based on multispectral satellite-acquired data (AVHRR, Landsat TM and ETM+) have demonstrated an immense potential as a means to detect, quantify, monitor and map these changes. However, much of what satellite sensors can detect and capture, especially in the form of vegetation index (NDVI), do not tell the entire story about land degradation. This research used multispectral remote sensing data from three sensors (AVHRR, Landsat TM, and ETM+ and IKONOS) to detect and quantify the spatio-temporal land degradation (desertification) to validate the local observation and perception of desertification. The study also analyzes data on crop production in search of evidence proving or disproving degradation in the semi-arid sahel-sudan savannah transitional vegetation zone of the UER, Ghana. Multispectral satellite-acquired NDVI, from AVHRR, Landsat TM & ETM+, show that vegetation greenness is on the ascendancy, although there are pockets (localized degradation) signs of severe land degradation; field evidence suggests that the increasing NDVI is caused by vegetation succession where locally adapted horsetail grasses have been displaced by environmentally efficient, short-lived, quick maturing and dense grasses due to excessive burning, rapid population growth and inappropriate development policies. Local people's perceptions, supported by crop production data, suggest extensive land degradation. Other evidence includes food insecurity, diseases, rainfall variability and land extensification to marginal lands. Convergence of evidence suggests that

  9. Application of Dempster-Shafer theory, spatial analysis and remote sensing for groundwater potentiality and nitrate pollution analysis in the semi-arid region of Khuzestan, Iran.

    PubMed

    Rahmati, Omid; Melesse, Assefa M

    2016-10-15

    Effective management and sustainable development of groundwater resources of arid and semi-arid environments require monitoring of groundwater quality and quantity. The aim of this paper is to develop a reasonable methodological framework for producing the suitability map for drinking water through the geographic information system, remote sensing and field surveys of the Andimeshk-Dezful, Khozestan province, Iran as a semi-arid region. This study investigated the delineation of groundwater potential zone based on Dempster-Shafer (DS) theory of evidence and evaluate its applicability for groundwater potentiality mapping. The study also analyzed the spatial distribution of groundwater nitrate concentration; and produced the suitability map for drinking water. The study has been carried out with the following steps: i) creation of maps of groundwater conditioning factors; ii) assessment of groundwater occurrence characteristics; iii) creation of groundwater potentiality map (GPM) and model validation; iv) collection and chemical analysis of water samples; v) assessment of groundwater nitrate pollution; and vi) creation of groundwater potentiality and quality map. The performance of the DS was also evaluated using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve method and pumping test data to ensure its generalization ability, which eventually, the GPM showed 87.76% accuracy. The detailed analysis of groundwater potentiality and quality revealed that the 'non acceptable' areas covers an area of about 1479km(2) (60%). The study will provide significant information for groundwater management and exploitation in areas where groundwater is a major source of water and its exploration is critical to support drinking water need. PMID:27358196

  10. Mapping of bare soil surface parameters from TerraSAR-X radar images over a semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorrab, A.; Zribi, M.; Baghdadi, N.; Lili Chabaane, Z.

    2015-10-01

    The goal of this paper is to analyze the sensitivity of X-band SAR (TerraSAR-X) signals as a function of different physical bare soil parameters (soil moisture, soil roughness), and to demonstrate that it is possible to estimate of both soil moisture and texture from the same experimental campaign, using a single radar signal configuration (one incidence angle, one polarization). Firstly, we analyzed statistically the relationships between X-band SAR (TerraSAR-X) backscattering signals function of soil moisture and different roughness parameters (the root mean square height Hrms, the Zs parameter and the Zg parameter) at HH polarization and for an incidence angle about 36°, over a semi-arid site in Tunisia (North Africa). Results have shown a high sensitivity of real radar data to the two soil parameters: roughness and moisture. A linear relationship is obtained between volumetric soil moisture and radar signal. A logarithmic correlation is observed between backscattering coefficient and all roughness parameters. The highest dynamic sensitivity is obtained with Zg parameter. Then, we proposed to retrieve of both soil moisture and texture using these multi-temporal X-band SAR images. Our approach is based on the change detection method and combines the seven radar images with different continuous thetaprobe measurements. To estimate soil moisture from X-band SAR data, we analyzed statistically the sensitivity between radar measurements and ground soil moisture derived from permanent thetaprobe stations. Our approaches are applied over bare soil class identified from an optical image SPOT / HRV acquired in the same period of measurements. Results have shown linear relationship for the radar signals as a function of volumetric soil moisture with high sensitivity about 0.21 dB/vol%. For estimation of change in soil moisture, we considered two options: (1) roughness variations during the three-month radar acquisition campaigns were not accounted for; (2) a simple

  11. Hydrological Connectivity and Science and Policy Integration Issues for Aquatic Resource Jurisdictional Determinations in a Semi-Arid Region of the Western U.S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caruso, B. S.

    2012-12-01

    Rivers and streams are becoming increasingly stressed and degraded, and wetlands lost, due to human development and associated management policies and actions that are generally ineffective for aquatic resources protection and restoration. In the semi-arid western U.S., these issues are more severe due to the limited quantity of water and aquatic resources, the magnified role of their ecological services in drier landscapes, and increasing impacts from urbanization and energy development. However, a significant disconnect between policy and science exists that leads to continued degradation of surface waters. Supreme Court decisions and joint Federal agency guidance for determining jurisdiction as 'waters of the US' that can be protected under Clean Water Act Section 404 (permitting discharge of dredged and fill materials into wetlands and other waters) are good examples of this disconnect. The hydrological and ecological connectivity of intermittent and ephemeral streams and wetlands with downstream navigable waters is a critical issue that must be evaluated to determine jurisdiction, but this can be a complex endeavour in semi-arid regions. The hydrological connectivity and key science and policy integration issues for stream and wetland jurisdictional determinations (JDs) were evaluated for a semi-arid region of the western U.S. (Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] Region 8), including much of the Rocky Mountains, Great Plains and Colorado Plateau. The key scientific approaches recommended in the agency guidance were analyzed in detail. An evaluation was performed of a sample of JDs reviewed by EPA Region 8 and their outcomes in terms of aquatic resources that were considered non-jurisdictional. An analysis of stream types and characteristics across the region using available digital spatial analysis tools was performed. A subset of finalized JDs issued by COE was reviewed to analyze the scientific information used to evaluate connectivity to downstream waters

  12. Aiming towards improved flood forecasting: Identification of an adequate model structure for a semi-arid and data-scarce region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilz, Tobias; Francke, Till; Bronstert, Axel

    2015-04-01

    A lot of effort has already been put into the development of forecasting systems to warn people of approaching flood events. Such systems, however, are influenced by various sources of uncertainty which constrain the skill of forecasts. The main goal of this study is the identification, quantification and reduction of uncertainties to provide improved early warnings with adequate lead times in a data-scarce region with strong seasonality of the hydrological regime. This includes the setup of hydrological models and post-processing of simulation results by mathematical means such as data assimilation. The focus area is the Jaguaribe watershed in northeastern Brazil. The region is characterized by a seasonal climate with strong inter-annual variation and recurrent droughts. To ensure a secure water supply also during the dry season several thousand small and some large reservoirs have been constructed. On the other hand, floods caused by heavy rain events are an issue as well. This topic, however, so far has hardly been considered by the scientific community and until today no flood forecasting system exists for that region. To identify the most appropriate model structure for the catchment the process-based hydrological model for semi-arid environments WASA was implemented into the eco-hydrological simulation environment ECHSE. The environment consists of a generic part providing data types and simulation methods, and a problem-specific part where the user can implement different model formulations. This provides the possibility to test various process realisations under consistent input and output data structures. The most appropriate model structure can then be determined by statistical means such as Bayesian model averaging. Subsequently, forecast results may be updated by post-processing and/or data assimilation. Furthermore, methods of data fusion can be used to combine measurements of different quality and resolution, such as in-situ and remotely sensed data

  13. Analysis of drought events in a North Africa semi-arid region, Using SPOT-VEGETATION and C band scatterometer satellite Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zribi, M.; Amri, R.; Lili-Chabaane, Z.; Wagner, W.; Hasenauer, S.; Duchemin, B.; Boulet, G.; Mougenot, B.

    2012-04-01

    In semi-arid regions, and northern Africa in particular, the scarcity of rainfall and the occurrence of long periods of drought, represent one of the main environmental factors having a negative effect on agricultural productivity. This is the case in Central Tunisia, where the monitoring of agricultural and water resources is of prime importance. Vegetation cover and soil moisture are key parameters in this objective. Remote sensing has shown in the last decades a high potential to estimate these surface parameters. This study is based on two satellite products: SPOT-VEGETATION NDVI data and ERS and ASCAT/METOP moisture products proposed by Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) (Wagner et al., 1999). A validation of soil moisture products is realized over the studied site using ground measurements (Thetaprobe continuous measurements), inter-comparison with other satellite products and precipitation levels. Based on long time series of satellite products, two anomaly indices have been proposed. In order to estimate the state of stress of the vegetation cover, an index referred to as the Vegetation Anomaly Index (VAI) is proposed from SPOT-VGT time series. A positive VAI indicates good vegetation dynamics, whereas a negative VAI indicates the presence of vegetation stress. This index is highly correlated to precipitation, and is found to have a maximum correlation with the 4-month cumulative precipitation (CP3). The VAI index can be operationally applied in order to estimate quantitatively the effect of drought on vegetation cover. Based on SWI (Soil Water Index) products, representing root-zone soil moisture content in the first meter of the soil, we propose a simple Moisture Anomaly Index, which can provide a quantitative visualization of drought periods. This index is compared with and validated, using the SPI precipitation index. A high degree of correlation is observed between the two indices. The Moisture Anomaly Index could be a very useful tool in

  14. Seasonal characterization of CDOM for lakes in semi-arid regions of Northeast China using excitation-emission matrices fluorescence and parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Y.; Song, K.; Wen, Z.; Li, L.; Zang, S.; Shao, T.; Li, S.; Du, J.

    2015-04-01

    The seasonal characteristics of fluorescence components in CDOM for lakes in the semi-arid region of Northeast China were examined by excitation-emission matrices fluorescence and parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC). Two humic-like peaks C1 (Ex/Em = 230, 300/425 nm) and C2 (Ex/Em = 255, 350/460 nm) and two protein-like B (Ex/Em = 220, 275/320 nm) and T (Ex/Em = 225, 290/360 nm) peaks were identified using PARAFAC. The average fluorescence intensity of the four components differed with seasonal variation from June and August 2013 to February and April 2014. The total fluorescence intensity significantly varied from 2.54 ± 0.68 nm-1 in June to the mean value 1.93 ± 0.70 nm-1 in August 2013, and then increased to 2.34 ± 0.92 nm-1 in February and reduced to the lowest 1.57 ± 0.55 nm-1 in April 2014. In general, the fluorescence intensity was dominated by peak C1, indicating that most part of CDOM for inland waters being investigated in this study was originated from phytoplankton degradation. The lowest C2 represents only a small portion of CDOM from terrestrial imported organic matter to water bodies through rainwash and soil leaching. The two protein-like intensities (B and T) formed in situ through microbial activity have almost the same intensity. Especially, in August 2013 and February 2014, the two protein-like peaks showed obviously difference from other seasons and the highest C1 (1.02 nm-1) was present in February 2014. Components 1 and 2 exhibited strong linear correlation (R2 = 0.633). There were significantly positive linear relationships between CDOM absorption coefficients a(254) (R2 = 0.72, 0.46, p < 0.01), a(280) (R2 = 0.77, 0.47, p < 0.01), a(350) (R2 = 0.76, 0.78, p < 0.01) and Fmax for two humic-like components (C1 and C2), respectively. A close relationship (R2 = 0.931) was found between salinity and DOC. However, almost no obvious correlation was found between salinity and EEM-PARAFAC extracted components except for C3 (R2 = 0.469). Results

  15. The effect of vegetation and beaver dams on geomorphic recovery rates of incised streams in the semi-arid regions of the Columbia River basin, USA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollock, M.; Beechie, T.; Jordan, C.

    2005-05-01

    Channel incision is a common occurrence in semi-arid regions of the Columbia River basin and throughout the world, where a fragile balance between climate, vegetation and geology makes channels susceptible to changes in hillslope erosion, stream discharge and sediment yield. Incision is defined as a rapid downcutting and lowering of the stream bed such that it reduces the frequency and duration of flooding onto the adjacent floodplain. We are studying the feasibility of restoring incised streams throughout the interior Columbia River basin. We hypothesize that under proper land use management, it is possible for them to aggrade such that they reconnect to their former floodplains within relatively short time frames. Theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that over decadal time scales, changes to land management that excludes grazing and allows riparian vegetation to become established can cause significant fill within the incised valleys. Preliminary modeling suggests that factors most affecting the length of time for an incised valley to completely aggrade and reconnect to its pre-incision floodplain are the depth of the incision, sediment production in the watershed, the amount and type of riparian vegetation, and the extent of beaver dam construction. While most natural resource and fisheries managers are aware of widespread incision throughout the Columbia River basin, the extent of incision within the range of the Pacific salmon is largely undocumented. However, we do know many incised streams that historically supported salmon no longer do so, and that habitat conditions are severely degraded in these incised streams. The historical record shows that numerous salmon-bearing streams in the semi-arid region of the interior Columbia River basin once contained narrow and deep, slowly meandering channels lined with cottonwoods, willows and/or sedges, contained numerous beaver dams, contained abundant and easily accessible off-channel habitat on the floodplain

  16. Integrated Surface and Ground Water modeling of a tank cascaded sub basin using physically based model in a semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilampooranan, I.; Muthiah, K.; Athikesavan, R.

    2013-05-01

    Hydrological Modeling of tank (small reservoirs) cascaded sub-basin of a semi-arid region is a complex process. Physically based approach can simulate the various processes in surface, unsaturated and saturated ground water zones of such sub basin in an integrated manner. The objectives of the study are (i) to characterize the study area to replicate the physical conditions of surface and saturated zones (ii) to carryout overland flow routing of a tank cascaded basin using physically based modular approach (iii) To simulate the ground water levels in the unconfined aquifer (iv) to study the surface and groundwater dynamics on incorporation of tank cascades in the integrated model. An integrated, physically based model MIKE 11 & MIKE SHE was applied to study the hydrological processes of a tank cascaded semi-arid basin in which flow through tanks were modeled using MIKE 11 and coupled with MIKE SHE in-order to best represent the surface water dynamics in a distributed manner. Sindapalli Uppodai sub-basin, Southern Tamilnadu, India is chosen as study area. There are 15 tanks connected in series forming a tank cascade. Other tanks and depressions in the sub basin are also considered for the study and their effectiveness were analysed. DEM was obtained from SRTM data. The maps such as drainage network, land use and soil are prepared. Soil sampling was carried out. The time series data of rainfall and climate parameters are given as input. The characterization of unconfined aquifer formation was done by Geo-Resistivity survey. 71 observation and pumping wells are monitored within and periphery of sub basin which are used for calibration of the model. The flow routing over the land is done by MIKE SHE's Overland Flow Module, using the diffusive wave approximation of the Saint Venant equation. The hydrograph of routed runoff from the tank cascaded catchment was obtained. The spatial and temporal variation of hydraulic head of the saturated ground water zone is simulated

  17. Water and Carbon Fluxes in a Semi-Arid Region Floodplain: Multiple Approaches to Constrain Estimates of Seasonal- and Depth Dependent Fluxes at Rifle, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokunaga, T. K.; Wan, J.; Dong, W.; Kim, Y.; Williams, K. H.; Conrad, M. E.; Christensen, J. N.; Bill, M.; Faybishenko, B.; Hobson, C.; Dayvault, R.; Long, P. E.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2014-12-01

    The importance of floodplains as links between watersheds and rivers highlights the need to understand water and carbon fluxes within floodplain profiles, from their surface soil, through the vadose zone and underlying groundwater. Here, we present results of field and laboratory measurements conducted to quantify fluxes at a remediated uranium/vanadium mill tailings site on a floodplain at Rifle, Colorado. This semi-arid site has a vegetated, locally derived fill soil that replaced the original milling-contaminated soil to a depth of about 1.5 m. The fill soil overlies about 4.5 m of native sandy and cobbly alluvium containing the shallow aquifer. The aquifer generally drains into the Colorado River and is underlain by low permeability Wasatch Formation shale. Within this system, key issues being investigated include water and carbon fluxes between the vadose zone and aquifer, and CO2 fluxes through the vadose zone soil out to the atmosphere. Magnitudes of these fluxes are typically low, thus challenging to measure, yet increasingly important to quantify given the expansion of arid and semi-arid regions under changing climate. The results of field investigations demonstrated that the annual water table rise and fall are driven by snowmelt runoff into the Colorado River in late spring to early summer. Tensiometer data indicate that net recharge from the deeper part of the vadose zone into groundwater occurs later in summer, after water table decline. The effectiveness of summer evapotranspiration in limiting groundwater recharge is reflected in water potentials decreasing to as low as -3 MPa within the upper 1.5 m of the vadose zone. Examination of the historical precipitation record further indicates that net recharge only occurs in years with above-average precipitation during winter and spring. These short intervals of net recharge also facilitate C transport into groundwater because of higher organic C concentrations in the vadose zone. Fluxes of CO2 measured

  18. Screening of efficient arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi for Azadirachta indica under nursery condition: A step towards afforestation of semi-arid region of western India

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, K.; Gadani, M.H.; Srivastava, K.K.; Verma, Neelam; Jasrai, Y.T.; Jain, N.K.

    2013-01-01

    To optimize nursery practices for efficient plant production procedures and to keep up to the ever growing demand of seedlings, identification of the most suitable species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), specific for a given tree species, is clearly a necessary task. Sixty days old seedlings of Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) raised in root trainers were inoculated with six species of AMF and a mixed inoculum (consortia) and kept in green house. Performances of the treatments on this tree species were evaluated in terms of growth parameters like plant height shoot collar diameter, biomass and phosphorous uptake capabilities. Significant and varied increase in the growth parameters and phosphorous uptake was observed for most of the AMF species against control. Consortia culture was found to be the best suited AMF treatment for A. indica, while Glomus intraradices and Glomus mosseae were the best performing single species cultures. It is the first time in the state of Gujarat that a wide variety of AMF species, isolated from the typical semi-arid region of western India, were tested for the best growth performance with one of the most important tree species for the concerned region. PMID:24294258

  19. Estimation of Time Variant Water Availability and Irrigation Potential of Small Ponds in a Semi-arid Region of Rajasthan, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Shakir

    2016-03-01

    A field experiment was conducted to assess water availability and irrigation potential of two small, shallow and Ephemeral ponds located in a small watershed of the semi-arid region of Rajasthan, India. The Holistic Water Depth Simulation (HWDS) model was employed for estimating the pond water availability with 3 years field data (2006-2008). The analysis revealed that the value of depth of water in the selected ponds predicted by the HWDS model had closed match to the field data. The index of agreement between measured and predicted values of depth of water in the selected ponds was found to be ranged from 0.93 to 0.94 for the pool data sets. The F and Student's T test between measured and predicted values revealed that model estimates were not statistically different from measured values at 0.01 % level of significance. Analysis revealed that mean pond volumetric water availability for the selected ponds ranged from 1448 to 5001 m3 during the study period. During the off monsoon seasons, water availability period was varied between 35 and 78 days with a mean of 61 days. Analyses revealed that water availability in the selected ponds lasted at least 48-61 days. The off monsoon season irrigation potential of ponds with one and two irrigations for the rainfed crops at critical growth stage in the region was estimated to be 12.6 and 6.3 ha, respectively.

  20. Remotely-Sensed Regional-Scale Evapotranspiration of a Semi-Arid Great Basin Desert and its Relationship to Geomorphology, Soils, and Vegetation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laymon, C.; Quattrochi, D.; Malek, E.; Hipps, L.; Boettinger, J.; McCurdy, G.

    1998-01-01

    Landsat thematic mapper data are used to estimate instantaneous regional-scale surface water and energy fluxes in a semi-arid Great Basin desert of the western United States. Results suggest that it is possible to scale from point measurements of environmental state variables to regional estimates of water and energy exchange. This research characterizes the unifying thread in the classical climate-topography-soil-vegetation relation -the surface water and energy balance-through maps of the partitioning of energy throughout the landscape. The study was conducted in Goshute Valley of northeastern Nevada, which is characteristic of most faulted graben valleys of the Basin and Range Province of the western United States. The valley comprises a central playa and lake plain bordered by alluvial fans emanating from the surrounding mountains. The distribution of evapotranspiration (ET) is lowest in the middle reaches of the fans where the water table is deep and plants are small, resulting in low evaporation and transpiration. Highest ET occurs in the center of the valley, particularly in the playa, where limited to no vegetation occurs, but evaporation is relatively high because of a shallow water table and silty clay soil capable of large capillary movement. Intermediate values of ET are associated with large shrubs and is dominated by transpiration.

  1. Remotely-Sensed Regional-Scale Evapotranspiration of a Semi-Arid Great Basin Desert and its Relationship to Geomorphology, Soils, and Vegetation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laymon, C.; Quattrochi, D.; Malek, E.; Hipps, L.; Boettinger, J.; McCurdy, G.

    1997-01-01

    Landsat Thematic Mapper data is used to estimate instantaneous regional-scale surface water and energy fluxes in a semi-arid Great Basin desert of the western United States. Results suggest that it is possible to scale from point measurements of environmental state variables to regional estimates of water and energy exchange. This research characterizes the unifying thread in the classical climate-topography-soil-vegetation relation-the surface water and energy balance-through maps of the partitioning of energy throughout the landscape. The study was conducted in Goshute Valley of northeastern Nevada, which is characteristic of most faulted graben valleys of the Basin and Range Province of the western United States. The valley comprises a central playa and lake plain bordered by alluvial fans emanating from the surrounding mountains. The distribution of evapotranspiration (ET) is lowest in the middle reaches of the fans where the water table is deep and plants are small, resulting in low evaporation and transpiration. Highest ET occurs in the center of the valley, particularly in the playa, where limited to no vegetation occurs, but evaporation is relatively high because of a shallow water table and silty clay soil capable of large capillary movement. Intermediate values of ET are associated with large shrubs and is dominated by transpiration.

  2. Evaluation of hydrological balance and its variability in arid and semi-arid regions of Eurasia from ECMWF 15 year reanalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yatagai, Akiyo

    2003-10-01

    Hydrometeorological cycles over arid and semi-arid regions in mid-latitude Eurasia (the Silk Road region) were investigated using meteorological reanalysis data for the period 1979-93, available from the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).Results show that seasonal changes of moisture balance in Turkey and central Asia, hereafter referred to as the western region, differ from those in the Taklimakan Desert and Loess Plateau, hereafter referred to as the eastern region. Here, we equate evaporation minus precipitation with the divergence field of the vertically integrated water vapour flux. In the western region, precipitation and positive convergence C of moisture primarily occurs during October-March. In contrast, the eastern region receives precipitation and has its positive C occurring during June-August. As a result, the eastern region has nearly simultaneous seasonal peaks in precipitation P and evapotranspiration E, whereas the western region has minimum P and maximum E in summer.The main annual moisture route for the Silk Road region is from the west to east; however, moisture also comes from the north in July. Over Turkey, moisture arrives from the west and south. In central Asia, however, most of the moisture comes from the west, the convergence peaks in March, and moisture from the south and west is also greater during this month. In the Loess Plateau, moisture enters from the west, the north, and the south, and exits to the east. In July, the peak precipitation and convergence season, all moisture flows are greater for the entire region, and a large influx of moisture from the south occurs during the summer season. The moisture from the south, the monsoonal flow, has a large interannual variability. Copyright

  3. [Grading of Robinia pseudoacacia and Platycladus orientalis woodland soil's water availability and productivity in semi-arid region of Loess Plateau].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guangcan; Liu, Xia; He, Kangning

    2003-06-01

    With Li-6200 photosynthesis determination system and Li-1600 steaty state poro-meter, this paper studied the responses of Robinia pseudoacacia L. and Platycladus orientalis L. leaves' net photo-synthesis rate (Pn), carboxylation efficiency (CE), transpiration rate (Tr), water use efficiency (WUEL), stomata conductance (Cs), stomata resistance (Rs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) and stomatal limitation (Ls) of Robinia pseudoacacia and Platycladus orientalis leaves to soil water content (SWC) in semi-arid region of Loess Plateau, and based on this, the soil water availability and its productivity of test woodland soils were graded and evaluated. The results showed that on Robinia pseudoacacia and Platycladus orientalis woodland, the SWC less than 4.5% and 4.0%, respectively belonged to "non-available water"; in the range of 4.5%-10.0% and 4.0%-8.5%, "low productivity and low efficiency water"; 10.0%-13.5% and 8.5%-11.0%, "middle productivity and high efficiency water"; 13.5%-17.0% and 11.0%-16.0%, "high productivity and middle efficiency water"; 17.0%-19.0% and 16.0%-19.0%, "middle productivity and low efficiency water"; and more that 19.0%, "low productivity and low efficiency water". PMID:12973983

  4. Hydraulic parameters estimation by using an approach based on vertical electrical soundings (VES) in the semi-arid Khanasser valley region, Syria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asfahani, Jamal

    2016-05-01

    A new alternative approach based on using Vertical electrical sounding (VES) technique is proposed for computing the hydraulic conductivity K of an aquifer. The approach takes only the salinity of the groundwater into consideration. VES measurements in the locations, where available water samples exist, are required in such an approach, in order to calibrate and establish empirical relationships between transverse resistance Dar-Zarrouck TR parameter and modified transverse resistance MTR, and between MTR and transmissivity T. Those relationships are thereafter used to extrapolate the transmissivity even in the VES points where no water samples exist. This approach is tested and practiced in the Khanasser valley, Northern Syria, where the hydraulic conductivity of the Quaternary aquifer is computed. An acceptable agreement is found between the hydraulic conductivity values obtained by the proposed approach and those obtained by the pumping test which range between 0.864 and 8.64 m/day (10-5 and 10-4 m/s). The Quaternary aquifer transmissivity of the Khanasser Valley, has been characterized by using this approach and by adapting the MTR parameter. The transmissivity varies between a minimum of 79 m2/day and a maximum of 814 m2/day, with an average of 283 m2/day and a standard deviation of 145 m2/day. The easy and inexpensive approach proposed in this paper can be applied in other semi arid regions.

  5. Identification of spatiotemporal patterns of biophysical droughts in semi-arid region - a case study of the Karkheh river basin in Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamali, B.; Abbaspour, K. C.; Lehmann, A.; Wehrli, B.; Yang, H.

    2015-06-01

    This study aims at identifying historical patterns of meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural (inclusively biophysical) droughts in the Karkheh River Basin (KRB), one of the nine benchmark watersheds of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. Standardized precipitation index (SPI), standardized runoff index (SRI), and soil moisture deficit index (SMDI) were used to represent the above three types of droughts, respectively. The three drought indices were compared across temporal and spatial dimensions. Variables required for calculating the indices were obtained from the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) constructed for the region. The model was calibrated based on monthly runoff and yearly wheat yield using the Sequential Uncertainty Fitting (SUFI-2) algorithm. Five meteorological drought events were identified in the studied period (1980-2004), of which four corresponded with the hydrological droughts with 1-3 month lag. The meteorological droughts corresponded well with the agricultural droughts during dry months (May-August), while the latter lasted for a longer period of time. Analysis of drought patterns showed that southern parts of the catchment were more prone to agricultural drought, while less influenced by hydrological drought. Our analyses highlighted the necessity for monitoring all three aspects of drought for a more effective watershed management. The analysis on different types of droughts in this study provides a framework for assessing their possible impacts under future climate change in semi-arid areas.

  6. The problems of overexploitation of aquifers in semi-arid areas: the Murcia Region and the Segura Basin (South-east Spain) case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Estrella, T.

    2012-05-01

    A general analysis of the problems arising from aquifer exploitation in semi-arid areas such as the Autonomous Region of Murcia, which belongs to the Segura Basin is presented, with particular reference to the Ascoy-Sopalmo aquifer, which is the most overexploited aquifer in Spain. It has suffered intense overabstraction over the last forty years, given renewable water resources of 2 Mm3 yr-1 and abstractions amounting to as much as 55 Mm3 yr-1. This has resulted in the drying of springs, continuous drawdown of water levels (5 m yr-1); piezometric drops (over 30 m in one year, as a consequence of it being a karstic aquifer); increase in pumping costs (elevating water from more than 320 m depth); abandoning of wells (45 reduced to 20), diminishing groundwater reserves, and deteriorating water quality (progressing from a mixed sodium bicarbonate-chloride facies to a sodium chloride one). This is a prime example of poor management with disastrous consequences. In this sense, a series of internal measures is proposed to alleviate the overexploitation of this aquifer and of the Segura Basin, with the aim of contributing to a sustainable future.

  7. Identifying and managing risk factors for salt-affected soils: a case study in a semi-arid region in China.

    PubMed

    Zhou, De; Xu, Jianchun; Wang, Li; Lin, Zhulu; Liu, Liming

    2015-07-01

    Soil salinization and desalinization are complex processes caused by natural conditions and human-induced risk factors. Conventional salinity risk identification and management methods have limitations in spatial data analysis and often provide an inadequate description of the problem. The objectives of this study were to identify controllable risk factors, to provide response measures, and to design management strategies for salt-affected soils. We proposed to integrate spatial autoregressive (SAR) model, multi-attribute decision making (MADM), and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) for these purposes. Our proposed method was demonstrated through a case study of managing soil salinization in a semi-arid region in China. The results clearly indicated that the SAR model is superior to the OLS model in terms of risk factor identification. These factors include groundwater salinity, paddy area, corn area, aquaculture (i.e., ponds and lakes) area, distance to drainage ditches and irrigation channels, organic fertilizer input, and cropping index, among which the factors related to human land use activities are dominant risk factors that drive the soil salinization processes. We also showed that ecological irrigation and sustainable land use are acceptable strategies for soil salinity management. PMID:26063060

  8. Hydraulic parameters estimation by using an approach based on vertical electrical soundings (VES) in the semi-arid Khanasser valley region, Syria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asfahani, Jamal

    2016-05-01

    A new alternative approach based on using Vertical electrical sounding (VES) technique is proposed for computing the hydraulic conductivity K of an aquifer. The approach takes only the salinity of the groundwater into consideration. VES measurements in the locations, where available water samples exist, are required in such an approach, in order to calibrate and establish empirical relationships between transverse resistance Dar-Zarrouck TR parameter and modified transverse resistance MTR, and between MTR and transmissivity T. Those relationships are thereafter used to extrapolate the transmissivity even in the VES points where no water samples exist. This approach is tested and practiced in the Khanasser valley, Northern Syria, where the hydraulic conductivity of the Quaternary aquifer is computed. An acceptable agreement is found between the hydraulic conductivity values obtained by the proposed approach and those obtained by the pumping test which range between 0.864 and 8.64 m/day (10-5 and 10-4 m/s). The Quaternary aquifer transmissivity of the Khanasser Valley, has been characterized by using this approach and by adapting the MTR parameter. The transmissivity varies between a minimum of 79 m2/day and a maximum of 814 m2/day, with an average of 283 m2/day and a standard deviation of 145 m2/day. The easy and inexpensive approach proposed in this paper can be applied in other semi arid regions.

  9. Spatial and temporal analysis of the drought vulnerability and risks over eight decades in a semi-arid region (Tensift basin: Morocco)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fniguire, Fatima; Laftouhi, Nour-Eddine; Saidi, Mohamed Elmehdi; Zamrane, Zineb; El Himer, Hicham; Khalil, Nourddine

    2016-08-01

    In the last few decades, drought has become a chronic phenomenon in Morocco. It began at the end of the 1970s and continued to the late 2000s. In the present study, hydrometeorological data sets, Standardized Precipitation Index method, and non-parametric tests were used to recognize the frequency and the severity of drought events during the period between 1929 and 2010. The Standardized Precipitation Index showed significant inter-annual fluctuation and evolution of rainfall amounts representing wet cycles (i.e., before 1975) followed by a long period of drought between 1975 and 2004. The inter-annual variability of rainfall is accompanied by shifts of stationarity in the rainfall series. The statistical test of Pettitt, Bayesian method of Lee and Heghinian, Buishand procedure, and Hubert test revealed shifts around the mid 70s. After this period, a deficit of rainfall (with a maximum value of -30 %) was registered. The probabilities of monthly Standardized Precipitation Index values were normal to below normal during the last 40 years. In fact, the increase of drought risk may be resulted from the increase of frequency and severity of meteorological drought. The proposed Standardized Precipitation Index method and non-parametric tests yielded reasonable and satisfactory results for Morocco. Therefore, this approach could be successfully applied to other semi-arid, dry, sub-humid, or semi-humid regions worldwide, where rainfall series are showing high seasonality and year-to-year variability.

  10. Rivers through time: historical changes in the riparian vegetation of the semi-arid, winter rainfall region of South Africa in response to climate and land use.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, M Timm; Rohde, Richard Frederick

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines how the riparian vegetation of perennial and ephemeral rivers systems in the semi-arid, winter rainfall region of South Africa has changed over time. Using an environmental history approach we assess the extent of change in plant cover at 32 sites using repeat photographs that cover a time span of 36-113 years. The results indicate that in the majority of sites there has been a significant increase in cover of riparian vegetation in both the channel beds and adjacent floodplain environments. The most important species to have increased in cover across the region is Acacia karroo. We interpret the findings in the context of historical changes in climate and land use practices. Damage to riparian vegetation caused by mega-herbivores probably ceased sometime during the early 19th century as did scouring events related to large floods that occurred at regular intervals from the 15th to early 20th centuries. Extensive cutting of riparian vegetation for charcoal and firewood has also declined over the last 150 years. Changes in the grazing history as well as increased abstraction and dam building along perennial rivers in the region also account for some of the changes observed in riparian vegetation during the second half of the 20th century. Predictions of climate change related to global warming anticipate increased drought events with the subsequent loss of species and habitats in the study area. The evidence presented here suggests that an awareness of the region's historical ecology should be considered more carefully in the modelling and formulation of future climate change predictions as well as in the understanding of climate change impacts over time frames of decades and centuries. PMID:20665084

  11. How To Assess The Future Tree-Cover Potential For Reforestation Planning In Semi-Arid Regions? An Attempt Using The Vegetation Model ORCHIDEE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajaud, A.; De Noblet-Ducoudré, N.

    2015-12-01

    More and more reforestation projects are undertaken at local to continental scales to fight desertification, to address development challenges, and to improve local living conditions in tropical semi-arid regions. These regions are very sensitive to climatic changes and the potential for maintaining tree-covers will be altered in the next decades. Therefore, reforestation planning needs predicting the future "climatic tree-cover potential": the optimum tree-fraction sustainable in future climatic states. Global circulation models projections provide possible future climatologies for the 21st century. These can be used at the global scale to force a land-surface model, which in turn simulates the vegetation development under these conditions. The tree cover leading to an optimum development may then be identified. We propose here to run a state-of-the-art model and to assess the span and the relevance of the answers that can be obtained for reforestation planning. The ORCHIDEE vegetation model is chosen here to allow a multi-criteria evaluation of the optimum cover, as it returns surface climate state variables as well as vegetation functioning and biomass products. It is forced with global climate data (WFDEI and CRU) for the 20th century and models projections (CMIP5 outputs) for the 21st century. At the grid-cell resolution of the forcing climate data, tree-covers ranging from 0 to 100% are successively prescribed. A set of indicators is then derived from the model outputs, meant for modulating reforestation strategies according to the regional priorities (e.g. maximize the biomass production or decrease the surface air temperature). The choice of indicators and the relevance of the final answers provided will be collectively assessed by the climate scientists and reforestation project management experts from the KINOME social enterprise (http://en.kinome.fr). Such feedback will point towards the model most urging needs for improvement.

  12. A combined deficit index for regional agricultural drought assessment over semi-arid tract of India using geostationary meteorological satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vyas, Swapnil S.; Bhattacharya, Bimal K.; Nigam, Rahul; Guhathakurta, Pulak; Ghosh, Kripan; Chattopadhyay, N.; Gairola, R. M.

    2015-07-01

    The untimely onset and uneven distribution of south-west monsoon rainfall lead to agricultural drought causing reduction in food-grain production with high vulnerability over semi-arid tract (SAT) of India. A combined deficit index (CDI) has been developed from tri-monthly sum of deficit in antecedent rainfall and deficit in monthly vegetation vigor with a lag period of one month between the two. The formulation of CDI used a core biophysical (e.g., NDVI) and a hydro-meteorological (e.g., rainfall) variables derived using observation from Indian geostationary satellites. The CDI was tested and evaluated in two drought years (2009 and 2012) within a span of five years (2009-2013) over SAT. The index was found to have good correlation (0.49-0.68) with standardized precipitation index (SPI) computed from rain-gauge measurements but showed lower correlation with anomaly in monthly land surface temperature (LST). Significant correlations were found between CDI and reduction in agricultural carbon productivity (0.67-0.83), evapotranspiration (0.64-0.73), agricultural grain yield (0.70-0.85). Inconsistent correlation between CDI and ET reduction was noticed in 2012 in contrast to consistent correlation between CDI and reduction in carbon productivity both in 2009 and 2012. The comparison of CDI-based drought-affected area with those from existing operational approach showed 75% overlapping regions though class-to-class matching was only 40-45%. The results demonstrated that CDI is a potential indicator for assessment of late-season regional agricultural drought based on lag-response between water supply and crop vigor.

  13. Detection and differentiation of pollution in urban surface soils using magnetic properties in arid and semi-arid regions of northwestern China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Dunsheng; Yu, Ye; Jia, Jia; Xu, Shujing

    2014-01-01

    Increasing urbanization and industrialization over the world has caused many social and environmental problems, one of which drawing particular concern is the soil pollution and its ecological degradation. In this study, the efficiency of magnetic methods for detecting and discriminating contaminates in the arid and semi-arid regions of northwestern China was investigated. Topsoil samples from six typical cities (i.e. Karamay, Urumqi, Lanzhou, Yinchuan, Shizuishan and Wuhai) were collected and a systematic analysis of their magnetic properties was conducted. Results indicate that the topsoil samples from the six cities were all dominated by coarse low-coercivity magnetite. In addition, the average magnetite contents in the soils from Urumqi and Lanzhou were shown to be much higher than those from Karamay, Yinchuan, Shizuishan and Wuhai, and they also have relatively higher χlf and χfd% when compared with cities in eastern China. Moreover, specific and distinctive soil pollution signals were identified at each sampling site using the combined various magnetic data, reflecting distinct sources. Industrial and traffic-derived pollution was dominant in Urumqi and Lanzhou, in Yinchuan industrial progress was observed to be important with some places affected by vehicle emission, while Karamay, Shizuishan and Wuhai were relatively clean. The magnetic properties of these latter three cities are significantly affected by both anthropogenic pollution and local parent materials from the nearby Gobi desert. The differences in magnetic properties of topsoil samples affected by mixed industrial and simplex traffic emissions are not obvious, but significant differences exist in samples affected by simplex industrial/vehicle emissions and domestic pollution. The combined magnetic analyses thus provide a sensitive and powerful tool for classifying samples according to likely sources, and may even provide a valuable diagnostic tool for discriminating among different cities. PMID

  14. Managing Environmental Flows for Impounded Rivers in Semi-Arid Regions- A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Approach for the Assessment of River Habitat for Salmonid Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pai, H.; Sivakumaran, K.; Villamizar, S. R.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.; Harmon, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Balancing ecosystem health in water-scarce, agriculturally dominated river basins remains a challenge. In dry water years, maintaining conditions for restored and sustained indigenous fish populations (a frequently used indicator for ecosystem health) is particularly challenging. Competing human demands include urban and agricultural water supplies, hydropower, and flood control. In many semi-arid regions, increasing drought intensity and frequency under future climate scenarios will combine with population increases to water scarcity. The goal of this work is to better understand how reservoir releases affect fish habitat and overall river aquatic ecosystem quality. Models integrating a diverse array of physical and biological processes and system state are used to forecast the river ecosystem response to changing drivers. We propose a distributed parameter-based Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) approach for assessing fish habitat quality. Our river ecosystem HSI maps are based on a combination of the following: (1) In situ data describing stream flow and water quality conditions; (2) Spatial observations, including surveyed cross-sections, aerial imagery and digital elevation maps (DEM) of the river and its riparian corridor; and (3) Simulated spatially distributed water depths, flow velocities, and temperatures estimated from 1D and 2D river flow and temperature models (HEC-RAS and CE-QUAL-W2, respectively). With respect to (2), image processing schemes are used to classify and map key habitat features, namely riparian edge and shallow underwater vegetation. HSI maps can be modified temporally to address specific life cycle requirements of indicator fish species. Results are presented for several reaches associated with the San Joaquin River Restoration Project, focusing on several components of the Chinook salmon life cycle. HSI maps and interpretations are presented in the context of a range of prescribed reservoir release hydrographs linked to California water

  15. Analysis of drought events in a Mediterranean semi-arid region, Using SPOT-VGT and TERRA-MODIS satellite products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zribi, Mehrez; Dridi, Ghofrane; Amri, Rim; Lili-Chabaane, Zohra

    2015-04-01

    In semi-arid regions, and northern Africa in particular, the scarcity of rainfall and the occurrence of long periods of drought, represent one of the main environmental factors having a negative effect on agricultural productivity. This is the case in Central Tunisia, where the monitoring of agricultural and water resources is of prime importance. Vegetation cover is a key parameter to analyse this problem. Remote sensing has shown in the last decades a high potential to estimate these surface parameters. This study is based on two satellite products: SPOT-VGT (1998-2012) and TERRA-MODIS (2001-2012) NDVI products. They are used to study the dynamics of vegetation and land use. Different behaviors linked to drought periods have been observed. A strong agreement is observed between products proposed by the two sensors. Low spatial resolution SPOT-VGT and TERRA-MODIS NDVI images were used to map the land into three characteristic classes: olive trees, annual agriculture and pastures. An analysis of vegetation behaviour for dry years is proposed using the Windowed Fourier Transform (WTF). The Fourier Transform is able to analyze the frequency content of a signal in the time domain by decomposing the signal as the superposition of sine and cosine basis functions. Analysis for annual agricultural areas demonstrates a combined effect between climate and farmers behaviours. In these areas, bare soils show a high increasing for drought years. Highest percent of bare soil is retrieved with TERRA-MODIS than with SPOT-VGT. This could be explained by the spatial resolution of the two sensors. The temporal series of optical images are finally used to calculate a drought index, namely the VAI (Vegetation Anomaly Index), on the plain of Kairouan (Amri et al., 2011). This index shows a high correlation with precipitation statistics.

  16. Combining Hydrology and Mosquito Population Models to Identify the Drivers of Rift Valley Fever Emergence in Semi-Arid Regions of West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Soti, Valérie; Tran, Annelise; Degenne, Pascal; Chevalier, Véronique; Lo Seen, Danny; Thiongane, Yaya; Diallo, Mawlouth; Guégan, Jean-François; Fontenille, Didier

    2012-01-01

    Background Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a vector-borne viral zoonosis of increasing global importance. RVF virus (RVFV) is transmitted either through exposure to infected animals or through bites from different species of infected mosquitoes, mainly of Aedes and Culex genera. These mosquitoes are very sensitive to environmental conditions, which may determine their presence, biology, and abundance. In East Africa, RVF outbreaks are known to be closely associated with heavy rainfall events, unlike in the semi-arid regions of West Africa where the drivers of RVF emergence remain poorly understood. The assumed importance of temporary ponds and rainfall temporal distribution therefore needs to be investigated. Methodology/Principal Findings A hydrological model is combined with a mosquito population model to predict the abundance of the two main mosquito species (Aedes vexans and Culex poicilipes) involved in RVFV transmission in Senegal. The study area is an agropastoral zone located in the Ferlo Valley, characterized by a dense network of temporary water ponds which constitute mosquito breeding sites. The hydrological model uses daily rainfall as input to simulate variations of pond surface areas. The mosquito population model is mechanistic, considers both aquatic and adult stages and is driven by pond dynamics. Once validated using hydrological and entomological field data, the model was used to simulate the abundance dynamics of the two mosquito species over a 43-year period (1961–2003). We analysed the predicted dynamics of mosquito populations with regards to the years of main outbreaks. The results showed that the main RVF outbreaks occurred during years with simultaneous high abundances of both species. Conclusion/Significance Our study provides for the first time a mechanistic insight on RVFV transmission in West Africa. It highlights the complementary roles of Aedes vexans and Culex poicilipes mosquitoes in virus transmission, and recommends the

  17. Downscaling of Minimum Surface Temperature in the Semi-arid Great Basin Region and Implications for Bio-geophysical Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatchett, B. J.; Vellore, R.; Koracin, D.

    2009-12-01

    This study addresses downscaling methodology for monthly surface air temperature from global climate model (GCM) horizontal grid resolutions (> 100 km) to regional scales (< 10 km) appropriate for climate impact studies. Preliminary hindcast analysis for the period 1950-2008 indicated that the minimum temperatures extracted from the GCMs at 46 individual stations in Nevada show correct seasonal trends, but the monthly mean minima are significantly underestimated compared to three observational networks (Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC), DRI), National Climate Data Center (NCDC), and Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) climate data sets. The daily mean surface air temperature, from the three GCMs (NCAR-CCSM3, ECHAM5, and CSIRO-Mk3.5) and a regional climate model (RCM) using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model forced by the CCSM3 outputs, is generally under-predicted with root-mean-square errors as large as 6 K on an annual scale. The underlying premise of this study is that changes in minimum temperature are manifested on the landscape via changes in hydrological parameters viz., runoff timing and evapotranspiration rates, ecological parameters viz., rates of invasion of exotic species and fire hazards, and socio-economic parameters viz., urban energy use. The systematic error or bias in surface minimum temperature simulated by the GCMs and their ensembles under designated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate change scenarios (A1B, A2, and B1) is investigated to assess and substantiate this argument. The present study employs the downscaling technique of bias correction and spatial disaggregation (BCSD) to improve GCM representation of monthly minimum temperature characteristics at local and regional scales which are critical to properly quantify for ecologic, hydrologic, and socio-economic forecasting under future climate change scenarios.

  18. Medicinal plants popularly used in the Xingó region – a semi-arid location in Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Cecília de Fátima CBR; de Amorim, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti; de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Maia, Maria Bernadete S

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify plant species among the diverse flora of the caatinga ecosystem that are used therapeutically. Research was undertaken in the municipalities of Piranhas and Delmiro Gouveia, in the Xingó region (state of Alagoas, NE Brazil). In order to identify the medicinal plants used in this region, semi-structured questionnaires were applied. The species cited were collected and sent to the Xingó Herbarium for taxonomic analysis. The relative importance (RI) of each species cited was calculated to verify their cultural importance. The therapeutic indications attributed to the species were classified under 16 body systems. A total of 187 medicinal species were cited, from 64 families and 128 genera. The main indications for medicinal plant use were against common colds, bronchitis, cardiovascular problems, kidney problems, inflammations in general, and as tranquilizers. Approximately 16% (30 plant species) were versatile in relation to their use, with an Relative Importance value over 1, having been indicated for up to nine body systems. The body systems that stood out the most were: the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system, and infectious diseases. Most cited plant parts used for medicinal purposes were flowers, leaves, and inner stem bark. PMID:16556305

  19. Medicinal plants popularly used in the Xingó region - a semi-arid location in Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Cecília de Fátima C B R; de Amorim, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti; de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Maia, Maria Bernadete S

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify plant species among the diverse flora of the caatinga ecosystem that are used therapeutically. Research was undertaken in the municipalities of Piranhas and Delmiro Gouveia, in the Xingó region (state of Alagoas, NE Brazil). In order to identify the medicinal plants used in this region, semi-structured questionnaires were applied. The species cited were collected and sent to the Xingó Herbarium for taxonomic analysis. The relative importance (RI) of each species cited was calculated to verify their cultural importance. The therapeutic indications attributed to the species were classified under 16 body systems. A total of 187 medicinal species were cited, from 64 families and 128 genera. The main indications for medicinal plant use were against common colds, bronchitis, cardiovascular problems, kidney problems, inflammations in general, and as tranquilizers. Approximately 16% (30 plant species) were versatile in relation to their use, with an Relative Importance value over 1, having been indicated for up to nine body systems. The body systems that stood out the most were: the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system, and infectious diseases. Most cited plant parts used for medicinal purposes were flowers, leaves, and inner stem bark. PMID:16556305

  20. Problems and Prospects of SWAT Model Application on an Arid/Semi-Arid Watershed in Arizona

    EPA Science Inventory

    In arid/semi-arid regions, precipitation mainly occurs during two periods: long-duration, low-intensity rainfall in winter; and short-duration, high-intensity rainfall in summer. Watersheds in arid/semi-arid regions often release water almost immediately after a storm due to spa...

  1. Anomalous trend in soil evaporation in semi-arid, snow-dominated watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil evaporation in arid and semi-arid regions 1 is generally “moisture-limited”. Evaporation in such regions shows an increasing trend with increase in magnitude of annual precipitation. This paper explores the trend in soil evaporation in a snow dominated, semi-arid Reynolds Mountain East (RME) wa...

  2. An analytical framework for extracting hydrological information from time series of small reservoirs in a semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Annor, Frank; van de Giesen, Nick; Bogaard, Thom; Eilander, Dirk

    2013-04-01

    small reservoirs in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Reservoirs without obvious large seepage losses (field survey) were selected. To verify this, stable water isotopic samples are collected from groundwater upstream and downstream from the reservoir. By looking at possible enrichment of downstream groundwater, a good estimate of seepage can be made in addition to estimates on evaporation. We estimated the evaporative losses and compared those with field measurements using eddy correlation measurements. Lastly, we determined the cumulative surface runoff curves for the small reservoirs .We will present this analytical framework for extracting hydrological information from time series of small reservoirs and show the first results for our study region of northern Ghana.

  3. Rain gauge network evaluation and optimal design using spatial correlation approach in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nazaripour, Hamid; Mansouri Daneshvar, Mohammad Reza

    2016-06-01

    The present study is aimed at evaluation of a rain gauge network in order to optimize a network design. In this regard, point rainfall estimations were assessed using a spatial correlation approach in the Kerman region, Iran. This approach was implemented based on monthly rainfall data for existing 117 rain gauge stations in the study area. The results revealed that the regular arrangement of rain gauges could provide the reliable values for accurate rainfall estimation. Low density of rain gauge combined with the low rainfall values may result in strong increase of the interpolation errors. Based on the existing rain gauge network, the relative mean error of observed rainfalls (E a ) is less than 5 % over the study area. The spatial interpolation errors (E i ) were considered to optimize the design of rain gauge network at the confidence level of 85 %, where the mean errors were exhibited from 8.5 to 14 % in districts A and B, respectively. On this basis, about 46 locations were proposed for allocation of new stations. Therefore, it was suggested to relocate about 20 existing stations in order to achieve an accurate design.

  4. Groundwater quality and management in arid and semi-arid regions: Case study, Central Eastern Desert of Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amer, Reda; Ripperdan, Robert; Wang, Tao; Encarnación, John

    2012-07-01

    This study presents a model budget for groundwater in the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt. The stable isotopic composition and hydrochemistry of groundwater samples collected from different aquifers were determined to identify recharge sources and water quality. Stable isotopic values suggest that shallow alluvial and fracture zone aquifers are recharged from seasonal precipitation, while groundwater in deeper sedimentary sub-basins is paleowater that was recharged during periods of less arid regional climate. Hydrochemical analysis indicates elevated salinity in each aquifer type, which is attributed to leaching and dissolution of terrestrial salts and to mixing with marine water. Groundwater from sedimentary sub-basin aquifers can be treated and used for drinking and domestic purposes. Groundwater from shallow alluvial and fracture zone wells is suitable for animal husbandry and mineral ore dressing. A model water budget shows that approximately 4.8 × 109 m3 of recoverable groundwater is stored in sedimentary sub-basin aquifers, or approximately 550 years of water at present utilization rates.

  5. Geoenvironmental and structural studies for developing new water resources in arid and semi-arid regions using remote sensing and GIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amer, Reda Mohammed

    2011-12-01

    Water crises are rising with increasing world population and decreasing of freshwater resources. This problem is magnified in the arid and semi-arid regions because surface water resources are very limited and highly unreliable and therefore groundwater is the primary source of water supply in these regions. This study presents an integrated approach for the identification of groundwater occurrences using remote sensing, geological, and geophysical data, and establishing sustainable paths to groundwater management. The Central Eastern Desert (CED) of Egypt was selected as a test site for this study because its climate is arid and there is an urgent need to identify potential areas for groundwater accumulations. Field investigations indicated that the CED has three types of aquifers; shallow alluvial (SA), and fracture zone (FZ) aquifers in the valley depressions, and deep aquifers in the sedimentary succession that range in age from Late Cretaceous to Recent in the marginal extensional sub-basins (ESB) along the Red Sea coast. I developed three models: (1) a Geographic Information System (GIS) model for groundwater potential in the SA and FZ shallow aquifers; (2) a kinematic model for the development of the ESB; and (3) a groundwater budget model for the ESB aquifers. The GIS model is based on the analysis of remote sensing data of the Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar, the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus, and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer digital elevation model. The model was evaluated and proven successful against the existing shallow water wells, and by geophysical surveys using Ground Penetrating Radar and Geoelectric methods. The kinematic model indicated that the ESB were formed in the orthogonal rifting phase in the late Oligocene that is followed by oblique rifting phase during the early Miocene which resulted to the en-echelon pattern of the inland ESB and nucleation of the rift depression into

  6. Evaluating persistence and identifying trends and abrupt changes in monthly and annual rainfalls of a semi-arid region in Western India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machiwal, Deepesh; Jha, Madan Kumar

    2016-01-01

    In this study, 43-year (1965-2007) monthly and annual rainfall time series of ten rainfall stations in a semi-arid region of western India are analyzed by adopting three tests for testing normality and by applying autoregressive technique for exploring persistence. Gradual trends are identified by three tests, and their magnitudes are assessed by the Sen's slope estimator. Also, abrupt changes are detected by using four tests and they are further confirmed by two tests. Box-whisker plots revealed that the rainfalls of June and September are right skewed for all the stations. The annual rainfalls of Bhinder, Dhariawad, and Gogunda stations are found considerably right skewed. The normality tests indicated that the rainfall of July does not deviate from the normal distribution at all the stations. However, the annual rainfall is found non-normal at five stations. The monthly rainfalls of June, July, and August have persistence respectively at three (Mavli, Salumber, and Sarada), two (Kherwara and Sarada), and one (Mavli) stations, whereas the annual rainfall has persistence at Girwa and Mavli stations. Significantly increasing trend is detected at Mavli in the rainfall of July and in the annual rainfall (p value > 0.05), while the negative trend in August rainfall at Dhariawad is found significant (p value > 0.10). This study revealed that the presence of serial correlation does not affect the performance of the Mann-Kendall test. Mean values of trend magnitudes for the rainfalls of June, July, August, and September are 0.3, 0.8, -0.4, and 0.4 mm year-1, respectively, and the overall mean value for the annual rainfall is 0.9 mm year-1. It is found that the standard normal homogeneity test and the Pettitt test are biased towards the end of the series to locate a change point. Conversely, the Bayesian test has a tendency to look for a change point in the beginning of time series. Confirmed abrupt changes in the rainfall time series are found in the year 2003 (Bhinder

  7. Effects of a Reservoir Water on the GW Quality in a Coastal Aquifer of Semi-arid Region, North-east of Tunisia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, C.; Kawachi, A.; Tsujimura, M.; Tarhouni, J.

    2015-12-01

    This study investigated effects of a reservoir water in a salinized shallow aquifer based on spatial distribution of geochemical properties in groundwater (GW). In many coastal shallow aquifers of arid and semi-arid regions, groundwater table (GWT) depression and salinization have occurred due to GW overexploitation. In Korba aquifer, north-east of Tunisia, after a dam reservoir has been constructed in order to assure a water resource for irrigation, improvement of GW level and quality have been observed in the downstream area of the dam (area-A), while the GW in the other area (area-B) still has high salinity. This study, therefore, aimed to investigate the effects of the reservoir water on the GW quality. In June 2013, water quality survey and sampling were carried out at 60 wells (GW), a dam reservoir, river and the sea. Major ions, boron, bromide, and oxygen-18 and deuterium in collected samples were analyzed. From the results, in the area-B, the GWT was lower than the sea level and the high salinity were observed. The Br- concentration of the GW was correlated with the Cl- concentration, and the values of B/Cl- and Br-/Cl- of the GW were similar to the seawater. Since the GWT depression allowed the seawater to intrude into the aquifer, the GW salinization occurred in this area. On the other hand, in the area-A, GWT was higher than the seawater level, and the Na+ and Cl- concentrations were lower than the area-B. Especially, in the irrigated areas by using the reservoir water, the isotopic values, B/Cl- and Br-/Cl- of the GW were relatively higher than the others. The reservoir water has high isotopic values due to evaporation effect, and the B/Cl- and Br-/Cl- values become higher due to organic matters in sediment of the reservoir or soil in the filtration process. Thus, in addition to the direct infiltration from the reservoir into the aquifer, irrigation using a reservoir water probably has a positive impact on the GW quality in this area.

  8. Larvicidal potential of wild mustard (Cleome viscosa) and gokhru (Tribulus terrestris) against mosquito vectors in the semi-arid region of Western Rajasthan.

    PubMed

    Bansal, S K; Singh, Karam V; Sharma, Sapna

    2014-03-01

    effective as compared to the fruit extracts of T. terrestris indicating that active larvicidal principle may be present in the fruits of this plant species. The studywould be of great importance while formulating the control strategy, for vectors of malaria, dengue and lymphatic filariasis, based on alternative plant based insecticides in this semi-arid region. PMID:24665757

  9. Application of a soil moisture diagnostic equation for estimating root-zone soil moisture in arid and semi-arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Feifei; Nieswiadomy, Michael; Qian, Shuan

    2015-05-01

    Knowledge of soil moisture in the root zone is critical for crop growth estimation and irrigation scheduling. In this study, a soil moisture diagnostic equation is applied to estimate soil moisture at depths of 0-100 cm (because the majority of crop roots are in the top 100 cm of soil) at four USDA Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) sites in arid and semi-arid regions: TX2105 in northwest Texas, NM2015 and NM2108 in east New Mexico, and AZ2026 in southeast Arizona. At each site, a dataset of 5-6 years of records of daily soil moisture, daily mean air temperature, precipitation and downward solar radiation is compiled and processed. Both the sinusoidal wave function of day of year (DOY) and a linear function of the potential evapotranspiration (PET) are used to approximate the soil moisture loss coefficient. The first four years of data are used to derive the soil moisture loss function and the empirical parameters in the soil moisture diagnostic equation. The derived loss function and empirical parameters are then applied to estimate soil moisture in the last fifth or sixth year at each site. Root mean square errors (RMSEs) of the estimated volumetric soil moistures in five different soil columns (i.e., 5 cm, 10 cm, 20 or 30 cm, 50 cm, and 100 cm) are less than 3.2 (%V/V), and the accuracy of the estimated soil moistures using the sinusoidal soil moisture loss function is slightly better than the PET-based loss functions. In addition to the three advantages of this soil moisture diagnostic equation, i.e., (1) non-cumulative errors in the estimated soil moisture, (2) no regular recalibration is required to correct the cumulative errors, and (3) no numerical iteration and initial moisture inputs are needed since only precipitation data are required, this study also demonstrates that the soil moisture diagnostic equation not only can be used to estimate surface soil moisture, but also the entire root-zone soil moisture.

  10. Evaluation of the SAFRAN-ISBA-RAPID hydrometeorological chain on a mountainous catchment in a semi-arid region. Case of the Rheraya (Marrakech, Morocco)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szczypta, Camille; Gascoin, Simon; Habets, Florence; Saaidi, Amina; Berjamy, Brahim; Marchane, Ahmed; Boulet, Gilles; Hanich, Lahoucine; Jarlan, Lionel

    2015-04-01

    The water content of snow pack is an important resource for many watershed in semi-arid areas where downstream plains are dominated by irrigated agriculture. As part of the ANR Amethyst, this work is to develop, adapt and evaluate a hydro-meteorological forecasting chain for quantifying streamflows at the outlet of a mountainous watershed (Rheraya wadi, Marrakech region, Morocco), a pilot basin instrumented since 2003 as part of SudMed project. Two sets of atmospheric forcing were used: (1) The first was generated by spatializing meteorological data observed on 6 stations (Asni, Aremdt, Tachedert, Oukaimeden, Imskerbour and Neltner) using the semi-physical module Micromet (Liston and Elder, 2006) on the hydrological period September 2003 - August 2012; (2) the second is provided by the SAFRAN re-analysis, implemented by the Metoffice of Morocco (Casablanca, Morocco), during the period August 2004 - July 2008. These two sets were then used as inputs for the ISBA surface model, within the modeling platform SURFEX. Finally, runoff and drainage simulations derived from ISBA were forced into the hydrological model RAPID to predict streamflows. The flows predictions and the snow covered area (SCA) were compared respectively to the observations available for the 2003-2009 period and to the daily MODIS products of SCA. Despite time unsystematic lags and low biases on flow values, the initial results are encouraging due to topographical and hydro-complexity of the studied area. Despite a slight tendency to underestimate the SCA for the "Micromet" run and to over-estimate for the "Safran" run, SCA is well reproduced with a determination coefficient of r²=0.76 and r²=0.79, respectively. Given the complex topography of the basin, a sensitivity analysis to the size of the grid point (from 8 km to 250 m) was conducted. If the different simulated series of SCA are close from a resolution to another, streamflows simulations are, by contrast, highly sensitive to the resolution

  11. Improving estimates of water resources in a semi-arid region by assimilating GRACE data into the PCR-GLOBWB hydrological model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tangdamrongsub, Natthachet; Steele-Dunne, Susan; Gunter, Brian; Ditmar, Pavel; Sutanudjaja, Edwin; Sun, Yu; Xia, Ting; Wang, Zhongjing

    2016-04-01

    An accurate estimate of water resources is critical for proper management of both agriculture and the local ecology, particularly in semi-arid regions where water is scarce. Imperfections in model physics, uncertainties in model land parameters and meteorological data, and the human impact on land changes often limit the accuracy of hydrological models in estimating water storages. To address this problem, this study investigated the assimilation of Terrestrial Water Storage (TWS) estimates derived from the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) data using an Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) approach. The region considered was the Hexi Corridor of Northern China. The hydrological model used for the analysis was PCR-GLOBWB, driven by satellite-based forcing data from April 2002 to December 2010. The performance of the GRACE Data Assimilation (DA) scheme was evaluated in terms of its impact on the TWS as well as on the individual hydrological storage estimates. The capability of GRACE DA to adjust the storage level was apparent not only in the TWS but also in the groundwater component, which had annual amplitude, phase, and long-term trend estimates closer to the GRACE observations. This study also assessed the impact of considering correlated errors in GRACE-based estimates. These were derived based on the error propagation approach using the full error variance-covariance matrices provided as a part of the GRACE data product. The assessment was carried out by comparing the EnKF results after excluding (EnKF 1D) and including (EnKF 3D) error correlations with the in situ groundwater data from 5 well sites, and the in situ streamflow data from two river gauges. Both EnKF 1D and 3D improved groundwater and streamflow estimates compared to the results from the PCR-GLOBWB alone (Ensemble Open Loop, EnOL). Although EnKF 3D was inferior to 1D at some groundwater measurement locations, on average, it showed equal or greater improvement in all metrics. For example

  12. Surface soil moisture retrieval over a Mediterranean semi-arid region using X-band TerraSAR-X SAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azza, Gorrab; Zribi, Mehrez; Baghdadi, Nicolas; Mougenot, Bernard; Boulet, Gilles; Lili-Chabaane, Zohra

    2015-04-01

    Mapping surface soil moisture with meter-scale spatial resolution is appropriate for multi- domains particularly hydrology and agronomy. It allows water resources and irrigation management decisions, drought monitoring and validation of multi-hydrological water balance models. In the last years, various studies have demonstrated the large potential of radar remote sensing data, mainly from C frequency band, to retrieve soil moisture. However, the accuracy of the soil moisture estimation, by inversing backscattering radar coefficients (σ°), is affected by the influence of surface roughness and vegetation biomass contributions. In recent years, different empirical, semi empirical and physical approaches are developed for bare soil conditions, to estimate accurately spatial soil moisture variability. In this study, we propose an approach based on the change detection method for the retrieval of surface soil moisture at a higher spatial resolution. The proposal algorithm combines multi-temporal X-band SAR images (TerraSAR-X) with different continuous thetaprobe measurements. Seven thetaprobe stations are installed at different depths over the central semi arid region of Tunisia (9°23' - 10°17' E, 35° 1'-35°55' N). They cover approximately the entire of our study site and provide regional scale information. Ground data were collected over agricultural bare soil fields simultaneously to various TerraSAR-X data acquired during 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. More than fourteen test fields were selected for each spatial acquisition campaign, with variations in soil texture and in surface soil roughness. For each date, we considered the volumetric water content with thetaprobe instrument and gravimetric sampling; we measured also the roughness parameters with pin profilor. To retrieve soil moisture from X-band SAR data, we analyzed statistically the sensitivity between radar measurements and ground soil moisture derived from permanent thetaprobe stations. Our analyses are

  13. Comparative evaluation of the Vegetation Dryness Index (VDI), the Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI) and the improved TVDI (iTVDI) for water stress detection in semi-arid regions of Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahimzadeh-Bajgiran, Parinaz; Omasa, Kenji; Shimizu, Yo

    2012-03-01

    This study aims at developing appropriate methods to detect water stress in the semi-arid regions of Iran. To do this, the Vegetation Dryness Index (VDI) concept, originally developed for forest fire detection, was applied to detect vegetation/soil water stress. A modified approach towards the Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI) concept, incorporating air temperature and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to develop the improved TVDI (iTVDI) is also introduced and the results are compared with the original TVDI and VDI through verification by precipitation and soil moisture data. Evaluation of the VDI in the study area showed that there was no significant relationship between the VDI values and precipitation or soil moisture indicating its inappropriateness to be used for water stress detection. Compared with the TVDI, results indicated that there were more statistically significant relationships between the iTVDI and recent precipitation and soil moisture in the four land cover types in the study area. This indicates that the iTVDI is highly influenced by recent precipitation during the summer and can therefore estimate water status. It is concluded that the iTVDI can be successfully used for vegetation/soil water stress monitoring in the semi-arid regions of Iran.

  14. Climate warming threatens semi-arid forests in Inner Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WU, X.

    2015-12-01

    A line of evidences reveal an increasing tree growth decline and tree mortality mainly attributable to climate warming and the warming-mediated changes in drought and other processes in many parts of world tropical, temperate and boreal forests. However, the growth responses to climate change of the widely distributed semi-arid forests are unclear. Here, we synthetically investigate the tree growth patterns during past decades and its interannual response to climate variations in Inner Asia combining the ground truth field survey and samplings, remote sensing observations and climate data. We identified a pervasive tree growth decline since mid-1990s in semi-arid forests in Inner Asia. The widely observed tree growth decline is dominantly attributable to warming-induced water stress during pre- and early growing season. Tree growth of semi-arid forests in Inner Asia is particularly susceptible to spring warming and has been suffering a prolonged growth limitation in recent decades due to spring warming-mediated water conditions. Additionally, we identified a much slower growth rate in younger trees and a lack of tree regeneration in these semi-arid forests. The widely observed forest growth reduction and lack of tree regeneration over semi-arid forests in Inner Asia could predictably exert great effects on forest structure, regionally/globally biophysical and biochemical processes and the feedbacks between biosphere and atmosphere. Notably, further increases in forest stress and tree mortality could be reasonably expected, especially in context of the increase frequency and severity of high temperature and heat waves and changes in forest disturbances, potentially driving the eventual regional loss of current semi-arid forests. Given the potential risks of climate induced forest dieback, increased management attention to adaptation options for enhancing forest resistance and resilience to projected climate stress can be expected. However, the functionally realistic

  15. Climate Warming Threatens Semi-arid Forests in Inner Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WU, X.; Liu, H.; Qi, Z.; Li, X.

    2014-12-01

    A line of evidences reveal an increasing tree growth decline and tree mortality mainly attributable to climate warming and the warming-mediated changes in drought and other processes (such as fire and insect dynamics) in many parts of world tropical, temperate and boreal forests. However, the growth responses to climate change of the widely distributed semi-arid forests are unclear. Here, we synthetically investigate the tree growth patterns during past decades and its interannual response to climate variations in Inner Asia combining the ground truth field survey and samplings, remote sensing observations and climate data. We identified a pervasive tree growth decline since mid-1990s in semi-arid forests in Inner Asia. The widely observed tree growth decline is dominantly attributable to warming-induced water stress during pre- and early growing season. Tree growth of semi-arid forests in Inner Asia is particularly susceptible to spring warming and has been suffering a prolonged growth limitation in recent decades due to spring warming-mediated water conditions. Additionally, we identified a much slower growth rate in younger trees and a lack of tree regeneration in these semi-arid forests. The widely observed forest growth reduction and lack of tree regeneration over semi-arid forests in Inner Asia could predictably exert great effects on forest structure, regionally/globally biophysical and biochemical processes and the feedbacks between biosphere and atmosphere. Notably, further increases in forest stress and tree mortality could be reasonably expected, especially in context of the increase frequency and severity of high temperature and heat waves and changes in forest disturbances, potentially driving the eventual regional loss of current semi-arid forests. Given the potential risks of climate induced forest dieback, increased management attention to adaptation options for enhancing forest resistance and resilience to projected climate stress can be expected

  16. Symbiotic characterization and diversity of rhizobia associated with native and introduced acacias in arid and semi-arid regions in Algeria.

    PubMed

    Boukhatem, Zineb Faiza; Domergue, Odile; Bekki, Abdelkader; Merabet, Chahinez; Sekkour, Sonia; Bouazza, Fatima; Duponnois, Robin; de Lajudie, Philippe; Galiana, Antoine

    2012-06-01

    The diversity of rhizobia associated with introduced and native Acacia species in Algeria was investigated from soil samples collected across seven districts distributed in arid and semi-arid zones. The in vitro tolerances of rhizobial strains to NaCl and high temperature in pure culture varied greatly regardless of their geographical and host plant origins but were not correlated with the corresponding edaphoclimatic characteristics of the sampling sites, as clearly demonstrated by principal component analysis. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons, the 48 new strains isolated were ranked into 10 phylogenetic groups representing five bacterial genera, namely, Ensifer, Mesorhizobium, Rhizobium, Bradyrhizobium, and Ochrobactrum. Acacia saligna, an introduced species, appeared as the most promiscuous host because it was efficiently nodulated with the widest diversity of rhizobia taxa including both fast-growing ones, Rhizobium, Ensifer, and Mesorhizobium, and slow-growing Bradyrhizobium. The five other Acacia species studied were associated with fast-growing bacterial taxa exclusively. No difference in efficiency was found between bacterial taxa isolated from a given Acacia species. The tolerances of strains to salinity and temperature remains to be tested in symbiosis with their host plants to select the most adapted Acacia sp.-LNB taxa associations for further revegetation programs. PMID:22283876

  17. Assessment of vulnerability in karst aquifers using a quantitative integrated numerical model: catchment characterization and high resolution monitoring - Application to semi-arid regions- Lebanon.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doummar, Joanna; Aoun, Michel; Andari, Fouad

    2016-04-01

    Karst aquifers are highly heterogeneous and characterized by a duality of recharge (concentrated; fast versus diffuse; slow) and a duality of flow which directly influences groundwater flow and spring responses. Given this heterogeneity in flow and infiltration, karst aquifers do not always obey standard hydraulic laws. Therefore the assessment of their vulnerability reveals to be challenging. Studies have shown that vulnerability of aquifers is highly governed by recharge to groundwater. On the other hand specific parameters appear to play a major role in the spatial and temporal distribution of infiltration on a karst system, thus greatly influencing the discharge rates observed at a karst spring, and consequently the vulnerability of a spring. This heterogeneity can only be depicted using an integrated numerical model to quantify recharge spatially and assess the spatial and temporal vulnerability of a catchment for contamination. In the framework of a three-year PEER NSF/USAID funded project, the vulnerability of a karst catchment in Lebanon is assessed quantitatively using a numerical approach. The aim of the project is also to refine actual evapotranspiration rates and spatial recharge distribution in a semi arid environment. For this purpose, a monitoring network was installed since July 2014 on two different pilot karst catchment (drained by Qachqouch Spring and Assal Spring) to collect high resolution data to be used in an integrated catchment numerical model with MIKE SHE, DHI including climate, unsaturated zone, and saturated zone. Catchment characterization essential for the model included geological mapping and karst features (e.g., dolines) survey as they contribute to fast flow. Tracer experiments were performed under different flow conditions (snow melt and low flow) to delineate the catchment area, reveal groundwater velocities and response to snowmelt events. An assessment of spring response after precipitation events allowed the estimation of the

  18. Columnar-integrated aerosol optical properties and classification of different aerosol types over the semi-arid region, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.

    PubMed

    Rama, Gopal K; Arafath, S Md; Balakrishnaiah, G; Raja, Obul Reddy K; Siva, Kumar Reddy N; Lingaswamy, A P; Pavan, Kumari S; Uma, Devi K; Reddy, R R; Suresh, Babu S

    2015-09-15

    This study presents a characterization of aerosol columnar properties measured at a semi-arid station Anantapur in the southern part of India during the period from October 2012 to September 2013. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) and Angstrom exponent (α) have been retrieved from Microtops II Sunphotometer over the observation site. The results show that a pronounced spectral and monthly variability in the optical properties of aerosols is mainly due to anthropogenic sources. The results show that the spectral curvature can effectively be used as a tool for aerosol type discrimination, since the fine-mode aerosols exhibit negative curvature, while the coarse-mode particles are positive. The classification of aerosols is also proposed by using the values of AOD at 500 nm and Angstrom exponent values (α(380-870)) by applying threshold values obtained from the frequency distribution of AOD. The results of the analysis were identified by four individual components (anthropogenic/biomass burning, coarse/dust, coarse/marine, clean continental) of different origin and compositions. The most frequent situations observed over the site are that due to the anthropogenic/biomass burning situations which account for about 45.37%, followed by coarse/dust (43.64%), clean continental (7.2%) and coarse/marine (3.82%) during summer. The identification of the aerosol source type and the modification processes are analyzed by using the Gobbi et al. (2007) classification scheme based on the measured scattering properties (α, dα) derived from the Microtops II Sunphotometer. PMID:26005994

  19. Aerosol optical depth over a remote semi-arid region of South Africa from spectral measurements of the daytime solar extinction and the nighttime stellar extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Formenti, P.; Winkler, H.; Fourie, P.; Piketh, S.; Makgopa, B.; Helas, G.; Andreae, M. O.

    Spectral daytime aerosol optical depths have been measured at Sutherland, South Africa (32°22'S, 20°48'E), from January 1998 to November 1999. Sutherland is located in the semi-arid Karoo desert, approximately 400-km northeast from Cape Town. The site, remote from major sources of aerosols, hosts the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), where nighttime stellar extinction is being measured. The comparison of daytime and nighttime measurements for the years 1998-1999 makes it possible to validate the astronomical dataset of aerosol optical depth ( τa) dating back to 1991. The 1998 and 1999 annually averaged daytime τa at 500 nm are 0.04±0.04 and 0.06±0.06, respectively. Half-day averages vary between 0.03 and 0.44, with peak values in August-September. This pronounced seasonality is linked to the biomass-burning season in the Southern Hemisphere. Smoke haze layers transported to Sutherland originated primarily on the African landmass at latitudes between 10° and 20°S and passed over Namibia and Angola. On one occasion, aerosols from fires in Brazil transported across the Atlantic Ocean were likely detected. The haze layers reaching Sutherland are therefore at least 2-3 days old. The spectral dependence of the aerosol optical depth for the smoke layers supports the bimodality of the volume size distribution for biomass burning aerosols. The accumulation mode has a volume modal diameter of 0.32 μm, consistent with the hypothesis of aged haze. The stellar measurements (1991-2001) show that, due to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, the atmospheric extinction depth at 550 nm in the years 1991-1993 increased by 33% with respect to the average value (0.14±0.03) for the period 1994-2001. Outside the Pinatubo event, extinction is largest in the period 1997-1999.

  20. Using multi-component hydrochemical pattern for water balance calculations of intricate water resources in semi-arid regions - a case study in Wadi Al Arab, Jordan.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siebert, Christian; Rödiger, Tino; Geyer, Stefan; Subah, Ali; Guttman, Yossi

    2013-04-01

    Groundwater harvesting in the semi-arid Wadi al Arab, located in the NW most corner of the Kingdom of Jordan, is supposed to be sustainable. However, since implementation of intense well fields, which take water from the Cretaceous A7/B2 aquifer, springs along the wadi course dried out and groundwater table dropped locally tremendous. To overcome the uncertainties in qualitatively and quantitatively characterising that water resource, a multi-component hydrochemical study was carried out within the SMART-project, which was also used to provide reliable boundary conditions to build up a transient numerical flow model. Wadi Al Arab represents a multi-aquifer system, with unknown interactions between the Cenozoic and Cretaceous aquifers. The exact identification and qualitatively characterization of the different groundwater bodies, the definition of their flow regimes and the recharge rate is a necessary step to calculate a reliable water balance and a rational policy of water management. Inter-aquifer flow prevents the benchmark treatment of the groundwater bodies and its detection by classical methods is an almost impossible task. In order to overcome these difficulties, the main known components of the multi-aquifer system were analysed for REY (REE+ Yttrium) abundance, major elements and for stable isotopes of water (δ18O and δD). The different waters in the area were than classified considering these parameters. This enabled identifying their respective replenishment areas and to elucidate the mixing processes controlled by structural features. This study shows that REY patterns are a powerful tool to decipher the lithology of the catchment area and the intricate patterns of flow paths of the aquifer systems. These information allow the correct definition of boundary conditions for a successful hydraulic modelling.

  1. Rapid warming accelerates tree growth decline in semi-arid forests of Inner Asia.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hongyan; Park Williams, A; Allen, Craig D; Guo, Dali; Wu, Xiuchen; Anenkhonov, Oleg A; Liang, Eryuan; Sandanov, Denis V; Yin, Yi; Qi, Zhaohuan; Badmaeva, Natalya K

    2013-08-01

    Forests around the world are subject to risk of high rates of tree growth decline and increased tree mortality from combinations of climate warming and drought, notably in semi-arid settings. Here, we assess how climate warming has affected tree growth in one of the world's most extensive zones of semi-arid forests, in Inner Asia, a region where lack of data limits our understanding of how climate change may impact forests. We show that pervasive tree growth declines since 1994 in Inner Asia have been confined to semi-arid forests, where growing season water stress has been rising due to warming-induced increases in atmospheric moisture demand. A causal link between increasing drought and declining growth at semi-arid sites is corroborated by correlation analyses comparing annual climate data to records of tree-ring widths. These ring-width records tend to be substantially more sensitive to drought variability at semi-arid sites than at semi-humid sites. Fire occurrence and insect/pathogen attacks have increased in tandem with the most recent (2007-2009) documented episode of tree mortality. If warming in Inner Asia continues, further increases in forest stress and tree mortality could be expected, potentially driving the eventual regional loss of current semi-arid forests. PMID:23564688

  2. Latent heat loss of dairy cows in an equatorial semi-arid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva, Roberto Gomes; Maia, Alex Sandro Campos; de Macedo Costa, Leonardo Lelis; de Queiroz, João Paulo A. Fernandes

    2012-09-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate evaporative heat transfer of dairy cows bred in a hot semi-arid environment. Cutaneous ( E S) and respiratory ( E R) evaporation were measured (810 observations) in 177 purebred and crossbred Holstein cows from five herds located in the equatorial semi-arid region, and one herd in the subtropical region of Brazil. Rectal temperature ( T R), hair coat surface temperature ( T S) and respiratory rate ( F R) were also measured. Observations were made in the subtropical region from August to December, and in the semi-arid region from April to July. Measurements were done from 1100 to 1600 hours, after cows remained in a pen exposed to the sun. Environmental variables measured in the same locations as the animals were black globe temperature ( T G), air temperature ( T A), wind speed ( U), and partial air vapour pressure ( P V). Data were analysed by mixed models, using the least squares method. Results showed that average E S and E R were higher in the semi-arid region (117.2 W m-2 and 44.0 W m-2, respectively) than in the subtropical region (85.2 W m-2 and 30.2 W m-2, respectively). Herds and individual cows were significant effects ( P < 0.01) for all traits in the semi-arid region. Body parts did not affect T S and E S in the subtropical region, but was a significant effect ( P < 0.01) in the semi-arid region. The average flank T S (42.8°C) was higher than that of the neck and hindquarters (39.8°C and 41.6°C, respectively). Average E S was higher in the neck (133.3 W m-2) than in the flank (116.2 W m-2) and hindquarters (98.6 W m-2). Coat colour affected significantly both T S and E S ( P < 0.01). Black coats had higher T S and E S in the semi-arid region (41.7°C and 117.2 W m-2, respectively) than white coats (37.2°C and 106.7 W m-2, respectively). Rectal temperatures were almost the same in both subtropical and semi-arid regions. The results highlight the need for improved management methods specific for semi-arid regions.

  3. Understanding Hydrologic Processes in Semi-Arid Cold Climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, M. E.; Beutel, M.; Lamb, B.; Watts, R.

    2004-12-01

    Water shortages destabilize economies and ecosystems. These shortages are caused by complex interactions between climate variability, ecosystem processes, and increased demand from human activities. In the semi-arid region of the northwestern U.S., water availability during drought periods has already reached crisis levels and the problems are expected to intensify as the effects of global climate change and population growth continue to alter the supply and demand patterns. Many of the problems are critical to this region because hydropower, agriculture, navigation, fish and wildlife survival, water supply, tourism, environmental protection, and water-based recreation are vital to state economies and our way of life. In order to assess the spatial and temporal nature of hydrologic responses, consistent and comprehensive long-term data sets are needed. In response to these needs, we would like to propose the Spokane River drainage basin as a long-term hydrologic observatory. The Spokane River basin is located in eastern Washington and northern Idaho and is a tributary of the Columbia River. The watershed consists of several major surface water tributaries as well as natural and man-made lakes and reservoirs. With headwaters beginning in the Rocky Mountains, the drainage area is approximately 6,640 mi2. In addition to providing an excellent study area for examining many conventional water resource problems, the Spokane River watershed also presents a unique opportunity for investigating many of the hydrologic processes found in semi-arid cold climates. Snowfall in the watershed varies spatially between 35 inches near the mouth of the basin to over 112 inches at the headwaters. These varied hydrologic uses provide a unique opportunity to address many common challenges faced by water resource professionals. This broad array of issues encompasses science, engineering, agriculture, social sciences, economics, fisheries, and a host of other disciplines. In addition

  4. Buffalo gourd: potential as a fuel resource on semi-arid lands

    SciTech Connect

    Young, P.G.; Morgan, R.P.; Shultz, E.B. Jr.

    1982-01-01

    Buffalo gourd, (Cucurbita foetidissima), is a wild, hot-dry-land plant native to the semi-arid regions of North America. Its triglyceride oil and fermentable starch make it a potential biomass energy source. These products, along with the seed meal and foliage, also offer the potential for cultivation in semi-arid regions of the developing world as a food and feed source. Alternatively, the plant may help to maintain economic vitality in regions such as the Texas High Plains, where declining water supplies threaten present irrigation practices. Technical feasibility, impacts, commercialization requirements, and research needs are discussed.

  5. The legacy of organochlorine pesticide usage in a tropical semi-arid region (Jaguaribe River, Ceará, Brazil): Implications of the influence of sediment parameters on occurrence, distribution and fate.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, André H B; Cavalcante, Rivelino M; Duaví, Wersângela C; Fernandes, Gabrielle M; Nascimento, Ronaldo F; Queiroz, Maria E L R; Mendonça, Kamila V

    2016-01-15

    Between the 1940s and 1990s, immeasurable amounts of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were used in endemic disease control campaigns and agriculture in the tropical semi-arid regions of Brazil. The present study evaluated the legacy of banned OCP usage, considering the levels, ecological risk and dependence on sediment physicochemical properties for the fate and distribution in the Jaguaribe River. The sum concentration of OCPs (ΣOCPs) ranged from 5.09 to 154.43 ng·g(-1), comparable to the levels found in other tropical and subtropical regions that have traditionally used OCPs. The environmental and geographical distribution pattern of p,p-DDT, p,p-DDD and p,p-DDE shows that the estuarine zone contained more than 3.5 times the levels observed in the fluvial region, indicating that the estuary of the Jaguaribe River is a sink. The temporal pattern indicates application of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethanes (DDTs) in the past; however, there is evidence of recent input of these pesticides. High ecological risk was observed for levels of γ-hexachlorocyclohexanes (γ-HCH) and heptachlor, and moderate ecological risk was observed for levels of DDTs in sediments from the Jaguaribe River. The heptachlor, γ-HCH and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) concentrations depend on the organic and inorganic fractions of sediment from the Jaguaribe River, whereas the p,p-DDE, p,p-DDD, p,p-DDT and α-endosulfan concentrations depend solely on the organic fraction of the sediment. PMID:26519585

  6. Canola integration into semi-arid wheat cropping systems of the inland Pacific Northwestern USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The inland Pacific Northwestern USA (iPNW) wheat-producing region has a diversity of environments and soils, yet it lacks crop diversity and is one of the few semi-arid wheat-growing regions without significant integration of oilseeds. Four major agroecological zones, primarily characterised by wate...

  7. An empirical study on the utility of BRDF model parameters and topographic parameters for mapping vegetation in a semi-arid region with MISR imagery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Multi-angle remote sensing has been proved useful for mapping vegetation community types in desert regions. Based on Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR) multi-angular images, this study compares roles played by Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) model parameters with th...

  8. Long-term soil microbial community and enzyme activity responses to an integrated cropping-livestock system in a semi-arid region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water availability is a significant factor limiting agriculture in many semiarid or arid regions of the world. This study is part of a larger project to develop and evaluate integrated crop and livestock systems that reduce dependence on underground water while optimizing cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)...

  9. Population Genetic Analysis Reveals a High Genetic Diversity in the Brazilian Cryptococcus gattii VGII Population and Shifts the Global Origin from the Amazon Rainforest to the Semi-arid Desert in the Northeast of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Souto, Ana C P; Bonfietti, Lucas X; Ferreira-Paim, Kennio; Trilles, Luciana; Martins, Marilena; Ribeiro-Alves, Marcelo; Pham, Cau D; Martins, Liline; Dos Santos, Wallace; Chang, Marilene; Brito-Santos, Fabio; Santos, Dayane C S; Fortes, Silvana; Lockhart, Shawn R; Wanke, Bodo; Melhem, Márcia S C; Lazéra, Márcia S; Meyer, Wieland

    2016-08-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are responsible globally for almost one million cryptococcosis cases yearly, mostly in immunocompromised patients, such as those living with HIV. Infections due to C. gattii have mainly been described in tropical and subtropical regions, but its adaptation to temperate regions was crucial in the species evolution and highlighted the importance of this pathogenic yeast in the context of disease. Cryptococcus gattii molecular type VGII has come to the forefront in connection with an on-going emergence in the Pacific North West of North America. Taking into account that previous work pointed towards South America as an origin of this species, the present work aimed to assess the genetic diversity within the Brazilian C. gattii VGII population in order to gain new insights into its origin and global dispersal from the South American continent using the ISHAM consensus MLST typing scheme. Our results corroborate the finding that the Brazilian C. gattii VGII population is highly diverse. The diversity is likely due to recombination generated from sexual reproduction, as evidenced by the presence of both mating types in clinical and environmental samples. The data presented herein strongly supports the emergence of highly virulent strains from ancestors in the Northern regions of Brazil, Amazonia and the Northeast. Numerous genotypes represent a link between Brazil and other parts of the world reinforcing South America as the most likely origin of the C. gattii VGII subtypes and their subsequent global spread, including their dispersal into North America, where they caused a major emergence. PMID:27529479

  10. Population Genetic Analysis Reveals a High Genetic Diversity in the Brazilian Cryptococcus gattii VGII Population and Shifts the Global Origin from the Amazon Rainforest to the Semi-arid Desert in the Northeast of Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira-Paim, Kennio; Trilles, Luciana; Martins, Marilena; Ribeiro-Alves, Marcelo; Pham, Cau D.; Martins, Liline; dos Santos, Wallace; Chang, Marilene; Brito-Santos, Fabio; Santos, Dayane C. S.; Fortes, Silvana; Lockhart, Shawn R.; Wanke, Bodo; Melhem, Márcia S. C.; Lazéra, Márcia S.; Meyer, Wieland

    2016-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are responsible globally for almost one million cryptococcosis cases yearly, mostly in immunocompromised patients, such as those living with HIV. Infections due to C. gattii have mainly been described in tropical and subtropical regions, but its adaptation to temperate regions was crucial in the species evolution and highlighted the importance of this pathogenic yeast in the context of disease. Cryptococcus gattii molecular type VGII has come to the forefront in connection with an on-going emergence in the Pacific North West of North America. Taking into account that previous work pointed towards South America as an origin of this species, the present work aimed to assess the genetic diversity within the Brazilian C. gattii VGII population in order to gain new insights into its origin and global dispersal from the South American continent using the ISHAM consensus MLST typing scheme. Our results corroborate the finding that the Brazilian C. gattii VGII population is highly diverse. The diversity is likely due to recombination generated from sexual reproduction, as evidenced by the presence of both mating types in clinical and environmental samples. The data presented herein strongly supports the emergence of highly virulent strains from ancestors in the Northern regions of Brazil, Amazonia and the Northeast. Numerous genotypes represent a link between Brazil and other parts of the world reinforcing South America as the most likely origin of the C. gattii VGII subtypes and their subsequent global spread, including their dispersal into North America, where they caused a major emergence. PMID:27529479

  11. A regional field-based assessment of organic C sequestration and GHG balances in irrigated agriculture in Mediterranean semi-arid land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virto, Inigo; Antón, Rodrigo; Arias, Nerea; Orcaray, Luis; Enrique, Alberto; Bescansa, Paloma

    2016-04-01

    In a context of global change and increasing food demand, agriculture faces the challenge of ensuring food security making a sustainable use of resources, especially arable land and water. This implies in many areas a transition towards agricultural systems with increased and stable productivity and a more efficient use of inputs. The introduction of irrigation is, within this framework, a widespread strategy. However, the C cycle and the net GHG emissions can be significantly affected by irrigation. The net effect of this change needs to be quantified at a regional scale. In the region of Navarra (NE Spain) more than 22,300 ha of rainfed agricultural land have been converted to irrigation in the last years, adding to the previous existing irrigated area of 70,000 ha. In this framework the project Life+ Regadiox (LIFE12 ENV/ES/000426, http://life-regadiox.es/) has the objective of evaluating the net GHG balances and atmospheric CO2 fixation rates of different management strategies in irrigated agriculture in the region. The project involved the identification of areas representative of the different pedocllimatic conditions in the region. This required soil and climate characterizations, and the design of a network of agricultural fields representative of the most common dryland and irrigation managements in these areas. This was done from available public datasets on climate and soil, and from soil pits especially sampled for this study. Two areas were then delimited, mostly based on their degree of aridity. Within each of those areas, fields were selected to allow for comparisons at three levels: (i) dryland vs irrigation, (ii) soil and crop management systems for non-permanent crops, and (iii) soil management strategies for permanent crops (namely olive orchards and vineyards). In a second step, the objective of this work was to quantify net SOC variations and GHG balances corresponding to the different managements identified in the previous step. These

  12. Modeling the distribution of the West Nile and Rift Valley Fever vector Culex pipiens in arid and semi-arid regions of the Middle East and North Africa

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The Middle East North Africa (MENA) region is under continuous threat of the re-emergence of West Nile virus (WNV) and Rift Valley Fever virus (RVF), two pathogens transmitted by the vector species Culex pipiens. Predicting areas at high risk for disease transmission requires an accurate model of vector distribution, however, most Cx. pipiens distribution modeling has been confined to temperate, forested habitats. Modeling species distributions across a heterogeneous landscape structure requires a flexible modeling method to capture variation in mosquito response to predictors as well as occurrence data points taken from a sufficient range of habitat types. Methods We used presence-only data from Egypt and Lebanon to model the population distribution of Cx. pipiens across a portion of the MENA that also encompasses Jordan, Syria, and Israel. Models were created with a set of environmental predictors including bioclimatic data, human population density, hydrological data, and vegetation indices, and built using maximum entropy (Maxent) and boosted regression tree (BRT) methods. Models were created with and without the inclusion of human population density. Results Predictions of Maxent and BRT models were strongly correlated in habitats with high probability of occurrence (Pearson’s r = 0.774, r = 0.734), and more moderately correlated when predicting into regions that exceeded the range of the training data (r = 0.666,r = 0.558). All models agreed in predicting high probability of occupancy around major urban areas, along the banks of the Nile, the valleys of Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan, and southwestern Saudi Arabia. The most powerful predictors of Cx. pipiens habitat were human population density (60.6% Maxent models, 34.9% BRT models) and the seasonality of the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) (44.7% Maxent, 16.3% BRT). Maxent models tended to be dominated by a single predictor. Areas of high probability corresponded with sites of

  13. Interannual variability of a precipitation gradient along the semi-arid catchment areas for the metropolitan region of Lima- Peru in relation to atmospheric circulation at the mesoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, Marco; Seidel, Jochen; Trachte, Katja

    2013-04-01

    The main moisture source for precipitation on the western slopes of the Central Andes is located east of the mountain range known as the Amazon basin. However, the Andean mountains, which reach up to 6000 m a.s.l., strongly influence climatic conditions along the Pacific coastline of South America as a climatic barrier for the low-level tropospheric flow and associated moisture transport from the Amazon basin. Additional, large scale subsidence caused by the South Pacific High inhabits convective rainfall at the Pacific coast where large metropolitan areas such as the Peruvian capital Lima are located. Two contrasts in precipitation can be found while crossing the Andean mountains from West to East. On the Pacific coast, at the location of the metropolitan area of Lima, no more than 10 mm mean annual rainfall occurs. In contrast, up to 1000 mm mean annual rainfall occur only 100 km east of Lima within the upper region (4000 m .a.s.l.) of the Western Cordillera. The transition takes place along the western slopes of the Western Cordillera and is characterised by a strong precipitation gradient. Here, catchment areas are located that provide most of the water resources needed to sustain an urban area of approximately 10 million people. This study investigates the interannual variability of the precipitation gradient between 1998 and 2012. The analysis is based on daily precipitation data of 22 rain gauge station, daily rainfall data of the Tropical Rainfall Mission (TRMM 3B42) at 0.25 degrees and reanalysis data at 36 km spatial resolution at the mesoscale. The reanalysis data was produced using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. Station data was provided by the Peruvian weather service during the project "Sustainable Water and Wastewater Management in Urban Growth Centres Coping with Climate Change - Concepts for Lima Metropolitana (Peru) (LiWa)", which is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). We are interested in the

  14. Hydrologic modeling in semi-arid agricultural region: An integrated approach to study water resources in southern San Joaquin Valley, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Sagarika

    deficit in the region is 135.66 +/- 11.3 mm and the total annual surplus is 291.47 +/- 24.29 mm. Irrigation should apply when this region undergoes a period of moisture deficit in the months of May to July. From September to October are months of soil water recharge; from November to early February is the period of water surplus due to winter rainfall. It was observed that the growers should apply a depth of approximately 79.37 +/- 11.3 mm to replenish the soil moisture storage over the entire field in the growing season of almond orchards.

  15. Evolution and current state of our understanding of the role played in the climate system by land surface processes in semi-arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicholson, Sharon E.

    2015-10-01

    The role of the land surface in climate and weather has been a major research focus since the 1970s. Since that time our understanding of the issue has greatly changed and many new themes in several disciplines are being considered. This article summarizes the changes in our understanding that have taken place in research on this topic and reviews principally papers that have appeared in the last two decades. Several other papers provide comprehensive reviews of literature that appeared prior to that time. The major changes that have occurred include 1) more sophisticated and rigorous analysis of desertification, 2) increased emphasis on hydrological processes, including the role of groundwater, 3) use of multi-model ensembles and regional models, 4) the emergence of the domain of ecohydrology, with emphasis on detailed feedbacks between water availability and vegetation, 5) examination of the hypothesis that vegetation feedback can produce abrupt climate change, 6) emphasis on the impacts on convective or synoptic-scale systems, and 7) consideration of the impact of aerosols, including the Saharan Air Layer. With the exception of desertification, each of these topics is reviewed.

  16. Wild flora of mine tailings: perspectives for use in phytoremediation of potentially toxic elements in a semi-arid region in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-López, Ariadna S; Del Carmen A González-Chávez, Ma; Carrillo-González, Rogelio; Vangronsveld, Jaco; Díaz-Garduño, Margarita

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this research was to identify wild plant species applicable for remediation of mine tailings in arid soils. Plants growing on two mine tailings were identified and evaluated for their potential use in phytoremediation based on the concentration of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in roots and shoots, bioconcentration (BCF) and translocation factors (TF). Total, water-soluble and DTPA-extractable concentrations of Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, Co and Ni in rhizospheric and bulk soil were determined. Twelve species can grow on mine tailings, accumulate PTEs concentrations above the commonly accepted phytotoxicity levels, and are suitable for establishing a vegetation cover on barren mine tailings in the Zimapan region. Pteridium sp. is suitable for Zn and Cd phytostabilization. Aster gymnocephalus is a potential phytoextractor for Zn, Cd, Pb and Cu; Gnaphalium sp. for Cu and Crotalaria pumila for Zn. The species play different roles according to the specific conditions where they are growing at one site behaving as a PTEs accumulator and at another as a stabilizer. For this reason and due to the lack of a unified approach for calculation and interpretation of bioaccumulation factors, only considering BCF and TF may be not practical in all cases. PMID:25495938

  17. A groundwater-basin approach to conceptualize and simulate post-Pleistocene subsurface flow in a semi-arid region, southeastern New Mexico and western Texas, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbet, Thomas F.

    2000-06-01

    Numerical simulation was used to enhance conceptual understanding of the post-Pleistocene hydrogeology of a layered sequence of clastic and evaporite sediments. This work is part of an effort to evaluate the suitability of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), New Mexico, USA, as a repository for transuranic waste. The numerical model is three-dimensional, extends laterally to topographic features that form the actual boundaries of a regional groundwater system, and uses a free surface with seepage face as an upper boundary condition to simulate the effect of change in recharge rate on the position of the water table. Simulation results suggest that the modern-day flow field is still adjusting to the drying of the climate that has occurred since the end of the Pleistocene Epoch. A wetter climate at the end of the Pleistocene resulted in a shallow water table, and patterns of groundwater flow were controlled by the intermediate features of the land-surface topography. As the climate became drier and the water table declined, groundwater flow began to increasingly reflect the land-surface topography at the scale of the entire groundwater basin. The modern-day flow pattern has not equilibrated with either the present recharge rate or the position of the water table.

  18. Remote sensing for mapping soil moisture and drainage potential in semi-arid regions: Applications to the Campidano plain of Sardinia, Italy.

    PubMed

    Filion, Rébecca; Bernier, Monique; Paniconi, Claudio; Chokmani, Karem; Melis, Massimo; Soddu, Antonino; Talazac, Manon; Lafortune, Francois-Xavier

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the potential of radar (ENVISAT ASAR and RADARSAT-2) and LANDSAT data to generate reliable soil moisture maps to support water management and agricultural practice in Mediterranean regions, particularly during dry seasons. The study is based on extensive field surveys conducted from 2005 to 2009 in the Campidano plain of Sardinia, Italy. A total of 12 small bare soil fields were sampled for moisture, surface roughness, and texture values. From field scale analysis with ENVISAT ASAR (C-band, VV polarized, descending mode, incidence angle from 15.0° to 31.4°), an empirical model for estimating bare soil moisture was established, with a coefficient of determination (R(2)) of 0.85. LANDSAT TM5 images were also used for soil moisture estimation using the TVX slope (temperature/vegetation index), and in this case the best linear relationship had an R(2) of 0.81. A cross-validation on the two empirical models demonstrated the potential of C-band SAR data for estimation of surface moisture, with and R(2) of 0.76 (bias +0.3% and RMSE 7%) for ENVISAT ASAR and 0.54 (bias +1.3% and RMSE 5%) for LANDSAT TM5. The two models developed at plot level were then applied over the Campidano plain and assessed via multitemporal and spatial analyses, in the latter case against soil permeability data from a pedological map of Sardinia. Encouraging estimated soil moisture (ESM) maps were obtained for the SAR-based model, whereas the LANDSAT-based model would require a better field data set for validation, including ground data collected on vegetated fields. ESM maps showed sensitivity to soil drainage qualities or drainage potential, which could be useful in irrigation management and other agricultural applications. PMID:26254021

  19. Rainfall events and soil moisture deviations as detected by operational ASCAT soil moisture data: case study in semi-arid regions of Somalia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doubkova, M.; Bartsch, A.; Wagner, W.

    2009-04-01

    Large and widely dispersed populations in Somalia depend on pastoralism and on rainfed and irrigated farming. Droughts and floods that have plagued the country in the course of its history were critical for the herders and farmers and have often initiated long-lasting food crises. Recently, the Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) has initiated collaborative activities to identify and quantify the physical causes of drought for better understanding of this phenomenon and better addressing the humanitarian aid in Somalia. The soil moisture was identified as one of the parameter that may improve the drought assessment studies in Somalia. The poor accessibility and long-lasting conflicts in Somalia region caused periods of missing values in the meteorological networks that complicate or disable further weather analyses. In this study, a comparison of operational available spatial soil moisture dataset from active microwave sensor with 50 km spatial resolution - ASCAT scatterometer - with existing in-situ rainfall data is performed. The ASCAT data are processed at the Vienna University of Technology (TU WIEN), and recently became operationally available via EUMETCAST. Together with its predecessor - ERS 1/2 - the ASCAT/ERS scatterometers embrace period of 1992 until recent with existing gap over Somalia (2001-2007). The rainfall data were provided by the SWALIM organization. The focus is brought on the ability of the ASCAT scatterometer to detect first rains in the season that dictate the schedule of agricultural activities from land preparation, crop variety to selection to planting. Further, the ability to detect moisture deviations with coarse resolution soil moisture data is studied. The remote sensing data are especially important for countries like Somalia with the poor field accessibility. The improved understanding of the soil moisture data from active microwave sensor may help in interpolating data from existing in-situ networks both

  20. Evaporative loss from the interrow of irrigated crops in a semi-arid agricultural area

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil evaporation plays an important role in the water balance of irrigated crops, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Irrigation scheduling may affect the fraction of evaporative loss (E) from the total evapotranspiration (ET), and thus affect the water use efficiency. During the second intens...

  1. Comparison of turbulent statistics and spectra at two heights over a semi-arid grassland surface

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the turbulent exchange of mass and energy from a surface remains essential to appropriate characterization and quantification of the components of surface energy balance. This is particularly true for arid and semi-arid regions that often contain surfaces that are highly heterogeneous...

  2. Problems and Prospects of SWAT Model Application on an Arid/Semi-arid Watershed in Arizona

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydrological characteristics in the semi-arid southwest create unique challenges to watershed modelers. Streamflow in these regions is largely dependent on seasonal, short term, and high intensity rainfall events. The objectives of this study are: 1) to analyze the unique hydrolo...

  3. A spectral index to monitor the head-emergence of wheat in semi-arid conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harvesting wheat (Triticium aestivum L.) for forage or leaving it for grain is the main decision uncertainty growers face in semi-arid regions during mid-season. To facilitate decision-making, a decision support system (DSS) has recently been proposed that requires information about crop water and n...

  4. Interaction between climate, topography, vegetation, and snowcover in semi-arid mountain catchments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mountainous regions in the semi-arid Northwestern US are snow-dominated with little or no summer precipitation. Wind and topographic structure control snow deposition, causing tremendous spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of the snowcover and the delivery of melt water across mountain catchm...

  5. Impacts of Urbanization on Groundwater Quality and Recharge in a Semi-arid Alluvial Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The management of groundwater resources is paramount in semi-arid regions experiencing urban development. In the southwestern United States, enhancing recharge of urban storm runoff has been identified as a strategy for augmenting groundwater resources. An understanding of how urbanization may impac...

  6. Problems and Prospects of Swat Model Application on an Arid/Semi-Arid Watershed in Arizona

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydrological characteristics in the semi-arid southwest create unique challenges to watershed modellers. Streamflow in these regions is largely dependent on seasonal, short term, and high intensity rainfall events. The objectives of this study are: 1) to analyze the unique hydrol...

  7. A TEN-YEAR WATER BALANCE OF A MOUNTAINOUS SEMI-ARID WATERSHED. (R824784)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Quantifying water balance components, which is particularly challenging in snow-fed, semi-arid regions, is crucial to understanding the basic hydrology of a watershed. In this study, a water balance was computed using 10 years of data collected at the Upper Sheep Creek Water...

  8. Preface paper to the Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (SALSA) Program special issue

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goodrich, D.C.; Chehbouni, A.; Goff, B.; MacNish, B.; Maddock, T.; Moran, S.; Shuttleworth, W.J.; Williams, D.G.; Watts, C.; Hipps, L.H.; Cooper, D.I.; Schieldge, J.; Kerr, Y.H.; Arias, H.; Kirkland, M.; Carlos, R.; Cayrol, P.; Kepner, W.; Jones, B.; Avissar, R.; Begue, A.; Bonnefond, J.-M.; Boulet, G.; Branan, B.; Brunel, J.P.; Chen, L.C.; Clarke, T.; Davis, M.R.; DeBruin, H.; Dedieu, G.; Elguero, E.; Eichinger, W.E.; Everitt, J.; Garatuza-Payan, J.; Gempko, V.L.; Gupta, H.; Harlow, C.; Hartogensis, O.; Helfert, M.; Holifield, C.; Hymer, D.; Kahle, A.; Keefer, T.; Krishnamoorthy, S.; Lhomme, J.-P.; Lagouarde, J.-P.; Lo, Seen D.; Luquet, D.; Marsett, R.; Monteny, B.; Ni, W.; Nouvellon, Y.; Pinker, R.; Peters, C.; Pool, D.; Qi, J.; Rambal, S.; Rodriguez, J.; Santiago, F.; Sano, E.; Schaeffer, S.M.; Schulte, M.; Scott, R.; Shao, X.; Snyder, K.A.; Sorooshian, S.; Unkrich, C.L.; Whitaker, M.; Yucel, I.

    2000-01-01

    The Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere Program (SALSA) is a multi-agency, multi-national research effort that seeks to evaluate the consequences of natural and human-induced environmental change in semi-arid regions. The ultimate goal of SALSA is to advance scientific understanding of the semi-arid portion of the hydrosphere-biosphere interface in order to provide reliable information for environmental decision making. SALSA approaches this goal through a program of long-term, integrated observations, process research, modeling, assessment, and information management that is sustained by cooperation among scientists and information users. In this preface to the SALSA special issue, general program background information and the critical nature of semi-arid regions is presented. A brief description of the Upper San Pedro River Basin, the initial location for focused SALSA research follows. Several overarching research objectives under which much of the interdisciplinary research contained in the special issue was undertaken are discussed. Principal methods, primary research sites and data collection used by numerous investigators during 1997-1999 are then presented. Scientists from about 20 US, five European (four French and one Dutch), and three Mexican agencies and institutions have collaborated closely to make the research leading to this special issue a reality. The SALSA Program has served as a model of interagency cooperation by breaking new ground in the approach to large scale interdisciplinary science with relatively limited resources.

  9. Nebkha patterns in semi-arid environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nield, J. M.; Gillies, J. A.; Nickling, W. G.

    2014-12-01

    In semi-arid supply-limited, environments, nehbka dunes typically form through ecogeomorphic feedbacks. The size, shape and orientation of these dunes are controlled by the interactions between vegetation growth and aeolian sedimentations processes. Once established, these dune patterns modify sediment transport and often form streets of bare surfaces between dune corridors. We examine typical dune and vegetation patterns that form with varying amounts of sediment availability and nebkha maturity at Jornada in the Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, USA using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to separate the plant and sand elements. Manual and automated TLS shrub height extractions compare well at all sites (p = 0.48-0.94) enabling the quantification of both solid and plant roughness element components in three dimensions. We find that there is a switch in orientation of the dune elements with respect to dominant wind direction from perpendicular to parallel as the landscape develops from an incipient to mature configuration and mesquite-nebkha streets are enhanced. As the nebkha dunes develop the surface coverage of bare sand increases and dune surfaces exceed the size of their companion shrubs. Roughness density also increases at the mature dune site. Individual shrub orientations remain similar at each site, but nebkhas typically host multiple shrub crowns at the mature site. Over a two year period up to 20 cm of erosion was measured on the upwind faces of the mature nebkha dunes, in agreement with the dominant annual wind direction. However, deposition patterns were more diffuse and influenced by the vegetation patterns. This study highlights the importance of ecogeomorphic interactions in shaping nebkha landscape patterns.

  10. Intra-seasonal NDVI change projections in semi-arid Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Funk, Christopher C.; Brown, Molly E.

    2006-01-01

    Early warning systems (EWS) tend to focus on the identification of slow onset disasters such famine and epidemic disease. Since hazardous environmental conditions often precede disastrous outcomes by many months, effective monitoring via satellite and in situ observations can successfully guide mitigation activities. Accurate short term forecasts of NDVI could increase lead times, making early warning earlier. This paper presents a simple empirical model for making 1 to 4 month NDVI projections. These statistical projections are based on parameterized satellite rainfall estimates (RFE) and relative humidity demand (RHD). A quasi-global, 1 month ahead, 1° study demonstrates reasonable accuracies in many semi-arid regions. In Africa, a 0.1° cross-validated skill assessment quantifies the technique's applicability at 1 to 4 month forecast intervals. These results suggest that useful projections can be made over many semi-arid, food insecure regions of Africa, with plausible extensions to drought prone areas of Asia, Australia and South America.

  11. Water balance of two earthen landfill caps in a semi-arid climate

    SciTech Connect

    Khire, M.V.; Benson, C.H.; Bosscher, P.J.

    1997-12-31

    Water balance data are presented that were obtained from two earthen cap test sections located in a semi-arid region. The test sections were constructed on a municipal solid waste landfill in East Wenatchee, Washington, USA. One test section represents a traditional resistive barrier, and is constructed with a compacted silty clay barrier 60 cm thick and a vegetated silty clay surface layer 15 cm thick. The other test section represents a capillary barrier and has a sand layer 75 cm thick overlain by a 15-cm-thick vegetated surface layer of silt. Extensive hydrological and meteorological data have been collected since November 1992. Unsaturated hydraulic properties of soils, hydrologic parameters, and vegetation have been extensively characterized. Results of the study show that capillary barriers can be effective caps in semi-arid and arid regions. They are also cheaper to construct and can perform better than traditional resistive barriers.

  12. Spatial Patterns and Natural Recruitment of Native Shrubs in a Semi-arid Sandy Land

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Bo; Yang, Hongxiao

    2013-01-01

    Passive restoration depending on native shrubs is an attractive approach for restoring desertified landscapes in semi-arid sandy regions. We sought to understand the relationships between spatial patterns of native shrubs and their survival ability in sandy environments. Furthermore, we applied our results to better understand whether passive restoration is feasible for desertified landscapes in semi-arid sandy regions. The study was conducted in the semi-arid Mu Us sandy land of northern China with the native shrub Artemisia ordosica. We analyzed population structures and patterns of A. ordosica at the edges and centers of land patches where sand was stabilized by A. ordosica-dominated vegetation. Saplings were more aggregated than adults, and both were more aggregated at the patch edges than at the patch centers. At the patch edges, spatial association of the saplings with the adults was mostly positive at distances 0.3–6.6 m, and turned from positive to neutral, and even negative, at other distances. At the patch centers, the saplings were spaced almost randomly around the adults, and their distances from the adults did not seem to affect their locations. A greater number of A. ordosica individuals emerged at the patch edges than at the patch centers. Such patterns may have resulted from their integrative adjustment to specific conditions of soil water supply and sand drift intensity. These findings suggest that in semi-arid sandy regions, native shrubs that are well-adapted to local environments may serve as low-cost and competent ecological engineers that can promote the passive restoration of surrounding patches of mobile sandy land. PMID:23505489

  13. Semi-arid ecosystem response under seasonal hydroclimatic forcings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Xue; Souza, Rodolfo; Vico, Giulia; Antonino, Antonio; Montenegro, Suzana; Porporato, Amilcare

    2015-04-01

    The interannual variability of seasonal rainfall has been observed to change in conjunction with the magnitude, timing, and duration of seasonality. Such changes are especially pronounced in several seasonality hotspots around the world, including in the semi-arid regions of northeast Brazil. Rainfall variability, combined with a generally low rainfall amount and high year-round potential evapotranspiration, poses challenges here for plant survival in the local ecosystems of dry forests and managed pastures. As a result, the native vegetation has adopted many physiological and phenological strategies to deal with the yearly alteration between favorable (wet) and adverse (dry) growing conditions, including drought deciduousness and succulence. To understand the ecosystem-level response to future changes in climate seasonality, we adopt a new model for resolving the seasonal trajectory of stochastic soil moisture, coupled to a vegetation growth model that accounts for various plant water use strategies and phenological adjustments. This is validated using satellite data (e.g., NDVI) and field surveys, with special attention to the role of water storage capacity of the ecosystem, which governs hysteretic responses under seasonal forcings, and may ultimately determine ecosystem resilience and recovery after periods of drought.

  14. Soil Moisture Retrieval Using a Two-Dimenional L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radiometer in a Semi-Arid Environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Surface soil moisture was retrieved from L-band radiometer data collected in semi-arid regions during the Soil Moisture Experiment in 2004 (SMEX04). The two-dimensional synthetic aperture radiometer (2D-STAR) was flown over regional-scale study sites located in Arizona, USA and Sonora, Mexico. The s...

  15. Sediments in Semi-arid Wetlands: US Southern High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Playas are ephemeral wetlands on the semi-arid U.S. Southern High Plains that serve as runoff catchment basins and are thought to be focal points of Ogallala aquifer recharge. Sediments in playas alter biodiversity and hydroperiods. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of outerbas...

  16. Patch scale turbulence over dryland and irrigated surfaces in a semi-arid landscape during BEAREX08

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantifying turbulent fluxes of heat and water vapor over heterogeneous surfaces presents unique challenges. For example, in many arid and semi-arid regions, parcels of irrigated cropland are juxtaposed with hot, dry surfaces. Contrasting surface conditions can result in the advection of warm dry ai...

  17. Does the conversion of grasslands to row crop production in semi-arid areas threaten global food supplies?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the world’s semi-arid regions, high crop demands have produced short term economic incentives to convert native grasslands to dryland row crop production, while genetic enhancements and equipment have reduced the risk of crop failure. The objectives of this paper were to discuss: 1) the importanc...

  18. Space-Time Dynamics of Soil Water and Process Interactions in Semi-Arid Terrain, Colorado, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil water is a dominant control of plant growth and hydrologic response in dryland (rainfed) agriculture. In agricultural fields, soil water is typically assumed to move vertically with no differential subsurface lateral flow in semi-arid regions. However, soil water dynamics in the profile can v...

  19. Mechanisms of Climate Change in the Semi-Arid Sahel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannini, A.

    2009-12-01

    This paper focuses on one key remaining uncertainty in projections of future climate states: the projection of regional precipitation change over tropical land. It considers the specific case of the African Sahel and describes physical mechanisms of climate change in the semi-arid tropics, the margins of monsoons, sketching two possible pathways of change---one local, the other remote. In the first, the local interaction of the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gases with the surface energy and water balances drives a direct continental change: the increase in net terrestrial radiation at the surface increases evaporation, favoring vertical instability and near-surface convergence from the bottom up. In the second, the remote oceans change continental climate indirectly: warming of the oceans increases moist static energy at upper levels, affecting vertical stability globally, from the top down, driving drying over the Sahel, in a way analogous to the impact of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation on the global tropical atmosphere. These mechanisms mirror the long-standing debate in the interpretation of recent climatic change in this vast continental region: was the persistence of drought during the 1970s and 1980s caused by local mismanagement of land resources, or was it a manifestation of large-scale climate variability with origin in the oceans? While recent modeling evidence favors the latter explanation, our inability to make sense of projections is a testament to the need to improve our physical understanding of the mechanisms and feedbacks by which anthropogenic influence can affect the climate system.

  20. An Overview of Biodegradation of LNAPLs in Coastal (Semi)-arid Environment.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Brijesh Kumar; Hassanizadeh, S Majid

    2011-09-01

    Contamination of soil and water due to the release of light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) is a ubiquitous problem. The problem is more severe in arid and semi-arid coastal regions where most of the petroleum production and related refinery industries are located. Biological treatment of these organic contaminated resources is receiving increasing interests and where applicable, can serve as a cost-effective remediation alternative. The success of bioremediation greatly depends on the prevailing environmental variables, and their remediation favoring customization requires a sound understanding of their integrated behavior on fate and transport of LNAPLs under site-specific conditions. The arid and semi-arid coastal sites are characterized by specific environmental extremes; primarily, varying low and high temperatures, high salinity, water table dynamics, and fluctuating soil moisture content. An understanding of the behavior of these environmental variables on biological interactions with LNAPLs would be helpful in customizing the bioremediation for restoring problematic sites in these regions. Therefore, this paper reviews the microbial degradation of LNAPLs in soil-water, considering the influences of prevailing environmental parameters of arid and semi-arid coastal regions. First, the mechanism of biodegradation of LNAPLs is discussed briefly, followed by a summary of popular kinetic models used by researchers for describing the degradation rate of these hydrocarbons. Next, the impact of soil moisture content, water table dynamics, and soil-water temperature on the fate and transport of LNAPLs are discussed, including an overview of the studies conducted so far. Finally, based on the reviewed information, a general conclusion is presented with recommendations for future research subjects on optimizing the bioremediation technique in the field under the aforesaid environmental conditions. The present review will be useful to better understand the

  1. Large-scale hydrological modelling in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Güntner, Andreas

    2002-07-01

    Semi-arid areas are, due to their climatic setting, characterized by small water resources. An increasing water demand as a consequence of population growth and economic development as well as a decreasing water availability in the course of possible climate change may aggravate water scarcity in future, which often exists already for present-day conditions in these areas. Understanding the mechanisms and feedbacks of complex natural and human systems, together with the quantitative assessment of future changes in volume, timing and quality of water resources are a prerequisite for the development of sustainable measures of water management to enhance the adaptive capacity of these regions. For this task, dynamic integrated models, containing a hydrological model as one component, are indispensable tools. The main objective of this study is to develop a hydrological model for the quantification of water availability in view of environmental change over a large geographic domain of semi-arid environments. The study area is the Federal State of Ceará (150 000 km2) in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil. Mean annual precipitation in this area is 850 mm, falling in a rainy season with duration of about five months. Being mainly characterized by crystalline bedrock and shallow soils, surface water provides the largest part of the water supply. The area has recurrently been affected by droughts which caused serious economic losses and social impacts like migration from the rural regions. The hydrological model Wasa (Model of Water Availability in Semi-Arid Environments) developed in this study is a deterministic, spatially distributed model being composed of conceptual, process-based approaches. Water availability (river discharge, storage volumes in reservoirs, soil moisture) is determined with daily resolution. Sub-basins, grid cells or administrative units (municipalities) can be chosen as spatial target units. The administrative units enable the coupling of Wasa in

  2. Role of radiatively forced temperature changes in enhanced semi-arid warming over East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, X.; Huang, J.; Guo, R.; Lin, P.; Zhang, Y.

    2015-08-01

    As the climate change occurred over East Asia since 1950s, intense interest and debate have arisen concerning the contribution of human activities to the warming observed in previous decades. In this study, we investigate surface temperature change using a recently developed methodology that can successfully identify and separate the dynamically induced temperature (DIT) and radiatively forced temperature (RFT) changes in raw surface air temperature (SAT) data. For regional averages, DIT and RFT make 43.7 and 56.3 % contributions to the SAT over East Asia, respectively. The DIT changes dominate the SAT decadal variability and are mainly determined by internal climate variability, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). The radiatively forced SAT changes made major contribution to the global-scale warming trend and the regional-scale enhanced semi-arid warming (ESAW). Such enhanced warming is also found in radiatively forced daily maximum and minimum SAT. The long-term global-mean SAT warming trend is mainly related to radiative forcing produced by global well-mixed greenhouse gases. The regional anthropogenic radiative forcing, however, caused the enhanced warming in the semi-arid region, which may be closely associated with local human activities. Finally, the relationship between global warming hiatus and regional enhanced warming is discussed.

  3. Livestock redistribute runoff and sediments in semi-arid rangeland areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarah, P.; Zonana, M.

    2014-12-01

    Semi-arid areas where grazing is the main land use exhibit a "three-phase-mosaic" pattern of dominant surface patches: shrubs, trampling routes, and intershrub areas. This pattern differs from the "two-phase mosaic" seen in grazing-free semi-arid areas. The patches might create a positive feedback process in which enhanced infiltration beneath shrubs minimizes overland flow from under their canopies, thereby strengthening the sink/source mechanism by which overland flow generated between shrubs rapidly infiltrates into the soil beneath them, where it deposits soil particles, litter, nutrients and organic matter, thereby enhancing infiltration by changing the local microtopography, and improving soil properties. To analyze sink/source relationships among the patches in grazed areas in rangelands of the semi-arid northern Negev region of Israel we constructed small runoff plots, 0.25-1.0 m2 in area, of five types: shrub (Sarcopoterium spinosum) (SH); intershrub (IS); and route (RU); route/shrub combination (RS); and intershrub/shrub combination (SI). The shrubs always occupied the downslope part of the plot. Overland flow and sediment deposits were measured in all plots during 2007/2008 and 2008/2009. The combined plots - SI and SR - yielded much less overland flow and sediments than IS, RU and SH, indicating that the shrubs absorbed almost all the yields of the upper part of their plots. The shrubs generated less runoff and sediments than routes and intershrubs; runoff flows from the routes and intershrubs were similar; sediment yield was highest in the intershrubs. Thus, runoff yield exhibited a two-phase mosaic pattern, and sediment yield, i.e., soil erosion, a three-phase mosaic pattern.

  4. Livestock redistribute runoff and sediments in semi-arid rangeland areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarah, P.; Zonana, M.

    2015-04-01

    Semi-arid areas where grazing is the main land use exhibit a "three-phase-mosaic" pattern of dominant surface patches: shrubs, trampling routes, and intershrub areas. This pattern differs from the "two-phase mosaic" seen in grazing-free semi-arid areas. The patches might create a positive feedback process in which enhanced infiltration beneath shrubs minimizes overland flow from under their canopies, thereby strengthening the sink-source mechanism by which overland flow generated between shrubs rapidly infiltrates into the soil beneath them, where it deposits soil particles, litter, nutrients and organic matter, thereby enhancing infiltration by changing the local microtopography, and improving soil properties. To analyze sink-source relationships among the patches in grazed areas in rangelands of the semi-arid northern Negev region of Israel, we constructed small runoff plots, 0.25-1.0 m2 in area, of five types: shrub (Sarcopoterium spinosum), intershrub, route, route-shrub combination, and intershrub-shrub combination. The shrubs always occupied the downslope part of the plot. Overland flow and sediment deposits were measured in all plots during 2007/8 and 2008/9. The combined plots yielded much less overland flow and sediments than intershrub, routes and shrub ones, indicating that the shrubs absorbed almost all the yields of the upper part of their plots. The shrubs generated less runoff and sediments than routes and intershrubs; runoff flows from the routes and intershrubs were similar; sediment yield was highest in the intershrubs. Thus, runoff yield exhibited a two-phase mosaic pattern, and sediment yield, i.e., soil erosion, a three-phase mosaic pattern.

  5. Interactions of soil water content heterogeneity and species diversity patterns in semi-arid steppes on the Loess Plateau of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Gao-Lin; Zhang, Zhi-Nan; Wang, Dong; Shi, Zhi-Hua; Zhu, Yuan-Jun

    2014-11-01

    Soil water is a major driving force for plant community succession in semi-arid area. Many studies have focused on the relationships of species diversity-productivity, but few studies have paid attentions to the effects of soil water content heterogeneity on the plant species diversity in the semi-arid loess regions. To determine relationship of soil water content heterogeneity and plant community structure properties a semi-arid steppe on the Loess Plateau, we conducted a gradient analysis of soil water content variation and above- and below-ground properties of plant communities. Results showed that community coverage, above- and below-ground biomass were significantly and positively related to the surface soil water contents (0-5 cm). Plant diversity (Shannon index and Richness index) were closely correlated to soil water content at the soil depth of 0-10 cm. But plant height, litter biomass and root/shoot ratio were not related to soil water content. These results showed that there is an positive interaction effects for plant diversity and soil water content in the semi-arid grassland communities. Our observations indicate that change of plant species diversity is also an important community responses to soil water content heterogeneity in the semi-arid grassland ecosystem.

  6. Semi-arid aquifer responses to forest restoration treatments and climate change.

    PubMed

    Wyatt, Clinton J W; O'Donnell, Frances C; Springer, Abraham E

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop an interpretive groundwater-flow model to assess the impacts that planned forest restoration treatments and anticipated climate change will have on large regional, deep (>400 m), semi-arid aquifers. Simulations were conducted to examine how tree basal area reductions impact groundwater recharge from historic conditions to 2099. Novel spatial analyses were conducted to determine areas and rates of potential increases in groundwater recharge. Changes in recharge were applied to the model by identifying zones of basal area reduction from planned forest restoration treatments and applying recharge-change factors to these zones. Over a 10-year period of forest restoration treatment, a 2.8% increase in recharge to one adjacent groundwater basin (the Verde Valley sub-basin) was estimated, compared to conditions that existed from 2000 to 2005. However, this increase in recharge was assumed to quickly decline after treatment due to regrowth of vegetation and forest underbrush and their associated increased evapotranspiration. Furthermore, simulated increases in groundwater recharge were masked by decreases in water levels, stream baseflow, and groundwater storage resulting from surface water diversions and groundwater pumping. These results indicate that there is an imbalance between water supply and demand in this regional, semi-arid aquifer. Current water management practices may not be sustainable into the far future and comprehensive action should be taken to minimize this water budget imbalance. PMID:24665998

  7. Anomalous trend in soil evaporation in a semi-arid, snow-dominated watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rui; Kumar, Mukesh; Marks, Danny

    2013-07-01

    Soil evaporation in arid and semi-arid regions is generally moisture-limited. Evaporation in these regions is expected to increase monotonically with increase in precipitation. In contrast, model simulations in a snow-dominated, semi-arid Reynolds Mountain East (RME) watershed point to the existence of an anomalous trend in soil evaporation. Results indicate that soil evaporation in snow-dominated watersheds first increases and then subsequently decreases with increasing precipitation. The anomalous variation is because of two competing evaporation controls: (a) higher soil moisture in wetter years which leads to larger evaporation, and (b) prolonged snow cover period in wetter years which shields the soil from the atmosphere, thus reducing soil evaporation. To further evaluate how the competition is mediated by meteorological and hydrogeological characteristics of the watershed, changes in the trend due to different watershed hydraulic conductivity, vegetation cover, and snowfall area fraction are systematically studied. Results show considerable persistence in the anomalous trend over a wide range of controls. The controlling factors, however, have significant influence both on the magnitude of the WY evaporation and the location of the inflection point in the trend curve.

  8. Anomalous trend in soil evaporation in semi-arid, snow-dominated watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, R.; Kumar, M.

    2012-12-01

    Soil evaporation in arid and semi-arid regions is generally "moisture-limited". Evaporation in such regions shows an increasing trend with increase in magnitude of annual precipitation. This paper explores the trend in soil evaporation in a snow-dominated, semi-arid Reynolds Mountain East (RME) watershed by using a series of scenario experiments based on a linked snow melt and accumulation model with an integrated hydrology model. The results suggest that for the same hydrogeologic properties and meteorological conditions in the watershed, while the trend of annual soil evaporation with increasing annual rain shows an expected monotonic increase, the annual soil evaporation initially increases and then subsequently decreases with increasing annual precipitation for snow-dominated regimes. To further evaluate the controls on the existence of anomalous trends of evaporation, changes in the trend due to watershed characteristics such as watershed hydraulic conductivity, vegetation cover, and snowfall area fraction is systematically studied. The results show that the anomalous trend persists in a wide range of conditions, although the considered factors have significant influence both on the magnitude of the annual evaporation and the location of the inflection point in the trend curve. If validated, the results highlight the crucial role that snow accumulation and melt play on annual evaporation and water budget.

  9. Groundwater recharge in irrigated semi-arid areas: quantitative hydrological modelling and sensitivity analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Martínez, Joaquín; Candela, Lucila; Molinero, Jorge; Tamoh, Karim

    2010-12-01

    For semi-arid regions, methods of assessing aquifer recharge usually consider the potential evapotranspiration. Actual evapotranspiration rates can be below potential rates for long periods of time, even in irrigated systems. Accurate estimations of aquifer recharge in semi-arid areas under irrigated agriculture are essential for sustainable water-resources management. A method to estimate aquifer recharge from irrigated farmland has been tested. The water-balance-modelling approach was based on VisualBALAN v. 2.0, a computer code that simulates water balance in the soil, vadose zone and aquifer. The study was carried out in the Campo de Cartagena (SE Spain) in the period 1999-2008 for three different groups of crops: annual row crops (lettuce and melon), perennial vegetables (artichoke) and fruit trees (citrus). Computed mean-annual-recharge values (from irrigation+precipitation) during the study period were 397 mm for annual row crops, 201 mm for perennial vegetables and 194 mm for fruit trees: 31.4, 20.7 and 20.5% of the total applied water, respectively. The effects of rainfall events on the final recharge were clearly observed, due to the continuously high water content in soil which facilitated the infiltration process. A sensitivity analysis to assess the reliability and uncertainty of recharge estimations was carried out.

  10. Performance of fenugreek bioinoculated with Rhizobium meliloti strains under semi-arid condition.

    PubMed

    Singh, N K; Patel, D B

    2016-01-01

    Rhizobium meliloti strains were isolated from the fields of S.D. Agricultural University (Gujarat, India) and were maintained in the Congo Red Yeast Extract Mannitol Agar medium. These strains were tested for their effectiveness for fenugreek crop grown under semi-arid condition. Among the six Rhizobium strains, FRS-7 strain showed best plant growth parameters like shoot length, shoot dry weight, shoot total nitrogen, root length, root dry weight, root total nitrogen, seed yield, 1000 grain weight, number of root nodules, and nodules fresh and dry weight. The performance of this strain was better as compared to 20 kgN ha(-1) treatment through urea and was even far better over control plot. Seed yields obtained with FRS-7 during two years were 10.14 and 9.66 q ha(-1); which was about 36.8% and 45.9% high over control. This strain resulted in saving of about 20 kgN ha(-1) accompanied with better crop yield and soil health. Results of the present experiments can be utilized in integrated nutrient management for cultivation of fenugreek in semi-arid areas to provide sustainability to agricultural productivity in such regions. PMID:26930857

  11. Rainwater harvesting to enhance water productivity of rainfed agriculture in the semi-arid Zimbabwe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahinda, Jean-marc Mwenge; Rockström, Johan; Taigbenu, Akpofure E.; Dimes, John

    Zimbabwe’s poor are predominantly located in the semi-arid regions and rely on rainfed agriculture for their subsistence. Decline in productivity, scarcity of arable land, irrigation expansion limitations, erratic rainfall and frequent dry spells, among others cause food scarcity. The challenge faced by small-scale farmers is to enhance water productivity of rainfed agriculture by mitigating intra-seasonal dry spells (ISDS) through the adoption of new technologies such as rainwater harvesting (RWH). The paper analyses the agro-hydrological functions of RWH and assesses its impacts (at field scale) on the crop yield gap as well as the Transpirational Water Productivity ( WPT). The survey in six districts of the semi-arid Zimbabwe suggests that three parameters (water source, primary use and storage capacity) can help differentiate storage-type-RWH systems from “conventional dams”. The Agricultural Production Simulator Model (APSIM) was used to simulate seven different treatments (Control, RWH, Manure, Manure + RWH, Inorganic Nitrogen and Inorganic Nitrogen + RWH) for 30 years on alfisol deep sand, assuming no fertiliser carry over effect from season to season. The combined use of inorganic fertiliser and RWH is the only treatment that closes the yield gap. Supplemental irrigation alone not only reduces the risks of complete crop failure (from 20% down to 7% on average) for all the treatments but also enhances WPT (from 1.75 kg m -3 up to 2.3 kg m -3 on average) by mitigating ISDS.

  12. Comparative community physiology: nonconvergence in water relations among three semi-arid shrub communities.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Anna L; Pratt, R Brandon; Davis, Stephen D; Ewers, Frank W

    2008-01-01

    Plant adaptations to the environment are limited, and therefore plants in similar environments may display similar functional and physiological traits, a pattern termed functional convergence. Evidence was examined for functional convergence among 28 evergreen woody shrubs from three plant communities of the semi-arid winter rainfall region of southern California. Both leaf and water relations traits were examined, including seasonal stomatal conductance (gs), specific leaf area (SLA), leaf specific conductivity (Kl), seasonal water potential (Psi w), stem cavitation resistance (Psi 50), and xylem density. Species display community-specific suites of xylem and leaf traits consistent with different patterns of water use among communities, with coastal sage scrub species utilizing shallow pulses of water, Mojave Desert scrub species relying on deeper water reserves, and chaparral species utilizing both shallow and deep moisture reserves. Communities displayed similar degrees of water stress, with a community-level minimum Psi w (Psi wmin) of c. -4.6 Mpa, similar to other arid communities. Pooled across sites, there was a strong correlation between Psi wmin and xylem density, suggesting that these traits are broadly related and predictive of one another. This comparative community physiology approach may be useful in testing hypotheses of functional convergence across structurally similar semi-arid communities. PMID:18627498

  13. Runoff and recharge processes under a strong semi-arid climatic gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ries, F.; Lange, J.; Sauter, M.; Schmidt, S.

    2012-04-01

    Hydrological processes in semi-arid environments are highly dynamic. In the eastern slopes of the West Bank these dynamics are even intensified due to the predominant karst morphology, the strong climatic gradient (150-700 mm mean annual precipitation) and the small-scale variability of land use, topography and soil cover. The region is characterized by a scarcity in water resources and a high population growth. Therefore detailed information about the temporal and spatial distribution, amount and variability of available water resources is required. Providing this information by the use of hydrological models is challenging, because available data are extremely limited. From 2007 on, the research area of Wadi Auja, northeast of Jerusalem, has been instrumented with a dense monitoring network. Rainfall distribution and climatic parameters as well as the hydrological reaction of the system along the strong semi-arid climatic gradient are measured on the plot (soil moisture), hillslope (runoff generation) and catchment scale (spring discharge, groundwater level, flood runoff). First data from soil moisture plots situated along the climatic gradient are presented. They allow insights into physical properties of the soil layer and its impact on runoff and recharge processes under different climatic conditions. From continuous soil moisture profiles, soil water balances are calculated for singe events and entire seasons. These data will be used to parameterize the distributed hydrological model TRAIN-ZIN, which has been successfully applied in several studies in the Jordan River Basin.

  14. Detecting soil erosion in semi-arid mediterranean environments using simulated EnMAP data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bracken, Ashley H.

    Soil is an essential nature resource. Management of this resource is vital for sustainability and the continued functioning of earths atmospheric, hydrospheric and lithospheric functioning. The assessment and continued monitoring of surface soil state provides the information required to effectively manage this resource. This research used a simulated Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) hyperspectral image cube of an agricultural region in semi- arid Mediterranean Spain to classify soil erosion states. Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis (MESMA) was used to derive within pixel fractions of eroded and accumulated soils. A Classification of the soil erosion states using the scene fraction outputs and digital terrain information. The information products generated in this research provided an optimistic outlook for the applicability of the future EnMAP sensor for soil erosion investigations in semi-arid Mediterranean environments. Additionally, this research verifies that the launch of the EnMAP satellite sensor in 2018 will provide the opportunity to further improve the monitoring of earth finite soil resources.

  15. Drip water isotopes in semi-arid karst: Implications for speleothem paleoclimatology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuthbert, Mark O.; Baker, Andy; Jex, Catherine N.; Graham, Peter W.; Treble, Pauline C.; Andersen, Martin S.; Ian Acworth, R.

    2014-06-01

    We report the results of the first multi-year monitoring and modelling study of the isotopic composition of drip waters in a semi-arid karst terrane. High temporal resolution drip rate monitoring combined with monthly isotope drip water and rainfall sampling at Cathedral Cave, Australia, demonstrates that drip water discharge to the cave occurs irregularly, and only after occasional long duration and high volume rainfall events, where the soil moisture deficit and evapotranspiration is overcome. All drip waters have a water isotopic composition that is heavier than the weighted mean annual precipitation, some fall along the local meteoric water line, others trend towards an evaporation water line. It is hypothesised that, in addition to the initial rainfall composition, evaporation of unsaturated zone water, as well as the time between infiltration events, are the dominant processes that determine infiltration water isotopic composition. We test this hypothesis using a soil moisture balance and isotope model. Our research reports, for the first time, the potential role of sub-surface evaporation in altering drip water isotopic composition, and its implications for the interpretation of speleothem δO18 records from arid and semi-arid regions.

  16. Determining erosion and sedimentation chronology on semi-arid catchments using radioisotopes.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polyakov, Viktor; Nichols, Mary; Nearing, Mark

    2015-04-01

    Semi-arid environment is defined by high magnitude, low frequency rainfalls that produce highly variable soil erosion rates. This study attempted to establish erosion dynamic of past 70 years on three small semi-arid catchments with history of grazing and vegetation change. Activity of Cs-137 and excess Pb-210 from 18 cores collected from sedimentation ponds were measured using gamma spectrometer. The sediment was dated using constant initial concentration (CIC) and constant rate of supply (CRS) models. These estimates were compared with direct measurement of aggradation from historic topographic surveys. Sedimentation in the ponds ranged between 3.1 and 5.4 cm/year and the long term average erosion rates on catchments varied between 0.8 and 1.4 t/ha/year. The distribution of excess Pb-210 in the cores was better described by CRS model. Estimated erosion rates were in agreement with those established by other methods for similar catchments in the region. Past variation in sedimentation rates were identified and correlated with recorded history of grazing, vegetation management, and anthropogenic disturbance. Cs-137 and Pb-210 methods are suitable for use in arid environment and can complement each other to increase reliability of sedimentation rate estimates under highly variable hydrologic regimes.

  17. Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from animals in three western, semi-arid nature reserves in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Golezardy, H; Horak, I G

    2007-03-01

    The objective of this study was to make an inventory of the ixodid tick species infesting wild animals in three western, semi-arid nature reserves in South Africa. To this end 22 animals in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, 10 in the West Coast National Park and 16 in the Karoo National Park were examined. Fourteen tick species were recovered, of which Hyalomma truncatum, Rhipicephalus exophthalmos and Rhipicephalus glabroscutatum were each present in two reserves and the remainder only in one. The distributions of two of the 14 tick species recovered, namely Rhipicephalus capensis and Rhipicephalus neumanni, are virtually confined to the western semi-arid regions of southern Africa. Hyalomma truncatum, R. capensis and R. glabroscutatum were the most numerous of the ticks recovered, and eland, Taurotragus oryx, were the most heavily infested with the former two species and gemsbok, Oryx gazella, and mountain reedbuck, Redunca fulvorufula, with R. glabroscutatum. PMID:17708155

  18. An overview of dust aerosol effect on semi-arid climate during 2008 China-US joined field campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, J.; Bi, J.; Zhang, W.; Shi, J.; Tsay, S.; Li, Z.; Chen, H.; Wang, X.; Huang, Z.; Zhang, B.; Wang, G.; Zhang, L.

    2009-12-01

    To improve understanding and capture the direct evident of the impact of dust aerosol on semi-arid climate, the 2008 China-US joined field campaign are conducted. Three sites involved this campaign, including one permanent site (Semi-Arid Climate & Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University (SACOL)) (located in Yuzhong, 35.95°N/104.1°E), one SACOL’s Mobile Facility (SMF) (deployed in Jintai, 37.57°N/104.23°E) and the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurements(ARM) Ancillary Facility (AAF mobile laboratories, SMART-COMMIT) (deployed in Zhangye, 39.08°N/100.27°E). This study presents a description the objectives, measurements, and sampling strategies for this joined campaign. Major dust episodes captured during the campaign were investigated. Preliminary observation results show that the semi-direct effect may be dominated by the interaction between dust aerosols and clouds over arid and semi-arid areas and partly contribute to reduced precipitation. These results suggest that the local anthropogenic and nature absorbing aerosols make significant contribution to the regional interaction among aerosol-cloud-radiation-precipitation processes and need to be future investigation.

  19. Nitrogen cycling: water use efficiency interactions in semi-arid ecosystems in relation to management of tree legumes (Prosopis)

    SciTech Connect

    Felker, P.; Clark, P.R.; Osborn, J.; Cannell, G.H.

    1980-04-01

    Plant productivity in semi-arid ecosystems is often limited by soil fertility as much as it is by moisture availability. A quantitative assessment of nitrogen limitations on water use efficiency has been made after careful review of plant water use efficiency data at high and low soil fertilities and after careful review of nitrogen inputs to semi arid ecosystems in the form of: blue-green algae-lichen crusts; non-symbiotic nitrogen fixers; rainfall; and tree legumes. This analysis indicates that plant productivity in semi-arid regions may be 10 fold more limited by nitrogen than moisture availability. Forage yields of non-nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs could be greatly increased by interplanting with drought adapted nitrogen fixers such as Prosopis and Acacia. Calculations based on water use efficiencies of annual legumes and nitrogen fixation values of tree legumes predict that well managed, spaced, and cared for orchards of specially selected Prosopis could produce 4000 Kgha/sup -1/ yr/sup -1/ of 13% protein pods at 500 mm annual rainfall with only light fertilization with phosphate, potassium and sulfur. Field measurements of pod yields for 25 selections of 3 year old Prosopis grown under managed orchard conditions in southern California are presented. Spacing regimes and harvesting techniques for Prosopis are proposed to facilitate pod production.

  20. Contrasting patterns of nutrient dynamics during different storm events in a semi-arid catchment of northern China.

    PubMed

    Du, Xinzhong; Li, Xuyong; Hao, Shaonan; Wang, Huiliang; Shen, Xiao

    2014-01-01

    Nutrient discharge during storm events is a critical pathway for nutrient export in semi-arid catchments. We investigated nutrient dynamics during three summer storms characterized by different rainfall magnitude in 2012 in a semi-arid catchment of northern China. The results showed that, in response to storm events, nutrient dynamics displayed big variation in temporal trends of nutrient concentration and in nutrient concentration-flow discharge relationships. Nutrient concentrations had broader fluctuations during an extreme storm than during lesser storms, whereas the concentration ranges of the a moderate storm were no broader than those of a smaller one. The different concentration fluctuations were caused by storm magnitude and intensity coupled with the antecedent rainfall amount and cumulative nutrients. Correlation coefficients between nutrient concentrations and flow discharge varied from positive to negative for the three different events. There were no consistent hysteresis effects for the three different events, and no hysteresis effects were observed for any of the variables during the moderate storm (E2). Our findings provide useful information for better understanding nutrient loss mechanisms during storm events in semi-arid areas of a monsoon climate region. PMID:24960018

  1. Management implications of the ecology of free-roaming horses in semi-arid ecosystems of the western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.

    2003-01-01

    Compared to other ungulates of North America, free-roaming horses (Equus caballus) possess a unique evolutionary history that has given rise to a distinct suite of behavioral, morphological, and physiological traits. Because of their unique combination of cecal digestion, an elongate head with flexible lips, and non-uniform use of the landscape, horses represent a unique disturbance agent in semi-arid ecosystems of the western United States. Consequently, it is inappropriate to assume that influences of horses on the structure, composition, function, and pattern of arid and semi-arid ecosystems will mirror influences of cattle or other artiodactyls. Although management areas for free-roaming horses occupy 18.6 million ha of land across western North America, we know relatively little about how western ecosystems and their components have responded to this uniquely managed ungulate. I draw on my research of horse habitats in the western Great Basin (U.S.A.) to examine predictions of horses' unique influence, and advocate for continued research to refine our understanding of synecological relationships among horses and diverse ecosystem components in arid and semi-arid regions.

  2. Variation in semi-arid soil seed banks

    SciTech Connect

    Boudell-Flanary, J.A.; Link, S.O. |

    1995-09-01

    Seeds recovered from soils in the semi-arid shrub-steppe were compared to test for differences between the seed banks found beneath and cryptogamic crust and the crevices in the crust. Seed quantity found within the crevices was 56% higher than that under the cryptogamic crust. Pseudoroegneria spicata, Poa sandbergii, Bromus tectorum, and Artemisia tridentata are the common species found at the research site. Seeds of Bromus tectorum, Erigeron spp., and Poa spp. were found in the crevices of the crust. Seeds of Artemisia tridentata were not found in the seed banks of either the cryptogamic crust or the crevices in the crust. The higher amount of seeds found in the crevices of the cryptogamic crust suggests that the crevices play a significant role in determining the distributional pattern of shrub-steppe vegetation.

  3. Understanding runoff processes in a semi-arid environment through isotope and hydrochemical hydrograph separations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camacho, V. V.; Saraiva Okello, A. M. L.; Wenninger, J. W.; Uhlenbrook, S.

    2015-01-01

    The understanding of runoff generation mechanisms is crucial for the sustainable management of river basins such as the allocation of water resources or the prediction of floods and droughts. However, identifying the mechanisms of runoff generation has been a challenging task, even more so in arid and semi-arid areas where high rainfall and streamflow variability, high evaporation rates, and deep groundwater reservoirs increase the complexity of hydrological process dynamics. Isotope and hydrochemical tracers have proven to be useful in identifying runoff components and their characteristics. Moreover, although widely used in humid-temperate regions, isotope hydrograph separations have not been studied in detail in arid and semi-arid areas. Thus the purpose of this study is to determine if isotope hydrograph separations are suitable for the quantification and characterization of runoff components in a semi-arid catchment considering the hydrological complexities of these regions. Through a hydrochemical characterization of the surface water and groundwater sources of the catchment and two and three component hydrograph separations, runoff components of the Kaap Catchment in South Africa were quantified using both, isotope and hydrochemical tracers. No major disadvantages while using isotope tracers over hydrochemical tracers were found. Hydrograph separation results showed that runoff in the Kaap catchment is mainly generated by groundwater sources. Two-component hydrograph separations revealed groundwater contributions between 64 and 98% of total runoff. By means of three-component hydrograph separations, runoff components were further separated into direct runoff, shallow and deep groundwater components. Direct runoff, defined as the direct precipitation on the stream channel and overland flow, contributed up to 41% of total runoff during wet catchment conditions. Shallow groundwater defined as the soil water and near-surface water component, contributed up to 45

  4. Large-scale transcriptome analysis in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), an orphan legume crop of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important legume crop in the semi-arid regions of Asia and Africa. Gains in crop productivity have been low however, particularly due to biotic and abiotic stresses. To help enhance crop productivity using molecular breeding techniques, next generation sequencing ...

  5. The use of soil quality indicators to assess soil functionality in restored semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, 1-day CO2 test, microbial activity, mine restoration, soil health, ecosystem services. Introduction Semi-arid and arid environments are highly vulnerable to land degradation and their restoration has commonly showed low rates of success (James et al., 2013). A systematic knowledge of soil functionality is critical to successful restoration of degraded ecosystems since approximately 80% of ecosystem services can be connected to soil functions. The assessment of soil functionality generally involves the evaluation of soil properties and processes as they relate to the ability of soil to function effectively as a component of a healthy ecosystem (Costantini et al., 2015) Using soil quality indicators may be a valuable approach to assess functionality of topsoil and novel substrates used in restoration (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2014; 2015). A key soil chemical indicator is soil organic C, that has been widely used as an attribute of soil quality because of the many functions that it provides and supports (Willaarts et al., 2015). However, microbial indicators can be more sensitive to disturbances and could be a valuable addition in soil assessment studies in restoration programs. Here, we propose a set of soil quality indicators to assess the soil status in restored soils (topsoil and waste material) of semi-arid environments. The study was conducted during March 2015 in the Pilbara biogeographical region (northwestern Australia) at an iron ore mine site rehabilitated in 2011. Methods Soil samples were collected from two sub-areas with different soil materials used as growth media: topsoil retrieved from nearby stockpiles and a lateritic waste material utilised for its erosive stability and physical competence. An undisturbed natural shrub-grassland ecosystem dominated by Triodia spp. and Acacia spp. representative of the restored area was selected as the analogue reference site. Soil physicochemical analysis were undertaken according to standard methods

  6. Surficial weathering of iron sulfide mine tailings under semi-arid climate

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Sarah M.; Root, Robert A.; Perdrial, Nicolas; Maier, Raina; Chorover, Jon

    2014-01-01

    Mine wastes introduce anthropogenic weathering profiles to the critical zone that often remain unvegetated for decades after mining cessation. As such, they are vulnerable to wind and water dispersion of particulate matter to adjacent ecosystems and residential communities. In sulfide-rich ore tailings, propagation to depth of the oxidative weathering front controls the depth-variation in speciation of major and trace elements. Despite the prevalence of surficial mine waste deposits in arid regions of the globe, few prior studies have been conducted to resolve the near-surface profile of sulfide ore tailings weathered under semi-arid climate. We investigated relations between gossan oxidative reaction-front propagation and the molecular speciation of iron and sulfur in tailings subjected to weathering under semi-arid climate at an EPA Superfund Site in semi-arid central Arizona (USA). Here we report a multi-method data set combining wet chemical and synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) methods to resolve the tight coupling of iron (Fe) and sulfur (S) geochemical changes in the top 2 m of tailings. Despite nearly invariant Fe and S concentration with depth (130–140 and 100–120 g kg−1, respectively), a sharp redox gradient and distinct morphological change was observed within the top 0.5 m, associated with a progressive oxidative alteration of ferrous sulfides to (oxyhydr)oxides and (hydroxy)sulfates. Transformation is nearly complete in surficial samples. Trends in molecular-scale alteration were co-located with a decrease in pH from 7.3 to 2.3, and shifts in Fe and S lability as measured via chemical extraction. Initial weathering products, ferrihydrite and gypsum, transform to schwertmannite, then jarosite-group minerals with an accompanying decrease in pH. Interestingly, thermodynamically stable phases such as goethite and hematite were not detected in any samples, but ferrihydrite was observed even

  7. Surficial weathering of iron sulfide mine tailings under semi-arid climate.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Sarah M; Root, Robert A; Perdrial, Nicolas; Maier, Raina; Chorover, Jon

    2014-09-15

    Mine wastes introduce anthropogenic weathering profiles to the critical zone that often remain unvegetated for decades after mining cessation. As such, they are vulnerable to wind and water dispersion of particulate matter to adjacent ecosystems and residential communities. In sulfide-rich ore tailings, propagation to depth of the oxidative weathering front controls the depth-variation in speciation of major and trace elements. Despite the prevalence of surficial mine waste deposits in arid regions of the globe, few prior studies have been conducted to resolve the near-surface profile of sulfide ore tailings weathered under semi-arid climate. We investigated relations between gossan oxidative reaction-front propagation and the molecular speciation of iron and sulfur in tailings subjected to weathering under semi-arid climate at an EPA Superfund Site in semi-arid central Arizona (USA). Here we report a multi-method data set combining wet chemical and synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) methods to resolve the tight coupling of iron (Fe) and sulfur (S) geochemical changes in the top 2 m of tailings. Despite nearly invariant Fe and S concentration with depth (130-140 and 100-120 g kg(-1), respectively), a sharp redox gradient and distinct morphological change was observed within the top 0.5 m, associated with a progressive oxidative alteration of ferrous sulfides to (oxyhydr)oxides and (hydroxy)sulfates. Transformation is nearly complete in surficial samples. Trends in molecular-scale alteration were co-located with a decrease in pH from 7.3 to 2.3, and shifts in Fe and S lability as measured via chemical extraction. Initial weathering products, ferrihydrite and gypsum, transform to schwertmannite, then jarosite-group minerals with an accompanying decrease in pH. Interestingly, thermodynamically stable phases such as goethite and hematite were not detected in any samples, but ferrihydrite was observed even in

  8. Observing and Quantifying Ecological Disturbance Impacts on Semi-arid Biomes in the Southwestern US.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvak, M. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Morillas, L.; Fox, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    The magnitude of carbon fluxes through arid and semi-arid ecosystems is considered modest, but integrated over the ~40% of the global land surface covered by these ecosystems, the total carbon stored is almost twice that in temperate forest ecosystems. In the semi-arid Southwestern U.S., drought and rising temperatures have triggered insect outbreaks, fire and widespread mortality in the past 5 years, all of which are predicted to increase in the next century. Understanding how resilient carbon pools and fluxes in these biomes are to these disturbances constitutes a large uncertainty in our ability to understand both carbon and energy flux dynamics in this region. We use an 8 year record (2007-2014) of continuous measurements of net ecosystem exchange of carbon (NEE) and its components (gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re), and evapotranspiration (ET) made over the New Mexico Elevation Gradient (NMEG) network of flux tower sites (desert grassland, creosote shrubland, juniper savanna, piñon-juniper woodland, ponderosa pine and subalpine mixed conifer) to quantify the biome-specific responses of carbon and water dynamics to these disturbances. In particular, we focus on biome-specific responses across the NMEG biomes to the extended drought in this region from 2011-2014, and to the widespread mortality observed in piñon-juniper woodlands following the turn of the century drought (1999-2002) and multi-year recent drought. Finally, we compare functional responses of land-surface fluxes to recent catastrophic fires (grassland, subalpine conifer biomes), and insect outbreaks (subalpine conifer and piñon-juniper woodland biomes). We discuss the results in terms of which disturbances have contributed to and are likely to trigger the largest changes in carbon sequestration in this region in response to predicted climate change scenarios.

  9. Stable Water Isotope Tracing and Model Evaluation in Large Basins: the `` Special Case'' of Semi-Arid Catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henderson-Sellers, A.; Airey, P.; McGuffie, K.; Bradd, J.; Stone, D.

    2004-05-01

    The use of stable water isotopes in hydro-climate monitoring and modelling offers a new means of measuring and parameterizing critical processes. Here we review these specifically for the case of semi-arid basins where water resources are essential for potable supply and agriculture around the world. The verity and performance of existing models is examined using observations and simulations of stable water isotopes in rivers, aquifers and their precedent precipitations. Here we report on the Murray-Darling basin in Australia as one example of the `` special case'' of semi-arid catchments and use these data and results to examine evaluation and refinement of models and predictions on three time-scales: (i) minutes to months, (ii) years to decades and (iii) tens to thousands of years. We find that modelled isotopic depletions become increasingly sensitive to parameterized characteristics as the time period is decreased and/or a significant atmospheric circulation disturbance occurs. Minute to monthly isotope fluxes simulated by land surface schemes and river hydrology models allow comparison of the partition of precipitation between transpiration, run-off and open-water evaporation with isotope observations from 2002 and 2003. A range of atmospheric global circulation models (GCMs) simulations of key hydrological parameters over years to decades reveals poor results for the majority (13 in 20). We show that between 1979 and 1996 modelled groundwater is apparently being `tapped' in many of these GCMs at rates required to allow evaporation to greatly exceed precipitation (Ev>>Pr). Analysis of the `` good"'' versus the `` poor'' hydro-climate models reveals that unwitting application of `` poor'' models to current and future hydrological issues in semi-arid basins generates errors of over 100% in predictions. Isotopes demonstrate that in warm semi-arid regions, in contrast to the behaviour in cool temperate zones, groundwater recharge occurs only when rainfall

  10. Hydraulics of sub-superficial flow constructed wetlands in semi arid climate conditions.

    PubMed

    Ranieri, E

    2003-01-01

    This paper reports the evaluation of the hydraulics of two constructed wetland (cw(s)) plants located in Apulia (the South Eastern Italy region characterized by semi arid climate conditions). These fields were planted with Phragmites australis hydrophytes and are supplied with local secondary wastewater municipal treatment plant effluent. Each plant--Kickuth Root-Zone method based--covers an area of approx. 2,000 m2. The evapotranspiration phenomenon has been evaluated within perforated tubes fixed to the field bottom and very high values--up to 40 mm/d--were found. Hydraulic conductivity has been evaluated by in situ measurements at different field points. Hydraulic gradients and the piezometric curve within the field are also reported. PMID:12793661

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Atmospheric carbonyl sulfide (COS) is a major precursor for sulfate aerosols that play a critical role in climate regulation. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of COS measurements as a reliable means to constrain biospheric carbon assimilation. In a scenario of limited availability of COS data around the globe, we present gas-chromatographic measurements of atmospheric COS mixing ratios over Ahmedabad, a semi-arid, urban region in western India. These measurements, being reported for the first time over an Indian site, enable us to understand the diurnal and seasonal variation in atmospheric COS with respect to its natural, anthropogenic and photochemical sources and sinks. The annual mean COS mixing ratio over Ahmedabad is found to be 0.83±0.43ppbv, which is substantially higher than free tropospheric values for the northern hemisphere. Inverse correlation of COS with soil and skin temperature, suggests that the dry soil of the semi-arid study region is a potential sink for atmospheric COS. Positive correlations of COS with NO2 and CO during post-monsoon and the COS/CO slope of 0.78pptv/ppbv reveals influence of diesel combustion and tire wear. The highest concentrations of COS are observed during pre-monsoon; COS/CO2 slope of 44.75pptv/ppmv combined with information from air mass back-trajectories reveal marshy wetlands spanning over 7500km(2) as an important source of COS in Ahmedabad. COS/CO2 slopes decrease drastically (8.28pptv/ppmv) during post-monsoon due to combined impact of biospheric uptake and anthropogenic emissions. PMID:26907740

  12. Quantifying the thermal heat requirement of Brassica in assessing biophysical parameters under semi-arid microenvironments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adak, Tarun; Chakravarty, N. V. K.

    2010-07-01

    Evaluation of the thermal heat requirement of Brassica spp. across agro-ecological regions is required in order to understand the further effects of climate change. Spatio-temporal changes in hydrothermal regimes are likely to affect the physiological growth pattern of the crop, which in turn will affect economic yields and crop quality. Such information is helpful in developing crop simulation models to describe the differential thermal regimes that prevail at different phenophases of the crop. Thus, the current lack of quantitative information on the thermal heat requirement of Brassica crops under debranched microenvironments prompted the present study, which set out to examine the response of biophysical parameters [leaf area index (LAI), dry biomass production, seed yield and oil content] to modified microenvironments. Following 2 years of field experiments on Typic Ustocrepts soils under semi-arid climatic conditions, it was concluded that the Brassica crop is significantly responsive to microenvironment modification. A highly significant and curvilinear relationship was observed between LAI and dry biomass production with accumulated heat units, with thermal accumulation explaining ≥80% of the variation in LAI and dry biomass production. It was further observed that the economic seed yield and oil content, which are a function of the prevailing weather conditions, were significantly responsive to the heat units accumulated from sowing to 50% physiological maturity. Linear regression analysis showed that growing degree days (GDD) could indicate 60-70% variation in seed yield and oil content, probably because of the significant response to differential thermal microenvironments. The present study illustrates the statistically strong and significant response of biophysical parameters of Brassica spp. to microenvironment modification in semi-arid regions of northern India.

  13. Were Semi-Arid Areas Wetter or Drier during the Pliocene?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feakins, S. J.; Liddy, H.; Tierney, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    Drying is projected for many semi-arid areas under global warming scenarios. The Pliocene provides a natural analog for global warmth, allowing us to test the terrestrial response to past warming. Today North East Africa (O to 12 N, 38 to 50 E) includes C3 shrubs in arid areas, C4 grasslands in semi-arid areas and C3 trees in the moister uplands. Here we take a biomarker approach to reconstructing terrestrial vegetation and hydrological changes in NE Africa during the Pliocene and develop complementary records of sea surface temperature (SST) changes in the Western Indian Ocean. We find the plant leaf wax carbon isotopic negative anomaly to be ambiguous. Woody cover interpretations suggest afforestation with C3 trees. But an alternative explanation, an increase of dry C3 shrublands, appears more likely based on drying evidence from hydrogen isotopes and pollen for an expansion of shrub taxa. Either change implies a contraction of the Miocene C4 grasslands. To explore the mechanisms for drying we look to the Western Indian Ocean and find biomarker trends show a coincident cooling (in contrast to Mg/Ca), providing a mechanism to reduce moisture supply to the continent. We are adding to the resolution and coverage of the d13C, dD, pollen and TEX86 records in order to assess whether this Pliocene scenario is robust. Specifically we are testing the hypothesis that a cooling trend in the Western Indian Ocean is coincident with a drying and C3 shrubland expansion. Our work to resolve these quite different scenarios (afforestation or aridification on land) is key, since model simulations have offered up both wetter and drier regional responses to Pliocene global warmth and questions about the direction of SST changes (warming or cooling Indian Ocean across the Pliocene) forms part of the larger present debate about the fidelity of Pliocene SST proxies.

  14. Determinants of tillage frequency among smallholder farmers in two semi-arid areas in Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temesgen, Melesse; Rockstrom, J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Hoogmoed, W. B.; Alemu, Dawit

    Traditional tillage systems practiced by farmers in semi-arid regions of Ethiopia are characterized by repeated and cross plowing with an indigenous plow called Maresha. Repeated and cross plowing have led to land degradation. Conservation tillage systems that advocate minimum soil disturbance can alleviate land degradation problems. However, before introducing reduced tillage systems, it was found necessary to study why farmers undertake repeated plowing. The study was undertaken in two semi-arid areas called Melkawoba and Wulinchity located in the central rift valley of Ethiopia and on two major crops; Tef ( Eragrostis Tef (Zucc.)) and maize ( Zea mays XX). Fifty farmers from each area were randomly selected and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The results showed that farmers in the study area plow repeatedly in order to completely disturb unplowed strips of land left between adjacent furrows. Unplowed strips are the results of the V-shaped furrows created by the Maresha plow. Farmers generally do not plow before the soil is wetted by rainfall. Wetting and drying cycles due to dry spells occurring between rainfall events force farmers to plow frequently to avoid moisture losses through surface runoff, evaporation and weed transpiration. Tef fields are plowed 4-5 times while maize fields are plowed 3-4 times. Tillage frequency increased with the education level and experience of farmers; with their perception about the purpose of tillage such as moisture conservation, weed control and soil warming; and with resource availability such as area of land and family labor. Tillage frequency was higher for Tef than for maize and in heavy soils than in light soils.

  15. Impacts of intensive agricultural irrigation and livestock farming on a semi-arid Mediterranean catchment.

    PubMed

    Martín-Queller, Emi; Moreno-Mateos, David; Pedrocchi, César; Cervantes, Juan; Martínez, Gonzalo

    2010-08-01

    Irrigation return flows (IRF) are a major contributor of non-point source pollution to surface and groundwater. We evaluated the effects of irrigation on stream hydrochemistry in a Mediterranean semi-arid catchment (Flumen River, NE Spain). The Flumen River was separated into two zones based on the intensity of irrigation activities in the watershed. General linear models were used to compare the two zones. Relevant covariables (urban sewage, pig farming, and gypsum deposits in the basin) were quantified with the help of geographic information system techniques, accompanied by ground-truthing. High variability of the water quality parameters and temporal dynamics caused by irrigation were used to distinguish the two river reaches. Urban activity and livestock farming had a significant effect on water chemistry. An increase in the concentration of salts (240-541 microS.cm(-1) more in winter) and nitrate (average concentrations increased from 8.5 to 20.8 mg.l(-1) during irrigation months) was associated with a higher level of IRF. Those river reaches more strongly influenced by urban areas tended to have higher phosphorus (0.19-0.42 mg.l(-1) more in winter) concentrations. These results support earlier research about the significant consequences to water quality of both urban expansion and intensive agricultural production in arid and semi-arid regions. Data also indicate that salinization of soils, subsoils, surface water, and groundwater can be an unwelcome result of the application of pig manure for fertilization (increase in sodium concentration in 77.9 to 138.6 mg.l(-1)). PMID:19585246

  16. Modeling mechanisms of vegetation change due to fire in a semi-arid ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, J.D.; Gutzwiller, K.J.; Barrow, W.C.; Randall, L.J.; Swint, P.

    2008-01-01

    Vegetation growth and community composition in semi-arid environments is determined by water availability and carbon assimilation mechanisms specific to different plant types. Disturbance also impacts vegetation productivity and composition dependent on area affected, intensity, and frequency factors. In this study, a new spatially explicit ecosystem model is presented for the purpose of simulating vegetation cover type changes associated with fire disturbance in the northern Chihuahuan Desert region. The model is called the Landscape and Fire Simulator (LAFS) and represents physiological activity of six functional plant types incorporating site climate, fire, and seed dispersal routines for individual grid cells. We applied this model for Big Bend National Park, Texas, by assessing the impact of wildfire on the trajectory of vegetation communities over time. The model was initialized and calibrated based on landcover maps derived from Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper data acquired in 1986 and 1999 coupled with plant biomass measurements collected in the field during 2000. Initial vegetation cover change analysis from satellite data showed shrub encroachment during this time period that was captured in the simulated results. A synthetic 50-year climate record was derived from historical meteorological data to assess system response based on initial landcover conditions. This simulation showed that shrublands increased to the detriment of grass and yucca-ocotillo vegetation cover types indicating an ecosystem-level trajectory for shrub encroachment. Our analysis of simulated fires also showed that fires significantly reduced site biomass components including leaf area, stem, and seed biomass in this semi-arid ecosystem. In contrast to other landscape simulation models, this new model incorporates detailed physiological responses of functional plant types that will allow us to simulated the impact of increased atmospheric CO2 occurring with climate change coupled with fire

  17. A ten-year water balance of a mountainous semi-arid watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flerchinger, G. N.; Cooley, K. R.

    2000-10-01

    Quantifying water balance components, which is particularly challenging in snow-fed, semi-arid regions, is crucial to understanding the basic hydrology of a watershed. In this study, a water balance was computed using 10 years of data collected at the Upper Sheep Creek Watershed, a 26-ha semi-arid mountainous sub-basin within the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in southwest Idaho, USA. The approach computed a partial water balance for each of three landscape units and then computed an aggregated water balance for the watershed. Runoff and change in ground water storage were not distinguishable between landscape units. Precipitation, which occurs predominantly as snow, was measured within each landscape unit directly and adjusted for drifting. Spatial variability of effective precipitation was shown to be greater during years with higher precipitation. Evapotranspiration, which accounted for nearly 90% of the effective precipitation, was estimated using the Simultaneous Heat and Water (SHAW) Model and validated with measurements from Bowen ratio instruments. Runoff from the watershed was correlated to precipitation above a critical threshold of approximately 450 mm of precipitation necessary to generate runoff ( r2=0.52). The average water balance error was 46 mm, or approximately 10% of the estimated effective precipitation for the ten-year period. The error was largely attributed to deep percolation losses through fractures in the basalt underlying the watershed. Simulated percolation of the water beyond the root zone correlated extremely well with measured runoff ( r2=0.90), which is derived almost entirely from subsurface flow. Above a threshold of 50 mm, approximately 67% of the water percolating beyond the root zone produces runoff. The remainder was assumed to be lost to deep percolation through the basalt. This can have important ramifications in addressing subsurface flow and losses when applying a snowmelt runoff model to simulate runoff and

  18. When does colonisation of a semi-arid hillslope generate vegetation patterns?

    PubMed

    Sherratt, Jonathan A

    2016-07-01

    Patterned vegetation occurs in many semi-arid regions of the world. Most previous studies have assumed that patterns form from a starting point of uniform vegetation, for example as a response to a decrease in mean annual rainfall. However an alternative possibility is that patterns are generated when bare ground is colonised. This paper investigates the conditions under which colonisation leads to patterning on sloping ground. The slope gradient plays an important role because of the downhill flow of rainwater. One long-established consequence of this is that patterns are organised into stripes running parallel to the contours; such patterns are known as banded vegetation or tiger bush. This paper shows that the slope also has an important effect on colonisation, since the uphill and downhill edges of an isolated vegetation patch have different dynamics. For the much-used Klausmeier model for semi-arid vegetation, the author shows that without a term representing water diffusion, colonisation always generates uniform vegetation rather than a pattern. However the combination of a sufficiently large water diffusion term and a sufficiently low slope gradient does lead to colonisation-induced patterning. The author goes on to consider colonisation in the Rietkerk model, which is also in widespread use: the same conclusions apply for this model provided that a small threshold is imposed on vegetation biomass, below which plant growth is set to zero. Since the two models are quite different mathematically, this suggests that the predictions are a consequence of the basic underlying assumption of water redistribution as the pattern generation mechanism. PMID:26547308

  19. Medicinal plants of the caatinga (semi-arid) vegetation of NE Brazil: a quantitative approach.

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Muniz de Medeiros, Patrícia; de Almeida, Alyson Luiz S; Monteiro, Júlio Marcelino; Machado de Freitas Lins Neto, Ernani; Gomes de Melo, Joabe; dos Santos, Janaina Patrícia

    2007-12-01

    The caatinga (semi-arid vegetation) is a Brazilian biome with a significant but poorly studied biodiversity closely associated with a diverse cultural heritage. The present work focused on analyzing published information available concerning medicinal plants used by traditional communities. We sought to contribute to future phytochemical and pharmacological investigations by documenting the therapeutic uses of native caatinga plants within the aims of modern ethnopharmacological research. Twenty-one published works cited a total of 389 plant species used by indigenous and rural communities in northeastern Brazil for medicinal purposes. The relative importance index (RI) of each species in these inventories was calculated, and information concerning the plant's local status (spontaneous or cultivated), distribution, and habit was recorded. Of the 275 spontaneous (non-cultivated) species cited, 15.3% were endemic to the caatinga. A statistical relationship was verified between the relative importance of the species and their endemic status (p<0.05). Herbaceous plants were more numerous (169) than trees (90) or shrubs and sub-shrubs (130) at a statistically significant level (p<0.05). A survey of published information on the phytochemical and pharmacological status of the plants demonstrating the highest RI supported the veracity of their attributed folk uses. PMID:17900836

  20. Vertical distribution, migration rates, and model comparison of actinium in a semi-arid environment.

    PubMed

    McClellan, Y; August, R A; Gosz, J R; Gann, S; Parmenter, R R; Windsor, M

    2006-01-01

    Vertical soil characterization and migration of radionuclides were investigated at four radioactively contaminated sites on Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB), New Mexico to determine the vertical downward migration of radionuclides in a semi-arid environment. The surface soils (0-15 cm) were intentionally contaminated with Brazilian sludge (containing (232)Thorium and other radionuclides) approximately 40 years ago, in order to simulate the conditions resulting from a nuclear weapons accident. Site grading consisted of manually raking or machine disking the sludge. The majority of the radioactivity was found in the top 15 cm of soil, with retention ranging from 69 to 88%. Two models, a compartment diffusion model and leach rate model, were evaluated to determine their capabilities and limitations in predicting radionuclide behavior. The migration rates of actinium were calculated with the diffusion compartment and the leach rate models for all sites, and ranged from 0.009 to 0.1 cm/yr increasing with depth. The migration rates calculated with the leach rate models were similar to those using the diffusion compartment model and did not increase with depth (0.045-0.076, 0.0 cm/yr). The research found that the physical and chemical properties governing transport processes of water and solutes in soil provide a valid radionuclide transport model. The evaluation also showed that the physical model has fewer limitations and may be more applicable to this environment. PMID:16243414

  1. Object-based classification of semi-arid wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halabisky, Meghan; Moskal, L. Monika; Hall, Sonia A.

    2011-01-01

    Wetlands are valuable ecosystems that benefit society. However, throughout history wetlands have been converted to other land uses. For this reason, timely wetland maps are necessary for developing strategies to protect wetland habitat. The goal of this research was to develop a time-efficient, automated, low-cost method to map wetlands in a semi-arid landscape that could be scaled up for use at a county or state level, and could lay the groundwork for expanding to forested areas. Therefore, it was critical that the research project contain two components: accurate automated feature extraction and the use of low-cost imagery. For that reason, we tested the effectiveness of geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) to delineate and classify wetlands using freely available true color aerial photographs provided through the National Agriculture Inventory Program. The GEOBIA method produced an overall accuracy of 89% (khat = 0.81), despite the absence of infrared spectral data. GEOBIA provides the automation that can save significant resources when scaled up while still providing sufficient spatial resolution and accuracy to be useful to state and local resource managers and policymakers.

  2. Heterogeneous aquifer system modelisation under semi-arid climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drias, Tarek; Toubal, Ahmed Cherif

    2010-05-01

    The studied zone is a part of the Mellegne's (North-East of Algeria) under pound, this zone is characterised by its semi-arid climate. The water bearing system is formed by the plio-quaternairy alluviums resting on a marley substratuim of age Eocene. The geostatiscitcs approach of the hydrodynamics parameters (Hydrolic load, transmisivity) allowed the study of their spatial distrubution (casting) by the method of Krigeage by blocks and the identification of zones with water-bearing potentialities. In this respect, the zone of Ain Chabro which, is situated in the South of the plain shows the best values of the transmisivity...... The use of a bidimensinnel model in the differences ended in the permanent regime allowed us to establish the global balence sheet (overall assessment) of the tablecloth and to refine the transmisivity field. These would vary more exactley between 10-4 to 10-2 m²/s. The method associating the probability appraoch of Krigeage to that determining the model has facilited the wedging of the model and clarified the inflitration value. Keys words: hydrodynamics, geostatiscitcs, Modeling, Chabro, Tébessa.

  3. The use of soil quality indicators to assess soil functionality in restored semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, 1-day CO2 test, microbial activity, mine restoration, soil health, ecosystem services. Introduction Semi-arid and arid environments are highly vulnerable to land degradation and their restoration has commonly showed low rates of success (James et al., 2013). A systematic knowledge of soil functionality is critical to successful restoration of degraded ecosystems since approximately 80% of ecosystem services can be connected to soil functions. The assessment of soil functionality generally involves the evaluation of soil properties and processes as they relate to the ability of soil to function effectively as a component of a healthy ecosystem (Costantini et al., 2015) Using soil quality indicators may be a valuable approach to assess functionality of topsoil and novel substrates used in restoration (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2014; 2015). A key soil chemical indicator is soil organic C, that has been widely used as an attribute of soil quality because of the many functions that it provides and supports (Willaarts et al., 2015). However, microbial indicators can be more sensitive to disturbances and could be a valuable addition in soil assessment studies in restoration programs. Here, we propose a set of soil quality indicators to assess the soil status in restored soils (topsoil and waste material) of semi-arid environments. The study was conducted during March 2015 in the Pilbara biogeographical region (northwestern Australia) at an iron ore mine site rehabilitated in 2011. Methods Soil samples were collected from two sub-areas with different soil materials used as growth media: topsoil retrieved from nearby stockpiles and a lateritic waste material utilised for its erosive stability and physical competence. An undisturbed natural shrub-grassland ecosystem dominated by Triodia spp. and Acacia spp. representative of the restored area was selected as the analogue reference site. Soil physicochemical analysis were undertaken according to standard methods

  4. Fungal weathering of asbestos in semi arid regions of India.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Shabori; John, P J; Ledwani, Lalita

    2016-02-01

    The science of Geomicrobiology, which deals with mineral- microbe interaction in nature contributes effectively to three important processes namely- mineral and metal bioremediation, biomining and soil mineral formation by microbes. Bioremediation one of the important process of the above, degrades or transforms hazardous contaminants to less toxic compounds. Several groups of fungi have proved highly efficient in this aspect, with asbestos being one such toxic entity in the environment on which their activity was studied. The present investigation uses the same tool as a device for detoxifying asbestos, a potent carcinogenic entity; with fungal isolates native to the asbestos mines of Rajasthan, India, being investigated for the first time. The cellular mechanism of asbestos toxicity is mainly attributed to the presence of iron in its chemical composition which catalyzes generation of free radicals leading to oxidation of biomolecules. The two dominant novel species found therein, identified as Aspergillus tubingenesis and Coemansia reversa have proved capable of actively removing iron from asbestos fibers as studied by scanning electron microscopy- electron diffraction X-ray (SEM-EDX) analysis. This probably could lead to a reduction in toxicity of asbestos, due to reduced iron concentration as reported in related studies. Many fungi are known to release iron chelating compounds, siderophores, which could be instrumental in the study. The findings related to two new fungal species being added to the list of earlier identified fungal bioremediators of asbestos, widens the prospect of using bioremediation as an effective tool for asbestos detoxification. PMID:26520469

  5. Ethno-ornithology and conservation of wild birds in the semi-arid Caatinga of northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; Leite, Railson Cidennys Lourenço; Souto, Wedson Medeiros Silva; Bezerra, Dandara M M; Loures-Ribeiro, Alan

    2013-01-01

    The utilization of birds as pets has been recognized as one of the principal threats to global avifauna. Most of the information about the use and sale of birds as pets has been limited to areas of high biodiversity and whose impacts of anthropic actions have been widely broadcast internationally, for example for the Amazon Forest and forest remnants of Southeast Asia. The Caatinga predominates in the semi-arid region of Brazil, and is one of the semi-arid biomes with the greatest biological diversity in the world, where 511 species of birds exist. Many of these birds are used as pets, a common practice in the region, which has important conservationist implications but has been little studied. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to detail aspects of the use of birds as pets in a locality in the semi-arid region of Northeast Brazil. Information on the use of avifauna was obtained through interviews and visits to the homes of 78 wild bird keepers. A total of 41 species of birds were recorded, mostly of the families Emberizidae (n = 9 species), Columbidae (n = 7 species), Icteridae (n = 6 species) and Psittacidae (n = 3 species). The birds that were most often recorded were Paroaria dominicana (n = 79 especimens), Sporophila albogularis (n = 67), Aratinga cactorum (n = 49), Sporophila lineola (n = 36), Sicalis flaveola (n = 29) and Sporophila nigricollis (n = 27). The use of wild birds in the area studied, as an example of what occurs in other places in the semi-arid Northeast, demonstrates that such activities persist in the region, in spite of being illegal, and have been happening in clandestine or semi-clandestine manner. No statistically significant correlation were found between socioeconomic factors and keeping birds as pets reflects the cultural importance of this practice of rearing wild birds for pets in the region, which is widespread among the local population, independent of socioeconomic factors. Obviously, human pressure on the avifauna

  6. Ethno-ornithology and conservation of wild birds in the semi-arid Caatinga of northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The utilization of birds as pets has been recognized as one of the principal threats to global avifauna. Most of the information about the use and sale of birds as pets has been limited to areas of high biodiversity and whose impacts of anthropic actions have been widely broadcast internationally, for example for the Amazon Forest and forest remnants of Southeast Asia. The Caatinga predominates in the semi-arid region of Brazil, and is one of the semi-arid biomes with the greatest biological diversity in the world, where 511 species of birds exist. Many of these birds are used as pets, a common practice in the region, which has important conservationist implications but has been little studied. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to detail aspects of the use of birds as pets in a locality in the semi-arid region of Northeast Brazil. Information on the use of avifauna was obtained through interviews and visits to the homes of 78 wild bird keepers. A total of 41 species of birds were recorded, mostly of the families Emberizidae (n = 9 species), Columbidae (n = 7 species), Icteridae (n = 6 species) and Psittacidae (n = 3 species). The birds that were most often recorded were Paroaria dominicana (n = 79 especimens), Sporophila albogularis (n = 67), Aratinga cactorum (n = 49), Sporophila lineola (n = 36), Sicalis flaveola (n = 29) and Sporophila nigricollis (n = 27). The use of wild birds in the area studied, as an example of what occurs in other places in the semi-arid Northeast, demonstrates that such activities persist in the region, in spite of being illegal, and have been happening in clandestine or semi-clandestine manner. No statistically significant correlation were found between socioeconomic factors and keeping birds as pets reflects the cultural importance of this practice of rearing wild birds for pets in the region, which is widespread among the local population, independent of socioeconomic factors. Obviously

  7. Role of radiatively forced temperature changes in enhanced semi-arid warming in the cold season over east Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, X.; Huang, J.; Guo, R.; Yu, H.; Lin, P.; Zhang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    As climate change has occurred over east Asia since the 1950s, intense interest and debate have arisen concerning the contribution of human activities to the observed warming in past decades. In this study, we investigate regional surface temperature change during the boreal cold season using a recently developed methodology that can successfully identify and separate the dynamically induced temperature (DIT) and radiatively forced temperature (RFT) changes in raw surface air temperature (SAT) data. For regional averages, DIT and RFT contribute 44 and 56 % to the SAT over east Asia, respectively. The DIT changes dominate the SAT decadal variability and are mainly determined by internal climate variability, represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). Radiatively forced SAT changes have made a major contribution to the global-scale warming trend and the regional-scale enhanced semi-arid warming (ESAW). Such enhanced warming is also found in radiatively forced daily maximum and minimum SAT. The long-term global-mean SAT warming trend is mainly related to radiative forcing produced by global well-mixed greenhouse gases. The regional anthropogenic radiative forcing, however, caused the enhanced warming in the semi-arid region, which may be closely associated with local human activities. Finally, the relationship between the so-called "global warming hiatus" and regional enhanced warming is discussed.

  8. Focused Recharge in a Semi-arid Riparian Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, A.; Geyer, T.; Shook, G.; Butler, J. J.; Whittemore, D.; Kluitenberg, G.

    2006-12-01

    Precipitation-induced recharge can be an important component of the water balance of semi-arid riparian zones. Recharge mechanisms were assessed as part of an ecohydrologic investigation at a site in a vegetated riparian zone along the Arkansas River in south-central Kansas (Larned Research Site). This site contains a network of shallow wells for water-table monitoring, neutron-probe access tubes for vadose-zone water content observations, a stream-gage station, and a weather station. Over the last four years, the Arkansas River has flowed at the site for less than four months, so the usual state of the channel is a dry, 20-30 m swath of coarse sand and gravel bounded by riparian-zone vegetation. An evaluation of water-table responses to precipitation at wells located at different distances from the channel found that recharge appears to be primarily occurring through the channel deposits. In the absence of rainfall, the general trend of ground water flow is from west to east. During and shortly after rain events, however, the hydraulic gradient changes and ground water flows outward from a mound underneath the channel. The peaks in the water-table hydrographs produced by precipitation events are lagged and attenuated with distance from the river channel in a manner very similar to what is observed when a flow event occurs in the river channel. These changes with distance from the channel appear to be independent of the depth to the water table. In addition, vadose-zone water content data show little evidence of vertical flow through the vadose zone in the vegetated riparian area in response to the precipitation. Variations in the dissolved solids content of ground water across the riparian area are consistent with recharge primarily occurring through the channel deposits.

  9. Seasonal dynamics of soil CO2 efflux in biodiverse semi-arid ecosystems of Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Martini, Dylan; Erickson, Todd; Merritt, David; Dixon, Kingsley

    2015-04-01

    Introduction In recent years, soil respiration (Rs) has been a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of CO2 fluxes from soils. Rs is the second largest carbon flux in terrestrial ecosystems and globally accounts for 98±12 CO2-C yr-1 or ten times that produced by fossil fuel combustion. In addition to its importance in the global carbon cycle, Rs is a key indicator of ecosystem state and functioning. Despite the global importance of this process, there is still limited knowledge of its and responses to abiotic and biotic processes, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas. In this research we investigated the seasonal variations and controlling factors of Rs for different vegetation types in biodiverse ecosystems of the Pilbara region (Western Australia). This region, with a semi-arid climate and two main seasons (wet-summer and dry-winter), is an ancient landscape with diverse geology and high levels of regional endemism. Methods This research was conducted in seven study sites across the Pilbara region with similar native soils and analogous ecosystems representative of the area. A permanent plot was defined at each site which included three of the most representative and dominant vegetation cover types of the Pilbara ecosystems: trees (Corymbia spp.), shrubs (Acacia spp.), grasses (Triodia spp.), and bare soil. Soil sampling and field measurements were carried out in February 2014 (wet-summer season) and July 2014 (dry-winter season). Rs was measured with a portable soil CO2 flux chamber attached to a Li-Cor 6400 and, simultaneously, both temperature and soil moisture were determined. Results Soil CO2 efflux ranged from 0.57 µmol m-2 s-1 to 1.96 µmol m-2 s-1 in the dry-winter season and from 1.57 µmol m-2 s-1 to 3.91 µmol m-2 s-1 in the wet-summer season. Higher Rs rates were found in the wet-summer season in all vegetation types and below Corymbia spp. in both periods. Rs differed significantly

  10. Semi-Arid Water Resource Challenges - Can Water Harvesting Close the Gap?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meixner, T.; Niraula, R.; Norman, L.; Pivo, G.; Gerlak, A.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Henry, A.

    2015-12-01

    Water resource availability restricts development in arid and semi-arid regions of world. Past observations show that urban areas can increase stream discharge at least on a local scale. These results suggest that urbanization may increase the availability of wet water capable of being used by urban society. Here we present a combination of observational work demonstrating the increase of available water in urban areas of southern Arizona; and a modelling study demonstrating that future land use change may significantly increase river discharge across the Santa Cruz watershed which is ~12% urban. The observational data comes from over 30 watersheds varying in cover from undeveloped to highly urban and in spatial scale from a few square meters to thousands of square kilometers. The modelling study includes a conservation (~35% urban), megalopolitan (~34% urban) and business as usual scenario (~38% urban) for land use change due to regional population growth. All land use change scenarios result in significant increases in watershed streamflow. Depending upon pattern of urbanization, streamflow increased as much 88% in some watershed locations; demonstrating the potential to partially meet water resources demands in the region with water produced by the urbanization process. This water could be used regionally or locally, and significant efforts at implementing water harvesting in the region have been pursued. However, the ability to scale such implementation and overcome the physical, and social barriers to implementation are currently unquantified.

  11. Landscape heterogeneity and ecohydrologic modeling in semi-arid urban ecosystems: how does impervious surface impact vegetation water use?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shields, C. A.; Tague, C.

    2012-12-01

    Urban areas are characterized by significant amounts of impervious surface cover and a high degree of fine scale spatial heterogeneity. For ecohydrologic modelers, these characteristics present a challenge, as these fine scale spatial characteristics may be ecologically important but are computationally intensive to model at the catchment scale. In the case of impervious surface, a large body of research has documented the effects of increased impervious surface on runoff response. Studies also show that areas where impervious surface is highly connected to the stream network show a different runoff response to areas where there are fewer connections between impervious surfaces and the stream. These findings suggest that fine scale impervious surface patterns may be as important as total impervious surface area in determining catchment response to urbanization. While the effects of increased impervious surface and basin connectivity on runoff are well documented, impacts on the delivery of water to vegetated areas are less studied. In water-stressed semi-arid areas, the potential for impervious surface arrangements to increase or decrease water delivery to plants is of particular interest from both a purely ecological and a more modeling oriented standpoint: what effect does the connectivity of impervious surface to either vegetation or the stream network have on vegetation in semi-arid urban areas, and how would accounting for this effect change ecohydrologic model output at the catchment scale? We use an ecohydrologic model, RHESSys, to quanitfy the sensitivity of vegetation water use and net primary productivity to fine scale impervious surface connections in a semi arid region. We simulate a series of fine scale, spatially explicit impervious surface scenarios on a small (0.009 km2) theoretical hillslope under semi-arid Mediterranean climate conditions. We analyze the influence of impervious surface arrangements on modeled vegetation water use and

  12. Spatial variation of size distribution of Sarcopoterium spinosum in semi-arid rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pariente, Sarah

    2014-05-01

    Rangelands of semi-arid regions exhibit a three-phase mosaic spatial pattern comprising three representative patches: shrubs, trampling routes, and the remaining intershrubs area (hereafter: intershrubs). These patches differ in their soil properties, vegetation, and hydrological characteristics, and the differences are attributed to the differing intensities of animal hoof impacts and trampling: highest in the routes, sporadic in the intershrubs and minimal in the shrubs. A study conducted in the area described below revealed that soil moisture and organic matter contents, and topographic incline varied in the increasing order: routes < intershrubs < beneath shrubs. The opposite trend was found for soil bulk density. Therefore, it was hypothesized that routes should yield more runoff than intershrubs. This led to the present research hypothesis: that, from a hydrological point of view, the size of shrub is controlled by its distance from the routes, i.e., shrubs located near trampling routes are expected to be bigger than those far from them. The research was conducted in the Goral Hills, in the northern Negev region of Israel. This is a hilly, semi-arid area, 350-500 m above sea level, with mean annual rainfall of 300 mm that falls between October/December and May. Average daily temperatures range from 10° C in the winter to 25° C in the summer. The lithology is chalk and limestone of the Eocene era. The soil is shallow, generally not deeper than 20 or 40 cm in the open spaces between shrubs and beneath shrubs, respectively. The research area, like many other semi-arid areas of the Old World, has been grazed by flocks of sheep and goats since prehistoric times. The predominant shrub in the area is Sarcopoterium spinosum. To confirm the above hypothesis 10 representative hillslopes - five south-facing and five north-facing - were randomly selected within the research area. On each, a plot measuring 3 X 18 m running down the backslope was randomly selected and

  13. Pulse driven productivity in semi-arid lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, A. C.; Collins, S. L.; Maurer, G. E.; Ruhi, A.; Litvak, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    carbon fluxes is in the size and sensitivity of both photosynthetic and respiratory responses. Understanding how these natural systems respond to rain is important for estimating future carbon storage capacity under altered precipitation regimes and assessing the potential contribution of arid and semi-arid ecosystems to the global carbon budget.

  14. A Sediment Budget for a Semi-arid Reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathburn, S. L.; Finley, J. B.; Smith, S. R.

    2002-12-01

    Sediment accumulation within reservoirs poses a continued threat to reservoir storage capacity and decreases the operating efficiency and expected life of a dam. Numerous small irrigation reservoirs built during the last century in the semi-arid western U.S. are undergoing siltation at rates that make active sediment management plans imperative. Managers of Halligan Reservoir on the North Fork Cache la Poudre River in northern Colorado are incorporating a sediment budget into sediment management practices. Data collection for the sediment budget began during the spring 2002 snowmelt. Sediment and water discharge were measured upstream of the reservoir during the months April-June, with the same measurements collected downstream from the reservoir during the fall draw-down in early September. Because of the abnormally low snowpack during Spring 2002, peak discharge upstream never exceeded 1.5 m3/s (one order of magnitude lower than during an average year) over the course of the field measurements, and maximum suspended and bedload transport rates were 9.7E-07 and 0.17 metric tons/day, respectively. As such, the delivery of sediment into Halligan Reservoir during 2002 was severely limited. Fall releases of sediment have historically been used to regain storage capacity in the reservoir. Suspended sediment transport rates downstream from the dam, measured during a two-day step-down in September, were significantly higher than inflow rates measured in the spring. An important control on sediment influx into the reservoir is beaver dam storage. One beaver dam within the upstream study reach currently stores 3.6 m3 of fine-grained sediment behind the beaver dam. Bathymetric surveys of the sediment accumulation within Halligan Reservoir indicate that maximum accumulation occurs near the dam, up to thicknesses of 4.5 m. Similar measurements will be repeated during the spring 2003 snowmelt to further quantify the sediment flux into and out of the reservoir over a range of

  15. Impacts of water development on aquatic macroinvertebrates, amphibians, and plants in wetlands of a semi-arid landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euliss, N.H., Jr.; Mushet, D.M.

    2004-01-01

    We compared the macroinvertebrate and amphibian communities of 12 excavated and 12 natural wetlands in western North Dakota, USA, to assess the effects of artificially lengthened hydroperiods on the biotic communities of wetlands in this semi-arid region. Excavated wetlands were largely unvegetated or contained submergent and deep-marsh plant species. The natural wetlands had two well-defined vegetative zones populated by plant species typical of wet meadows and shallow marshes. Excavated wetlands had a richer aquatic macroinvertebrate community that included several predatory taxa not found in natural wetlands. Taxa adapted to the short hydroperiods of seasonal wetlands were largely absent from excavated wetlands. The amphibian community of natural and excavated wetlands included the boreal chorus frog, northern leopard frog, plains spadefoot, Woodhouse's toad, and tiger salamander. The plains spadefoot occurred only in natural wetlands while tiger salamanders occurred in all 12 excavated wetlands and only one natural wetland. Boreal chorus frogs and northern leopard frogs were present in both wetland types; however, they successfully reproduced only in wetlands lacking tiger salamanders. Artificially extending the hydroperiod of wetlands by excavation has greatly influenced the composition of native biotic communities adapted to the naturally short hydroperiods of wetlands in this semi-arid region. The compositional change of the biotic communities can be related to hydrological changes and biotic interactions, especially predation, related to excavation.

  16. Using stable isotopes (δ^{18}O and δ$D) of gypsum hydration water to unravel the mode of gypsum speleothem formation in semi-arid caves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gázquez, Fernando; Calaforra, Jose Maria; Evans, Nicholas P.; Hodell, David A.

    2016-04-01

    Subaerial gypsum speleothems form during the evaporation of calcium-sulfate-rich solutions in caves. The evaporation of infiltration water is the widely accepted mechanism to explain precipitation of gypsum speleothems; i.e., the dissolution of gypsum host-rock (e.g. Messinian marine gypsum) supplies Ca2+ and SO42- ions to cave waters and subsequent evaporation leads to gypsum saturation. However, water condensation actively occurs in caves of semi-arid regions and plays a key role in subaerial cave speleogenesis and recharge of aquifers in low-rainfall environments. To date, water condensation in karstic environments has not been considered as an important factor in gypsum speleothem formation. We collected speleothem samples from the upper passages of Covadura Cave in the gypsum karst of Sorbas (Almeria, SE Spain). This cave is located in a temperate (annual mean temperature of 19.5oC), semi-arid region (

  17. Effectiveness of conservation agriculture practices on soil erosion processes in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chikwari, Emmanuel; Mhaka, Luke; Gwandu, Tariro; Chipangura, Tafadzwa; Misi Manyanga, Amos; Sabastian Matsenyengwa, Nyasha; Rabesiranana, Naivo; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - The application of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) in soil erosion and redistribution studies has gained popularity since the late 1980s. In Zimbabwe, soil erosion research was mostly based on conventional methods which included the use of erosion plots for quantitative measurements and erosion models for predicting soil losses. Only limited investigation to explore the possibility of using Caesium-137 (Cs-137) has been reported in the early 1990s for undisturbed and cultivated lands in Zimbabwe. In this study, the Cs-137 technique was applied to assess the impact of soil conservation practices on soil losses and to develop strategies and support effective policies that help farmers in Zimbabwe for sustainable land management. The study was carried out at the Makoholi research station 30 km north of the Masvingo region which is located 260 km south of Harare. The area is semi-arid and the study site comprises coarse loamy sands, gleyic lixisols. The conservation agriculture (CA) practices used within the area since 1988 include (i) direct seeding (DS) with mulch, (ii) CA basins with mulch, and (iii) 18 years direct seeding, left fallow for seven years and turned into conventional tillage since 2012 (DS/F/C). The Cs-137 reference inventory was established at 214 ± 16 Bq/m2. The mean inventories for DS, CA basins and DS/F/C were 195, 190 and 214 Bq/m2 respectively. Using the conversion Mass Balance Model 2 on the Cs-137 data obtained along transects for each of the practices, gross erosion rates were found to be 7.5, 7.3 and 2.6 t/ha/yr for direct seeding, CA basins and the DS/F/C while the net erosion rates were found to be 3.8, 4.6 and 0 t/ha/yr respectively. Sediment delivery ratios were 50%, 63% and 2% in the respective order. These preliminary results showed the effectiveness of DS over CA basins in erosion control. The efficiency of fallowing in controlling excessive soil loss was significant in the plot that started as DS for 18 years but left fallow for 7

  18. Impacts of Photodegradation on Surface Litter Decomposition and Organic Matter Cycling in Semi-Arid Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, J. Y.; Brandt, L. A.; Milchunas, D. G.

    2006-12-01

    . Photodegradation effects on decomposition should therefore be included as a driver in models of decomposition in arid and semi-arid regions where minimal live-canopy interception results in high UV radiation exposure at the soil surface. Our results also suggest that photodegradation has important impacts on nitrogen cycling in shortgrass steppe.

  19. Surficial weathering of iron sulfide mine tailings under semi-arid climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, Sarah M.; Root, Robert A.; Perdrial, Nicolas; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2014-09-01

    Mine wastes introduce anthropogenic weathering profiles to the critical zone that often remain unvegetated for decades after mining cessation. As such, they are vulnerable to wind and water dispersion of particulate matter to adjacent ecosystems and residential communities. In sulfide-rich ore tailings, propagation to depth of the oxidative weathering front controls the depth-variation in speciation of major and trace elements. Despite the prevalence of surficial mine waste deposits in arid regions of the globe, few prior studies have been conducted to resolve the near-surface profile of sulfide ore tailings weathered under semi-arid climate. We investigated relations between gossan oxidative reaction-front propagation and the molecular speciation of iron and sulfur in tailings subjected to weathering in a semi-arid climate at an EPA Superfund Site in central Arizona (USA). Here we report a multi-method data set combining wet chemical and synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) methods to resolve the tight coupling of iron (Fe) and sulfur (S) geochemical changes in the top 2 m of tailings. Despite nearly invariant Fe and S concentration with depth (130-140 and 100-120 g kg-1, respectively), a sharp redox gradient and distinct morphological change was observed within the top 0.5 m, associated with a progressive oxidative alteration of ferrous sulfides to (oxyhydr)oxides and (hydroxy)sulfates. Transformation is nearly complete in surficial samples. Trends in molecular-scale alteration were co-located with a decrease in pH from 7.3 to 2.3, and shifts in Fe and S lability as measured via chemical extraction. Initial weathering products, ferrihydrite and gypsum, transform to schwertmannite, then jarosite-group minerals with an accompanying decrease in pH. Interestingly, thermodynamically stable phases such as goethite and hematite were not detected in any samples, but ferrihydrite was observed even in samples with

  20. Biogeochemical and ecological impacts of livestock grazing in semi-arid southeastern Utah, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fernandez, D.P.; Neff, J.C.; Reynolds, R.L.

    2008-01-01

    Relatively few studies have examined the ecological and biogeochemical effects of livestock grazing in southeastern Utah. In this study, we evaluated how grazing has affected soil organic carbon and nitrogen to a depth of 50 cm in grasslands located in relict and actively-grazed sites in the Canyonlands physiographic section of the Colorado Plateau. We also evaluated differences in plant ground cover and the spatial distribution of soil resources. Results show that areas used by domestic livestock have 20% less plant cover and 100% less soil organic carbon and nitrogen compared to relict sites browsed by native ungulates. In actively grazed sites, domestic livestock grazing also appears to lead to clustered, rather than random, spatial distribution of soil resources. Magnetic susceptibility, a proxy for soil stability in this region, suggests that grazing increases soil erosion leading to an increase in the area of nutrient-depleted bare ground. Overall, these results, combined with previous studies in the region, suggest that livestock grazing affects both plant cover and soil fertility with potential long-term implications for the sustainability of grazing operations in this semi-arid landscape. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Volume and Flood Frequency Characteristics of Ephemeral Streams in the Semi-arid U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makowski, A.; Schumer, R.; Boyle, D. P.

    2007-12-01

    Large runoff events in the arid and semi-arid regions of the U.S. are generally a result of intense, short-duration (less than 24 hours) precipitation events and frequently result in considerable property damage and loss of life. Urban flood mitigation and channel restoration projects in these areas currently depend on short duration volume frequency relationships derived from precipitation characteristics in the course of performing rainfall-runoff analyses, rather than directly from observed streamflow data as is standard practice for longer durations (>1- day). Until recently, only average daily flows were reported for USGS stream gauges so hydrograph characteristics could not be used to assess rainfall-runoff models or evaluate whether mitigation structures were meeting design specifications. Archived high-temporal resolution streamflow records for 14 uncontrolled ephemeral streams in the Las Vegas region were digitized so that hydrograph characteristics (peak, shape, volume) could be measured. Where possible, flood frequency and volume-frequency-duration analyses were performed for the ephemeral streams. These analyses demonstrate the importance of using partial duration series rather than annual maxima for frequency analyses as well as the significance of using maximum daily flow rather than average daily flow when assessing the hazards posed by ephemeral streams.

  2. Roots of forbs sense climate fluctuations in the semi-arid Loess Plateau: Herb-chronology based analysis

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Songlin; Li, Zongshan; Wang, Hao; von Arx, Georg; Lü, Yihe; Wu, Xing; Wang, Xiaochun; Liu, Guohua; Fu, Bojie

    2016-01-01

    Growth of herbaceous plants responds sensitively and rapidly to climate variability. Yet, little is known regarding how climate warming influences the growth of herbaceous plants, particularly in semi-arid sites. This contrasts with widely reported tree growth decline and even mortality in response to severe water deficits due to climate warming around the world. Here, we use the relatively novel approach of herb-chronology to analyze the correlation between climatic factors and annual ring width in the root xylem of two perennial forb species (Medicago sativa, Potentilla chinensis) in the Loess Plateau of China. We show that warming-induced water deficit has a significant negative effect on the growth of herbaceous plants in the Loess Plateau. Our results indicate that the growth of forbs responds rapidly and sensitively to drought variability, implying that water availability plays a dominant role in regulating the growth of herbaceous plants in semi-arid areas. If warming and drying in the Loess Plateau continue in the future, further affects the growth of herbaceous plants, potentially driving regional changes in the relationship between herbaceous vegetation and climate. PMID:27323906

  3. Impact of seasonal changes on fungal diversity of a semi-arid ecosystem revealed by 454 pyrosequencing.

    PubMed

    Vargas-Gastélum, Lluvia; Romero-Olivares, Adriana L; Escalante, Ana E; Rocha-Olivares, Axayácatl; Brizuela, Carlos; Riquelme, Meritxell

    2015-05-01

    Fungi play fundamental ecological roles in terrestrial ecosystems. However, their distribution and diversity remain poorly described in natural communities, particularly in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. In order to identify environmental factors determining fungal community structure in these systems, we assessed their diversity in conjunction with soil physicochemical characteristics in a semi-arid ecosystem in Baja California, Mexico, endemic for Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever). Two different microhabitats, burrows (influenced by rodent activity) and topsoil, were compared in winter and summer. Using a metagenomic approach, the ITS1 region of nuclear ribosomal DNA was used as barcode. A total of 1940 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were identified from 362 332 ITS1 sequences obtained by 454 pyrosequencing. Differences in fungal composition between seasons were clearly identified. Moreover, differences in composition between microhabitats were mainly correlated to significant differences in environmental factors, such as moisture and clay content in topsoil samples, and temperature and electrical conductivity in burrow samples. Overall, the fungal community structure (dominated by Ascomycota and Basidiomycota) was less variable between seasons in burrow than in topsoil samples. Coccidioides spp. went undetected by pyrosequencing. However, a nested PCR approach revealed its higher prevalence in burrows. PMID:25877341

  4. Runoff generation processes during the wet-up phase in a semi-arid basin in Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarei, H.; Akhondali, A. M.; Mohammadzadeh, H.; Radmanesh, F.; Laudon, H.

    2014-04-01

    Understanding the hydrological processes in catchments is important for water resources management, particularly in semi-arid regions of the world. To contribute to this field, dominant runoff generation processes in a semi-arid basin (283 km2) in Southwestern Iran were investigated using analysis of hydrometric data in combination with natural isotopic tracers through the wet-up phase of a rainy season. The analysis of seven rainfall-runoff events during the rainfall dominated period illustrated the role of antecedent base flow and cumulative rainfall for explaining the hydrological response. Three distinct storm events and the corresponding discharge were collected and analyzed for oxygen-18 and deuterium isotope composition. The results show that during the wetting-up cycle, the runoff ratio during storm events increased progressively from 1 to 10%. Higher event runoff ratios following catchment wet-up were shown to be directly linked to changes in soil moisture, which in turn controlled the runoff generation processes. In line with the hydrometric results, the two-component hydrograph separation using δ18O and δ2H demonstrated a clear connection to the antecedent wetness conditions. The results suggest that the runoff ratios during storms and the partitioning of event and pre-event water fractions are sensitive to the amount of catchment wet-up and could hence be strongly impacted by changes in the timing, duration and amount of precipitation in the future.

  5. Mapping ecological processes and ecosystem services for prioritizing restoration efforts in a semi-arid Mediterranean river basin.

    PubMed

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin. PMID:24728487

  6. Damage caused to the environment by reforestation policies in arid and semi-arid areas of China.

    PubMed

    Cao, Shixiong; Tian, Tao; Chen, Li; Dong, Xiaobin; Yu, Xinxiao; Wang, Guosheng

    2010-06-01

    Traditional approaches to ecosystem restoration have considered afforestation to be an important tool. To alleviate land degradation in China, the Chinese government has therefore invested huge amounts of money in planting trees. However, the results of more than half a century of large-scale afforestation in arid and semi-arid China have shown that when the trees are not adapted to the local environment, the policy does not improve the environment, and may instead increase environmental degradation. When precipitation is lower than potential evaporation, surface soil moisture typically cannot sustain forest vegetation, and shrubs or steppe species replace the forest to form a sustainable natural ecosystem that exists in a stable equilibrium with the available water supply. The climate of much of northwestern China appears to be unsuitable for afforestation owing to the extremely low rainfall. Although some small-scale or short-term afforestation efforts have succeeded in this region, many of the resulting forests have died or degraded over longer periods, so policymakers must understand that these small-scale or short-term results do not support an inflexible policy of large-scale afforestation throughout arid and semi-arid northwestern China. Rather than focusing solely on afforestation, it would be more effective to attempt to recreate natural ecosystems that are better adapted to local environments and that thus provide a better chance of sustainable, long-term rehabilitation. PMID:20799677

  7. Fixation kinetics of chelated and non-chelated zinc in semi-arid alkaline soils: application to zinc management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udeigwe, Theophilus K.; Eichmann, Madeleine; Menkiti, Matthew C.

    2016-07-01

    This study was designed to examine the fixation pattern and kinetics of zinc (Zn) in chelated (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, EDTA) and non-chelated mixed micronutrient systems of semi-arid alkaline soils from the Southern High Plains, USA. Soils were characterized for a suite of chemical and physical properties and data obtained from extraction experiments fitted to various kinetic models. About 30 % more plant-available Zn was fixed in the non-chelated system within the first 14 days with only about 18 % difference observed between the two systems by day 90, suggesting that the effectiveness of the chelated compounds tended to decrease over time. The strengths of the relationships of change in available Zn with respect to other micronutrients (copper, iron, and manganese) were higher and more significant in the non-chelated system (average R2 of 0.83), compared to the chelated (average R2 of 0.42). Fixation of plant-available Zn was best described by the power-function model (R2 = 0.94, SE = 0.076) in the non-chelated system, and was poorly described by all the models examined in the chelated system. Reaction rate constants and relationships generated from this study can serve as important tools for micronutrient management and for future micronutrient modeling studies on these soils and other semi-arid regions of the world.

  8. Relationships between primary production and crop yields in semi-arid and arid irrigated agro-ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaafar, H. H.; Ahmad, F. A.

    2015-04-01

    In semi-arid areas within the MENA region, food security problems are the main problematic imposed. Remote sensing can be a promising too early diagnose food shortages and further prevent the population from famine risks. This study is aimed at examining the possibility of forecasting yield before harvest from remotely sensed MODIS-derived Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Net photosynthesis (net PSN), and Gross Primary Production (GPP) in semi-arid and arid irrigated agro-ecosystems within the conflict affected country of Syria. Relationships between summer yield and remotely sensed indices were derived and analyzed. Simple regression spatially-based models were developed to predict summer crop production. The validation of these models was tested during conflict years. A significant correlation (p<0.05) was found between summer crop yield and EVI, GPP and net PSN. Results indicate the efficiency of remotely sensed-based models in predicting summer yield, mostly for cotton yields and vegetables. Cumulative summer EVI-based model can predict summer crop yield during crisis period, with deviation less than 20% where vegetables are the major yield. This approach prompts to an early assessment of food shortages and lead to a real time management and decision making, especially in periods of crisis such as wars and drought.

  9. Mapping Ecological Processes and Ecosystem Services for Prioritizing Restoration Efforts in a Semi-arid Mediterranean River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J.; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A.

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  10. Roots of forbs sense climate fluctuations in the semi-arid Loess Plateau: Herb-chronology based analysis.

    PubMed

    Shi, Songlin; Li, Zongshan; Wang, Hao; von Arx, Georg; Lü, Yihe; Wu, Xing; Wang, Xiaochun; Liu, Guohua; Fu, Bojie

    2016-01-01

    Growth of herbaceous plants responds sensitively and rapidly to climate variability. Yet, little is known regarding how climate warming influences the growth of herbaceous plants, particularly in semi-arid sites. This contrasts with widely reported tree growth decline and even mortality in response to severe water deficits due to climate warming around the world. Here, we use the relatively novel approach of herb-chronology to analyze the correlation between climatic factors and annual ring width in the root xylem of two perennial forb species (Medicago sativa, Potentilla chinensis) in the Loess Plateau of China. We show that warming-induced water deficit has a significant negative effect on the growth of herbaceous plants in the Loess Plateau. Our results indicate that the growth of forbs responds rapidly and sensitively to drought variability, implying that water availability plays a dominant role in regulating the growth of herbaceous plants in semi-arid areas. If warming and drying in the Loess Plateau continue in the future, further affects the growth of herbaceous plants, potentially driving regional changes in the relationship between herbaceous vegetation and climate. PMID:27323906

  11. Effects of stubble and mulching on soil erosion by wind in semi-arid China.

    PubMed

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Soil erosion is a growing challenge for agricultural production in Northern China. To explore the effect of variation in stubble height and mulching biomass on soil erosion caused by wind, we conducted a field experiment using a quadratic rotation combination design. Results showed that the quantity of straw mulch was the dominant factor affecting soil erosion, and stubble height was of secondary importance. The soil water content in stubble and straw mulching treatments was higher than in a control treatment at 0-20 cm soil, and the tendency in the amount of soil water content was opposite to the amount of wind erosion (r = -0.882, n = 10, p < 0.01). The change in soil water content observed in the stubble and mulch treatments at the 15-20 cm depth was higher than the change from 0-5 cm to 5-10 cm. Combined, the influence of a stubble height of 34 cm and mulch quantity of 4260 kg·ha(-1) lowered the amount of erosion to 0.42 t·ha(-1), and increased the corn yield to 11900 kg·ha(-1). We determined that those were the most appropriate levels of stubble height and straw mulch for crop fields in the semi-arid regions of Northern China. PMID:27426048

  12. Impacts of climate change on nutrient cycling in semi-arid and arid ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Belnap, J.

    1995-09-01

    Effective precipitation is a major factor in determining nutrient pathways in different ecosystems. Soil flora and fauna play a critical role in nutrient cycles of all ecosystems. Temperature, timing, and amounts of precipitation affect population composition, activity levels, biomass, and recovery rates from disturbance. Changes in these variables can result in very different inputs and outputs for different nutrients. As a result, areas with less effective precipitation have very different nutrient cycles than more mesic zones. Climate change, therefore, can profoundly affect the nutrient cycles of ecosystems. Nitrogen cycles may be especially sensitive to changes in temperature and to timing and amounts of precipitation. Rainfall contains varying amounts of nitrogen compounds. Changes in amounts of rainfall will change amounts of nitrogen available to these systems. Because rainfall is limited in semi-arid and regions, these systems tend to be more dependent on microbial populations for nitrogen input. Consequently, understanding the effects of climate change on these organisms is critical in understanding the overall effect on ecosystems.

  13. Effects of stubble and mulching on soil erosion by wind in semi-arid China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-07-01

    Soil erosion is a growing challenge for agricultural production in Northern China. To explore the effect of variation in stubble height and mulching biomass on soil erosion caused by wind, we conducted a field experiment using a quadratic rotation combination design. Results showed that the quantity of straw mulch was the dominant factor affecting soil erosion, and stubble height was of secondary importance. The soil water content in stubble and straw mulching treatments was higher than in a control treatment at 0–20 cm soil, and the tendency in the amount of soil water content was opposite to the amount of wind erosion (r = ‑0.882, n = 10, p < 0.01). The change in soil water content observed in the stubble and mulch treatments at the 15–20 cm depth was higher than the change from 0–5 cm to 5–10 cm. Combined, the influence of a stubble height of 34 cm and mulch quantity of 4260 kg·ha‑1 lowered the amount of erosion to 0.42 t·ha‑1, and increased the corn yield to 11900 kg·ha‑1. We determined that those were the most appropriate levels of stubble height and straw mulch for crop fields in the semi-arid regions of Northern China.

  14. Characterising root density of peach trees in a semi-arid Chernozem to increase plant density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paltineanu, Cristian; Septar, Leinar; Gavat, Corina; Chitu, Emil; Oprita, Alexandru; Moale, Cristina; Calciu, Irina; Vizitiu, Olga; Lamureanu, Gheorghe

    2016-01-01

    The available information on root system in fully mature peach orchards in semi-arid regions is insufficient. This paper presents a study on the root system density in an irrigated peach orchard from Dobrogea, Romania, using the trench technique. The old orchard has clean cultivation in inter-row and in-row. The objectives of the study were to: test the hypothesis that the roots of fully mature peach trees occupy the whole soil volume; find out if root repulsive effect of adjacent plants occurred for the rootstocks and soil conditions; find relationships between root system and soil properties and analyse soil state trend. Some soil physical properties were significantly deteriorated in inter-row versus in-row, mainly due to soil compaction induced by technological traffic. Density of total roots was higher in-row than inter-row, but the differences were not significant. Root density decreased more intensely with soil depth than with distance from tree trunks. Root density correlated with some soil properties. No repulsive effect of the roots of adjacent peach trees was noted. The decrease of root density with distance from trunk can be used in optimising tree arrangement. The conclusions could also be used in countries with similar growth conditions.

  15. Nestedness patterns of sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae) species in a neotropical semi-arid environment.

    PubMed

    Chaves, Luis Fernando; Añez, Nestor

    2016-01-01

    A common pattern in neotropical Leishmania spp. transmission is the co-occurrence of several sand fly (SF) species at endemic foci. We collected 13 SF spp. by direct aspiration in natural resting places (NRP) and 10 SF spp. with Shannon traps (ST), totaling 15 spp. with both methods, at 6 locations within a semi-arid region with endemic visceral leishmaniasis transmission in Falcón State, Northwestern Venezuela. We used null model testing of species co-occurrence and nestedness metrics estimated with our field data to ask whether SF species composition was segregated/aggregated, and if aggregated whether there was nestedness, i.e., whether species composition across sampling locations could be described by ordered subsets of species from the most species rich location in a landscape. Results showed that SF species were aggregated (P<0.05), i.e., most species were present in species rich locations. Similarly, SF species were significantly nested (P<0.05). Differences in pairwise Sørensen and Simpson indices, estimated with the ST data and the combined ST and NRP data, were positively associated with the distance between sampling locations, suggesting that species nestedness might be partially shaped by dispersal limitation. Our data showed that three species of medical importance were common across the sampling locations: Lutzomyia gomezi, Lutzomyia panamensis and Lutzomyia evansi, suporting that vector species do not turnover in the studied setting. PMID:26456179

  16. Effects of stubble and mulching on soil erosion by wind in semi-arid China

    PubMed Central

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Soil erosion is a growing challenge for agricultural production in Northern China. To explore the effect of variation in stubble height and mulching biomass on soil erosion caused by wind, we conducted a field experiment using a quadratic rotation combination design. Results showed that the quantity of straw mulch was the dominant factor affecting soil erosion, and stubble height was of secondary importance. The soil water content in stubble and straw mulching treatments was higher than in a control treatment at 0–20 cm soil, and the tendency in the amount of soil water content was opposite to the amount of wind erosion (r = −0.882, n = 10, p < 0.01). The change in soil water content observed in the stubble and mulch treatments at the 15–20 cm depth was higher than the change from 0–5 cm to 5–10 cm. Combined, the influence of a stubble height of 34 cm and mulch quantity of 4260 kg·ha−1 lowered the amount of erosion to 0.42 t·ha−1, and increased the corn yield to 11900 kg·ha−1. We determined that those were the most appropriate levels of stubble height and straw mulch for crop fields in the semi-arid regions of Northern China. PMID:27426048

  17. Great Basin semi-arid woodland dynamics during the late quaternary

    SciTech Connect

    Wigand, P.E.; Hemphill, M.L.; Sharpe, S.E.

    1995-09-01

    Semi-arid woodlands have dominated the middle elevations of Great Basin mountain ranges during the Holocene where subalpine woodlands prevailed during the Pleistocene. Ancient woodrat middens, and in a few cases pollen records indicate in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene woodland history lowered elevation of subalpine woodland species. After a middle Holocene retrenchment at elevations in excess of 500 meters above today, Juniper-dominated semi-arid woodland reached its late Holocene maximum areal extent during the Neoglacial (2 to 4 ka). These records, along with others indicate contracting semi-arid woodland after the Neoglacial about 1.9 ka. Desert shrub community expansion coupled with increased precariousness of wetland areas in the southern Great Basin between 1.9 and 1.5 ka coincide with shrinking wet-lands in the west-central and northern Great Basin. Coincident greater grass abundance in northern Great Basin sagebrush steppe, reaching its maximum between 1.5 and 1.2 ka, corresponds to dramatic increases in bison remains in the archaeological sites of the northern Intermontane West. Pollen and woodrat midden records indicate that this drought ended about 1.5 ka. Succeeding ameliorating conditions resulted in the sudden northward and downward expansion of pinon into areas that had been dominated by juniper during the Neoglacial. Maximum areal extent of pinon dominated semi-arid woodland in west-central Nevada was centered at 1.2 ka. This followed by 100 years the shift in dominance from juniper to pinon in southern Nevada semi-arid woodlands. Great Basin woodlands suffered from renewed severe droughts between .5 to .6 ka. Effectively wetter conditions during the {open_quotes}Little Ice Age{close_quotes} resulted in re-expansion of semi-arid woodland. Activities related to European settlement in the Great Basin have modified prehistoric factors or imposed new ones that are affecting woodland response to climate.

  18. Automated mapping of burned areas in semi-arid ecosystems using modis time-series imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardtke, L. A.; Blanco, P. D.; del Valle, H. F.; Metternicht, G. I.; Sione, W. F.

    2015-04-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of burned areas at regional scales, provides a long-term perspective of fire processes and its effects on ecosystems and vegetation recovery patterns, and it is a key factor to design prevention and post-fire restoration plans and strategies. Standard satellite burned area and active fire products derived from the 500-m MODIS and SPOT are avail - able to this end. However, prior research caution on the use of these global-scale products for regional and sub-regional applica - tions. Consequently, we propose a novel algorithm for automated identification and mapping of burned areas at regional scale in semi-arid shrublands. The algorithm uses a set of the Normalized Burned Ratio Index products derived from MODIS time series; using a two-phased cycle, it firstly detects potentially burned pixels while keeping a low commission error (false detection of burned areas), and subsequently labels them as seed patches. Region growing image segmentation algorithms are applied to the seed patches in the second-phase, to define the perimeter of fire affected areas while decreasing omission errors (missing real burned areas). Independently-derived Landsat ETM+ burned-area reference data was used for validation purposes. The correlation between the size of burnt areas detected by the global fire products and independently-derived Landsat reference data ranged from R2 = 0.01 - 0.28, while our algorithm performed showed a stronger correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.96). Our findings confirm prior research calling for caution when using the global fire products locally or regionally.

  19. Floristic similarity and dispersal syndromes in a rocky outcrop in semi-arid Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Costa, Elainne Cristina Silva; Lopes, Sérgio de Faria; Melo, José Iranildo Miranda de

    2015-09-01

    Floristic studies provide valuable information on species richness in a region, and are particularly important if these areas belong to less studied environments, such as rocky outcrops, that may increase our knowledge. An important aspect for species colonization includes the mechanisms of diaspores dispersal in each community; these are essential to understand its structure, dynamics, and the regeneration process, and constitute an important tool for conservation. We developed a floristic survey on a granite-gneiss outcrop with the objective to increase the knowledge on plant diversity, through a floristic similarity analysis and detection of dispersal syndromes of sampled species, in a semi-arid region of Brazil. The fieldwork included collection and observation of the botanical material in loco during a period of 12 months. A total of 161 species belonging to 127 genera and 50 families of angiosperms were recorded. Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Convolvulaceae were the most representative families in number of species. Allophylus quercifolius (Mart.) Radlk. (Capparaceae) and Lafoensia pacari A. St.-Hil. (Lythraceae) represented new records for the State of Paraiba. The autochoric syndrome was the most representative, with 51.5 % of the recorded species; the anemochory was the second most representative syndrome with 26.7 % of the species; and finally the zoochory, representing 22.3 % of the species. The floristic similarity dendrogram showed the formation of three well-defined groups, whose area with the highest value (J = 33.2) is located in a Caatinga region called Cariri Paraibano, while the lowest value observed (J = 5.2), occurred in a settled area in two geomorphological units, a crystalline complex and a plateau region. These results may be due to the varying topographic conditions and edaphic heterogeneity arising from the specific geological formation of the region. These results yet demonstrate that, in rocky outcrops, abiotic syndromes represent an

  20. Coupling stable isotope and satellite to inform a snow accumulation and melt model for data poor, semi-arid watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hublart, Paul; Sproles, Eric; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe; Hevía, Andres

    2016-04-01

    At the most basic level watersheds catch, store, and release water. In semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°) snow and glacier melt dominate these basic hydrological stages. In this region precipitation is typically limited to three to five events per year that falls as snow in the High Cordillera at elevations above 3000 m a.s.l. The rugged topography and steep gradient makes snowfall rates highly variable in space and time. Despite its critical importance for water supply, high elevation meteorological data and measurements of snowpack are scarce due to limited winter access above 3000 m a.s.l. Due to the critically limited understanding of catch, store, and release processes most conceptual watershed models for this region remain speculative, are prone to over-parameterization, and greatly inhibits hydrological prediction in the region. Focused on two headwater watersheds of the Elqui River basin (1615-6040 m a.s.l., 429-566 km2) this study couples stable isotope and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) data to develop an improved conceptual model of how semi-arid mountain watersheds catch, store, and release water. MODIS snow-cover and land surface temperature data are used to inform an enhanced temperature-index Snow Accumulation and Melt (SAM) model. The use of remotely-sensed temperature data as input to this model is evaluated by comparison with an interpolated dataset derived from a few available meteorological stations. The outputs from the SAM model are used as inputs to a conceptual catchment model including two water stores (one standing for surface/subsurface processes and the other for deeper groundwater storage). The model is calibrated and evaluated from a Bayesian perspective using discharge data measured at the catchment outlets over a 15-year period (2000-2015). Stable isotope data collected during 2015-2016 is applied to better constrain model outputs. The combination of MODIS-based and isotope-based information proves very

  1. Assessing water availability in a semi-arid watershed of southern India using a semi-distributed model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrin, J.; Ferrant, S.; Massuel, S.; Dewandel, B.; Maréchal, J. C.; Aulong, S.; Ahmed, S.

    2012-08-01

    SummaryAppropriate groundwater resource management becomes a priority for the States of the semi-arid southern India. Because of the highly increasing groundwater demand, the number of drought-prone regions where the groundwater resource is classified as over-exploited by the Government is critically increasing. Thus there is a need to develop quantitative methodologies adapted to the regional context that are capable to assess water resources at watershed scale and the impact of management measures. This study demonstrates the calibration and use of an integrated water resource assessment model (SWAT) in an 84 km2 representative semi-arid crystalline watershed of southern India with no perennial surface water source. The model can reproduce (i) the recharge rate estimates derived independently by a groundwater balance computation, (ii) runoff and surface water storage occurring in tanks that spread along the drainage system, (iii) groundwater table fluctuations monitored at a monthly time step. Results show that even if the calibration period (2006-2010) was more humid than long-term average, the watershed is sensitive to the monsoon inter-annual variability with water-stress during the dry years and an associated loss in agricultural production. The impact of these dry years is spatially variable with higher vulnerability for sub-basins having proportionally larger irrigated paddy areas, lower groundwater resource, and/or lower recharge potential (i.e., due to land use and repartition of percolation tanks). The scope for additional recharge by means of managed aquifer recharge structures is limited and demand-side management measures are needed to mitigate pumping. A wishful management objective may be to see groundwater reserves as a supplementary resource in case of monsoon failure and not as the main water resource to be used indiscriminately. SWAT proved to be an adequate modeling framework for the simulation of water resource in semi-arid hard-rock context

  2. Pattern selection and hysteresis in the Rietkerk model for banded vegetation in semi-arid environments

    PubMed Central

    Dagbovie, Ayawoa S.; Sherratt, Jonathan A.

    2014-01-01

    Banded vegetation is a characteristic feature of semi-arid environments. It occurs on gentle slopes, with alternating stripes of vegetation and bare ground running parallel to the contours. A number of mathematical models have been proposed to investigate the mechanisms underlying these patterns, and how they might be affected by changes in environmental conditions. One of the most widely used models is due to Rietkerk and co-workers, and is based on a water redistribution hypothesis, with the key feedback being that the rate of rainwater infiltration into the soil is an increasing function of plant biomass. Here, for the first time, we present a detailed study of the existence and stability of pattern solutions of the Rietkerk model on slopes, using the software package wavetrain (www.ma.hw.ac.uk/wavetrain). Specifically, we calculate the region of the rainfall–migration speed parameter plane in which patterns exist, and the sub-region in which these patterns are stable as solutions of the model partial differential equations. We then perform a detailed simulation-based study of the way in which patterns evolve when the rainfall parameter is slowly varied. This reveals complex behaviour, with sudden jumps in pattern wavelength, and hysteresis; we show that these jumps occur when the contours of constant pattern wavelength leave the parameter region giving stable patterns. Finally, we extend our results to the case in which a diffusion term for surface water is added to the model equations. The parameter regions for pattern existence and stability are relatively insensitive to small or moderate levels of surface water diffusion, but larger diffusion coefficients significantly change the subdivision into stable and unstable patterns. PMID:25142517

  3. Carbon cycle. The dominant role of semi-arid ecosystems in the trend and variability of the land CO₂ sink.

    PubMed

    Ahlström, Anders; Raupach, Michael R; Schurgers, Guy; Smith, Benjamin; Arneth, Almut; Jung, Martin; Reichstein, Markus; Canadell, Josep G; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Jain, Atul K; Kato, Etsushi; Poulter, Benjamin; Sitch, Stephen; Stocker, Benjamin D; Viovy, Nicolas; Wang, Ying Ping; Wiltshire, Andy; Zaehle, Sönke; Zeng, Ning

    2015-05-22

    The growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations since industrialization is characterized by large interannual variability, mostly resulting from variability in CO2 uptake by terrestrial ecosystems (typically termed carbon sink). However, the contributions of regional ecosystems to that variability are not well known. Using an ensemble of ecosystem and land-surface models and an empirical observation-based product of global gross primary production, we show that the mean sink, trend, and interannual variability in CO2 uptake by terrestrial ecosystems are dominated by distinct biogeographic regions. Whereas the mean sink is dominated by highly productive lands (mainly tropical forests), the trend and interannual variability of the sink are dominated by semi-arid ecosystems whose carbon balance is strongly associated with circulation-driven variations in both precipitation and temperature. PMID:25999504

  4. Necrophagous beetles associated with carcasses in a semi-arid environment in northeastern Brazil: implications for forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Ana C G; Vasconcelos, Simão D

    2013-03-10

    Data on the ecology and bionomics of necrophagous beetles are scarce in tropical countries despite their relevance in forensic investigations. We performed a survey on the diversity and temporal pattern of colonization of beetles on pig carcasses in a fragment of dry forest in northeastern Brazil. We collected 1550 adults of diverse feeding habits from 12 families, of which 96% had necrophagous and/or copro-necrophagous habits and belonged to four families: Dermestidae, Scarabaeidae, Cleridae and Trogidae. Three species, Dermestes maculatus, Necrobia rufipes and Omorgus suberosus are reported for the first time with an expanded geographical distribution that includes the semi-arid region in Brazil. Adult beetles were collected as early as 24h after death. One endemic species, Deltochilum verruciferum, stood out in terms of numerical dominance and temporal occurrence during different stages of decomposition. Its intimate association with carrion emphasizes their potential role in forensic entomology in the region. PMID:23398925

  5. Long-term runoff and sediment yields from small semi-arid watersheds in southern Arizona

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study presents analysis of 34 years of precipitation, runoff and sediment data collected from 8 small (1.1 to 4.0 ha) semi-arid rangeland watersheds in southern Arizona, USA. Average annual precipitation ranged between 354 mm and 458 mm with 53% of the total rainfall occurring from July throug...

  6. Long-term water balance and conceptual model of a semi-arid mountainous catchment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Long-term water balance investigations are needed to better understand hydrologic systems, especially semi-arid mountainous catchments. These systems exhibit considerable interannual variability in precipitation as well as spatial variation in snow accumulation, soils, and vegetation. This study e...

  7. A UNIFORM VERSUS AN AGGREGATED WATER BALANCE OF A SEMI-ARID WATERSHED. (R824784)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydrologists have long struggled with the problem of how to account for the effects of spatial variability in precipitation, vegetation and soils. This problem is particularly acute in snow-fed, semi-arid watersheds, which typically have considerable variability in snow distribut...

  8. Recommendations for nutrient management plans in a semi-Arid environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A nutrient management plan (NMP) field experiment was conducted to investigate the fate of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and salts in a semi-arid environment (San Jacinto, CA). Our mechanistic approach to study NMP performance was based on comprehensive measurements of water and N mass...

  9. Energy exchange and evapotranspiration over two temperate semi-arid grasslands in North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The seasonal and interannual variability in surface energy exchange and evapotranspiration (E) of two temperate semi-arid grasslands in southern Arizona, USA were investigated using continuous eddy covariance measurements from 2004 to 2007, including two drought years (2004 and 2005). One of the gra...

  10. CO2 Enrichment and Warming Interact to Facilitate Invasion of a Semi-Arid Grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although a variety of global changes have been shown to influence plant invasions, interactive effects of different changes have rarely been studied. We examined effects of CO2 enrichment and warming on the ability of the invasive forb Linaria dalmatica (Dalmatian toadflax) to invade semi-arid mixed...

  11. Economic analysis of a simulated alley cropping system for semi-arid conditions, using micro computers

    SciTech Connect

    Hoekstra, D.A.

    1983-01-01

    Returns were simulated for the semi-arid areas in Mackakos District, Kenya (bimodal rainfall distribution, 600 mm/yr) comparing the present system (maize and beans intercropped twice a year) with a Leucaena leucocephala hedgerow system. Although some of the assumptions contain a large element of uncertainty, the results were promising enough for the system to be considered further. 4 references.

  12. Particle size distribution of eroded material from semi-arid soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The particle size distribution (PSD) of eroded sediments can be used to deduce potential nutrient losses, pollution hazards and the redistribution of soil components over the landscape. We studied eroded sediments from three semi-arid soils, with different clay contents, that were wetted at a slow (...

  13. INTEGRATING LANDSCAPE AND HYDROLOGIC ANALYSIS FOR WATERSHED ASSESSMENT IN AN AMERICAN SEMI-ARID BIOREGION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this study is to demonstrate the application of operational hydrologic modeling and landscape assessment tools to investigate the temporal and spatial effects of varying levels of anthropogenic disturbance in a semi-arid catchment and examine the consequences of ...

  14. Infrequent Composted Biosolids Applications Affect Semi-arid Grassland Soils and Vegetation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A field trial evaluated a single and a repeated composted biosolids application in terms of long-term (13-14 years) and short-term (2-3 years) effects, respectively, on soil chemistry and plant community in a Colorado semi-arid grassland. Six composted biosolids rates (0, 2.5, 5, 10, 21, 30 Mg/ha) ...

  15. Woody plants modulate the temporal dynamics of soil moisture in a semi-arid mesquite savanna

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In arid and semi-arid ecosystems (drylands), soil moisture abundance limits biological activity and mediates the effects of anthropogenic global change factors such as atmospheric CO2 increases and climate warming. Moreover, climate variability and human activities are interacting to increase the ab...

  16. Polyacrylamide Molecular Weight and Phosphogypsum Effects on Infiltration and Erosion in Semi-Arid Soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seal formation at the surface of semi-arid soils during rainstorms reduces soil infiltration rate (IR) and causes runoff and erosion. Surface application of dry anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) with high molecular weight (MW) has been found to be effective in stabilizing soil aggregates, and decreasing ...

  17. Polyacrylamide molecular weight and phosphogypsum effects on infiltration and erosion in semi-arid soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seal formation at the surface of semi-arid soils during rainstorms reduces soil infiltration rate (IR) and causes runoff and erosion. Surface application of dry anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) with high molecular weight (MW) has been found to be effective in stabilizing soil aggregates, and decreasing ...

  18. Functional group and species responses to spring precipitation in three semi-arid rangeland ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Determining if precipitation-induced changes to forage production and basal and foliar cover in semi-arid rangelands are species-specific, functional group-specific or ubiquitous across species and functional groups will enhance decision making among producers and increase precision of forage produc...

  19. Integrated Modeling and Ecological Valuation: Applications in the Semi Arid Southwest 1912

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A Conservation of freshwater systems is critical in the semi-arid Southwest where groundwater and flood regimes strongly influence the abundance, composition, and structure of riparian (streamside) vegetation. At the same time these systems are in high demand for competing human use. To address thi...

  20. Tillage and Residue Management Effects on Semi-Arid Mediterranean Soil Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    No-tillage practices for semi-arid Mediterranean soils can conserve water and increase crop productivity, but producers are reluctant to adopt those practices because of concern regarding potential increases in penetration resistance and bulk density. We hypothesized that knowing more about all aspe...

  1. Sunflower Production in Skip Row Configurations for the Semi-Arid Central Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sunflower production in the semi-arid Central Great Plains is usually limited by precipitation. In skip-row planting configurations, one or more rows are omitted in between planted rows), possibly allowing roots to grow into moisture throughout the growing season, thus leaving water available for gr...

  2. Extensive Green Roof Species and Soilless Media Evaluations in Semi-arid Colorado

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the high elevation, semi-arid climate of Colorado, green roofs have not been scientifically tested. This research examined alternative plant species, soilless media blends and plant interactions on an existing, modular-extensive (shallow, 10 cm deep) green roof in Denver, Colo...

  3. Effect of check dams on runoff, sediment yield and retention on small semi-arid watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Erosion dynamics in semi-arid environments are defined by high magnitude, low frequency rainfalls that produce runoff with high sediment concentration. Check dams are widely used in this environment as sedimentation mitigation technique, however their impact on overall watershed sediment balance is ...

  4. An event-based approach to understanding the hydrological impacts of different land uses in semi-arid catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shengping; Zhang, Zhiqiang; McVicar, Tim R.; Zhang, Jianjun; Zhu, Jinzhao; Guo, Junting

    2012-01-01

    SummaryIn semi-arid catchments around the world re-vegetation is often implemented to reduce quick surface runoff, combat severe soil erosion, restore degraded ecosystem functionality, and, ultimately, improve ecosystem productivity. However, to date, in these water stressed regions, the event-based hydrological impact of different land uses induced by re-vegetation activities is not fully understood at the watershed scale. Traditional hillslope plot experiments and paired watershed experiments have proved difficult to up-scale to a watershed level. In 2006 and 2007, we used broad-crested weirs to measure event streamflow from six catchments within the Caijiachuan watershed (area = 40.1 km 2), located in the Loess Plateau, a semi-arid region in China. The six catchments have different land use compositions with functional combinations of crop, grassland, shrubland, secondary forest, and plantations. Over the same period, event rainfall was measured by a network of rainfall gauges deployed over the study site. We examined the difference in hydrological properties between the catchments using the non-parametric Firedman test, and differentiated the role of each land use in governing watershed hydrology using a numerical analysis technique. Our results showed important differences between the six catchments with respect to event runoff coefficients, normalized peak flow, and event duration. Each land use played a different role in catchment hydrology, as shown by the different mean runoff coefficients ( rc) and mean representative surface flow velocities ( V). Compared to secondary forest ( rc = 0.017 and V = 0.07 m s -1), plantations ( rc = 0.001 and V = 0.18 m s -1) provide a greater potential for increasing shearing force and had a larger impact on runoff reduction. Although shrubland ( rc = 0.096 and V = 0.20 m s -1) and grassland ( rc = 0.127 and V = 0.02 m s -1) have similar magnitude of mean runoff coefficients, grassland seems more capable of trapping sediment

  5. An improved conceptual understanding of snowmelt and groundwater dynamics in the semi-arid Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sproles, Eric; Hevia, Andres; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The contribution of snowmelt to groundwater has long been recognized as an important component of the hydrological cycle in semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S). Despite its importance as a water resource, this transition to groundwater remains poorly understood. Climatically, the High Cordillera in northern central Chile receives approximately 10 times as much annual precipitation as the valley bottoms, falling almost exclusively as snow above 3500 m during the winter months. Geologically, the High Cordillera is characterized by steep topography and a highly dissected landscape underlain by bedrock. Groundwater stores in the mountain headwaters are assumed to be constrained to the valley bottoms. The current working hypothesis of watershed processes in the High Cordillera describes fluxes of spring melt moving through the hillslope via local flowpaths to valley aquifers that recharge streams throughout the headwater reaches. Previous studies in the region indicate Pre-Cordilleran aquifers, located in lower elevation dry ephemeral valleys, are hydrologically disconnected from the High Cordillera. These watersheds have no seasonal snowpack, and recharge occurs primarily during infrequent rain events. These isolated Pre-Cordilleran aquifers serve as an important water resource for rural residents and infrastructure. We present stable isotope, geochemical, and groundwater level data from the wet El Niño winter of 2015 that suggests a topographically disconnected aquifer in the Pre-Cordillera received considerable recharge from High Cordillera snowmelt. These novel findings are indicative of deep groundwater flow paths between the Pre- and High Cordillera during the wet winter and spring of 2015, and improve the conceptual understanding of hydrological processes in the region. Additionally, these results will directly benefit groundwater management in the Pre-Cordillera and better inform modeling efforts in the High Cordillera. While this study is limited to

  6. Integrated Modelling of Climate Change Impacts in an Irrigated, Semi-arid Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haslauer, C. P.; von Gunten, D.; Wöhling, T.; Rudolph, D. L.; Cirpka, O. A.

    2015-12-01

    Predicting the impacts of climate change on hydrological processes is a central challenge for water management. Commonly, studies on climate-change effects focus on surface flow and feed-backs between surface and subsurface flows are neglected frequently. Furthermore, changes in hydrological processes are generally not distributed realistically. Integrated catchment models, based on partial-differential-equations, have the potential of overcoming these difficulties. However, these models are complicated to use in realistic settings, notably because of their long simulation time. In this presentation, we demonstrate a successful application of an integrated catchment model (HydroGeoSphere) in a semi-arid catchment in north-east Spain. The study area recently underwent a transition to irrigated agriculture, which is reflected in our model evaluations conducted under varying irrigation conditions. To accelerate model calibration, we developed a novel calibration method based on a hierarchy of computational grids. The climate scenarios for the region are based on four regional climate models, which are downscaled using a weather generator. These scenarios are used to estimate climate change impacts on hydrologic parameters in different irrigation settings. The effects of climate change strongly depend on the presence of irrigation. Water table depth and low flows are more sensitive to climate change when irrigation is present, while peak flows exhibit a more pronounced response to climate in scenarios without irrigation. In addition to the climatic means, we examined the impacts of changes in drought conditions. We compare the outcomes of droughts predicted by our hydrological model with simpler approaches based on drought indices. We show that drought indices oversimplify future hydrological impacts of droughts and can result in biased estimation of drought impacts, especially if drought indices do not take temperature changes into account.

  7. Groundwater-surface water interactions in a large semi-arid floodplain: implications for salinity management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamontagne, Sébastien; Leaney, Fred W.; Herczeg, Andrew L.

    2005-10-01

    Flow regulation and water diversion for irrigation have considerably impacted the exchange of surface water between the Murray River and its floodplains. However, the way in which river regulation has impacted groundwater-surface water interactions is not completely understood, especially in regards to the salinization and accompanying vegetation dieback currently occurring in many of the floodplains. Groundwater-surface water interactions were studied over a 2 year period in the riparian area of a large floodplain (Hattah-Kulkyne, Victoria) using a combination of piezometric surface monitoring and environmental tracers (Cl-, 2H, and 18O). Despite being located in a local and regional groundwater discharge zone, the Murray River is a losing stream under low flow conditions at Hattah-Kulkyne. The discharge zone for local groundwater, regional groundwater and bank recharge is in the floodplain within 1 km of the river and is probably driven by high rates of transpiration by the riparian Eucalyptus camaldulensis woodland. Environmental tracers data suggest that the origin of groundwater is principally bank recharge in the riparian zone and a combination of diffuse rainfall recharge and localized floodwater recharge elsewhere in the floodplain. Although the Murray River was losing under low flows, bank discharge occurred during some flood recession periods. The way in which the water table responded to changes in river level was a function of the type of stream bank present, with point bars providing a better connection to the alluvial aquifer than the more common clay-lined banks. Understanding the spatial variability in the hydraulic connection with the river channel and in vertical recharge following inundations will be critical to design effective salinity remediation strategies for large semi-arid floodplains.

  8. Bridging structure and function in semi-arid ecosystems by integrating remote sensing and ground based measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krofcheck, Dan J.

    The Southwestern US is projected to continue to experience a significant warming trend, with increased variability in the timing and magnitude of rainfall events. The effects of theses changes in climate are already manifesting in the form of expansive, prolonged 'megadroughts', which have resulted in the widespread mortality of woody vegetation across the region.Therefore the need to monitor and model forest mortality and carbon dynamics at the landscape and regional scale is an essential component of regional and global climate mitigation strategies, and critical if we are to understand how the imminent state transitions taking place in forests globally will affect climate forcing and feedbacks. Remote sensing offers the only solution to multitemporal regional observation, yet many challenges exist with employing modern remote sensing solutions in highly stressed vegetation characteristic of semi-arid biomes, making one of the most expansive biomes on the globe also one of the most difficult to accurately monitor and model. The goal of this research was to investigate how changes in the structure of semi-arid woodlands following forest mortality impacts ecosystem function, and address this question in the context of remote sensing data sets, thereby contributing to the remote sensing community's ability to interact with these challenging ecosystems. We first focused on pinus edulis and juniperous monosperma (pinon-juniper) woodlands, as they comprise a model semi-arid biome. We tested the ability of high resolution remote sensing data to mechanistically describe the patterns in overstory mortality and understory green-up, and were able to observe the heterogeneous response of the understory as a function of cover type. We also investigated the relationship between changes in soil water content and the greenness of the canopy, noting that in these stress ecosystems there is often a decoupling of the canopy as measured remotely (e.g., via vegetation indices, VI

  9. Analysis of energy fluxes and vegetation-atmosphere parameters in irrigated and natural ecosystems of semi-arid Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixeira, A. H. de Castro; Bastiaanssen, W. G. M.; Ahmad, M. D.; Moura, M. S. B.; Bos, M. G.

    2008-11-01

    SummaryKnowledge on evapotranspiration is essential in quantifying water use depletion and to allocate scarce water resources to competing uses. Despite that an extensive literature describes the theoretical mechanisms of turbulent water vapour transport above and within crop canopies fewer studies have examined land surface parameters within composite landscapes of irrigated crops and semi-arid natural vegetation. Aiming to improve parameterizations of the radiation and energy balance in irrigated crops and natural vegetation, micro-climatic measurements were carried out on irrigated land (vineyards and mango orchard) and natural vegetation (caatinga) in the semi-arid zone of the São Francisco River basin (Brazil) from 2002 to 2005. The fractions of 24 h incident solar radiation available for net radiation were 46%, 55%, 51% and 53%, for wine grape, table grape, mango orchard and caatinga, respectively. Daily evaporative fractions of the net available energy used as latent heat flux ( λE) were 0.80, 0.88, 0.75 and 0.33 respectively. The daylight values of bulk surface resistances ( rs) averaged 128 s m -1, 73 s m -1, 133 s m -1 and 1940 s m -1 for wine grape, table grape, mango orchard and caatinga, respectively. Simplified parameterizations on roughness and evaporation resistances were performed. It could be concluded that net radiation can be estimated by means of a linear expression with incident global solar radiation depending on the type of vegetation. The variability of aerodynamic resistance ( ra) could be mainly explained by the friction velocity ( u ∗) which on turn depends on the surface roughness length for momentum transport ( z 0m). The experimental data showed that for sparse canopies z 0m being 9% of the mean vegetation height is a doable operational rule for the semi-arid region of São Francisco River basin. The seasonal values of rs for irrigated crops were highly correlated with water vapour pressure deficit. The availability of analytical

  10. An integrative approach to characterize hydrological processes and water quality in a semi-arid watershed in Northeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, M. R.; Fernandes, N.; Veiga, L. H. S.; Melo, L. R.; Santos, A. C. S.; Araujo, V. P.

    2014-12-01

    Arid and semi-arid regions face serious challenges in the management of scarce water resources. This situation tends to become worse with the increasing population growth rates and consequently increasing water demand. Groundwater is the most important water resource in these areas and, therefore, the sustainability of its use depends on the effectiveness in which it is managed, both in terms of quantity and quality. The Caetité Experimental Basin (CEB), located in a semi-arid region of Northeastern Brazil, faces not only the challenges associated with water scarcity, but also changes in landscape and potential contamination processes due to mining activity. The only active uranium production center in Brazil (URA) is located in this watershed and the sustainability of mining and milling operations as well as the survival of the local community are highly dependent on the availability of groundwater resources. Hydrogeological studies in this area are scarce, and the potential contamination and overexploitation of groundwater can not be ruled out. Therefore, a national project was launched in order to improve the understanding and quantification of the interaction between the hydrogeological system and human health. The methodological approach involved hydrological and geochemical monitoring and characterization of the CEB, use of isotopic techniques, groundwater modeling, water quality diagnosis and human health risk assessment due to water ingestion. The results suggested that the groundwater in the CEB are not totally connected, with evidence of a mixture of recent and old waters. The Na-Ca-HCO3-Cl is the dominant water type (50%) followed by Ca-Na-HCO3-Cl water type (17%). The relevant non-radioactive contaminants are Mn, F, NO3 and Ba, mostly from natural origin, with the exception of NO3 that could be associated with the livestock activities. The estimated effective doses due to groundwater ingestion containing radionuclides are below the recommended

  11. Two-Source Energy Balance Model Evaluation for Mapping Evapotranspiration on the Semi- arid Southern High Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gowda, P. H.; Chavez, J. L.; Colaizzi, P. D.; Evett, S. R.; Howell, T. A.; Copeland, K.

    2007-05-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an essential component of the water balance and a major consumptive use of irrigation water and precipitation on cropland. In this study, we applied the Two-Source Energy Balance (T-SEB) model to estimate hourly ET from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data for the semi-arid Southern High Plains of the United States where more than 90 percent of the groundwater withdrawals are used for irrigation. For this purpose, a Landsat TM image covering a major portion of the Southern High Plains (parts of Texas Panhandle and northeastern New Mexico) was acquired for 23 July 2006 for the overpass at 11:26 AM CST. Atmospheric correction on the TM imagery was done using MODTRAN, an atmospheric radiative transfer model. Comprehensive ground-truth data were collected to develop a detailed land use map showing major crops grown in the region. Performance of the T SEB model was evaluated by comparing mapped ET data with measured hourly ET data on five weighing lysimeters at Bushland, TX [35 Deg. 11' N, 102 Deg. 06' W; 1,170 m elevation MSL] managed by the Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS. Lysimeter-measured ET rates varied from 0.24 to 0.71 mm/h. Comparison of estimated hourly mapped ET values with lysimetric measurements had an accuracy within 6% of the measured ET (r2=0.99), with a root mean squared error of 0.03 mm/h. These results support the use of the T-SEB model for the semi-arid Southern High Plains; however, more evaluation is needed for different agroclimatological conditions in the region.

  12. Response of deep soil moisture to land use and afforestation in the semi-arid Loess Plateau, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Lei; Wei, Wei; Chen, Liding; Mo, Baoru

    2012-12-01

    SummarySoil moisture is an effective water source for plant growth in the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Characterizing the response of deep soil moisture to land use and afforestation is important for the sustainability of vegetation restoration in this region. In this paper, the dynamics of soil moisture were quantified to evaluate the effect of land use on soil moisture at a depth of 2 m. Specifically, the gravimetric soil moisture content was measured in the soil layer between 0 and 8 m for five land use types in the Longtan catchment of the western Loess Plateau. The land use types included traditional farmland, native grassland, and lands converted from traditional farmland (pasture grassland, shrubland and forestland). Results indicate that the deep soil moisture content decreased more than 35% after land use conversion, and a soil moisture deficit appeared in all types of land with introduced vegetation. The introduced vegetation decreased the soil moisture content to levels lower than the reference value representing no human impact in the entire 0-8 m soil profile. No significant differences appeared between different land use types and introduced vegetation covers, especially in deeper soil layers, regardless of which plant species were introduced. High planting density was found to be the main reason for the severe deficit of soil moisture. Landscape management activities such as tillage activities, micro-topography reconstruction, and fallowed farmland affected soil moisture in both shallow and deep soil layers. Tillage and micro-topography reconstruction can be used as effective countermeasures to reduce the soil moisture deficit due to their ability to increase soil moisture content. For sustainable vegetation restoration in a vulnerable semi-arid region, the plant density should be optimized with local soil moisture conditions and appropriate landscape management practices.

  13. Comparative analysis of two polyethylene foil materials for dew harvesting in a semi-arid climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maestre-Valero, J. F.; Martínez-Alvarez, V.; Baille, A.; Martín-Górriz, B.; Gallego-Elvira, B.

    2011-11-01

    SummaryThis paper analyses the dew collection performance of two polyethylene (PE) foils in a semi-arid region (Southern Spain). The dew collecting devices consisted of two commercial passive radiative dew condensers (RDCs) of 1 m 2 tilted to 30°. They were fitted with two different high-emissivity PE foils: a white hydrophilic foil (WSF) recommended as standard for dew recovery comparisons by the International Organization for Dew Utilization (OPUR), and a low-cost black PE foil (BF) widely used for mulching in horticulture. Dew yield, foil surface temperature and meteorological variables (air temperature, relative humidity, downward long wave radiation and wind speed) were recorded hourly during a 1-year period from May-2009 to May-2010. The spectral emissivity of the foils was determined in laboratory in the range 2.5-25 μm and the radiance-weighed values were calculated over different intervals, indicating that BF emitted more than WSF, especially in the range 2.5-7 μm. Dew yield was well correlated with the air relative humidity and foil net radiation in both foils and was hardly detected when the relative humidity was lower than 75% or the wind speed higher than 1.5 m s -1. WSF was more sensitive to dew formation due to its hydrophilic properties, registering more dewy nights (175) than BF (163) while the annual cumulative dew yield for BF was higher (20.76 mm) than for WSF (17.36 mm) due to the higher emissivity and emitted radiance of BF. These results suggested that increasing the surface emissivity over the whole IR spectrum could be more effective for improving RDC yield performances than increasing the surface hydrophilic properties. On a practical point of view, BF could be considered as a suitable material for large scale RDCs, as in our study it presented several advantages over the reference material, such as higher dew collection performance, longer lifespan and much lower cost.

  14. Hydrodynamics, vegetation transition and geomorphology coevolution in a semi-arid floodplain wetland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandi, Steven; Rodriguez, Jose F.; Saco, Patricia M.; Riccardi, Gerardo; Wen, Li; Saintilan, Neil

    2016-04-01

    The Macquarie Marshes is a complex system of marshes, swamps and lagoons interconnected by a network of streams in the semi-arid region in north western NSW, Australia. The low-gradient topography of the site leads to channel breakdown processes where the river network becomes practically non-existent. As a result, the flow extends over large areas of wetland that later re-join and reform channels exiting the system. Vegetation in semiarid wetlands are often water dependent and flood tolerant species that rely on periodical floods in order to maintain healthy conditions. The detrimental state of vegetation in the Macquarie Marshes over the past few decades has been linked to decreasing inundation frequencies. Spatial distribution of flood tolerant overstory species such as River Red Gum and Black Box has not greatly changed since early 1990's, however; the condition of the vegetation patches shows a clear deterioration evidenced by terrestrial species encroachment on the wetland understory. On the other hand, areas of flood dependent species such as Water Couch and Common Reed have undergone complete succession to terrestrial species and dryland. In order to simulate the complex dynamics of the marshes we have developed an ecogeomorphological modelling framework that combines hydrodynamic, vegetation and channel evolution modules and in this presentation we provide an update on the status of the model. The hydrodynamic simulation provides spatially distributed values of inundation extent, duration, depth and recurrence to drive a vegetation model based on species preference to hydraulic conditions. It also provides velocities and shear stresses to assess geomorphological changes. Regular updates of stream network, floodplain surface elevations and vegetation coverage provide feedbacks to the hydrodynamic model. We presents also the development and assessment of transitional rules to determine if the water conditions have been met for different vegetation

  15. Coevolution of hydrodynamics, vegetation and channel evolution in wetlands of a semi-arid floodplain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seoane, Manuel; Rodriguez, Jose Fernando; Rojas, Steven Sandi; Saco, Patricia Mabel; Riccardi, Gerardo; Saintilan, Neil; Wen, Li

    2015-04-01

    The Macquarie Marshes are located in the semi-arid region in north western NSW, Australia, and constitute part of the northern Murray-Darling Basin. The Marshes are comprised of a system of permanent and semi-permanent marshes, swamps and lagoons interconnected by braided channels. The wetland complex serves as nesting place and habitat for many species of water birds, fish, frogs and crustaceans, and portions of the Marshes was listed as internationally important under the Ramsar Convention. Some of the wetlands have undergone degradation over the last four decades, which has been attributed to changes in flow management upstream of the marshes. Among the many characteristics that make this wetland system unique is the occurrence of channel breakdown and channel avulsion, which are associated with decline of river flow in the downstream direction typical of dryland streams. Decrease in river flow can lead to sediment deposition, decrease in channel capacity, vegetative invasion of the channel, overbank flows, and ultimately result in channel breakdown and changes in marsh formation. A similar process on established marshes may also lead to channel avulsion and marsh abandonment, with the subsequent invasion of terrestrial vegetation. All the previous geomorphological evolution processes have an effect on the established ecosystem, which will produce feedbacks on the hydrodynamics of the system and affect the geomorphology in return. In order to simulate the complex dynamics of the marshes we have developed an ecogeomorphological modelling framework that combines hydrodynamic, vegetation and channel evolution modules and in this presentation we provide an update on the status of the model. The hydrodynamic simulation provides spatially distributed values of inundation extent, duration, depth and recurrence to drive a vegetation model based on species preference to hydraulic conditions. It also provides velocities and shear stresses to assess geomorphological

  16. Physical-chemical determinant properties of biological communities in continental semi-arid waters.

    PubMed

    da Rocha, Francisco Cleiton; de Andrade, Eunice Maia; Lopes, Fernando Bezerra; de Paula Filho, Francisco José; Filho, José Hamilton Costa; da Silva, Merivalda Doroteu

    2016-08-01

    Throughout human history, water has undergone changes in quality. This problem is more serious in dry areas, where there is a natural water deficit due to climatic factors. The aims of this study, therefore, were (i) to verify correlations between physical attributes, chemical attributes and biological metrics and (ii) from the biological attributes, to verify the similarity between different points of a body of water in a tropical semi-arid region. Samples were collected every 2 months, from July 2009 to July 2011, at seven points. Four physical attributes, five chemical attributes and four biological metrics were investigated. To identify the correlations between the physicochemical properties and the biological metrics, hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and canonical correlation analysis (CCA) were applied. Nine classes of phytoplankton were identified, with the predominance of species of cyanobacteria, and ten families of macroinvertebrates. The use of HCA resulted in the formation of three similar groups, showing that it was possible to reduce the number of sampling points when monitoring water quality with a consequent reduction in cost. Group I was formed from the waters at the high end of the reservoir (points P1, P2 and P3), group II by the waters from the middle third (points P4 and P5), and group III by the waters from the lower part of the reservoir (points P6 and P7). Richness of the phytoplanktons Cyanophyceae, Chorophyceae and Bacillariophyceae was the attribute which determined dissimilarity in water quality. Using CCA, it was possible to identify the spatial variability of the physicochemical attributes (TSS, TKN, nitrate and total phosphorus) that most influence the metrics of the macroinvertebrates and phytoplankton present in the water. Low macroinvertebrate diversity, with a predominance of indicator families for deterioration in water quality, and the composition of phytoplankton showing a predominance of cyanobacteria, suggests greater

  17. Dynamics of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon in the Waterways of Antropogenically Influenced Closed Semi-Arid Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jameel, M. Y.; Bowen, G. J.

    2014-12-01

    Inland aquatic carbon cycling is an important component of global carbon cycle and recent work has shown that anthropogenic activities can significantly alter the flux of terrestrial carbon through these systems to oceans and lakes. The study of dissolved carbon species in rivers provides detailed information about the natural and anthropogenic processing of carbon within a watershed. We measured water chemistry and stable isotope ratios (δ13C, δ18O, δ2H) of three major rivers (Bear, Jordan and Weber) seasonally, within the Great Salt Lake Basin to understand sources and processes governing the carbon cycling within the basin. Our preliminary data suggest strong correlation between the DIC concentration and land use/land cover for all the three waterways, with DIC increasing as the rivers flow through agricultural and urban regions. We also observed significant decrease in the DIC with the addition of fresh water from the tributaries which was most significant during the spring sampling. All the three rivers are super saturated in dissolved CO2 with respected to the atmospheric CO2 concentration, with pCO2 ranging from 1-5 times the atmospheric value and also showing strong seasonal variations. Coupling the pCO2 data with the isotopic value and concentration of DIC suggests that the variations within and among the rivers are manifestation of the different sources of DIC, further altered by in-situ processes such as organic respiration and photosynthesis. Our result suggest that human induced changes in land use and land cover have significantly altered the carbon budget of waterways of the Great Salt Lake Basin and carbon flux to the Great Salt Lake itself. Our future work will further quantify these changes, increasing our understanding of past, present and future changes in carbon cycling in closed semi-arid basins, and its importance in the global carbon cycle.

  18. Impacts of groundwater extraction on salinization risk in a semi-arid floodplain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alaghmand, S.; Beecham, S.; Hassanli, A.

    2013-12-01

    In the lower River Murray in Australia, a combination of a reduction in the frequency, duration and magnitude of natural floods, rising saline water tables in floodplains, and excessive evapotranspiration have led to an irrigation-induced groundwater mound forcing the naturally saline groundwater onto the floodplain. It is during the attenuation phase of floods that these large salt accumulations are likely to be mobilised and discharged into the river. This has been highlighted as the most significant risk in the Murray-Darling Basin and the South Australian Government and catchment management authorities have subsequently developed salt interception schemes (SIS). The aim of these schemes is to reduce the hydraulic gradient that drives the regional saline groundwater towards the River Murray. This paper investigates the interactions between a river (River Murray in South Australia) and a saline semi-arid floodplain (Clark's floodplain) that is significantly influenced by groundwater lowering due to a particular SIS. The results confirm that groundwater extraction maintains a lower water table and a higher amount of fresh river water flux to the saline floodplain aquifer. In terms of salinity, this may lead to less solute stored in the floodplain aquifer. This occurs through three mechanisms, namely extraction of the solute mass from the system, reducing the saline groundwater flux from the highland to the floodplain and changing the floodplain groundwater regime from a losing to a gaining one. It is shown that groundwater extraction is able to remove some of the solute stored in the unsaturated zone and this can mitigate the floodplain salinity risk. A conceptual model of the impact of groundwater extraction on floodplain salinization has been developed.

  19. The role of upland wetlands in modulating snowmelt runoff in the semi-arid Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hevia, Andres; Sproles, Eric; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The wetlands, or bofedales, of semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S) provide a critical store of water that modulate spring snowmelt runoff. Water released from bofedales helps sustain flows throughout the dry portions of the year, providing fresh water to downstream residents and a robust tourist, agricultural, and mining economy. In the Río Claro watershed (30°S, 1515 km2, 800m to 5500 m a.s.l.) a series fourteen bofedales have formed at natural choke points in the valley bottoms of the headwater reaches. The highly erosive dynamic of this watershed provides ample sediment, and some of these bofedales are up to 30 m deep. Annual precipitation in the region is limited to 4-6 events annually that fall primarily as snow at elevations above 3500 m. The subsurface storage of the headwaters is limited by the steep terrain of the headwater catchments that are devoid of soils and primarily underlain by granite bedrock. Downstream, irrigated area has increased by 200% between 1985 and 2005, driven by the cultivation of table grapes for export. For over 70 years local water managers have flooded the bodfedales during spring runoff to augment late season flow when irrigation demand peaks. While this low-tech strategy has worked in the past, a recent 8-year drought has raised concerns over long-term water security. We apply geophysical and geographic measurements, water quality, and stable isotopic tracers to calculate the volume of water storage and residence times in the bofedales of Río Claro. This information will be used to evaluate the reliability of the bofedale system as compared to a proposed reservoir in the headwaters of the Río Claro. Additionally, estimating the storage and residence times of the will help reduce uncertainty for modeling efforts currently underway in Río Claro.

  20. Fragile calculus: Climate, political economy and vegetation change in the semi-arid Karoo, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, Emma Rosa M.

    2001-12-01

    A range of methodologies comprising Remote Sensing, Geographical Information Systems, modeling, published socio-economic data and in-depth ethnographic field interviews are used to identify proximate and underlying anthropogenic dimensions of vegetation cover modification in the eastern semi-arid Karoo, South Africa. A 14 year monthly time series of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data at the 1 kilometer resolution was extracted, corrected and detrended for rainfall effects, using an interpolated time series of monthly rainfall data for the same spatial extents. Change detection information from the detrended vegetation series was compiled for each of 73 land management units in and around the Graaff Reinet magisterial district in the eastern Karoo. Extensive in-depth interviews were undertaken with each of the managers, gathering data used to determine proximate land-use strategies (such as stocking system and stocking intensity), and underlying socio-economic trends (such as debt level and security of tenure) which are then linked to trends in vegetation change occurring on the farm, and to the location of the management unit within the transforming South African political economy at the regional and national scales. Study results show exciting past linkages between stocking system choice and manager debt level; and current linkages with property acquisition status and affluence. A small but significant relationship between stocking system choice and the detrended vegetation time series for each management unit is further evident. Findings may inform policy and local guidelines concerning rangeland management and land-use allocation, as well as providing new challenges to meaningful work in political ecology, environmental change and climate impact assessment.

  1. Inorganic nitrogen cycling in ephemeral urban waterways of the semi-arid Southwest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallo, E. L.; Lohse, K. A.; Brooks, P. D.; Meixner, T.; Pavao-zuckerman, M.

    2012-12-01

    Non-point source inorganic nitrogen (N) pollution in urban runoff is a major water quality concern in water and N limited regions such as the semi-arid Southwestern US. Although ephemeral streams in drylands have long been recognized as biogeochemical hotspots, it is unclear how inorganic N cycling varies across ephemeral urban streams of distinct substrates in response to episodic wetting. We performed wetting experiments using an isotopic label (15N as K15NO3) to identify N-processing pathway differences in 3 ephemeral urban streams of distinct substrates in Tucson, AZ: 1) sand, 2) sandy loam and 3) loam. We applied the 15N label at a rate of 1.3 kg ha-1, and wetted the experimental plots to 25% volumetric water content. We monitored soil moisture, CO2 and N2O gas fluxes for 6 hours and soil inorganic and microbial N pools before and after the experiment. Fluxes of CO2 were significantly (α = 0.05) lower in the sand (1.05 ± 0.21 SD g CO2-C m-2 hr-1) than in the sandy loam and loam streams (1.77 ± 0.75 and 1.86 ± 0.87 g CO2-C m-2 hr-1, respectively); and varied with soil temperature, % soil C, % soil N and soil moisture at the loam site. Surprisingly, N2O fluxes in the sand and sandy loam sites (6.91 ± 5.06 and 8.42 ± 7.17 mg N2O-N m-2 hr-1, respectively) were significantly higher than N2O fluxes in the loam site (3.03 ± 2.49 mg N2O-N m-2 hr-1). Similarly, δ15N of N2O was significantly higher in the sand and sandy loam (4652 ± 4685 ‰ and 7280 ± 7191 ‰, respectively) than in the loam stream (794 ± 2577 ‰); indicating that a greater fraction of NO3-N is lost to denitrification in the sand and sandy loam sites. Surprisingly, post-experimental exchangeable inorganic δ15N was significantly higher in the sand and sandy loam sites (1014 ± 740 ‰ and 2840 ± 2686 ‰, respectively) than in the loam site (315 ± 238 ‰). Microbial biomass N did not significantly increase at the sand and sandy loam sites. However, it significantly increased in the deep

  2. Coarse root distribution of a semi-arid oak savanna estimated with ground penetrating radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raz-Yaseef, N.; Koteen, L. E.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2013-05-01

    Coarse root distribution of a semi-arid oak savanna estimated with ground penetrating radar North California enjoys wet and mild winters, but experiences extreme hot, dry summer conditions, with occasional drought years. Despite the severity of summer conditions, blue oaks in this ecosystem are winter-deciduous. Water uptake from groundwater helps explain the incongruity of tree growth with soil water availability in this ecosystem. We hypothesized that the binary nature of water availability, in which water is either abundantly available or scarce, would be reflected in blue oak root architecture. The objective of this research was to understand how the form of the root system facilitates ecosystem functioning. To do this, we sought to characterize the structure of the root system, and survey coarse root distribution with ground penetrating radar (GPR), due to its advantages in covering large areas rapidly and non-destructively. Because GPR remains a relatively new technology for examining root distribution, an ancillary objective was to test this methodology, and help facilitate its application more broadly. We used a GPR Noggin1000 SmartTow (Sensors and Software Inc., Ontario, Canada) 1 GHz configuration. In order to best represent the diversity of tree size and age found at the field site, we surveyed six 8x8 m locations with trees varying in size, age and clumping (i.e. isolated trees vs. tree clusters). GPR raw data was processed with designated software in order to construct three-dimensional values of radar reflection intensity for each surveyed grid. Radar signals were transformed to root biomass by calibrating them against excavated roots in twelve 60x100 cm pits. Our results indicate that coarse roots occupy the full soil profile, and that root biomass of old large trees peaks just above the bedrock. As opposed to other semi-arid regions, where trees often develop extensive shallow coarse lateral roots, in order to exploit the entire wet-soil medium, we

  3. Seasonal variation of carbon fluxes in a sparse savanna in semi arid Sudan

    PubMed Central

    Ardö, Jonas; Mölder, Meelis; El-Tahir, Bashir Awad; Elkhidir, Hatim Abdalla Mohammed

    2008-01-01

    Background Large spatial, seasonal and annual variability of major drivers of the carbon cycle (precipitation, temperature, fire regime and nutrient availability) are common in the Sahel region. This causes large variability in net ecosystem exchange and in vegetation productivity, the subsistence basis for a major part of the rural population in Sahel. This study compares the 2005 dry and wet season fluxes of CO2 for a grass land/sparse savanna site in semi arid Sudan and relates these fluxes to water availability and incoming photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). Data from this site could complement the current sparse observation network in Africa, a continent where climatic change could significantly impact the future and which constitute a weak link in our understanding of the global carbon cycle. Results The dry season (represented by Julian day 35–46, February 2005) was characterized by low soil moisture availability, low evapotranspiration and a high vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE (net ecosystem exchange, Eq. 1) was -14.7 mmol d-1 for the 12 day period (negative numbers denote sinks, i.e. flux from the atmosphere to the biosphere). The water use efficiency (WUE) was 1.6 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the light use efficiency (LUE) was 0.95 mmol CO2 mol PPFD-1. Photosynthesis is a weak, but linear function of PPFD. The wet season (represented by Julian day 266–273, September 2005) was, compared to the dry season, characterized by slightly higher soil moisture availability, higher evapotranspiration and a slightly lower vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE was -152 mmol d-1 for the 8 day period. The WUE was lower, 0.97 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the LUE was higher, 7.2 μmol CO2 mmol PPFD-1 during the wet season compared to the dry season. During the wet season photosynthesis increases with PPFD to about 1600 μmol m-2s-1 and then levels off. Conclusion Based on data collected during two short periods, the studied ecosystem was a sink of carbon

  4. Qualitative soil moisture assessment in semi-arid Africa: the role of experience and training on inter-rater reliability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinderer, M.; Komakech, H.; Müller, D.; Seibert, J.

    2015-03-01

    Soil and water management is particularly relevant in semi-arid regions to enhance agricultural productivity. During periods of water scarcity soil moisture differences are important indicators of the soil water deficit and are traditionally used for allocating water resources among farmers of a village community. Here we present a simple, inexpensive soil wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators which one can see or touch on the soil surface. It incorporates the local farmers' knowledge on the best soil moisture conditions for seeding and brick making in the semi-arid environment of the study site near Arusha, Tanzania. The scheme was tested twice in 2014 with farmers, students and experts (April: 40 persons, June: 25 persons) for inter-rater reliability, bias of individuals and functional relation between qualitative and quantitative soil moisture values. During the test in April farmers assigned the same wetness class in 46% of all cases while students and experts agreed in about 60% of all cases. Students who had been trained in how to apply the method gained higher inter-rater reliability than their colleagues with only a basic introduction. When repeating the test in June, participants were given improved instructions, organized in small sub-groups, which resulted in a higher inter-rater reliability among farmers. In 66% of all classifications farmers assigned the same wetness class and the spread of class assignments was smaller. This study demonstrates that a wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators is a robust tool and can be applied successfully regardless of experience in crop growing and education level when an in-depth introduction and training is provided. The use of a simple and clear layout of the assessment form is important for reliable wetness class assignments.

  5. Qualitative soil moisture assessment in semi-arid Africa - the role of experience and training on inter-rater reliability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinderer, M.; Komakech, H. C.; Müller, D.; Wiesenberg, G. L. B.; Seibert, J.

    2015-08-01

    Soil and water management is particularly relevant in semi-arid regions to enhance agricultural productivity. During periods of water scarcity, soil moisture differences are important indicators of the soil water deficit and are traditionally used for allocating water resources among farmers of a village community. Here we present a simple, inexpensive soil wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators which one can see or touch on the soil surface. It incorporates the local farmers' knowledge on the best soil moisture conditions for seeding and brick making in the semi-arid environment of the study site near Arusha, Tanzania. The scheme was tested twice in 2014 with farmers, students and experts (April: 40 persons, June: 25 persons) for inter-rater reliability, bias of individuals and functional relation between qualitative and quantitative soil moisture values. During the test in April farmers assigned the same wetness class in 46 % of all cases, while students and experts agreed on about 60 % of all cases. Students who had been trained in how to apply the method gained higher inter-rater reliability than their colleagues with only a basic introduction. When repeating the test in June, participants were given improved instructions, organized in small subgroups, which resulted in a higher inter-rater reliability among farmers. In 66 % of all classifications, farmers assigned the same wetness class and the spread of class assignments was smaller. This study demonstrates that a wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators is a robust tool and can be applied successfully regardless of experience in crop growing and education level when an in-depth introduction and training is provided. The use of a simple and clear layout of the assessment form is important for reliable wetness class assignments.

  6. Seasonal change detection of riparian zones with remote sensing images and genetic programming in a semi-arid watershed.

    PubMed

    Makkeasorn, Ammarin; Chang, Ni-Bin; Li, Jiahong

    2009-02-01

    Riparian zones are deemed significant due to their interception capability of non-point source impacts and the maintenance of ecosystem integrity region wide. To improve classification and change detection of riparian buffers, this paper developed an evolutionary computational, supervised classification method--the RIparian Classification Algorithm (RICAL)--to conduct the seasonal change detection of riparian zones in a vast semi-arid watershed, South Texas. RICAL uniquely demonstrates an integrative effort to incorporate both vegetation indices and soil moisture images derived from LANDSAT 5 TM and RADARSAT-1 satellite images, respectively. First, an estimation of soil moisture based on RADARSAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images was conducted via the first-stage genetic programming (GP) practice. Second, for the statistical analyses and image classification, eight vegetation indices were prepared based on reflectance factors that were calculated as the response of the instrument on LANDSAT. These spectral vegetation indices were then independently used for discriminate analysis along with soil moisture images to classify the riparian zones via the second-stage GP practice. The practical implementation was assessed by a case study in the Choke Canyon Reservoir Watershed (CCRW), South Texas, which is mostly agricultural and range land in a semi-arid coastal environment. To enhance the application potential, a combination of Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Techniques (ISODATA) and maximum likelihood supervised classification was also performed for spectral discrimination and classification of riparian varieties comparatively. Research findings show that the RICAL algorithm may yield around 90% accuracy based on the unseen ground data. But using different vegetation indices would not significantly improve the final quality of the spectral discrimination and classification. Such practices may lead to the formulation of more effective management strategies

  7. Soil carbon sequestration in semi-arid soil through the addition of fuel gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Young-Soo; Tokunaga, Tetsu; Oh, Chamteut

    2014-05-01

    This study investigated a new strategy for increasing carbon retention in slightly alkaline soils through addition of fuel gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG, CaSO4•2H2O). FGDG is moderately soluble and thus the FGDG amendment may be effective to reduce microbial respiration, to accelerate calcite (CaCO3) precipitation, and to promote soil organic carbon (SOC) complexation on mineral surfaces, but rates of these processes need to be understood. The effects of FGDG addition were tested in laboratory soil columns with and without FGDG-amended layers, and in greenhouse soil columns planted with switchgrass, a biofuel crop. The results of laboratory column experiments demonstrated that additions of FGDG promote soil carbon sequestration through suppressing microbial respiration to the extent of ~200 g per m2 soil per m of supplied water, and promoting calcite precipitation at similar rates. The greenhouse experiments showed that the FGDG treatments did not adversely affect biomass yield (~600 g dry biomass/m2/harvest) at the higher irrigation rate (50 cm/year), but substantially reduced recoverable biomass under the more water-limited conditions (irrigation rate = 20 cm/year). The main achievements of this study are (1) the identification of conditions in which inorganic and organic carbon sequestration is practical in semi-arid and arid soils, (2) development of a method for measuring the total carbon balance in unsaturated soil columns, and (3) the quantification of different pathways for soil carbon sequestration in response to FGDG amendments. These findings provide information for evaluating land use practices for increased soil carbon sequestration under semi-arid region biofuel crop production.

  8. Perched groundwater-surface interactions and their consequences in stream flow generation in a semi-arid headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molenat, Jerome; Bouteffeha, Maroua; Raclot, Damien; Bouhlila, Rachida

    2013-04-01

    In semi-arid headwater catchment, it is usually admitted that stream flow comes predominantly from Hortonian overland flow (infiltration excess overland flow). Consequently, subsurface flow processes, and especially perched or shallow groundwater flow, have not been studied extensively. Here we made the assumption that perched groundwater flow could play a significant role in stream flow generation in semi-arid catchment. To test this assumption, we analyzed stream flow time series of a headwater catchment in the Tunisian Cap Bon region and quantified the flow fraction coming from groundwater discharge and that from overland flow. Furthermore, the dynamics of the perched groundwater was analyzed, by focusing on the different perched groundwater-surface interaction processes : diffuse and local infiltration, diffuse exfiltration, and direct groundwater discharge to the stream channel. This work is based on the 2.6 km² Kamech catchment (Tunisia), which belongs to the long term Mediterranean hydrological observatory OMERE (Voltz and Albergel, 2002). Results show that even though Hortonian overland flow was the main hydrological process governing the stream flow generation, groundwater discharge contribution to the stream channel annually accounted for from 10% to 20 % depending on the year. Furthermore, at some periods, rising of groundwater table to the soil surface in bottom land areas provided evidences of the occurrence of saturation excess overland flow processes during some storm events. Reference Voltz , M. and Albergel , J., 2002. OMERE : Observatoire Méditerranéen de l'Environnement Rural et de l'Eau - Impact des actions anthropiques sur les transferts de masse dans les hydrosystèmes méditerranéens ruraux. Proposition d'Observatoire de Recherche en Environnement, Ministère de la Recherche.

  9. Use of ALSAT-1 Data for the Follow-Up and the Analysis of Ecosystem in Algerian Semi Arid Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zegrar, Ahmed

    The degradation of natural resources in arid and semi-arid areas was highlighted dramatically during this century due to population growth and transformation of land use systems. The Algerian steppe has undergone a regression over the past decade due to drought cycle, the extension of areas cultivated in marginal lands, population growth and overgrazing. These phenomena have led to different degradation processes, such as the destruction of vegetation, soil erosion, and deterioration of the physical environment. In this study, the work is mainly based on the criteria for classification and identification of physical parameters for spatial analysis and multi-sources to determine the vulnerability of major steppe formations and their impact on desertification. To do this, we used satellite images Alsat-1 (2009) (IRS 2009) and LANDSAT TM (2001). These cross-sectional data with exogenous information could reduce the impact of the semi arid ecological diversity of steppe formations. This longitudinal study based on the use of remote sensing data is to analyze the evolution of steppe ecosystems. The application, through specific processes, including the supervised classification was used to characterize the main steppe formations. An analysis of the vulnerability of plant communities was conducted to assign weights and identify areas most susceptible to desertification. Vegetation indices are used to characterize the forest and steppe formations to determine changes in land use. This study will map the different components of the steppe, highlighting the magnitude of the degradation pathways, which affects the steppe environment, allowing an analysis of the process of desertification in the region.

  10. Impact of Lupinus leucophyllous on the nitrogen budgets of semi-arid plant communities

    SciTech Connect

    Hinds, W.T.; Hinds, N.R.

    1982-10-01

    In the semi-arid grassland on the Arid Lands Ecology Reserve on the Hanford Site in south-central Washington State, three legume flushes occurred in the past decade. Estimates of leguminous nitrogen in both native and disturbed vegetation after a flush showed that nitrogen in the legume (above-ground) doubled the amount of nitrogen associated with vascular plant tissues. 21 references, 2 tables.

  11. Seed Dispersal by Ants in the Semi-arid Caatinga of North-east Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Inara R.; Wirth, Rainer; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Myrmecochory is a conspicuous feature of several sclerophyll ecosystems around the world but it has received little attention in the semi-arid areas of South America. This study addresses the importance of seed dispersal by ants in a 2500-km2 area of the Caatinga ecosystem (north-east Brazil) and investigates ant-derived benefits to the plant through myrmecochory. Methods Seed manipulation and dispersal by ants was investigated during a 3-year period in the Xingó region. Both plant and ant assemblages involved in seed dispersal were described and ant behaviour was characterized. True myrmecochorous seeds of seven Euphorbiaceae species (i.e. elaiosome-bearing seeds) were used in experiments designed to: (1) quantify the rates of seed cleaning/removal and the influence of both seed size and elaiosome presence on seed removal; (2) identify the fate of seeds dispersed by ants; and (3) document the benefits of seed dispersal by ants in terms of seed germination and seedling growth. Key Results Seed dispersal by ants involved one-quarter of the woody flora inhabiting the Xingó region, but true myrmecochory was restricted to 12·8 % of the woody plant species. Myrmecochorous seeds manipulated by ants faced high levels of seed removal (38–84 %) and 83 % of removed seeds were discarded on ant nests. Moreover, seed removal positively correlated with the presence of elaiosome, and elaiosome removal increased germination success by at least 30 %. Finally, some Euphorbiaceae species presented both increased germination and seedling growth on ant-nest soils. Conclusions Myrmecochory is a relevant seed dispersal mode in the Caatinga ecosystem, and is particularly frequent among Euphorbiaceae trees and shrubs. The fact that seeds reach micro-sites suitable for establishment (ant nests) supports the directed dispersal hypothesis as a possible force favouring myrmecochory in this ecosystem. Ecosystems with a high frequency of myrmecochorous plants appear not

  12. Assessment of reference evapotranspiration using remote sensing and forecasting tools under semi-arid conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz-Blanco, M.; Gavilán, P.; Santos, C.; Lorite, I. J.

    2014-12-01

    Reference evapotranspiration (ETo) assessment at regional scale is a challenge to agricultural and hydrological research requiring the characterization of vast areas to obtain accurate meteorological variables. To account for this, a new approach considering a modified version of the Makkink equation and based on a combination of remotely sensed solar radiation (Rs) considering the MSG satellite, and numerical weather forecast of near surface air temperature (T2m), was developed. The new approach is referred as Makkink-Advection equation (MAK-Adv). Once Rs and T2m were validated for the semiarid conditions registered in Southern Spain with very satisfactory results (RMSE = 1.6 MJ m-2 d-1 and 1.4 °C respectively, with linear regressions with slope = 0.99 and R2 = 0.97), the MAK-Adv approach was calibrated and validated with ETo measurements from a weighing lysimeter under near-reference conditions in Southern Spain. The new approach has provided accurate daily ETo estimations compared with lysimeter data (RMSE = 0.50 mm d-1, RE = 12.3% and MAE = 0.39 mm d-1), and remains accurate during summer time (RMSE = 0.62 mm d-1 and RE = 9%), the critical period when accurate ETo data are essential for a correct agricultural water management. Once calibrated and validated, and thanks to the use of remotely sensed data, the MAK-Adv approach allowed the ETo assessment at regional scale. For a semi-arid region located in southern Spain with an area of 87,300 km2, a detailed spatial ETo assessment was performed, determining ETo values for the totality of the area with a resolution of about 9 km2 allowing to evaluate the spatial and temporal variability at basin/region scale. This new approach gets over the serious limitations for a correct ETo assessment when traditional methodologies are not able to provide these data for vast areas, even with the modern weather station networks. Thus, MAK-Adv approach is especially useful for those areas with missing or inaccurate

  13. Spatial distribution of rock glaciers in the semi-arid Andes of Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blöthe, Jan Henrik; Halla, Christian; Schrott, Lothar; Götz, Joachim; Trombotto, Dario

    2016-04-01

    Active rock glaciers are indicators for permafrost in periglacial environments of high mountain areas. Within the permafrost body and the seasonally frozen active layer, these rock glaciers potentially store large amounts of water. Especially in semiarid mountain belts, such as the central Andes of Argentina, rock glaciers attain several kilometres in length, covering surface areas of >106 m2. Here, rock glaciers even outrange ice glaciers in cumulative area and absolute number, indicating they might constitute a large water reservoir in this semiarid part of the Andes. Despite their potential hydrological importance, our knowledge about the rock glaciers' spatial distribution, subsurface composition and absolute ice content is still very limited. Our study addresses this shortcoming and aims at assessing the hydrological significance of rock glacier permafrost in the semi-arid Andes of Argentina by combining local geophysical investigations with regional remote sensing analysis. Our research focuses on the central Andes between 30°S and 33°S, where we have compiled an inventory that comprises more than 1200 rock glaciers, as well as 154 clear-ice and debris-covered glaciers. Two field sites that bracket this regional study area towards their northern and southern edge have been selected for local geophysical investigations. At these locations, earlier studies detected the presence of rock glacier permafrost by thermal monitoring and geophysical prospection. Preliminary results of the regional spatial distribution indicate that the spatial density of rock glaciers increases towards the south, concomitant with a twofold increase in mean annual precipitation. Rock glacier density peaks in the area of the Aconcagua massif, while precipitation is further increasing towards the south. Simultaneously, the lower altitudinal limit of intact rock glaciers slightly decreases, with the lowest rock glacier toe positions in the northern study area located at ~3800 m a. s. l

  14. Groundwater Recharge Evaluation in Semi-Arid Northeast Mexico in Response to Projected Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolaver, B. D.

    2007-12-01

    This research evaluates the effects of projected climate change on mountain recharge in the semi-arid Cuatrocinegas Basin (CCB) of northeast Mexico. The CCB UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is located in Coahuila, Mexico (~27° N, ~102° W) and includes > 500 springs that discharge from a regional flow system to wetlands with > 70 endemic species and to an irrigation network. This study tests the hypothesis that projected climate changes will reduce CCB recharge. In CCB, ~75% of annual precipitation (~220 mm at 700 m, ~400 mm at 2350 m) falls between May and October and ~40% falls during the North American Monsoon in June, July, and August. Environmental isotopes indicate aquifer residence times of > 50 years. Stable isotopes (O and H) show that mountain precipitation (at an elevation of ~1170 to 2350 m) dominates groundwater recharge. Recharge is insignificant at lower- elevation valleys that cover the majority of the study area due to high evapotranspiration rates. A Cl--balance water-budget recharge analysis estimates a spatially distributed recharge rate of ~1 to 3% of precipitation to provide at least 35x106 m3/year spring discharge (as measured in canals that drain dozens of springs). IPCC AR4 climate projections predict an annual temperature increase of 3.0 to 3.5°C and an annual precipitation decrease of 5 to 10% for Subregion CNA (located adjacent to CCB) by 2099. During June to August, models project a temperature increase of 3.5 to 4.0°C and a precipitation increase of 0 to 5%. Although global and regional circulation models evaluate mountain regions poorly, a first-order evaluation of climate projections on CCB recharge is needed input to develop effective long-term groundwater management policies. Climate projections suggest that the minimum elevation at which recharge occurs in CCB may increase by ~615 m to 1785 m, which would limit recharge to the highest mountain elevations. If annual precipitation is reduced by 5 to 10% and temperatures increase as

  15. Iranian speleothems: Investigating Quaternary climate variability in semi-arid Western Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carolin, Stacy; Morgan, Jacob; Peckover, Emily; Walker, Richard; Henderson, Gideon; Rowe, Peter; Andrews, Julian; Ersek, Vasile; Sloan, Alastair; Talebian, Morteza; Fattahi, Morteza; Nezamdoust, Javad

    2016-04-01

    Rapid population growth and limited water supply has highlighted the need for vigorous water resource management practices in the semi-arid regions of Western Asia. One significant unknown in this discussion is the future change in rainfall amount due to the consequential effects of today's greenhouse gas forcing on the regional climate system. Currently, there is little paleoclimate proxy data in Western Asia to extend climate records beyond the limits of the instrumental period, leaving scant evidence to investigate the system's response to various climate forcings on different timescales. Here we present a synthesis of speleothem climate records across northern Iran, from the wetter climate of the Alborz and Zagros mountain ranges to the dry northeast, in order to investigate the magnitude of past climate variability and the forcings responsible. The stalagmites collected from the west and north-central mountain ranges, areas with ~200-400mm mean annual precipitation mostly falling within the fall-winter-spring months, all demonstrate growth limited to the interglacial periods of the Quaternary. We present overlapping Holocene stable isotope records with a complementary trace element record to assist in interpreting the isotopic variability. One of the records is sampled at <4yr resolution and spans 3.7-5.3 kyBP, a contested period of catastrophic droughts that allegedly eradicated civilizations in areas of the near East. Imposed upon decadal-scale variability, the record reveals a 1,000-yr gradual trend toward enriched stable oxygen isotope values, interpreted as a trend toward drier conditions, which ends with an abrupt 300-yr cessation in growth beginning at 4.3 kyBP, coincident with the so-called 4.2 kyBP drought event. From the northeast Iranian plateau, we present a new stalagmite record that spans the penultimate deglaciation and Stages 5e-5a. This region presently receives limited rain annually (~100-300mm/yr, regularly falling between November and May

  16. Spatio-temporal recharge patterns in a semi-arid alluvial basin with irrigated crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruud, N. C.; Harter, T.; Naugle, A. W.

    2001-12-01

    Recharge in semi-arid regions with irrigated crops is predominantly driven by irrigation technology and cropping patterns, but also by the seasonal distribution of rainfall and the availability of irrigation water. A significant amount of basin recharge occurs from ephemeral streams and unlined irrigation canals. A spatially distributed, GIS-based hydrologic model of water application and water use at the land-atmosphere interface was developed to estimate transient recharge to the deep vadose zone and into the unconfined alluvial aquifer. The spatial basis for the hydrologic model are individual landuse units (diffuse recharge) and a network of streams and canals with water seepage (lineal recharge). The land-atmosphere interface and unsaturated zone model component (LAIUZ) is coupled to a surface water supply model component (SWSM) that provides surface water deliveries by district or sub-district, depending on available information. Using LAIUZ and SWSM, we investigate the regional behavior and spatio-temporal variability of deep vadose zone recharge in the 3,800 square kilometer Tule groundwater basin of the San Joaquin Valley, California. Surface water management in the topographically flat basin is divided between two dozen irrigation and water districts. All surface water is imported or is natural discharge into the basin. Groundwater extractions are managed by landowners on a field-by-field basis. Monthly varying recharge and groundwater pumping rates are computed for the hydrologic years 1970 through 2000. The average size of the GIS landuse units is 0.4 sq. kilometers. The GIS coverage distinguishes over 60 landuse types. Applied and consumptive water use are computed based on actual evapotranspiration and known irrigation or water use efficiencies for each landuse unit. Seepage from streams is computed by mass balance. The resulting model estimates of groundwater recharge and pumping are in good agreement with measured groundwater level changes for the

  17. Radical scavenging, antioxidant and cytotoxic activity of Brazilian Caatinga plants.

    PubMed

    David, Juceni P; Meira, Marilena; David, Jorge M; Brandão, Hugo N; Branco, Alexsandro; de Fátima Agra, M; Barbosa, M Regina V; de Queiroz, Luciano P; Giulietti, Ana M

    2007-04-01

    Extracts of 32 plants from the Brazilian northeastern semi-arid region called Caatinga were evaluated through DPPH radical scavenging assay, beta-carotene bleaching, and brine shrimp lethality tests (BST). Among the extracts studied Byrsonima cf. gardneriana, Mascagnia coriacea, Cordia globosa, Diodia apiculata and Hypenia salzmannii showed the highest activities in DPPH radical scavenging test. In the beta-carotene bleaching test the highest activities were observed for Passiflora cincinnata, Chamaecrista repens, B. cf. gardneriana, Rollinia leptopetala, Serjania glabrata, Diospyros gaultheriifolia, C. globosa, Mimosa ophtalmocentra, M. coriacea and Lippia cf. microphylla. In contrast, R. leptopetala, Zornia cf. brasiliensis and Leonotis nepetifolia were the most active species in the BST. PMID:17331673

  18. Mapping Grazing-Induced Degradation in a Semi-Arid Environment: A Rapid and Cost Effective Approach for Assessment and Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Mark; Vlok, Jan; Rouget, Mathieu; Hoffman, M. T.; Balmford, Andrew; Cowling, R. M.

    2009-04-01

    Improved techniques for measuring and monitoring the state of biodiversity are required for reporting on national obligations to international and regional conservation institutions. Measuring the extent of grazing-related degradation in semi-arid ecosystems has proved difficult. Here we present an accurate and cost-effective method for doing this, and apply it in a South African semi-arid region that forms part of a globally significant biodiversity hotspot. We grouped structurally and functionally similar vegetation units, which were expert-mapped at the 1:50,000 scale, into four habitat types, and developed habitat-specific degradation models. We quantified degradation into three categories, using differences between dry and wet season values of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the three succulent karoo habitats, and the difference between maximum and mean NDVI values for the subtropical thicket habitat. Field evaluation revealed an accuracy of 86%. Overall, degradation was high: 24% of the study area was modeled as severely degraded, and only 9% as intact. Levels of degradation were highest for bottomland habitats that were most exposed to grazing impacts. In sharp contrast to our methods, a widely used, broad-scale and snapshot assessment of land cover in South Africa was only 33% accurate, and it considerably underestimated the extent of severely degraded habitat in the study area. While our approach requires a multidisciplinary team, and in particular expert knowledge on the characteristics and spatial delimitation of vegetation types, it is repeatable, rapid, and relatively inexpensive. Consequently, it holds great promise for monitoring and evaluation programs in semi-arid ecosystems, in Africa, and beyond.

  19. Spatial and temporal estimation of runoff in a semi-arid microwatershed of Southern India.

    PubMed

    Rejani, R; Rao, K V; Osman, M; Chary, G R; Pushpanjali; Reddy, K Sammi; Rao, Ch Srinivasa

    2015-08-01

    In a semi-arid microwatershed of Warangal district in Southern India, daily runoff was estimated spatially using Soil Conservation Service (SCS)-curve number (CN) method coupled with GIS. The groundwater status in this region is over-exploited, and precise estimation of runoff is very essential to plan interventions for this ungauged microwatershed. Rainfall is the most important factor governing runoff, and 75.8% of the daily rainfall and 92.1% of the rainy days which occurred were below 25 mm/day. The declines in rainfall and rainy days observed in recent years were 9.8 and 8.4%, respectively. The surface runoff estimated from crop land for a period of 57 years varied from 0 to 365 mm with a mean annual runoff of 103.7 mm or 14.1% of the mean annual rainfall. The mean annual runoff showed a significant reduction from 108.7 to 82.9 mm in recent years. The decadal variation of annual runoff from crop land over the years varied from 49.2 to 89.0% which showed the caution needed while planning watershed management works in this microwatershed. Among the four land use land cover conditions prevailing in the area, the higher runoff (20% of the mean annual rainfall) was observed from current fallow in clayey soil and lower runoff of 8.7% from crop land in loamy soil due to the increased canopy coverage. The drought years which occurred during recent years (1991-2007) in crop land have increased by 3.5%, normal years have increased by 15.6%, and the above normal years have decreased by 19.1%. This methodology can be adopted for estimating the runoff potential from similar ungauged watersheds with deficient data. It is concluded that in order to ensure long-term and sustainable groundwater utilization in the region, proper estimation of runoff and implementation of suitable water harvesting measures are the need of the hour. PMID:26223219

  20. Spatiotemporal modelling of groundwater extraction in semi-arid central Queensland, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keir, Greg; Bulovic, Nevenka; McIntyre, Neil

    2016-04-01

    The semi-arid Surat Basin in central Queensland, Australia, forms part of the Great Artesian Basin, a groundwater resource of national significance. While this area relies heavily on groundwater supply bores to sustain agricultural industries and rural life in general, measurement of groundwater extraction rates is very limited. Consequently, regional groundwater extraction rates are not well known, which may have implications for regional numerical groundwater modelling. However, flows from a small number of bores are metered, and less precise anecdotal estimates of extraction are increasingly available. There is also an increasing number of other spatiotemporal datasets which may help predict extraction rates (e.g. rainfall, temperature, soils, stocking rates etc.). These can be used to construct spatial multivariate regression models to estimate extraction. The data exhibit complicated statistical features, such as zero-valued observations, non-Gaussianity, and non-stationarity, which limit the use of many classical estimation techniques, such as kriging. As well, water extraction histories may exhibit temporal autocorrelation. To account for these features, we employ a separable space-time model to predict bore extraction rates using the R-INLA package for computationally efficient Bayesian inference. A joint approach is used to model both the probability (using a binomial likelihood) and magnitude (using a gamma likelihood) of extraction. The correlation between extraction rates in space and time is modelled using a Gaussian Markov Random Field (GMRF) with a Matérn spatial covariance function which can evolve over time according to an autoregressive model. To reduce computational burden, we allow the GMRF to be evaluated at a relatively coarse temporal resolution, while still allowing predictions to be made at arbitrarily small time scales. We describe the process of model selection and inference using an information criterion approach, and present some

  1. Where Does the River Run? Lessons from a Semi-Arid River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meixner, T.; Soto, C. D.; Richter, H.; Uhlman, K.

    2009-12-01

    Spatial data sets to assess the nature of stream groundwater interactions and the resulting power law/fractal structure of travel time distributions are rare. Spatial data sets can be collected using high technology or by use of a large number of field assistants. The labor intensive way is expensive unless the public can be enlisted as citizen scientists to gather large, robust, spatial data sets robustly and cheaply. Such an effort requires public interest and the ability of a few to organize such an effort at a basin if not regional scale. The San Pedro basin offers such an opportunity for citizen science due to the water resource restrictions of the basins semi-arid climate. Since 1999 The Nature Conservancy, in cooperation with the Upper San Pedro Partnership, the public at large and various university and federal science agency participants, has been mapping where the San Pedro River has water present versus where it is dry. This mapping has used an army of volunteers armed with GPS units, clipboards and their eyes to make the determination if a given 10m reach of the river is wet or dry. These wet/dry mapping data now exist for 11 different annual surveys. These data are unique and enable an investigation of the hydrologic connectedness of flowing waters within this system. Analysis of these data reveals several important findings. The total river area that is wet is strongly correlated with stream flow as observed at three USGS gauges. The correlation is strongest however for 90 day and 1 year average flows rather than more local in time observations such as the daily, 7 day or monthly mean flow at the gauges. This result indicates that where the river is flowing depends on long term hydrologic conditions. The length of river reach that is mapped as wet or dry is indicative of the travel distance and thus time that water travels in the surface (wet) and subsurface (dry) of the river system. The reach length that is mapped as wet follows a power law function

  2. High spatial resolution remote sensing imagery improves GPP predictions in disturbed, semi-arid woodlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krofcheck, D. J.; Eitel, J.; Vierling, L. A.; Schulthess, U.; Litvak, M. E.

    2012-12-01

    Climate across the globe is changing and consequently the productivity of terrestrial vegetation is changing with it. Gross primary productivity (GPP) is an integral part of the carbon cycle, yet challenging to measure everywhere, all the time. Efforts to estimate GPP in the context of climate change are becoming continually more salient of the need for models sensitive to the heterogeneous nature of drought and pest induced disturbance. Given the increased availability of high spatial resolution remotely sensed imagery, their use in ecosystem scale GPP estimation is becoming increasingly viable. We used a simple linear model with inputs derived from RapidEye time series data (5 meter spatial resolution) as compared to MODIS inputs (250 meter spatial resolution) to estimate GPP in intact and girdled PJ woodland to simulate drought and pest induced disturbance. An area equal to the MODIS pixels measured was aggregated using RapidEye data centered on the flux towers for comparison purposes. We generated four model runs, two using only MODIS or RapidEye spectral vegetation indices (VIs) and two using MODIS and RapidEye VIs combined at both the control and disturbed tower site. Our results suggest that for undisturbed regions, MODIS derived VIs perform better than the higher spatial resolution RapidEye VIs when a moisture sensitive index is incorporated into the model (RMSE of 17.51for MODIS vs. 22.71 for RapidEye). Modeling GPP in disturbed regions however benefits from the inclusion of high spatial resolution data (RMSE of 14.83 for MODIS vs. 14.70 for RapidEye). This discrepancy may have to do with the disparate scale of a MODIS pixel and the size of the tower fetch. Our results suggest that the best source of VI's for the modeling GPP in semi-arid woodlands depends on the level of disturbance in the landscape. Given that the rate and extent of drought and insect induced mortality events in terrestrial forests are projected to increase with our changing climate

  3. Impacts of grazing, fire, and precipitation variability on woody plant cover expansion in semi-arid grasslands of southeastern Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'neal, K. J.

    2011-12-01

    Northern Chihuahuan semi-arid grasslands are highly managed systems supporting rich biodiversity and many endemic species as well as providing a valuable economic resource for cattle-ranching livelihoods, with 90% of grasslands open to grazing. Chihuahuan grasslands share many characteristics with other managed grazing systems, which occupy 25% of the global land surface and are the most extensive form of land use. These grasslands are experiencing land-cover modification from woody plant cover expansion, leading to diminished biodiversity and grazing capacity. Ongoing research indicates that grazing, fire suppression, and precipitation variability are the primary drivers causing increased woody plant cover in Chihuahuan grasslands; however, there is debate concerning the dominant driver. While it is understood that historical land use and climate variation have facilitated initial woody encroachment in the region, the current relative influence of the three drivers remains unclear. This research explores how grazing, fire/suppression, and seasonal precipitation variability influence woody plant cover in the semi-arid grasslands of southeastern Arizona and identifies the dominant driver behind observed changes. This research used the Landsat Thematic Mapper record from 1984 to 2008 to map changes in woody plant cover and identify spatial patterns and temporal trends of woody plant cover expansion. Spectral mixture analysis (SMA) was used to quantify the percent of woody plant cover in each pixel; trend analysis was used to track per-pixel changes over the time-series. Trend analysis was further refined by segmenting trends around fire events to accommodate abrupt and non-monotonic effects of fire on woody plant cover. The overall trend in the region shows increasing woody plant cover with most values ranging between 5-20% over the 25-year period and significant spatial variability in expansion amounts across the region. The Random Forests decision tree approach was

  4. Scarce data in hydrology and hydrogeology: Estimation and modelling of groundwater recharge for a numerical groundwater flow model in a semi-arid to arid catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gräbe, Agnes; Schulz, Stephan; Rödiger, Tino; Kolditz, Olaf

    2013-04-01

    Water resources are strongly limited in semi-arid to arid regions and groundwater constitutes often the only possibility for fresh water for the population and industry. An understanding of the hydrological processes and the estimation of magnitude of water balance parameters also includes the knowledge of processes of groundwater recharge. For the sustainable management of water resources, it is essential to estimate the potential groundwater recharge under the given climatic conditions. We would like to present the results of a hydrological model, which is based on the HRU- concept and intersected the parameters of climatic conditions, topography, geology, soil, vegetation and land use to calculate the groundwater recharge. This model was primarily developed for humid area applications and has now been adapted to the regional conditions in the semi-arid to arid region. It was quite a challenge to understand the hydrological processes in the semi-arid to arid study area and to implement those findings (e.g. routing [Schulz (in prep.)]) into the model structure. Thus we compared the existing approaches for groundwater recharge estimations (chloride mass balance [Marei et. al 2000], empirical relations such as rainfall and base flow-relation [Goldschmidt 1960; Guttman 2000; Hughes 2008; Issar 1993; Lerner 1990; De Vries et. al 2002]) with the results of our numerical model. References: De Vries, J. J., I. Simmers (2002): Groundwater recharge: an overview of processes and challenges. Hydrogeology Journal (2002) 10: 5-17. DOI 10.1007/s10040-001-0171-7. Guttman, J., 2000. Multi-Lateral Project B: Hydrogeology of the Eastern Aquifer in the Judea Hills and Jordan Valley. Mekorot Water Company, Report 468, p. 36. Hughes, A. G., M. M. Mansour, N. S. Robins (2008): Evaluation of distributed recharge in an upland semi-arid karst system: the West Bank Mountain Aquifer, Middle East. Hydrogeology Journal (2008) 16: 845-854. DOI 10.1007/s10040-008-0273-6 Issar, A. S. (1993

  5. Simple, spatial and predictive approach for cereal yield prediction in the semi-arid areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toumi, Jihad; Khabba, Said; Er-Raki, Salah; Le page, Michel; Chahbi Bellakanji, Aicha; Lili Chabaane, Zohra; Ezzahar, Jamal; Zribi, Mehrez; Jarlan, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    The objective is to develop a simple, spatial and predictive approach of dry matter (DM) and grain yield (GY) of cereal in the semi-arid areas. The proposed method is based on the three efficiencies model of Monteith (1972). This approach summarizes the transformation of solar radiation to the dry matter (DM) by the climate (ɛc), interception (ɛi) and conversion (ɛconv) efficiencies. The method combines the maximum of ɛi and ɛconv (noted ɛimax and ɛconvmax) into a single parameter denoted ɛmax, calculating as a function of cumulating growing degree day (CGDD). Also, the stress coefficient ks, which affects the conversion of solar radiation to the biomass was calculated by the surface temperature or the water balance at the root zone. In addition, the expression of ks has been improved by the consideration of the results achieved by deficit irrigation (AquaCrop and STICS models) which showed that the value of ks from 0.7 to 1 didn't affect significantly the cereal production. For the partitioning of the dry matter developed, between straw and grain, the method proposed calculates a variable Harvest Index coefficient (HI). HI is deducted from CGDD and HI0max (maximal final harvest Index in the region of study). Finally, the approach calculates DM depending Satellite Information (NDVI and surface temperature Ts) and climatic data (solar radiation and air temperature). In the case of no availability of Ts, the amount of irrigation is required to calculate ks. Until now, the developed model has been calibrated and validated on the irrigated area R3, located 40 Km east of Marrakech. The evolutions of DM and GY were reproduced satisfactorily. R2 and RMSE are respectively 0.98 and 0.35 t/ha and 0.98 and 0.19 t/ha, respectively. Currently, additional tests are in progress on data relating to the Kairouan plain of Tunisia.

  6. Water Governance and Adaptation to Disturbances in Irrigated Semi-Arid Agricultural Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, T. P.; McCord, P. F.; McBride, L.; Gower, D.; Caylor, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    Climate and other physical drivers of environmental systems are modifying the global availability of water for irrigation. At the same time population growth is placing an increased demand on water resources as local municipalities promote agricultural production as a mechanism to support human welfare and development. Substantial has research focused on household-level agricultural decision-making and adaptation. But equally important are institutional dynamics, or the rules implemented to allocate water resources across different user groups. Previous work has identified design principles for common-pool resource systems that tend to lead to sustained governance regimes. Likewise, past research has addressed the issue of "institutional fit", or locally adapted governance arrangements characterized through governance structure. However, much of the complexity behind institutional dynamics and adaptive capacity lies in the translation of data to information to knowledge, and how this sequence contributes to effective cross-scale water management and decision-making - an arena that has arguably received less attention in the water management literature. We investigate the interplay between governance regimes, data/information and institutional dynamics in irrigation systems in semi-arid regions of Kenya. In particular, we articulate the role of knowledge and data in institutional dynamics at multiple levels of analysis. How do users at different decision-making levels incorporate social and hydrological information in water governance? What data is needed to develop the information and knowledge users need for effective management? While governance structure is certainly a critical component of water management systems - we emphasize the interplay between the data-information-knowledge sequence and institutional dynamics. We present findings from household and manager-level surveys examining irrigation practices and the institutions designed to equitably allocate

  7. Management of Meloidogyne incognita with Chemicals and Cultivars in Cotton in a Semi-Arid Environment

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, T. A.; Siders, K. T.; Anderson, M. G.; Russell, S. A.; Woodward, J. E.; Mullinix, B. G.

    2014-01-01

    Management of Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode) in cotton in the United States was substantially affected by the decision to stop production of aldicarb by its principle manufacturer in 2011. The remaining commercially available tools to manage M. incognita included soil fumigation, nematicide seed treatments, postemergence nematicide application, and cultivars partially resistant to M. incognita. Small plot field studies were conducted on a total of nine sites from 2011–2013 to examine the effects of each of these tools alone or in combinations, on early season galling, late-season nematode density in soil, yield, and value ($/ha = lint value minus chemical costs/ha). The use of a partially resistant cultivar resulted in fewer galls/root system at 35 d after planting in eight of nine tests, lower root-knot nematode density late in the growing season for all test sites, higher lint yield in eight of nine sites, and higher value/ha in six of nine sites. Galls per root were reduced by aldicarb in three of nine sites and by 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) in two of eight sites, relative to the nontreated control (no insecticide or nematicide treatment). Soil fumigation reduced M. incognita density late in the season in three of nine sites. Value/ha was not affected by chemical treatment in four of nine sites, but there was a cultivar × chemical interaction in four of nine sites. When value/ha was affected by chemical treatment, the nontreated control had a similar value to the treatment with the highest value/ha in seven of eight cultivar-site combinations. The next “best” value/ha were associated with seed treatment insecticide (STI) + oxamyl and aldicarb (similar value to the highest value/ha in six of eight cultivar-site combinations). The lowest valued treatment was STI + 1,3-D. In a semi-arid region, where rainfall was low during the spring for all three years, cultivars with partial resistance to M. incognita was the most profitable method of

  8. Simulating the Dependence of Sagebrush Steppe Vegetation on Redistributed Snow in a Semi-Arid Watershed.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soderquist, B.; Kavanagh, K.; Link, T. E.; Strand, E. K.; Seyfried, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    snow. These results indicate that as snow water subsidies decrease, ecosystems may shift from tree and shrub dominated to grassland dominated. As climate change progresses, shifts in the precipitation regimes in semi-arid environments may lead to changes in species composition and carbon stores throughout the intermountain west.

  9. Coarse root distribution of a semi-arid oak savanna estimated with ground penetrating radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raz-Yaseef, N.; Koteen, L. E.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2012-12-01

    North California enjoys wet and mild winters, but experiences extreme hot, dry summer conditions, with occasional drought years. Despite the severity of summer conditions, blue oaks are winter-deciduous. We hypothesized that the binary nature of water availability would be reflected in blue oak root architecture. Our objective was to understand how the form of the root system facilitates ecosystem functioning. To do this, we sought to characterize the structure of the root system, and survey coarse root distribution with ground penetrating radar (GPR), due to its advantages in covering large areas rapidly and non-destructively. Because GPR remains a relatively new technology for examining root distribution, an ancillary objective was to test this methodology, and help facilitate its application more broadly. A third objective was to test the potential for upscaling coarse root biomass by developing allometric relations based on LIDAR measurements of above ground canopy structure. We surveyed six 8x8 m locations with trees varying in size, age and clumping (i.e. isolated trees vs. tree clusters). GPR signals were transformed to root biomass by calibrating them against excavated roots. Toward this goal, we positioned two rectangles of size 60x100 cm in each of the grids, excavated and sieved soil to harvest roots. Our results indicate that coarse roots occupy the full soil profile, and that root biomass of old large trees peaks just above the bedrock. As opposed to other semi-arid regions, where trees often develop extensive shallow coarse lateral roots, in order to exploit the entire wet-soil medium, we found that coarse root density decreased with distance from the bole, and dropped sharply at a distance of 2 m. We upscaled root biomass to stand-scale (2.8±0.4 kg m-2) based on LiDAR analysis of the relative abundance of each tree configuration. We argue that the deep and narrow root structure we observed reflects the ecohydrology of oaks in this ecosystem, because

  10. Evaporative loss from irrigated interrows in a highly advective semi-arid agricultural area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agam, Nurit; Evett, Steven R.; Tolk, Judy A.; Kustas, William P.; Colaizzi, Paul D.; Alfieri, Joseph G.; McKee, Lynn G.; Copeland, Karen S.; Howell, Terry A.; Chávez, Jose L.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural productivity has increased in the Texas High Plains at the cost of declining water tables, putting at risk the sustainability of the Ogallala Aquifer as a principal source of water for irrigated agriculture. This has led area producers to seek alternative practices that can increase water use efficiency (WUE) through more careful management of water. One potential way of improving WUE is by reducing soil evaporation (E), thus reducing overall evapotranspiration (ET). Before searching for ways to reduce E, it is first important to quantify E and understand the factors that determine its magnitude. The objectives of this study were (1) to quantify E throughout part of the growing season for irrigated cotton in a strongly advective semi-arid region; (2) to study the effects of LAI, days after irrigation, and measurement location within the row on the E/ET fraction; and (3) to study the ability of microlysimeter (ML) measures of E combined with sap flow gage measures of transpiration (T) to accurately estimate ET when compared with weighing lysimeter ET data and to assess the E/T ratio. The research was conducted in an irrigated cotton field at the Conservation & Production Research Laboratory of the USDA-ARS, Bushland, TX. ET was measured by a large weighing lysimeter, and E was measured by 10 microlysimeters that were deployed in two sets of 5 across the interrow. In addition, 10 heat balance sap flow gages were used to determine T. A moderately good agreement was found between the sum E + T and ET (SE = 1 mm or ˜10% of ET). It was found that E may account for >50% of ET during early stages of the growing season (LAI < 0.2), significantly decreasing with increase in LAI to values near 20% at peak LAI of three. Measurement location within the north-south interrows had a distinct effect on the diurnal pattern of E, with a shift in time of peak E from west to east, a pattern that was governed by the solar radiation reaching the soil surface. However, total

  11. Use of carbon isotope analysis to understand semi-arid erosion dynamics and long-term semi-arid land degradation.

    PubMed

    Turnbull, Laura; Brazier, Richard E; Wainwright, John; Dixon, Liz; Bol, Roland

    2008-06-01

    Many semi-arid areas worldwide are becoming degraded, in the form of C(4) grasslands being replaced by C(3) shrublands, which causes an increase in surface runoff and erosion, and altered nutrient cycling, which may affect global biogeochemical cycling. The prevention or control of vegetation transitions is hindered by a lack of understanding of their temporal and spatial dynamics, particularly in terms of interactions between biotic and abiotic processes. This research investigates (1) the effects of soil erosion on the delta(13)C values of soil organic matter (SOM) throughout the soil profile and its implications for reconstructing vegetation change using carbon-isotope analysis and (2) the spatial properties of erosion over a grass-shrub transition to increase understanding of biotic-abiotic interactions by using delta(13)C signals of eroded material as a sediment tracer. Results demonstrate that the soils over grass-shrub transitions are not in steady state. A complex interplay of factors determines the input of SOM to the surface horizon of the soil and its subsequent retention and turnover through the soil profile. A positive correlation between event runoff and delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment was found in all plots. This indicates that the delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment may provide a means of distinguishing between changes in erosion dynamics over runoff events of different magnitudes and over different vegetation types. The development of this technique using delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment provides a new means of furthering existing understanding of erosion dynamics over vegetation transitions. This is critical in terms of understanding biotic-abiotic feedbacks and the evolution of areas subject to vegetation change in semi-arid environments. PMID:18438765

  12. Latent heat loss and sweat gland histology of male goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Melo Costa, Cíntia Carol; Maia, Alex Sandro Campos; Neto, José Domingues Fontenele; Oliveira, Steffan Edward Octávio; de Queiroz, João Paulo Araújo Fernandes

    2014-03-01

    The objective of this work was to quantify the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment. The latent heat loss from the body surfaces of these ten undefined breed goats was measured using a ventilated capsule in sun and shade and in the three body regions (neck, flank and hindquarters). Skin samples from these three regions were histologically analyzed to relate the quantity of sweat glands, the area of sweat glands and the epithelium thickness of each of these regions to the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of the examined goats. The epithelium thickness that was measured varied significantly for body regions with different quantities and areas of sweat glands ( P < 0.01). Among the body regions that were examined, the samples from the neck demonstrated the highest epithelium thickness (16.23 ± 0.13 μm). However, the samples of sweat glands from the flank had the biggest area (43330.51 ± 778.71 μm2) and quantity per square centimeter (390 ± 9 cm-2). After the animals were exposed to sun, the flanks lost the greatest amount of heat by cutaneous evaporation (73.03 ± 1.75 W m-2) and possessed the highest surface temperatures (39.47 ± 0.18 °C). The histological characteristics may have influenced the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation that was observed in the flank region after the animals were exposed to sun.

  13. Latent heat loss and sweat gland histology of male goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Melo Costa, Cíntia Carol; Maia, Alex Sandro Campos; Neto, José Domingues Fontenele; Oliveira, Steffan Edward Octávio; de Queiroz, João Paulo Araújo Fernandes

    2013-03-01

    The objective of this work was to quantify the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment. The latent heat loss from the body surfaces of these ten undefined breed goats was measured using a ventilated capsule in sun and shade and in the three body regions (neck, flank and hindquarters). Skin samples from these three regions were histologically analyzed to relate the quantity of sweat glands, the area of sweat glands and the epithelium thickness of each of these regions to the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of the examined goats. The epithelium thickness that was measured varied significantly for body regions with different quantities and areas of sweat glands (P < 0.01). Among the body regions that were examined, the samples from the neck demonstrated the highest epithelium thickness (16.23 ± 0.13 μm). However, the samples of sweat glands from the flank had the biggest area (43330.51 ± 778.71 μm2) and quantity per square centimeter (390 ± 9 cm-2). After the animals were exposed to sun, the flanks lost the greatest amount of heat by cutaneous evaporation (73.03 ± 1.75 W m-2) and possessed the highest surface temperatures (39.47 ± 0.18 °C). The histological characteristics may have influenced the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation that was observed in the flank region after the animals were exposed to sun.

  14. Development of a Testate Amoebae Calibration Dataset from a freshwater wetland in a semi-arid environment: Loboi Swamp, Kenya, East Africa.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goman, M. F.; Ashley, G. M.; Hover, V. C.; Muasya, A. M.

    2005-12-01

    The East African Rift Valley is characterized as an arid to semi-arid region, with several large, well studied, alkaline lakes; within the region, freshwater wetlands persist. These wetland systems, locally are important sources of freshwater. They also provide overlooked important paleoclimate archives, as the fragile ecology of these wetlands can be affected by even minor changes in hydrology and climate. Loboi Swamp is a 1.5 km2 freshwater wetland located near the equator in the Kenyan Rift Valley. The region receives approximately 700 mm of precipitation per year, while potential evaporation exceeds 2500 mm annually. Analysis of 25-years of precipitation data from local weather stations indicate that significant positive precipitation anomalies occur during El Niño years. Radiocarbon, pollen, and diatom data from Loboi Swamp indicates that the current wetland developed approximately 700 years ago. Sediment surface samples were collected for pollen, seeds and testate amoebae, along with water chemistry and vegetation data from throughout the Loboi Marsh. In this paper we present preliminary data and results in the development of a calibration dataset to test the feasibility of using testate amoebae as a proxy for hydrological and geochemical changes in a semi-arid setting. Initial results indicate significant qualitative differences in testate amoebae taxon distribution within geographic regions of the marsh, which likely correlate with a variety of hydrologic parameters (e.g., alkalinity, PH, DO, and temperature).

  15. Evaluating the impacts of drought stress on arid and semi-arid ecosystems in Northeast Asia using satellite imagery data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Do, N.; Kang, S.; Choi, G.

    2010-12-01

    Drought stress on vegetation growth can lead alteration in function and structure of ecosystem. Severe drought in arid and semi-arid area may result in reduction of vegetation productivity or biomass as well as alteration of species composition of ecosystem. Previous studies have commonly used precipitation data to assess the effect of water stress on dryland ecosystems. However, soil moisture would be better water-related environmental variable than precipitation because it affects stomata behavior. The remote sensing data derived from satellite imagery are useful to monitor ecological processes such as vegetation production and its response to soil moisture in broad regions. For instance, the GIMMS AVHRR Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data as well as soil moisture data detected by Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) soil moisture data have potentials to examine the associations between water stress and vegetation productivity across entire Northeast Asia. The productivity index (i.e. accumulated, maximum, mean NDVI) derived from NDVI may have considerable uncertainty to represent vegetation productivity. Hence, we tested whether the productivity index can be surrogate of vegetation productivity from MODIS cloud-corrected annual GPP. As well, soil moisture from SSM/I lacks credibility in areas where vegetation is dense. We confined our study areas where significant correlation between precipitation record and SSM/I soil moisture occurred. The purposes of this study are (1) to examine the spatial and temporal patterns of soil moisture and productivity indices in arid and semi-arid regions of Northeast Asia from 1987 to 2006, and (2) to investigate how the drylands productivity responded to inter-annual soil moisture variability, and (3) to examine how the drylands productivity was sensitive to the change of soil moisture. Finally, (4) it was evaluated the spatial and inter-annual patterns of drought stress in the Northeast Asia drylands (i

  16. Understanding environmental drivers in the regulation of soil respiration dynamics after fire in semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, soil CO2 efflux, soil C, soil moisture, soil temperature Introduction Soil respiration (Rs) has become a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of these CO2 fluxes from soils (Van Groenigen et al., 2014). In addition to its importance in the global C cycle, Rs is a fundamental indicator of soil health and quality that reflects the level of microbial activity and provides an indication of the ability of soils to support plant growth (Oyonarte et al., 2012; Munoz-Rojas et al., 2015). Wildfires can have a significant impact on Rs rates, with the scale of the impact depending on environmental factors such as temperature and moisture, and organic C content in the soil. Vegetation cover can have a significant effect on regulating organic C contents; and while advances are made into understanding the effects of fire on organic C contents and CO2 fluxes (Granged et al., 2011; Willaarts et al., 2015; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016), there is limited knowledge of the variability of Rs across ecosystem types, vegetation communities, and responses to fire. In this research we aimed to assess the impacts of a wildfire on the soil CO2 fluxes and soil respiration in a semi-arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara biogeographical region), and to understand the main environmental drivers controlling these fluxes in different vegetation types. The study has application for other arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Methods The study area was selected following a wildfire that affected 25 ha in February 2014. Twelve plots were established in the burnt site (B) within a 400 m2 area, and 12 plots in an adjacent unburnt control site. At each site, three plots were installed below the canopy of each of the most representative vegetation types of the areas: Eucalyptus trees, Acacia shrubs and Triodia grasses, and three on bare soil. Soil sampling and measurement of soil CO2 efflux, temperature and moisture were

  17. Global patterns and environmental controls of perchlorate and nitrate co-occurrence in arid and semi-arid environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, W. Andrew; Böhlke, J. K.; Andraski, Brian J.; Fahlquist, Lynne; Bexfield, Laura; Eckardt, Frank D.; Gates, John B.; Davila, Alfonso F.; McKay, Christopher P.; Rao, Balaji; Sevanthi, Ritesh; Rajagopalan, Srinath; Estrada, Nubia; Sturchio, Neil; Hatzinger, Paul B.; Anderson, Todd A.; Orris, Greta; Betancourt, Julio; Stonestrom, David; Latorre, Claudio; Li, Yanhe; Harvey, Gregory J.

    2015-09-01

    Natural perchlorate (ClO4-) is of increasing interest due to its wide-spread occurrence on Earth and Mars, yet little information exists on the relative abundance of ClO4- compared to other major anions, its stability, or long-term variations in production that may impact the observed distributions. Our objectives were to evaluate the occurrence and fate of ClO4- in groundwater and soils/caliche in arid and semi-arid environments (southwestern United States, southern Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, Antarctica, and Chile) and the relationship of ClO4- to the more well-studied atmospherically deposited anions NO3- and Cl- as a means to understand the prevalent processes that affect the accumulation of these species over various time scales. ClO4- is globally distributed in soil and groundwater in arid and semi-arid regions on Earth at concentrations ranging from 10-1 to 106 μg/kg. Generally, the ClO4- concentration in these regions increases with aridity index, but also depends on the duration of arid conditions. In many arid and semi-arid areas, NO3- and ClO4- co-occur at molar ratios (NO3-/ClO4-) that vary between ∼104 and 105. We hypothesize that atmospheric deposition ratios are largely preserved in hyper-arid areas that support little or no biological activity (e.g. plants or bacteria), but can be altered in areas with more active biological processes including N2 fixation, N mineralization, nitrification, denitrification, and microbial ClO4- reduction, as indicated in part by NO3- isotope data. In contrast, much larger ranges of Cl-/ClO4- and Cl-/NO3- ratios indicate Cl- varies independently from both ClO4- and NO3-. The general lack of correlation between Cl- and ClO4- or NO3- implies that Cl- is not a good indicator of co-deposition and should be used with care when interpreting oxyanion cycling in arid systems. The Atacama Desert appears to be unique compared to all other terrestrial locations having a NO3-/ClO4- molar ratio ∼103. The relative

  18. Estimation of groundwater recharge via deuterium labelling in the semi-arid Cuvelai-Etosha Basin, Namibia.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Matthias; Gaj, Marcel; Hamutoko, Josefina Tulimeveva; Koeniger, Paul; Wanke, Heike; Himmelsbach, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The stable water isotope deuterium ((2)H) was applied as an artificial tracer ((2)H2O) in order to estimate groundwater recharge through the unsaturated zone and describe soil water movement in a semi-arid region of northern central Namibia. A particular focus of this study was to assess the spatiotemporal persistence of the tracer when applied in the field on a small scale under extreme climatic conditions and to propose a method to obtain estimates of recharge in data-scarce regions. At two natural sites that differ in vegetation cover, soil and geology, 500 ml of a 70% (2)H2O solution was irrigated onto water saturated plots. The displacement of the (2)H peak was analyzed 1 and 10 days after an artificial rain event of 20 mm as well as after the rainy season. Results show that it is possible to apply the peak displacement method for the estimation of groundwater recharge rates in semi-arid environments via deuterium labelling. Potential recharge for the rainy season 2013/2014 was calculated as 45 mm a(-1) at 5.6 m depth and 40 mm a(-1) at 0.9 m depth at the two studied sites, respectively. Under saturated conditions, the artificial rain events moved 2.1 and 0.5 m downwards, respectively. The tracer at the deep sand site (site 1) was found after the rainy season at 5.6 m depth, corresponding to a displacement of 3.2 m. This equals in an average travel velocity of 2.8 cm d(-1) during the rainy season at the first site. At the second location, the tracer peak was discovered at 0.9 m depth; displacement was found to be only 0.4 m equalling an average movement of 0.2 cm d(-1) through the unsaturated zone due to an underlying calcrete formation. Tracer recovery after one rainy season was found to be as low as 3.6% at site 1 and 1.9% at site 2. With an in situ measuring technique, a three-dimensional distribution of (2)H after the rainy season could be measured and visualized. This study comprises the first application of the peak displacement method using a

  19. Long term rainfall and runoff observations in a semi-arid watershed of the northern Negev, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argaman, Eli; Barth, Raphael; Ben-Hur, Meni

    2015-04-01

    Arid and semi-arid regions cover about one quarter of the global land area and inhabit more than 18% of the world's population. These regions are characterized by harsh conditions including, high temperatures and evapotranspiration, water scarcity, and low overall biomass production. Moreover, these regions are under tremendous anthropogenic pressure, such as intensive agriculture activities and livestock grazing. Therefore, it is very important to understand the ecosystems of drylands. Our study was carried out in Sayeret-Shaked Park research area located along the transition border of arid and semi-arid climate of the northern edge of Israel's Negev desert, and was initiated in 1991. The variation of the hydrological factors (i.e., precipitation and runoff), which impact the rainfall/runoff ratio, was studied during 22 years from 1991 until 2013. Rainfall data showed that the mean annual rainfall for this time scale is 154 mm with a variation of ±58 mm/year. However, while the period from 1991 to 2006 had a mean annual rainfall of 171 mm and 27 rain days per year on average, the following period from 2007 to 2013 had mean annual rainfall of 117 mm with 16 rain days per year in average. Observations showed that these variations in the precipitation and the dramatic decrease in the annual rainfall since 2008 affected the vegetation and landscape pattern. Overall, 684 runoff events were recorded from plots, with 64 m2 size of each, since 1991 to 2013. The results show a mean runoff/rainfall ratio of 0.12 with an insignificant (r2 = 0.17, p = 0.07) decrease in the yearly runoff/rainfall ratio and an increase in the runoff events, which generate ≤10% runoff of the total rainfall. The average standard deviation of the runoff/rainfall ratio within each year was ±8%. Although we found that threshold value for runoff generation was 7 mm of rainfall per event, some events with high rainfall amount resulted with no significant runoff. About 10% of the events with the

  20. Quantifying the resilience of carbon dynamics in semi-arid biomes in the Southwestern U.S. to drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvak, M. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Maurer, G.

    2015-12-01

    Semi-arid biomes in many parts of the Southwestern U.S. have experienced a range of precipitation over the last decade, ranging from wetter than average years 2006-2010 (relative to the 40-year PRISM mean), extreme drought years (2010-2011) and slightly dry-average precipitation years (2013-2015). While annual carbon uptake in semi-arid biomes of the Southwestern US is relatively low, compared to more temperate ecosystems, collectively these biomes store a significant amount of carbon on a regional scale. It is therefore of great interest to understand what impact this range in precipitation variability has on inter- and intra- annual variability in regional carbon dynamics. We use an 9 year record from 2007-2015 of continuous measurements of net ecosystem exchange of carbon (NEE) and its components (gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re), made across a network of flux towers along an elevation/aridity gradient in New Mexico, the New Mexico Elevation Gradient (NMEG), to quantify biome-specific responses of carbon dynamics to climate variability over this time period. Biomes include a desert grassland, creosote shrubland, juniper savanna, piñon-juniper woodland, and ponderosa pine and subalpine mixed conifer forests. We compared daily, seasonal and annual NEP, GPP and Re means between pre-drought (2007-2010), drought (2011-2012), and post-drought years (2013-2015). All biomes sequestered less carbon in the drought years, compared to the pre-drought years (~30-40, 270 and 60 g C/m2 less in low and middle elevation biomes, ponderosa pine, and mixed conifer forest, respectively), as GPP in all biomes was more sensitive to the drought than Re. In the post-drought years, GPP was still only 80-90% what it was in the pre-drought years. Re, however, in all biomes except for the creosote shrubland, was 5-15% higher in the post-drought years compared to pre-drought. As a result, carbon sequestration in these biomes was 20-75% lower in the post

  1. Geochemical Weathering Increases Lead Bioaccessibility in Semi-Arid Mine Tailings

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Sarah M.; Webb, Sam M.; Bargar, John R.; O'Day, Peggy A.; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Mine tailings can host elevated concentrations of toxic metal(loid)s that represent a significant hazard to surrounding communities and ecosystems. Eolian transport, capable of translocating small (micrometer-sized) particles, can be the dominant mechanism of toxic metal dispersion in arid or semi-arid landscapes. Human exposure to metals can then occur via direct inhalation or ingestion of particulates. The fact that measured doses of total lead (Pb) in geomedia correlate poorly with blood Pb levels highlights a need to better resolve the precise distribution of molecularly-speciated metal-bearing phases in the complex particle mixtures. Species distribution controls bioaccessibility, thereby directly impacting health risk. This study seeks to correlate Pb-containing particle size and mineral composition with lability and bioaccessibility in mine tailings subjected to weathering in a semi-arid environment. We employed X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), coupled with sequential chemical extractions, to study Pb speciation in tailings from the semi-arid Arizona Klondyke State Superfund Site. Representative samples ranging in pH from 2.6 to 5.4 were selected for in-depth study of Pb solid-phase speciation. The principle lead-bearing phase was plumbojarosite (PbFe6(SO4)4(OH)12), but anglesite (PbSO4) and iron oxide-sorbed Pb were also observed. Anglesite, the most bioavailable mineral species of lead identified in this study, was enriched in surficial tailings samples, where Pb concentrations in the clay size fraction were 2–3 times higher by mass relative to bulk. A mobile and bioaccessible Pb phase accumulates in surficial tailings, with a corresponding increase in risk of human exposure to atmospheric particles. PMID:22553941

  2. Carbon storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils and sequestration potentials in northern China.

    PubMed

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Munro, Sam; Barthold, Frauke; Steffens, Markus; Schad, Peter; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-10-01

    Organic carbon (OC) sequestration in degraded semi-arid environments by improved soil management is assumed to contribute substantially to climate change mitigation. However, information about the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration potential in steppe soils and their current saturation status remains unknown. In this study, we estimated the OC storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils on the basis of remote, natural steppe fragments in northern China. Based on the maximum OC saturation of silt and clay particles <20 μm, OC sequestration potentials of degraded steppe soils (grazing land, arable land, eroded areas) were estimated. The analysis of natural grassland soils revealed a strong linear regression between the proportion of the fine fraction and its OC content, confirming the importance of silt and clay particles for OC stabilization in steppe soils. This relationship was similar to derived regressions in temperate and tropical soils but on a lower level, probably due to a lower C input and different clay mineralogy. In relation to the estimated OC storage capacity, degraded steppe soils showed a high OC saturation of 78-85% despite massive SOC losses due to unsustainable land use. As a result, the potential of degraded grassland soils to sequester additional OC was generally low. This can be related to a relatively high contribution of labile SOC, which is preferentially lost in the course of soil degradation. Moreover, wind erosion leads to substantial loss of silt and clay particles and consequently results in a direct loss of the ability to stabilize additional OC. Our findings indicate that the SOC loss in semi-arid environments induced by intensive land use is largely irreversible. Observed SOC increases after improved land management mainly result in an accumulation of labile SOC prone to land use/climate changes and therefore cannot be regarded as contribution to long-term OC sequestration. PMID:25916410

  3. Changes in Semi-Arid Plant Species Associations along a Livestock Grazing Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2012-01-01

    In semi-arid ecosystems, vegetation is heterogeneously distributed, with plant species often associating in patches. These associations between species are not constant, but depend on the particular response of each species to environmental factors. Here, we investigated how plant species associations change in response to livestock grazing in a semi-arid ecosystem, Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in South East Spain. We established linear point-intercept transects at four sites with different grazing intensity, and recorded all species at each point. We investigated plant associations by comparing the number of times that each pair of species occurred at the same spatial point (co-occurrences), with the expected number of times based on species abundances. We also assessed associations for each shrub and grass species by considering all their pairs of associations and for the whole plant community by considering all pairs of associations on each site. At all sites, the plant community had a negative pattern of association, with fewer co-occurrences than expected. Negative association in the plant community increased at maximum grazing intensity. Most species associated as expected, particularly grass species, and positive associations were most important at intermediate grazing intensities. No species changed its type of association along the grazing gradient. We conclude that in the present plant community, grazing-resistant species compete among themselves and segregate in space. Some shrub species act as refuges for grazing-sensitive species that benefit from being spatially associated with shrub species, particularly at intermediate grazing intensities where positive associations were highest. At high grazing intensity, these shrubs can no longer persist and positive associations decrease due to the disappearance of refuges. Spatial associations between plant species and their response to grazing help identify the factors that organize plant communities, and

  4. Hydrological modelling in small, semi-arid catchments of south-eastern Australia: reforestation affects groundwater but not streamflow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dean, Joshua; Camporese, Matteo; Grover, Samantha; Webb, John; Dresel, Evan; Daly, Edoardo

    2015-04-01

    controls on hydrological regimes in semi-arid regions can be highly complex and region-specific.

  5. VNIR-SWIR-TIR hyperspectral airborne campaign for soil and sediment mapping in semi-arid south african environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milewski, Robert; Chabrillat, Sabine; Eisele, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Airborne hyperspectral remote sensing techniques has been proven to offer efficient procedures for soil and sediment mineralogical mapping in arid areas on larger scales. Optical methods based on traditional remote sensing windows using the solar reflective spectral wavelength range from the visible-near infrared (VNIR: 0.4-1.1 μm) to the short-wave infrared region (SWIR: 1.1-2.5 μm) allow mapping of common soil properties such as iron oxides, textural characteristics and organic carbon. However, soil mapping in semi-arid environments using VNIR-SWIR is currently limited due to specific spectral characteristics. Challenges appear in such environments due to the common presence of sandy soils (coarse textured) which grain size distribution is driven by the dominant mineral, quartz (SiO2), and which lacks any distinctive Si-O bond related spectral features within the VNIR-SWIR. Furthermore, another challenge is represented by the common presence of other specific spectral features due to different salts (gypsum, halite) or coatings of different forms (cyanobacteria, iron-oxides and/or -oxyhydroxides) for which few studies exists or that oft prevent detection of any other potential spectral feature of e.g. soil organics. In this context, more methodological developments are needed to overcome current limitations of hyperspectral remote sensing for arid areas, and to extent its scope using the thermal infrared (TIR) wavelength region within the atmospheric window between 8 and 14 μm (longwave infrared). In 2015 an extensive VNIR-SWIR-TIR airborne hyperspectral dataset consisting of HySpex-VNIR, HySpex-SWIR (NEO) and Hyper-Cam (TELOPS) data has been acquired in various Namibian and South African landscapes part of the Dimap/GFZ campaign in the frame of the BMBF-SPACES Geoarchive project. Research goals are 1) to demonstrate the capabilities to extract information from such a dataset and 2) to demonstrate the potential of advanced hyperspectral remote sensing

  6. Recovery of microbial community structure and functioning after wildfire in semi-arid environments: optimising methods for monitoring and assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Martini, Dylan; Erickson, Todd; Merritt, David; Dixon, Kingsley

    2015-04-01

    Introduction In semi-arid areas such as northern Western Australia, wildfires are a natural part of the environment and many ecosystems in these landscapes have evolved and developed a strong relationship with fire. Soil microbial communities play a crucial role in ecosystem processes by regulating the cycling of nutrients via decomposition, mineralization, and immobilization processes. Thus, the structure (e.g. soil microbial biomass) and functioning (e.g. soil microbial activity) of microbial communities, as well as their changes after ecosystem disturbance, can be useful indicators of soil quality and health recovery. In this research, we assess the impacts of fire on soil microbial communities and their recovery in a biodiverse semi-arid environment of Western Australia (Pilbara region). New methods for determining soil microbial respiration as an indicator of microbial activity and soil health are also tested. Methodology Soil samples were collected from 10 similar ecosystems in the Pilbara with analogous native vegetation, but differing levels of post-fire disturbance (i.e. 3 months, 1 year, 5, 7 and 14 years after wildfire). Soil microbial activity was measured with the Solvita test which determines soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst of a dry soil after it is moistened. Soils were dried and re-wetted and a CO2 probe was inserted before incubation at constant conditions of 25°C during 24 h. Measurements were taken with a digital mini spectrometer. Microbial (bacteria and fungi) biomass and community composition were measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA). Results Immediately after the fire (i.e. 3 months), soil microbial activity and microbial biomass are similar to 14 years 'undisturbed' levels (53.18±3.68 ppm CO2-CO and 14.07±0.65 mg kg-1, respectively). However, after the first year post-fire, with larger plant productivity, microbial biomass and microbial activity increase rapidly, peaking after 5

  7. The management of VA (vesicular-arbuscular) mycorrhizae in semi-arid environments

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, R.M.

    1987-01-01

    The need for management of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in semi-arid ecosystems represent an important challenge to belowground researchers especially as we increase our utilization of these stressed habitats. Within the laser couple of years several reviews have been prepared on the effects of disturbance to shrub and grasslands and their mycorrhizae. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss some research findings and management needs using examples from a high elevation cold desert, and from research in mid-grass and tallgrass prairies.

  8. A max-to-min technique for making projections of NDVI change in semi-arid Africa for food security early warning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, M. E.; Funk, C. C.

    2005-12-01

    Climatic hazards such as droughts and floods often result in a decline in food production in economically vulnerable pre-industrial economies such as those in Africa. Early warning systems (EWS) have been developed to identify slow onset disasters such famine and epidemic disease that may result from hazardous environmental conditions. These conditions often precede food crises by many months, thus effective monitoring via satellite and in situ observations can allow for successful mitigation activities. Accurate forecasts of NDVI could increase monitoring lead times and allow for effective institutional planning of intervention, making early warning earlier. This paper presents a simple empirical max-to-min model for making 1 to 4 month NDVI projections. These statistical projections are based on parameterized satellite rainfall estimates (RFE) and relative humidity demand (RHD). A heuristic example in central Zimbabwe introduces the RFE growth and RHD loss terms. A quasi-global, one month ahead, 1 degree study then demonstrates reasonable accuracies in many semi-arid regions. In Africa, a 0.1 degree cross-validated skill assessment quantifies the technique's applicability at 1 to 4 month forecast intervals. These results suggest that useful projections can be made over many semi-arid, food insecure regions of Africa, with plausible extensions to drought prone areas of Asia, Australia and South America.

  9. Opportunities for optimization of in-field water harvesting to cope with changing climate in semi-arid smallholder farming areas of Zimbabwe.

    PubMed

    Nyamadzawo, George; Wuta, Menas; Nyamangara, Justice; Gumbo, Douglas

    2013-12-01

    Climate change has resulted in increased vulnerability of smallholder farmers in marginal areas of Zimbabwe where there is limited capacity to adapt to changing climate. One approach that has been used to adapt to changing climate is in-field water harvesting for improved crop yields in the semi- arid regions of Zimbabwe. This review analyses the history of soil and water conservation in Zimbabwe, efforts of improving water harvesting in the post independence era, farmer driven innovations, water harvesting technologies from other regions, and future directions of water harvesting in semi arid marginal areas. From this review it was observed that the blanket recommendations that were made on the early conservation method were not suitable for marginal areas as they resulted in increased losses of the much needed water. In the late 1960 and 70s', soil and water conservation efforts was a victim of the political environment and this resulted in poor uptake. Most of the water harvesting innovations which were promoted in the 1990s' and some farmer driven innovations improved crop yields in marginal areas but were poorly taken up by farmers because they are labour intensive as the structures should be made annually. To address the challenges of labour shortages, the use of permanent in-field water harvesting technologies are an option. There is also need to identify ways for promoting water harvesting techniques that have been proven to work and to explore farmer-led knowledge sharing platforms for scaling up proven technologies. PMID:23543041

  10. Eutrophication and sedimentation patterns in complete exploitation of water resources scenarios: an example from Northwestern semi-arid Mexico.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Carrillo, Salvador; Alatorre, Luis C; Sánchez-Andrés, Raquel; Garatuza-Payán, Jaime

    2007-09-01

    Water requirements to supply human needs lead water stakeholders to store more water during surplus periods to fulfil the demand during--not only--scarcity periods. At the reservoirs, mostly those in semi-arid regions, water level then fluctuates extremely between rises and downward during one single year. Besides of water management implications, changes on physical, chemical and biological dynamics of these drawdown and refilling are little known yet. This paper shows the results, throughout a year, on solids, nutrients (N and P), chlorophyll-a, and sedimentation changes on the dynamics, when the former policy was applied in a reservoir from the semi-arid Northwestern Mexico. Water level sinusoidal trend impinged changes on thermal stratification and mixing, modifying nutrient cycling and primary producer responses. According to nitrogen and phosphorus concentration as well as chlorophyll-a, reservoir was mesotrophic, becoming hypertrophic during drawdown. Nutrient concentrations were high (1.22 +/- 0.70 and 0.14 +/- 0.12 mg P l(-1)), increasing phosphorus and lowering N:P significantly throughout the study period, although no intensive agricultural, no urban development, neither industrial activities take place in the watershed. This suggests nutrient recycling complex mechanisms, including nutrient release from the sediment-water interface as the main nutrient pathway when shallowness, at the same time as mineralization, increases. Outflows controlled nitrogen and phosphorus availability on the ecosystem while organic matter depended on river inflows. As on other subtropical aquatic ecosystems, nitrogen limited primary productivity (Spearman correlation R = 0.75) but chlorophyll-a seasonal pattern showed an irregular trend, prompting other no-nutrient related limitants. Shallowness induced a homogeneous temporal pattern on water quality. This observed temporal variability was mainly explained statistically by changes on solids (mineral and organic), chlorophyll

  11. Assessment of strip tillage systems for maize production in semi-arid Ethiopia: effects on grain yield and water balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temesgen, M.; Rockstrom, J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Hoogmoed, W. B.

    2007-07-01

    The traditional tillage implement, the Maresha plow, and the tillage systems that require repeated and cross plowing have caused poor rainfall partitioning, land degradation and hence low water productivity in Ethiopia. Conservation tillage could alleviate these problems. However, no-till can not be feasible for smallholder farmers in semi-arid regions of Ethiopia because of difficulties in maintaining soil cover due to low rainfall and communal grazing and because of high costs of herbicides. Strip tillage systems may offer a solution. This study was initiated to test strip tillage systems using implements that were modified forms of the Maresha plow, and to evaluate the impacts of the new tillage systems on water balance and grain yields of maize (Zea mays XX). Experiments were conducted in two dry semi arid areas called Melkawoba and Wulinchity, in the central Rift Valley of Ethiopia during 2003-2005. Strip tillage systems that involved cultivating planting lines at a spacing of 0.75 m using the Maresha plow followed by subsoiling along the same lines (STS) and without subsoiling (ST) were compared with the traditional tillage system of 3 to 4 times plowing with the Maresha plow (CONV). Soil moisture was monitored to a depth of 1.8 m using Time Domain Reflectometer while surface runoff was measured using rectangular trough installed at the bottom of each plot. STS resulted in the least surface runoff (Qs=17 mm-season-1), the highest transpiration (T=196 mm-season-1), the highest grain yields (Y=2130 kg-ha-1) and the highest water productivity using total evaporation (WPET=0.67 kg-m-3) followed by ST (Qs=25 mm-season-1, T=178 mm-season-1, Y=1840 kg-ha-1, WPET=0.60 kg-m-3) and CONV (Qs=40 mm-season-1,T=158 mm-season-1, Y=1720 kg-ha-1, WPET=0.58 kg-m-3). However, when the time between the last tillage operation and planting of maize was more than 26 days, the reverse occurred. There was no statistically significant change in soil physical and chemical properties

  12. Soil carbon changes after plantation of autochthonous species in a semi-arid Mediterranean old-field in Sardinia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Dato, Giovanbattista; de Angelis, Paolo

    2010-05-01

    Forested areas are important in arid and semi-arid regions primarily to combat desertification, but also to increase carbon sinks. According to the last Italian National Inventory of Forest and Carbon INFC dated 2005, Mediterranean maquis and shrublands cover about 690,100 ha, in Italy. Considering their vast diffusion, efforts should be done to evaluate the potential of these ecosystems in sequestering C in order to achieve the Kyoto Protocol commitments and dampen desertification processes. The aim of this work was to present preliminary observations on soil C accumulation and release in a planted Mediterranean semi-arid shrubland. During the first three years particular effort was done to quantify the plant growth and soil CO2 emission, to test if species-specific responses could be detectable and relevant for the C-budget. The experimental area is located in North West Sardinia, and is characterized by a Mediterranean climate. The revegetation was set up in February 2006, in an old-field, planting local species (Juniperus phoenicea, Pistacia lentiscus and Rosmarinus officinalis) in mono-specific or mixed plots. Soil total organic carbon and nitrogen was measured at the same time of plantation and after 3 years, collecting soil cores (144 samples) at two depths (0-20 cm and 20-40 cm). Moreover, in order to measure soil CO2 emissions, 4 collars are inserted into the soil at 30-60-90-120 cm from 3 plants per each species. Measurements have being made monthly since July 2006 by a portable IRGA. Presently, soil C in the studied area is about 0.7 - 0.8 t ha-1. Based on soil CO2 emissions measurements (≈7 t C ha-1 yr-1) and on the low biomass accumulation (0.25-0.60 t ha-1 yr-1), the plantation is at the present a net C source. This is an effect of the low plant growth, very little input from litter, and the contemporary mineralization of old C deriving from the preceding agricultural phase (priming effect).

  13. Impact of climate and analysis of desertification processes in semi arid land in Algeria: using data of Alsat-1 and Landsat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Z.; Habib, M.; Sid Ali, H.; Sofiane, K.

    2015-04-01

    The degradation of natural resources in arid and semi-arid areas was highlighted dramatically during this century due to population growth and transformation of land use systems. The Algerian steppe has undergone a regression over the past decade due to drought cycle, the extension of areas cultivated in marginal lands, population growth and overgrazing. These phenomena have led to different degradation processes, such as the destruction of vegetation, soil erosion, and deterioration of the physical environment. In this study, the work is mainly based on the criteria for classification and identification of physical parameters for spatial analysis, and multi-sources factors to determine the vulnerability of steppe formations and their impact on desertification. To do this, we used satellite data Alsat-1 (2009) IRS (2009) and LANDSAT TM (2001). These cross-sectional data with exogenous information could monitor the impact of the semi arid ecological diversity of steppe formations. A hierarchical process including the supervised image classification was used to characterize the main steppe formations. An analysis of the vulnerability of plant was conducted to assign weights and identify areas most susceptible to desertification. Vegetation indices combined with classification are used to characterize the forest and steppe formations to determine changes in land use. The results of this present study provide maps of different components of the steppe, formation that could assist in highlighting the magnitude of the degradation pathways, which affects the steppe environment, allowing an analysis of the process of desertification in the region.

  14. Quaternary ecological and geomorphic changes associated with rainfall events in presently semi-arid northeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auler, Augusto S.; Wang, Xianfeng; Edwards, R. Lawrence; Cheng, Hai; Cristalli, Patrícia S.; Smart, Peter L.; Richards, David A.

    2004-10-01

    Several geomorphic features and palaeobiotic remains in now semi-arid northeastern Brazil indicate major palaeoenvironmental changes during past periods of increased rainfall. 230Th mass spectrometric ages of speleothems and travertines have allowed the determination of the timing and duration of wetter than present conditions. The data demonstrate that wet events have occurred throughout much of the Pleistocene, present dry conditions having been established at the end of the Younger Dryas. A markedly different fauna comprising megafaunal elements not adapted to the present low arboreal scrubland caatinga vegetation existed in the area. Palaeobotanical remains embedded in travertine indicate forested vegetation at these wetter intervals, suggesting that the caatinga was then replaced or mixed with a semi-deciduous forest. Due to the abundance of travertine sites containing fossil botanical remains in northeastern Brazil, it is believed that forest expansion occurred over large areas of the now semi-arid zone, showing that the long hypothesised forested links between biodiversity-rich Amazon and Atlantic rainforests may indeed have existed during these moister phases. Copyright

  15. Impacts of inundation and drought on eukaryote biodiversity in semi-arid floodplain soils.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Darren S; Colloff, Matthew J; Rees, Gavin N; Chariton, Anthony A; Watson, Garth O; Court, Leon N; Hartley, Diana M; Morgan, Matthew J; King, Andrew J; Wilson, Jessica S; Hodda, Michael; Hardy, Christopher M

    2013-03-01

    Floodplain ecosystems are characterized by alternating wet and dry phases and periodic inundation defines their ecological character. Climate change, river regulation and the construction of levees have substantially altered natural flooding and drying regimes worldwide with uncertain effects on key biotic groups. In southern Australia, we hypothesized that soil eukaryotic communities in climate change affected areas of a semi-arid floodplain would transition towards comprising mainly dry-soil specialist species with increasing drought severity. Here, we used 18S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing to measure the eukaryote community composition in soils that had been depleted of water to varying degrees to confirm that reproducible transitional changes occur in eukaryotic biodiversity on this floodplain. Interflood community structures (3 years post-flood) were dominated by persistent rather than either aquatic or dry-specialist organisms. Only 2% of taxa were unique to dry locations by 8 years post-flood, and 10% were restricted to wet locations (inundated a year to 2 weeks post-flood). Almost half (48%) of the total soil biota were detected in both these environments. The discovery of a large suite of organisms able to survive nearly a decade of drought, and up to a year submerged supports the concept of inherent resilience of Australian semi-arid floodplain soil communities under increasing pressure from climatic induced changes in water availability. PMID:23379967

  16. On the potential for regolith control of fluvial terrace formation in semi-arid escarpments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norton, K. P.; Schlunegger, F.; Litty, C.

    2016-02-01

    Cut-fill terraces occur throughout the western Andes, where they have been associated with pluvial episodes on the Altiplano. The mechanism relating increased rainfall to sedimentation is, however, not well understood. Here, we apply a hillslope sediment model and reported cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in terraces to examine terrace formation in semi-arid escarpment environments. We focus on the Pisco river system in western Peru in order to determine probable hillslope processes and sediment transport conditions during phases of terrace formation. Specifically, we model steady-state and transient hillslope responses to increased precipitation rates. The measured terrace distribution and sediment agree with the transient predictions, suggesting strong climatic control on the cut-fill sequences in western Peru primarily through large variations in sediment load. Our model suggests that the ultimate control for these terraces is the availability of sediment on the hillslopes, with hillslope stripping supplying large sediment loads early in wet periods. At the Pisco river, this is manifest as an approximately 4-fold increase in erosion rates during pluvial periods. We suggest that this mechanism may also control terrace occurrence other semi-arid escarpment settings.

  17. On the potential for regolith control of fluvial terrace formation in semi-arid escarpments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norton, K. P.; Schlunegger, F.; Litty, C.

    2015-08-01

    Cut-fill terraces occur throughout the western Andes where they have been associated with pluvial episodes on the Altiplano. The mechanism relating increased rainfall to sedimentation is however not well understood. Here, we apply a hillslope sediment model and reported cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in terraces to examine terrace formation in semi-arid escarpment environments. We focus on the Rio Pisco system in western Peru in order to determine probable hillslope processes and sediment transport conditions during phases of terrace formation. Specifically, we model steady state and transient hillslope responses to increased precipitation rates. The measured terrace distribution and reconstructed sediment loads measured for the Rio Pisco agree with the transient model predictions, suggesting strong climatic control on the cut-fill sequences in western Peru primarily through large variations in sediment load. Our model suggests that the ultimate control for these terraces is the availability of sediment on the hillslopes with hillslope stripping supplying large sediment loads early in wet periods. At the Rio Pisco, this is manifest as an approximately 4 × increase in erosion rates during pluvial periods. We suggest that this mechanism may also control terrace occurrence in other semi-arid escarpment settings.

  18. Climate change mitigation by carbon stock - the case of semi-arid West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lykke, A. M.; Barfod, A. S.; Tinggaard Svendsen, G.; Greve, M.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2009-11-01

    Semi-arid West Africa has not been integrated into the afforestation/reforestation (AR) carbon market. Most projects implemented under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) have focused on carbon emission reductions from industry and energy consumption, whereas only few (only one in West Africa) have been certified for AR carbon sequestration. A proposed mechanism, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) to be discussed under COP15 aims to reduce emissions by conserving already existing forests. REDD has high potential for carbon stocking at low costs, but focuses primarily on rain forest countries and excludes semi-arid West Africa from the preliminary setup. African savannas have potential to store carbon in the present situation with degrading ecosystems and relatively low revenues from crops and cattle, especially if it is possible to combine carbon stocking with promotion of secondary crops such as food resources and traditional medicines harvested on a sustainable basis. Methods for modelling and mapping of potential carbon biomass are being developed, but are still in a preliminary state. Although economic benefits from the sale of carbon credits are likely to be limited, carbon stocking is an interesting option if additional benefits are considered such as improved food security and protection of biodiversity.

  19. Ecology and functional roles of biological soil crusts in semi-arid ecosystems of Spain

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Cantón, Yolanda; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Cortina, Jordi; Escolar, Cristina; Escudero, Adrián; Lázaro, Roberto; Martínez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, liverworts and microorganisms, are key biotic components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems worldwide. Despite they are widespread in Spain, these organisms have been historically understudied in this country. This trend is beginning to change as a recent wave of research has been identifying BSCs as a model ecological system. Many studies and research projects carried out in Spain have explored the role of BSCs on water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes, the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants, their dynamics after disturbances, and their response to global change, among other topics. In this article we review the growing body of research on BSCs available from semi-arid areas of Spain, highlighting its importance for increasing our knowledge on this group of organisms. We also discuss how it is breaking new ground in emerging research areas on the ecology of BSCs, and how it can be use to guide management and restoration efforts. Finally, we provide directions for future research on the ecology of BSCs in Spain and abroad. PMID:25908884

  20. Ammonia-oxidising bacteria not archaea dominate nitrification activity in semi-arid agricultural soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banning, Natasha C.; Maccarone, Linda D.; Fisk, Louise M.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2015-06-01

    Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are responsible for the rate limiting step in nitrification; a key nitrogen (N) loss pathway in agricultural systems. Dominance of AOA relative to AOB in the amoA gene pool has been reported in many ecosystems, although their relative contributions to nitrification activity are less clear. Here we examined the distribution of AOA and AOB with depth in semi-arid agricultural soils in which soil organic matter content or pH had been altered, and related their distribution to gross nitrification rates. Soil depth had a significant effect on gene abundances, irrespective of management history. Contrary to reports of AOA dominance in soils elsewhere, AOA gene copy numbers were four-fold lower than AOB in the surface (0-10 cm). AOA gene abundance increased with depth while AOB decreased, and sub-soil abundances were approximately equal (10-90 cm). The depth profile of total archaea did not mirror that of AOA, indicating the likely presence of archaea without nitrification capacity in the surface. Gross nitrification rates declined significantly with depth and were positively correlated to AOB but negatively correlated to AOA gene abundances. We conclude that AOB are most likely responsible for regulating nitrification in these semi-arid soils.

  1. Plant litter decomposition in a semi-arid ecosystem controlled by photodegradation.

    PubMed

    Austin, Amy T; Vivanco, Lucía

    2006-08-01

    The carbon balance in terrestrial ecosystems is determined by the difference between inputs from primary production and the return of carbon to the atmosphere through decomposition of organic matter. Our understanding of the factors that control carbon turnover in water-limited ecosystems is limited, however, as studies of litter decomposition have shown contradictory results and only a modest correlation with precipitation. Here we evaluate the influence of solar radiation, soil biotic activity and soil resource availability on litter decomposition in the semi-arid Patagonian steppe using the results of manipulative experiments carried out under ambient conditions of rainfall and temperature. We show that intercepted solar radiation was the only factor that had a significant effect on the decomposition of organic matter, with attenuation of ultraviolet-B and total radiation causing a 33 and 60 per cent reduction in decomposition, respectively. We conclude that photodegradation is a dominant control on above-ground litter decomposition in this semi-arid ecosystem. Losses through photochemical mineralization may represent a short-circuit in the carbon cycle, with a substantial fraction of carbon fixed in plant biomass being lost directly to the atmosphere without cycling through soil organic matter pools. Furthermore, future changes in radiation interception due to decreased cloudiness, increased stratospheric ozone depletion, or reduced vegetative cover may have a more significant effect on the carbon balance in these water-limited ecosystems than changes in temperature or precipitation. PMID:16885982

  2. Spatial variation, mapping, and classification of moss families in semi-arid landscapes in NW Turkey.

    PubMed

    Abay, Gökhan; Gül, Ebru; Günlü, Alkan; Erşahin, Sabit; Ursavaş, Serhat

    2015-03-01

    Geostatistics and remote sensing techniques are frequently used in analyzing the spatial variability of terrestrial ecosystems. We analyzed spatial variation of moss families by geostatistics and Landsat imagery in a typical semi-arid landscape in North Central Anatolia, Turkey. We sampled 49 sites, chosen based on elevation, slope steepness, and slope aspect. Moss families were determined in a 10-m(2) representative area at each sampling site. The samples were transported to a laboratory and identified for moss families. In total, 10 families were found. Semivariogram analysis was performed to analyze the spatial structure of these families. The semivariogram analysis showed that the moss families were spatially dependent within 117 m in the study area. Thirteen thematic classes were categorized by Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) image in the study area. The classification resulted in an overall kappa statistic of 0.8535, producer accuracy of 74.29, and user accuracy of 86.67. The family with the lowest classification accuracy was Orthotrichaceae (kappa of 0.6379, producer accuracy of 64.52, and user accuracy of 66.67). The moss families and the other classes were identified with a 0.78 kappa statistic value and an 80.74 % accuracy level by using the Landsat TM. The classification showed that Brachytheciaceae, Pottiaceae, Bryaceae, and Grimmiaceae were the most abundant moss families in this semi-arid environment. PMID:25647788

  3. Ammonia-oxidising bacteria not archaea dominate nitrification activity in semi-arid agricultural soil

    PubMed Central

    Banning, Natasha C.; Maccarone, Linda D.; Fisk, Louise M.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2015-01-01

    Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are responsible for the rate limiting step in nitrification; a key nitrogen (N) loss pathway in agricultural systems. Dominance of AOA relative to AOB in the amoA gene pool has been reported in many ecosystems, although their relative contributions to nitrification activity are less clear. Here we examined the distribution of AOA and AOB with depth in semi-arid agricultural soils in which soil organic matter content or pH had been altered, and related their distribution to gross nitrification rates. Soil depth had a significant effect on gene abundances, irrespective of management history. Contrary to reports of AOA dominance in soils elsewhere, AOA gene copy numbers were four-fold lower than AOB in the surface (0–10 cm). AOA gene abundance increased with depth while AOB decreased, and sub-soil abundances were approximately equal (10–90 cm). The depth profile of total archaea did not mirror that of AOA, indicating the likely presence of archaea without nitrification capacity in the surface. Gross nitrification rates declined significantly with depth and were positively correlated to AOB but negatively correlated to AOA gene abundances. We conclude that AOB are most likely responsible for regulating nitrification in these semi-arid soils. PMID:26053257

  4. [Soil water resource use limit in semi-arid loess hilly area].

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhong-sheng

    2010-12-01

    Taking Caragana korshinskii as test object, and by using neutron probe, a long term observation was conducted on the soil water and plant growth during the process of vegetation restoration in semi-arid loess hilly area. The results showed that after seeding on waste land, the capability of plant community in conserving soil and water was promoted with time, with the depth of roots to absorb and use soil water increased and the soil water content reduced. Then, the dried soil layer appeared, and its deepness and thickness increased with increasing plant age. Therefore, the plant use of soil water had a limit, soil water resource use limit, i.e., the soil water storage when the deepness of dried soil layer was equal to the largest depth that rain could recharge. In the C. korshinskii woodland in semi-arid loess hilly area, the soil water resource use limit in 0-290 cm layer was 249.4 mm. When the soil water storage in woodland was close or equal to the soil water resource use limit, effective measures should be taken to decrease soil evapotranspiration or increase soil water supply to ensure the sustainable water use of plant roots. PMID:21442986

  5. Soil bacterial diversity changes in response to agricultural land use in semi-arid soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Guo-Chun; Piceno, Yvette M.; Heuer, Holger; Weinert, Nicole; Dohrmann, Anja B.; Carrillo, Angel; Andersen, Gary L.; Castellanos, Thelma; Tebbe, Christoph C.; Smalla, Kornelia

    2013-04-01

    Natural scrublands in semi-arid deserts are increasingly being converted into agricultural lands. The long-term effect of such a transition in land use on soil bacterial communities was explored at two sites typical of semi-arid deserts in Mexico (Baja California). Comparisons were made between soil samples from alfalfa fields and the adjacent scrublands by two complementary methods - denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and PhyloChip hybridization -employed to analyze 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. DGGE analyses revealed significant effects of the transition on community composition of Bacteria, Actinobacteria, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria at both sites. PhyloChip hybridization analysis uncovered that the transition negatively affected taxa such as Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidimicrobiales, Rubrobacterales, Deltaproteobacteria and Clostridia, while Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria increased in abundance. The arable soils were lower in organic matter and phosphate concentration, and higher in salinity. Soil parameters that differed between land uses were highly correlated with the community composition of taxa responding to land use. Variation in the bacterial community composition was higher in soils from scrubland than from agriculture, as revealed by DGGE and PhyloChip analyses. The long term use for agriculture resulted in profound changes in the bacterial community composition and physicochemical characteristics of former scrublands, which may affect various soil ecosystem functions.

  6. Semi-Arid Landscapes: The Canary in the Climate-Change Coalmine (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, J. L.; Poulos, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    The balance between precipitation as a driving force of sediment transport (via hillslope erosional processes) or a resisting force (via increases in vegetation cover) is reflected by the landforms and denudation rates in semi-arid landscapes. While exact values vary, studies examining the relationship between land surface lowering and mean annual precipitation show a ';sweet spot' of peak denudation rates for semi-arid landscapes receiving ~300-500 mm precipitation/year. Ongoing and future climate change necessitates the investigation of how landscapes may respond as they move towards or away from this erosional threshold; semi-arid landscapes on the edge of ecohydrologic thresholds (e.g. treelines) may experience dramatic environmental changes as ongoing and future climate change alters ecosystems. Semi-arid landscapes are the equivalent to canaries in a coal-mine, and studying them advances understanding of how other sensitive landscapes may respond to climate change. Landforms, however, are a product of thousands to millions of years of climatic forcing. Direct measurement of both short and long-term erosion rates is complicated, and observations of modern erosional processes may not reflect the past. Over 10 years of environmental data collected in the heavily instrumented Dry Creek Experimental Watershed (DCEW) outside Boise, Idaho facilitates 2nd order analysis of climate-driven environmental variability across a large area (27 km2). Multi-scaled analyses relate runoff production from pedons to catchments, and erosion rates and processes from hillslopes to landforms, while prior mapping results (Poulos et al, 2012) allow application of results to similar semi-arid montane landscapes. Preliminary data reveal intriguing, but counterintuitive, feedbacks among soil properties, hillslope hydrology, ecology, and drainage development. Despite steeper slope angles, north-facing slopes have thicker soils than south-facing slopes, suggesting slower erosion rates. This

  7. Integrated surface water-groundwater modeling for interpreting ecohydrological processes in large arid and semi-arid river basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Yong; Zheng, Yi; Zheng, Chunmiao; Wu, Bin; Wu, Xin

    2015-04-01

    Ecohydrological processes in arid and semi-arid environments are sensitive to both climate conditions and human activities, but the response mechanisms have been rarely explored for large river basins via an integrated modeling approach. In this study, GSFLOW, a USGS model coupling PRMS and MODFLOW, was improved to explicitly simulate flow diversion, groundwater pumping and agricultural irrigation. The improved GSFLOW was then applied in the Heihe River Basin (HRB), the second largest inland river basin in China, to characterize ecohydrological processes at different spatial and temporal scales. The integrated model is grid-based for both its surface and subsurface domains. It assimilated multiple types of data including classic hydrological observations and remote sensing-based evapotranspiration (ET) and leaf area index (LAI) products, and eventually produced a coherent understanding on the regional water cycle at different spatial and temporal scales. Complicated multi-scale features of both ET and vegetation growth processes in the study area were unraveled, and insights on tackling the existing water conflicts were achieved.

  8. Fertilizer induced nitrous oxide emissions from Vertisols and Alfisols during sweet sorghum cultivation in the Indian semi-arid tropics.

    PubMed

    Ramu, Karri; Watanabe, Takeshi; Uchino, Hiroshi; Sahrawat, Kanwar L; Wani, Suhas P; Ito, Osamu

    2012-11-01

    Nitrous oxide (N(2)O) emissions from Vertisols and Alfisols during sweet sorghum cultivation in the Indian semi-arid tropics were determined using a closed chamber technique during the rainy season (June-October) of 2010. The study included two treatments, nitrogen (N) at a rate of 90 kg/ha and a control without N fertilizer application. The N(2)O emissions strongly coincided with N fertilization and rainfall events. The cumulative N(2)O-N emission from Alfisols was 1.81 N(2)O-N kg/ha for 90 N treatment and 0.15 N(2)O-N kg/ha for the 0 N treatment. Similarly, the N(2)O-N emission from Vertisols was 0.70 N(2)O-N kg/ha for 90 N treatment and 0.09 N(2)O-N kg/ha for the 0 N treatment. The mean N(2)O-N emission factor for fertilizer induced emissions from the Alfisols was 0.90% as compared to 0.32% for Vertisols. Our results suggest that the N(2)O emissions are dependent on the soil properties. Therefore, the monitoring of N(2)O emissions from different agro-ecological regions, having different soil types, rainfall characteristics, cropping systems and crop management practices are necessary to develop comprehensive and accurate green house gas inventories. PMID:22967492

  9. Safe greywater reuse to augment water supply and provide sanitation in semi-arid areas of rural India.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, S; Labhasetwar, P; Wate, S; Jimenez, B

    2010-01-01

    Water reuse is recognized as a tool to increase water supply in peri-urban areas of semi-arid and arid regions of the world. However, it is an option rarely explored for rural areas in developing countries, and has not been documented extensively in the scientific literature. This paper presents results from 6 greywater reuse systems which were built with the objective to augment water supply and to provide sanitation in rural low income areas of Madhya Pradesh, India. The systems are based on reclaiming greywater from bathing for the use in toilet flushing and kitchen garden irrigation. The reuse systems were implemented based on the scientific rationale presented in the WHO (2006) guidelines. The paper presents evidence from the operation and evaluation of the greywater treatment plants under field conditions between 2005 and 2008. The paper concludes that greywater is a highly cost effective solution for water scarcity. In this study, reusing greywater resulted in a 60% increase in water availability, a reduction in open defecation and a fourfold increase in food availability. PMID:20861543

  10. Stable isotopes in cave drip waters from the semi-arid southern Portugal: implication for paleoenvironment reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veiga-Pires, Cristina; Hélie, Jean-François; Hillaire-Marcel, Claude

    2014-05-01

    Paleo-environmental studies rely on proxies for which present day conditions need to be documented. Here, we present results from a nearly two years sampling program of waters in precipitation, aquifers and cave drip waters in the semi arid region of Southern Portugal where a Mediterranean type climate prevails. Isotopic compositions of precipitations at Faro, from 1978 until 2001, are available through the Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP) database of the International Atomic Energy Agency. In addition, we measured oxygen and hydrogen isotopic compositions of water samples collected in 2011 and 2012 at one meteorological station located 20 km apart from the cave. In the cave itself, four different dripping locations were surveyed. Finally, five wells from the aquifer flowing underneath the cave were also sampled. Whereas local meteoric water line obtained from GNIP data shows an important contribution of local evaporating waters, precipitation data from this project rather points out to a drier moisture source, exhibiting a deuterium excess of close to 16.5 oȦquifer isotopic compositions show very small variations during the 2 yr sampling period, with mean values of -4.53±0.06 o (VSMOW) and 23.39±0.81 o (VSMOW) for δ18O and δ2H, respectively. On the other hand, drip waters isotopic compositions are dependent of the sampling site, although varying linearly (δ2H~13.3*δ18O + 38.1, R2=0.74, p

  11. Impacts of Water Deficiency on Life History of Sitobion avenae Clones From Semi-arid and Moist Areas.

    PubMed

    Dai, Peng; Liu, Deguang; Shi, Xiaoqin

    2015-10-01

    The climate warming trend appears to be evident with an increasing frequency of drought events in Shaanxi Province of China, which may have contributed to an increase in outbreaks of the English grain aphid, Sitobion avenae (Fabricius). To explore the potential effects of water-deficit stress on aphid outbreak risks, clones of S. avenae were collected from semi-arid and moist areas of Shaanxi. The life histories of collected clones were then compared on wheat under well-watered and moderately water-stressed conditions in the laboratory. Our results demonstrated that semi-arid area clones of S. avenae had longer developmental times, shorter reproductive times, lower fecundities, and lower net reproductive rates compared with moist area clones. Age-specific reproductive rates of moist area clones tended to be higher than those of semi-arid area clones. Significant differences between semi-arid and moist area clones were found for the survival functions when tested under water-stressed conditions, and semi-arid area clones tended to have a lower survival rate than moist area clones throughout their lives. "Population origin" (i.e., semi-arid and moist area clones) and "clone" together explained 62.74-96.56% of the total variance of tested life-history traits, suggesting the genetic basis for differentiation of clones from both areas. Significant differences in correlations, and selection differentials and gradients of life-history traits were also found between clones from both areas, providing further evidence of genetic basis for the life-history differentiation between them. Divergence between clones from both areas and its implications for S. avenae outbreaks are discussed. PMID:26453713

  12. A 500-year history of floods in the semi arid basins of south-eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez García, Carlos; Schulte, Lothar; Peña, Juan Carlos; Carvalho, Filpe; Brembilla, Carla

    2016-04-01

    Floods are one of the natural hazards with higher incidence in the south-eastern Spain, the driest region in Europe, causing fatalities, damage of infrastructure and economic losses. Flash-floods in semi arid environments are related to intensive rainfall which can last from few hours to days. These floods are violent and destructive because of their high discharges, sediment transport and aggradation processes in the flood plain. Also during historical times floods affected the population in the south-eastern Spain causing sever damage or in some cases the complete destruction of towns. Our studies focus on the flood reconstruction from historical sources of the Almanzora, Aguas and Antas river basins, which have a surface between 260-2600 km2. We have also compiled information from the Andarax river and compared the flood series with the Guadalentín and Segura basins from previous studies (Benito et. al., 2010 y Machado et al., 2011). Flood intensities have been classified in four levels according to the type of damage: 1) ordinary floods that only affect agriculture plots; 2) extraordinary floods which produce some damage to buildings and hydraulic infrastructure; 3) catastrophic floods which caused sever damage, fatalities and partial or complete destruction of towns. A higher damage intensity of +1 magnitude was assigned when the event is recorded from more than one major sub-basin (stretches and tributaries such as Huércal-Overa basin) or catchment (e.g. Antas River). In total 102 incidences of damages and 89 floods were reconstructed in the Almanzora (2.611 km2), Aguas (539 km2), Antas (261 km2) and Andarax (2.100 km2) catchments. The Almanzora River was affected by 36 floods (1550-2012). The highest events for the Almanzora River were in 1580, 1879, 1973 and 2012 producing many fatalities and destruction of several towns. In addition, we identified four flood-clusters 1750-1780, 1870-1900, 1960-1977 and 1989-2012 which coincides with the periods of

  13. Mapping Soil hydrologic features in a semi-arid irrigated area in Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Aguirre, M.° Teresa; Isidoro, Daniel; Usón, Asunción

    2016-04-01

    The lack of soil information is a managerial problem in irrigated areas in Spain. The Violada Irrigation District (VID; 5234 ha) is a gypsic, semi-arid region in the Middle Ebro River Basin, northeast Spain. VID is under irrigation since the 1940's. The implementation of the flood irrigation system gave rise to waterlogging problems, solved along the years with the installation of an artificial drainage network. Aggregated water balances have been performed in VID since the early 1980's considering average soil properties and aggregated irrigation data for the calculations (crop evapotranspiration, canal seepage, and soil drainage). In 2008-2009, 91% of the VID was modernized to sprinkler irrigation. This new system provides detailed irrigation management information that together with detailed soil information would allow for disaggregated water balances for a better understanding of the system. Our goal was to draw a semi-detailed soil map of VID presenting the main soil characteristics related to irrigation management. A second step of the work was to set up pedotransfer functions (PTF) to estimate the water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) from easily measurable parameters. Thirty four pits were opened, described and sampled for chemical and physical properties. Thirty three additional auger holes were sampled for water holding capacity (WHC; down to 60 cm), helping to draw the soil units boundaries. And 15 Ks tests (inverse auger hole method) were made. The WHC was determined as the difference between the field capacity (FC) and wilting point (WP) measured in samples dried at 40°C during 5 days. The comparison with old values dried at 105°C for 2 days highlighted the importance of the method when gypsum is present in order to avoid water removal from gypsum molecules. The soil map was drawn down to family level. Thirteen soil units were defined by the combination of five subgroups [Typic Calcixerept (A), Petrocalcic Calcixerept (B), Gypsic

  14. Understanding environmental drivers in the regulation of soil respiration dynamics after fire in semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, soil CO2 efflux, soil C, soil moisture, soil temperature Introduction Soil respiration (Rs) has become a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of these CO2 fluxes from soils (Van Groenigen et al., 2014). In addition to its importance in the global C cycle, Rs is a fundamental indicator of soil health and quality that reflects the level of microbial activity and provides an indication of the ability of soils to support plant growth (Oyonarte et al., 2012; Munoz-Rojas et al., 2015). Wildfires can have a significant impact on Rs rates, with the scale of the impact depending on environmental factors such as temperature and moisture, and organic C content in the soil. Vegetation cover can have a significant effect on regulating organic C contents; and while advances are made into understanding the effects of fire on organic C contents and CO2 fluxes (Granged et al., 2011; Willaarts et al., 2015; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016), there is limited knowledge of the variability of Rs across ecosystem types, vegetation communities, and responses to fire. In this research we aimed to assess the impacts of a wildfire on the soil CO2 fluxes and soil respiration in a semi-arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara biogeographical region), and to understand the main environmental drivers controlling these fluxes in different vegetation types. The study has application for other arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Methods The study area was selected following a wildfire that affected 25 ha in February 2014. Twelve plots were established in the burnt site (B) within a 400 m2 area, and 12 plots in an adjacent unburnt control site. At each site, three plots were installed below the canopy of each of the most representative vegetation types of the areas: Eucalyptus trees, Acacia shrubs and Triodia grasses, and three on bare soil. Soil sampling and measurement of soil CO2 efflux, temperature and moisture were

  15. The causes of stemflow variation in three semi-arid growing species of northeastern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Návar, José

    1993-05-01

    This study was conducted to determine the role of some plant parameters on stemflow generation. Stemflow measurements in individual shrubs of three semi-arid growing species ( Diospyrus texana, Acacia farnesiana and Prosopis laevigata) were carried out under natural and simulated rainfall conditions in northeastern Mexico. Stemflow coefficients for individual shrubs were developed. The analysis of variance showed a significant difference among the species for both natural and simulated rainfall conditions. The multiple linear models suggested that the number of branches and position on the canopy, instead of total projected branch area, controls stemflow. There were also suggestions that bark roughness, leaf and twig position may also explain some of the interspecific stemflow variation. This contribution was suggested by an introduced funnelling ratio.

  16. Dependence of juvenile reef fishes on semi-arid hypersaline estuary microhabitats as nurseries.

    PubMed

    Sales, N S; Dias, T L P; Baeta, A; Pessanha, A L M

    2016-07-01

    The differences between fish assemblages in three microhabitat types, in relation to vegetation and sediment characteristics of a hypersaline estuary located in an semi-arid zone in north-eastern Brazil, were investigated. Fishes were collected using a beach seine during the rainy and dry seasons in 2012. A total of 78 species were recorded, with the most common families being Gerreidae, Lutjanidae and Tetraodontidae. The majority of species were represented by juveniles, with Eucinostomus argenteus, Ulaema lefroyi and Sphoeroides greeleyi being the dominant species. The fish assemblage structures differed significantly among microhabitat types, with the narrow intertidal flat adjacent to the mangrove fringe supporting the most diverse fish fauna. In addition, only 27 species were common to all of the microhabitats. The results support the hypothesis that hypersaline estuaries serve as important nursery areas for various reef fish species, due to the structural complexity provided by their macroalgae beds and mangroves. PMID:27237742

  17. Increasing precipitation event size increases aboveground net primary productivity in a semi-arid grassland.

    PubMed

    Heisler-White, Jana L; Knapp, Alan K; Kelly, Eugene F

    2008-11-01

    Water availability is the primary constraint to aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in many terrestrial biomes, and it is an ecosystem driver that will be strongly altered by future climate change. Global circulation models predict a shift in precipitation patterns to growing season rainfall events that are larger in size but fewer in number. This "repackaging" of rainfall into large events with long intervening dry intervals could be particularly important in semi-arid grasslands because it is in marked contrast to the frequent but small events that have historically defined this ecosystem. We investigated the effect of more extreme rainfall patterns on ANPP via the use of rainout shelters and paired this experimental manipulation with an investigation of long-term data for ANPP and precipitation. Experimental plots (n = 15) received the long-term (30-year) mean growing season precipitation quantity; however, this amount was distributed as 12, six, or four events applied manually according to seasonal patterns for May-September. The long-term mean (1940-2005) number of rain events in this shortgrass steppe was 14 events, with a minimum of nine events in years of average precipitation. Thus, our experimental treatments pushed this system beyond its recent historical range of variability. Plots receiving fewer, but larger rain events had the highest rates of ANPP (184 +/- 38 g m(-2)), compared to plots receiving more frequent rainfall (105 +/- 24 g m(-2)). ANPP in all experimental plots was greater than long-term mean ANPP for this system (97 g m(-2)), which may be explained in part by the more even distribution of applied rain events. Soil moisture data indicated that larger events led to greater soil water content and likely permitted moisture penetration to deeper in the soil profile. These results indicate that semi-arid grasslands are capable of responding immediately and substantially to forecast shifts to more extreme precipitation patterns. PMID

  18. Impact of debris dams on hyporheic interaction along a semi-arid stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lautz, Laura K.; Siegel, Donald I.; Bauer, Robert L.

    2006-01-01

    Hyporheic exchange increases the potential for solute retention in streams by slowing downstream transport and increasing solute contact with the substrate. Hyporheic exchange may be a major mechanism to remove nutrients in semi-arid watersheds, where livestock have damaged stream riparian zones and contributed nutrients to stream channels. Debris dams, such as beaver dams and anthropogenic log dams, may increase hyporheic interactions by slowing stream water velocity, increasing flow complexity and diverting water to the subsurface.Here, we report the results of chloride tracer injection experiments done to evaluate hyporheic interaction along a 320 m reach of Red Canyon Creek, a second order stream in the semi-arid Wind River Range of Wyoming. The study site is part of a rangeland watershed managed by The Nature Conservancy of Wyoming, and used as a hydrologic field site by the University of Missouri Branson Geologic Field Station. The creek reach we investigated has debris dams and tight meanders that hypothetically should enhance hyporheic interaction. Breakthrough curves of chloride measured during the field experiment were modelled with OTIS-P, a one-dimensional, surface-water, solute-transport model from which we extracted the storage exchange rate and cross-sectional area of the storage zone As for hyporheic exchange. Along gaining reaches of the stream reach, short-term hyporheic interactions associated with debris dams were comparable to those associated with severe meanders. In contrast, along the non-gaining reach, stream water was diverted to the subsurface by debris dams and captured by large-scale near-stream flow paths. Overall, hyporheic exchange rates along Red Canyon Creek during snowmelt recession equal or exceed exchange rates observed during baseflow at other streams.

  19. Contribution of semi-arid ecosystems to interannual variability of the global carbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Poulter, Benjamin; Frank, David; Ciais, Philippe; Myneni, Ranga B; Andela, Niels; Bi, Jian; Broquet, Gregoire; Canadell, Josep G; Chevallier, Frederic; Liu, Yi Y; Running, Steven W; Sitch, Stephen; van der Werf, Guido R

    2014-05-29

    The land and ocean act as a sink for fossil-fuel emissions, thereby slowing the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Although the uptake of carbon by oceanic and terrestrial processes has kept pace with accelerating carbon dioxide emissions until now, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations exhibit a large variability on interannual timescales, considered to be driven primarily by terrestrial ecosystem processes dominated by tropical rainforests. We use a terrestrial biogeochemical model, atmospheric carbon dioxide inversion and global carbon budget accounting methods to investigate the evolution of the terrestrial carbon sink over the past 30 years, with a focus on the underlying mechanisms responsible for the exceptionally large land carbon sink reported in 2011 (ref. 2). Here we show that our three terrestrial carbon sink estimates are in good agreement and support the finding of a 2011 record land carbon sink. Surprisingly, we find that the global carbon sink anomaly was driven by growth of semi-arid vegetation in the Southern Hemisphere, with almost 60 per cent of carbon uptake attributed to Australian ecosystems, where prevalent La Niña conditions caused up to six consecutive seasons of increased precipitation. In addition, since 1981, a six per cent expansion of vegetation cover over Australia was associated with a fourfold increase in the sensitivity of continental net carbon uptake to precipitation. Our findings suggest that the higher turnover rates of carbon pools in semi-arid biomes are an increasingly important driver of global carbon cycle inter-annual variability and that tropical rainforests may become less relevant drivers in the future. More research is needed to identify to what extent the carbon stocks accumulated during wet years are vulnerable to rapid decomposition or loss through fire in subsequent years. PMID:24847888

  20. Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from a Semi-Arid Riparian Soil Experiencing Extremes in Moisture Input

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLain, J. E.; Martens, D. A.

    2002-12-01

    We are studying environmental influences on soil fluxes of greenhouse gases (CO2, N2O and CH4) in vegetation communities along the San Pedro River Riparian Area in southeastern Arizona. Precipitation in this semi-arid area averages 300mm per year, 60% currently falls in the monsoon season of July-September. Vegetation types being studied are: mesquite (Prosopis spp.), an invasive N-fixing legume; and grassland sites without mesquite, the first dominated by sacaton (Sporobolus spp.), a coarse perennial grass; and the second by annual grasses and forbs. Preliminary analysis prior to the 2002 monsoon rains showed that trace gas fluxes were negligible at all three sites. Since the first pulses of monsoon moisture in July 2002, nitrous oxide emissions from the mesquite soils (1.0 μmol m-2 day-1) average 2-5 times higher than in either of the grassland areas. Nitrous oxide emissions were strongly correlated (r = 0.99) with pre-monsoon nitrate-N contents, which were 8-10 times higher in the mesquite soils. Nitrous oxide emissions were also positively correlated with soil moisture content and soil temperature. The average soil CH4 consumption in the annual grassland (-3.5 μmol m-2 day-1) was twice that of the mesquite and sacaton soils. CO2 emissions were highly variable, but averages are consistent between the three sites. This work, when coupled with C and N inventories of the plants, soils and the delta 13C isotope ratio of the CO2 respired, will help determine the impact of semi-arid ecosystems on potential climate change.

  1. The importance of plant water use on evapotranspiration covers in semi-arid Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, A.; Arnold, S.; Doley, D.; Mulligan, D. R.; Baumgartl, T.

    2012-10-01

    We estimated the evapotranspiration (ET) for an area vegetated with characteristic semi-arid native Australian plant species on ET mine waste cover systems. These systems aim to minimise drainage into underlying hazardous wastes by maximising evaporation (E) from the soil surface and transpiration from vegetation. An open top chamber was used to measure diurnal and daily ET of two plant species - Senna artemisioides (silver cassia) and Sclerolaena birchii (galvanised burr) - after a simulated rainfall event, as well as E from bare soil. Both ET and E decreased with increasing time after initial watering. Different temporal patterns were observed for daily ET from the two plant species and E from bare soil, revealing Senna artemisioides as intensive and Sclerolaena birchii as extensive water exploiters. A strong positive linear relationship was identified between ET (and E), and the atmospheric water demand represented by the vapour pressure deficit. The relationship always was more pronounced in the morning than in the afternoon, indicating a diminishing water supply from the soil associated with a declining unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of the soil in the afternoon. The slopes of the regression lines were steepest for Senna artemisioides, reflecting its intensive water-exploiting characteristics. We used the derived estimates of ET and E to predict the effect of species composition on plot ET in relation to total vegetation coverage. Although both species proved suitable for an operational ET cover system, vegetation coverage should exceed at least 50% in order to markedly influence plot ET, a value which is likely to be unsustainable in semi-arid climates.

  2. Achievements and prospects of genomics-assisted breeding in three legume crops of the semi-arid tropics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advances in sequencing and genotyping technologies have enabled generation of several thousand markers including SSRs, SNPs, DArTs, hundreds of thousands transcript reads and BAC-end sequences in chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut, three major legume crops of the semi-arid tropics. Comprehensive tran...

  3. Simulating the hydrologic impacts of land-cover and climate changes in a semi-arid watershed

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in climate and land cover are principal variables affecting watershed hydrology. This paper uses a cell-based model to examine the hydrologic impacts of climate and land cover changes in the semi-arid Lower Virgin River (LVR) watershed located upstream of Lake Mead, Nevad...

  4. Small-Scale Farming in Semi-Arid Areas: Livelihood Dynamics between 1997 and 2010 in Laikipia, Kenya

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ulrich, Anne; Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika; Roden, Paul; Kiteme, Boniface; Wiesmann, Urs; Nusser, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    The rural population of semi-arid lands in Kenya face multiple challenges that result from population growth, poor markets, land use and climatic changes. In particular, subsistence oriented farmers face various risks and opportunities in their attempt to secure their livelihoods. This paper presents an analysis on how livelihood assets and…

  5. Woody plants modulate the temporal dynamics of soil moisture in a semi-arid mesquite savanna 2023

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In arid and semi-arid ecosystems (drylands), soil moisture abundance limits biological activity and mediates the effects of anthropogenic global change factors such as atmospheric CO2 increases and climate warming. Moreover, climate variability and human activities are interacting to increase the ab...

  6. Approaches of Integrated Watershed Management Project: Experiences of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mula, Rosana P.; Wani, Suhas P.; Dar, William D.

    2008-01-01

    The process of innovation-development to scaling is varied and complex. Various actors are involved in every stage of the process. In scaling the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)-led integrated watershed management projects in India and South Asia, three drivers were identified--islanding approach,…

  7. Overview of water-saving potato production research for the semi-arid areas of Northern China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the arid and semi-arid areas of Northern China, potato makes a greater contribution to solve food problems, even though,frequent droughts, general water shortages and poor irrigation management often lead to low yields and poor tuber quality. Therefore, water-saving potato production plays an imp...

  8. Support vector machines for recognition of semi-arid vegetation types using MISR multi-angle imagery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mapping accurately community types is one of the main challenges for monitoring arid and semi-arid grasslands with remote sensing. The multi-angle approach has been proven useful for mapping vegetation types in desert grassland. The Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR) provides 4 spectral b...

  9. Short-term soil responses to late-seeded cover crops in a semi-arid environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops can expand ecosystem services, though sound management recommendations for their use within semi-arid cropping systems is currently constrained by a lack of information. This study was conducted to determine agroecosystem responses to late-summer seeded cover crops under no-till managem...

  10. A comparison of two stream gauging systems for measuring runoff and sediment yield on semi-arid wtershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our ability to understand erosion processes in semi-arid ecosystems depends on establishing relationships between rainfall, runoff and sediment yield and determining the key factors that influence these relationships. This requires collection of extensive and accurate hydrologic and sediment data se...

  11. Evaluation of soil and water conservation measures in a semi-arid river basin in Tunisia using SWAT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Merguellil catchment (Central Tunisia) is a typical Mediterranean semi-arid basin which suffers from regular water shortage aggravated by current droughts. During the recent decades the continuous construction of small and large dams and Soil and Water Conservation Works (i.e. Contour ridges) ha...

  12. Building bridges using livestock as ecosystem engineers in semi-arid rangelands: Addressing conservation and livestock production goals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Domestic livestock have the potential to function as ecosystem engineers in semi-arid rangelands, but their utility has been compromised by management practices that emphasize livestock production, homogeneous use of vegetation and removal/control of interacting disturbances of fire and prairie dogs...

  13. Effects of feral free-roaming horses on semi-arid rangeland ecosystems: an example from the sagebrush steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) are viewed as a symbol of freedom and power; however, they are also a largely unmanaged, non-native grazer in North America, South America, and Australia. Information on their influence on vegetation and soil characteristics in semi-arid rangelands has been limited by ...

  14. Parameterization of ALMANAC crop simulation model for non-irrigated dry bean in semi-arid temperate areas in Mexico

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Simulation models can be used to make management decisions when properly parameterized. This study aimed to parameterize the ALMANAC (Agricultural Land Management Alternatives with Numerical Assessment Criteria) crop simulation model for dry bean in the semi-arid temperate areas of Mexico. The par...

  15. Comparison of multi-monthly rainfall-based drought severity indices, with application to semi-arid Konya closed basin, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogan, Selim; Berktay, Ali; Singh, Vijay P.

    2012-11-01

    SummaryMany drought indices (DIs) have been introduced to monitor drought conditions. This study compares Percent of Normal (PN), Rainfall Decile based Drought Index (RDDI), statistical Z-Score, China-Z Index (CZI), Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), and Effective Drought Index (EDI) to identify droughts in a semi-arid closed basin (Konya), Turkey. Comparison studies of DIs under different climatic conditions is always interesting and may be insightful. Employing and comparing 18 different timesteps, the objective of comparison is twofold: (1) to determine the effect of timestep for choosing an appropriate value, and (2) to determine the sensitivity of DI to timestep and the choice of a DI. Monthly rainfall data obtained from twelve spatially distributed stations was used to compare DIs for timesteps ranging from 1 month to 48 months. These DIs were evaluated through correlations for various timesteps. Surprisingly, in many earlier studies, only 1-month time step has been used. Results showed that the employment of median timesteps was essential for future studies, since 1-month timestep DIs were found as irrelevant to those for other timesteps in arid/semi-arid regions because seasonal rainfall deficiencies are common there. Comparing time series of various DI values (numerical values of drought severity) instead of drought classes was advantageous for drought monitoring. EDI was found to be best correlated with other DIs when considering all timesteps. Therefore, drought classes discerned by DIs were compared with EDI. PN and RDDI provided different results than did others. PN detected a decrease in drought percentage for increasing timestep, while RDDI overestimated droughts for all timesteps. SPI and CZI were more consistent in detecting droughts for different timesteps. The response of DI and timestep combination to the change of monthly and multi-monthly rainfall for a qualitative comparison of severities (drought classes) was investigated. Analyzing the

  16. Measurement and analysis of black carbon aerosols over a tropical semi-arid station in Kadapa, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Begam, G. Reshma; Vachaspati, C. Viswanath; Ahammed, Y. Nazeer; Kumar, K. Raghavendra; Babu, S. Suresh; Reddy, R. R.

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents aerosol light absorption measurements using a seven channel Aethalometer (AE-42), recorded during September 2011-November 2012 over a tropical semi-arid site in Kadapa, India. The annual average black carbon (BC) mass concentration ([BC]) during the studied period was 2.20 ± 0.78 μg m- 3 which is in agreement when compared to other sites of similar environment. Strong seasonal variation was observed with high values during winter (2.87 ± 0.81 μg m- 3) and low in monsoon (1.30 ± 0.31 μg m- 3) season, which could be attributed to regional synoptic meteorology and long range transport. The two peaks in diurnal variations of [BC] were observed during morning between 06:00 and 08:00 h local time (LT) and in the evening around 19:00-21:00 h LT, with a minimum peak in the afternoon (~ 16:00 h LT) which is strongly correlated with the boundary layer dynamics, local and regional sources, and associated meteorology. The relationships between measured [BC] and the corresponding meteorological parameters for the studied region were also analysed. The estimated monthly mean spectral absorption coefficient values range from 0.56 to 1.15 with an average of 0.90, which suggests high BC/OC ratio and possible source of emission of aerosols is fossil fuel burning. Trajectory cluster analysis showed significant impact of long range transport of BC aerosols towards the observational site during the period of study.

  17. Groundwater Trends and Availability Under Current and Future Groundwater Withdrawals and Climate Scenarios in Semi-arid India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, S.; Sishodia, R. P.; Graham, W. D.; Jones, J. W.; Wani, S.; Heaney, J.

    2015-12-01

    Irrigation withdrawals have caused groundwater depletion, decreased surface flows and water quality problems in many parts of the world including India. Anticipated increase in groundwater demand and climate change is likely to exacerbate the problem. This study investigated long term (1990-2012) groundwater level trends in hard rock aquifers of semi-arid south India and used an integrated hydrologic model MIKE SHE/MIKE 11 to analyze the effects of changes in groundwater withdrawals and climate on groundwater and surface water flow and levels. Contrary to the common perception of widespread groundwater declines, statistical trend test results showed significant declines in only 22-36% of the wells in a three district region (3.15 million ha). Free electricity policy for farmers, implemented in 2004, and increased irrigated area were the two main causal factors. Groundwater levels in up to 76% of these wells showed significant decline after the subsidy (2005-2012) indicating the nexus between energy and groundwater. An integrated hydrologic model, developed using long-term monitoring data for a watershed (320 ha) in the region, performed well in simulating surface and groundwater levels. Compared to the current withdrawal scenario, prolonged hydrologic drought and decreased surface flows were predicted under future withdrawal scenarios. Future (2040-2069) climate scenarios from five General Circulation Models (GCMs), showed increased rainfall and flooding in the watershed. Although, projected increase in rainfall under the climate change scenarios is likely to provide opportunities for capture and reuse of surface flows, earlier well drying, and increased frequency and duration of hydrologic drought is likely to affect livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers in this hard rock aquifer region. Several management options including changes in power subsidy and implementation of efficient irrigation systems, effective institutional mechanism to regulate

  18. Study of the Space-Time Variability of the Precipitations in the semi Arid Tropics Areas like African Sahel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladoy, P.

    2003-12-01

    One of the difficulty of decision making in the matter of climate in semi arid tropics areas like African Sahel, is to manage the high time space variability of the atmospheric fields. For example, the high time space variability of the rain fields (intermittency) is explained by the multiplicity of time space scales which involves. A multifractal approach of the field is assumed. Some aspects of the study are related to : o Down scaling adaptations of the outputs of global climate models to regional and local scales; o Prediction of extremes events : floods, droughts or "dry spells". Studies are developed by the African Centre for Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) This Centre, located in Niamey, Niger, acts as an African institution for weather and climate. Its long term goals are to : - reduce the dryness effects or any other catastrophe related to the climatic conditions such as the tropical cyclone, the floods and the storms; - to develop methodologies and techniques for weather and climate application at the national and sub-regional level; The basic activities to realize this objectives are: - the collection and analysis of hydrometeorological data; - the dissemination of climatic information for the early alarm in the fields related to the agriculture or the management of resources in water and energy; - the dissemination in due time of useful information on the weather and climate; - the connected of the variability and of the climatic change, and such as their impact upon the economy, - the development of strategies of appropriate responses to the impact of the desertification, floods, tropical cyclones,

  19. Climate change impact on future water resources availability for a semi-arid area (Ferghana Valley, Central Asia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radchenko, Iuliia; Breuer, Lutz; Mannig, Birgit; Frede, Hans-Georg

    2014-05-01

    Considering increasing temperatures and glacier recession during the last decades, it is of high interest to study the climate change impact on water resources availability in semi-arid regions of Central Asia. The Ferghana Valley is surrounded by the Tien-Shan and Pamiro-Alay mountain systems that store big amounts of water in snowpacks and glaciers. In the valley the agricultural activity of local people strongly depends on available water from the Syrdarya River. The river is formed by the confluence of the Naryn and Karadarya Rivers, which are mainly fed by the glacier and snow melt from the Akshiirak and Ferghana ridges of the aforementioned mountain systems. The small upper river basins of the valley also contribute with runoff (~34 %) to the Syrdarya River. These small rivers are mainly fed by precipitation and seasonal snow melt. Thus, because of climate change and glacier decline, it is necessary to investigate the comparative contribution of the small catchments versus two big river basins to the Syrdarya River system, as these small upper catchments could become more important for future water consumption. In this study the conceptual hydrological HBV-light model has been calibrated and validated for the period 1980-1985 over 18 upper catchments that feed the Syrdarya River from the surrounding mountain ridges. Dynamically downscaled climate change scenarios were then applied up to the year 2100 for these basins. The scenarios were generated by means of Global Circulation Model (ECHAM5) and Regional Climate Model (REMO) with a baseline period from 1971 till 2000. We will present modelling results of water resources, the contribution of small rivers to the Syrdarya River and to what extent this contribution is likely to change in the future. Moreover, the results of simulated potential runoff will be used to develop future climate change adaptation strategies regarding socio-economic and environmental sustainable water use.

  20. Event based recharge assessment from soil moisture monitoring sites under a steep Mediterranean - semi-arid climatic gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ries, Fabian; Sauter, Martin; Lange, Jens

    2014-05-01

    The unsaturated soil zone is of fundamental importance for the understanding of temporal and spatial variability of groundwater recharge. This is especially true for the Mediterranean region where a large fraction of long-term groundwater recharge occurs during above-average wet winters. To improve process knowledge, a dense monitoring network consisting of rainfall gauges, meteorological stations and soil moisture plots was installed along a steep climatic gradient in the Jordan Valley region. Ten-minute soil moisture dynamics of two entire years were modelled by Hydrus-1D whose parameters were calibrated with the help of the Shuffled Complex Evolution algorithm. The scrutinized model was applied to four locations with entirely different soil depth and annual rainfall. During high intensity rainfall events, saturation of deep soil layers was observed for several hours. The continuously modelled water balance yielded percolation pulses that depended on rainfall amounts and occurred simultaneously to a cooling of karst groundwater in a nearby groundwater well. Overall, a strong correlation between the magnitude of deep percolation and soil depth was observed. When the model was applied to a 40-year time series of rainfall data, a mean annual percolation fraction of 40% resulted. This value varied by up to 30% between years with similar (average) rainfall but different rainfall distribution. Here the length of dry spells between single recharge events was one important factor. Percolation fraction of exceptional wet years reached up to 69% of rainfall while for very dry years no percolation was modelled at all. A focused view on the unsaturated soil zone in areas with highly variable annual rainfall can provide valuable insights into recharge heterogeneity under Mediterranean and semi-arid climates.

  1. Changing landscapes: monitoring ecologically sensitive ecosystems in a dynamic semi-arid landscape using satellite imagery: a case study in Ejin Oasis, western China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Meng-Lung; Cao, Yu; Tao, Yi-Huang; Shih, Jyh-yi; Yan, Guo-Jing; Lee, Yung-Tan; Xiao, Du-Ning; Wang, Shin; Chiu, Hsien-Hao

    2006-12-01

    Land degradation has become an important issue in western China recently. Oasis ecosystem is sensitive to environmental disturbances, such as abnormal /extreme events of precipitations, water supply from upper watersheds, fluctuations of temperatures, etc. Satellite remote sensing of terrestrial ecosystems provides temporal dynamics and spatial distributions of landscape green covers over large areas. Seasonal green cover data are normally important in assessing landscape health (ex. desertification, rate of urban sprawl, natural disturbances) in arid and semi-arid regions. In this study, green cover data is derived from vegetation indices retrieved from MODIS sensors onboard Terra. The satellite images during the period April 2000 to December 2005 are analyzed to quantify the spatial distribution and temporal changes of Ejin Oasis. The results will help improving monitoring techniques to evaluate land degradation and to estimate the newest tendency of landscape green cover dynamics in the Ejin Oasis.

  2. Soil moisture and soil loss study under different cover densities in Ultisolsin Pernambuco State semi-arid (Brazil)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borges, T. K. S.; Montenegro, A. A. A.; Santos, T. E. M.; Silva Junior, V. P.; Siqueira, G. M.

    2012-04-01

    Throughout Brazil occurs a large loss of soil and water runoff due to soil erosion especially in rural areas. The soil moisture monitoringhas been a practice increasingly important in agriculture, especially in regions where water scarcity is high and rainfed cropping is adopted. The soil cover is one of the factors that minimize these effects of degradation arising from agricultural land use. To monitor the water content in the soil profile, point measurements were performed using an FDR equipment, which is a capacitance probe, Diviner 2000 ® model, the Sentek Pty Ltd, Australia. The objective of this study was to investigate the dynamics of soil water content under different types of ground cover, using a probe and the Diviner soil loss in the semi-arid Pernambuco. The study was carried out in the Municipality of Pesqueira-PE, located in the State of Pernambuco, in the Alto Ipanema Representative Basin, with average annual rainfall of 730 mm and average annual potential evapotranspiration of 1683 mm. The soil of the study areas is classified as Eutrophic Yellow Ultisol abruptly (Area A) and typical Eutrophic Yellow Ultisol (Area B). For this, study three experimental plots were installed in two different areas, totalling six plots, bounded by brick, with 4.5 m wide and 11 m long in the direction of the slope, under three soil cover conditions. The treatments involved in this study are: bare soil (SD); with cactus (P) and natural cover (CN). The water content in soil was evaluated at 0.10, 0.20 and 0.30 m at the soil profile and sediment sampling were carried out fortnightly between April and July 2011 (rainy season). In this work we used cumulative precipitation for seven and fourteen days before the readings with the Divinerprobe. The highest rainfall is concentrated during the months of May and July of 2011, and May is the month with the highest cumulative rainfall. April received the lowest rainfall, considered the driest. The water content in the soil

  3. Using ISBA model for partitioning evapotranspiration into soil evaporation and plant transpiration of irrigated crops under semi-arid climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aouade, Ghizlane; Jarlan, Lionel; Ezzahar, Jamal; Er-raki, Salah; Napoly, Adrien; Benkaddour, Abdelfettah; Khabba, Said; Boulet, Gilles; Chehbouni, Abdelghani; Boone, Aaron

    2016-04-01

    The Haouz region, typical of southern Mediterranean basins, is characterized by a semi-arid climate, with average annual rainfall of 250, whilst evaporative demand is about 1600 mm per year. Under these conditions, crop irrigation is inevitable for growth and development. Irrigated agriculture currently consumes the majority of total available water (up to 85%), making it critical for more efficient water use. Flood irrigation is widely practiced by the majority of the farmers (more than 85 %) with an efficiency which does not exceed 50%. In this context, a good knowledge of the partitioning of evapotranspiration (ET) into soil evaporation and plant transpiration is of crucial need for improving the irrigation scheduling and thus water use efficiency. In this study, the ISBA (Interactions Soil-Biosphere-Atmosphere) model was used for estimating ET and its partition over an olive orchard and a wheat field located near to the Marrakech City (Centre of Morocco). Two versions were evaluated: standard version which simulates a single energy balance for the soil and vegetation and the recently developed multiple energy balance (MEB) version which solves a separate energy balance for each of the two sources. Eddy covariance system, which provides the sensible and latent heat fluxes and meteorological instruments were operated during years 2003-2004 for the Olive Orchard and during years 2013 for wheat. The transpiration component was measured using a Sap flow system during summer over the wheat crop and stable isotope samples were gathered over wheat. The comparison between ET estimated by ISBA model and that measured by the Eddy covariance system showed that MEB version yielded a remarkable improvement compared to the standard version. The root mean square error (RMSE) and the correlation coefficient (R²) were about 45wm-2 and 0.8 for MEB version. By contrast, for the standard version, the RMSE and R² were about 60wm-2 and 0.7, respectively. The result also showed that

  4. New Brazilian Cerambycidae from the Amazonian region (Coleoptera).

    PubMed

    Santos-Silva, Antonio; Galileo, Maria Helena M

    2016-01-01

    Three new species of Cerambycidae are described from the Brazilian Amazonian region: Psapharochrus bezarki (Lamiinae, Acanthoderini); Xenofrea ayri (Lamiinae, Xenofreini); and Mecometopus wappesi (Cerambycinae, Clytini). Mecometopus wappesi is added to a previous key. PMID:27551200

  5. New Brazilian Cerambycidae from the Amazonian region (Coleoptera)

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Silva, Antonio; Galileo, Maria Helena M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Three new species of Cerambycidae are described from the Brazilian Amazonian region: Psapharochrus bezarki (Lamiinae, Acanthoderini); Xenofrea ayri (Lamiinae, Xenofreini); and Mecometopus wappesi (Cerambycinae, Clytini). Mecometopus wappesi is added to a previous key. PMID:27551200

  6. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Chelsea J.; Beman, J. Michael; Eviner, Valerie T.; Malmstrom, Carolyn M.; Hart, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing), plant invasion + nitrogen (N) fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5–6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N) and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials) were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO−3 availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes. PMID:26042104

  7. CO2 production rate maxima in the deeper unsaturated zone of a semi-arid floodplain at Rifle, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokunaga, T. K.; Kim, Y.; Wan, J.; Dong, W.; Conrad, M. E.; Bill, M.; Hobson, C.; Williams, K. H.; Long, P. E.

    2015-12-01

    Fluxes of CO2 from soils are important to understand in order to predict subsurface feedbacks to the atmosphere and responses to climate change. Such fluxes are commonly monitored at the soil surface and generally assumed to largely originate within shallow depths. Relatively little is understood on the depth distribution of CO2 production below the rhizosphere. We monitored CO2 fluxes at the soil surface, and measured vertical profiles of vadose CO2 concentrations, matric potentials, and temperatures at the Rifle Site, a saline semi-arid floodplain along the Colorado River in order to determine the significance of deeper vadose zone respiration. Vadose zone CO2 profiles exhibit temperature-dependent seasonal variations, and are consistent with CO2 fluxes measured at the soil surface. The measured vadose zone CO2 concentration profiles combined with gas diffusion coefficients estimated from soil properties indicated that local maxima in rates of CO2 production persist in the deeper vadose zone, about 1 m below the rhizosphere, and above the water table (~3.5 m below the soil surface). We hypothesized that water and oxygen activities, nutrient levels, and temperatures remain favorable for microbial respiration throughout the year in the subrhizosphere, unlike overlying drier soils and the underlying poorly aerated aquifer. Using soils and sediments from the field site, the hypothesized existence of deeper subsurface maxima in CO2 production rate is currently being tested in the laboratory through sediment incubation experiments and in 2.0 m tall vadose zone columns. Initial results from the laboratory support the hypothesized persistence of a subrhizosphere "hot zone" for microbial respiration, partly sustained through seasonal pulses of dissolved and labile organic carbon originating from the rhizosphere. These findings suggest that similar sustained deeper local maxima in respiration rates may occur in many other regions where near-surface conditions are

  8. A GIS based watershed information system for water resources management and planning in semi-arid areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzabiras, John; Spiliotopoulos, Marios; Kokkinos, Kostantinos; Fafoutis, Chrysostomos; Sidiropoulos, Pantelis; Vasiliades, Lampros; Papaioannou, George; Loukas, Athanasios; Mylopoulos, Nikitas

    2015-04-01

    The overall objective of this work is the development of an Information System which could be used by stakeholders for the purposes of water management as well as for planning and strategic decision-making in semi-arid areas. An integrated modeling system has been developed and applied to evaluate the sustainability of water resources management strategies in Lake Karla watershed, Greece. The modeling system, developed in the framework of "HYDROMENTOR" research project, is based on a GIS modelling approach which uses remote sensing data and includes coupled models for the simulation of surface water and groundwater resources, the operation of hydrotechnical projects (reservoir operation and irrigation works) and the estimation of water demands at several spatial scales. Lake Karla basin was the region where the system was tested but the methodology may be the basis for future analysis elsewhere. Τwo (2) base and three (3) management scenarios were investigated. In total, eight (8) water management scenarios were evaluated: i) Base scenario without operation of the reservoir and the designed Lake Karla district irrigation network (actual situation) • Reduction of channel losses • Alteration of irrigation methods • Introduction of greenhouse cultivation ii) Base scenario including the operation of the reservoir and the Lake Karla district irrigation network • Reduction of channel losses • Alteration of irrigation methods • Introduction of greenhouse cultivation The results show that, under the existing water resources management, the water deficit of Lake Karla watershed is very large. However, the operation of the reservoir and the cooperative Lake Karla district irrigation network coupled with water demand management measures, like reduction of water distribution system losses and alteration of irrigation methods, could alleviate the problem and lead to sustainable and ecological use of water resources in the study area. Acknowledgements: This study

  9. Achievements and prospects of genomics-assisted breeding in three legume crops of the semi-arid tropics.

    PubMed

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Mohan, S Murali; Gaur, Pooran M; Gangarao, N V P R; Pandey, Manish K; Bohra, Abhishek; Sawargaonkar, Shrikant L; Chitikineni, Annapurna; Kimurto, Paul K; Janila, Pasupuleti; Saxena, K B; Fikre, Asnake; Sharma, Mamta; Rathore, Abhishek; Pratap, Aditya; Tripathi, Shailesh; Datta, Subhojit; Chaturvedi, S K; Mallikarjuna, Nalini; Anuradha, G; Babbar, Anita; Choudhary, Arbind K; Mhase, M B; Bharadwaj, Ch; Mannur, D M; Harer, P N; Guo, Baozhu; Liang, Xuanqiang; Nadarajan, N; Gowda, C L L

    2013-12-01

    Advances in next-generation sequencing and genotyping technologies have enabled generation of large-scale genomic resources such as molecular markers, transcript reads and BAC-end sequences (BESs) in chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut, three major legume crops of the semi-arid tropics. Comprehensive transcriptome assemblies and genome sequences have either been developed or underway in these crops. Based on these resources, dense genetic maps, QTL maps as well as physical maps for these legume species have also been developed. As a result, these crops have graduated from 'orphan' or 'less-studied' crops to 'genomic resources rich' crops. This article summarizes the above-mentioned advances in genomics and genomics-assisted breeding applications in the form of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for hybrid purity assessment in pigeonpea; marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC) for introgressing QTL region for drought-tolerance related traits, Fusarium wilt (FW) resistance and Ascochyta blight (AB) resistance in chickpea; late leaf spot (LLS), leaf rust and nematode resistance in groundnut. We critically present the case of use of other modern breeding approaches like marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) and genomic selection (GS) to utilize the full potential of genomics-assisted breeding for developing superior cultivars with enhanced tolerance to various environmental stresses. In addition, this article recommends the use of advanced-backcross (AB-backcross) breeding and development of specialized populations such as multi-parents advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) for creating new variations that will help in developing superior lines with broadened genetic base. In summary, we propose the use of integrated genomics and breeding approach in these legume crops to enhance crop productivity in marginal environments ensuring food security in developing countries. PMID:23313999

  10. Has contemporary climate change played a role in population declines of the lizard Ctenophorus decresii from semi-arid Australia?

    PubMed

    Walker, Samantha; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Kearney, Michael R

    2015-12-01

    Whilst contemporary climatic changes are small in magnitude compared to those predicted for the coming decades, they have already been linked to species range shifts and local extinctions. Elucidating the drivers behind species' responses to contemporary climate change will better inform management strategies for vulnerable and pest species alike. A recent proposal to explain worldwide local extinctions in lizards is that increasing maximum temperatures have constrained lizard activity time in the breeding season beyond extinction thresholds. Here we document a significant population decline and potential local extinction at the warm (northern) range margin of the tawny dragon, Ctenophorus decresii, a rock-dwelling lizard from the Flinders Ranges in semi-arid Australia. We developed and tested a biophysical model of tawny dragon thermoregulatory behaviour and drove the model with daily weather data for the period 1990-2009 across the Flinders Ranges. Our results indicate that potential annual activity time has likely increased over this period throughout the historic range, with within-season declines only in the summer months at the northern range limit. However, populations that have declined since 2000 have also likely experienced higher active body temperatures and more stringent retreat-site requirements (deeper crevices) than have regions where the species remains common, during a period of declining rainfall. Our laboratory estimates of thermal preference in this species were insensitive to altered nutritional and hydric state. Thus it is possible that recent population declines are linked to desiccation stress driven by higher body temperatures and declining rainfall. Our study illustrates that simple indices of the impact of climate warming on animals, such as activity restriction, may in fact reflect a variety of potential mechanisms whose ultimate outcome will be contingent on other factors such as water and shelter availability. PMID:26615728

  11. Long-term effect of irrigation with waste water on soil microbial community in semi-arid conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugan, Alicia; Mar Alguacil, Mª; Roldan, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    The water shortage is one of the most serious environmental problems in semi-arid areas around the world, which implicates the search for alternatives sources of water to satisfy the water demand in these regions. The use of wastewater for the irrigation of agricultural land is one of most suitable solutions to save better quality water when the natural resources are scarce. The reuse of wastewater in soil irrigation is not a new practise and is increasing in many places around the world; however the implications for the sustainability of agro-ecosystems must be studied in deep. The objective of this work was to study the effects of the long-term irrigation with treated wastewater in soil microbial community (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). The experiment was conducted in an area located in Alicante (Southeast Spain) (Coordinates 38° 17´38" N, 0° 33´50" W). During 40 years an experimental Citrus aurantium L. (orange tree) orchard has been drip-irrigated with waste water, and control plots with the same characteristics subjected to drip irrigation with fresh water, were also stabilised during all the experimental period. Soil samples from individual trees were colleted in a randomised design with three replicates for each irrigation treatment (irrigation with waste water and irrigation with fresh water), to analyse the abundance of PLFA at the end of the experiment. The results show a major content of total PLFA in soils irrigated with fresh water, also these soils showed higher variety of PLFAs, and so a higher variety of groups of microorganims.

  12. The influence of several changes in atmospheric states over semi-arid areas on the incidence of mental health disorders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yackerson, Naomy S.; Zilberman, Arkadi; Todder, Doron; Kaplan, Zeev

    2011-05-01

    The incidence of suicide attempts [Deliberate Self Harm (DSH); ICD-10: X60-X84] and psychotic attacks (PsA; ICD-10, F20-F29) in association with atmospheric states, typical for areas close to big deserts, was analyzed. A retrospective study is based on the 4,325 cases of DSH and PsA registered in the Mental Health Center (MHC) of Ben-Gurion University (Be'er-Sheva, Israel) during 2001-2003. Pearson and Spearman test correlations were used; the statistical significance was tested at p < 0.1. The influence of temperature and humidity on suicide attempts ( N SU ) and psychotic attacks ( N PS ) was weakly pronounced ( p > 0.1). Correlation coefficients between N SU and N PS and speed WS of westerly wind reaches 0.3 ( p < 0.05), while their dependence on easterly WS was weaker ( p > 0.09). Variations in easterly wind direction WD influence N SU and N PS values ( p < 0.04), but no corresponding correlation with westerly winds was found ( p > 0.3). Obviously ,in transition areas located between different regions ,the main role of air streams in meteorological-biological impact can scarcely be exaggerated. An unstable balance in the internal state of a weather-sensitive person is disturbed when the atmospheric state is changed by specific desert winds, which can provoke significant perturbations in meteorological parameters. Results indicate the importance of wind direction, defining mainly the atmospheric situation in semi-arid areas: changes in direction of the easterly wind influence N SU and N PS , while changes in WS are important for mental health under westerly air streams. Obviously, N SU and N PS are more affected by the disturbance of weather from its normal state, for a given season, to which the local population is accustomed, than by absolute values of meteorological parameters.

  13. Monitoring temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon decomposition under maize-wheat cropping systems in semi-arid India.

    PubMed

    Sandeep, S; Manjaiah, K M; Mayadevi, M R; Singh, A K

    2016-08-01

    Long-term storage of soil organic carbon (SOC) is essential for sustainability of agricultural ecosystems and maintaining overall environment quality as soils contain a significant part of global carbon stocks. In this study, we attempted to explain the carbon mineralization and temperature sensitivity of SOC in maize-wheat systems, a common cropping system in the semi-arid regions of India. Soil samples(0-0.15 m) from long-term experimental plots laid in split plot design with two tillage systems (conventional tillage and bed planting) and six nutrient management treatments (T 1 = control, T 2 = 120 kg urea-N/ha, T 3 = T2 (25 % N substituted by farmyard manure (FYM)), T 4 = T 2 (25 % N substituted by sewage sludge), T 5 = T 2 + crop residue, T 6 = 100 % recommended doses of N through organic source - 50 % FYM + 25 % biofertilizer + 25 % crop residue) were incubated at different temperatures (25, 30, 35, and 40 °C) to determine the thermal sensitivity parameters associated with carbon mineralization. Earlier reports suggest a selective preservation of C3-derived carbon fractions over C4 in the SOC pool, and this is the first instance where δ (13)C signatures (C4-derived carbon) were used as a qualitative measure to assess thermal sensitivity of SOC pools in the maize-wheat crop rotation systems of semi-arid India. Among the nutrient management treatments, mineral fertilizers were found to add more C4-derived carbon to the SOC pool in both the tillage systems but shows less promise in SOC stability as indicated by their lower activation energies (Ea) (14.25 kJ mol(-1)). Conventional tillage was found to mineralize 18.80 % (T 1-control at 25 °C) to 29.93 % carbon (T 3-mineral fertilizer + FYM at 40 °C) during the 150 days of incubation which was significantly higher than bed planting system (14.90 % in T 1-control at 25 °C and 21.99 % in T 6-100% organic sources at 40 °C). Organic manures, especially FYM (19

  14. Semi-arid vegetation response to antecedent climate and water balance windows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thoma, David P.; Munson, Seth M.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Witwicki, Dana L.; Bunting, Erin

    2016-01-01

    Questions Can we improve understanding of vegetation response to water availability on monthly time scales in semi-arid environments using remote sensing methods? What climatic or water balance variables and antecedent windows of time associated with these variables best relate to the condition of vegetation? Can we develop credible near-term forecasts from climate data that can be used to prepare for future climate change effects on vegetation? Location Semi-arid grasslands in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA. Methods We built vegetation response models by relating the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from MODIS imagery in Mar–Nov 2000–2013 to antecedent climate and water balance variables preceding the monthly NDVI observations. We compared how climate and water balance variables explained vegetation greenness and then used a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance models to forecast monthly NDVI for three holdout years. Results Water balance variables explained vegetation greenness to a greater degree than climate variables for most growing season months. Seasonally important variables included measures of antecedent water input and storage in spring, switching to indicators of drought, input or use in summer, followed by antecedent moisture availability in autumn. In spite of similar climates, there was evidence the grazed grassland showed a response to drying conditions 1 mo sooner than the ungrazed grassland. Lead times were generally short early in the growing season and antecedent window durations increased from 3 mo early in the growing season to 1 yr or more as the growing season progressed. Forecast accuracy for three holdout years using a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance variables outperformed forecasts made with a naïve NDVI climatology. Conclusions We determined the influence of climate and water balance on vegetation at a fine temporal scale, which presents an opportunity to forecast vegetation

  15. Should we plant trees to offset greenhouse gas emissions in semi-arid environments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pataki, D. E.; Pincetl, S.; Gillespie, T. W.; Li, W.; McCarthy, H. R.; Saatchi, S.; Saphores, J.

    2008-12-01

    Urban tree planting programs have been gaining popularity in the United States. Urban trees have been associated with a variety of environmental benefits, including improvements in air quality, mitigation of urban heat island effects, reductions in stormwater runoff, and more recently, carbon sequestration. There are also other potential aesthetic and economic benefits of urban forests, which have been shown to affect real estate values. However, there may also be significant economic and environmental costs of planting and maintaining trees in urban areas, particularly in semi-arid environments where trees are not native and require irrigation and fertilization. We are conducting an analysis of the Million Tree Initiative in the city of Los Angeles, which has committed to a major tree planting program. Los Angeles currently has a low tree canopy cover relative to other cities, particularly in its low income neighborhoods. We are evaluating the decision-making processes associated with the new tree planting program, its perceived benefits, and its actual benefits based on measurements of plant and ecosystem processes such as transpiration, photosynthesis, and water use efficiency; remote sensing analyses of tree cover and surface temperature; and economic analyses. We have found great variability in the interpretation of the program by its various participants, but also significant institutional learning as the program has evolved. Our datasets have challenged some of the common assumptions of the program, for example, the assumption that native species use less water than imported species and are therefore more environmentally beneficial in terms of water resources. We have also found significant impacts of the urban forest on air temperature, which may reduce energy use during the summer due to reductions in air conditioning. This is likely to be a larger effect of urban trees on greenhouse gas emissions than direct carbon sequestration alone, which is a very

  16. Management of water for irrigation agriculture in semi-arid areas: Problems and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mvungi, A.; Mashauri, D.; Madulu, N. F.

    Most of the Mwanga district is classified as semi-arid with a rainfall range of 300 and 600 mm. Rainfall patterns in the district are unpredictable and are subject to great fluctuations. Like other semi-arid areas, the district is characterized with land degradation, unreliable rainfall, repeated water shortage, periodic famine, overgrazing, dry land cultivation in the marginal areas and heavy competition for limited biomass between farmers and cattle. Vulnerability here is high due to unreliability of weather. The people of Mwanga are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. However agriculture is difficult in the area due to inadequate rainfall. For a very long time the people have been dependent on irrigation agriculture to ensure food security. Of late the traditional irrigation system is on the decline threatening food security in the area. This paper examines the state and status of the irrigation canal system in Mwanga district with the view of recommending ways in which it can be improved. The study used participatory, survey and in-depth interviews to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data. The major findings are that social, political, environmental and demographic bases that supported the traditional irrigation system have changed drastically. As a corollary to this, the cultural and religious belief systems that supported and guided the traditional canal system management have been replaced by mistrust and corruption in water allocation. In addition the ownership and management system of the water resources that was vested in the initiator clans has changed and now water user groups own the canals/furrows but they do not own the water sources. This has rendered the control of the water sources difficult if not impossible. Currently the system is faced by a number of problems including shortage of water and poor management as demand for water increases and this has led to serious conflicts among and between crop producers and pastoralists

  17. The role of the perch effect on the nucleation process in Mediterranean semi-arid oldfields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pausas, Juli G.; Bonet, Andreu; Maestre, Fernando T.; Climent, Anna

    2006-05-01

    Oldfield succession in Mediterranean ecosystems has been studied extensively in mesic conditions. However, this phenomenon is still poorly understood in semi-arid Mediterranean areas, where reduced plant cover, the importance of facilitation processes and the role of abiotic factors make these environments distinct. We first test whether the carob tree ( Ceratonia siliqua) generates nucleation patterns in semi-arid oldfields, and to what extent such patterns change with abandonment age. Then we test to what extent nucleation can be explained by the perch effect. And finally, we test whether the nucleated pattern around carob trees is a source of diversity in the oldfields studied. To answer these questions we located oldfields aban