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Sample records for savanna landscape developing

  1. Fire in Australian Savannas: from leaf to landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beringer, J.; Hutley, L. B.; Tapper, N. J.; Cernusak, L. A.; Lynch, A. H.; Görgen, K.; Abramson, D.; Uotila, P.

    2009-04-01

    of carbon to the atmosphere because of the continued ecosystem respiration. We present data from 2001-2005 on the Net Biome Productivity of these savannas estimated at 2.0 tCha-1 yr-1 which is much greater than previously thought. Fire subsequently increased the Bowen ratio of the landscape and generated large increases in sensible heat fluxes. These changes in surface energy exchange following fire, when applied at the landscape scale, may have impacts on larger scale climate. At the local scale, enhanced sensible heat fluxes over patches of burnt landscape could generate mesoscale circulation systems (Knowles 1993). Variations in atmospheric heating rates above burnt and unburnt savanna and associated horizontal pressure gradients will produce atmospheric motion at a range of scales. In order to examine these processes we performed a sensitivity analysis using a global climate model (CSIRO Conformal-Cubic Atmospheric Model (C-CAM)). We utilized a distributed computing approach that allowed the development of a challenging experimental design that permitted simultaneous variation of all fire attributes (intensity, spatial extent and time during the year). The experiment demonstrates that savanna burning could shape the monsoon through two mechanisms. Boundary-layer circulation and large-scale convergence is intensified monotonically through increasing fire intensity and area burned. However, thresholds of fire timing and area are evident in the consequent influence on monsoon rainfall. In the optimal band of late, high intensity fires with a somewhat limited extent, it is possible for the wet season to be significantly enhanced. As such, these results suggest that local-to-regional scale circulation changes associated with burning may modify patterns of precipitation and could potentially affect the strength of the Australian monsoon as suggested by Beringer et al. (2003).

  2. Fire in Australian savannas: from leaf to landscape

    PubMed Central

    Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B; Abramson, David; Arndt, Stefan K; Briggs, Peter; Bristow, Mila; Canadell, Josep G; Cernusak, Lucas A; Eamus, Derek; Edwards, Andrew C; Evans, Bradley J; Fest, Benedikt; Goergen, Klaus; Grover, Samantha P; Hacker, Jorg; Haverd, Vanessa; Kanniah, Kasturi; Livesley, Stephen J; Lynch, Amanda; Maier, Stefan; Moore, Caitlin; Raupach, Michael; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Scheiter, Simon; Tapper, Nigel J; Uotila, Petteri

    2015-01-01

    Savanna ecosystems comprise 22% of the global terrestrial surface and 25% of Australia (almost 1.9 million km2) and provide significant ecosystem services through carbon and water cycles and the maintenance of biodiversity. The current structure, composition and distribution of Australian savannas have coevolved with fire, yet remain driven by the dynamic constraints of their bioclimatic niche. Fire in Australian savannas influences both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes at multiple scales from leaf to landscape. Here, we present the latest emission estimates from Australian savanna biomass burning and their contribution to global greenhouse gas budgets. We then review our understanding of the impacts of fire on ecosystem function and local surface water and heat balances, which in turn influence regional climate. We show how savanna fires are coupled to the global climate through the carbon cycle and fire regimes. We present new research that climate change is likely to alter the structure and function of savannas through shifts in moisture availability and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in turn altering fire regimes with further feedbacks to climate. We explore opportunities to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from savanna ecosystems through changes in savanna fire management. PMID:25044767

  3. Fire in Australian Savannas: from leaf to landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beringer, J.

    2015-12-01

    Savanna ecosystems comprise 22% of the global terrestrial surface and 25% of Australia (almost 1.9 million km2) and provide significant ecosystem services through carbon and water cycles and the maintenance of biodiversity. The current structure, composition and distribution of Australian savannas have co-evolved with fire, yet remain driven by the dynamic constraints of their bioclimatic niche. Fire in Australian savannas influences both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes at multiple scales from leaf to landscape. Here we present the latest emission estimates from Australian savanna biomass burning and their contribution to global greenhouse gas budgets. We then review our understanding of the impacts of fire on ecosystem function and local surface water and heat balances, which in turn influence regional climate. We show how savanna fires are coupled to the global climate through the carbon cycle and fire regimes. We present new research that climate change is likely to alter the structure and function of savannas through shifts in moisture availability and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), in turn altering fire regimes with further feedbacks to climate. We explore opportunities to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from savanna ecosystems through changes in savanna fire management.

  4. Fire in Australian savannas: from leaf to landscape.

    PubMed

    Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B; Abramson, David; Arndt, Stefan K; Briggs, Peter; Bristow, Mila; Canadell, Josep G; Cernusak, Lucas A; Eamus, Derek; Edwards, Andrew C; Evans, Bradley J; Fest, Benedikt; Goergen, Klaus; Grover, Samantha P; Hacker, Jorg; Haverd, Vanessa; Kanniah, Kasturi; Livesley, Stephen J; Lynch, Amanda; Maier, Stefan; Moore, Caitlin; Raupach, Michael; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Scheiter, Simon; Tapper, Nigel J; Uotila, Petteri

    2015-01-01

    Savanna ecosystems comprise 22% of the global terrestrial surface and 25% of Australia (almost 1.9 million km2) and provide significant ecosystem services through carbon and water cycles and the maintenance of biodiversity. The current structure, composition and distribution of Australian savannas have coevolved with fire, yet remain driven by the dynamic constraints of their bioclimatic niche. Fire in Australian savannas influences both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes at multiple scales from leaf to landscape. Here, we present the latest emission estimates from Australian savanna biomass burning and their contribution to global greenhouse gas budgets. We then review our understanding of the impacts of fire on ecosystem function and local surface water and heat balances, which in turn influence regional climate. We show how savanna fires are coupled to the global climate through the carbon cycle and fire regimes. We present new research that climate change is likely to alter the structure and function of savannas through shifts in moisture availability and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in turn altering fire regimes with further feedbacks to climate. We explore opportunities to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from savanna ecosystems through changes in savanna fire management. PMID:25044767

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunting, Erin L.

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

  6. Disentangling How Landscape Spatial and Temporal Heterogeneity Affects Savanna Birds

    PubMed Central

    Price, Bronwyn; McAlpine, Clive A.; Kutt, Alex S.; Ward, Doug; Phinn, Stuart R.; Ludwig, John A.

    2013-01-01

    In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1–100 ha) and landscape (100–1000s ha) scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes. PMID:24066138

  7. Climate and the landscape of fear in an African savanna.

    PubMed

    Riginos, Corinna

    2015-01-01

    Herbivores frequently have to make trade-offs between two basic needs: the need to acquire forage and the need to avoid predation. One manifestation of this trade-off is the 'landscape of fear' phenomenon - wherein herbivores avoid areas of high perceived predation risk even if forage is abundant or of high quality in those areas. Although this phenomenon is well established among invertebrates, its applicability to terrestrial large herbivores remains debated, in part because experimental evidence is scarce. This study was designed to (i) experimentally test the effects of tree density - a key landscape feature associated with predation risk for African ungulates - on herbivore habitat use and (ii) establish whether habitat use patterns could be explained by trade-offs between foraging opportunities and predation risk avoidance. In a Kenyan savanna system, replicate plots dominated by the tree Acacia drepanolobium were cleared, thinned or left intact. Ungulate responses were measured over four years, which included years of moderate rainfall as well as a severe drought. Under average rainfall conditions, most herbivores (primarily plains zebra, Grant's gazelle and hartebeest) favoured sites with fewer trees and higher visibility - regardless of grass production - while elephants (too large to be vulnerable to predation) favoured sites with many trees. During the drought, however, herbivores favoured sites that had high grass biomass, but not high visibility. Thus, during the drought, herbivores sought areas where food was more abundant, despite probable higher risk of predation. These results illustrate that the 'landscape of fear', and the associated interactions between top-down and bottom-up effects, is not static, but rather shifts markedly under different conditions. Climate thus has the potential to alter the strength and spatial dynamics of behaviourally mediated cascades in large herbivore systems. PMID:24942250

  8. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  9. Using conservation value to assess land restoration and management alternatives across a degraded oak savanna landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, R.; Pavlovic, N.B.

    2008-01-01

    1. Managers considering restoration of landscapes often face a fundamental challenge - what should be the habitat composition of the restored landscape? We present a method for evaluating an important conservation trade-off inherent in making that decision. 2. Oak savannas and grasslands were historically widespread across central North America but are now rare. Today, in north-west Indiana, USA, habitats spanning a range of woody vegetation density, from nearly treeless open habitats to forests, occur across the conserved landscape where savannas probably once dominated. To understand the benefits of different potential landscape compositions, we evaluated how different proportions of five habitats - open, savanna, woodland, scrub and forest - might affect the conservation value of the north-west Indiana landscape for birds. Two variables of potential conservation importance were examined: species diversity, a measure of avian community richness, and conservation index, the percentage of a bird species' global population occurring on a hectare of landscape, summed across all bird species present. Higher values of conservation index were associated with higher local densities of globally more rare and more threatened species. 3. Conservation index and species diversity were correlated negatively across hypothetical landscapes composed of different proportions of the five habitats. Therefore, a management trade-off existed between conservation index and species diversity because landscapes that maximized species diversity differed from landscapes that maximized conservation index. 4. A landscape of 50% open, 22% savanna, 15% scrub and 13% forest was predicted to represent a compromise at which conservation index and species diversity reached the same percentage of their maxima. In contrast, the current landscape is dominated by forest. 5. Synthesis and applications. We quantified the trade-off between two potential aspects of a landscape's conservation value for

  10. Local versus landscape-scale effects of savanna trees on grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riginos, C.; Grace, J.B.; Augustine, D.J.; Young, T.P.

    2009-01-01

    1. Savanna ecosystems - defined by the coexistence of trees and grasses - cover more than one-fifth the world's land surface and harbour most of the world's rangelands, livestock and large mammal diversity. Savanna trees can have a variety of effects on grasses, with consequences for the wild and domestic herbivores that depend on them. 2.Studies of these effects have focused on two different spatial scales. At the scale of individual trees, many studies have shown net positive effects of trees on sub-canopy grass nutrient concentrations and biomass. At the landscape scale, other studies have shown negative effects of high tree densities on grass productivity. These disparate results have led to different conclusions about the effects of trees on forage quality and ungulate nutrition in savannas. 3.We integrate these approaches by examining the effects of trees on grasses at both spatial scales and across a range of landscape-scale tree densities. 4.We quantified grass biomass, species composition and nutrient concentrations in these different contexts in an Acacia drepanolobium savanna in Laikipia, Kenya. Individual trees had positive effects on grass biomass, most likely because trees enrich soil nitrogen. Grass leaf phosphorus in sub-canopy areas, however, was depressed. The effects of individual trees could explain the effects of increasing landscape-scale tree cover for the biomass of only two of the four dominant grass species. 5.The negative effects of trees on grass and soil phosphorus, combined with depressed grass productivity in areas of high tree cover, suggest that ungulate nutrition may be compromised in areas with many trees. 6.Synthesis. We conclude that few, isolated trees may have positive local effects on savanna grasses and forage, but in areas of high tree density the negative landscape-scale effects of trees are likely to outweigh these positive effects. In savannas and other patchy landscapes, attempts to predict the consequences of changes

  11. Landscape-scale variation in plant community composition of an African savanna from airborne species mapping.

    PubMed

    Baldeck, C A; Colgan, M S; Féret, J B; Levick, S R; Martin, R E; Asner, G P

    2014-01-01

    Information on landscape-scale patterns in species distributions and community types is vital for ecological science and effective conservation assessment and planning. However, detailed maps of plant community structure at landscape scales seldom exist due to the inability of field-based inventories to map a sufficient number of individuals over large areas. The Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) collected hyperspectral and lidar data over Kruger National Park, South Africa, and these data were used to remotely identify > 500 000 tree and shrub crowns over a 144-km2 landscape using stacked support vector machines. Maps of community compositional variation were produced by ordination and clustering, and the importance of hillslope-scale topo-edaphic variation in shaping community structure was evaluated with redundancy analysis. This remote species identification approach revealed spatially complex patterns in woody plant communities throughout the landscape that could not be directly observed using field-based methods alone. We estimated that topo-edaphic variables representing catenal sequences explained 21% of species compositional variation, while we also uncovered important community patterns that were unrelated to catenas, indicating a large role for other soil-related factors in shaping the savanna community. Our results demonstrate the ability of airborne species identification techniques to map biodiversity for the evaluation of ecological controls on community composition over large landscapes. PMID:24640536

  12. Seasonality of fire weather strongly influences fire regimes in South Florida savanna-grassland landscapes.

    PubMed

    Platt, William J; Orzell, Steve L; Slocum, Matthew G

    2015-01-01

    Fire seasonality, an important characteristic of fire regimes, commonly is delineated using seasons based on single weather variables (rainfall or temperature). We used nonparametric cluster analyses of a 17-year (1993-2009) data set of weather variables that influence likelihoods and spread of fires (relative humidity, air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, soil moisture) to explore seasonality of fire in pine savanna-grassland landscapes at the Avon Park Air Force Range in southern Florida. A four-variable, three-season model explained more variation within fire weather variables than models with more seasons. The three-season model also delineated intra-annual timing of fire more accurately than a conventional rainfall-based two-season model. Two seasons coincided roughly with dry and wet seasons based on rainfall. The third season, which we labeled the fire season, occurred between dry and wet seasons and was characterized by fire-promoting conditions present annually: drought, intense solar radiation, low humidity, and warm air temperatures. Fine fuels consisting of variable combinations of pyrogenic pine needles, abundant C4 grasses, and flammable shrubs, coupled with low soil moisture, and lightning ignitions early in the fire season facilitate natural landscape-scale wildfires that burn uplands and across wetlands. We related our three season model to fires with different ignition sources (lightning, military missions, and prescribed fires) over a 13-year period with fire records (1997-2009). Largest wildfires originate from lightning and military ignitions that occur within the early fire season substantially prior to the peak of lightning strikes in the wet season. Prescribed ignitions, in contrast, largely occur outside the fire season. Our delineation of a pronounced fire season provides insight into the extent to which different human-derived fire regimes mimic lightning fire regimes. Delineation of a fire season associated with timing of

  13. Seasonality of Fire Weather Strongly Influences Fire Regimes in South Florida Savanna-Grassland Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Platt, William J.; Orzell, Steve L.; Slocum, Matthew G.

    2015-01-01

    Fire seasonality, an important characteristic of fire regimes, commonly is delineated using seasons based on single weather variables (rainfall or temperature). We used nonparametric cluster analyses of a 17-year (1993–2009) data set of weather variables that influence likelihoods and spread of fires (relative humidity, air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, soil moisture) to explore seasonality of fire in pine savanna-grassland landscapes at the Avon Park Air Force Range in southern Florida. A four-variable, three-season model explained more variation within fire weather variables than models with more seasons. The three-season model also delineated intra-annual timing of fire more accurately than a conventional rainfall-based two-season model. Two seasons coincided roughly with dry and wet seasons based on rainfall. The third season, which we labeled the fire season, occurred between dry and wet seasons and was characterized by fire-promoting conditions present annually: drought, intense solar radiation, low humidity, and warm air temperatures. Fine fuels consisting of variable combinations of pyrogenic pine needles, abundant C4 grasses, and flammable shrubs, coupled with low soil moisture, and lightning ignitions early in the fire season facilitate natural landscape-scale wildfires that burn uplands and across wetlands. We related our three season model to fires with different ignition sources (lightning, military missions, and prescribed fires) over a 13-year period with fire records (1997–2009). Largest wildfires originate from lightning and military ignitions that occur within the early fire season substantially prior to the peak of lightning strikes in the wet season. Prescribed ignitions, in contrast, largely occur outside the fire season. Our delineation of a pronounced fire season provides insight into the extent to which different human-derived fire regimes mimic lightning fire regimes. Delineation of a fire season associated with timing of

  14. Comparison of the driving forces of spring phenology among savanna landscapes by including combined spatial and temporal heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Likai; Southworth, Jane; Meng, Jijun

    2015-10-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal dynamics of land surface phenology (LSP) and its driving forces are critical for providing information relevant to short- and long-term decision making, particularly as it relates to climate response planning. With the third generation Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS3g) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data and environmental data from multiple sources, we investigated the spatio-temporal changes in the start of the growing season (SOS) in southern African savannas from 1982 through 2010 and determined its linkage to environmental factors using spatial panel data models. Overall, the SOS occurs earlier in the north compared to the south. This relates in part to the differences in ecosystems, with northern areas representing high rainfall and dense tree cover (mainly tree savannas), whereas the south has lower rainfall and sparse tree cover (mainly bush and grass savannas). From 1982 to 2010, an advanced trend was observed predominantly in the tree savanna areas of the north, whereas a delayed trend was chiefly found in the floodplain of the north and bush/grass savannas of the south. Different environmental drivers were detected within tree- and grass-dominated savannas, with a critical division being represented by the 800 mm isohyet. Our results supported the importance of water as a driver in this water-limited system, specifically preseason soil moisture, in determining the SOS in these water-limited, grass-dominated savannas. In addition, the research pointed to other, often overlooked, effects of preseason maximum and minimum temperatures on the SOS across the entire region. Higher preseason maximum temperatures led to an advance of the SOS, whereas the opposite effects of preseason minimum temperature were observed. With the rapid increase in global change research, this work will prove helpful for managing savanna landscapes and key to predicting how projected climate changes will affect

  15. Comparison of the driving forces of spring phenology among savanna landscapes by including combined spatial and temporal heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Likai; Southworth, Jane; Meng, Jijun

    2015-10-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal dynamics of land surface phenology (LSP) and its driving forces are critical for providing information relevant to short- and long-term decision making, particularly as it relates to climate response planning. With the third generation Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS3g) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data and environmental data from multiple sources, we investigated the spatio-temporal changes in the start of the growing season (SOS) in southern African savannas from 1982 through 2010 and determined its linkage to environmental factors using spatial panel data models. Overall, the SOS occurs earlier in the north compared to the south. This relates in part to the differences in ecosystems, with northern areas representing high rainfall and dense tree cover (mainly tree savannas), whereas the south has lower rainfall and sparse tree cover (mainly bush and grass savannas). From 1982 to 2010, an advanced trend was observed predominantly in the tree savanna areas of the north, whereas a delayed trend was chiefly found in the floodplain of the north and bush/grass savannas of the south. Different environmental drivers were detected within tree- and grass-dominated savannas, with a critical division being represented by the 800 mm isohyet. Our results supported the importance of water as a driver in this water-limited system, specifically preseason soil moisture, in determining the SOS in these water-limited, grass-dominated savannas. In addition, the research pointed to other, often overlooked, effects of preseason maximum and minimum temperatures on the SOS across the entire region. Higher preseason maximum temperatures led to an advance of the SOS, whereas the opposite effects of preseason minimum temperature were observed. With the rapid increase in global change research, this work will prove helpful for managing savanna landscapes and key to predicting how projected climate changes will affect

  16. Monitoring Contrasting Land Management in the Savanna Landscapes of Northern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, Donald C.; Petty, Aaron M.; Williamson, Grant J.; Brook, Barry W.; Bowman, David M. J. S.

    2008-04-01

    We compared measures of ecosystem state across six adjacent land-tenure groups in the intact tropical savanna landscapes of northern Australia. Tenure groups include two managed by Aboriginal owners, two national parks, a cluster of pastoral leases, and a military training area. This information is of relevance to the debate about the role of indigenous lands in the Australian conservation estate. The timing and frequency of fire was determined by satellite imagery; the biomass and composition of the herb-layer and the abundance of large feral herbivores by field surveys; and weediness by analysis of a Herbarium database. European tenures varied greatly in fire frequencies but were consistently burnt earlier in the dry season than the two Aboriginal tenures, the latter having intermediate fire frequencies. Weeds were more frequent in the European tenures, whilst feral animals were most abundant in the Aboriginal tenures. This variation strongly implies a signature of current management and/or recent environmental history. We identify indices suitable for monitoring of management outcomes in an extensive and sparsely populated landscape. Aboriginal land offers a unique opportunity for the conservation of biodiversity through the maintenance of traditional fire regimes. However, without financial support, traditional practices may prove unsustainable both economically and because exotic weeds and feral animals will alter fire regimes. An additional return on investment in Aboriginal land management is likely to be improved livelihoods and health outcomes for these disadvantaged communities.

  17. A Multi-scale Spatial Analysis of Native and Exotic Plant Species Richness Within a Mixed-Disturbance Oak Savanna Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schetter, Timothy A.; Walters, Timothy L.; Root, Karen V.

    2013-09-01

    Impacts of human land use pose an increasing threat to global biodiversity. Resource managers must respond rapidly to this threat by assessing existing natural areas and prioritizing conservation actions across multiple spatial scales. Plant species richness is a useful measure of biodiversity but typically can only be evaluated on small portions of a given landscape. Modeling relationships between spatial heterogeneity and species richness may allow conservation planners to make predictions of species richness patterns within unsampled areas. We utilized a combination of field data, remotely sensed data, and landscape pattern metrics to develop models of native and exotic plant species richness at two spatial extents (60- and 120-m windows) and at four ecological levels for northwestern Ohio's Oak Openings region. Multiple regression models explained 37-77 % of the variation in plant species richness. These models consistently explained more variation in exotic richness than in native richness. Exotic richness was better explained at the 120-m extent while native richness was better explained at the 60-m extent. Land cover composition of the surrounding landscape was an important component of all models. We found that percentage of human-modified land cover (negatively correlated with native richness and positively correlated with exotic richness) was a particularly useful predictor of plant species richness and that human-caused disturbances exert a strong influence on species richness patterns within a mixed-disturbance oak savanna landscape. Our results emphasize the importance of using a multi-scale approach to examine the complex relationships between spatial heterogeneity and plant species richness.

  18. 23 CFR 752.4 - Landscape development.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 23 Highways 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Landscape development. 752.4 Section 752.4 Highways... ROADSIDE DEVELOPMENT § 752.4 Landscape development. (a) Landscape development, which includes landscaping... landscaping and environmental design. (b) Landscape development should have provisions for plant...

  19. 23 CFR 752.4 - Landscape development.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 23 Highways 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Landscape development. 752.4 Section 752.4 Highways... ROADSIDE DEVELOPMENT § 752.4 Landscape development. (a) Landscape development, which includes landscaping... landscaping and environmental design. (b) Landscape development should have provisions for plant...

  20. 23 CFR 752.4 - Landscape development.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 23 Highways 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Landscape development. 752.4 Section 752.4 Highways... ROADSIDE DEVELOPMENT § 752.4 Landscape development. (a) Landscape development, which includes landscaping... landscaping and environmental design. (b) Landscape development should have provisions for plant...

  1. 23 CFR 752.4 - Landscape development.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 23 Highways 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Landscape development. 752.4 Section 752.4 Highways... ROADSIDE DEVELOPMENT § 752.4 Landscape development. (a) Landscape development, which includes landscaping... landscaping and environmental design. (b) Landscape development should have provisions for plant...

  2. 23 CFR 752.4 - Landscape development.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 23 Highways 1 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Landscape development. 752.4 Section 752.4 Highways... ROADSIDE DEVELOPMENT § 752.4 Landscape development. (a) Landscape development, which includes landscaping... landscaping and environmental design. (b) Landscape development should have provisions for plant...

  3. Spatial Patterns of Plant δ13C and δ15N Along a Topoedaphic Gradient in a Subtropical Savanna Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, E.; Boutton, T. W.; Liu, F.; Wu, B.; Archer, S. R.

    2005-12-01

    δ13C and δ15N values of plants are powerful tools in physiological ecology, ecosystem science, and global biogeochemistry, yet we know relatively little about their variation and controls at the landscape scale. In this study, we investigated landscape-scale spatial variations in the foliar isotopic composition of 3 woody plant species across a 308 m topoedaphic gradient, along which soil texture and plant resources (water and nitrogen availability) varied from upland (86 m) to lowland (84 m) portions of the landscape. The study was conducted in a subtropical savanna at the La Copita Research Area, approximately 60 km west of Corpus Christi, TX. Foliar δ13C, δ15N, leaf nitrogen concentration ([N]), and specific leaf area (SLA) were measured on all individuals of Prosopis glandulosa, Condalia hookeri, and Zanthoxylum fagara present within a belt transect 308 m long x 12 m wide. Soil texture, available soil moisture, and total N were measured at 1 m intervals along the center-line of the belt transect. Clay content, available soil moisture, and soil total N were all negatively correlated with elevation along the transect. Leaf δ13C and δ15N values for all 3 species increased by 1-4 o/oo with decreasing elevation along the transect. Contrary to theory and previous studies, δ13C values were highest where soil water was most available, suggesting that some other variable could be overriding or interacting with water availability. Foliar [N] appeared to exert the strongest control over landscape-level variation, and was positively correlated with δ13C of all species (R 2 = 0.58, p<0.0001). Since leaf [N] is positively related to photosynthetic capacity, plants with high [N] are likely to have low Ci/Ca ratios and therefore higher δ13C values. δ15N values of Zanthoxylum and Condalia were positively correlated with leaf [N] and soil water availability; however, these relationships were absent for Prosopis, an N-fixing tree legume. We speculate that the

  4. Burning, fire prevention and landscape productions among the Pemon, Gran Sabana, Venezuela: toward an intercultural approach to wildland fire management in Neotropical Savannas.

    PubMed

    Sletto, Bjørn; Rodriguez, Iokiñe

    2013-01-30

    Wildland fire management in savanna landscapes increasingly incorporates indigenous knowledge to pursue strategies of controlled, prescriptive burning to control fuel loads. However, such participatory approaches are fraught with challenges because of contrasting views on the role of fire and the practices of prescribed burning between indigenous and state fire managers. Also, indigenous and state systems of knowledge and meanings associated with fire are not monolithic but instead characterized by conflicts and inconsistencies, which require new, communicative strategies in order to develop successful, intercultural approaches to fire management. This paper is based on long-term research on indigenous Pemon social constructs, rules and regulations regarding fire use, and traditional system of prescribed burning in the Gran Sabana, Venezuela. The authors review factors that act as constraints against successful intercultural fire management in the Gran Sabana, including conflicting perspectives on fire use within state agencies and in indigenous communities, and propose strategies for research and communicative planning to guide future efforts for more participatory and effective fire management. PMID:23246908

  5. Cerrado: The Brazilian Savanna as a Hot Spot of Agricultural Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galford, G. L.; Coe, M. T.

    2012-12-01

    Changes in agricultural land uses are one of the largest forces of global change and have been particularly severe in the Cerrado (savanna) of Brazil, altering the cycling of carbon, nitrogen and water. Globally, land use accounts for over 30% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and is the second largest source of all greenhouse gas emissions. In the Cerrado, land use in pasture and croplands now accounts for over 50% of the landscape. About half of the total carbon in the Cerrado is stored below ground in root mass and soil carbon. Deforestation, tillage or other changes in land use can release relatively large amounts of carbon to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Nitrogen losses in the form of the greenhouse nitrous oxide (300 CO2-eq) are very low in the native Cerrado environment. There is the potential for significant N2O flux increase as agriculture grows because most crops grown in the Cerrado are either nitrogen-fixing or require additions of N fertilizers. We show that even at modest rates of N fixation and/or fertilization, there could be losses of N2O. The water cycle for this region also changes with land use change, significantly decreasing evapotranspiration and increasing water yield and stream discharge. Here, we present a spatial and temporal model of carbon and nitrogen fluxes and water budget changes as a function of historical and future scenarios of land-cover and land-use change. We utilize historical maps of land cover change through remote sensing, from which we can estimate area deforested, area in cropland and other spatial inputs for modeling water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes. Future scenarios of agricultural development are produced by the SimBrazil project. These scenarios represent plausible futures of land-cover and land use-change ranging from business-as-usual to conservation trajectories. This analysis includes sensitivity analysis of different land use types as well as different levels of production

  6. Development of grasslands and savannas in East Africa during the Neogene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serling, T. E.

    1992-03-01

    The development of savanna-type grasslands is a relatively recent phenomena in East Africa. The stable carbon isotopic composition of paleosol carbonates from fossil localities in East Africa show that C 4 vegetation was present by amout 8-9 Ma but made up only a relatively small proportion of the total biomass. Although the proportion of C 4 vegetation increased in the Pliocene and Pleistocene there is no evidence for the development of virtually pure C 4 grasslands, as is characterized by tropical grasslands today, until Middle Pleistocene times. This has important implications concerning the evolution of mammals in Africa, including hominids.

  7. Quantification of Canopy Structure and its Implication on Radiative Transfer, Carbon Dioxide and Energy Flux Densities in a Heterogeneous Oak-Grass Savanna Ecosystem at the Landscape Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnentag, O.; Ryu, Y.; Vargas, R.; Baldocchi, D.

    2008-12-01

    Oak-grass savanna ecosystems are characterized by pronounced heterogeneity in canopy structure at the landscape scale. Due to this heterogeneity the accurate quantification of canopy structure still remains a major challenge. The objectives of this study are to quantify clumping index, leaf area index (LAI) and the leaf inclination angle distribution function (LIADF) to describe the canopy structure of an oak-grass savanna ecosystem in California, USA. This information is critical for utilizing a radiative transfer model to compute CO2 and energy flux densities. We used four established techniques (LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyzer, digital hemispherical photography, the Tracing Radiation and Architecture of Canopies (TRAC) instrument, and a robotics railroad radiometer) to measure clumping index and LAI within a 300 x 300 m plot centered at an eddy covariance (EC) tower. Leaf inclination angle distributions were assessed from digital photographs at multiple height intervals through analysis with a public domain image processing software. Preliminary analysis of the data showed that mean values for clumping index and LAI obtained from the various instruments are in good agreement, thus reducing the uncertainty inherent in the measurements. Our leaf angle measurements revealed the canopy to be predominantly erectophile at all height intervals, an ecological consequence of the fact that oak leaves must be erect to reduce thermal load.

  8. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    PubMed

    Legge, Sarah; Garnett, Stephen; Maute, Kim; Heathcote, Joanne; Murphy, Steve; Woinarski, John C Z; Astheimer, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch) and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch)--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2) with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires). Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food), different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty), and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation). Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign' fire regime

  9. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia’s Tropical Savannas

    PubMed Central

    Legge, Sarah; Garnett, Stephen; Maute, Kim; Heathcote, Joanne; Murphy, Steve; Woinarski, John C. Z.; Astheimer, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species–one endangered (Gouldian finch) and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch)—from two large areas (> 2,830 km2) with initial contrasting fire regimes (‘extreme’: frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus ‘benign’: less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires). Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food), different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty), and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation). Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the

  10. A tree-shrub-grass competition model and its evaluation in a semiarid savanna landscape with complex morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, X.; Istanbulluoglu, E.

    2010-12-01

    The composition and structure of semiarid ecosystems are governed by the availability of water and energy and their variation in space and time. By modulating energy and water distribution, geomorphic structure of landscapes creates niches of ecosystem productivity, which often lead to differences in vegetation functional types and species composition. In central New Mexico, ecosystem patterns clearly reflect such controls. In desert elevations, the north facing slopes typically host tree-grass coexistence while south facing slopes are primarily shrub dominated. In this study we present an ecohydrological model of tree-shrub-grass competition driven by rainfall and solar radiation. The model is first used to examine the observed vegetation patterns, and their dynamic response to climate fluctuations in a basin with pronounced topography in central New Mexico. The role of topography is explored by running the model on flat land surface under identical climate characteristics. Finally, model sensitivity to climate is investigated by changing various climate forcing variables including annual precipitation, and rainfall variability. Our model results underscore the importance of topography-climate-interaction on vegetation evolution in complex terrain, and suggest the need for a dynamic representation of vegetation in land surface models for climate change predictions over decadal time scales in semiarid regions.

  11. Linking remotely sensed forage quality estimates from WorldView-2 multispectral data with cattle distribution in a savanna landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zengeya, Fadzai M.; Mutanga, Onisimo; Murwira, Amon

    2013-04-01

    Remote sensing has recently been used to map forage quality for rangeland management. However, the validity of the remotely sensed forage quality can best be assessed when it connects well with the animal unit. In this study we used the new WorldView-2 multispectral imagery to estimate and map forage quality (nitrogen concentration) as a step to explain GPS based cattle distribution in a rangeland of Southeastern Zimbabwe. Nitrogen concentration was successfully estimated and mapped (Rcv2 = 0.66, relative error = 0.13%) using partial least squares regression (PLSR). The integration of GPS based cattle distribution patterns with forage quality in a GIS showed that cattle locations significantly clustered in areas of high forage quality. The results of this study suggest that new multispectral data with unique band settings such as WorldView-2 improves the estimation and mapping of forage quality in rangelands at landscape level. In addition, our results indicate that remotely sensed forage quality can be used to explain herbivore distribution, particularly cattle grazing patterns in rangelands.

  12. Developing Remote Sensing Methodology to Characterize Savanna Vegetation Structure and Composition for Rangeland Monitoring and Conservation Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsalyuk, M.; Kelly, M.; Getz, W.

    2012-12-01

    Rangeland ecosystems cover more than fifty percent of earth's land surface, host considerable biodiversity and provide vital ecosystem services. However, rangelands around the world face degradation due to climate change, land use change and overgrazing. Human-driven changes to fire and grazing regimes enhance degradation processes. The purpose of this research is to develop a remote sensing methodology to characterize the structure and composition of savanna vegetation, in order to improve the ability of conservation managers to monitor and address such degradation processes. Our study site, Etosha National Park, is a 22,270 km^2 semi-arid savanna located in north-central Namibia. Fencing and provision of artificial water sources for wildlife have changed the natural grazing patterns, which has caused bush encroachment and vegetation degradation across the park. We used MODIS and Landsat ETM+ 7 satellite imagery to map the vegetation type, dominant species, density, cover and biomass of herbaceous and woody vegetation in Etosha. We used imagery for 2007-2012 together with extensive field sampling, both in the wet and the dry seasons. At each sampling point, we identified the dominant species and measured the density, canopy size, height and diameter of the trees and shrubs. At only 31% of the sampling points, the identified vegetation type matched the class assigned at the 1996 classification. This may indicate significant habitat modifications in Etosha. We used two parallel analytical approaches to correlate between radiometric and field data. First, we show that traditional supervised classification identifies well five classes: bare soil, grassland, steppe, shrub savanna and tree savanna. We then refined this classification to enable us to identify the species composition in an area utilizing the phenological differences in timing and duration of greenness of the dominant tree and shrub species in Etosha. Specifically, using multi-date images we were able to

  13. DNA Methylation Landscapes of Human Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    van Iperen, Liesbeth; Suchiman, H. Eka D.; Tobi, Elmar W.; Carlotti, Françoise; de Koning, Eelco J. P.; Slagboom, P. Eline; Heijmans, Bastiaan T.; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M.

    2015-01-01

    Remodelling the methylome is a hallmark of mammalian development and cell differentiation. However, current knowledge of DNA methylation dynamics in human tissue specification and organ development largely stems from the extrapolation of studies in vitro and animal models. Here, we report on the DNA methylation landscape using the 450k array of four human tissues (amnion, muscle, adrenal and pancreas) during the first and second trimester of gestation (9,18 and 22 weeks). We show that a tissue-specific signature, constituted by tissue-specific hypomethylated CpG sites, was already present at 9 weeks of gestation (W9). Furthermore, we report large-scale remodelling of DNA methylation from W9 to W22. Gain of DNA methylation preferentially occurred near genes involved in general developmental processes, whereas loss of DNA methylation mapped to genes with tissue-specific functions. Dynamic DNA methylation was associated with enhancers, but not promoters. Comparison of our data with external fetal adrenal, brain and liver revealed striking similarities in the trajectory of DNA methylation during fetal development. The analysis of gene expression data indicated that dynamic DNA methylation was associated with the progressive repression of developmental programs and the activation of genes involved in tissue-specific processes. The DNA methylation landscape of human fetal development provides insight into regulatory elements that guide tissue specification and lead to organ functionality. PMID:26492326

  14. Carbon Accumulation and Nitrogen Pool Recovery during Transitions from Savanna to Forest in Central Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellegrini, A.; Hoffmann, W. A.; Franco, A. C.

    2014-12-01

    landscapes. In turn, the link between forest development and nitrogen pool recovery creates a framework for evaluating potential positive feedbacks on savanna-forest boundaries.

  15. Influence of Fire Mosaics, Habitat Characteristics and Cattle Disturbance on Mammals in Fire-Prone Savanna Landscapes of the Northern Kimberley

    PubMed Central

    Radford, Ian J.; Gibson, Lesley A.; Corey, Ben; Carnes, Karin; Fairman, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Patch mosaic burning, in which fire is used to produce a mosaic of habitat patches representative of a range of fire histories (‘pyrodiversity’), has been widely advocated to promote greater biodiversity. However, the details of desired fire mosaics for prescribed burning programs are often unspecified. Threatened small to medium-sized mammals (35 g to 5.5 kg) in the fire-prone tropical savannas of Australia appear to be particularly fire-sensitive. Consequently, a clear understanding of which properties of fire mosaics are most instrumental in influencing savanna mammal populations is critical. Here we use mammal capture data, remotely sensed fire information (i.e. time since last fire, fire frequency, frequency of late dry season fires, diversity of post-fire ages in 3 km radius, and spatial extent of recently burnt, intermediate and long unburnt habitat) and structural habitat attributes (including an index of cattle disturbance) to examine which characteristics of fire mosaics most influence mammals in the north-west Kimberley. We used general linear models to examine the relationship between fire mosaic and habitat attributes on total mammal abundance and richness, and the abundance of the most commonly detected species. Strong negative associations of mammal abundance and richness with frequency of late dry season fires, the spatial extent of recently burnt habitat (post-fire age <1 year within 3 km radius) and level of cattle disturbance were observed. Shrub cover was positively related to both mammal abundance and richness, and availability of rock crevices, ground vegetation cover and spatial extent of ≥4 years unburnt habitat were all positively associated with at least some of the mammal species modelled. We found little support for diversity of post-fire age classes in the models. Our results indicate that both a high frequency of intense late dry season fires and extensive, recently burnt vegetation are likely to be detrimental to mammals in the

  16. Influence of Fire Mosaics, Habitat Characteristics and Cattle Disturbance on Mammals in Fire-Prone Savanna Landscapes of the Northern Kimberley.

    PubMed

    Radford, Ian J; Gibson, Lesley A; Corey, Ben; Carnes, Karin; Fairman, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Patch mosaic burning, in which fire is used to produce a mosaic of habitat patches representative of a range of fire histories ('pyrodiversity'), has been widely advocated to promote greater biodiversity. However, the details of desired fire mosaics for prescribed burning programs are often unspecified. Threatened small to medium-sized mammals (35 g to 5.5 kg) in the fire-prone tropical savannas of Australia appear to be particularly fire-sensitive. Consequently, a clear understanding of which properties of fire mosaics are most instrumental in influencing savanna mammal populations is critical. Here we use mammal capture data, remotely sensed fire information (i.e. time since last fire, fire frequency, frequency of late dry season fires, diversity of post-fire ages in 3 km radius, and spatial extent of recently burnt, intermediate and long unburnt habitat) and structural habitat attributes (including an index of cattle disturbance) to examine which characteristics of fire mosaics most influence mammals in the north-west Kimberley. We used general linear models to examine the relationship between fire mosaic and habitat attributes on total mammal abundance and richness, and the abundance of the most commonly detected species. Strong negative associations of mammal abundance and richness with frequency of late dry season fires, the spatial extent of recently burnt habitat (post-fire age <1 year within 3 km radius) and level of cattle disturbance were observed. Shrub cover was positively related to both mammal abundance and richness, and availability of rock crevices, ground vegetation cover and spatial extent of ≥4 years unburnt habitat were all positively associated with at least some of the mammal species modelled. We found little support for diversity of post-fire age classes in the models. Our results indicate that both a high frequency of intense late dry season fires and extensive, recently burnt vegetation are likely to be detrimental to mammals in the

  17. The climatic sensitivity of the forest, savanna and forest-savanna transition in tropical South America.

    PubMed

    Hirota, Marina; Nobre, Carlos; Oyama, Marcos Daisuke; Bustamante, Mercedes M C

    2010-08-01

    *We used a climate-vegetation-natural fire (CVNF) conceptual model to evaluate the sensitivity and vulnerability of forest, savanna, and the forest-savanna transition to environmental changes in tropical South America. *Initially, under current environmental conditions, CVNF model results suggested that, in the absence of fires, tropical forests would extend c. 200 km into the presently observed savanna domain. *Environmental changes were then imposed upon the model in temperature, precipitation and lightning strikes. These changes ranged from 2 to 6 degrees C warming, +10 to -20% precipitation change and 0 to 15% increase in lightning frequency, which, in aggregate form, represent expected future climatic changes in response to global warming and deforestation. *The most critical vegetation changes are projected to take place over the easternmost portions of the basin, with a widening of the forest-savanna transition. The transition width would increase from 150 to c. 300 km, with tree cover losses ranging from 20 to 85%. This means that c. 6% of the areas currently covered by forests could potentially turn into grass-dominated savanna landscapes. The mechanism driving tree cover reduction consists of the combination of less favorable climate conditions for trees and more fire activity. In addition, this sensitivity analysis predicts that the current dry shrubland vegetation of northeast Brazil could potentially turn into a bare soil landscape. PMID:20609116

  18. Genomic Landscape of Developing Male Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tin-Lap; Pang, Alan Lap-Yin; Rennert, Owen M.; Chan, Wai-Yee

    2010-01-01

    Spermatogenesis is a highly orchestrated developmental process by which spermatogonia develop into mature spermatozoa. This process involves many testis- or male germ cell-specific gene products whose expressions are strictly regulated. In the past decade the advent of high-throughput gene expression analytical techniques has made functional genomic studies of this process, particularly in model animals such as mice and rats, feasible and practical. These studies have just begun to reveal the complexity of the genomic landscape of the developing male germ cells. Over 50% of the mouse and rat genome are expressed during testicular development. Among transcripts present in germ cells, 40% – 60% are uncharacterized. A number of genes, and consequently their associated biological pathways, are differentially expressed at different stages of spermatogenesis. Developing male germ cells present a rich repertoire of genetic processes. Tissue-specific as well as spermatogenesis stage-specific alternative splicing of genes exemplifies the complexity of genome expression. In addition to this layer of control, discoveries of abundant presence of antisense transcripts, expressed psuedogenes, non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) including long ncRNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), and retrogenes all point to the presence of multiple layers of expression and functional regulation in male germ cells. It is anticipated that application of systems biology approaches will further our understanding of the regulatory mechanism of spermatogenesis.† PMID:19306351

  19. The biosimilar insulin landscape: current developments.

    PubMed

    Lavalle-González, Fernando J; Khatami, Hootan

    2014-10-01

    Biosimilar insulins have the potential to increase access to treatment among patients with diabetes mellitus, reduce treatment costs, and expand market competition. The patents for several insulins are soon to expire, meaning there is room for copies of these products--or 'biosimilars'--to join the marketplace. It is vital that similar safety and efficacy to the innovator product is demonstrated for biosimilars. This presents many possible manufacturing and regulatory challenges. Complex manufacturing processes mean that even small differences between manufacturers can have a potential impact on the final product. Several companies are currently developing biosimilar insulins or are already producing these products in emerging markets with different regulatory requirements. For insulin biosimilars to be licensed in more established markets, manufacturers will need to meet the rigid criteria set out by agencies such as the European Medicines Agency and US Food and Drug Administration, and fulfill several pre-clinical, clinical, and pharmacovigilance surveillance criteria. As a result of differing regulatory requirements, there are possible gaps in the publically available clinical data to support the safety and efficacy of biosimilar insulins from around the world current as of July 2014. This review summarizes the current biosimilar insulin landscape. PMID:25414937

  20. EFFECTS OF PRESCRIBED FIRES ON NITROGEN FLUXES IN SAVANNA FORMATIONS OF CENTRAL BRAZIL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Savanna ecosystems are controlled by the interactions between water and nutrient availability. The savannas of Central Brazil (Cerrado) are the second most extensive plant formation in tropical South America with two million km2 of area. The Cerrado landscape contains different ...

  1. Landscape development, forest fires, and wilderness management.

    PubMed

    Wright, H E

    1974-11-01

    Both the landforms and the vegetation of the earth develop to states that are maintained in dynamic equilibrium. Short-term equilibrium of a hillslope or river valley results from intersection between erosional and depositional tendencies, controlled by gravitational force and the efficiency of the transporting medium. Long-term equilibrium of major landforms depends on crustal uplift and the resistance of the rock to weathering. In most parts of the world landscape evolves toward a peneplain, but the reduction rate approaches zero as the cycle progresses, and the counteracting force of crustal uplift intercedes before the end form is reached. Davis described this theoretical model in elegant terms. Leopold and Hack have provided a new and quantitative understanding of short-range geomorphic interactions that tend to discredit the Davisian model in the eyes of many. However, the substitute models of quasi-equilibrium or dynamic equilibrium merely describe short-range situations in which this or that Davisian stage is maintained despite uplift or downwasting. Given crustal stability and an unchanging climate, landforms would presumably still evolve through Davisian stages. However, the Davis model cannot be tested, for despite tremendous inventions in geochronology and impressive advances in stratigraphic knowledge, we cannot yet establish the rates or even the fact of crustal uplift in most areas. We are left with an unresolvable problem, for the sedimentary records of erosional history are largely inaccessible, undatable, and indecipherable, at least in the detail necessary to describe long-term evolution of the landscape. We know more about the evolution and maintenance of vegetation assemblages than about landform evolution, for even long-term vegetation sequences are within the scope of radiocarbon dating, and the biostratigraphic record is detailed. Even here, however, distinctions between short-term and long-term situations must be made, so that Clements

  2. Lidar remote sensing of savanna biophysical attributes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwenzi, David

    plot level biomass into wall-to-wall maps that provide more ecological information. We evaluated the utility of three spatial modeling approaches to address this problem: deterministic methods, geostatistical methods and an image segmentation approach. Overall, the mean pixel biomass estimated by the 3 approaches did not differ significantly but the output maps showed marked differences in the estimation precision and ability of each model to mimic the primary variable's trend across the landscape. The results emphasized the need for future satellite lidar missions to consider increasing the sampling intensity across track so that biomass observations are made and characterized at the scale at which they vary. We used data from the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an airborne photon counting lidar sensor developed by NASA Goddard to simulate ICESat-2 data. We segmented each transect into different block sizes and calculated canopy top and mean ground elevation based on the structure of the histogram of the block's aggregated photons. Our algorithm was able to compute canopy height and generate visually meaningful vegetation profiles at MABEL's signal and noise levels but a simulation of the expected performance of ICESat-2 by adjusting MABEL data's detected number of signal and noise photons to that predicted using ATLAS instrument model design cases indicated that signal photons will be substantially lower. The lower data resolution reduces canopy height estimation precision especially in areas of low density vegetation cover. Given the clear difficulties in processing simulated ATLAS data, it appears unlikely that it will provide the kind of data required for mapping of the biophysical properties of savanna vegetation. Rather, resources are better concentrated on preparing for the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission, a waveform lidar mission scheduled to launch by the end of this decade. In addition to the full waveform technique

  3. Lidar remote sensing of savanna biophysical attributes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwenzi, David

    plot level biomass into wall-to-wall maps that provide more ecological information. We evaluated the utility of three spatial modeling approaches to address this problem: deterministic methods, geostatistical methods and an image segmentation approach. Overall, the mean pixel biomass estimated by the 3 approaches did not differ significantly but the output maps showed marked differences in the estimation precision and ability of each model to mimic the primary variable's trend across the landscape. The results emphasized the need for future satellite lidar missions to consider increasing the sampling intensity across track so that biomass observations are made and characterized at the scale at which they vary. We used data from the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an airborne photon counting lidar sensor developed by NASA Goddard to simulate ICESat-2 data. We segmented each transect into different block sizes and calculated canopy top and mean ground elevation based on the structure of the histogram of the block's aggregated photons. Our algorithm was able to compute canopy height and generate visually meaningful vegetation profiles at MABEL's signal and noise levels but a simulation of the expected performance of ICESat-2 by adjusting MABEL data's detected number of signal and noise photons to that predicted using ATLAS instrument model design cases indicated that signal photons will be substantially lower. The lower data resolution reduces canopy height estimation precision especially in areas of low density vegetation cover. Given the clear difficulties in processing simulated ATLAS data, it appears unlikely that it will provide the kind of data required for mapping of the biophysical properties of savanna vegetation. Rather, resources are better concentrated on preparing for the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission, a waveform lidar mission scheduled to launch by the end of this decade. In addition to the full waveform technique

  4. Installation restoration general environmental technology development. Task 2. Incineration test of explosives contaminated soils at Savanna Army Depot activity, Savanna, Illinois. Final report Sep 82-Jan 84

    SciTech Connect

    Noland, J.W.; Marks, J.R.; Marks, P.J.

    1984-04-01

    This report presents the results of a comprehensive study which successfully demonstrates the effectiveness of incineration as a decontamination method for explosives contaminated soils. The project included: incineration equipment and test site selection, soil characterization and reactivity testing, development of a detailed test plan and site plan safety submission, environmental permitting, evaluation of materials handling procedures, incineration testing, and evaluation of results.

  5. Trade-offs between savanna woody plant diversity and carbon storage in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Socolar, Jacob B; Elsen, Paul R; Giam, Xingli

    2016-10-01

    Incentivizing carbon storage can be a win-win pathway to conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change. In savannas, however, the situation is more complex. Promoting carbon storage through woody encroachment may reduce plant diversity of savanna endemics, even as the diversity of encroaching forest species increases. This trade-off has important implications for the management of biodiversity and carbon in savanna habitats, but has rarely been evaluated empirically. We quantified the nature of carbon-diversity relationships in the Brazilian Cerrado by analyzing how woody plant species richness changed with carbon storage in 206 sites across the 2.2 million km(2) region at two spatial scales. We show that total woody plant species diversity increases with carbon storage, as expected, but that the richness of endemic savanna woody plant species declines with carbon storage both at the local scale, as woody biomass accumulates within plots, and at the landscape scale, as forest replaces savanna. The sharpest trade-offs between carbon storage and savanna diversity occurred at the early stages of carbon accumulation at the local scale but the final stages of forest encroachment at the landscape scale. Furthermore, the loss of savanna species quickens in the final stages of forest encroachment, and beyond a point, savanna species losses outpace forest species gains with increasing carbon accumulation. Our results suggest that although woody encroachment in savanna ecosystems may provide substantial carbon benefits, it comes at the rapidly accruing cost of woody plant species adapted to the open savanna environment. Moreover, the dependence of carbon-diversity trade-offs on the amount of savanna area remaining requires land managers to carefully consider local conditions. Widespread woody encroachment in both Australian and African savannas and grasslands may present similar threats to biodiversity. PMID:26919289

  6. Towards developing Kentucky's landscape change maps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zourarakis, D.P.; Lambert, S.C.; Palmer, M.

    2003-01-01

    The Kentucky Landscape Snapshot Project, a NASA-funded project, was established to provide a first baseline land cover/land use map for Kentucky. Through this endeavor, change detection will be institutionalized, thus aiding in decision-making at the local, state, and federal planning levels. 2002 Landsat 7 imaginery was classified following and Anderson Level III scheme, providing an enhancement over the 1992 USGS National Land Cover Data Set. Also as part of the deliverables, imperviousness and canopy closure layers were produced with the aid of IKONOS high resolution, multispectral imagery.

  7. Nutrient limitation in tropical savannas across multiple scales and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A

    2016-02-01

    Nutrients have been hypothesized to influence the distribution of the savanna biome through two possible mechanisms. Low nutrient availability may restrict growth rates of trees, thereby allowing for intermittent fires to maintain low tree cover; alternatively, nutrient deficiency may even place an absolute constraint on the ability of forests to form, independent of fire. However, we have little understanding of the scales at which nutrient limitation operates, what nutrients are limiting, and the mechanisms that influence how nutrient limitation regulates savanna-forest transitions. Here, I review literature, synthesize existing data, and present a simple calculation of nutrient demand to evaluate how nutrient limitation may regulate the distribution of the savanna biome. The literature primarily supports the hypothesis that nutrients may interact dynamically with fire to restrict the transition of savanna into forest. A compilation of indirect metrics of nutrient limitation suggest that nitrogen and phosphorus are both in short supply and may limit plants. Nutrient demand calculations provided a number of insights. First, trees required high rates of nitrogen and phosphorus supply relative to empirically determined inputs. Second, nutrient demand increased as landscapes approached the transition point between savanna and forest. Third, the potential for fire-driven nutrient losses remained high throughout transitions, which may exaggerate limitation and could be a key feedback stabilizing the savanna biome. Fourth, nutrient limitation varied between functional groups, with fast-growing forest species having substantially greater nutrient demand and a higher susceptibility to fire-driven nutrient losses. Finally, African savanna trees required substantially larger amounts of nutrients supplied at greater rates, although this varied across plant functional groups. In summary, the ability of nutrients to control transitions emerges at individual and landscape

  8. Establishing Chromatin Regulatory Landscape during Mouse Preimplantation Development.

    PubMed

    Lu, Falong; Liu, Yuting; Inoue, Azusa; Suzuki, Tsukasa; Zhao, Keji; Zhang, Yi

    2016-06-01

    How the chromatin regulatory landscape in the inner cell mass cells is established from differentially packaged sperm and egg genomes during preimplantation development is unknown. Here, we develop a low-input DNase I sequencing (liDNase-seq) method that allows us to generate maps of DNase I-hypersensitive site (DHS) of mouse preimplantation embryos from 1-cell to morula stage. The DHS landscape is progressively established with a drastic increase at the 8-cell stage. Paternal chromatin accessibility is quickly reprogrammed after fertilization to the level similar to maternal chromatin, while imprinted genes exhibit allelic accessibility bias. We demonstrate that transcription factor Nfya contributes to zygotic genome activation and DHS formation at the 2-cell stage and that Oct4 contributes to the DHSs gained at the 8-cell stage. Our study reveals the dynamic chromatin regulatory landscape during early development and identifies key transcription factors important for DHS establishment in mammalian embryos. PMID:27259149

  9. Climatic Limits on Landscape Development in the Northwestern Himalaya

    PubMed

    Brozović; Burbank; Meigs

    1997-04-25

    The interaction between tectonism and erosion produces rugged landscapes in actively deforming regions. In the northwestern Himalaya, the form of the landscape was found to be largely independent of exhumation rates, but regional trends in mean and modal elevations, hypsometry (frequency distribution of altitude), and slope distributions were correlated with the extent of glaciation. These observations imply that in mountain belts that intersect the snowline, glacial and periglacial processes place an upper limit on altitude, relief, and the development of topography irrespective of the rate of tectonic processes operating. PMID:9110972

  10. a Cultural Landscape Information System Developed with Open Source Tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chudyk, C.; Müller, H.; Uhler, M.; Würriehausen, F.

    2013-07-01

    Since 2010, the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany has developed a cultural landscape information system as a process to secure and further enrich aggregate data about its cultural assets. In an open dialogue between governing authorities and citizens, the intention of the project is an active cooperation of public and private actors. A cultural landscape information system called KuLIS was designed as a web platform, combining semantic wiki software with a geographic information system. Based on data sets from public administrations, the information about cultural assets can be extended and enhanced by interested participants. The developed infrastructure facilitates local information accumulation through a crowdsourcing approach. This capability offers new possibilities for e-governance and open data developments. The collaborative approach allows governing authorities to manage and supervise official data, while public participation enables affordable information acquisition. Gathered cultural heritage information can provide incentives for touristic valorisation of communities or concepts for strengthening regional identification. It can also influence political decisions in defining significant cultural regions worth of protecting from industrial influences. The presented cultural landscape information allows citizens to influence the statewide development of cultural landscapes in a democratic way.

  11. Career Development in Canada: A Changing Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kellett, Ralph

    In Canada, responsibility for the career development delivery system is divided among federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal levels of government. Education comes under provincial/territorial jurisdiction. Career development varies across provinces and often from school to school. There are eight transition points throughout the school…

  12. Tree and stand transpiration in a Midwestern bur oak savanna after elm encroachment and restoration thinning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Asbjornsen, H.; Tomer, M.D.; Gomez-Cardenas, M.; Brudvig, L.A.; Greenan, C.M.; Schilling, K.

    2007-01-01

    Oak savannas, once common in the Midwest, are now isolated remnants within agricultural landscapes. Savanna remnants are frequently encroached by invasive trees to become woodlands. Thinning and prescribed burning can restore savanna structure, but the ecohydrological effects of managing these remnants are poorly understood. In this study, we measured sap flow (Js) to quantify transpiration in an Iowa bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) savanna woodland encroached by elms (Ulmus americana), and in an adjacent restored savanna after thinning to remove elms, during summer 2004. Savanna oaks had greater mean daily Js (35.9 L dm-2 day-1) than woodland oaks (20.7 L dm-2 day-1) and elms (12.4 L dm-2 day-1). The response of Js to vapor pressure deficit (D) was unexpectedly weak, although oaks in both stands showed negative correlation between daily Js and D for D > 0.4 kPa. An earlier daily peak in Js in the elm trees showed a possible advantage for water uptake. As anticipated, the woodland's stand transpiration was greater (1.23 mm day-1) than the savanna's (0.35 mm day-1), yet the savanna achieved 30% of the woodland's transpiration with only 11% of its sapwood area. The difference in transpiration influenced water table depths, which were 2 m in the savanna and 6.5 m in the woodland. Regionally, row-crop agriculture has increased groundwater recharge and raised water tables, providing surplus water that perhaps facilitated elm encroachment. This has implications for restoration of savanna remnants. If achieving a savanna ecohydrology is an aim of restoration, then restoration strategies may require buffers, or targeting of large or hydrologically isolated remnants. ?? 2007.

  13. The dynamic landscape of exceptional language development.

    PubMed

    Peltzer-Karpf, Annemarie

    2012-06-01

    Developmental neurocognitive studies have shown that the brain systems supporting the emergence of sensory and cognitive abilities display different profiles of neuroplasticity. The research question posed here is to what extent sensory deprivation influences the dynamics of language development. The findings reported are grounded in studies with vision-impaired children with sighted peers featured as controls (age range 18 months to 3 years). Their data are matched against findings on advanced language development in blind children (age range: from 6 to 10 years; N = 12) and hearing-impaired and deaf children (age range: from 5 to 11 years; N = 20). The data give evidence that language acquisition in sensory-impaired children follows the same overall developmental path with respect to macrostructural changes and the succession of phase-shifts. System-specific temporal discrepancies expressed in protracted phase-shifts and delayed increases of variability are most evident in the early phases. Self-organizing maps (SOMs) help to visualize individual and group-specific variation. The dynamic framework used (1) shows a higher sensibility to system-specific changes, (2) enhances the informative value of the data assessed, and (3) facilitates reliable prognoses concerning the child's cognitive and linguistic future. PMID:22612355

  14. Beyond Precipitation: Physiographic Gradients Dictate the Relative Importance of Environmental Drivers on Savanna Vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Campo-Bescós, Miguel A.; Muñoz-Carpena, Rafael; Kaplan, David A.; Southworth, Jane; Zhu, Likai; Waylen, Peter R.

    2013-01-01

    Background Understanding the drivers of large-scale vegetation change is critical to managing landscapes and key to predicting how projected climate and land use changes will affect regional vegetation patterns. This study aimed to improve our understanding of the role, magnitude and spatial distribution of the key environmental factors driving vegetation change in southern African savanna, and how they vary across physiographic gradients. Methodology/Principal Findings We applied Dynamic Factor Analysis (DFA), a multivariate times series dimension reduction technique to ten years of monthly remote sensing data (MODIS-derived normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI) and a suite of environmental covariates: precipitation, mean and maximum temperature, soil moisture, relative humidity, fire and potential evapotranspiration. Monthly NDVI was described by cyclic seasonal variation with distinct spatiotemporal patterns in different physiographic regions. Results support existing work emphasizing the importance of precipitation, soil moisture and fire on NDVI, but also reveal overlooked effects of temperature and evapotranspiration, particularly in regions with higher mean annual precipitation. Critically, spatial distributions of the weights of environmental covariates point to a transition in the importance of precipitation and soil moisture (strongest in grass-dominated regions with precipitation<750 mm) to fire, potential evapotranspiration, and temperature (strongest in tree-dominated regions with precipitation>950 mm). Conclusions/Significance We quantified the combined spatiotemporal effects of an available suite of environmental drivers on NDVI across a large and diverse savanna region. The analysis supports known drivers of savanna vegetation but also uncovers important roles of temperature and evapotranspiration. Results highlight the utility of applying the DFA approach to remote sensing products for regional analyses of landscape change in the context of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdullah, Saiful Arif; Hezri, Adnan A.

    2008-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Saiful Arif; Hezri, Adnan A

    2008-11-01

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

  17. The contribution of trees and grasses to productivity of an Australian tropical savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, C. E.; Beringer, J.; Evans, B.; Hutley, L. B.; McHugh, I.; Tapper, N. J.

    2015-12-01

    Savanna ecosystems cover 20 % of the global land surface and account for 25 % of global terrestrial carbon uptake. They support one fifth of the world's human population and are one of the most important ecosystems on our planet. Savanna productivity is a product of the interplay between trees and grass that co-dominate savanna landscapes and are maintained through interactions with climate and disturbance (fire, land use change, herbivory). In this study, we evaluate the temporally dynamic partitioning of overstory and understory carbon dioxide fluxes in Australian tropical savanna using overstory and understory eddy covariance measurements. Over a two year period (September 2012 to October 2014) the overall net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of the savanna was 506.2 (±22 SE) g C m-2 yr-1. The total gross primary productivity (GPP) was 2267.1 (±80 SE) g C m-2 yr-1, of which the understory contributed 32 %. The understory contribution was strongly seasonal, with most GPP occurring in the wet season (40 % of total ecosystem in the wet season and 18 % in the dry). This study is the first to elucidate the temporal dynamics of savanna understory and overstory carbon flux components explicitly using observational information. Understanding grass productivity is crucial for evaluating fuel loads, as is tree productivity for quantifying the tree carbon sink. This information will contribute to a significant refinement of the representation of savannas in models, as well as improved understanding of relative tree-grass productivity and competition for resources.

  18. The contribution of trees and grasses to productivity of an Australian tropical savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Caitlin E.; Beringer, Jason; Evans, Bradley; Hutley, Lindsay B.; McHugh, Ian; Tapper, Nigel J.

    2016-04-01

    Savanna ecosystems cover 20 % of the global land surface and account for 25 % of global terrestrial carbon uptake. They support one fifth of the world's human population and are one of the most important ecosystems on our planet. Savanna productivity is a product of the interplay between trees and grass that co-dominate savanna landscapes and are maintained through interactions with climate and disturbance (fire, land use change, herbivory). In this study, we evaluate the temporally dynamic partitioning of overstory and understory carbon dioxide fluxes in Australian tropical savanna using overstory and understory eddy covariance measurements. Over a 2-year period (September 2012 to October 2014) the overall net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of the savanna was 506.2 (±22 SE) g C m-2 yr-1. The total gross primary productivity (GPP) was 2267.1 (±80 SE) g C m-2 yr-1, of which the understory contributed 32 %. The understory contribution was strongly seasonal, with most GPP occurring in the wet season (40 % of total ecosystem in the wet season and 18 % in the dry). This study is the first to elucidate the temporal dynamics of savanna understory and overstory carbon flux components explicitly using observational information. Understanding grass productivity is crucial for evaluating fuel loads, as is tree productivity for quantifying the tree carbon sink. This information will contribute to a significant refinement of the representation of savannas in models, as well as improved understanding of relative tree-grass productivity and competition for resources.

  19. Tectonic and Climatic Controls on Landscape Development of Puerto Rico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, R. D.; Salas, M.; Colon, A.

    2007-12-01

    The northeastern Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is an exhumed Cenozoic island arc situated between the inactive Muertos trench to the south and the highly oblique Puerto Rican Trench to the north that forms the left- lateral strike-slip plate margin with North America. The rectangular island's long axis of 175 km parallels the east trending strike of the trenches with a near constant width of between 50 and 60 km. Puerto Rico receives the NE trade winds and has a tropical monsoonal climate. Puerto Rico has a distinct midline asymmetry with north draining watershed about twice the length and five times as large as south draining watershed. This midline asymmetry is more pronounced along the islands eastern third than the central or western thirds. River outlet spacing, mountain front sinuosity, and comparative hypsometry display similar east to west variability consistent with greater denudation in the eastern parts of the island. The southwestern fifth of the island is underlain by serpentinized ocean crust that forms the large diapiric Monte del Estado uplift. Active diapirism is indicated by highly asymmetric watersheds of the surrounding rivers and tributaries. Stream length gradient index calculated from 1:20,000 scale map data and compared to fault locations show little correlation suggesting that active faults does not significantly control Puerto Rico's landscape. Quantified morphologic data from the eastern two-thirds of Puerto Rico are consistent with a landscape developed in response to the precipitation derived from NE trade winds while serpentinite diapirism dominates the western third of the island. Individual active faults of Puerto Rico do not control the landscape development.

  20. Land use scenarios development and impacts assessment on vegetation carbon/nitrogen sequestration in the West African Sudan savanna watershed, Benin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chabi, A.

    2015-12-01

    AbstractBackground: Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), being developed through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requires information on the carbon/nitrogen stocks in the plant biomass for predicting future climate under scenarios development. The development of land use scenarios in West Africa is needed to predict future impacts of change in the environment and the socio-economic status of rural communities. The study aims at developing land use scenario based on mitigation strategy to climate change as an issue of contributing for carbon and nitrogen sequestration, the condition 'food focused' as a scenario based crop production and 'financial investment' as scenario based on an economic development pathway, and to explore the possible future temporal and spatial impacts on vegetation carbon/nitrogen sequestration/emission and socio-economic status of rural communities. Preliminary results: BEN-LUDAS (Benin-Land Use DyNamic Simulator) model, carbon and nitrogen equations, remote sensing and socio-economic data were used to predict the future impacts of each scenario in the environment and human systems. The preliminary results which are under analysis will be presented soon. Conclusion: The proposed BEN-LUDAS models will help to contribute to policy decision making at the local and regional scale and to predict future impacts of change in the environment and socio-economic status of the rural communities. Keywords: Land use scenarios development, BEN-LUDAS, socio-economic status of rural communities, future impacts of change, assessment, West African Sudan savanna watershed, Benin

  1. Regulated Noise in the Epigenetic Landscape of Development and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Pujadas, Elisabet; Feinberg, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    In this Perspective, we synthesize past and present observations in the field of epigenetics to propose a model in which the epigenome can modulate cellular plasticity in development and disease by regulating the effects of noise. In this model, the epigenome facilitates phase transitions in development and mediates robustness during cell fate commitment. After grounding our argument in a discussion of stochastic noise and non-genetic heterogeneity, we explore the hypothesis that distinct chromatin domains, which are known to be dysregulated in disease and remodeled during development, might underlie cellular plasticity more generally. We then present a modern portrayal of Waddington's epigenetic landscape through a mathematical formalism. We speculate that this new framework might impact how we approach the unraveling of disease mechanisms. In particular, it may help to explain the observation that the variability of DNA methylation and gene expression are increased in cancer, which leads to tumor cell heterogeneity. PMID:22424224

  2. 36 CFR 219.12 - Collaboration and cooperatively developed landscape goals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Collaborative Planning for Sustainability § 219.12 Collaboration and cooperatively developed landscape goals. (a) Collaboration. To promote sustainability, the responsible official must actively engage the American...

  3. 36 CFR 219.12 - Collaboration and cooperatively developed landscape goals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Collaborative Planning for Sustainability § 219.12 Collaboration and cooperatively developed landscape goals. (a) Collaboration. To promote sustainability, the responsible official must actively engage the American...

  4. Contributions of woody and herbaceous vegetation to tropical savanna ecosystem productivity: a quasi-global estimate.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Jon; Bird, Michael I; Vellen, Lins; Miranda, Antonio Carlos; Veenendaal, Elmar M; Djagbletey, Gloria; Miranda, Heloisa S; Cook, Garry; Farquhar, Graham D

    2008-03-01

    To estimate the relative contributions of woody and herbaceous vegetation to savanna productivity, we measured the 13C/12C isotopic ratios of leaves from trees, shrubs, grasses and the surface soil carbon pool for 22 savannas in Australia, Brazil and Ghana covering the full savanna spectrum ranging from almost pure grassland to closed woodlands on all three continents. All trees and shrubs sampled were of the C3 pathway and all grasses of the C4 pathway with the exception of Echinolaena inflexa (Poir.) Chase, a common C3 grass of the Brazilian cerrado. By comparing the carbon isotopic compositions of the plant and carbon pools, a simple model relating soil delta 13C to the relative abundances of trees + shrubs (woody plants) and grasses was developed. The model suggests that the relative proportions of a savanna ecosystem's total foliar projected cover attributable to grasses versus woody plants is a simple and reliable index of the relative contributions of grasses and woody plants to savanna net productivity. Model calibrations against woody tree canopy cover made it possible to estimate the proportion of savanna productivity in the major regions of the world attributable to trees + shrubs and grasses from ground-based observational maps of savanna woodiness. Overall, it was estimated that 59% of the net primary productivity (Np) of tropical savannas is attributable to C4 grasses, but that this proportion varies significantly within and between regions. The C4 grasses make their greatest relative contribution to savanna Np in the Neotropics, whereas in African regions, a greater proportion of savanna Np is attributable to woody plants. The relative contribution of C4 grasses in Australian savannas is intermediate between those in the Neotropics and Africa. These differences can be broadly ascribed to large scale differences in soil fertility and rainfall. PMID:18171668

  5. Tissue landscape alters adjacent cell fates during Drosophila egg development

    PubMed Central

    Manning, Lathiena; Weideman, Ann Marie; Peercy, Bradford; Starz-Gaiano, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular signaling molecules control many biological processes, but the influence of tissue architecture on the local concentrations of these factors is unclear. Here we examine this issue in the Drosophila egg chamber, where two anterior cells secrete Unpaired (Upd) to activate Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) signaling in the epithelium. High STAT signaling promotes cell motility. Genetic analysis shows that all cells near the Upd source can respond. However, using upright imaging, we show surprising asymmetries in STAT activation patterns, suggesting that some cells experience different Upd levels than predicted by their location. We develop a three-dimensional mathematical model to characterize the spatio-temporal distribution of the activator. Simulations show that irregular tissue domains can produce asymmetric distributions of Upd, consistent with results in vivo. Mutant analysis substantiates this idea. We conclude that cellular landscape can heavily influence the effect of diffusible activators and should be more widely considered. PMID:26082073

  6. Hydraulic Lift As a Determinant of Tree-Grass Coexistence on Savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, K.; D'Odorico, P.

    2014-12-01

    The coexistence of woody plants and grasses in savannas is determined by a complex set of interacting factors, including resource availability and disturbance. Existing theories explaining coexistence focus on competitive relations or disturbances preventing the system from attaining a state with complete grass or tree dominance. The effect of hydraulic lift on interactions between woody plants and grasses and the dynamics of savanna ecosystems remains poorly understood. Here, we develop a mechanistic model to investigate the role of hydraulic lift on the stability of savannas. The model accounts both for competition for soil water in the shallow soil layer and fire-induced disturbance. We find that hydraulic lift expands the parameter range in which savannas are stable at the expense of woodlands. Our study shows that hydraulic lift can be an important mechanism responsible for coexistence of woody plants and grasses in savannas.

  7. Landscape development in the context of soil distribution in Jordan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucke, Bernhard

    2016-04-01

    Processes of landscape change can be assessed by studying the distribution of soil types and their connection to climate, the geology, and land use. In this context, even in areas where no virgin soils are available, paleosols pre-dating the introduction of agriculture can be utilized for estimating potential soil development without human impact. Soil distribution in Jordan follows closely the climate and topography: specific soil orders can be found within the dry and hot subtropical, subhumid-semiarid, semiarid-arid, and arid regions. The pattern of soil and paleosol distribution in Jordan points to an important role of the geology (bedrock and relief), and of climate in their formation, both locally such as in the vicinity of the ancient site of Abila, and regionally in the whole country. In contrast, the impact of land use appears relatively limited: overall erosion has been estimated not to exceed the expected geological rate, and Jordan is considered to be in the stable state of completed geologic erosion. This is further supported by strongly varying soil properties and archaeological material on agricultural fields, which suggests that overall erosion processes during historical periods were limited. The presence of a quite uniform 4 m thick loess cover around the site of Umm el-Jimal in north-east Jordan suggests that aeolian deposits are probably the by far dominating parent material of current soils in northern Jordan. In this context, an apparent division of some soil profiles into subsoil and topsoil could correspond to dominant in-situ soil formation out of bedrock weathering at the bottom, while the upper part of the profiles could correspond to aeolian dust as main parent material. A stone line or lithological discontinuity separating these two parts of the profile might refer to a major erosion event. If true, this could indicate that current soils in Jordan might represent a mixture of at least two phases of soil development with probably

  8. Model development based on a landscape oriented catchment unit concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cárdenas Gaudry, María.; Gutknecht, Dieter

    2010-05-01

    This paper is a companion paper to our project proposal "Hydrologic model framework for river basins with a range of hydroclimatic and bioclimatic conditions" (HS4.1). It intends to present a few ideas of how to bridge available concepts of landscape classification (as an example the Holdridge Life Zones classification scheme will be used) and hydrological approaches related to the Dominant Process Concept. The focus is on the development of landscape related indices that consider water balance characteristics (e.g.: the relationship ET/P), seasonality measures, and/or runoff generation process signatures at the landscape scale. Methods applied to consider runoff generation in hydrological modelling are commonly based on concepts such as the Hydrological Response Unit (HRU) concept (e.g. Flügel, 1995), the "hydrotop" concept (e.g. Reszler et al., 2006) and the Dominant Runoff Processes concept (DRP, e.g. Schmocker-Fackel and Scherrer, 2007). They are best suited to smaller scale catchment description. It is hypothesized here that additional/new concepts are necessary if the mechanismus that control runoff generation on a larger, i.e. regional scale should be captured. Hydrological reasoning and first results from regional studies indicate that appropiately chosen "signatures" can be found to characterise differences in the control of the runoff processes in different catchments situations. Examples might be "indicators" which include the soil moisture state of a basin or the event runoff coefficient derived from hydrological model simulatons or from runoff observations, respectly (e.g. Samuel et al. 2008; Merz & Blöschl, 2009a). The presentation will demostrate a few results from first studies on the above outlined concept. The study uses data from a set of Austrian catchments prepared for the studies reported in Merz & Blöschl (2009a). References: Flügel, W.-A. (1995): Delineating hydrological response units by geographical information system analyses for

  9. Recent developments in computer modeling add ecological realism to landscape genetics

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background / Question / Methods A factor limiting the rate of progress in landscape genetics has been the shortage of spatial models capable of linking life history attributes such as dispersal behavior to complex dynamic landscape features. The recent development of new models...

  10. The SLMTA programme: Transforming the laboratory landscape in developing countries

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Katy; Maruta, Talkmore; Luman, Elizabeth T.; Nkengasong, John N.

    2015-01-01

    Background Efficient and reliable laboratory services are essential to effective and well-functioning health systems. Laboratory managers play a critical role in ensuring the quality and timeliness of these services. However, few laboratory management programmes focus on the competencies required for the daily operations of a laboratory in resource-limited settings. This report provides a detailed description of an innovative laboratory management training tool called Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) and highlights some challenges, achievements and lessons learned during the first five years of implementation (2009–2013) in developing countries. Programme SLMTA is a competency-based programme that uses a series of short courses and work-based learning projects to effect immediate and measurable laboratory improvement, while empowering laboratory managers to implement practical quality management systems to ensure better patient care. A SLMTA training programme spans from 12 to 18 months; after each workshop, participants implement improvement projects supported by regular supervisory visits or on-site mentoring. In order to assess strengths, weaknesses and progress made by the laboratory, audits are conducted using the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) checklist, which is based on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15189 requirements. These internal audits are conducted at the beginning and end of the SLMTA training programme. Conclusion Within five years, SLMTA had been implemented in 617 laboratories in 47 countries, transforming the laboratory landscape in developing countries. To our knowledge, SLMTA is the first programme that makes an explicit connection between the performance of specific management behaviours and routines and ISO 15189 requirements. Because of this close relationship, SLMTA is

  11. Prospects of photon counting lidar for savanna ecosystem structural studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwenzi, D.; Lefsky, M. A.

    2014-11-01

    Discrete return and waveform lidar have demonstrated a capability to measure vegetation height and the associated structural attributes such as aboveground biomass and carbon storage. Since discrete return lidar (DRL) is mainly suitable for small scale studies and the only existing spaceborne lidar sensor (ICESat-GLAS) has been decommissioned, the current question is what the future holds in terms of large scale lidar remote sensing studies. The earliest planned future spaceborne lidar mission is ICESat-2, which will use a photon counting technique. To pre-validate the capability of this mission for studying three dimensional vegetation structure in savannas, we assessed the potential of the measurement approach to estimate canopy height in a typical savanna landscape. We used data from the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an airborne photon counting lidar sensor developed by NASA Goddard. MABEL fires laser pulses in the green (532 nm) and near infrared (1064 nm) bands at a nominal repetition rate of 10 kHz and records the travel time of individual photons that are reflected back to the sensor. The photons' time of arrival and the instrument's GPS positions and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) orientation are used to calculate the distance the light travelled and hence the elevation of the surface below. A few transects flown over the Tejon ranch conservancy in Kern County, California, USA were used for this work. For each transect we extracted the data from one near infrared channel that had the highest number of photons. We segmented each transect into 50 m, 25 m and 10 m long blocks and aggregated the photons in each block into a histogram based on their elevation values. We then used an expansion window algorithm to identify cut off points where the cumulative density of photons from the highest elevation resembles the canopy top and likewise where such cumulative density from the lowest elevation resembles mean ground elevation. These cut off

  12. Development of a catchment/landscape erosion prediction model (MINErosion 4) for post-mining landscapes in Central Queensland, Australia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalifa, Ashraf; Yu, Bofu; Ghadiri, Hossain; Carroll, Chris; So, Hwat-Bing

    2010-05-01

    Open-cut coal mining in Central Queensland involves the breaking up of overburden that overlies the coal seams using explosives, followed by removal with draglines which results in the formation of extensive overburden spoil-piles with steep slopes at the angle of repose (approximately 75 % or 37o). These spoil-piles are found in long multiple rows, with heights of up to 60 or 70 m above the original landscapes. They are generally highly saline and dispersive and hence highly erosive. Legislation requires that these spoil-piles be rehabilitated into a stable self sustaining ecosystem with no off-site pollution. The first stage in the rehabilitation of these landscapes is the lowering of slopes to create a landscape that is stable against geotechnical failure and erosion. This is followed by revegetation generally with grasses as pioneer vegetation to further reduce erosion and a mixture of native shrubs and trees. Minimizing erosion and excessive on-site discharges of sediment into the working areas may result in the temporary cessation of mining operation with significant financial consequences, while off site discharges may breach the mining lease conditions. The average cost of rehabilitation is approximately 22,000 per ha. With more than 50,000 ha of such spoil-piles in Queensland at present, the total cost of rehabilitation facing the industry is very high. Most of this comprised the cost of reshaping the landscape, largely associated with the amount of material movement necessary to achieve the desired landscape. Since soil and spoil-piles vary greatly in their erodibilities, a hillslope erosion model MINErosion 3 (this conference) was developed to determine a cost effective combination of slope length, slope gradient and vegetation that will result in acceptable rates of erosion. This model was useful to determine the design parameters for the construction of a suitable post-mining landscape that meets the required erosion criteria. However, the mining

  13. LORICA - A new model for linking landscape and soil profile evolution: Development and sensitivity analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temme, Arnaud J. A. M.; Vanwalleghem, Tom

    2016-05-01

    Soils and landscapes evolve in tandem. Landscape position is a strong determinant of vertical soil development, which has often been formalized in the catena concept. At the same time, soil properties are strong determinants of geomorphic processes such as overland erosion, landsliding and creep. We present a new soilscape evolution model; LORICA, to study these numerous interactions between soil and landscape development. The model is based on the existing landscape evolution model LAPSUS and the soil formation model MILESD. The model includes similar soil formation processes as MILESD, but the main novelties include the consideration of more layers and the dynamic adaption of the number of layers as a function of the soil profile's heterogeneity. New processes in the landscape evolution component include a negative feedback of vegetation and armouring and particle size selectivity of the erosion-deposition process. In order to quantify these different interactions, we present a full sensitivity analysis of the input parameters. First results show that the model successfully simulates various soil-landscape interactions, leading to outputs where the surface changes in the landscape clearly depend on soil development, and soil changes depend on landscape location. Sensitivity analysis of the model confirms that soil and landscape interact: variables controlling amount and position of fine clay have the largest effect on erosion, and erosion variables control among others the amount of chemical weathering. These results show the importance of particle size distribution, and especially processes controlling the presence of finer clay particles that are easily eroded, both for the resulting landscape form as for the resulting soil profiles. Further research will have to show whether this is specific to the boundary conditions of this study or a general phenomenon.

  14. EXTINCTION DEBT OF PROTECTED AREAS IN DEVELOPING LANDSCAPES

    EPA Science Inventory

    To conserve biological diversity, protected-area networks must be based not only upon current species distributions but also the landscape's long-term capacity to support populations. We used spatially-explicit population models requiring detailed habitat and demographic data to ...

  15. Abandoned pastoral settlements provide concentrations of resources for savanna birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Söderström, Bo; Reid, Robin S.

    2010-03-01

    Knowledge is poor of how fertilization affects birds in grasslands. We investigated the impact on birds of abandoned pastoral settlements that historically received very high levels of livestock dung. A total of 28 abandoned settlements and 74 landscape controls - in Koyake Group Ranch and Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya - were surveyed for birds during the wet and/or dry season. Our results showed that bird species richness and total abundance increased within 200 m of abandoned pastoral settlements, particularly during the dry season when foraging resources on the savanna are limited. The high concentrations of nutrients inside abandoned settlements favoured the abundance of Diptera and Coleoptera, as shown by invertebrate surveys performed during the dry season on a subset of 32 sites. Both total numbers and dry biomass of these two invertebrate orders were higher on abandoned settlements in comparison with the surrounding landscape. We conclude that higher fertilization levels cause a temporal and spatial redistribution of birds on the savanna. Livestock fertilization and bird abundance are probably linked through an increase in abundance of invertebrate food upon which birds feed in an opportunistic fashion.

  16. Landscape development during a glacial cycle: modeling ecosystems from the past into the future.

    PubMed

    Lindborg, Tobias; Brydsten, Lars; Sohlenius, Gustav; Strömgren, Mårten; Andersson, Eva; Löfgren, Anders

    2013-05-01

    Understanding how long-term abiotic and biotic processes are linked at a landscape level is of major interest for analyzing future impact on humans and the environment from present-day societal planning. This article uses results derived from multidisciplinary work at a coastal site in Sweden, with the aim of describing future landscape development. First, based on current and historical data, we identified climate change, shoreline displacement, and accumulation/erosion processes as the main drivers of landscape development. Second, site-specific information was combined with data from the Scandinavian region to build models that describe how the identified processes may affect the site development through time. Finally, the process models were combined to describe a whole interglacial period. With this article, we show how the landscape and ecosystem boundaries are affected by changing permafrost conditions, peat formation, sedimentation, human land use, and shoreline displacement. PMID:23619798

  17. An overview of nitrogen cycling in a semiarid savanna: some implications for management and conservation in a large African park.

    PubMed

    Coetsee, Corli; Jacobs, Shayne; Govender, Navashni

    2012-02-01

    Nitrogen (N) is a major control on primary productivity and hence on the productivity and diversity of secondary producers and consumers. As such, ecosystem structure and function cannot be understood without a comprehensive understanding of N cycling and dynamics. This overview describes the factors that govern N distribution and dynamics and the consequences that variable N dynamics have for structure, function and thresholds of potential concern (TPCs) for management of a semiarid southern African savanna. We focus on the Kruger National Park (KNP), a relatively intact savanna, noted for its wide array of animal and plant species and a prized tourist destination. KNP's large size ensures integrity of most ecosystem processes and much can be learned about drivers of ecosystem structure and function using this park as a baseline. Our overview shows that large scale variability in substrates exists, but do not necessarily have predictable consequences for N cycling. The impact of major drivers such as fire is complex; at a landscape scale little differences in stocks and cycling were found, though at a smaller scale changes in woody cover can lead to concomitant changes in total N. Contrasting impacts of browsers and grazers on N turnover has been recorded. Due to the complexity of this ecosystem, we conclude that it will be complicated to draw up TPCs for most transformations and pools involved with the N cycle. However, we highlight in which cases the development of TPCs will be possible. PMID:22057696

  18. An Overview of Nitrogen Cycling in a Semiarid Savanna: Some Implications for Management and Conservation in a Large African Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coetsee, Corli; Jacobs, Shayne; Govender, Navashni

    2012-02-01

    Nitrogen (N) is a major control on primary productivity and hence on the productivity and diversity of secondary producers and consumers. As such, ecosystem structure and function cannot be understood without a comprehensive understanding of N cycling and dynamics. This overview describes the factors that govern N distribution and dynamics and the consequences that variable N dynamics have for structure, function and thresholds of potential concern (TPCs) for management of a semiarid southern African savanna. We focus on the Kruger National Park (KNP), a relatively intact savanna, noted for its wide array of animal and plant species and a prized tourist destination. KNP's large size ensures integrity of most ecosystem processes and much can be learned about drivers of ecosystem structure and function using this park as a baseline. Our overview shows that large scale variability in substrates exists, but do not necessarily have predictable consequences for N cycling. The impact of major drivers such as fire is complex; at a landscape scale little differences in stocks and cycling were found, though at a smaller scale changes in woody cover can lead to concomitant changes in total N. Contrasting impacts of browsers and grazers on N turnover has been recorded. Due to the complexity of this ecosystem, we conclude that it will be complicated to draw up TPCs for most transformations and pools involved with the N cycle. However, we highlight in which cases the development of TPCs will be possible.

  19. Plot-level aboveground woody biomass modeling using canopy height and auxiliary remote sensing data in a heterogeneous savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwenzi, David; Lefsky, Michael Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Remote sensing studies aiming at assessing woody biomass have demonstrated a strong relationship between canopy height and plot-level aboveground biomass, but most of these studies focused on closed canopy forests. To date, a few studies have examined the strength and reliability of this relationship using large footprint lidar in savannas. Furthermore, there have been few studies of appropriate methods for the comparison of models that relate aboveground biomass to canopy height metrics without consideration of variation in species composition (generic models) to models developed for individual species composition or vegetation types. We developed generic models using the classical least-squares regression modeling approach to relate selected canopy height metrics to aboveground woody biomass in a savanna landscape. Hierarchical Bayesian analysis (HBA) was then used to explore the implications of using generic or composition-specific models. Our study used the estimates of aboveground biomass from field data, canopy height estimates from airborne discrete return lidar, and a proxy for canopy cover (the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) from Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper data, collected from the oak savannas of Tejon Ranch Conservancy in Kern County, California. Models were developed and analyzed using estimates of canopy height and aboveground biomass calculated at the level of 50-m diameter plots, comparable with footprint diameter of existing large footprint spaceborne lidar data. The two generic models that incorporated canopy cover proxies performed better than one model that did not use canopy cover information. From the HBA, we found out that for all models both the intercept and slope had interspecific variability. The valley oak dominated plots consistently had higher slopes and intercepts, whereas the plots dominated by blue oaks had the lowest. However, the intercept and slope values of the composition-specific models did not differ much from the

  20. Forecasting spatial plant dynamics under future climate change in a semiarid savanna ecosystem with complex topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, X.; Fatichi, S.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Vivoni, E. R.

    2011-12-01

    The space and time dynamics of savanna ecosystems in semiarid regions is tightly related to fluctuations and changes in the climate, and the competition strategies of individual plants for resources. In most parts of the southwest U.S., various General Circulation Models (GCMs) predict general warming trends with reduced annual precipitation amounts, and increased frequency of extreme droughts and wet periods in the 21st century. Despite the potential risks posed by climate change on vegetation patterns and hydrology, our ability to predict such changes at the catchment and regional scales is limited. In this study, we used a recently developed spatially explicit Cellular Automata Tree-Grass-Shrub Simulator (CATGraSS) to investigate the impacts of climate change on plant dynamics in a semiarid catchment (>3km2) located in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) in central New Mexico, USA. In the catchment north-facing slopes are characterized by a juniper-grass savanna, and south-facing slopes by creosote bush and grass species. Initialized by LIDAR-derived tree locations and simulated grass and shrub patterns obtained from model calibration, CATGraSS is forced by a weather generator, AWE-GEN, used to downscale an ensemble of eight different GCM outputs at the study basin, producing multiple stochastic realizations of a transient climate scenario for the next hundred years. The ensemble simulations are used to examine the uncertainty in vegetation response and develop probabilistic plant distribution maps in relation to landscape morphology. This study highlights the importance of understanding local scale plant-to-plant interactions and the role of climate variability in determining climate change impacts on vegetation dynamics at varying spatial scales.

  1. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    SciTech Connect

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L.

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  2. Future landscapes of the Colorado Plateau: impacts of energy development

    SciTech Connect

    deBuys, W.E. Jr.; Doughty, R.W.

    1982-07-01

    This study is part of a continuing effort to analyze basic energy issues. The issues addressed here include the transformations taking place on the Colorado Plateau in the areas of mine reclamation, wildlife protection, surface and groundwater allocation, air quality management, and boomtown growth. This study treats these subjects in a unified fashion as constituent elements of a single entity called the cultual landscape. That term refers not only to the geophysical realities of topography, vegetation, and animal life, but also to the cultural realities of man's impact on environment and on himself. By taking this holistic approach, the study aspires to render a more complete and balanced portrait of the region's future than one usually finds in the literature of impact assessment.

  3. Tropical Forests, Savannas and Grasslands: Bridging the Knowledge Gap Between Ecology and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudena, M.; Dekker, S. C.; van Bodegom, P. M.; Cuesta, B.; Higgins, S. I.; Lehsten, V.; Reick, C. H.; Rietkerk, M.; Scheiter, S.; Yin, Z.; Zavala, M. A.; Brovkin, V.

    2014-12-01

    Due to global climate change, tropical forest, savanna, and grassland biomes, and the transitions between them, are expected to undergo major changes in the future. Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) are largely used to understand vegetation dynamics under present climate, and to predict its changes under future conditions. However, several DGVMs display high uncertainty in predicting vegetation in tropical areas. Here we present the results of a comparative analysis of three different DGVMs (JSBACH, LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE and aDGVM) with regard to their different representations of the ecological mechanisms and feedbacks that determine the forest, savanna and grassland biomes, in an attempt to bridge the knowledge gap between ecology and global modelling. We compared model outcomes to observed tree cover along a mean annual precipitation gradient in Africa. Through these comparisons, and by drawing on the large number of recent studies that have delivered new insights into the ecology of tropical ecosystems in general, and of savannas in particular, we identify two main mechanisms that need an improved representation in the DGVMs. The first mechanism encompasses water limitation to tree growth, and tree-grass competition for water, which are key factors in determining savanna occurrence in arid and semi-arid areas. The second is a grass-fire feedback, which maintains both forest and savannas in mesic areas. Grasses constitute the majority of the fuel load, and at the same time benefit from the openness of the landscape after fires, since they recover faster than trees. Additionally, these two mechanisms are better represented when the models also include tree life stages (adults and seedlings), and distinguish between fire-prone and shade-tolerant savanna trees, and fire-resistant and shade-intolerant forest trees. Including these basic elements could improve the predictive ability of the DGVMs, not only under current climate conditions but also and especially

  4. Forests, savannas, and grasslands: bridging the knowledge gap between ecology and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudena, M.; Dekker, S. C.; van Bodegom, P. M.; Cuesta, B.; Higgins, S. I.; Lehsten, V.; Reick, C. H.; Rietkerk, M.; Scheiter, S.; Yin, Z.; Zavala, M. A.; Brovkin, V.

    2015-03-01

    The forest, savanna, and grassland biomes, and the transitions between them, are expected to undergo major changes in the future due to global climate change. Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) are very useful for understanding vegetation dynamics under the present climate, and for predicting its changes under future conditions. However, several DGVMs display high uncertainty in predicting vegetation in tropical areas. Here we perform a comparative analysis of three different DGVMs (JSBACH, LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE and aDGVM) with regard to their representation of the ecological mechanisms and feedbacks that determine the forest, savanna, and grassland biomes, in an attempt to bridge the knowledge gap between ecology and global modeling. The outcomes of the models, which include different mechanisms, are compared to observed tree cover along a mean annual precipitation gradient in Africa. By drawing on the large number of recent studies that have delivered new insights into the ecology of tropical ecosystems in general, and of savannas in particular, we identify two main mechanisms that need improved representation in the examined DGVMs. The first mechanism includes water limitation to tree growth, and tree-grass competition for water, which are key factors in determining savanna presence in arid and semi-arid areas. The second is a grass-fire feedback, which maintains both forest and savanna presence in mesic areas. Grasses constitute the majority of the fuel load, and at the same time benefit from the openness of the landscape after fires, since they recover faster than trees. Additionally, these two mechanisms are better represented when the models also include tree life stages (adults and seedlings), and distinguish between fire-prone and shade-tolerant forest trees, and fire-resistant and shade-intolerant savanna trees. Including these basic elements could improve the predictive ability of the DGVMs, not only under current climate conditions but also and

  5. Forests, savannas and grasslands: bridging the knowledge gap between ecology and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudena, M.; Dekker, S. C.; van Bodegom, P. M.; Cuesta, B.; Higgins, S. I.; Lehsten, V.; Reick, C. H.; Rietkerk, M.; Scheiter, S.; Yin, Z.; Zavala, M. A.; Brovkin, V.

    2014-06-01

    The forest, savanna, and grassland biomes, and the transitions between them, are expected to undergo major changes in the future, due to global climate change. Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) are very useful to understand vegetation dynamics under present climate, and to predict its changes under future conditions. However, several DGVMs display high uncertainty in predicting vegetation in tropical areas. Here we perform a comparative analysis of three different DGVMs (JSBACH, LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE and aDGVM) with regard to their representation of the ecological mechanisms and feedbacks that determine the forest, savanna and grassland biomes, in an attempt to bridge the knowledge gap between ecology and global modelling. Model outcomes, obtained including different mechanisms, are compared to observed tree cover along a mean annual precipitation gradient in Africa. Through these comparisons, and by drawing on the large number of recent studies that have delivered new insights into the ecology of tropical ecosystems in general, and of savannas in particular, we identify two main mechanisms that need an improved representation in the DGVMs. The first mechanism includes water limitation to tree growth, and tree-grass competition for water, which are key factors in determining savanna presence in arid and semi-arid areas. The second is a grass-fire feedback, which maintains both forest and savanna occurrences in mesic areas. Grasses constitute the majority of the fuel load, and at the same time benefit from the openness of the landscape after fires, since they recover faster than trees. Additionally, these two mechanisms are better represented when the models also include tree life stages (adults and seedlings), and distinguish between fire-prone and shade-tolerant savanna trees, and fire-resistant and shade-intolerant forest trees. Including these basic elements could improve the predictive ability of the DGVMs, not only under current climate conditions but also

  6. Using remote sensing and biogeographic modeling to understand the oak savannas of the Sheyenne National Grassland, North Dakota, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    SigdelPhuyal, Mandira

    Oak savannas are valuable and complex ecosystems that provide multiple ecosystem goods and services, including grazing for livestock, watershed regulation, and recreation. These ecosystems of the woodland-prairie ecoregion of the Midwestern United States are, however, in danger of disappearing. The Sheyenne National Grassland, North Dakota, a protected Prairie grassland-savanna, is a representative of such rare habitats, where oak savanna is found at the landscape scale. In this research, I map the distribution patterns of oak savanna in the Sheyenne using a combination of remote sensing and geospatial datasets, including landscape topography, soils, and fire disturbance. Further, I interpret the performance of a suite of advanced Species Distribution Modeling approaches including Maximum Entropy, Random Forest, Generalized Boosted Model, and Classification Tree to analyze the primary environmental and management factors influencing oak distributions at landscape scales. Woody canopy cover was estimated with high classification accuracy (80-95%) for two study areas of the Sheyenne National Grassland. Among the four species distribution modeling approaches tested, the Random Forest (RF) approach provided the best predictive model. RF model parameters indicate that oak trees favor gently sloping locations, on well-drained upland and sandy soils, with north-facing aspect. While no direct data on water relationships were possible in this research, the importance of the topographic and soil variables in the SDM presumably reflect oak preference for locations and soils that are not prone to water saturation, with milder summer temperatures (i.e. northern aspects), providing conditions suitable for seedling establishment and growth. This research increases our understanding of the biogeography of Midwestern tall-grass oak savannas and provides a decision-support tool for oak savanna management.

  7. Hydraulic lift as a determinant of tree-grass coexistence on savannas.

    PubMed

    Yu, Kailiang; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2015-09-01

    The coexistence of woody plants and grasses in savannas is determined by a complex set of interacting factors that determine access to resources and demographic dynamics, under the control of external drivers and vegetation feedbacks with the physical environment. Existing theories explain coexistence mainly as an effect of competitive relations and/or disturbances. However, theoretical studies on the way facilitative interactions resulting from hydraulic lift affect tree-grass coexistence and the range of environmental conditions in which savannas are stable are still lacking. We investigated the role of hydraulic lift in the stability of tree-grass coexistence in savannas. To that end, we developed a new mechanistic model that accounts for both competition for soil water in the shallow soil and fire-induced disturbance. We found that hydraulic lift favors grasses, which scavenge the water lifted by woody plants. Thus, hydraulic lift expands (at the expenses of woodlands) the range of environmental conditions in which savannas are stable. These results indicate that hydraulic lift can be an important mechanism responsible for the coexistence of woody plants and grasses in savannas. Grass facilitation by trees through the process of hydraulic lift could allow savannas to persist stably in mesic regions that would otherwise exhibit a forest cover. PMID:25925655

  8. Overdeepening development in a glacial landscape evolution model with quarrying

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ugelvig, S. V.; Egholm, D. L.; Brædstrup, C. F.; Iverson, N. R.

    2013-12-01

    In glacial landscape evolution models, subglacial erosion rates are often related to basal sliding or ice discharge by a power-law. This relation can be justified when considering bed abrasion, where rock debris transported in the basal ice drives erosion. However, the relation is not well supported when considering models for quarrying of rock blocks from the bed. Field observations indicate that the principal mechanism of glacial erosion is quarrying, which emphasize the importance of a better way of implementing erosion by quarrying in glacial landscape evolution models. Iverson (2012) introduced a new model for subglacial erosion by quarrying that operates from the theory of adhesive wear. The model is based on the fact that cavities, with a high level of bedrock differential stress, form in the lee of bed obstacles when the sliding velocity is too high to allow for the ice to creep around the obstacles. The erosion rate is quantified by considering the likelihood of rock fracturing on topographic bumps. The model includes a statistical treatment of the bedrock weakness, which is neglected in previous quarrying models. Sliding rate, effective pressure, and average bedslope are the primary factors influencing the erosion rate of this new quarrying model [Iverson, 2012]. We have implemented the quarrying model in a depth-integrated higher-order ice-sheet model [Egholm et al. 2011], coupled to a model for glacial hydrology. In order to also include the effects of cavitation on the subglacial sliding rate, we use a sliding law proposed by Schoof (2005), which includes an upper limit for the stress that can be supported at the bed. Computational experiments show that the combined influence of pressure, sliding rate and bed slope leads to realistically looking landforms such as U-shaped valleys, cirques, hanging valleys and overdeepenings. The influence of the effective pressure leads naturally to overdeepenings. However, in contrast to previously used erosion models

  9. Effects of exurban development on trophic interactions in a desert landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Context Mechanisms of ecosystem change in urbanizing landscapes are poorly understood, especially in exurban areas featuring residential or commercial development set in a matrix of modified and natural vegetation. We asked how development altered trophic interactions and ecosystem processes in the ...

  10. Design-with-Nature for Multifunctional Landscapes: Environmental Benefits and Social Barriers in Community Development

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Bo; Li, Ming-Han; Li, Shujuan

    2013-01-01

    Since the early 1970s, Ian McHarg’s design-with-nature concept has been inspiring landscape architects, community and regional planners, and liked-minded professionals to create designs that take advantage of ecosystem services and promote environmental and public health. This study bridges the gap in the literature that has resulted from a lack of empirical examinations on the multiple performance benefits derived through design-with-nature and the under-investigated social aspect emanated from McHarg’s Ecological Determinism design approach. The Woodlands, TX, USA, an ecologically designed community development under McHarg’s approach, is compared with two adjacent communities that follow the conventional design approach. Using national environmental databases and multiple-year residents’ survey information, this study assesses three landscape performance metrics of McHarg’s approach: stormwater runoff, urban heat island effect, and social acceptance. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to assess the development extent and land surface temperature distribution. Results show that McHarg’s approach demonstrates benefits in reducing runoff and urban heat island effect, whereas it confronts challenges with the general acceptance of manicured landscapes and thus results in a low safety perception level when residents interact with naturally designed landscapes. The authors argue that design-with-nature warrants multifunctionality because of its intrinsic interdisciplinary approach. Moreover, education and dissemination of successful examples can achieve a greater level of awareness among the public and further promote multifunctional design for landscape sustainability. PMID:24169408

  11. Design-with-nature for multifunctional landscapes: environmental benefits and social barriers in community development.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bo; Li, Ming-Han; Li, Shujuan

    2013-11-01

    Since the early 1970s, Ian McHarg's design-with-nature concept has been inspiring landscape architects, community and regional planners, and liked-minded professionals to create designs that take advantage of ecosystem services and promote environmental and public health. This study bridges the gap in the literature that has resulted from a lack of empirical examinations on the multiple performance benefits derived through design-with-nature and the under-investigated social aspect emanated from McHarg's Ecological Determinism design approach. The Woodlands, TX, USA, an ecologically designed community development under McHarg's approach, is compared with two adjacent communities that follow the conventional design approach. Using national environmental databases and multiple-year residents' survey information, this study assesses three landscape performance metrics of McHarg's approach: stormwater runoff, urban heat island effect, and social acceptance. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to assess the development extent and land surface temperature distribution. Results show that McHarg's approach demonstrates benefits in reducing runoff and urban heat island effect, whereas it confronts challenges with the general acceptance of manicured landscapes and thus results in a low safety perception level when residents interact with naturally designed landscapes. The authors argue that design-with-nature warrants multifunctionality because of its intrinsic interdisciplinary approach. Moreover, education and dissemination of successful examples can achieve a greater level of awareness among the public and further promote multifunctional design for landscape sustainability. PMID:24169408

  12. Determinants of woody cover in African savannas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sankaran, M.; Hanan, N.P.; Scholes, R.J.; Ratnam, J.; Augustine, D.J.; Cade, B.S.; Gignoux, J.; Higgins, S.I.; Le, Roux X.; Ludwig, F.; Ardo, J.; Banyikwa, F.; Bronn, A.; Bucini, G.; Caylor, K.K.; Coughenour, M.B.; Diouf, A.; Ekaya, W.; Feral, C.J.; February, E.C.; Frost, P.G.H.; Hiernaux, P.; Hrabar, H.; Metzger, K.L.; Prins, H.H.T.; Ringrose, S.; Sea, W.; Tews, J.; Worden, J.; Zambatis, N.

    2005-01-01

    Savannas are globally important ecosystems of great significance to human economies. In these biomes, which are characterized by the co-dominance of trees and grasses, woody cover is a chief determinant of ecosystem properties 1-3. The availability of resources (water, nutrients) and disturbance regimes (fire, herbivory) are thought to be important in regulating woody cover1,2,4,5, but perceptions differ on which of these are the primary drivers of savanna structure. Here we show, using data from 854 sites across Africa, that maximum woody cover in savannas receiving a mean annual precipitation (MAP) of less than ???650 mm is constrained by, and increases linearly with, MAP. These arid and semi-arid savannas may be considered 'stable' systems in which water constrains woody cover and permits grasses to coexist, while fire, herbivory and soil properties interact to reduce woody cover below the MAP-controlled upper bound. Above a MAP of ???650 mm, savannas are 'unstable' systems in which MAP is sufficient for woody canopy closure, and disturbances (fire, herbivory) are required for the coexistence of trees and grass. These results provide insights into the nature of African savannas and suggest that future changes in precipitation 6 may considerably affect their distribution and dynamics. ?? 2005 Nature Publishing Group.

  13. Disaggregating tree and grass phenology in tropical savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Qiang

    Savannas are mixed tree-grass systems and as one of the world's largest biomes represent an important component of the Earth system affecting water and energy balances, carbon sequestration and biodiversity as well as supporting large human populations. Savanna vegetation structure and its distribution, however, may change because of major anthropogenic disturbances from climate change, wildfire, agriculture, and livestock production. The overstory and understory may have different water use strategies, different nutrient requirements and have different responses to fire and climate variation. The accurate measurement of the spatial distribution and structure of the overstory and understory are essential for understanding the savanna ecosystem. This project developed a workflow for separating the dynamics of the overstory and understory fractional cover in savannas at the continental scale (Australia, South America, and Africa). Previous studies have successfully separated the phenology of Australian savanna vegetation into persistent and seasonal greenness using time series decomposition, and into fractions of photosynthetic vegetation (PV), non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) and bare soil (BS) using linear unmixing. This study combined these methods to separate the understory and overstory signal in both the green and senescent phenological stages using remotely sensed imagery from the MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor. The methods and parameters were adjusted based on the vegetation variation. The workflow was first tested at the Australian site. Here the PV estimates for overstory and understory showed best performance, however NPV estimates exhibited spatial variation in validation relationships. At the South American site (Cerrado), an additional method based on frequency unmixing was developed to separate green vegetation components with similar phenology. When the decomposition and frequency methods were compared, the frequency

  14. Inferences of Present and Past Changes at Isolated Enclaves and Matrix of Savannas by Carbon Isotopes in a Transitional Forest-Savanna Area in Northern Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couto-Santos, F. R.; Luizao, F. J.; Camargo, P. B.

    2013-12-01

    The evolutionary history of savannas influenced by short term climate cycles, during the Quaternary Period, could prompt variations in forest cover often related to movements of the forest-savanna boundary. In this study we investigated current and past changes in the structure of vegetation and the origins of savannas of different natures in a biogeographically and climatic transitional forest-savanna area in northern Amazonia. Variations in the isotopic composition of soil organic matter (δ13C) from surface soils (0-10 cm) along forest-savanna boundaries, detected by a sigmoidal non-linear function, were used to identify current changes in vegetation, while past changes were inferred by discontinuities in the evolution of δ13C with soil depth using piecewise regression associated with radiocarbon dating (14C). By comparing small isolated savanna enclaves inside a strictly protected nature reserve (ESEC Maracá) with its outskirts unprotected continuous savanna matrix, we found that origins and the patterns of dynamics were distinct between these areas and did not respond in the same way to climate change and fire events, either in the last decades or during the Holocene. The stability of the present boundaries of the surrounding savanna matrix reflects the resilience of the transitional forests under a recent intensified fire regime and favorable climate, while the deep forest soil isotopic signal indicated a forest shrinkage of at least 70 m occurring since its origin in early Holocene until 780 years BP associated with a climate drier than the current one. Contrarily, the protected enclaves inside ESEC Maracá, remained stable since the middle Holocene, suggesting a non-anthropogenic origin related to soil edaphic conditions, but with recent dynamics of advancing forest by 8 m century-1 favored by current climate and lacking fire events. A detailed understanding of the origins of savannas of distinct natures and the way they are affected by climate and fire

  15. Large carnivores make savanna tree communities less thorny.

    PubMed

    Ford, Adam T; Goheen, Jacob R; Otieno, Tobias O; Bidner, Laura; Isbell, Lynne A; Palmer, Todd M; Ward, David; Woodroffe, Rosie; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-10-17

    Understanding how predation risk and plant defenses interactively shape plant distributions is a core challenge in ecology. By combining global positioning system telemetry of an abundant antelope (impala) and its main predators (leopards and wild dogs) with a series of manipulative field experiments, we showed that herbivores' risk-avoidance behavior and plants' antiherbivore defenses interact to determine tree distributions in an African savanna. Well-defended thorny Acacia trees (A. etbaica) were abundant in low-risk areas where impala aggregated but rare in high-risk areas that impala avoided. In contrast, poorly defended trees (A. brevispica) were more abundant in high- than in low-risk areas. Our results suggest that plants can persist in landscapes characterized by intense herbivory, either by defending themselves or by thriving in risky areas where carnivores hunt. PMID:25324387

  16. A model inter-comparison study to examine limiting factors in modelling Australian tropical savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitley, R.; Beringer, J.; Hutley, L.; Abramowitz, G.; De Kauwe, M. G.; Duursma, R.; Evans, B.; Haverd, V.; Li, L.; Ryu, Y.; Smith, B.; Wang, Y.-P.; Williams, M.; Yu, Q.

    2015-12-01

    Savanna ecosystems are one of the most dominant and complex terrestrial biomes that derives from a distinct vegetative surface comprised of co-dominant tree and grass populations. While these two vegetation types co-exist functionally, demographically they are not static, but are dynamically changing in response to environmental forces such as annual fire events and rainfall variability. Modelling savanna environments with the current generation of terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) has presented many problems, particularly describing fire frequency and intensity, phenology, leaf biochemistry of C3 and C4 photosynthesis vegetation, and root water uptake. In order to better understand why TBMs perform so poorly in savannas, we conducted a model inter-comparison of 6 TBMs and assessed their performance at simulating latent energy (LE) and gross primary productivity (GPP) for five savanna sites along a rainfall gradient in northern Australia. Performance in predicting LE and GPP was measured using an empirical benchmarking system, which ranks models by their ability to utilise meteorological driving information to predict the fluxes. On average, the TBMs performed as well as a multi-linear regression of the fluxes against solar radiation, temperature and vapour pressure deficit, but were outperformed by a more complicated nonlinear response model that also included the leaf area index (LAI). This identified that the TBMs are not fully utilising their input information effectively in determining savanna LE and GPP, and highlights that savanna dynamics cannot be calibrated into models and that there are problems in underlying model processes. We identified key weaknesses in a model's ability to simulate savanna fluxes and their seasonal variation, related to the representation of vegetation by the models and root water uptake. We underline these weaknesses in terms of three critical areas for development. First, prescribed tree-rooting depths must be deep enough

  17. A model inter-comparison study to examine limiting factors in modelling Australian tropical savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitley, Rhys; Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Abramowitz, Gab; De Kauwe, Martin G.; Duursma, Remko; Evans, Bradley; Haverd, Vanessa; Li, Longhui; Ryu, Youngryel; Smith, Benjamin; Wang, Ying-Ping; Williams, Mathew; Yu, Qiang

    2016-06-01

    The savanna ecosystem is one of the most dominant and complex terrestrial biomes, deriving from a distinct vegetative surface comprised of co-dominant tree and grass populations. While these two vegetation types co-exist functionally, demographically they are not static but are dynamically changing in response to environmental forces such as annual fire events and rainfall variability. Modelling savanna environments with the current generation of terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) has presented many problems, particularly describing fire frequency and intensity, phenology, leaf biochemistry of C3 and C4 photosynthesis vegetation, and root-water uptake. In order to better understand why TBMs perform so poorly in savannas, we conducted a model inter-comparison of six TBMs and assessed their performance at simulating latent energy (LE) and gross primary productivity (GPP) for five savanna sites along a rainfall gradient in northern Australia. Performance in predicting LE and GPP was measured using an empirical benchmarking system, which ranks models by their ability to utilise meteorological driving information to predict the fluxes. On average, the TBMs performed as well as a multi-linear regression of the fluxes against solar radiation, temperature and vapour pressure deficit but were outperformed by a more complicated nonlinear response model that also included the leaf area index (LAI). This identified that the TBMs are not fully utilising their input information effectively in determining savanna LE and GPP and highlights that savanna dynamics cannot be calibrated into models and that there are problems in underlying model processes. We identified key weaknesses in a model's ability to simulate savanna fluxes and their seasonal variation, related to the representation of vegetation by the models and root-water uptake. We underline these weaknesses in terms of three critical areas for development. First, prescribed tree-rooting depths must be deep enough

  18. Landscape pattern analysis for assessing ecosystem condition: Development of a multi-resolution method and application to watershed-delineated landscapes in Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Glen D.

    Protection of ecological resources requires the study and management of whole landscape-level ecosystems. The subsequent need for characterizing landscape structure has led to a variety of measurements for assessing different aspects of spatial patterns; however, most of these measurements are known to depend on both the spatial extent of a specified landscape and the measurement grain; therefore, multi-scale measurements would be more informative. In response, a new method is developed for obtaining a multi-resolution characterization of fragmentation patterns in land cover raster maps within a fixed geographic extent. The concept of conditional entropy is applied to quantify landscape fragmentation as one moves from larger "parent" land cover pixels to smaller "child" pixels that are hierarchically nested within the parent pixels. When applied over a range of resolutions, one obtains a "conditional entropy profile" that can be defined by three parameters. A method for stochastically simulating landscapes is also developed which allows evaluation of the expected behavior of conditional entropy profiles under known landscape generating mechanisms. This modeling approach also allows for determining sample distributions of different landscape measurements via Monte Carlo simulations. Using an eight-category raster map that was based on 30-meter resolution LANDSAT TM images, a suite of landscape measurements was obtained for each of 102 Pennsylvania watersheds (a complete tessellation of the state). This included conditional entropy profiles based on the random filter for degrading raster map resolutions. For these watersheds, the conditional entropy profiles are quite sensitive to changing pattern, and together with the readily-available marginal land cover proportions, appear to be very valuable for categorizing landscapes with respect to common types. These profiles have the further appeal of presenting multi-scale fragmentation patterns in a way that can be easily

  19. From Understanding the Development Landscape of the Canonical Fate-Switch Pair to Constructing a Dynamic Landscape for Two-Step Neural Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Recent progress in stem cell biology, notably cell fate conversion, calls for novel theoretical understanding for cell differentiation. The existing qualitative concept of Waddington’s “epigenetic landscape” has attracted particular attention because it captures subsequent fate decision points, thus manifesting the hierarchical (“tree-like”) nature of cell fate diversification. Here, we generalized a recent work and explored such a developmental landscape for a two-gene fate decision circuit by integrating the underlying probability landscapes with different parameters (corresponding to distinct developmental stages). The change of entropy production rate along the parameter changes indicates which parameter changes can represent a normal developmental process while other parameters’ change can not. The transdifferentiation paths over the landscape under certain conditions reveal the possibility of a direct and reversible phenotypic conversion. As the intensity of noise increases, we found that the landscape becomes flatter and the dominant paths more straight, implying the importance of biological noise processing mechanism in development and reprogramming. We further extended the landscape of the one-step fate decision to that for two-step decisions in central nervous system (CNS) differentiation. A minimal network and dynamic model for CNS differentiation was firstly constructed where two three-gene motifs are coupled. We then implemented the SDEs (Stochastic Differentiation Equations) simulation for the validity of the network and model. By integrating the two landscapes for the two switch gene pairs, we constructed the two-step development landscape for CNS differentiation. Our work provides new insights into cellular differentiation and important clues for better reprogramming strategies. PMID:23300518

  20. A LANDSCAPE DEVELOPMENT INTENSITY MAP OF MARYLAND, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    We present a map of human development intensity for central and eastern Maryland using an index derived from energy systems principles. Brown and Vivas developed a measure of the intensity of human development based on the nonrenewable energy use per unit area as an index to exp...

  1. Spatial Pattern Enhances Ecosystem Functioning in an African Savanna

    PubMed Central

    Pringle, Robert M.; Doak, Daniel F.; Brody, Alison K.; Jocqué, Rudy; Palmer, Todd M.

    2010-01-01

    The finding that regular spatial patterns can emerge in nature from local interactions between organisms has prompted a search for the ecological importance of these patterns. Theoretical models have predicted that patterning may have positive emergent effects on fundamental ecosystem functions, such as productivity. We provide empirical support for this prediction. In dryland ecosystems, termite mounds are often hotspots of plant growth (primary productivity). Using detailed observations and manipulative experiments in an African savanna, we show that these mounds are also local hotspots of animal abundance (secondary and tertiary productivity): insect abundance and biomass decreased with distance from the nearest termite mound, as did the abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of insect-eating predators. Null-model analyses indicated that at the landscape scale, the evenly spaced distribution of termite mounds produced dramatically greater abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of consumers across trophic levels than would be obtained in landscapes with randomly distributed mounds. These emergent properties of spatial pattern arose because the average distance from an arbitrarily chosen point to the nearest feature in a landscape is minimized in landscapes where the features are hyper-dispersed (i.e., uniformly spaced). This suggests that the linkage between patterning and ecosystem functioning will be common to systems spanning the range of human management intensities. The centrality of spatial pattern to system-wide biomass accumulation underscores the need to conserve pattern-generating organisms and mechanisms, and to incorporate landscape patterning in efforts to restore degraded habitats and maximize the delivery of ecosystem services. PMID:20520846

  2. Dynamic transcriptome landscape of maize embryo and endosperm development.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian; Zeng, Biao; Zhang, Mei; Xie, Shaojun; Wang, Gaokui; Hauck, Andrew; Lai, Jinsheng

    2014-09-01

    Maize (Zea mays) is an excellent cereal model for research on seed development because of its relatively large size for both embryo and endosperm. Despite the importance of seed in agriculture, the genome-wide transcriptome pattern throughout seed development has not been well characterized. Using high-throughput RNA sequencing, we developed a spatiotemporal transcriptome atlas of B73 maize seed development based on 53 samples from fertilization to maturity for embryo, endosperm, and whole seed tissues. A total of 26,105 genes were found to be involved in programming seed development, including 1,614 transcription factors. Global comparisons of gene expression highlighted the fundamental transcriptomic reprogramming and the phases of development. Coexpression analysis provided further insight into the dynamic reprogramming of the transcriptome by revealing functional transitions during maturation. Combined with the published nonseed high-throughput RNA sequencing data, we identified 91 transcription factors and 1,167 other seed-specific genes, which should help elucidate key mechanisms and regulatory networks that underlie seed development. In addition, correlation of gene expression with the pattern of DNA methylation revealed that hypomethylation of the gene body region should be an important factor for the expressional activation of seed-specific genes, especially for extremely highly expressed genes such as zeins. This study provides a valuable resource for understanding the genetic control of seed development of monocotyledon plants. PMID:25037214

  3. The epigenetic landscape of mammary gland development and functional differentiation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most of the development and functional differentiation in the mammary gland occur after birth. Epigenetics is defined as the stable alterations in gene expression potential that arise during development and proliferation. Epigenetic changes are mediated at the biochemical level by the chromatin conf...

  4. Deriving Multiple Benefits from Carbon Market-Based Savanna Fire Management: An Australian Example

    PubMed Central

    Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Yates, Cameron P.; Edwards, Andrew C.; Whitehead, Peter J.; Murphy, Brett P.; Lawes, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Carbon markets afford potentially useful opportunities for supporting socially and environmentally sustainable land management programs but, to date, have been little applied in globally significant fire-prone savanna settings. While fire is intrinsic to regulating the composition, structure and dynamics of savanna systems, in north Australian savannas frequent and extensive late dry season wildfires incur significant environmental, production and social impacts. Here we assess the potential of market-based savanna burning greenhouse gas emissions abatement and allied carbon biosequestration projects to deliver compatible environmental and broader socio-economic benefits in a highly biodiverse north Australian setting. Drawing on extensive regional ecological knowledge of fire regime effects on fire-vulnerable taxa and communities, we compare three fire regime metrics (seasonal fire frequency, proportion of long-unburnt vegetation, fire patch-size distribution) over a 15-year period for three national parks with an indigenously (Aboriginal) owned and managed market-based emissions abatement enterprise. Our assessment indicates improved fire management outcomes under the emissions abatement program, and mostly little change or declining outcomes on the parks. We attribute improved outcomes and putative biodiversity benefits under the abatement program to enhanced strategic management made possible by the market-based mitigation arrangement. For these same sites we estimate quanta of carbon credits that could be delivered under realistic enhanced fire management practice, using currently available and developing accredited Australian savanna burning accounting methods. We conclude that, in appropriate situations, market-based savanna burning activities can provide transformative climate change mitigation, ecosystem health, and community benefits in northern Australia, and, despite significant challenges, potentially in other fire-prone savanna settings. PMID:26630453

  5. Deriving Multiple Benefits from Carbon Market-Based Savanna Fire Management: An Australian Example.

    PubMed

    Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Yates, Cameron P; Edwards, Andrew C; Whitehead, Peter J; Murphy, Brett P; Lawes, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Carbon markets afford potentially useful opportunities for supporting socially and environmentally sustainable land management programs but, to date, have been little applied in globally significant fire-prone savanna settings. While fire is intrinsic to regulating the composition, structure and dynamics of savanna systems, in north Australian savannas frequent and extensive late dry season wildfires incur significant environmental, production and social impacts. Here we assess the potential of market-based savanna burning greenhouse gas emissions abatement and allied carbon biosequestration projects to deliver compatible environmental and broader socio-economic benefits in a highly biodiverse north Australian setting. Drawing on extensive regional ecological knowledge of fire regime effects on fire-vulnerable taxa and communities, we compare three fire regime metrics (seasonal fire frequency, proportion of long-unburnt vegetation, fire patch-size distribution) over a 15-year period for three national parks with an indigenously (Aboriginal) owned and managed market-based emissions abatement enterprise. Our assessment indicates improved fire management outcomes under the emissions abatement program, and mostly little change or declining outcomes on the parks. We attribute improved outcomes and putative biodiversity benefits under the abatement program to enhanced strategic management made possible by the market-based mitigation arrangement. For these same sites we estimate quanta of carbon credits that could be delivered under realistic enhanced fire management practice, using currently available and developing accredited Australian savanna burning accounting methods. We conclude that, in appropriate situations, market-based savanna burning activities can provide transformative climate change mitigation, ecosystem health, and community benefits in northern Australia, and, despite significant challenges, potentially in other fire-prone savanna settings. PMID:26630453

  6. The Epigenetic Landscape of Mammary Gland Development and Functional Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Rijnkels, Monique; Kabotyanski, Elena; Montazer-Torbati, Mohamad B.; Beauvais, C. Hue; Vassetzky, Yegor; Rosen, Jeffrey M.; Devinoy, Eve

    2010-01-01

    Most of the development and functional differentiation in the mammary gland occur after birth. Epigenetics is defined as the stable alterations in gene expression potential that arise during development and proliferation. Epigenetic changes are mediated at the biochemical level by the chromatin conformation initiated by DNA methylation, histone variants, post-translational modifications of histones, non-histone chromatin proteins, and non-coding RNAs. Epigenetics plays a key role in development. However, very little is known about its role in the developing mammary gland or how it might integrate the many signalling pathways involved in mammary gland development and function that have been discovered during the past few decades. An inverse relationship between marks of closed (DNA methylation) or open chromatin (DnaseI hypersensitivity, certain histone modifications) and milk protein gene expression has been documented. Recent studies have shown that during development and functional differentiation, both global and local chromatin changes occur. Locally, chromatin at distal regulatory elements and promoters of milk protein genes gains a more open conformation. Furthermore, changes occur both in looping between regulatory elements and attachment to nuclear matrix. These changes are induced by developmental signals and environmental conditions. Additionally, distinct epigenetic patterns have been identified in mammary gland stem and progenitor cell sub-populations. Together, these findings suggest that epigenetics plays a role in mammary development and function. With the new tools for epigenomics developed in recent years, we now can begin to establish a framework for the role of epigenetics in mammary gland development and disease. PMID:20157770

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Seasonal Distribution of African Savanna Fires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cahoon, Donald R.; Stocks, Brian J.; Levine, Joel S.; Cofer, Wesley R., III; O'Neill, Katherine P.

    1992-01-01

    Savannas consist of a continuous layer of grass interspersed with scattered trees or shrubs, and cover approx. 10 million square kilometers of tropical Africa. African savanna fires, almost all resulting from human activities, may produce as much as a third of the total global emissions from biomass burning. Little is known, however, about the frequency and location of these fires, and the area burned each year. Emissions from African savanna burning are known to be transported over the mid-Atlantic, south Pacific and Indian oceans; but to study fully the transport of regional savanna burning and the seasonality of the atmospheric circulation must be considered simultaneously. Here we describe the temporal and spatial distribution of savanna fires over the entire African continent, as determined from night-time satellite imagery. We find that, contrary to expectations, most fires are left to burn uncontrolled, so that there is no strong diurnal cycle in the fire frequency. The knowledge gained from this study regarding the distribution and variability of fires will aid monitoring of the climatically important trace gases emitted from burning biomass.

  9. Mapping the landscape of cognitive development in children with epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Kellermann, Tanja S.; Bonilha, Leonardo; Lin, Jack J.; Hermann, Bruce P.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Normal childhood development is defined by age-dependent improvement across cognitive abilities, including language, memory, psychomotor speed and executive function. Epilepsy is often associated with a global disruption in cognitive development, however, it is still largely unknown how epilepsy affects the overall organization of overlapping cognitive domains. The aim of the study was to evaluate how childhood epilepsy affects the developmental interrelationships between cognitive domains. Methods We performed a comprehensive assessment of neuropsychological function in 127 children with new onset epilepsy and 80 typically developing children matched for age, gender, and socio-demographic status. A cross-correlation matrix between the performances across multiple cognitive tests was used to assess the interrelationship between cognitive modalities for each group (patients and controls). A weighted network composed by the cognitive domains as nodes, and pair-wise domain correlation as links, was assessed using graph theory analyses, with focus on global network structure, network hubs and community structure. Results Normally developing children exhibited a cognitive network with well-defined modules, with verbal intelligence, reading and spelling skills occupying a central position in the developing network. Conversely, children with epilepsy demonstrated a less well-organized network with less clear separation between modules, and relative isolation of measures of attention and executive function. Conclusion Our findings demonstrate that childhood-onset epilepsy, even within its early course, is associated with an extensive disruption of cognitive neurodevelopmental organization. The approach used in this study may be useful to assess the effectiveness of future interventions aimed at mitigating the cognitive consequences of epilepsy. PMID:25776901

  10. Development of a reproducible method for determining quantity of water and its configuration in a marsh landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suir, Glenn M.; Evers, D. Elaine; Steyer, Gregory D.; Sasser, Charles E.

    2013-01-01

    Coastal Louisiana is a dynamic and ever-changing landscape. From 1956 to 2010, over 3,734 km2 of Louisiana's coastal wetlands have been lost due to a combination of natural and human-induced activities. The resulting landscape constitutes a mosaic of conditions from highly deteriorated to relatively stable with intact landmasses. Understanding how and why coastal landscapes change over time is critical to restoration and rehabilitation efforts. Historically, changes in marsh pattern (i.e., size and spatial distribution of marsh landmasses and water bodies) have been distinguished using visual identification by individual researchers. Difficulties associated with this approach include subjective interpretation, uncertain reproducibility, and laborious techniques. In order to minimize these limitations, this study aims to expand existing tools and techniques via a computer-based method, which uses geospatial technologies for determining shifts in landscape patterns. Our method is based on a raster framework and uses landscape statistics to develop conditions and thresholds for a marsh classification scheme. The classification scheme incorporates land and water classified imagery and a two-part classification system: (1) ratio of water to land, and (2) configuration and connectivity of water within wetland landscapes to evaluate changes in marsh patterns. This analysis system can also be used to trace trajectories in landscape patterns through space and time. Overall, our method provides a more automated means of quantifying landscape patterns and may serve as a reliable landscape evaluation tool for future investigations of wetland ecosystem processes in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

  11. The Holocene landscape development of the Gareja region in eastern Georgia (Caucasus region) - an interdisciplinary approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elashvili, M.; Sukhishvili, L.; Navrozashvili, L.; Kikvadze, B.; Janelidze, Z.; von Suchodoletz, H.

    2014-12-01

    Recognizing the fact that we are living in a constantly changing world became actual during the last decades, and promoted numerous studies related to the environmental consequences of climate change and human impact. In this context, the study of human- and naturally-triggered palaeoenvironmental changes leads to a better understanding of possible changes during the future. Human impact became progressively important during the last millenia, and caused dramatic changes of the natural environment especially in fragile landscapes. The semi-arid Gareja region in the Iori Highland in the eastern part of the Republic of Georgia is characterized by an annual precipitation < 600 mm and shows an open steppic landscape today. As is known from historical sources, the landscape showed the same character already during the 6th century AD when the Gareja monastery located in the center of the region was founded by Assyrian monks. However, archaeological research carried out during the Soviet Period showed the existence of numerous settlements of bronze and iron age in this region almost devoid of water resources today, hinting to some sources of fresh water allowing people to live there during those periods. Furthermore, former archaeo-botanical studies assume that the region was covered by forests instead of steppes during the past, although there is no final proof yet. The goal of this study is to shed light on the development of the Gareja landscape during the prehistoric period and thus to address some of the issues described above. To do so, our work is based on the spatial pattern of prehistoric settlements derived from archaeologic data of the Soviet period, GIS stream modelling and the analysis of fluvial and slope deposits from the area using a multi-proxy approach. Altogether, these data indicate a dramatic palaeoenvironmental change in the Gareja region ca. 3 ka ago, leading to the recent steppe and almost unpopulated character of the landscape.

  12. A landscape ecology approach to assessing development impacts in the tropics: A geothermal energy example in Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffith, J.A.; Trettin, C.C.; O'Neill, R. V.

    2002-01-01

    Geographic information systems (GIS) are increasingly being used in environmental impact assessments (EIA) because GIS is useful for analysing spatial impacts of various development scenarios. Spatially representing these impacts provides another tool for landscape ecology in environmental and geographical investigations by facilitating analysis of the effects of landscape patterns on ecological processes and examining change over time. Landscape ecological principles are applied in this study to a hypothetical geothermal development project on the Island of Hawaii. Some common landscape pattern metrics were used to analyse dispersed versus condensed development scenarios and their effect on landscape pattern. Indices of fragmentation and patch shape did not appreciably change with additional development. The amount of forest to open edge, however, greatly increased with the dispersed development scenario. In addition, landscape metrics showed that a human disturbance had a greater simplifying effect on patch shape and also increased fragmentation than a natural disturbance. The use of these landscape pattern metrics can advance the methodology of applying GIS to EIA.

  13. The impact of industrial oil development on a protected area landscape: A case study on human population growth and landscape level change in Murchison Falls Conservation Area, Uganda.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dowhaniuk, Nicholas; Hartter, Joel; Congalton, Russell G.; Palace, Michael W.; Ryan, Sadie J.

    2016-04-01

    Protected areas in Sub-Saharan Africa are sanctuaries for rich biodiversity and are important economic engines for African nations, but they are becoming increasingly threatened by discoveries of mineral deposits within and nearby their boundaries. In 2006, viable oil reserves were discovered in Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) in northern Uganda. Exploratory and appraisal activities concluded in 2014, and production is expected to begin in 2016. The oil development is associated with a substantial increase in human population outside MFCA, with people seeking jobs, land, and economic opportunity. Concomitant with this change is increased truck traffic, a sprawling and denser road network, and infrastructure within the park, which could have large impacts on both the flora and fauna. We examined the broader protected area landscape and the potential feedbacks from resource development on the ecosystem and local livelihoods. Our analysis combines a land cover analysis using Object Based Image Analysis of Landsat data (2002 and 2014), migration patterns and population change (1959-2014), and qualitative interview data. Our results suggest that most of the larger-scale impacts on the landscape and people are occurring in the western and northern sections, both inside and outside of the park. Additionally, oil development is not the only factor in the region influencing population growth and landscape change. Post conflict regrowth in the north, sugarcane production in the south, and migration to this region from conflict-ridden neighboring countries are also playing a vital role in human migration shaping the MFCA Landscape. Understanding the social and environmental changes and impacts in the MFCA and its surrounding areas will add to limited literature on the impacts of resource extraction on local, subsistence communities and landscape level change, which will be important as access and pressure for oil and minerals within protected areas continues to rise.

  14. Prospects of the ICESat-2 laser altimetry mission for savanna ecosystem structural studies based on airborne simulation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwenzi, David; Lefsky, Michael A.; Suchdeo, Vijay P.; Harding, David J.

    2016-08-01

    The next planned spaceborne lidar mission is the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2), which will use the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) sensor, a photon counting technique. To pre-validate the capability of this mission for studying three dimensional vegetation structure in savannas, we assessed the potential of the measurement approach to estimate canopy height in an oak savanna landscape. We used data from the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an airborne photon counting lidar sensor developed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. ATLAS-like data was generated using the MATLAS simulator, which adjusts MABEL data's detected number of signal and noise photons to that expected from the ATLAS instrument. Transects flown over the Tejon ranch conservancy in Kern County, California, USA were used for this work. For each transect we chose to use data from the near infrared channel that had the highest number of photons. We segmented each transect into 50 m, 25 m and 14 m long blocks and aggregated the photons in each block into a histogram based on their elevation values. We then used an automated algorithm to identify cut off points where the cumulative density of photons from the highest elevation indicates the presence of the canopy top and likewise where such cumulative density from the lowest elevation indicates the mean terrain elevation. MABEL derived height metrics were moderately correlated to discrete return lidar (DRL) derived height metrics (r2 and RMSE values ranging from 0.60 to 0.73 and 2.9 m to 4.4 m respectively) but MATLAS simulation resulted in more modest correlations with DRL indices (r2 ranging from 0.5 to 0.64 and RMSE from 3.6 m to 4.6 m). Simulations also indicated that the expected number of signal photons from ATLAS will be substantially lower, a situation that reduces canopy height estimation precision especially in areas of low density vegetation cover. On the basis of the simulated

  15. The Development of the Sacred Landscape of Saqqara in the Old Kingdom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magli, Giulio

    2015-05-01

    Saqqara is one of the most important Necropolis in Egypt. In the course of the third millennium BC many Pharaohs choose Saqqara for their tombs. As a consequence the landscape constantly grew with the addition of new monuments, from the mastaba tombs of the first dynasty to the last pyramid of the Old Kingdom, that of Pepi II. The monuments were constructed respecting a series of topographical constraints which are not due to the morphology of the area but rather reflect symbolic - dynastic or astronomical - motivations. The analysis of these connections gives a better understanding of the choices made by the kings' architects in order to keep Maat - order - in the development of the site. Further, the way in which the sacred landscape came to be structured at the end of the Old Kingdom allows us to formulate a proposal for the possible location of the unique pyramid of the sixth dynasty which is still to be found: that of Userkare.

  16. Broad-scale assessments of ecological landscapes: developing methods and applications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, Natasha B.; Wood, David J. A.; Bowen, Zachary H.; Haby, Travis S.

    2015-01-01

    A major component of the BLM Landscape Approach is the Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA) program. REAs identify important ecosystems and wildlife habitats at broad spatial scales and determine where these resources are at risk from environmental stressors that can affect the integrity of ecological systems. Building on the lessons learned from completed or current REAs, the BLM, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, will perform systematic comparisons of REA methods to identify the most promising suite of landscape-level analysis tools. In addition, the BLM and USGS will develop practical applications that demonstrate how to incorporate assessment information to address existing management issues, such as cumulative effects of proposed management actions. The outcome of these efforts will be a set of comprehensive technical guidance documents for conducting and applying broad-scale assessments.

  17. The potential of computed crystal energy landscapes to aid solid-form development.

    PubMed

    Price, Sarah L; Reutzel-Edens, Susan M

    2016-06-01

    Solid-form screening to identify all solid forms of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) has become increasingly important in ensuring the quality by design of pharmaceutical products and their manufacturing processes. However, despite considerable enlargement of the range of techniques that have been shown capable of producing novel solid forms, it is possible that practically important forms might not be found in the short timescales currently allowed for solid-form screening. Here, we report on the state-of-the-art use of computed crystal energy landscapes to complement pharmaceutical solid-form screening. We illustrate how crystal energy landscapes can help establish molecular-level understanding of the crystallization behavior of APIs and enhance the ability of solid-form screening to facilitate pharmaceutical development. PMID:26851154

  18. Advancing Environmental Flow Science: Developing Frameworks for Altered Landscapes and Integrating Efforts Across Disciplines

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Brewer, Shannon; McManamay, Ryan A.; Miller, Andrew D.; Mollenhauer, Robert; Worthington, Thomas A.; Arsuffi, Tom

    2016-05-13

    Environmental flows represent a legal mechanism to balance existing and future water uses and sustain non-use values. Here, we identify current challenges, provide examples where they are important, and suggest research advances that would benefit environmental flow science. Specifically, environmental flow science would benefit by (1) developing approaches to address streamflow needs in highly modified landscapes where historic flows do not provide reasonable comparisons, (2) integrating water quality needs where interactions are apparent with quantity but not necessarily the proximate factor of the ecological degradation, especially as frequency and magnitudes of inflows to bays and estuaries, (3) providing a bettermore » understanding of the ecological needs of native species to offset the often unintended consequences of benefiting non-native species or their impact on flows, (4) improving our understanding of the non-use economic value to balance consumptive economic values, and (5) increasing our understanding of the stakeholder socioeconomic spatial distribution of attitudes and perceptions across the landscape. Environmental flow science is still an emerging interdisciplinary field and by integrating socioeconomic disciplines and developing new frameworks to accommodate our altered landscapes, we should help advance environmental flow science and likely increase successful implementation of flow standards.« less

  19. Advancing Environmental Flow Science: Developing Frameworks for Altered Landscapes and Integrating Efforts Across Disciplines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brewer, Shannon K.; McManamay, Ryan A.; Miller, Andrew D.; Mollenhauer, Robert; Worthington, Thomas A.; Arsuffi, Tom

    2016-08-01

    Environmental flows represent a legal mechanism to balance existing and future water uses and sustain non-use values. Here, we identify current challenges, provide examples where they are important, and suggest research advances that would benefit environmental flow science. Specifically, environmental flow science would benefit by (1) developing approaches to address streamflow needs in highly modified landscapes where historic flows do not provide reasonable comparisons, (2) integrating water quality needs where interactions are apparent with quantity but not necessarily the proximate factor of the ecological degradation, especially as frequency and magnitudes of inflows to bays and estuaries, (3) providing a better understanding of the ecological needs of native species to offset the often unintended consequences of benefiting non-native species or their impact on flows, (4) improving our understanding of the non-use economic value to balance consumptive economic values, and (5) increasing our understanding of the stakeholder socioeconomic spatial distribution of attitudes and perceptions across the landscape. Environmental flow science is still an emerging interdisciplinary field and by integrating socioeconomic disciplines and developing new frameworks to accommodate our altered landscapes, we should help advance environmental flow science and likely increase successful implementation of flow standards.

  20. Advancing Environmental Flow Science: Developing Frameworks for Altered Landscapes and Integrating Efforts Across Disciplines.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Shannon K; McManamay, Ryan A; Miller, Andrew D; Mollenhauer, Robert; Worthington, Thomas A; Arsuffi, Tom

    2016-08-01

    Environmental flows represent a legal mechanism to balance existing and future water uses and sustain non-use values. Here, we identify current challenges, provide examples where they are important, and suggest research advances that would benefit environmental flow science. Specifically, environmental flow science would benefit by (1) developing approaches to address streamflow needs in highly modified landscapes where historic flows do not provide reasonable comparisons, (2) integrating water quality needs where interactions are apparent with quantity but not necessarily the proximate factor of the ecological degradation, especially as frequency and magnitudes of inflows to bays and estuaries, (3) providing a better understanding of the ecological needs of native species to offset the often unintended consequences of benefiting non-native species or their impact on flows, (4) improving our understanding of the non-use economic value to balance consumptive economic values, and (5) increasing our understanding of the stakeholder socioeconomic spatial distribution of attitudes and perceptions across the landscape. Environmental flow science is still an emerging interdisciplinary field and by integrating socioeconomic disciplines and developing new frameworks to accommodate our altered landscapes, we should help advance environmental flow science and likely increase successful implementation of flow standards. PMID:27177541

  1. Fuel model selection for BEHAVE in midwestern oak savannas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grabner, K.W.; Dwyer, J.P.; Cutter, B.E.

    2001-01-01

    BEHAVE, a fire behavior prediction system, can be a useful tool for managing areas with prescribed fire. However, the proper choice of fuel models can be critical in developing management scenarios. BEHAVE predictions were evaluated using four standardized fuel models that partially described oak savanna fuel conditions: Fuel Model 1 (Short Grass), 2 (Timber and Grass), 3 (Tall Grass), and 9 (Hardwood Litter). Although all four models yielded regressions with R2 in excess of 0.8, Fuel Model 2 produced the most reliable fire behavior predictions.

  2. Monitoring Phenological Variability across a Tropical Savanna Aridity Gradient with Remote Sensing across Seasonal to Annualand Extreme Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huete, A.; Eamus, D.; Ma, X.; Restrepo-Coupe, N.; Boulain, N.; Hutley, L.

    2011-08-01

    Tropical savannas are key components of the global carbon and water cycles and understanding their functioning is critical to understanding ecosystem feedbacks to global climate. By observing broad scale vegetation responses to climatic variability, remote sensing offers powerful insights into the patterns and processes underlying savanna behaviour. However, savannas are highly complex, multi-layer and heterogenous ecosystems composed of C3 (herbaceous) and C4 (woodland) components with asynchronous phenological responses to environmental controls. There are concerns about optimizing the detection of savanna functioning as well as in understanding their environmental controls with remote-sensing data due to their coarse resolution. Furthermore, seasonalphenologic variations in satellite observations need to be sufficiently accurate to ensure confidence in interpreting vegetation responses to interannual climatic variation and to aid in constraining models of carbon and water fluxes. In this study, we analysed several years of high temporal frequency MODIS and TRMM satellite data sets of vegetation dynamics and rainfall, respectively, to seasonal and interannual responses of savanna multifunctional components to climate variability across a tropical savanna aridity gradient (1760 to 580 mm annual rainfall) in northern Australia. We compared our results with a series of eddy covariance (EC) tower flux data of gross primary production and analyzed a wide set of ecosystem processes including photosynthesis, net primary productivity, phenological metrics in timing of the growing season, and rain use efficiencies. We found MODIS satellite measurements to yield highly accurate spatial and temporal variability in ecosystem functioning and able to replicate interannual patterns and responses to rainfall observed with the EC tower data. Although these results appear promising for regional extensions of satelliteflux tower relationships at the landscape level, we also

  3. Tree-grass competition for soil water in arid and semiarid savannas: The role of rainfall intermittency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Onofrio, Donatella; Baudena, Mara; D'Andrea, Fabio; Rietkerk, Max; Provenzale, Antonello

    2015-01-01

    Arid and semiarid savannas are characterized by the coexistence of trees and grasses in water limited conditions. As in all dry lands, also in these savannas rainfall is highly intermittent. In this work, we develop and use a simple implicit-space model to conceptually explore how precipitation intermittency influences tree-grass competition and savanna occurrence. The model explicitly includes soil moisture dynamics, and life-stage structure of the trees. Assuming that water availability affects the ability of both plant functional types to colonize new space and that grasses outcompete tree seedlings, the model is able to predict the expected sequence of grassland, savanna, and forest along a range of mean annual rainfall. In addition, rainfall intermittency allows for tree-grass coexistence at lower mean annual rainfall values than for constant precipitation. Comparison with observations indicates that the model, albeit very simple, is able to capture some of the essential dynamical processes of natural savannas. The results suggest that precipitation intermittency affects savanna occurrence and structure, indicating a new point of view for reanalyzing observational data from the literature.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. The Holocene landscape development of the Gareja region in eastern Georgia - a fluvial approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sukhishvili, Lasha; Elashvili, Mikheil; Janelidze, Zurab; Kikvadze, Bagrat; Navrozashvili, Levan; von Suchodoletz, Hans

    2013-04-01

    The semi-arid Gareja region in the Iori Highland in the southeastern part of the Republic of Georgia is characterized by an annual precipitation < 500 mm and shows an open steppic landscape today. As is known from historical sources, the landscape showed the same character already during the 6th century AD when the Gareja monastery located in the center of the region was founded by Assyrian monks. However, archaeological research carried out during the Soviet Period showed that there were dozens of settlements of bronze and iron age in this region almost devoid of water resources today, hinting to some sources of fresh water allowing people to live there during those periods. Furthermore, former archaeobotanical studies assume that the region was covered by forests instead of steppes during the past, although there is no final proof yet. The goal of this study is to shed light on the development of the palaeo-landscape during the prehistoric period and thus to address some of the issues described above. To do so, our work is based on the network of episodic streams that cross the region, running from the Iori mountains towards the Mtkvari (Kura) river as the main gaining stream of the region. Using rain water flow direction modeling in GIS we determined the main fluvial courses according to their. This pattern was compared with that of prehistoric settlements known from archaeologic studies, in order to get information about the possible perennial character of some rivers during the past. Furthermore, we did first investigations of outcrops with fluvial sediments found along some of such fluvial courses: Based on stratigraphic observations, pedologic investigations of potential palaeosols as indicators of landscape stability as well as on first numerical datings, we started to unravel the fluvial pattern of that region.

  6. Inhabiting the sexual landscape: toward an interpretive theory of the development of sexual orientation and identity.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Liahna E; Silva, Tony J

    2015-01-01

    Building on Paula Rust's (1996) concept of a sexual landscape, we propose an interpretive theory of the development of both sexual orientation and sexual identity. We seek to reconcile human agency with active and shifting influences in social context and to recognize the inherent complexity of environmental factors while acknowledging the role that biological potential plays. We ground our model in the insights of three compatible and related theoretical perspectives: social constructionism, symbolic interactionism, and scripting theory. Within this framework, we explain how sexual orientation and sexual identities develop and potentially change. PMID:25397814

  7. Bud protection: a key trait for species sorting in a forest-savanna mosaic.

    PubMed

    Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Beckett, Heath; Midgley, Guy F; Bond, William J

    2015-09-01

    Contrasting fire regimes maintain patch mosaics of savanna, thicket and forest biomes in many African subtropical landscapes. Species dominating each biome are thus expected to display distinct fire-related traits, commonly thought to be bark related. Recent Australian savanna research suggests that bud position, not bark protection alone, determines fire resilience via resprouting. We tested first how bud position influences resprouting ability in 17 tree species. We then compared the effect of both bark-related protection and bud position on the distribution of 63 tree species in 253 transects in all three biomes. Tree species with buds positioned deep under bark had a higher proportion of post-fire aboveground shoot resprouting. Species with low bud protection occurred in fire-prone biomes only if they could root-sucker. The effect of bud protection was supported by a good relationship between species bud protection and distribution across a gradient of fire frequency. Bud protection and high bark production are required to survive frequent fires in savanna. Forests are fire refugia hosting species with little or no bud protection and thin bark. Root-suckering species occur in the three biomes, suggesting that fire is not the only factor filtering this functional type. PMID:25856385

  8. Modeling the distribution of migratory bird stopovers to inform landscape-scale siting of wind development.

    PubMed

    Pocewicz, Amy; Estes-Zumpf, Wendy A; Andersen, Mark D; Copeland, Holly E; Keinath, Douglas A; Griscom, Hannah R

    2013-01-01

    Conservation of migratory birds requires understanding the distribution of and potential threats to their migratory habitats. However, although migratory birds are protected under international treaties, few maps have been available to represent migration at a landscape scale useful to target conservation efforts or inform the siting of wind energy developments that may affect migratory birds. To fill this gap, we developed models that predict where four groups of birds concentrate or stopover during their migration through the state of Wyoming, USA: raptors, wetland, riparian and sparse grassland birds. The models were based on existing literature and expert knowledge concerning bird migration behavior and ecology and validated using expert ratings and known occurrences. There was significant agreement between migratory occurrence data and migration models for all groups except raptors, and all models ranked well with experts. We measured the overlap between the migration concentration models and a predictive model of wind energy development to assess the potential exposure of migratory birds to wind development and illustrate the utility of migratory concentration models for landscape-scale planning. Wind development potential is high across 15% of Wyoming, and 73% of this high potential area intersects important migration concentration areas. From 5.2% to 18.8% of each group's important migration areas was represented within this high wind potential area, with the highest exposures for sparse grassland birds and the lowest for riparian birds. Our approach could be replicated elsewhere to fill critical data gaps and better inform conservation priorities and landscape-scale planning for migratory birds. PMID:24098379

  9. Modeling the Distribution of Migratory Bird Stopovers to Inform Landscape-Scale Siting of Wind Development

    PubMed Central

    Pocewicz, Amy; Estes-Zumpf, Wendy A.; Andersen, Mark D.; Copeland, Holly E.; Keinath, Douglas A.; Griscom, Hannah R.

    2013-01-01

    Conservation of migratory birds requires understanding the distribution of and potential threats to their migratory habitats. However, although migratory birds are protected under international treaties, few maps have been available to represent migration at a landscape scale useful to target conservation efforts or inform the siting of wind energy developments that may affect migratory birds. To fill this gap, we developed models that predict where four groups of birds concentrate or stopover during their migration through the state of Wyoming, USA: raptors, wetland, riparian and sparse grassland birds. The models were based on existing literature and expert knowledge concerning bird migration behavior and ecology and validated using expert ratings and known occurrences. There was significant agreement between migratory occurrence data and migration models for all groups except raptors, and all models ranked well with experts. We measured the overlap between the migration concentration models and a predictive model of wind energy development to assess the potential exposure of migratory birds to wind development and illustrate the utility of migratory concentration models for landscape-scale planning. Wind development potential is high across 15% of Wyoming, and 73% of this high potential area intersects important migration concentration areas. From 5.2% to 18.8% of each group’s important migration areas was represented within this high wind potential area, with the highest exposures for sparse grassland birds and the lowest for riparian birds. Our approach could be replicated elsewhere to fill critical data gaps and better inform conservation priorities and landscape-scale planning for migratory birds. PMID:24098379

  10. Methods for the quantification of GHG emissions at the landscape level for developing countries in smallholder contexts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milne, Eleanor; Neufeldt, Henry; Rosenstock, Todd; Smalligan, Mike; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo; Malin, Daniella; Easter, Mark; Bernoux, Martial; Ogle, Stephen; Casarim, Felipe; Pearson, Timothy; Bird, David Neil; Steglich, Evelyn; Ostwald, Madelene; Denef, Karolien; Paustian, Keith

    2013-03-01

    Landscape scale quantification enables farmers to pool resources and expertise. However, the problem remains of how to quantify these gains. This article considers current greenhouse gas (GHG) quantification methods that can be used in a landscape scale analysis in terms of relevance to areas dominated by smallholders in developing countries. In landscape scale carbon accounting frameworks, measurements are an essential element. Sampling strategies need careful design to account for all pools/fluxes and to ensure judicious use of resources. Models can be used to scale-up measurements and fill data gaps. In recent years a number of accessible models and calculators have been developed which can be used at the landscape scale in developing country areas. Some are based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) method and others on dynamic ecosystem models. They have been developed for a range of different purposes and therefore vary in terms of accuracy and usability. Landscape scale assessments of GHGs require a combination of ground sampling, use of data from census, remote sensing (RS) or other sources and modelling. Fitting of all of these aspects together needs to be performed carefully to minimize uncertainties and maximize the use of scarce resources. This is especially true in heterogeneous landscapes dominated by smallholders in developing countries.

  11. Grassland, shrubland and savanna stewardship: where do we go from here?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scientific efforts to understand grasslands, shrublands and savannas and thereby develop sustainable management practices are roughly 100 years old. What have we learned in that time? Several assumptions made by scientists and policymakers early in the 20th century have proved mistaken, resulting in...

  12. Spatial Heterogeneity and Sources of Soil Carbon in Southern African Savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macko, S.; Wang, L.; Okin, G.

    2007-12-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is one of the largest and most dynamic reservoirs of C on Earth, with nearly twice as much C stored in SOC than in the biosphere and atmosphere combined. SOC storage in global tropical savannas constitutes approximately 56 Gt of C, which rises to 216 Gt of C (i.e., about 17% of the terrestrial non- agricultural SOC), when woodlands, shrublands, and desert scrub are included. Savannas cover about 20% of the global land surface, including about one-half of Africa, Australia and South America. The shared dominance of trees and grasses in savannas, the dominant physiognomy in southern Africa, add more complexity to soil C pool partitioning and dynamics than is found in landscapes with a single physiognomy. Here, the spatial variability of the soil C pool was investigated with particular emphasis on understanding the contribution to SOC from trees and grasses at two savanna sites of the Kalahari Transect, one wet and the other dry. Using a combination of stable isotope techniques and geostatistics, the results showed that spatial patterns of soil δ13 C exist and were related to the distributions of woody (C3) and herbaceous (C4) vegetation at both sites. Heterogeneity of the sources of SOC, as well as heterogeneity in the amount of SOC, was greater at the dry site relative to the wet site. At the dry site, the grasses were the major contributor to soil C whereas in the wet site, woody vegetation was the major contributor, regardless of the location with respect to woody canopies.

  13. Shifts on reproductive phenology of tropical cerrado savanna trees and climate changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morellato, Patricia

    2010-05-01

    Phenology is the study of cyclic biological events and its relationship to abiotic factors. Timing of flowering, fruiting and leafing is highly correlated to environmental factors such as temperature, precipitation, irradiance and isolation. Accordingly, any change in these factors may have a direct effect on the initiation, intensity and duration of different phenophases. Tropical phenology has not contributed much for climatic change research since historical data sets are scarce and the absence of sharp seasons and distinct factors driving phenology makes difficult the detection of changes over time. One way to have insights on climate driven phenology shifts on tropical plants is through the comparison of plant phenology under different environmental conditions. Fragmentation of natural landscape has exposed plants to edge effects - the interaction between two adjacent ecosystems, when the two are separated by an abrupt transition - the edge, including both abiotic and biological changes on environmental conditions that likely affect plant phenology. The microclimatic conditions along edges have important direct biological effects on the reproductive phenology and fitness of plant species. One can expected that the abiotic edge effects on plant phenology may be similar to some extent to certain effects induced by climate change on plant phenology since both involve shifts on environmental conditions. Due to the threatened status and rich biodiversity of Brazilian Neotropical savanna, or the Brazilian Cerrado, the present study aimed to understand edge effects on cerrado savanna species. We compared micro environmental factors and phenology of several species on the edge and in the interior of cerrado savanna. Our first results indicated that shifts on the micro environmental condition may have driven changes in time, duration and intensity of species phenology and may give us insights on savanna responses to climate changes.

  14. The Campus Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    du Von, Jay

    1966-01-01

    All across the country, landscaping and site development are coming to the fore as essential and integral parts of university planning and development. This reprint concentrates on the function of landscape architecture, and briefly examines some of the major responsibilities of the landscape architect in planning a campus. Included are--(1)…

  15. Window Area and Development Drive Spatial Variation in Bird-Window Collisions in an Urban Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Hager, Stephen B.; Cosentino, Bradley J.; McKay, Kelly J.; Monson, Cathleen; Zuurdeeg, Walt; Blevins, Brian

    2013-01-01

    Collisions with windows are an important human-related threat to birds in urban landscapes. However, the proximate drivers of collisions are not well understood, and no study has examined spatial variation in mortality in an urban setting. We hypothesized that the number of fatalities at buildings varies with window area and habitat features that influence avian community structure. In 2010 we documented bird-window collisions (BWCs) and characterized avian community structure at 20 buildings in an urban landscape in northwestern Illinois, USA. For each building and season, we conducted 21 daily surveys for carcasses and nine point count surveys to estimate relative abundance, richness, and diversity. Our sampling design was informed by experimentally estimated carcass persistence times and detection probabilities. We used linear and generalized linear mixed models to evaluate how habitat features influenced community structure and how mortality was affected by window area and factors that correlated with community structure. The most-supported model was consistent for all community indices and included effects of season, development, and distance to vegetated lots. BWCs were related positively to window area and negatively to development. We documented mortalities for 16/72 (22%) species (34 total carcasses) recorded at buildings, and BWCs were greater for juveniles than adults. Based on the most-supported model of BWCs, the median number of annual predicted fatalities at study buildings was 3 (range = 0–52). These results suggest that patchily distributed environmental resources and levels of window area in buildings create spatial variation in BWCs within and among urban areas. Current mortality estimates place little emphasis on spatial variation, which precludes a fundamental understanding of the issue. To focus conservation efforts, we illustrate how knowledge of the structural and environmental factors that influence bird-window collisions can be used

  16. Disturbance Frequency Determines Morphology and Community Development in Multi-Species Biofilm at the Landscape Scale

    PubMed Central

    Milferstedt, Kim; Santa-Catalina, Gaëlle; Godon, Jean-Jacques; Escudié, Renaud; Bernet, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Many natural and engineered biofilm systems periodically face disturbances. Here we present how the recovery time of a biofilm between disturbances (expressed as disturbance frequency) shapes the development of morphology and community structure in a multi-species biofilm at the landscape scale. It was hypothesized that a high disturbance frequency favors the development of a stable adapted biofilm system while a low disturbance frequency promotes a dynamic biofilm response. Biofilms were grown in laboratory-scale reactors over a period of 55-70 days and exposed to the biocide monochloramine at two frequencies: daily or weekly pulse injections. One untreated reactor served as control. Biofilm morphology and community structure were followed on comparably large biofilm areas at the landscape scale using automated image analysis (spatial gray level dependence matrices) and community fingerprinting (single-strand conformation polymorphisms). We demonstrated that a weekly disturbed biofilm developed a resilient morphology and community structure. Immediately after the disturbance, the biofilm simplified but recovered its initial complex morphology and community structure between two biocide pulses. In the daily treated reactor, one organism largely dominated a morphologically simple and stable biofilm. Disturbances primarily affected the abundance distribution of already present bacterial taxa but did not promote growth of previously undetected organisms. Our work indicates that disturbances can be used as lever to engineer biofilms by maintaining a biofilm between two developmental states. PMID:24303024

  17. Management and development of land in the name of the Green Economy: planning, landscape, efficiency, biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benvenuti, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    Promoting sustainable economic development is the basis of the Green Economy: a new vision of Agriculture, Environmental and Regional policy, shared by the wine sector, especially on some crucial issues, such as reducing the consumption of agricultural land, recognition as economically important of the green agricultural production space, spreading of organic farming, adoption of good agricultural practices. Sustainability, in fact , is not just about the use of analysis tools (carbonfoot print, Waterfoot print, etc .) but is about innovations to be introduced in the entire production process, protection of biodiversity, ethic work in the vineyard and winery. It means to disseminate as much as possible all those practices that can enable a more efficient land management also considering the recent climate changes: introduction of agro-energy and precision agriculture, rational use of water resources, creation of an observatory on temperatures and an interactive mapping system, viticultural zoning and municipal planning to make concrete balance between vitality in agronomic sector and landscape quality. Realizing such a regional geopedological mapping about agricultural soil, will allow companies to display a real-time access to all the data needed for a sustainable management of the funds, not only it would be an important tool to support the technical choices of farmers, enhancing their potential and optimizing production in relation to the current climate crisis, but would have a strong impact in terms of managing and saving water and energy resources. A strong efficacy in this context should be recognized at the "Urban Regulation Plans of the Wine Cities", which have developed since 2007 on the base of the guidelines promoted by the Italian Association Città del Vino, in order to enhance the quality of wine districts. The foundations of this multidisciplinary tool are based on: • in-depth knowledge of the characteristics of the wine territory; • unity and

  18. Environmental resource management on the Munduruku savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheffler, E. Margaret; Southwick, Edward E.

    1984-05-01

    For 13 years, the Munduruku were observed living in the savanna region located in South America in the Brazilian state of Pará. The area is near the point where the states of Pará, Amazonas, and Mato Grosso join their borders, and is utilized by about 200 300 Munduruku Amerindians. Their subsistence staple is manioc (a cassava), with fruits and meat included in the diet. Gold mining by Brazilians is a disruptive element in the resource management of the savanna habitat on the rim of the Amazon Basin. Direct and indirect results of mining interference are described. A study of the manner in which the Munduruku on the Cururu River (a tributary of the Tapajós) have handled the potentially disruptive rubber tapping suggests possible ways of reversing the interference. Several courses of action are discussed.

  19. Environmental resource management of the Munduruku savanna

    SciTech Connect

    Sheffler, E.M.; Southwick, E.E.

    1984-05-01

    For 13 years, the Munduruku were observed living in the savanna region located in South America in the Brazilian state of Para. The area is near the point where the states of Para, Amazonas, and Mato Grosso join their borders, and is utilized by about 200-300 Munduruku Amerindians. Their subsistence staple is manioc (a cassava), with fruits and meat included in the diet. Gold mining by Brazilians is a disruptive element in the resource management of the savanna habitat on the rim of the Amazon Basin. Direct and indirect results of mining interference are described. A study of the manner in which the Munduruku on the Cururu River (a tributary of the Tapajos) have handled the potentially disruptive rubber tapping suggests possible ways of reversing the interference. Several courses of action are discussed. 14 references, 3 figures, 2 tables.

  20. Examining cultural drifts in artworks through history and development: cultural comparisons between Japanese and western landscape paintings and drawings

    PubMed Central

    Nand, Kristina; Masuda, Takahiko; Senzaki, Sawa; Ishii, Keiko

    2014-01-01

    Research on cultural products suggest that there are substantial cultural variations between East Asian and European landscape masterpieces and contemporary members' landscape artwork (Masuda et al., 2008c), and that these cultural differences in drawing styles emerge around the age of 8 (Senzaki et al., 2014b). However, culture is not static. To explore the dynamics of historical and ontogenetic influence on artistic expressions, we examined (1) 17–20th century Japanese and Western landscape masterpieces, and (2) cross-sectional adolescent data in landscape artworks alongside previous findings of elementary school-aged children, and undergraduates. The results showed cultural variations in artworks and masterpieces as well as substantial “cultural drifts” (Herskovits, 1948) where at certain time periods in history and in development, people's expressions deviated from culturally default patterns but occasionally returned to its previous state. The bidirectional influence of culture and implications for furthering the discipline of cultural psychology will be discussed. PMID:25285085

  1. Examining cultural drifts in artworks through history and development: cultural comparisons between Japanese and western landscape paintings and drawings.

    PubMed

    Nand, Kristina; Masuda, Takahiko; Senzaki, Sawa; Ishii, Keiko

    2014-01-01

    Research on cultural products suggest that there are substantial cultural variations between East Asian and European landscape masterpieces and contemporary members' landscape artwork (Masuda et al., 2008c), and that these cultural differences in drawing styles emerge around the age of 8 (Senzaki et al., 2014b). However, culture is not static. To explore the dynamics of historical and ontogenetic influence on artistic expressions, we examined (1) 17-20th century Japanese and Western landscape masterpieces, and (2) cross-sectional adolescent data in landscape artworks alongside previous findings of elementary school-aged children, and undergraduates. The results showed cultural variations in artworks and masterpieces as well as substantial "cultural drifts" (Herskovits, 1948) where at certain time periods in history and in development, people's expressions deviated from culturally default patterns but occasionally returned to its previous state. The bidirectional influence of culture and implications for furthering the discipline of cultural psychology will be discussed. PMID:25285085

  2. Crown cover chart for oak savannas. Forest Service technical brief

    SciTech Connect

    Law, J.R.; Johnson, P.S.; Houf, G.

    1994-07-01

    Although oak savannas have been defined in many ways, they are characterized by scattered trees, largely comprised of oaks, and a sparse ground layer rich in grasses and forbs. The crown cover chart can be used to estimate the crown cover of trees as a percent of total area. Potential applications of the chart include monitoring changes in savanna crown cover, determining needed reductions in crown cover, and defining the savanna state. in restoring savannas that have grown into closed canopy stands, one can use the chart to estimate initial crown cover before restoration work is begun and again after crown cover has been reduced.

  3. Methane emissions from northern Amazon savanna wetlands and Balbina Reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemenes, A.; Belger, L.; Forsberg, B.; Melack, J. M.

    2006-12-01

    To improve estimates of methane emission for the Amazon basin requires information from aquatic environments not represented in the central basin near the Solimoes River, where most of the current data were obtained. We have combined intensive, year-long measurements of methane emission and water levels made in interfluvial wetlands located in the upper Negro basin with calculations of inundation based on a time series of Radarsat synthetic aperature radar images. These grass-dominated savannas emitted methane at an average rate of 18 mg C per m squared per day, a low rate compared to the habitats with floating grasses the occur in the Solimoes floodplains. Reservoirs constructed in the Amazon typically flood forested landscapes and lead to conditions conducive for methane production. The methane is released to the atmosphere from the reservoir and as the water exits the turbines and from the downstream river. Balbina Reservoir near Manaus covers about 2400 km squared along the Uatuma River. Annual averages of measurements of methane emission from the various habitats in the reservoir range from 23 to 64 mg C per m squared per day. Total annual emission from the reservoir is about 58 Gg C. In addition, about 39 Gg C per year are released below the dam, about 50 percent of which is released as the water passes through the turbines. On an annual areal basis, Balbina Reservoir emits 40 Mg C km squared, in contrast to 30 Mg km squared for the Solimoes mainstem floodplain

  4. Influences of roads and development on bird communities in protected Chihuahuan Desert landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gutzwiller, K.J.; Barrow, W.C., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    Our objective was to improve knowledge about effects of broad-scale road and development variables on bird communities in protected desert landscapes. Bird species richness and the relative abundance or probability of occurrence of many species were significantly associated with total length of roads within each of two spatial extents (1- and 2-km radii), distance to the nearest road, distance to the nearest development, or the two-way interactions of these variables. Regression models reflected non-linear relations, interaction effects, spatial-extent effects, and interannual variation. Road and development effects warrant special attention in protected areas because such places may be important sources of indigenous bird communities in a region.

  5. Dynamic metropolitan landscapes: Residential development and vegetation change in the U.S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jantz, Patrick Arthur

    Residential development is now a major contributor to land surface change in the U.S. From 1990 - 2000, over thirteen million housing units were added to the nation's housing stock which stood at 102.3 million in 1990. Another 15.8 million housing units were added from 2000 - 2010. Of particular concern is the ongoing increase in low-density residential development because of its large resource footprint and biodiversity impacts. In this dissertation I pose three broad questions 1) What were the trends in residential development in the U.S. from 1990 - 2000? 2) What were the trends in rural conversion to low-density residential use from 1990 - 2000 in the Mid-Atlantic and the Pacific Northwest and what social and environmental factors help explain these trends? 3) What were the effects of rural conversion to residential use on vegetation productivity in the Mid-Atlantic and the Pacific Northwest from 2000 - 2010? To answer these questions I created a database derived from U.S. Census blocks that allows for interdecadal comparison of recent housing density change in support of spatial demographic research. In a series of GIS based analyses I used the database to map changes in metropolitan housing density distributions in the Mid-Atlantic and western Washington regions and used a satellite derived index of vegetation productivity to assess the impacts of housing growth on vegetation carbon uptake. Results indicate that residential housing growth is more dynamic than previously thought and established approaches for mapping housing density tend to underestimate the local intensity of residential change. In the Mid-Atlantic and western Washington, low-density residential development is affecting large fractions of rural landscapes in metropolitan areas. The strongest correlates of low-density conversion of rural landscapes were population growth and extent of protected lands, suggesting future directions for modeling the drivers of rural conversion. Residential

  6. Evaluation of urban sprawl and urban landscape pattern in a rapidly developing region.

    PubMed

    Lv, Zhi-Qiang; Dai, Fu-Qiang; Sun, Cheng

    2012-10-01

    Urban sprawl is a worldwide phenomenon happening particularly in rapidly developing regions. A study on the spatiotemporal characteristics of urban sprawl and urban pattern is useful for the sustainable management of land management and urban land planning. The present research explores the spatiotemporal dynamics of urban sprawl in the context of a rapid urbanization process in a booming economic region of southern China from 1979 to 2005. Three urban sprawl types are distinguished by analyzing overlaid urban area maps of two adjacent study years which originated from the interpretation of remote sensed images and vector land use maps. Landscape metrics are used to analyze the spatiotemporal pattern of urban sprawl for each study period. Study results show that urban areas have expanded dramatically, and the spatiotemporal landscape pattern configured by the three sprawl types changed obviously. The different sprawl type patterns in five study periods have transformed significantly, with their proportions altered both in terms of quantity and of location. The present research proves that urban sprawl quantification and pattern analysis can provide a clear perspective of the urbanization process during a long time period. Particularly, the present study on urban sprawl and sprawl patterns can be used by land use and urban planners. PMID:22095203

  7. Drivers of Intensity and Prevalence of Flea Parasitism on Small Mammals in East African Savanna Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Young, Hillary S; Dirzo, Rodolfo; McCauley, Douglas J; Agwanda, Bernard; Cattaneo, Lia; Dittmar, Katharina; Eckerlin, Ralph P; Fleischer, Robert C; Helgen, Lauren E; Hintz, Ashley; Montinieri, John; Zhao, Serena; Helgen, Kristofer M

    2015-06-01

    The relative importance of environmental factors and host factors in explaining variation in prevalence and intensity of flea parasitism in small mammal communities is poorly established. We examined these relationships in an East African savanna landscape, considering multiple host levels: across individuals within a local population, across populations within species, and across species within a landscape. We sampled fleas from 2,672 small mammals of 27 species. This included a total of 8,283 fleas, with 5 genera and 12 species identified. Across individual hosts within a site, both rodent body mass and season affected total intensity of flea infestation, although the explanatory power of these factors was generally modest (<10%). Across host populations in the landscape, we found consistently positive effects of host density and negative effects of vegetation cover on the intensity of flea infestation. Other factors explored (host diversity, annual rainfall, anthropogenic disturbance, and soil properties) tended to have lower and less consistent explanatory power. Across host species in the landscape, we found that host body mass was strongly positively correlated with both prevalence and intensity of flea parasitism, while average robustness of a host species to disturbance was not correlated with flea parasitism. Cumulatively, these results provide insight into the intricate roles of both host and environmental factors in explaining complex patterns of flea parasitism across landscape mosaics. PMID:25634599

  8. Comparing the Ecological Impacts of Wind and Oil & Gas Development: A Landscape Scale Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Nathan F.; Pejchar, Liba

    2013-01-01

    Energy production in the United States is in transition as the demand for clean and domestic power increases. Wind energy offers the benefit of reduced emissions, yet, like oil and natural gas, it also contributes to energy sprawl. We used a diverse set of indicators to quantify the ecological impacts of oil, natural gas, and wind energy development in Colorado and Wyoming. Aerial imagery was supplemented with empirical data to estimate habitat loss, fragmentation, potential for wildlife mortality, susceptibility to invasion, biomass carbon lost, and water resources. To quantify these impacts we digitized the land-use footprint within 375 plots, stratified by energy type. We quantified the change in impacts per unit area and per unit energy produced, compared wind energy to oil and gas, and compared landscapes with and without energy development. We found substantial differences in impacts between energy types for most indicators, although the magnitude and direction of the differences varied. Oil and gas generally resulted in greater impacts per unit area but fewer impacts per unit energy compared with wind. Biologically important and policy-relevant outcomes of this study include: 1) regardless of energy type, underlying land-use matters and development in already disturbed areas resulted in fewer total impacts; 2) the number and source of potential mortality varied between energy types, however, the lack of robust mortality data limits our ability to use this information to estimate and mitigate impacts; and 3) per unit energy produced, oil and gas extraction was less impactful on an annual basis but is likely to have a much larger cumulative footprint than wind energy over time. This rapid evaluation of landscape-scale energy development impacts could be replicated in other regions, and our specific findings can help meet the challenge of balancing land conservation with society’s demand for energy. PMID:24312296

  9. Anticipating Forest and Range Land Development in Central Oregon (USA) for Landscape Analysis, with an Example Application Involving Mule Deer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kline, Jeffrey D.; Moses, Alissa; Burcsu, Theresa

    2010-05-01

    Forest policymakers, public lands managers, and scientists in the Pacific Northwest (USA) seek ways to evaluate the landscape-level effects of policies and management through the multidisciplinary development and application of spatially explicit methods and models. The Interagency Mapping and Analysis Project (IMAP) is an ongoing effort to generate landscape-wide vegetation data and models to evaluate the integrated effects of disturbances and management activities on natural resource conditions in Oregon and Washington (USA). In this initial analysis, we characterized the spatial distribution of forest and range land development in a four-county pilot study region in central Oregon. The empirical model describes the spatial distribution of buildings and new building construction as a function of population growth, existing development, topography, land-use zoning, and other factors. We used the model to create geographic information system maps of likely future development based on human population projections to inform complementary landscape analyses underway involving vegetation, habitat, and wildfire interactions. In an example application, we use the model and resulting maps to show the potential impacts of future forest and range land development on mule deer ( Odocoileus hemionus) winter range. Results indicate significant development encroachment and habitat loss already in 2000 with development located along key migration routes and increasing through the projection period to 2040. The example application illustrates a simple way for policymakers and public lands managers to combine existing data and preliminary model outputs to begin to consider the potential effects of development on future landscape conditions.

  10. Anticipating forest and range land development in central Oregon (USA) for landscape analysis, with an example application involving mule deer.

    PubMed

    Kline, Jeffrey D; Moses, Alissa; Burcsu, Theresa

    2010-05-01

    Forest policymakers, public lands managers, and scientists in the Pacific Northwest (USA) seek ways to evaluate the landscape-level effects of policies and management through the multidisciplinary development and application of spatially explicit methods and models. The Interagency Mapping and Analysis Project (IMAP) is an ongoing effort to generate landscape-wide vegetation data and models to evaluate the integrated effects of disturbances and management activities on natural resource conditions in Oregon and Washington (USA). In this initial analysis, we characterized the spatial distribution of forest and range land development in a four-county pilot study region in central Oregon. The empirical model describes the spatial distribution of buildings and new building construction as a function of population growth, existing development, topography, land-use zoning, and other factors. We used the model to create geographic information system maps of likely future development based on human population projections to inform complementary landscape analyses underway involving vegetation, habitat, and wildfire interactions. In an example application, we use the model and resulting maps to show the potential impacts of future forest and range land development on mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) winter range. Results indicate significant development encroachment and habitat loss already in 2000 with development located along key migration routes and increasing through the projection period to 2040. The example application illustrates a simple way for policymakers and public lands managers to combine existing data and preliminary model outputs to begin to consider the potential effects of development on future landscape conditions. PMID:20300934

  11. A model of late quaternary landscape development in the Delaware Valley, New Jersey and Pennsylvania

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ridge, J.C.; Evenson, E.B.; Sevon, W.D.

    1992-01-01

    In the Delaware Valley of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania the late Quaternary history of colluviation, fluvial adjustment, and soil formation is based on the ages of pre-Wisconsinan soils and glacial deposits which are indicated by feld relationships and inferred from mid-latitude climate changes indicated by marine oxygen-isotope records. The area is divided into four terranes characterized by sandstone, gneiss, slate and carbonate rocks. Since the last pre-Wisconsinan glaciation (> 130 ka, inferred to be late Illinoian), each terrane responded differently to chemical and mechanical weathering. During the Sangamon interglacial stage (??? 130-75 ka) in situ weathering is inferred to have occurred at rates greater than transportation of material which resulted in the formation of deep, highly weathered soil and saprolite, and dissolution of carbonate rocks. Cold climatic conditions during the Wisconsinan, on the other hand, induced erosion of the landscape at rates faster than soil development. Upland erosion during the Wisconsinan removed pre-Wisconsinan soil and glacial sediment and bedrock to produce muddy to blocky colluvium, gre??zes lite??es, and alluvial fans on footslopes. Fluvial gravel and overlying colluvium in the Delaware Valley, both buried by late Wisconsinan outwash, are inferred to represent episodes of early and middle Wisconsinan (??? 75-25 ka) upland erosion and river aggradiation followed by river degradation and colluvium deposition. Early-middle Wisconsinan colluvium is more voluminous than later colluvium despite colder, possibly permafrost conditions during the late Wisconsinan ??? 25-10 ka). Extensive colluviation during the early and middle Wisconsinan resulted from a longer (50 kyr), generally cold interval of erosion with a greater availability of easily eroded pre-Wisconsinan surficial materials on uplands than during the late Wisconsinan. After recession of late Wisconsinan ice from its terminal position, soil formation and

  12. MERS-CoV vaccine candidates in development: The current landscape.

    PubMed

    Modjarrad, Kayvon

    2016-06-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), an emerging infectious disease of growing global importance, has caused severe acute respiratory disease in more than 1600 people, resulting in more than 600 deaths. The high case fatality rate, growing geographic distribution and vaguely defined epidemiology of MERS-CoV have created an urgent need for effective public health countermeasures, paramount of which is an effective means of prevention through a vaccine or antibody prophylaxis. Despite the relatively few number of cases to-date, research and development of MERS-CoV vaccine candidates is advancing quickly. This review surveys the landscape of these efforts across multiple groups in academia, government and industry. PMID:27083424

  13. Cretaceous-Eocene (Laramide) landscape development and Oligocene- Pliocene drainage reorganization of transition zone and Colorado Plateau, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elston, D.P.; Young, R.A.

    1991-01-01

    Landscape development of central and northern Arizona can no longer be ascribed mainly to events of Miocene and Pliocene age. New information on the age and distribution of older Cenozoic deposits has led to the recognition of a regional Cretaceous-Paleocene(?) surface of erosion that conforms to major elements on this regional surface of erosion. These relations cast new light on the history of evolution of the landscape and indicate a much greater age for the main landscape elements and a more complicated and prolonged history of erosion and deposition than has been previously supposed. The timing of events postulated for development of drainage on the Colorado Plateau can now be compared and partly reconciled with events recognized in the adjacent closely related Mountain Region (Transition Zone) of central Arizona. An understanding of this Tertiary structural, erosional, and depositional history can be important for the geological analysis of geophysical transects across the region. -from Authors

  14. Fire-free land use in pre-1492 Amazonian savannas

    PubMed Central

    Iriarte, José; Power, Mitchell J.; Rostain, Stéphen; Mayle, Francis E.; Jones, Huw; Watling, Jennifer; Whitney, Bronwen S.; McKey, Doyle B.

    2012-01-01

    The nature and scale of pre-Columbian land use and the consequences of the 1492 “Columbian Encounter” (CE) on Amazonia are among the more debated topics in New World archaeology and paleoecology. However, pre-Columbian human impact in Amazonian savannas remains poorly understood. Most paleoecological studies have been conducted in neotropical forest contexts. Of studies done in Amazonian savannas, none has the temporal resolution needed to detect changes induced by either climate or humans before and after A.D. 1492, and only a few closely integrate paleoecological and archaeological data. We report a high-resolution 2,150-y paleoecological record from a French Guianan coastal savanna that forces reconsideration of how pre-Columbian savanna peoples practiced raised-field agriculture and how the CE impacted these societies and environments. Our combined pollen, phytolith, and charcoal analyses reveal unexpectedly low levels of biomass burning associated with pre-A.D. 1492 savanna raised-field agriculture and a sharp increase in fires following the arrival of Europeans. We show that pre-Columbian raised-field farmers limited burning to improve agricultural production, contrasting with extensive use of fire in pre-Columbian tropical forest and Central American savanna environments, as well as in present-day savannas. The charcoal record indicates that extensive fires in the seasonally flooded savannas of French Guiana are a post-Columbian phenomenon, postdating the collapse of indigenous populations. The discovery that pre-Columbian farmers practiced fire-free savanna management calls into question the widely held assumption that pre-Columbian Amazonian farmers pervasively used fire to manage and alter ecosystems and offers fresh perspectives on an emerging alternative approach to savanna land use and conservation that can help reduce carbon emissions. PMID:22493248

  15. Managing the matrix: decadal responses of eucalypt-dominated savanna to ambient fire regimes.

    PubMed

    Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Price, Owen F; Murphy, Brett P

    2010-09-01

    Much of our understanding of the response of savanna systems to fire disturbance relies on observations derived from manipulative fire plot studies. Equivocal findings from both recent Australian and African savanna fire plot assessments have significant implications for informing conservation management and reliable estimation of biomass stocks and dynamics. Influential northern Australian replicated fire plot studies include the 24-year plot-scale Munmarlary and the five-year catchment-scale Kapalga, mesic savanna (> 1000 mm/yr of rainfall) experiments in present-day Kakadu National Park. At Munmarlary, under low-to-moderate-intensity fire treatments, woody vegetation dominated by mature eucalypts was found to be structurally stable. At Kapalga, substantial declines in woody biomass were observed under more intense fire treatments, and modeling assessments implicate early-season fires as having adverse effects on longer-term tree recruitment. Given these contrasting perspectives, here we take advantage of a landscape-scale fire response monitoring program established on three major northern Australian conservation reserves (Kakadu, Litchfield, and Nitmiluk National Parks). Using statistical modeling we assess the decadal effects of ambient fire regime parameters (fire frequency, severity, seasonality, time since fire) on 32 vegetation structure components and abundance of 21 tree and 16 grass species from 122 monitoring plots. Over the study period the mean annual frequency of burning of plots was 0.53, comprising mostly early-dry-season, low-severity fires. Structural and species responses were variable but often substantial, notably resulting in stem recruitment and declines in juveniles, but only weakly explained by fire regime and habitat variables. Modeling of these observations under three realistic scenarios (increased fire severity under projected worsening climate change; modest and significant reductions in fire frequency to meet conservation criteria

  16. Trade-Offs Between Biodiversity Conservation and Economic Development in Five Tropical Forest Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandker, Marieke; Ruiz-Perez, Manuel; Campbell, Bruce M.

    2012-10-01

    This study explores how conservation and development are interlinked and quantifies their reciprocal trade-offs. It identifies interventions which hold a promise to improve both conservation and development outcomes. The study finds that development trajectories can either be at the cost of conservation or can benefit conservation, but in all cases sustained poverty negatively affects conservation in the long term. Most scenarios with better outcomes for conservation come at a cost for development and the financial benefits of payments for environmental services (PES) are not sufficient to compensate for lost opportunities to earn cash. However, implementation of strategies for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in locations with low population densities come close to overcoming opportunity costs. Environmental services and subsistence income enhance the attractiveness of conservation scenarios to local people and in situations where these benefits are obvious, PES may provide the extra cash incentive to tip the balance in favor of such a scenario. The paper stresses the importance of external factors (such as industrial investments and the development of the national economy) in determining landscape scale outcomes, and suggests a negotiating and visioning role for conservation agencies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonitto, C.; Gurwick, N. P.

    2012-12-01

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

  18. Modeling the epigenetic attractors landscape: toward a post-genomic mechanistic understanding of development

    PubMed Central

    Davila-Velderrain, Jose; Martinez-Garcia, Juan C.; Alvarez-Buylla, Elena R.

    2015-01-01

    Robust temporal and spatial patterns of cell types emerge in the course of normal development in multicellular organisms. The onset of degenerative diseases may result from altered cell fate decisions that give rise to pathological phenotypes. Complex networks of genetic and non-genetic components underlie such normal and altered morphogenetic patterns. Here we focus on the networks of regulatory interactions involved in cell-fate decisions. Such networks modeled as dynamical non-linear systems attain particular stable configurations on gene activity that have been interpreted as cell-fate states. The network structure also restricts the most probable transition patterns among such states. The so-called Epigenetic Landscape (EL), originally proposed by C. H. Waddington, was an early attempt to conceptually explain the emergence of developmental choices as the result of intrinsic constraints (regulatory interactions) shaped during evolution. Thanks to the wealth of molecular genetic and genomic studies, we are now able to postulate gene regulatory networks (GRN) grounded on experimental data, and to derive EL models for specific cases. This, in turn, has motivated several mathematical and computational modeling approaches inspired by the EL concept, that may be useful tools to understand and predict cell-fate decisions and emerging patterns. In order to distinguish between the classical metaphorical EL proposal of Waddington, we refer to the Epigenetic Attractors Landscape (EAL), a proposal that is formally framed in the context of GRNs and dynamical systems theory. In this review we discuss recent EAL modeling strategies, their conceptual basis and their application in studying the emergence of both normal and pathological developmental processes. In addition, we discuss how model predictions can shed light into rational strategies for cell fate regulation, and we point to challenges ahead. PMID:25954305

  19. Mitigating the effects of landscape development on streams in urbanizing watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hogan, Dianna M.; Jarnagin, S. Taylor; Loperfido, John V.; Van Ness, Keith

    2013-01-01

    This collaborative study examined urbanization and impacts on area streams while using the best available sediment and erosion control (S&EC) practices in developing watersheds in Maryland, United States. During conversion of the agricultural and forested watersheds to urban land use, land surface topography was graded and vegetation was removed creating a high potential for sediment generation and release during storm events. The currently best available S&EC facilities were used during the development process to mitigate storm runoff water quality, quantity, and timing before entering area streams. Detailed Geographic Information System (GIS) maps were created to visualize changing land use and S&EC practices, five temporal collections of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) imagery were used to map the changing landscape topography, and streamflow, physical geomorphology, and habitat data were used to assess the ability of the S&EC facilities to protect receiving streams during development. Despite the use of the best available S&EC facilities, receiving streams experienced altered flow, geomorphology, and decreased biotic community health. These impacts on small streams during watershed development affect sediment and nutrient loads to larger downstream aquatic ecosystems such as the Chesapeake Bay.

  20. Long-term development of the Czech landscape studied on the basis of old topographic maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skokanová, H.; Havlíček, M.

    2009-04-01

    The paper deals with long-term land use changes in the Czech Republic with the help of old topographic maps. Departments of Landscape Ecology and GIS Applications from the Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening, v.v.i. study these changes mainly in the research project MSM 6293359101 Research into sources and indicators of biodiversity in cultural landscape in the context of its fragmentation dynamics, the subpart Quantitative analysis of the dynamics of the Czech landscape development. In this paper, the authors concentrate mainly on map sources, which were acquired for the purpose of the project and also introduce partial results. Maps, which are the sources for the analyses, are following: maps from 2nd Austrian military survey in the scale 1:28 800 (created for the territory of the Czech Republic in the period 1836-1852), maps from 3rd Austrian military survey in the scale 1:25 000 (created for the Czech Republic in the period 1876-1880), Czechoslovak military topographic maps in the scale 1:25 000 from 1950s and 1990s, and Czech topographic base maps in the scale 1:10 000 from 2002-2006. It is necessary to complete maps of the 2nd and 3rd Austrian military survey thanks to their incompleteness, mainly along state borders. Also maps from 1nd Austrian military survey in the scale 1:28 800 (created for the Czech Republic in the period 1764-1783) are available; however, their usage for the accurate analyses in the GIS environment is restricted by their poor cartographic accuracy. Apart of the above mentioned maps, there has been progress in collecting maps from the interwar and war period (revised maps of the 3rd Austrian military survey maps, maps of the provisional military survey from 1923-1933, maps of definitive military survey from 1934-1938 and maps from survey of Moravian part of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, so called Messtischblätter from 1939-1945). Maps from five periods are manually vectorised in the GIS

  1. Using Digital Technologies in Mathematics Teaching: Developing an Understanding of the Landscape Using Three "Grand Challenge" Themes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joubert, Marie

    2013-01-01

    This paper develops an understanding of the issues, interests and concerns within the mathematics education community related to the use of computers and other digital technologies in the teaching and learning of mathematics. It begins by arguing for the importance of understanding this landscape of interests and concerns, and then turns to the…

  2. Termites facilitate and ungulates limit savanna tree regeneration.

    PubMed

    Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Okullo, Paul; Eid, Tron; Moe, Stein R

    2013-08-01

    Both large herbivores and termites are key functional groups in savanna ecosystems, and in many savanna areas, large termite mounds (termitaria) are associated with distinct woody clusters. Studies on the effect of large mammals on tree regeneration are few, and the results are conflicting. Large herbivores have been found to be important seedling predators in some areas, but facilitate tree regeneration by outcompeting small mammals and reducing grass cover in other areas. Through the use of the experimental fencing of termite mounds and adjacent savanna areas in this study, we investigated how termites and large herbivores influence tree regeneration. Termite mounds had a higher number of seedlings, more species richness, more alpha diversity (OD) and lower evenness (E) than savanna plots. Large herbivores did not significantly affect overall seedling density, species richness, OD or E. Beta diversity was higher in savanna areas than on termitaria, and beta diversity decreased in savanna areas when herbivores were excluded. Herbivore exclusion increased the density of the 12 (40%) most common seedling species, representing 79% of all seedlings, and fenced plots had relatively taller seedlings than open plots. Thus, termites were the main determinants of tree regeneration in our study area, but large mammals regulated the most common species. Although our study confirms previous work suggesting that large herbivores affect tree regeneration, we found that termites were an even more important determinant. Termite impacts on tree regeneration deserve increased attention by savanna ecologists. PMID:23269321

  3. Evaluating governance for sustainable development - Insights from experiences in the Dutch fen landscape.

    PubMed

    den Uyl, Roos M; Driessen, Peter P J

    2015-11-01

    Prominent strands of discussion in the literature on governance for sustainable development debate how change can be induced to enhance sustainability, and how to evaluate the interventions aimed at prompting such change. Strikingly, there are few contributions about how prominent ideas of inducing change deal with multiple governance criteria for pursuing sustainable development. Moreover, the way ideas about inducing change relate to criteria of governance for sustainable development is not yet studied in an empirical context. This paper therefore comparatively analyses how three prominent modes of sustainable development governance - adaptive management, transition management and payments for environmental services - relate to a set of five prominent criteria reported in the literature, namely: equity, democracy, legitimacy, the handling of scale issues and the handling of uncertainty issues. It finds that the academic debates on these three modes address these criteria with varying attention and rather fragmented, while in the empirical setting of the Dutch fen landscape several aspects relating to the studied criteria were present and substantially influenced the functioning of the three modes of sustainable development. Together, the analysis of the literature debate and the empirical data are able to show that a narrow evaluation perspective may fail to diagnose and capture relevant struggles and complexities coming along with governance for sustainable development relevant issues. The study shows that in order to advance our understanding of governance for sustainable development, it is indeed important to include multiple criteria in studying these modes. Moreover, the study shows the importance of including empirical experiences which manifest when different modes for sustainable development are applied in real-world settings. PMID:26320012

  4. Threshold Responses of Forest Birds to Landscape Changes around Exurban Development

    PubMed Central

    Suarez-Rubio, Marcela; Wilson, Scott; Leimgruber, Peter; Lookingbill, Todd

    2013-01-01

    Low-density residential development (i.e., exurban development) is often embedded within a matrix of protected areas and natural amenities, raising concern about its ecological consequences. Forest-dependent species are particularly susceptible to human settlement even at low housing densities typical of exurban areas. However, few studies have examined the response of forest birds to this increasingly common form of land conversion. The aim of this study was to assess whether, how, and at what scale forest birds respond to changes in habitat due to exurban growth. We evaluated changes in habitat composition (amount) and configuration (arrangement) for forest and forest-edge species around North America Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) stops between 1986 and 2009. We used Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis to detect change points in species occurrence at two spatial extents (400-m and 1-km radius buffer). Our results show that exurban development reduced forest cover and increased habitat fragmentation around BBS stops. Forest birds responded nonlinearly to most measures of habitat loss and fragmentation at both the local and landscape extents. However, the strength and even direction of the response changed with the extent for several of the metrics. The majority of forest birds’ responses could be predicted by their habitat preferences indicating that management practices in exurban areas might target the maintenance of forested habitats, for example through easements or more focused management for birds within existing or new protected areas. PMID:23826325

  5. Change in the forested and developed landscape of the Lake Tahoe basin, California and Nevada, USA, 1940-2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raumann, C.G.; Cablk, M.E.

    2008-01-01

    The current ecological state of the Lake Tahoe basin has been shaped by significant landscape-altering human activity and management practices since the mid-1850s; first through widespread timber harvesting from the 1850s to 1920s followed by urban development from the 1950s to the present. Consequences of landscape change, both from development and forest management practices including fire suppression, have prompted rising levels of concern for the ecological integrity of the region. The impacts from these activities include decreased water quality, degraded biotic communities, and increased fire hazard. To establish an understanding of the Lake Tahoe basin's landscape change in the context of forest management and development we mapped, quantified, and described the spatial and temporal distribution and variability of historical changes in land use and land cover in the southern Lake Tahoe basin (279 km2) from 1940 to 2002. Our assessment relied on post-classification change detection of multi-temporal land-use/cover and impervious-surface-area data that were derived through manual interpretation, image processing, and GIS data integration for four dates of imagery: 1940, 1969, 1987, and 2002. The most significant land conversion during the 62-year study period was an increase in developed lands with a corresponding decrease in forests, wetlands, and shrublands. Forest stand densities increased throughout the 62-year study period, and modern thinning efforts resulted in localized stand density decreases in the latter part of the study period. Additionally forests were gained from succession, and towards the end of the study period extensive tree mortality occurred. The highest rates of change occurred between 1940 and 1969, corresponding with dramatic development, then rates declined through 2002 for all observed landscape changes except forest density decrease and tree mortality. Causes of landscape change included regional population growth, tourism demands

  6. GSK3β: role in therapeutic landscape and development of modulators

    PubMed Central

    Phukan, S; Babu, VS; Kannoji, A; Hariharan, R; Balaji, VN

    2010-01-01

    Glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK3β) is a multifunctional serine/threonine kinase which was originally identified as a regulator of glycogen metabolism. It plays a key role in the regulation of numerous signalling pathways including cellular process such as cell cycle, inflammation and cell proliferation. Over the last few years there is a considerable rise in the number of journals and patents publication by different workers worldwide. Many pharmaceutical companies are focusing on GSK3β as a therapeutic target for the treatment of disease conditions. The present review is focused on signalling pathways of different disease conditions where GSK3β is implicated. In this review, we present a comprehensive map of GSK3β signalling pathways in disease physiologies. Structural analysis of GSK3β along with molecular modelling reports from numerous workers are reviewed in context of design and development of GSK3β inhibitors. Patent landscape of the small molecule modulators is profiled. The chemo space for small molecule modulators extracted from public and proprietary Kinase Chembiobase for GSK3β are discussed. Compounds in different clinical phases of discovery are analysed. The review ends with the overall status of this important therapeutic target and challenges in development of its modulators. PMID:20331603

  7. Development of a landscape unit delineation framework for ecoy-hydrologic models

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A spatially distributed representation of basin hydrology and transport processes in eco-hydrological models facilitates the identification of critical source areas and the placement of management and conservation measures. Especially floodplains are critical landscape features that differ from nei...

  8. LANDSCAPE CHARACTERIZATION AND CHANGE DETECTION METHODS DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH (2005-2007)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The characterization of land-cover (LC) type, extent, and distribution represent important landscape characterization element required for monitoring ecosystem conditions and for primary data input to biogenic emission and atmospheric deposition models. Current spectral-based ch...

  9. Forest ecosystem development in post-mining landscapes: a case study of the Lusatian lignite district

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hüttl, Reinhard F.; Weber, Edwin

    2001-08-01

    The restoration of surface mining landscapes requires the (re)creation of ecosystems. In Lusatia (eastern Germany), large-scale open-cast lignite mining operations generated spoil dumps widely consisting of acidified, phytotoxic substrates. Amelioration and rehabilitation measures have been developed and applied to these substrates since the 1950s. However, it is still not clear whether these approaches are sustainable. This paper reports on collaborative research work into the ecological potential of forest ecosystem development on typical minesites in the Lusatian lignite district. At first sight, pine stands on minesites along a chronosequence comprising about 35 years did not show differences when compared with stands on non-mined sites of the general region. Furthermore, with some modification, conceptual models for flora and fauna succession in forest stands on non-mined sites seem to be applicable, at least for the early stages of forest ecosystem development. For example, soil organism abundance and activity at minesites had already reached levels typical of non-mined sites after about 20-30 years. In contrast, mine soils are very different from non-mined soils of the test region. Chemically, mine soil development is dominated by processes originating from pyrite oxidation. Geogenic, i.e. lignitic, soil organic carbon was shown to substitute for some functions of pedogenic soil organic matter. Rooting was hampered but not completely impeded in strongly acidified soil compartments. Roots and mycorrhizae are apparently able to make use of the characteristic heterogeneity of young mine soils. Considering these recent results and the knowledge accumulated during more than 30 years of research on minesite rehabilitation internationally, it can be stated that minesite restoration might be used as an ideal case study for forest ecosystem development starting at "point zero" on " terra nova".

  10. Assessing the Impact of Landscape Development on Ecosystem Services Value in Tropical Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foo, Y. S.; Hashim, M.

    2014-02-01

    As development increases with demand, more forest lands are replaced with cropland, commercial plantation, and infrastructures for being able to accommodate the excessive growth in world's population. Environments were destroyed without considering their values in sustaining life on Earth.This phenomenon is still an ongoing scenario in most of the developing countries in the tropical region including Malaysia. Such unrestricted conversion may cause food or water crisis along with irreparable consequences to local and regional climate as the natural ecosystem is not only the main resources generator but also the climate stabilizer. Contrary to this, a study was conducted in Pahang Watershed, the largest watershed in Peninsular Malaysia with forest as the dominant land cover, to investigate the effect of landscape development on the ecosystem in terms of the erosion and ecosystem service value. Results of soil loss based on USLE indicated a direct relationship between development and total soil loss where total annual soil loss in year 2005 and 2010 showed a significant increase compare to year 2000. Meanwhile, developed and agricultural lands were discovered to be the main contributor whereas forest land produce the least soil loss (<10ton/ ha/yr). Apart from this, this study also reports a degrading trend in the overall ecological service value and goods (ESVG). Although oil palm had become the main commercial plantation in current years, the commercial profit brought by oil palm still insufficient to cover losses referring to overall estimated ESVG due to the forest clearance and soil degradation. In addition, for a destroyed ecosystem to be equilibrium again requires years. Therefore, ESVG of the tropical forest are expected to increase continuously in future which mean that the roles of the forest in conserving the environment stabilization and sustainability of life are getting more critical.

  11. Emissions from savanna fires in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinha, Parikhit

    2004-12-01

    Airborne measurements are presented of emissions from savanna fires in southern Africa during the dry season. Measurements were obtained aboard the University of Washington Convair-580 research aircraft during the SAFARI 2000 field project in August and September 2000. Savanna fires in southern Africa emit a wide range of gaseous and particulate species including carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, halogen, and oxygenated compounds. Emission factors, emission ratios, and regional emissions of fifty trace gas and particulate species were derived, including eight species not previously reported in the literature (dimethyl sulfide, methyl nitrate, five species of hydrocarbons, and particles with diameters from 0.1--3 mum diameter). The physical, chemical, and radiative properties of the plume from a large savanna fire in South Africa are characterized, including plume dimensions, secondary formation of ozone and organic acids, oxidation of hydrocarbons, coagulation of particles, and gas-to-particle conversion in aged smoke. Numerous fires, thermodynamically stable layers aloft, and large-scale anticylonic flow result in high concentrations of air pollution distributed throughout the lower troposphere over southern Africa during the dry season. Average regional concentrations of CO (261 +/- 81 ppbv), SO2 (2.5 +/- 1.6 ppbv), O3 (64 +/- 13 ppbv), black particulate carbon (2.3 +/- 1.9 mug m-3), organic particulate carbon (6.2 +/- 5.2 mug m-3), total particle mass (26.0 +/- 4.7 mug m-3) are comparable to those found in polluted urban environments. The GEOS-CHEM model of tropospheric chemistry is used to characterize the transport of biomass burning emissions from southern Africa to the neighboring Atlantic and Indian Oceans during the dry season (May--October) of 2000. A large quantity of biomass burning emissions from southern Africa is transported westward over the latitudes 0--20°S to the southern Atlantic Ocean (˜40 Tg CO from May--October), contributing to a pollution anomaly

  12. Evaluation of multi-level social learning for sustainable landscapes: perspective of a development initiative in Bergslagen, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Axelsson, Robert; Angelstam, Per; Myhrman, Lennart; Sädbom, Stefan; Ivarsson, Milis; Elbakidze, Marine; Andersson, Kenneth; Cupa, Petr; Diry, Christian; Doyon, Frederic; Drotz, Marcus K; Hjorth, Arne; Hermansson, Jan Olof; Kullberg, Thomas; Lickers, F Henry; McTaggart, Johanna; Olsson, Anders; Pautov, Yurij; Svensson, Lennart; Törnblom, Johan

    2013-03-01

    To implement policies about sustainable landscapes and rural development necessitates social learning about states and trends of sustainability indicators, norms that define sustainability, and adaptive multi-level governance. We evaluate the extent to which social learning at multiple governance levels for sustainable landscapes occur in 18 local development initiatives in the network of Sustainable Bergslagen in Sweden. We mapped activities over time, and interviewed key actors in the network about social learning. While activities resulted in exchange of experiences and some local solutions, a major challenge was to secure systematic social learning and make new knowledge explicit at multiple levels. None of the development initiatives used a systematic approach to secure social learning, and sustainability assessments were not made systematically. We discuss how social learning can be improved, and how a learning network of development initiatives could be realized. PMID:23475659

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Linking landscape development intensity within watersheds to methyl-mercury accumulation in river sediments.

    PubMed

    Bonzongo, Jean-Claude J; Donkor, Augustine K; Attibayeba, Attibayeba; Gao, Jie

    2016-03-01

    An indicator of the disturbance of natural systems, the landscape development intensity (LDI) index, was used to assess the potential for land-use within watersheds to influence the production/accumulation of methyl-mercury (MeHg) in river sediments. Sediment samples were collected from locations impacted by well-identified land-use types within the Mobile-Alabama River Basin in Southeastern USA. The samples were analyzed for total-Hg (THg) and MeHg concentrations and the obtained values correlated to the calculated LDI indexes of the sampled watersheds to assess the impact of prevalent land use/land cover on MeHg accumulation in sediments. The results show that unlike THg, levels of MeHg found in sediments are impacted by the LDI indexes. Overall, certain combinations of land-use types within a given watershed appear to be more conducive to MeHg accumulation than others, therefore, pointing to the possibility of targeting land-use practices as potential means for reducing MeHg accumulation in sediments, and ultimately, fish contamination. PMID:26427848

  15. The challenges associated with developing science-based landscape scale management plans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Szaro, R.C.; Boyce, D.A., Jr.; Puchlerz, T.

    2005-01-01

    Planning activities over large landscapes poses a complex of challenges when trying to balance the implementation of a conservation strategy while still allowing for a variety of consumptive and nonconsumptive uses. We examine a case in southeast Alaska to illustrate the breadth of these challenges and an approach to developing a science-based resource plan. Not only was the planning area, the Tongass National Forest, USA, exceptionally large (approximately 17 million acres or 6.9 million ha), but it also is primarily an island archipelago environment. The water system surrounding and going through much of the forest provides access to facilitate the movement of people, animals, and plants but at the same time functions as a barrier to others. This largest temperate rainforest in the world is an exceptional example of the complexity of managing at such a scale but also illustrates the role of science in the planning process. As we enter the 21st century, the list of questions needing scientific investigation has not only changed dramatically, but the character of the questions also has changed. Questions are contentious, cover broad scales in space and time, and are highly complex and interdependent. The provision of unbiased and objective information to all stakeholders is an important step in informed decision-making.

  16. The interactions of fire regimes, land management, vegetation dynamics and the atmosphere in northern Australian savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Garry; Meyer, Mick

    2014-05-01

    The Australian tropical savannas burn with frequencies ranging from one in five to one in two years. Uniquely for an OECD country, these fires contribute substantially to accountable national greenhouse gas emissions. Concern about those emissions has led to the development of approaches to imprive fire management to reduce emissions and increase carbon sequestration. Savanna dyanmics are however, also determined by interactions with rainfall regimes. In this paper, we present an overview of fire regimes in northern Australia, their effects on the greenhouse gas emissions and how management of those fires interacts with climatic variability and likely climate change. Data will be presented from on-ground measurements of emissions, vegetation dyanamics as well as interpretation of satellite imagery of fire scars.

  17. Emissions from Miombo Woodland and Dambo Grassland Savanna Fires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sinha, Parikhit; Hobbs, Peter V.; Yokelson, Robert J.; Blake, Donald R.; Gao, Song; Kirchstetter, Thomas W.

    2004-01-01

    Airborne measurements of trace gases and particles over and downwind of two prescribed savanna fires in Zambia are described. The measurements include profiles through the smoke plumes of condensation nucleus concentrations and normalized excess mixing ratios of particles and gases, emission factors for 42 trace gases and seven particulate species, and vertical profiles of ambient conditions. The fires were ignited in plots of miombo woodland savanna, the most prevalent savanna type in southern Africa, and dambo grassland savanna, an important enclave of miombo woodland ecosystems. Emission factors for the two fires are combined with measurements of fuel loading, combustion factors, and burned area (derived from satellite burn scar retrievals) to estimate the emissions of trace gases and particles from woodland and grassland savanna fires in Zambia and southern Africa during the dry season (May-October) of 2000. It is estimated that the emissions of CO2, CO, total hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NOx as NO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), formaldehyde, methyl bromide, total particulate matter, and black carbon from woodland and grassland savanna fires during the dry season of 2000 in southern Africa contributed 12.3%, 12.6%, 5.9%, 10.3%, 7.5%, 24.2%, 2.8%, 17.5%, and 11.1%, respectively, of the average annual emissions from all types of savanna fires worldwide. In 2000 the average annual emissions of methane, ethane, ethene, acetylene, propene, formaldehyde, methanol, and acetic acid from the use of biofuels in Zambia were comparable to or exceeded dry season emissions of these species from woodland and grassland savanna fires in Zambia.

  18. Acceptability of residential development in a regional landscape: Potential effects on wildlife occupancy patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bettigole, Charles A.; Donovan, Therese; Manning, Robert; Austin, John; Long, Robert

    2014-01-01

    The conversion of natural lands to developed uses may pose the single greatest human threat to global terrestrial biodiversity. Continued human growth and development over the next century will further exacerbate these effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. Natural resource managers are tasked with managing wildlife as a public trust, yet often have little say in land use decisions. Generally speaking, decision makers could benefit from an understanding of what different regulations mean in terms of wildlife distribution. In a previous paper (Bettigole et al., 2013), we surveyed town residents throughout Vermont to measure how respondents feel about a range of development levels within their town boundaries. We estimated the “social carrying capacity for development” – orSKd – for 251 towns in Vermont. SKd provides an estimate of the level of developed land cover classes that town residents deem “acceptable” within their town boundaries. In this paper, we design a framework for linking the town-specific SKd estimates with the wildlife distribution patterns for three wide-ranging mammalian species: American black bear (Ursus americanus), fisher (Martes pennanti), and bobcat (Lynx rufus). We simulated landscape conditions at SKd for each town in Vermont, and then used existing occupancy models for the three target species to spatially map and compare occupancy rates in the baseline year 2000 with occupancy rates at SKd. With nearly 90% of Vermont towns willing to increase developed landcover classes within town boundaries compared to baseline levels, significant state-wide changes in occupancy rates were predicted for all three focal species. Average occupancy rates declined by −15.9% and −3.1% for black bear and bobcats, respectively. Average occupancy rates for fisher increased by 9.0%. This study provides a method for linking development standards within a town with wildlife occurrence. Across towns, the methodology spatially identifies

  19. Origin and dynamics of the northern South American coastal savanna belt during the Holocene - the role of climate, sea-level, fire and humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alizadeh, Kamaleddin; Cohen, Marcelo; Behling, Hermann

    2015-08-01

    Presence of a coastal savanna belt expanding from British Guiana to northeastern Brazil cannot be explained by present-day climate. Using pollen and charcoal analyses on an 11.6 k old sediment core from a coastal depression in the savanna belt near the mouth of the Amazon River we investigated the paleoenvironmental history to shed light on this question. Results indicate that small areas of savanna accompanied by a forest type composed primarily by the genus Micropholis (Sapotaceae) that has no modern analog existed at the beginning of the Holocene. After 11,200 cal yr BP, savanna accompanied by few trees replaced the forest. In depressions swamp forest developed and by ca 10,000 cal yr BP replaced by Mauritia swamps. Between 8500 and 5600 cal yr BP gallery forest (composed mainly of Euphorbiaceae) and swamp forest succeeded the treeless savanna. The modern vegetation with alternating gallery forest and savanna developed after 5600 cal yr BP. We suggest that the early Holocene no-analog forest is a relict of previously more extensive forest under cooler and moister Lateglacial conditions. The early Holocene savanna expansion indicates a drier phase probably related to the shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) towards its northernmost position. The mid-Holocene forest expansion is probably a result of the combined influence of equatorwards shift of ITCZ joining the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ). The ecosystem variability during the last 5600 cal yr BP, formed perhaps under influence of intensified ENSO condition. High charcoal concentrations, especially during the early Holocene, indicate that natural and/or anthropogenic fires may have maintained the savanna. However, our results propose that climate change is the main driving factor for the formation of the coastal savanna in this region. Our results also show that the early Holocene sea level rise established mangroves near the study site until 7500 cal yr BP and promoted

  20. From landscape to domain: Soils role in landscape classifications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil landscape classifications are designed to divide landscapes into units with significance for the provisioning and regulating of ecosystem services and the development of conservation plans for natural resources. More specifically, such classifications serve as the basis for stratifying manageme...

  1. Surficial Geology and Landscape Development in Northern Frenchman Flat, Interim Summary and Soil Data

    SciTech Connect

    Raytheon Services Nevada Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Division

    1995-09-01

    This report summarizes geologic studies by Raytheon Services Nevada near the Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site at the Nevada Test Site. These studies are part of a program to satisfy data needs of (1) the Greater Confinement Disposal (GCD) Program Performance Assessment (PA), (2) the low-level waste (LLW) PA, and (3) the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit application. The geologic studies were integrated into a single program that worked toward a landscape evolution model of northern Frenchman Flat, with more detailed geologic studies of particular topics as needed. Only the Holocene tectonism and surficial geology components of the landscape model are presented in this report.

  2. Effect of fuel composition on combustion efficiency and emission factors for African savanna ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, D. E.; Hao, W. M.; Susott, R. A.; Babbitt, R. E.; Shea, R. W.; Kauffman, J. B.; Justice, C. O.

    1996-10-01

    Savanna burning in Africa occurs over a wide range of environmental, vegetation, and land use conditions. The emission factors for trace emissions from these fires can vary by a factor of 6 to 8, depending on whether the fires burn in miombo woodlands or in ecosystems where grass vegetation dominates. Ground-based measurements of smoke emissions and aboveground biomass were made for fires in grassland and woodland savanna ecosystems in South Africa and Zambia. A high combustion efficiency (η⌢) was measured for the pure grassland; i.e., a high proportion of carbon was released as CO2. The η⌢ was lower for woodland savanna ecosystems with variable amounts of grass and with a more compact layer of leaf material and litter lying near the ground. The η⌢ was found to be dependent on the ratio of grass to the sum of grass and litter. Models developed for estimating emissions were integrated in a nomogram for estimating total emissions of CO2, CO, CH4, nonmethane hydrocarbons, and particles of less than 2.5 μm diameter per unit area.

  3. Post-glacial coast development and human settling of the North European Ice Marginal Landscape (IML)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bregman, I. Kant Baltic Federal State University, Kaliningrad, Russia, E. P. H.; Netherlands, Utrecht University, the; Druzhinina, I. Kant Baltic Federal State University, Kaliningrad, Russia, O. A.

    2012-04-01

    In North Europe, in the Ice Marginal Landscapes (IML) from the Netherlands to Estonia, human settling is in the Late-Pleistocene - Holocene strongly influenced by post-glacial relative coast development(MESO, 2010; SINCOS, 2002-2009; Machu, 2006-2009, IGCP project 346, CoPaF, 2009-2012) and glacio-isostasy. Geological processes like updoming and tectonic block displacements not only influenced sedimentation of river systems in delta's (e.g. Cohen, 2003), but influenced coastal development and human settling too in the North Sea area (e.g. Peeters, 2009; Hijma e.a., 2011) the Wadden areas (e.g. de Langen, 2011) and lagoons (e.g. Druzhinina, 2010). An overview of shoreline development at the distal side of the Late Glacial forbulge related to glaciological and geophysical processes however does not exist and coastal development models are also not correlated with human settling. Our project( 2012 - 2018) has the aim to describe the influence of shifting coast on the way of settling and living of ancient man in the IML. The main questions to be answered are as follow: (i) Is coast development influenced by glaciations a result of interaction between endo- and exogenic (glaciological-, geological-, and geophysical) forces in general and at the local scale of morphological elements? (ii) Did ancient man adept to changes in natural circumstances and what did that mean for his social behavior and economy? (iii) Were forms of human society and economy in the IML primarily dependent on the natural environment with regard to geophysical and geological differences and related to post-glacial response of the earth crust? Detailed integrated studying of "key-areas", with attention to deep geology, will allow to get new insight of the impact of post-glacial shoreline changes and history of man on the coast in the IML with focus on his past (history of relations) and future (impact of climate change. The project is an international project, with participation of institutes all

  4. Studying Wildlife at Local and Landscape Scales: Bachman's Sparrow at the Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    Dunning, J.B.; Danielson, B.J.; Watts, B.D.; Liu, J.; Krementz, D.R.

    2000-10-01

    Mutual interests between land managers at SRS and scientists resulted in a landscape ecology study of Bachman's sparrow. The species is declining throughout it's range. The distribution of suitable habitats across the landscape may provide an explanation. The species occupies early successional and late successional savanna habitat. Modeling was closely linked to field observations to demonstrate how the species demographics change with the distribution and dynamics of habitats.

  5. Late Quaternary landscape development at the margin of the Pomeranian phase (MIS 2) near Lake Wygonin (Northern Poland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirsch, Florian; Schneider, Anna; Nicolay, Alexander; Błaszkiewicz, Mirosław; Kordowski, Jarosław; Noryskiewicz, Agnieszka M.; Tyszkowski, Sebastian; Raab, Alexandra; Raab, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    In Central Europe, Late Quaternary landscapes experienced multiple phases of geomorphologic activity. In this study,we used a combined geomorphological, pedological, sedimentological and palynological approach to characterize landscape development after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) near Lake Wygonin in Northern Poland. The pedostratigraphical findings from soil pits and drillings were extrapolated using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and electric resistivity tomography (ERT). During the Pomeranian phase, glacial and fluvioglacial processes dominated the landscape near Lake Wygonin. At the end of the glacial period, periglacial processes became relevant and caused the formation of ventifacts and coversands containing coated sand grains. At approximately 15,290-14,800 cal yr BP, a small pond formed in a kettle hole (profile BWI2). The lacustrine sediments lack eolian sand components and therefore indicate the decline of eolian processes during that time. The increase of Juniperus and rock-rose (Helianthemum) in the pollen diagram is a prominent marker of the Younger Dryas. At the end of the Younger Dryas, a partial reshaping of the landscape is indicated by abundant charcoal fragments in disturbed lake sediments. No geomorphologic activity since the beginning of the Holocene is documented in the terrestrial and wetland archives. The anthropogenic impact is reflected in the pollen diagram by the occurrence of rye pollen grains (Cerealia type, Secale cereale) and translocated soil sediments dated to 1560-1410 cal yr BP, proving agricultural use of the immediate vicinity. With the onset of land use, gully incision and the accumulation of colluvial fans reshaped the landscape locally. Since 540-460 cal yr BP, further gully incision in the steep forest tracks has been associated with the intensification of forestry. Outside of the gully catchments, the weakly podzolized Rubic Brunic Arenosols show no features of Holocene soil erosion. Reprinted from CATENA, Volume 124

  6. Changing Pedagogic Codes in a Class of Landscape Architects Learning "Ecologically Sustainable Development"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, G. M.

    2010-01-01

    Professional discourse in education has been the focus of research conducted mostly with teachers and professional practitioners, but the work of students in the built environment has largely been ignored. This article presents an analysis of students' visual discourse in the final professional year of a landscape architecture course in Brisbane,…

  7. Development of hydrologic landscape regions for classifying hydrologic permanace and hydrological-ecological interactions

    EPA Science Inventory

    In a 2001 paper, Winter proposed the concept of the hydrologic landscape unit as a fundamental unit composed of an upland and lowland separated by a steeper slope. Winter suggested that this concept could be useful for hydrologic research, data analysis, and comparing hydrologic...

  8. The Singapore Global Schoolhouse: An Analysis of the Development of the Tertiary Education Landscape in Singapore

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ng, Pak Tee; Tan, Charlene

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This paper seeks to analyse the Singapore government's recent attempt to make Singapore a "Global Schoolhouse" by transforming its tertiary education sector. It aims to examine the government's attempt to promote greater diversity and autonomy in the tertiary education landscape; it also aims to examine the government's systems of state…

  9. Soil-landscape development and late Quaternary environmental change in coastal Estremadura, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, Michael; Haws, Jonathan; Benedetti, Michael; Bicho, Nuno

    2015-04-01

    This poster integrates soil-landscape analysis with archaeological survey and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Soils in surface and buried contexts in Estremadura, Portugal, provide evidence of landscape stability and instability, relative age relationships between landforms, and general paleoenvironmental conditions during the late Quaternary. These factors provide insight into the distribution and condition of Paleolithic archaeological sites and help understand the record of human settlement in the region. Late Pleistocene and Holocene dunes extend inland approximately 10 km from coastal source regions. Surface soils in Holocene dunes under maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) forest exhibit A, E, C/Bh and A, C horizon sequences and classify as Quartzipsamments. Surface soils in late Pleistocene dunes exhibit A, E, Bh, Bhs, Bs horizon sequences and classify as Haplorthods. Both Pleistocene and Holocene dunes commonly bury a heavily weathered soil formed in calcareous sandstone. The boundary between underlying buried soils and overlying surface soils is characterized by a lag deposit of medium to coarse, moderately-rounded gravels, underlain immediately by subsurface Bt and Bss horizons. The lag deposit and absence of buried A horizons both indicate intense and/or prolonged surface erosion prior to burial by late Quaternary dunes. Soil-geomorphic relationships therefore suggest at least two distinct episodes of dune emplacement and subsequent landscape stability following an extensive episode late Pleistocene landscape instability and soil erosion. A conceptual model of soil-landscape evolution through the late Quaternary and Holocene results from the integration of soil profile data, proxy paleoenvironmental data, and the partial record of human settled as revealed in the archaeological record.

  10. Tree-grass competition for soil water in arid and semiarid savannas: the role of rainfall intermittency.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Onofrio, Donatella; Baudena, Mara; D'Andrea, Fabio; Rietkerk, Max; Provenzale, Antonello

    2014-05-01

    Savannas occupy about one fifth of the global land surface and, despite their importance for socio-economical issues, their origin, nature and dynamics are still only partially understood. Owing to the large extent and productivity of savanna biomes, future climate-driven changes in these ecosystems could have large impacts on global biochemical cycles. In the last decades, it has been widely debated which mechanisms are responsible for the coexistence of trees and grass, which characterizes savannas. Along a gradient of water availability, tropical grasslands and forests represent limiting ecosystems where either one or the other life form dominate, respectively in the drier and moister environments. The purpose of this work is to explore tree-grass competition as a function of soil moisture availability, focusing on the drier part of the moisture gradient, where not only water is scarce but also it is highly intermittent and characterized by strong seasonality. To this aim, we developed a simple implicit-space model of tree and grass competition explicitly including soil moisture dynamics and temporal intermittency of rainfall. Assuming that the colonization rates of grasses and trees are soil-moisture-dependent and that tree seedlings are inferior competitors than grasses, the model is able to predict stable grassland, savanna (tree-grass coexistence) and forest along a gradient of mean annual rainfall, as well as variations in tree-grass cover at a fixed mean annual rainfall value, due to precipitation intermittency.

  11. Assessing the role of spatial pattern in governing ecohydrological interactions and vegetation dynamics in semi-arid savannas.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shugart, H. H.; Caylor, K. K.; Scanlon, T. M.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

    2003-12-01

    The spatial pattern of vegetation is both a cause and effect of variation in resource availability in semiarid ecosystems. At landscape to regional scales, climatic and geologic constraints on soil moisture and nutrient availability are primary determinants of vegetation structural pattern in semiarid ecosystems. Similarly, at local to landscape scales, the patchy vegetation structural mosaic serves to redistribute the availability of soil moisture and nutrients in ways that have important consequences for structural dynamics and community composition. A coupled energy and water balance approach was previously used to simulate the effects of large tree canopies on soil moisture and water stress across a series of sites spanning a regional moisture gradient in southern Africa. Results from the model indicate that tree canopies serve to reduce soil moisture stress of under canopy vegetation in the middle of the rainfall gradient, while at the dry end of the rainfall gradient the effect of tree canopies on soil moisture is dependent on the amount of rainfall received in a given growing season. These findings are used within a modeling framework to assess the relationship between vegetation pattern and subsequent structural dynamics of mixed tree/grass ecosystems in southern African savannas. Special attention is given to the potential for woody vegetation encroachment in southern African savannas under varying levels of climatic change and altered land tenure.

  12. Aerosol emissions by tropical forest and savanna biomass burning: Characteristic trace elements and fluxes

    SciTech Connect

    Echalar, F.; Gaudichet, A.; Cachier, H.

    1995-11-15

    This report characterizes and compares trace element emissions from fires of three different types of savannas and from the southwestern amazonian rain forest. This study tries to verify a fingerprint that may characterize savanna fires or tropical biomass burning.

  13. Application of Unsupervised Clustering using Sparse Representations on Learned Dictionaries to develop Land Cover Classifications in Arctic Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowland, J. C.; Moody, D. I.; Brumby, S.; Gangodagamage, C.

    2012-12-01

    Techniques for automated feature extraction, including neuroscience-inspired machine vision, are of great interest for landscape characterization and change detection in support of global climate change science and modeling. Successful application of novel unsupervised feature extraction and clustering algorithms for use in Land Cover Classification requires the ability to determine what landscape attributes are represented by automated clustering. A closely related challenge is learning how to precondition the input data streams to the unsupervised classification algorithms in order to obtain clusters that represent Land Cover category of relevance to landsurface change and modeling applications. We present results from an ongoing effort to apply novel clustering methodologies developed primarily for neuroscience machine vision applications to the environmental sciences. We use a Hebbian learning rule to build spectral-textural dictionaries that are adapted to the data. We learn our dictionaries from millions of overlapping image patches and then use a pursuit search to generate sparse classification features. These sparse representations of pixel patches are used to perform unsupervised k-means clustering. In our application, we use 8-band multispectral Worldview-2 data from three arctic study areas: Barrow, Alaska; the Selawik River, Alaska; and a watershed near the Mackenzie River delta in northwest Canada. Our goal is to develop a robust classification methodology that will allow for the automated discretization of the landscape into distinct units based on attributes such as vegetation, surface hydrological properties (e.g. soil moisture and inundation), and topographic/geomorphic characteristics. The challenge of developing a meaningful land cover classification includes both learning how optimize the clustering algorithm and successfully interpreting the results. In applying the unsupervised clustering, we have the flexibility of selecting both the window

  14. The role of savannas in the terrestrial Si cycle: A case-study from Lamto, Ivory Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandre, Anne; Bouvet, Mickael; Abbadie, Luc

    2011-08-01

    Savannas currently occupy a fifth of the earth's land surface and are predicted to expand in the next few centuries at the expense of tropical forests, mainly as a result of deforestation and human fires. Can such a vegetation trend impact, through changes in plant Si cycling, the lithogenic silicon (LSi) release into soils (through chemical weathering) and the net dissolved Si (DSi) outputs from soils to stream water (through chemical denudation)? The first step of an investigation requires quantifying the net Si fluxes involved in the plant/soil system. Here, a schematic steady-state Si cycle, established for a tropical humid savanna (Lamto, Ivory Coast) that developed on a ferruginous soil and is subjected to annual fires, is presented. Erosion was assumed to be insignificant. LSi and biogenic Si (BSi under the form of phytoliths) pools were measured, and Si fluxes were estimated from Si concentrations and mass balance calculation. Identification of plant and soil phytoliths indicated that the soil BSi pool is in equilibrium with the current BSi input by the savanna. In the soil column, mixing between a young rapidly recycled BSi pool and an old stable BSi pool is attested by a mixing line equation. Storage of the old BSi pool is assimilated as a BSi output from the plant/soil system. A BSi output additionally occurs after annual fires, when ashes are exported. Both BSi outputs decrease as much the BSi dissolution. In order to uptake constant DSi flux, the savanna increases by three to eight times the net LSi release, depending upon the post-fire ash exportation scenario. A comparison between savanna and rainforest Si cycles that maximizes the differences in plant/soil systems and minimizes differences in climate is presented. The comparison revealed that BSi storage is higher in the savanna soil than in the rainforest soil, mainly due to BSi production that is twice higher in the savanna (127 vs 67 kg/ha/yr). The resulting LSi release that is enhanced by plant

  15. The role of savannas in the terrestrial Si cycle: A case-study from Lamto, Ivory Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandre, A. E.; Abbadie, L.

    2011-12-01

    Savannas currently occupy a fifth of the earth's land surface and are predicted to expand in the next few centuries at the expense of tropical forests, mainly as a result of deforestation and human fires. Can such a vegetation trend impact, through changes in plant Si cycling, the lithogenic silicon (LSi) release into soils (through chemical weathering) and the net dissolved Si (DSi) outputs from soils to stream water (through chemical denudation)? The first step of an investigation requires quantifying the net Si fluxes involved in the plant/soil system. Here, a schematic steady-state Si cycle, established for a tropical humid savanna (Lamto, Ivory Coast) that developed on a ferruginous soil and is subjected to annual fires, is presented. Erosion was assumed to be insignificant. LSi and biogenic Si (BSi under the form of phytoliths) pools were measured, and Si fluxes were estimated from Si concentrations and mass balance calculation. Identification of plant and soil phytoliths indicated that the soil BSi pool is in equilibrium with the current BSi input by the savanna. In the soil column, mixing between a young rapidly recycled BSi pool and an old stable BSi pool is attested by a mixing line equation. Storage of the old BSi pool is assimilated as a BSi output from the plant/soil system. A BSi output additionally occurs after annual fires, when ashes are exported. Both BSi outputs decrease as much the BSi dissolution. In order to uptake constant DSi flux, the savanna increases by three to eight times the net LSi release, depending upon the post-fire ash exportation scenario. A comparison between savanna and rainforest Si cycles that maximizes the differences in plant/soil systems and minimizes differences in climate is presented. The comparison revealed that BSi storage is higher in the savanna soil than in the rainforest soil, mainly due to BSi production that is twice higher in the savanna (127 vs 67 kg/ha/yr). The resulting LSi release that is enhanced by plant

  16. Landscape disturbance from unconventional and conventional oil and gas development in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Slonecker, Terry E.; Milheim, Lesley E.

    2015-01-01

    The spatial footprint of unconventional (hydraulic fracturing) and conventional oil and gas development in the Marcellus Shale region of the State of Pennsylvania was digitized from high-resolution, ortho-rectified, digital aerial photography, from 2004 to 2010. We used these data to measure the spatial extent of oil and gas development and to assess the exposure of the extant natural resources across the landscape of the watersheds in the study area. We found that either form of development: (1) occurred in ~50% of the 930 watersheds that defined the study area; (2) was closer to streams than the recommended safe distance in ~50% of the watersheds; (3) was in some places closer to impaired streams and state-defined wildland trout streams than the recommended safe distance; (4) was within 10 upstream kilometers of surface drinking water intakes in ~45% of the watersheds that had surface drinking water intakes; (5) occurred in ~10% of state-defined exceptional value watersheds; (6) occurred in ~30% of the watersheds with resident populations defined as disproportionately exposed to pollutants; (7) tended to occur at interior forest locations; and (8) had >100 residents within 3 km for ~30% of the unconventional oil and gas development sites. Further, we found that exposure to the potential effects of landscape disturbance attributable to conventional oil and gas development was more prevalent than its unconventional counterpart.

  17. Eco-hydrology driven fire regime in savanna.

    PubMed

    Ursino, Nadia

    2014-08-21

    Fire is an important evolutionary force and ecosystem consumer that shapes savanna composition. However, ecologists have not comprehensively explained the functioning and maintenance of flammable savannas. A new minimal model accounting for the interdependence between soil saturation, biomass growth, fuel availability and fire has been used to predict the increasing tree density and fire frequency along a Mean Annual Rainfall (MAR) gradient for a typical savanna. Cyclic fire recurrence is reproduced using a predator prey approach in which fire is the "predator" and vegetation is the "prey". For the first time, fire frequency is not defined a priori but rather arises from the composition of vegetation, which determines fuel availability and water limitation. Soil aridity affects fuel production and fuel composition, thus indirectly affecting the ecosystem vulnerability to fire and fire frequency. The model demonstrates that two distinct eco-hydrological states correspond to different fire frequencies: (i) at low MAR, grass is abundant and the impact of fire on the environment is enhanced by the large fuel availability, (ii) at higher MAR, tree density progressively increases and provides less fuel for fire, leading to more frequent and less destructive fires, and (iii) the threshold MAR that determines the transition between the two states and the fire frequency at high MAR are affected by the vulnerability of trees to grass fire. The eco-hydrology-driven predator-prey model originally predicts that the transition between dry and wet savanna is characterized by a shift in wildfire frequency driven by major differences in soil moisture available for plants and savanna structure. The shift and the role of fire in conserving savanna ecosystems could not have been predicted if fire was considered as an external forcing rather than an intrinsic property of the ecosystem. PMID:24727188

  18. Erosion and landscape development decouple strontium and sulfur in the transition to dominance by atmospheric inputs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bern, C.R.; Porder, S.; Townsend, A.R.

    2007-01-01

    Weathering and leaching can progressively deplete the pools of soluble, rock-derived elements in soils and ecosystems over millennial time-scales, such that productivity increasingly relies on inputs from atmospheric deposition. This transition has been explored using strontium isotopes, which have been widely assumed to be a proxy for the provenance of other rock-derived elements. We compared rock versus atmospheric proportions of strontium to those for sulfur, a plant macronutrient, at several tropical forest sites in Hawaii and Costa Rica. Isotopic analyses reveal that sulfur is often decoupled from strontium in the transition to atmospheric dependence. Decoupling is likely the result of differences in chemical factors such as atmospheric input rates, mobility in the soil environment, and mineral weathering susceptibility. Strontium and sulfur decoupling appears to be accentuated by the physical process of erosion. Erosion rates are presumed to be high on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, where the recent onset of rapid tectonic uplift has placed the landscape in a transient state. Decoupling is strong there, as erosion has rejuvenated the supply of rock-derived strontium but not sulfur. The landscape response to changes in tectonic uplift on the Osa Peninsula has produced decoupling at the landscape scale. Decoupling is more variable along a Hawaiian catena, presumably due to smaller scale variations in erosion rates and their influence on rejuvenation of rock-strontium inputs. These results illustrate how chemical and physical processes can interact to produce contrasting origins for different nutrient elements in soils and the ecosystems they support. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Geomorpho-Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farabollini, Piero; Lugeri, Francesca; Amadio, Vittorio

    2014-05-01

    Landscape is the object of human perceptions, being the image of spatial organization of elements and structures: mankind lives the first approach with the environment, viewing and feeling the landscape. Many definitions of landscape have been given over time: in this case we refer to the Landscape defined as the result of interaction among physical, biotic and anthropic phenomena acting in a different spatial-temporal scale (Foreman & Godron) Following an Aristotelic approach in studying nature, we can assert that " Shape is synthesis": so it is possible to read the land features as the expression of the endogenous and exogenous processes that mould earth surfaces; moreover, Landscape is the result of the interaction of natural and cultural components, and conditions the spatial-temporal development of a region. The study of the Landscape offers results useful in order to promote sustainable development, ecotourism, enhancement of natural and cultural heritage, popularization of the scientific knowledge. In Italy, a very important GIS-based tool to represent the territory is the "Carta della Natura" ("Map of Nature", presently coordinated by the ISPRA) that aims at assessing the state of the whole Italian territory, analyzing Landscape. The methodology follows a holistic approach, taking into consideration all the components of a landscape and then integrating the information. Each individual landscape, studied at different scales, shows distinctive elements: structural, which depend on physical form and specific spatial organization; functional, which depend on relationships created between biotic and abiotic elements, and dynamic, which depend on the successive evolution of the structure. The identification of the landscape units, recognized at different scales of analysis, allows an evaluation of the state of the land, referring to the dual risk/resource which characterizes the Italian country. An interesting opportunity is to discover those areas of unusual

  20. Phytolith analysis as a tool for palaeo-environmental studies: a case study of the reconstruction of the historical extent of oak savanna in the Willamette Valley, Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchholtes, Renske; van Mourik, Jan; Johnson, Bart

    2014-05-01

    Landscape-level restorations can be costly, so the effectiveness of the approach and the objectives of the restoration should be supported by a comprehensive investigation. The goal of the research presented here is to provide the basis for such a restoration effort using phytolith analyses. Fire suppression and loss of indigenous burning in the Willamette Valley, Oregon (USA) has led to near disappearance of the Oregon white oak savanna. Under suppressed fire regimes the shade-intolerant Garry oaks (Quercus garryana) are outcompeted by Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). As a consequence, the Oregon white oak savanna has been reduced to <5% of its former extent. This range contraction has had significant impacts on regional biodiversity due to habitat loss and fragmentation of the many savanna-dependent plant and animal species. Landscape-level restorations of oak savannas are needed to conserve biodiversity. Creating a more open landscape in which wildfires play a vital role, ties in with efforts to reduce fuel loads. Under a warming climate and changing precipitation patterns, reducing fire risk, fire intensity and fuel loading is critical. Frequent, low-intensity burning of both natural and Native American origin created open spaces in the otherwise densely forested hills and mountains of the Cascade Range. Thus, determining an appropriate "restoration point" (estimate of percent forest cover,) requires a pre-settlement paleoenvironmental reconstruction. However, the conventional indicators used in floristic reconstructions (pollen and spores) are seldom preserved in the dry, oxidized sediments of savannahs, meaning an alternative line of evidence is required for their historical study. Phytoliths are small yet robust silica particles produced by most plants. Many phytoliths take on cell shapes diagnostic of specific plant lineages, acting as indicators of their past presence. Unlike pollen grains, phytoliths readily preserve in well-drained soils during

  1. Development of "best practices" for sampling of an important surface-dwelling soil mite in pastoral landscapes.

    PubMed

    Nansen, Christian; Gumley, Jerome; Groves, Lloyd; Nansen, Maria; Severtson, Dustin; Ridsdill-Smith, Thomas James

    2015-07-01

    In this study, we analyzed 1145 vacuum samples of redlegged earth mites (RLEM) [Halotydeus destructor (Tucker) (Acari: Penthaleidae)] from 18 sampling events at six locations in pastoral landscapes of Western Australia during three growing seasons (2012-2014) (total of 228,299 RLEM individuals). The specific objectives were to determine: (1) presence/absence effects of a range of vegetation characteristics, (2) possible factors influencing RLEM sampling performance during the course of the season and day, (3) effects of size of area sampled and duration of sampling, (4) the spatial structure of RLEM counts in uniform pastoral vegetation, and (5) develop "best practices" regarding field-based vacuum sampling of surface dwelling soil mites in pastoral landscapes. We found that sampling of completely bare ground will lead to very low RLEM counts but spots with sparse vegetation (presence of bare ground) probably increases the presence of microhabitats for mites to shelter in and therefore lead to higher RLEM counts. RLEM counts were positively associated with the height of vegetation, at least up to about 15 cm in height. In early season (May-August), highest RLEM counts will be obtained in the afternoon hours (2-4 pm), whereas in late season sampling (August-November), highest RLEM counts will be obtained around noon. Higher RLEM counts should be expected from spots with grazed/mowed vegetation including cape weed and without presence of grasses and stubble. Variogram analyses of high-resolution data sets suggested that considerable range of spatial autocorrelation should be expected from fields with fairly uniform vegetation, especially if RLEM population densities are high. We are therefore recommending that samples are collected at least 30 m apart, if the objective is to obtain independent (spatially non-correlated) counts. The results from this study may be used to develop effective sampling protocols deployed in field ecology studies of soil surface dwelling

  2. Effects of tree harvest on the stable-state dynamics of savanna and forest.

    PubMed

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Hanan, Niall P

    2015-05-01

    Contemporary theory on the maintenance and stability of the savanna biome has focused extensively on how climate and disturbances interact to affect tree growth and demography. In particular, the role of fire in reducing tree cover from climatic maxima is now well appreciated, and in certain cases, herbivory also strongly affects tree cover. However, in African savannas and forests, harvest of trees by humans for cooking and heating is an oft overlooked disturbance. Thus, we incorporate tree harvest into a population dynamic model of grasses, savanna saplings, savanna trees, and forest trees. We use assumptions about the differential demographic responses of savanna trees and forest trees to harvest to show how tree harvest influences tree cover, demography, and community composition. Tree harvest can erode the intrinsic basin of attraction for forest and make a state transition via fire to savanna more likely. The savanna state is generally resilient to all but high levels of tree harvest because of the resprouting abilities of savanna trees. In the absence of active fire suppression, our analysis suggests that we can expect to see large and potentially irreversible shifts from forest to savanna as demand increases for charcoal in sub-Saharan Africa. On the other hand, savanna tree species' traits promote savanna stability in the face of low to moderate harvest pressure. PMID:25905514

  3. Indirect effects of domestic and wild herbivores on butterflies in an African savanna

    PubMed Central

    Wilkerson, Marit L; Roche, Leslie M; Young, Truman P

    2013-01-01

    Indirect interactions driven by livestock and wild herbivores are increasingly recognized as important aspects of community dynamics in savannas and rangelands. Large ungulate herbivores can both directly and indirectly impact the reproductive structures of plants, which in turn can affect the pollinators of those plants. We examined how wild herbivores and cattle each indirectly affect the abundance of a common pollinator butterfly taxon, Colotis spp., at a set of long-term, large herbivore exclosure plots in a semiarid savanna in central Kenya. We also examined effects of herbivore exclusion on the main food plant of Colotis spp., which was also the most common flowering species in our plots: the shrub Cadaba farinosa. The study was conducted in four types of experimental plots: cattle-only, wildlife-only, cattle and wildlife (all large herbivores), and no large herbivores. Across all plots, Colotis spp. abundances were positively correlated with both Cadaba flower numbers (adult food resources) and total Cadaba canopy area (larval food resources). Structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed that floral resources drove the abundance of Colotis butterflies. Excluding browsing wildlife increased the abundances of both Cadaba flowers and Colotis butterflies. However, flower numbers and Colotis spp. abundances were greater in plots with cattle herbivory than in plots that excluded all large herbivores. Our results suggest that wild browsing herbivores can suppress pollinator species whereas well-managed cattle use may benefit important pollinators and the plants that depend on them. This study documents a novel set of ecological interactions that demonstrate how both conservation and livelihood goals can be met in a working landscape with abundant wildlife and livestock. PMID:24198932

  4. Savanna fires increase rates and distances of seed dispersal by ants.

    PubMed

    Parr, C L; Andersen, A N; Chastagnol, C; Duffaud, C

    2007-02-01

    Myrmecochory (seed dispersal by ants) is a prominent dispersal mechanism in many environments, and can play a key role in local vegetation dynamics. Here we investigate its interaction with another key process in vegetation dynamics-fire. We examine ant dispersal of seeds immediately before and after experimental burning in an Australian tropical savanna, one of the world's most fire-prone ecosystems. Specifically, our study addressed the effects of burning on: (1) the composition of ants removing seeds, (2) number of seed removals, and (3) distance of seed dispersal. Fire led to higher rates of seed removal post-fire when compared with unburnt habitat, and markedly altered dispersal distance, with mean dispersal distance increasing more than twofold (from 1.6 to 3.8 m), and many distance dispersal events greater than the pre-fire maximum (7.55 m) being recorded. These changes were due primarily to longer foraging ranges of species of Iridomyrmex, most likely in response to the simplification of their foraging landscape. The significance of enhanced seed-removal rates and distance dispersal for seedling establishment is unclear because the benefits to plants in having their seeds dispersed by ants in northern Australia are poorly known. However, an enhanced removal rate would enhance any benefit of reduced predation by rodents. Similarly, the broader range of dispersal distances would appear to benefit plants in terms of reduced parent-offspring conflict and sibling competition, and the location of favourable seedling microsites. Given the high frequency of fire in Australian tropical savannas, enhanced benefits of seed dispersal by ants would apply for much of the year. PMID:17033801

  5. Developing a decision support tool for landscape planning and management to minimize land and water degradation in Volta basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlek, Lulseged Tamene, Quang Bao Le, Jens Liebe, Paul L. G.

    2009-04-01

    Although many soil/water-landscape studies have been published in the last two decades, progress in developing operational tools for supporting landscape planning to minimize land and water degradation in developing regions is still modest. Some of the existing tools are very data demanding and/or too complicated to be useful to data scarce regions. A research group at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn has developed a LAndscape Management and Planning Tool (LAMPT) to facilitate land management decision making and landscape planning by optimization. Firstly, we used the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and a Distributed Sediment Delivery Model (DSDM) in a GIS environment to estimate the spatial distribution of areas experiencing different levels of soil loss in the White Volta basin. The RUSLE is employed to map the spatial patterns of major sediment source areas based on data calibrated for the study region. As RUSLE only estimates the potential gross erosion of each grid cell, a DSDM is used to estimate the sediment delivery efficiency of each cell using flow distance and velocity along the flow path. The combined models allow a classification of sub-watersheds experiencing different levels of soil loss using a soil tolerance threshold suitable for the study areas (Burkina Faso and Ghana). The result shows that the majority of areas around north-eastern and eastern parts of the White Volta basin (mainly south-eastern Burkina Faso and upper east region of Ghana) are associated with high levels of sediment yield (over 15 t ha-1 yr-1). The main reason could be high population pressure, poor surface cover and relatively high slope of some of the areas in Ghana. On the other hand, the north-western and southern parts of the basin experience low levels of sediment yield (less than 5 t ha-1 yr-1) mainly due to their flat terrain and good surface cover that encourage sediment deposition rather than erosion. We revealed that a GIS

  6. Post-Gondwana geomorphic evolution of southwestern Africa: Implications for hte controls on landscape development from observations and numerical experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilchrist, Alan R.; Kooi, Henk; Beaumont, Christopher

    1994-01-01

    The relationship between morphology and surficial geology is used to quantify the denudation that has occurred across southwestern Africa sicne the fragmentation of Gondwana during the Early Mesozoic. Two main points emerge. Signficant denudation, of the order of kilometers, is widespread except in the Kalahari region of the continental interior. The denudation is systematically distributed so that the continental exterior catchment, draining directly to the Cape basin, is denuded to a greater depth than the interior catchment inland of the Great Escarpment. The analysis also implies tha the majority of the denudation occurred before the beginning of the Cenozoic for both teh exerior and interior catchments. Existing models of landscape development are reviewed, and implications of the denudation chronology are incorporated into a revised conceptual model. This revision implies tha thte primary effect of rifting on the subsequent landscape evolution is that it generates two distinct drainage regimes. A marginal upwarp, or rift flank uplift, separates rejuvenated rivers that drain into the subsiding rift from rivers in the continetal interior that are deflected but not rejuvenated. The two catchments evolve independently unless they are integrated by breaching of hte marginal upwarp. If this occurs, the exterior baselevel is communicated to the interior catchment that is denuded accordingly. Denudation rates generally decrease as the margin evolves, and this decrease is reinforced by the exposure of substrate that is resistant to denudation and/or a change to a more arid climate. The observations do not reveal a particular style of smaller-scale landscape evolution, sucha s escarpment retreat, that is responsible for the differential denudation across the region. It is proposed that numerical model experiments, which reflect the observational insights at the large scale, may identify the smaller-scale controls on escarpment development if the model and natural

  7. Landscape alterations influence differential habitat use of nesting buteos and ravens within sagebrush ecosystem: implications for transmission line development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coates, Peter S.; Howe, Kristy B.; Casazza, Michael L.; Delehanty, David J.

    2014-01-01

    A goal in avian ecology is to understand factors that influence differences in nesting habitat and distribution among species, especially within changing landscapes. Over the past 2 decades, humans have altered sagebrush ecosystems as a result of expansion in energy production and transmission. Our primary study objective was to identify differences in the use of landscape characteristics and natural and anthropogenic features by nesting Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and 3 species of buteo (Swainson's Hawk [Buteo swainsoni], Red-tailed Hawk [B. jamaicensis], and Ferruginous Hawk [B. regalis]) within a sagebrush ecosystem in southeastern Idaho. During 2007–2009, we measured multiple environmental factors associated with 212 nest sites using data collected remotely and in the field. We then developed multinomial models to predict nesting probabilities by each species and predictive response curves based on model-averaged estimates. We found differences among species related to nesting substrate (natural vs. anthropogenic), agriculture, native grassland, and edge (interface of 2 cover types). Most important, ravens had a higher probability of nesting on anthropogenic features (0.80) than the other 3 species (Artemisia spp.), favoring increased numbers of nesting ravens and fewer nesting Ferruginous Hawks. Our results indicate that habitat alterations, fragmentation, and forthcoming disturbances anticipated with continued energy development in sagebrush steppe ecosystems can lead to predictable changes in raptor and raven communities.

  8. A New Application to Facilitate Post-Fire Recovery and Rehabilitation in Savanna Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carroll, Mark L.; Schnase, John L.; Weber, Keith T.; Brown, Molly E.; Gill, Roger L.; Haskett, George W.; Gardner, Tess A.

    2013-01-01

    The U.S. government spends an estimated $3billion per year to fight forest fires in the United States. Post-fire rehabilitation activities represent a small but essential portion of that total. The Rehabilitation Capability Convergence for Ecosystem Recovery (RECOVER) system is currently under development for Savanna ecosystems in the western U.S. The prototype of this system has been built and will have realworld testing during the summer 2013 fire season. When fully deployed, the RECOVER system will provide the emergency rehabilitation teams with critical and timely information for management decisions regarding stabilization and rehabilitation strategies.

  9. Seasonal changes of water carbon relations in savanna ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutsch, W. L.; Merbold, L.; Archibald, S.

    2011-12-01

    During evolution plant species have developed different strategies to optimize the water carbon relations. These stratgies summarize to ecosystem properties. As an example we show how tropical and subtropical savannas and woodlands can respond flexibly to changes in temperature and water availability and thus optimize carbon and water fluxes between land surface and atmosphere. Several phenomena are presented and discussed in this overview from African flux sites in Zambia, Burkina Faso and South Africa: Pre-rain leaf development: Many trees developed new leaves before the first rain appeared. As a consequence of this early timing of leaf flush, the phenological increase of photosynthetic capacity (Amax) was steeper than in temperate forests. Mid-term response of conductance and photosynthesis to soil water relations: The regulation of canopy conductance was temporally changing in two ways: changes due to phenology during the course of the growing season and short-term (hours to days) acclimation to soil water conditions. The most constant parameter was water use efficiency. It was influenced by water vapour pressure deficit (VPD) during the day, but the VPD response curve of water usage only changed slightly during the course of the growing season, and decreased by about 30% during the transition from wet to dry season. The regulation of canopy conductance and photosynthetic capacity were closely related. This observation meets recent leaf-level findings that stomatal closure triggers down-regulation of Rubisco during drought. Our results may show the effects of these processes on the ecosystem scale. Furthermore, we observed that the close relationship between stomatal conductance and photosynthesis resulted in different temperature optima of GPP that were close to the average daytime temperature. Adaptation of respiration to rain pulses: Finally, the response of respiration to rain pulses showed changes throughout the growing season. The first rain events early

  10. Community-Based Ecological Restoration: The Wingra Oak Savanna Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bader, Brian J.; Egan, Dave

    1999-01-01

    The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, a pioneer in ecological restoration, is involving the local community in restoring a site to its presettlement condition as an oak savanna. Besides providing the manual labor of restoration, volunteers learn about the land and the ecological processes that tie nature and culture together. A 60-hour…

  11. Restoring a disappearing ecosystem: the Longleaf Pine Savanna.

    SciTech Connect

    Harrington, Timothy B.; Miller, Karl V.; Park, Noreen

    2013-05-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) savannas of the southeastern United States contain some of the worlds most diverse plant communities, along with a unique complement of wildlife. Their traditionally open canopy structure and rich understory of grasses and herbs were critical to their vigor. However, a long history of land-use practices such as logging, farming, and fire exclusion have reduced this once-widespread ecosystem to only 3 percent of its original range. At six longleaf pine plantations in South Carolina, Tim Harrington with the Pacific Northwest Research Station and collaborators with the Southern Research Station used various treatments (including prescribed burns, tree thinning, and herbicide applications) to alter the forest structure and tracked how successful each one was in advancing savanna restoration over a 14-year period. They found that typical planting densities for wood production in plantations create dense understory shade that excludes many native herbaceous species important to savannas and associated wildlife. The scientists found that although tree thinning alone did not result in sustained gains, a combination of controlled burning, thinning, and herbicide treatments to reduce woody plants was an effective strategy for recovering the savanna ecosystem. The scientists also found that these efforts must be repeated periodically for enduring benefits.

  12. Soil microbial communities following bush removal in a Namibian savanna

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Savanna ecosystems are subject to desertification and bush encroachment, which reduce the grazing value of the land and hence the carrying capacity for wildlife and livestock. In this study we examined the soil microbial communities under bush and grass in Namibia. We analyzed the soil at a chronose...

  13. Wavelet-based detection of bush encroachment in a savanna using multi-temporal aerial photographs and satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shekede, Munyaradzi D.; Murwira, Amon; Masocha, Mhosisi

    2015-03-01

    Although increased woody plant abundance has been reported in tropical savannas worldwide, techniques for detecting the direction and magnitude of change are mostly based on visual interpretation of historical aerial photography or textural analysis of multi-temporal satellite images. These techniques are prone to human error and do not permit integration of remotely sensed data from diverse sources. Here, we integrate aerial photographs with high spatial resolution satellite imagery and use a discrete wavelet transform to objectively detect the dynamics in bush encroachment at two protected Zimbabwean savanna sites. Based on the recently introduced intensity-dominant scale approach, we test the hypotheses that: (1) the encroachment of woody patches into the surrounding grassland matrix causes a shift in the dominant scale. This shift in the dominant scale can be detected using a discrete wavelet transform regardless of whether aerial photography and satellite data are used; and (2) as the woody patch size stabilises, woody cover tends to increase thereby triggering changes in intensity. The results show that at the first site where tree patches were already established (Lake Chivero Game Reserve), between 1972 and 1984 the dominant scale of woody patches initially increased from 8 m before stabilising at 16 m and 32 m between 1984 and 2012 while the intensity fluctuated during the same period. In contrast, at the second site, which was formely grass-dominated site (Kyle Game Reserve), we observed an unclear dominant scale (1972) which later becomes distinct in 1985, 1996 and 2012. Over the same period, the intensity increased. Our results imply that using our approach we can detect and quantify woody/bush patch dynamics in savanna landscapes.

  14. Contrasting long-term records of biomass burning in wet and dry savannas of equatorial East Africa.

    PubMed

    Colombaroli, Daniele; Ssemmanda, Immaculate; Gelorini, Vanessa; Verschuren, Dirk

    2014-09-01

    Rainfall controls fire in tropical savanna ecosystems through impacting both the amount and flammability of plant biomass, and consequently, predicted changes in tropical precipitation over the next century are likely to have contrasting effects on the fire regimes of wet and dry savannas. We reconstructed the long-term dynamics of biomass burning in equatorial East Africa, using fossil charcoal particles from two well-dated lake-sediment records in western Uganda and central Kenya. We compared these high-resolution (5 years/sample) time series of biomass burning, spanning the last 3800 and 1200 years, with independent data on past hydroclimatic variability and vegetation dynamics. In western Uganda, a rapid (<100 years) and permanent increase in burning occurred around 2170 years ago, when climatic drying replaced semideciduous forest by wooded grassland. At the century time scale, biomass burning was inversely related to moisture balance for much of the next two millennia until ca. 1750 ad, when burning increased strongly despite regional climate becoming wetter. A sustained decrease in burning since the mid20th century reflects the intensified modern-day landscape conversion into cropland and plantations. In contrast, in semiarid central Kenya, biomass burning peaked at intermediate moisture-balance levels, whereas it was lower both during the wettest and driest multidecadal periods of the last 1200 years. Here, burning steadily increased since the mid20th century, presumably due to more frequent deliberate ignitions for bush clearing and cattle ranching. Both the observed historical trends and regional contrasts in biomass burning are consistent with spatial variability in fire regimes across the African savanna biome today. They demonstrate the strong dependence of East African fire regimes on both climatic moisture balance and vegetation, and the extent to which this dependence is now being overridden by anthropogenic activity. PMID:24677504

  15. Planetary Landscape Geography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargitai, H.

    INTRODUCTION Landscape is one of the most often used category in physical ge- ography. The term "landshap" was introduced by Dutch painters in the 15-16th cen- tury. [1] The elements that build up a landscape (or environment) on Earth consists of natural (biogenic and abiogenic - lithologic, atmospheric, hydrologic) and artificial (antropogenic) factors. Landscape is a complex system of these different elements. The same lithology makes different landscapes under different climatic conditions. If the same conditions are present, the same landscape type will appear. Landscapes build up a hierarchic system and cover the whole surface. On Earth, landscapes can be classified and qualified according to their characteristics: relief forms (morphology), and its potential economic value. Aesthetic and subjective parameters can also be considered. Using the data from landers and data from orbiters we can now classify planetary landscapes (these can be used as geologic mapping units as well). By looking at a unknown landscape, we can determine the processes that created it and its development history. This was the case in the Pathfinder/Sojourner panoramas. [2]. DISCUSSION Planetary landscape evolution. We can draw a raw landscape develop- ment history by adding the different landscape building elements to each other. This has a strong connection with the planet's thermal evolution (age of the planet or the present surface materials) and with orbital parameters (distance from the central star, orbit excentricity etc). This way we can build a complex system in which we use differ- ent evolutional stages of lithologic, atmospheric, hydrologic and biogenic conditions which determine the given - Solar System or exoplanetary - landscape. Landscape elements. "Simple" landscapes can be found on asteroids: no linear horizon is present (not differentiated body, only impact structures), no atmosphere (therefore no atmospheric scattering - black sky as part of the landscape) and no

  16. Development of Sustainable Landscape Designs for Improved Biomass Production in the U.S. Corn Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonner, Ian J.

    Demand for renewable and sustainable energy options has resulted in a significant commitment by the US Government to research pathways for fuel production from biomass. The research presented in this thesis describes one potential pathway to increase the amount of biomass available for biofuel production by integrating dedicated energy crops into agricultural fields. In the first chapter an innovative landscape design method based on subfield placement of an energy crop into row crop fields in central Iowa is used to reduce financial loss for farmers, increase and diversify biomass production, and improve soil resources. The second chapter explores how subfield management decisions may be made using high fidelity data and modeling to balance concerns of primary crop production and economics. This work provides critical forward looking support to agricultural land managers and stakeholders in the biomass and bioenergy industry for pathways to improving land stewardship and energy security.

  17. [Landscape and ecological genomics].

    PubMed

    2013-10-01

    Landscape genomics is the modern version of landscape genetics, a discipline that arose approximately 10 years ago as a combination of population genetics, landscape ecology, and spatial statistics. It studies the effects of environmental variables on gene flow and other microevolutionary processes that determine genetic connectivity and variations in populations. In contrast to population genetics, it operates at the level of individual specimens rather than at the level of population samples. Another important difference between landscape genetics and genomics and population genetics is that, in the former, the analysis of gene flow and local adaptations takes quantitative account of landforms and features of the matrix, i.e., hostile spaces that separate species habitats. Landscape genomics is a part of population ecogenomics, which, along with community genomics, is a major part of ecological genomics. One of the principal purposes of landscape genomics is the identification and differentiation of various genome-wide and locus-specific effects. The approaches and computation tools developed for combined analysis of genomic and landscape variables make it possible to detect adaptation-related genome fragments, which facilitates the planning of conservation efforts and the prediction of species' fate in response to expected changes in the environment. PMID:25508669

  18. [Landscape and ecological genomics].

    PubMed

    Tetushkin, E Ia

    2013-10-01

    Landscape genomics is the modern version of landscape genetics, a discipline that arose approximately 10 years ago as a combination of population genetics, landscape ecology, and spatial statistics. It studies the effects of environmental variables on gene flow and other microevolutionary processes that determine genetic connectivity and variations in populations. In contrast to population genetics, it operates at the level of individual specimens rather than at the level of population samples. Another important difference between landscape genetics and genomics and population genetics is that, in the former, the analysis of gene flow and local adaptations takes quantitative account of landforms and features of the matrix, i.e., hostile spaces that separate species habitats. Landscape genomics is a part of population ecogenomics, which, along with community genomics, is a major part of ecological genomics. One of the principal purposes of landscape genomics is the identification and differentiation of various genome-wide and locus-specific effects. The approaches and computation tools developed for combined analysis of genomic and landscape variables make it possible to detect adaptation-related genome fragments, which facilitates the planning of conservation efforts and the prediction of species' fate in response to expected changes in the environment. PMID:25474890

  19. Spatial Heterogeneity of Fine Root Biomass and Soil Carbon in a California Oak Savanna Illuminates Plant Functional Strategy Across Periods of High and Low Resource Supply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koteen, L. E.; Raz Yaseef, N.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2014-12-01

    We sampled isolated trees and tree clusters from a blue oak, Quercus douglasii, savanna in California USA to determine the spatial heterogeneity of fine root biomass and soil carbon across the landscape as a function of tree size, age and configuration. Our goal was to understand how fine root structure enables sustained ecosystem metabolism through a summer of very limited moisture availability and high heat, and facilitates resource acquisition during the short spring period of high resource supply. An additional goal was to provide a basis for upscaling root biomass and soil carbon to the landscape scale. We sampled trees of different size and tree clusters via a stratified sampling scheme that accounted for spatial heterogeneity in root biomass and soil carbon with lateral distance from the tree bole, or cluster center, and soil depth. We upscaled these estimates using site-specific information from a lidar survey conducted in the same region over a 36 ha area in 2009. We found that fine roots and soil carbon are spatially heterogeneous in their landscape distribution in oak savanna habitat, and that they greatly increase with tree size and age. We also found that Q. douglasii possesses a dimorphic fine root architecture, uniquely suited to the region's climatic constraints, and exhibits morphological plasticity among trees of different size, age, and physical setting.

  20. The constructed catchment 'Chicken Creek' - a landscape observatory to analyze processes and feedback mechanisms during initial ecosystem development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elmer, Michael; Schaaf, Wolfgang; Gerwin, Werner; Hinz, Christoph

    2014-05-01

    We investigated the initial development of the landscape observatory 'Chicken Creek', Germany, an artificial catchment with well known boundary conditions and inner structures (Gerwin et al., 2011). Over a period of nine years, we observed considerable changes within the site (Elmer et al., 2013). Both internal and external factors could be identified as driving forces for the formation of structures and patterns in the catchment. Over time, secondary structures and patterns evolved and became more and more important. Invading biota and vegetation succession initialized feedback mechanisms resulting in pattern and habitat formation as well as in increased differentiation, heterogeneity and complexity that are typical characteristics of ecosystems (Schaaf et al., 2013). The processes and feedback mechanisms in the initial development of a new landscape may deviate in rates, intensity, and dominance from those known from mature ecosystems. It is therefore crucial to understand these early phases of ecosystem development and to disentangle the increasingly complex interactions between the evolving terrestrial and aquatic, biotic, and abiotic compartments of the system. Elmer M, Gerwin W, Schaaf W, Zaplata MK, Hohberg K, Nenov R, Bens O, Hüttl RF (2013): Dynamics of initial ecosystem development at the artificial catchment Chicken Creek, Lusatia, Germany. Environ Earth Sci 69, 491-505. Gerwin W, Schaaf W, Biemelt D, Winter S, Fischer A, Veste M, Hüttl RF (2011): Overview and first results of ecological monitoring at the artificial watershed Chicken Creek (Germany). Phys Chem Earth 36, 61-73. Schaaf W, Elmer M, Fischer A, Gerwin W, Nenov R, Pretsch H, Seifert S, Winter S, Zaplata MK (2013): Monitoring the formation of structures and patterns during initial development of an artificial catchment. Environ Monit Assess 185, 5965-5986.

  1. Projected changes in distributions of Australian tropical savanna birds under climate change using three dispersal scenarios

    PubMed Central

    Reside, April E; VanDerWal, Jeremy; Kutt, Alex S

    2012-01-01

    Identifying the species most vulnerable to extinction as a result of climate change is a necessary first step in mitigating biodiversity decline. Species distribution modeling (SDM) is a commonly used tool to assess potential climate change impacts on distributions of species. We use SDMs to predict geographic ranges for 243 birds of Australian tropical savannas, and to project changes in species richness and ranges under a future climate scenario between 1990 and 2080. Realistic predictions require recognition of the variability in species capacity to track climatically suitable environments. Here we assess the effect of dispersal on model results by using three approaches: full dispersal, no dispersal and a partial-dispersal scenario permitting species to track climate change at a rate of 30 km per decade. As expected, the projected distributions and richness patterns are highly sensitive to the dispersal scenario. Projected future range sizes decreased for 66% of species if full dispersal was assumed, but for 89% of species when no dispersal was assumed. However, realistic future predictions should not assume a single dispersal scenario for all species and as such, we assigned each species to the most appropriate dispersal category based on individual mobility and habitat specificity; this permitted the best estimates of where species will be in the future. Under this “realistic” dispersal scenario, projected ranges sizes decreased for 67% of species but showed that migratory and tropical-endemic birds are predicted to benefit from climate change with increasing distributional area. Richness hotspots of tropical savanna birds are expected to move, increasing in southern savannas and southward along the east coast of Australia, but decreasing in the arid zone. Understanding the complexity of effects of climate change on species’ range sizes by incorporating dispersal capacities is a crucial step toward developing adaptation policies for the conservation of

  2. Isotopic Evidence that Trees Enhance Nitrogen Inputs and Cycling in California Grassland- Savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perakis, S.; Kellogg, C.

    2006-12-01

    Woody vegetation is distributed patchily in many arid and semi-arid ecosystems, where it is often associated with elevated nitrogen (N) pools and availability in islands of fertility. We measured N availability and del15N in paired blue-oak versus annual grass dominated patches to characterize the causes and consequences of spatial variation in N dynamics of grassland-savanna in Sequoia - Kings Canyon National Park. We found significantly greater surface soil N pools (0-20 cm) in oak patches compared to adjacent grass areas across a 700 m elevation gradient from foothills to the savanna-forest boundary. N accumulation under oaks was associated with a 0.6 per mil depletion in soil del15N relative to grass patches. Results from a simple del15N mass balance simulation model, constrained by surface soil N and del15N measured in the field, suggest that the development of islands of N fertility under oaks can be traced primarily to enhanced N inputs, with only a small effect of greater N retention. Net N mineralization and percent nitrification in laboratory incubations were consistently higher under oaks across a range of experimental soil moisture regimes. Collectively these results suggest a scenario whereby greater N inputs to oak patches results in net N accumulation and enhanced N cycling, with a potential for greater nitrate loss as well. N concentrations of three common herbaceous annual plants were nearly 50% greater under oak than in adjacent grass patches, with community composition shifted towards more N-demanding species under oaks. We find that oaks imprint distinct N-rich islands of fertility that foster local feedback between soil N cycling, plant N uptake, and herbaceous community composition. Such patch-scale differences in N inputs and plant-soil interactions increase biogeochemical heterogeneity in grassland-savanna ecosystems, and may shape watershed-level responses to chronic N deposition.

  3. Effects of controlled fire and livestock grazing on bird communities in East African savannas.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Nathan C; Sensenig, Ryan L; Wilcove, David S

    2010-12-01

    In East Africa fire and grazing by wild and domestic ungulates maintain savannas, and pastoralists historically set fires and herded livestock through the use of temporary corrals called bomas. In recent decades traditional pastoral practices have declined, and this may be affecting biodiversity. We investigated the effects of prescribed fires and bomas on savanna bird communities in East Africa during the first and second dry seasons of the year (respectively before and after the rains that mark the onset of breeding for most birds). We compared abundance, richness, and community composition on 9-ha burned plots, recently abandoned bomas, and control plots in the undisturbed matrix habitat over a 3-year period. Generally, recently burned areas and abandoned bomas attracted greater densities of birds and had different community assemblages than the surrounding matrix. The effects of disturbances were influenced by interactions between primary productivity, represented by the normalized difference vegetation index, and time. Bird densities were highest and a greater proportion of species was observed on burned plots in the months following the fires. Drought conditions equalized bird densities across treatments within 1 year, and individuals from a greater proportion of species were more commonly observed on abandoned bomas. Yearly fluctuations in abundance were less pronounced on bomas than on burns, which indicate that although fire may benefit birds in the short term, bomas may have a more-lasting positive effect and provide resources during droughts. Several Palearctic migrants were attracted to burned plots regardless of rainfall, which indicates continued fire suppression may threaten their already-declining populations. Most notably, the paucity of birds observed on the controls suggests that the current structure of the matrix developed as a result of fire suppression. Traditional pastoralism appears critical to the maintenance of avian diversity in these

  4. Developing a postglacial rockfall chronology in the mountainous fjord landscape of western Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laute, Katja; Beylich, Achim A.; Winkler, Stefan

    2015-04-01

    Large areas of glacially sculpted mountain landscapes worldwide exhibit a high spatial density of postglacial rockfalls and rock-slope failures. However, the temporal patterns of rock-slope failure frequencies after Deglaciation are still fairly unknown. The mountainous fjord landscape in western Norway represents a suitable study area as it exhibits a high number of rockfalls and rock-slope failures within a region with a well known Deglaciation history. Two steep, parabolic-shaped and glacier-connected neighbouring drainage basins, Erdalen (79.5 km2) and Bødalen (60.1 km2), located on the western side of the Jostedalsbreen ice cap in western Norway are selected as study areas. The focus of this study is on (i) the temporal reconstruction of rockfalls and rock-slope failures within the two defined and nearly lithologically homogenous study areas and (ii) the identification and explanation of possible triggering and controlling factors of the investigated rock-slope failures. First investigations have started by applying Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating (SHD) at seven larger rockfall deposits as well as at five moraines of known age within both study areas. During the sampling 50 to 100 impacts using a mechanical Proceq N-type instrument were taken from the surface of 5 to 50 single rockfall boulders located at the outer margin of the rockfall deposits. In order to avoid sampling of more recent rockfalls or redistributed debris material the sampling strategy selected preferred a larger number of individual boulders sampled with few impacts over sampling just a small number of boulders with a high number of multiple impacts. First results show that the mean rebound (R-) values measured at the seven rockfall deposits fall into recognizably different age categories. Based on the SHD measurements obtained from the moraines of known age, the determined rockfall age categories are situated between the Preboral and Little Ice Age period. The chronology and possible

  5. Pyromineralization of soil phosphorus in savanna ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartshorn, A.; Coetsee, C.; Chadwick, O.

    2007-12-01

    The weathering of rock supplies phosphorus (P) to ecosystems. Phosphorus limitation of ecosystems can be severe in thicker or older soils, where soil production rates from rock and therefore release of P is slower than in thinner or younger soils. Limitation may be especially pronounced in drier ecosystems that are experiencing increasing N deposition. Our savanna field sites in Kruger National Park, South Africa meet all three of these criteria: soil residence times average 250 ky, the climate is semiarid, and N inputs average 20 kg ha-1 y-1. Not all soil P is plant-available, and because our field sites experience occasional fires, our objectives were to quantify the importance of pyromineralization of soil P, the transfer by fire of soil P from recalcitrant to labile (HCO3- extractable) pools. We quantified these soil P pools using a modified Hedley scheme (an array of chemical extractants). Three sets of soils were fractionated: 1. soils from 10 profiles along an intensively studied hillslope, bracketing a pronounced structural and functional ecotone; 2. surface soils from these 10 profiles after a simulated burn; and 3. surface soils from the Shabeni Experimental Plots, where 4 fire treatments have been maintained for decades: no fire, annual fire in the dry season, triennial fire in the dry season, and triennial fire in the wet season. Total P for hillslope soils ranged from 45 to 135 g m-2 (to 50 cm depth) and from 8 to 15 g m-2 (to 5 cm depth). Total soil P was lowest in midslope soils, where upslope sandy soils dominated by broad-leafed vegetation shift abruptly to downslope clayey soils with fine-leafed vegetation. Simulated fire for the hillslope soils reduced total P slightly, but boosted labile P by 1.7 g m-2 (to 5 cm), representing 17% of total P in the surface 5 cm. This pyromineralization effect was not uniform across the hillslope: downslope soils gained about 50% more labile P than midslope soils with simulated burning. With a fire return interval

  6. Mars Landscapes

    NASA Video Gallery

    Spacecraft have studied the Martian surface for decades, giving Earthlings insights into the history, climate and geology of our nearest neighbor, Mars. These images are from "Mars Landscapes," a v...

  7. Landscape Architecture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American School and University, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Members of the American Society of Landscape Architects shape open spaces on the campuses of Georgetown University, District of Columbia; the University of Missouri; Auraria Higher Education Center, Colorado; and the University of Michigan. (MLF)

  8. Differentiation of developing olfactory neurons analysed in terms of coupled epigenetic landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Alsing, Anne Katrine; Sneppen, Kim

    2013-01-01

    The olfactory system integrates signals from receptors expressed in olfactory sensory neurons. Each sensory neuron expresses only one of many similar olfactory receptors (ORs). The choice of receptor is made stochastically early in the differentiation process and is maintained throughout the life of the neuron. The underlying mechanism of this stochastic commitment to one of multiple similar OR genes remains elusive. We present a theoretical analysis of a mechanism that invokes important epigenetic properties of the system. The proposed model combines nucleosomes and associated read–write enzymes as mediators of a cis-acting positive feedback with a trans-acting negative feedback, thereby coupling the local epigenetic landscape of the individual OR genes in a way that allow one and only one gene to be active at any time. The model pinpoint that singular gene selection does not require transient mechanisms, enhancer elements or transcription factors to separate choice from maintenance. In addition, our hypothesis allow us to combine all reported characteristics of singular OR gene selection, in particular that OR genes are silenced from OR transgenes. Intriguingly, it predicts that OR transgenes placed in close proximity should always be expressed simultaneously, though rarely. PMID:23519617

  9. Differentiation of developing olfactory neurons analysed in terms of coupled epigenetic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Alsing, Anne Katrine; Sneppen, Kim

    2013-05-01

    The olfactory system integrates signals from receptors expressed in olfactory sensory neurons. Each sensory neuron expresses only one of many similar olfactory receptors (ORs). The choice of receptor is made stochastically early in the differentiation process and is maintained throughout the life of the neuron. The underlying mechanism of this stochastic commitment to one of multiple similar OR genes remains elusive. We present a theoretical analysis of a mechanism that invokes important epigenetic properties of the system. The proposed model combines nucleosomes and associated read-write enzymes as mediators of a cis-acting positive feedback with a trans-acting negative feedback, thereby coupling the local epigenetic landscape of the individual OR genes in a way that allow one and only one gene to be active at any time. The model pinpoint that singular gene selection does not require transient mechanisms, enhancer elements or transcription factors to separate choice from maintenance. In addition, our hypothesis allow us to combine all reported characteristics of singular OR gene selection, in particular that OR genes are silenced from OR transgenes. Intriguingly, it predicts that OR transgenes placed in close proximity should always be expressed simultaneously, though rarely. PMID:23519617

  10. Significance of Epigenetic Landscape in Cartilage Regeneration from the Cartilage Development and Pathology Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jingting; Ohliger, James

    2014-01-01

    Regenerative therapies for cartilage defects have been greatly advanced by progress in both the stem cell biology and tissue engineering fields. Despite notable successes, significant barriers remain including shortage of autologous cell sources and generation of a stable chondrocyte phenotype using progenitor cells. Increasing demands for the treatment of degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, highlight the importance of epigenetic remodeling in cartilage regeneration. Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms, such as microRNAs, DNA methylation, and histone modifications, have been intensively studied due to their direct regulatory role on gene expression. However, a thorough understanding of the environmental factors that initiate these epigenetic events may provide greater insight into the prevention of degenerative diseases and improve the efficacy of treatments. In other words, if we could identify a specific factor from the environment and its downstream signaling events, then we could stop or retard degradation and enhance cartilage regeneration. A more operational definition of epigenetic remodeling has recently been proposed by categorizing the signals during the epigenetic process into epigenators, initiators, and maintainers. This review seeks to compile and reorganize the existing literature pertaining to epigenetic remodeling events placing emphasis on perceiving the landscape of epigenetic mechanisms during cartilage regeneration with the new operational definition, especially from the environmental factors' point of view. Progress in understanding epigenetic regulatory mechanisms could benefit cartilage regeneration and engineering on a larger scale and provide more promising therapeutic applications. PMID:24555773

  11. Late Tertiary and Quaternary landscape development in the western Grand Canyon and western Arizona strip

    SciTech Connect

    Billingsley, G.H. ); Wenrich, K.J. . Federal Center); Blackerby, B. )

    1993-04-01

    New geologic mapping of the western Grand Canyon and the Arizona Strip region, northwest Arizona, reveals young fault scarps on all faults, horsts, and graben structures. Tectonic activity here was previously thought to be at least Miocene age and older. New K-Ar age data for basalt flows in this region provide a basis for determining the age of surficial deposits in relation to elevated structural landforms. The basalts range in age from middle Miocene to late Pleistocene (17 Ma to 0.14 Ma). The Miocene basalts are found in the western Grand Canyon area and are progressively younger in a northeast direction onto the Shivwits and Uinkaret Plateaus, a distance of about 100 km. The older basalts are generally petrographically and chemically distinct from younger basalts. Those younger than one million years have less olivine and are chemically more iron- and titanium-rich suggesting they are from less primitive magmas. Basalt flows in this region older than 1 million years, are cut by faults showing equal displacement of the underlying strata and the flows. Basalt flows younger than 1 million years show offsets as much as 12 to 100 m, less than two-thirds the offset of underlying strata, implying that most tectonic activity occurred within the last 1 to 2 million years. Late Pliocene and Pleistocene faulting has extensively modified the landscape by elevated parts of the terrain resulting in young surficial deposits in lowland areas and rejuvenation of drainages in upthrown fault blocks.

  12. Mediterranean savanna system: understanding and modeling of olive orchard.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brilli, Lorenzo; Moriondo, Marco; Bindi, Marco

    2013-04-01

    Nowadays most of the studies on C and N exchange were focused on forest ecosystems and crop systems, while only few studies have been focused on so called "savanna systems". They are long-term agro-ecosystems (fruit trees, grapevines and olive trees, etc.) usually characterized by two different layers (ground vegetation and trees). Generally, there is a lack of knowledge about these systems due to their intrinsic structural complexity (different eco-physiological characteristics so as agricultural practices). However, given their long-term carbon storage capacity, these systems can play a fundamental role in terms of global C cycle. Among all of them, the role that olive trees can play in C sequestration should not be neglected, especially in Mediterranean areas where they typify the rural landscape and are widely cultivated (Loumou and Giourga, 2003). It is therefore fundamental modelling the C-fluxes exchanges coming from these systems through a tool able to well reproduce these dynamics in one of the most exposed areas to the risk of climate change (IPCC, 2007). In this work, 2 years of Net CO2 Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) measures from eddy covariance were used to test the biogeochemistry model DayCent. The study was conducted in a rain-fed olive orchard situated in Follonica, South Tuscany, Italy (42 ° 55'N, 10 ° 45'E), in an agricultural area near the coast. The instrumentation for flux measurement was placed 1.9 m above the canopy top (6.5 m from the ground) so that the footprint area, expressed as the area containing 90% of the observed flux, was almost entirely contained within the olive orchard limits (Brilli et al., in press). Ancillary slow sensors have included soil temperature profiles, global radiation, air temperature and humidity, rain gauge. Fluxes of sensible heat, latent heat, momentum and CO2 as well as ancillary data were derived at half-hourly time resolution. Specific soil (texture, current and historical land use and vegetation cover) and

  13. Exploring water cycle dynamics through sampling multitude stable water isotope pools in a small developed landscape of Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orlowski, N.; Kraft, P.; Breuer, L.

    2015-02-01

    Conducting a dual stable water isotope (δ2H and δ18O) study in the developed landscape of the Schwingbach catchment (Germany) helped to unravel connectivity and disconnectivity between the different water cycle components. The two-year weekly to biweekly measurements of precipitation, stream, and groundwater isotopes revealed that surface and groundwater are decoupled from the annual precipitation cycle but showed bidirectional interactions between each other. Seasonal variations based on temperature effects were observed in the precipitation signal but neither reflected in stream nor in groundwater isotopic signatures. Apparently, snowmelt played a fundamental role for groundwater recharge explaining the observed differences to precipitation δ-values. A spatially distributed snapshot sampling of soil water isotopes in two soil depths at 52 sampling points across different land uses (arable land, forest, and grassland) revealed that top soil isotopic signatures were similar to the precipitation input signal. Preferential water flow paths occurred under forested soils explaining the isotopic similarities between top and subsoil isotopic signatures. Due to human-impacted agricultural land use (tilling and compression) of arable and grassland soils, water delivery to the deeper soil layers was reduced, resulting in significant different isotopic signatures. However, the land use influence smoothed out with depth and soil water approached groundwater δ-values. Seasonally tracing stable water isotopes through soil profiles showed that the influence of new percolating soil water decreased with depth as no remarkable seasonality in soil isotopic signatures was obvious at depth > 0.9 m and constant values were observed through space and time. Little variation in individual isotope time series of stream and groundwater restricted the use of classical isotope hydrology techniques e.g. mean transit time estimation or hydrograph separation. Still, tracing stable water

  14. Human induced prehistoric and historical soil erosion and landscape development in Southwestern USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dotterweich, Markus; Ivester, Andrew H.; Hanson, Paul R.; Daniel, Larsen; Dye, David H.; Foster, Thomas H., II

    2015-04-01

    gathered data will be used to i) compare the spatial extent of prehistoric and historic erosion and the short-term and long-term pedological and geomorphological effects of subtle soil erosion against extreme events, ii) assess the feedback-mechanisms of soil erosion on soil fertility and measurable land use changes in prehistorical and historical times, and (iii) estimate the long term effects of soil erosion and sediment deposition on archaeological features. The outcome will provide a decisive step forward to gather new qualitative and quantitative information on soil erosion during the Native American land use period to be able to achieve a better understanding of the long-term human induced landscape evolution in the uplands of the Southeastern USA and deliver data for a better predicting of landscape evolution to future climatic shifts in precipitation regimes.

  15. The MCH training program: developing MCH leaders that are equipped for the changing health care landscape.

    PubMed

    Kavanagh, Laura; Menser, Michelle; Pooler, Jennifer; Mathis, Sheryl; Ramos, Lauren Raskin

    2015-02-01

    This article examines the success of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau's MCH Training Program in producing the next generation of MCH leaders, equipped with interdisciplinary, leadership skills necessary for the changing health care landscape. A secondary data analysis of performance measure data (2007-2011) collected through the discretionary grant information system was performed. Grantees were grouped by grant program (n = 10) for this analysis. Outcomes of interest 5 years post-program completion included: (1) the percentage of long-term training program graduates who demonstrate field leadership; (2) the percentage of long-term trainees (LTT) who remain in MCH, work with underserved and/or vulnerable populations, or work in a public health agency/organization; and (3) the percentage of LTT working in an interdisciplinary manner to serve the MCH population. Summary output data on the number of LTT reached was also calculated. The number of LTT participating in the MCH Training Program increased between 2007 and 2011. Over 84% of LTT demonstrate field leadership 5 years after program completion, while 78.2% of LTT remain in MCH work and 83% are working with underserved or vulnerable populations. At 5-years post-program completion, over 75% of LTT are working in an interdisciplinary manner to serve the MCH population. The MCH Training Program has produced well-positioned leaders. Continued investment in the MCH Training Program is critical to ensure a well-trained pipeline of health professionals equipped to address the special health needs of MCH populations in an evolving health system. PMID:25095766

  16. Alluvial Fans as Recorders of Landscape Development: Potential for Determining Depositional Chronologies Using Luminescence Dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawson, M. J.; Rhodes, E. J.; Roder, B. J.; Antinao, J.; McDonald, E.

    2011-12-01

    Alluvial fans in both arid and humid environments provide a record of depositional events at the transition between mountain and lowland environments. Though complex in the detail of their depositional and erosional characteristics, they undoubtedly provide a valuable record of the highest erosion rate events in their upland catchments. Alluvial fans often also record tectonic activity; their mountain-front location is ideal to intersect bounding faults, and their characteristic geometry renders offsets easily recognisable. Dating of Quaternary alluvial fans can be accomplished using a number of techniques. These include radiocarbon dating where suitable organic materials are preserved; uranium series methods may be applied to provide a minimum age by dating carbonate inter-clast cements in some arid or semi-arid environments; terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide (TCN) methods work well in many dryland contexts though issues of inheritance in some catchments are significant. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) rely on light sensitive charge populations trapped at meta-stable centers associated with impurities in quartz and feldspar grains. When grains are exposed to light, charge is evicted from these traps, and is slowly re-tapped by interaction with environmental ionizing radiaton. These signals have the potential to date a range of Quaternary sediments including alluvial fans on timescales of one year to several hundred thousand years. The specific issues relating to alluvial fans are problems of incomplete signal zeroing caused by rapid deposition, as well as low sensitivity and poor signal characteristics for quartz OSL. In this presentation, we explore the relative importance of these issues in determining luminescence chronologies for alluvial fans in different locations, and the ways in which these chronologies may be used to help inform models of landscape evolution, both numerical and conceptual.

  17. Comment on "Global resilience of tropical forest and savanna to critical transitions".

    PubMed

    Ratajczak, Zak; Nippert, Jesse B

    2012-05-01

    Hirota et al. (Reports, 14 October 2011, p. 232) used spatial data to show that grasslands, savannas, and forests represent opposing stable states. Reanalyzing their data and drawing from temporal studies, we argue that spatial analyses underestimate the bistability of grasslands and savannas due to limitations of substituting space for time. We propose that temporal and spatial data are needed to predict critical transitions between grasslands and savannas. PMID:22556235

  18. Landscape evolution (A Review)

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Robert P.

    1982-01-01

    Landscapes are created by exogenic and endogenic processes acting along the interface between the lithosphere and the atmosphere and hydrosphere. Various landforms result from the attack of weathering and erosion upon the highly heterogeneous lithospheric surface. Landscapes are dynamic, acutely sensitive to natural and artificial perturbation. Undisturbed, they can evolve through a succession of stages to a plain of low relief. Often, the progression of an erosion cycle is interrupted by tectonic or environmental changes; thus, many landscapes preserve vestiges of earlier cycles useful in reconstructing the recent history of Earth's surface. Landforms are bounded by slopes, so their evolution is best understood through study of slopes and the complex of factors controlling slope character and development. The substrate, biosphere, climatic environment, and erosive processes are principal factors. Creep of the disintegrated substrate and surface wash by water are preeminent. Some slopes attain a quasisteady form and recede parallel to themselves (backwearing); others become ever gentler with time (downwearing). The lovely convex/rectilinear/concave profile of many debris-mantled slopes reflects an interplay between creep and surface wash. Landscapes of greatest scenic attraction are usually those in which one or two genetic factors have strongly dominated or those perturbed by special events. Nature has been perturbing landscapes for billions of years, so mankind can learn about landscape perturbation from natural examples. Images

  19. REMOTE SENSING AND SPATIALLY EXPLICIT LANDSCAPE-BASED NITROGEN MODELING METHODS DEVELOPMENT IN THE NEUSE RIVER BASIN, NC

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this research was to model and map the spatial patterns of excess nitrogen (N) sources across the landscape within the Neuse River Basin (NRB) of North
    Carolina. The process included an initial land cover characterization effort to map landscape "patches" at ...

  20. African Savanna-Forest Boundary Dynamics: A 20-Year Study.

    PubMed

    Cuni-Sanchez, Aida; White, Lee J T; Calders, Kim; Jeffery, Kathryn J; Abernethy, Katharine; Burt, Andrew; Disney, Mathias; Gilpin, Martin; Gomez-Dans, Jose L; Lewis, Simon L

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies show widespread encroachment of forest into savannas with important consequences for the global carbon cycle and land-atmosphere interactions. However, little research has focused on in situ measurements of the successional sequence of savanna to forest in Africa. Using long-term inventory plots we quantify changes in vegetation structure, above-ground biomass (AGB) and biodiversity of trees ≥10 cm diameter over 20 years for five vegetation types: savanna; colonising forest (F1), monodominant Okoume forest (F2); young Marantaceae forest (F3); and mixed Marantaceae forest (F4) in Lopé National Park, central Gabon, plus novel 3D terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) measurements to assess forest structure differences. Over 20 years no plot changed to a new stage in the putative succession, but F1 forests strongly moved towards the structure, AGB and diversity of F2 forests. Overall, savanna plots showed no detectable change in structure, AGB or diversity using this method, with zero trees ≥10 cm diameter in 1993 and 2013. F1 and F2 forests increased in AGB, mainly as a result of adding recruited stems (F1) and increased Basal Area (F2), whereas F3 and F4 forests did not change substantially in structure, AGB or diversity. Critically, the stability of the F3 stage implies that this stage may be maintained for long periods. Soil carbon was low, and did not show a successional gradient as for AGB and diversity. TLS vertical plant profiles showed distinctive differences amongst the vegetation types, indicating that this technique can improve ecological understanding. We highlight two points: (i) as forest colonises, changes in biodiversity are much slower than changes in forest structure or AGB; and (ii) all forest types store substantial quantities of carbon. Multi-decadal monitoring is likely to be required to assess the speed of transition between vegetation types. PMID:27336632

  1. African Savanna-Forest Boundary Dynamics: A 20-Year Study

    PubMed Central

    Cuni-Sanchez, Aida; White, Lee J. T.; Calders, Kim; Jeffery, Kathryn J.; Abernethy, Katharine; Burt, Andrew; Disney, Mathias; Gilpin, Martin; Gomez-Dans, Jose L.; Lewis, Simon L.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies show widespread encroachment of forest into savannas with important consequences for the global carbon cycle and land-atmosphere interactions. However, little research has focused on in situ measurements of the successional sequence of savanna to forest in Africa. Using long-term inventory plots we quantify changes in vegetation structure, above-ground biomass (AGB) and biodiversity of trees ≥10 cm diameter over 20 years for five vegetation types: savanna; colonising forest (F1), monodominant Okoume forest (F2); young Marantaceae forest (F3); and mixed Marantaceae forest (F4) in Lopé National Park, central Gabon, plus novel 3D terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) measurements to assess forest structure differences. Over 20 years no plot changed to a new stage in the putative succession, but F1 forests strongly moved towards the structure, AGB and diversity of F2 forests. Overall, savanna plots showed no detectable change in structure, AGB or diversity using this method, with zero trees ≥10 cm diameter in 1993 and 2013. F1 and F2 forests increased in AGB, mainly as a result of adding recruited stems (F1) and increased Basal Area (F2), whereas F3 and F4 forests did not change substantially in structure, AGB or diversity. Critically, the stability of the F3 stage implies that this stage may be maintained for long periods. Soil carbon was low, and did not show a successional gradient as for AGB and diversity. TLS vertical plant profiles showed distinctive differences amongst the vegetation types, indicating that this technique can improve ecological understanding. We highlight two points: (i) as forest colonises, changes in biodiversity are much slower than changes in forest structure or AGB; and (ii) all forest types store substantial quantities of carbon. Multi-decadal monitoring is likely to be required to assess the speed of transition between vegetation types. PMID:27336632

  2. In situ development of high-elevation, low-relief landscapes via duplex deformation in the Eastern Himalayan hinterland, Bhutan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, B. A.; Whipple, K. X.; Hodges, K. V.; Heimsath, A. M.

    2016-02-01

    Prior studies have proposed tectonic and climatic mechanisms to explain surface uplift throughout the Bhutan Himalaya. While the resulting enigmatic, low-relief landscapes, elevated above deeply incised canyons, are a popular setting to test ideas of interacting tectonic and climatic forces, when and why these landscapes formed is still debated. We test the idea that these landscapes were created by a spatially variable and recent increase in rock uplift rate associated with the formation of structural duplexes at depth. We utilize a new suite of erosion rates derived from detrital cosmogenic nuclide techniques, geomorphic observations, and a landscape evolution model to demonstrate the viability of this hypothesis. Low-relief landscapes in Bhutan are eroding at a rate of ~70 m/Ma, while basins from surrounding steep landscapes yield erosion rates of ~950 m/Ma, demonstrating that this portion of the range is in a transient period of increasing relief. Applying insights from our erosion rates, we explore the influence of an active duplex on overlying topography using a landscape evolution model by imposing a high rock uplift rate in the middle of a mountain range. Our simulations show that low-relief landscapes with thick alluvial fills form upstream of convex knickpoints as rivers adjust to higher uplift rates downstream, a pattern consistent with geologic, geomorphic, and thermochronometric data from Bhutan. With our new erosion rates, reconstructed paleo-river profiles, and landscape evolution simulations, we show that the low-relief landscapes were formed in situ as they were uplifted ~800 m in the past ~0.8-1 Ma.

  3. Microbial Diversity in Cerrado Biome (Neotropical Savanna) Soils

    PubMed Central

    Pereira de Castro, Alinne; Sartori da Silva, Maria Regina Silveira; Quirino, Betania Ferraz; da Cunha Bustamante, Mercedes Maria; Krüger, Ricardo Henrique

    2016-01-01

    The Cerrado, the largest savanna region in South America, is located in central Brazil. Cerrado physiognomies, which range from savanna grasslands to forest formations, combined with the highly weathered, acidic clay Cerrado soils form a unique ecoregion. In this study, high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA genes was combined with shotgun metagenomic analysis to explore the taxonomic composition and potential functions of soil microbial communities in four different vegetation physiognomies during both dry and rainy seasons. Our results showed that changes in bacterial, archaeal, and fungal community structures in cerrado denso, cerrado sensu stricto, campo sujo, and gallery forest soils strongly correlated with seasonal patterns of soil water uptake. The relative abundance of AD3, WPS-2, Planctomycetes, Thermoprotei, and Glomeromycota typically decreased in the rainy season, whereas the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Ascomycota increased. In addition, analysis of shotgun metagenomic data revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of genes associated with iron acquisition and metabolism, dormancy, and sporulation during the dry season, and an increase in the relative abundance of genes related to respiration and DNA and protein metabolism during the rainy season. These gene functional categories are associated with adaptation to water stress. Our results further the understanding of how tropical savanna soil microbial communities may be influenced by vegetation covering and temporal variations in soil moisture. PMID:26849674

  4. Plant-soil feedback in East-African savanna trees.

    PubMed

    Rutten, Gemma; Prati, Daniel; Hemp, Andreas; Fischer, Markus

    2016-02-01

    Research in savannas has focused on tree-grass interactions, whereas tree species coexistence received little attention. A leading hypothesis to explain tree coexistence is the Janzen-Connell model, which proposes an accumulation of host-specific enemies, e.g., soil organisms. While it has been shown in several non-savanna case studies that seedlings dispersed away from the mother perform better than seedlings that stay close (home-away effect), few studies tested whether foreign seedling species can replace own seedlings under conspecific adults (replacement effect). Some studies additionally tested for negative effects of conspecific biota (conspecific effect) to demonstrate the accumulation of enemies. We tested these effects by reciprocally growing seedlings of four tree species on soil collected beneath adults of all species, with and without applying a soil sterilization treatment. We found negative home-away effects suggesting that dispersal is advantageous and negative replacement effects suggesting species replacement under adults. While negative conspecific effects indicate accumulated enemies, positive heterospecific effects indicate an accumulation of mutualists rather than enemies for some species. We suggest that plant-soil feedbacks may well contribute to tree coexistence in savannas due to both negative conspecific and positive heterospecific feedbacks. PMID:27145605

  5. Regional insight into savanna hydrogeomorphology from termite mounds.

    PubMed

    Levick, Shaun R; Asner, Gregory P; Chadwick, Oliver A; Khomo, Lesego M; Rogers, Kevin H; Hartshorn, Anthony S; Kennedy-Bowdoin, Ty; Knapp, David E

    2010-01-01

    Global vegetation models predict the spread of woody vegetation in African savannas and grasslands under future climate scenarios, but they operate too broadly to consider hillslope-scale variations in tree-grass distribution. Topographically linked hydrology-soil-vegetation sequences, or catenas, underpin a variety of ecological processes in savannas, including responses to climate change. In this study, we explore the three-dimensional structure of hillslopes and vegetation, using high-resolution airborne LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), to understand the long-term effects of mean annual precipitation (MAP) on catena pattern. Our results reveal that the presence and position of hillslope hydrological boundaries, or seeplines, vary as a function of MAP through its long-term influence on clay redistribution. We suggest that changes in climate will differentially alter the structure of savannas through hydrological changes to the seasonally saturated grasslands downslope of seeplines. The mechanisms underlying future woody encroachment are not simply physiological responses to elevated temperatures and CO(2) levels but also involve hydrogeomorphological processes at the hillslope scale. PMID:20842197

  6. Microbial Diversity in Cerrado Biome (Neotropical Savanna) Soils.

    PubMed

    de Castro, Alinne Pereira; Sartori da Silva, Maria Regina Silveira; Quirino, Betania Ferraz; da Cunha Bustamante, Mercedes Maria; Krüger, Ricardo Henrique

    2016-01-01

    The Cerrado, the largest savanna region in South America, is located in central Brazil. Cerrado physiognomies, which range from savanna grasslands to forest formations, combined with the highly weathered, acidic clay Cerrado soils form a unique ecoregion. In this study, high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA genes was combined with shotgun metagenomic analysis to explore the taxonomic composition and potential functions of soil microbial communities in four different vegetation physiognomies during both dry and rainy seasons. Our results showed that changes in bacterial, archaeal, and fungal community structures in cerrado denso, cerrado sensu stricto, campo sujo, and gallery forest soils strongly correlated with seasonal patterns of soil water uptake. The relative abundance of AD3, WPS-2, Planctomycetes, Thermoprotei, and Glomeromycota typically decreased in the rainy season, whereas the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Ascomycota increased. In addition, analysis of shotgun metagenomic data revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of genes associated with iron acquisition and metabolism, dormancy, and sporulation during the dry season, and an increase in the relative abundance of genes related to respiration and DNA and protein metabolism during the rainy season. These gene functional categories are associated with adaptation to water stress. Our results further the understanding of how tropical savanna soil microbial communities may be influenced by vegetation covering and temporal variations in soil moisture. PMID:26849674

  7. Insectivory of savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Fongoli, Senegal.

    PubMed

    Bogart, Stephanie L; Pruetz, Jill D

    2011-05-01

    Little is known about the behavior of chimpanzees living in savanna-woodlands, although they are of particular interest to anthropologists for the insight they can provide regarding the ecological pressures affecting early hominins living in similar habitats. Fongoli, Senegal, is the first site where savanna chimpanzees have been habituated for observational data collection and is the hottest and driest site where such observation of chimpanzees occurs today. Previously, indirect evidence suggested these chimpanzees consumed termites throughout the year, an unusual occurrence for western and eastern chimpanzees. Although meat eating by chimpanzees continues to receive much attention, their use of invertebrate prey has received less emphasis in scenarios of hominin evolution. Here, we further examine the invertebrate diet of Fongoli chimpanzees using direct observational methods and accounting for potential environmental influences. Termite feeding positively correlated with high temperatures. Fongoli chimpanzees spend more time obtaining termites than any other chimpanzee population studied, and this extensive insectivory contributes to the list of distinctive behaviors they display relative to chimpanzees living in more forested habitats. We suggest that savanna chimpanzees at Fongoli differ significantly from chimpanzees elsewhere as a result of the selective pressures characterizing their harsh environment, and this contrast provides an example of a viable referential model for better understanding human evolution. Specifically, our results support the hypotheses that invertebrate prey may have figured more prominently into the diet of early hominins in similar habitats, especially given that invertebrates are an important source of protein and other essential nutrients in a highly seasonal environment. PMID:21484757

  8. Identifying Greater Sage-Grouse source and sink habitats for conservation planning in an energy development landscape.

    PubMed

    Kirol, Christopher P; Beck, Jeffrey L; Huzurbazar, Snehalata V; Holloran, Matthew J; Miller, Scott N

    2015-06-01

    Conserving a declining species that is facing many threats, including overlap of its habitats with energy extraction activities, depends upon identifying and prioritizing the value of the habitats that remain. In addition, habitat quality is often compromised when source habitats are lost or fragmented due to anthropogenic development. Our objective was to build an ecological model to classify and map habitat quality in terms of source or sink dynamics for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Atlantic Rim Project Area (ARPA), a developing coalbed natural gas field in south-central Wyoming, USA. We used occurrence and survival modeling to evaluate relationships between environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple spatial scales and for all female summer life stages, including nesting, brood-rearing, and non-brooding females. For each life stage, we created resource selection functions (RSFs). We weighted the RSFs and combined them to form a female summer occurrence map. We modeled survival also as a function of spatial variables for nest, brood, and adult female summer survival. Our survival-models were mapped as survival probability functions individually and then combined with fixed vital rates in a fitness metric model that, when mapped, predicted habitat productivity (productivity map). Our results demonstrate a suite of environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple scales that were predictive of occurrence and survival. We created a source-sink map by overlaying our female summer occurrence map and productivity map to predict habitats contributing to population surpluses (source habitats) or deficits (sink habitat) and low-occurrence habitats on the landscape. The source-sink map predicted that of the Sage-Grouse habitat within the ARPA, 30% was primary source, 29% was secondary source, 4% was primary sink, 6% was secondary sink, and 31% was low occurrence. Our results provide evidence that energy development and avoidance of

  9. More than carbon sequestration: Biophysical climate benefits of restored savanna woodlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syktus, Jozef I.; McAlpine, Clive A.

    2016-07-01

    Deforestation and climate change are interconnected and represent major environmental challenges. Here, we explore the capacity of regional-scale restoration of marginal agricultural lands to savanna woodlands in Australia to reduce warming and drying resulting from increased concentration of greenhouse gases. We show that restoration triggers a positive feedback loop between the land surface and the atmosphere, characterised by increased evaporative fraction, eddy dissipation and turbulent mixing in the boundary-layer resulting in enhanced cloud formation and precipitation over the restored regions. The increased evapotranspiration results from the capacity deep-rooted woody vegetation to access soil moisture. As a consequence, the increase in precipitation provides additional moisture to soil and trees, thus reinforcing the positive feedback loop. Restoration reduced the rate of warming and drying under the transient increase in the radiative forcing of greenhouse gas emissions (RCP8.5). At the continental scale, average summer warming for all land areas was reduced by 0.18 oC from 4.1 oC for the period 2056–2075 compared to 1986–2005. For the restored regions (representing 20% of Australia), the averaged surface temperature increase was 3.2 °C which is 0.82 °C cooler compared to agricultural landscapes. Further, there was reduction of 12% in the summer drying of the near-surface soil for the restored regions.

  10. More than carbon sequestration: Biophysical climate benefits of restored savanna woodlands.

    PubMed

    Syktus, Jozef I; McAlpine, Clive A

    2016-01-01

    Deforestation and climate change are interconnected and represent major environmental challenges. Here, we explore the capacity of regional-scale restoration of marginal agricultural lands to savanna woodlands in Australia to reduce warming and drying resulting from increased concentration of greenhouse gases. We show that restoration triggers a positive feedback loop between the land surface and the atmosphere, characterised by increased evaporative fraction, eddy dissipation and turbulent mixing in the boundary-layer resulting in enhanced cloud formation and precipitation over the restored regions. The increased evapotranspiration results from the capacity deep-rooted woody vegetation to access soil moisture. As a consequence, the increase in precipitation provides additional moisture to soil and trees, thus reinforcing the positive feedback loop. Restoration reduced the rate of warming and drying under the transient increase in the radiative forcing of greenhouse gas emissions (RCP8.5). At the continental scale, average summer warming for all land areas was reduced by 0.18 (o)C from 4.1 (o)C for the period 2056-2075 compared to 1986-2005. For the restored regions (representing 20% of Australia), the averaged surface temperature increase was 3.2 °C which is 0.82 °C cooler compared to agricultural landscapes. Further, there was reduction of 12% in the summer drying of the near-surface soil for the restored regions. PMID:27373738

  11. Herbivore-initiated interaction cascades and their modulation by productivity in an African savanna.

    PubMed

    Pringle, Robert M; Young, Truman P; Rubenstein, Daniel I; McCauley, Douglas J

    2007-01-01

    Despite conceptual recognition that indirect effects initiated by large herbivores are likely to have profound impacts on ecological community structure and function, the existing literature on indirect effects focuses largely on the role of predators. As a result, we know neither the frequency and extent of herbivore-initiated indirect effects nor the mechanisms that regulate their strength. We examined the effects of ungulates on taxa (plants, arthropods, and an insectivorous lizard) representing several trophic levels, using a series of large, long-term, ungulate-exclusion plots that span a landscape-scale productivity gradient in an African savanna. At each of six sites, lizards, trees, and the numerically dominant order of arthropods (Coleoptera) were more abundant in the absence of ungulates. The effect of ungulates on arthropods was mediated by herbaceous vegetation cover. The effect on lizards was simultaneously mediated by both tree density (lizard microhabitat) and arthropod abundance (lizard food). The magnitudes of the experimental effects on all response variables (trees, arthropods, and lizards) were negatively correlated with two distinct measures of primary productivity. These results demonstrate strong cascading effects of ungulates, both trophic and nontrophic, and support the hypothesis that productivity regulates the strength of these effects. Hence, the strongest indirect effects (and thus, the greatest risks to ecosystem integrity after large mammals are extirpated) are likely to occur in low-productivity habitats. PMID:17190823

  12. More than carbon sequestration: Biophysical climate benefits of restored savanna woodlands

    PubMed Central

    Syktus, Jozef I.; McAlpine, Clive A.

    2016-01-01

    Deforestation and climate change are interconnected and represent major environmental challenges. Here, we explore the capacity of regional-scale restoration of marginal agricultural lands to savanna woodlands in Australia to reduce warming and drying resulting from increased concentration of greenhouse gases. We show that restoration triggers a positive feedback loop between the land surface and the atmosphere, characterised by increased evaporative fraction, eddy dissipation and turbulent mixing in the boundary-layer resulting in enhanced cloud formation and precipitation over the restored regions. The increased evapotranspiration results from the capacity deep-rooted woody vegetation to access soil moisture. As a consequence, the increase in precipitation provides additional moisture to soil and trees, thus reinforcing the positive feedback loop. Restoration reduced the rate of warming and drying under the transient increase in the radiative forcing of greenhouse gas emissions (RCP8.5). At the continental scale, average summer warming for all land areas was reduced by 0.18 oC from 4.1 oC for the period 2056–2075 compared to 1986–2005. For the restored regions (representing 20% of Australia), the averaged surface temperature increase was 3.2 °C which is 0.82 °C cooler compared to agricultural landscapes. Further, there was reduction of 12% in the summer drying of the near-surface soil for the restored regions. PMID:27373738

  13. The initial phase of a Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass Savanna restoration: species establishment and community responses.

    SciTech Connect

    Aschenbach, Todd, A; Foster, Bryan, L.; Imm, Donald, W.

    2010-09-01

    AbstractAbstract The significant loss of the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem in the southeastern United States has serious implications for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. In response to this loss, we have initiated a long-term and landscape-scale restoration experiment at the 80,125 ha (310 mi2) Department of Energy Savannah River Site (SRS) located near Aiken, South Carolina. Aristida beyrichiana (wiregrass), an important and dominant grass (i.e., a “matrix” species) of the longleaf pine savanna understory, and 31 other herbaceous “non-matrix” species were planted at six locations throughout SRS in 2002 and 2003. Of the 36,056 transplanted seedlings, 75% were still alive in June 2004, while mean 1–2 year survival across all planted species was 48%. Lespedeza hirta (hairy lespedeza) exhibited the greatest overall survival per 3 ×3 m cell at 95%, whereas Schizachyrium spp. (little bluestem) exhibited the greatest mean cover among individual species at 5.9%. Wiregrass survival and cover were significantly reduced when planted with non-matrix species. Aggregate cover of all planted species in restored cells averaged 25.9% in 2006. High rates of survival and growth of the planted species resulted in greater species richness (SR), diversity, and vegetative cover in restored cells. Results suggest that the loss of the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem may be ameliorated through restoration efforts and illustrate the positive impact of restoration plantings on biodiversity and vegetative cover.

  14. Changes in Regional Nitric Oxide Emissions from Savanna Soils Associated with Woody Encroachment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R. E.; Asner, G. P.

    2002-12-01

    Mesquite has been rapidly increasing over the past 100 years resulting in documented changes to the biophysical and biogeochemical structure of savanna ecosystems world-wide. Some of these changes include increases in plant and soil C and N stores and cycling rates as well as isotopic shifts in these pools (Archer et al. 2001, Boutton et al. 1998, Hibbard et al.2001). However, there is no information about the impacts of woody encroachment on soil N oxides emissions. The objective of this study is to determine that remotely sensed variables of vegetation, soil type, and climate alone can be used to estimate N oxide emissions. N oxide fluxes and related parameters were measured at nine study sites across a range of woody canopy cover on two soil types. Spatially, woody canopy cover was the best predictor of NO emissions while temporally temperature was the dominant control given adequate soil moisture. Through linking these biogeochemical relationships with spatially explicit data derived from remote sensing data it is possible to extend these plot-scale measurements to the landscape and regional scales. This method allows better determination of the spatial distribution of N oxide emissions and associated variability.

  15. A LANDSCAPE DEVELOPMENT INTENSITY MAP OF MARYLAND, USA - 4/07

    EPA Science Inventory

    We present a map of human development intensity for central and eastern Maryland using an index derived from energy systems principles. Brown and Vivas developed a measure of the intensity of human development based on the nonrenewable energy use per unit area as an index to exp...

  16. A novel approach for the development of tiered use biological criteria for rivers and streams in an ecologically diverse landscape.

    PubMed

    Bouchard, R William; Niemela, Scott; Genet, John A; Yoder, Chris O; Sandberg, John; Chirhart, Joel W; Feist, Mike; Lundeen, Benjamin; Helwig, Dan

    2016-03-01

    Water resource protection goals for aquatic life are often general and can result in under protection of some high quality water bodies and unattainable expectations for other water bodies. More refined aquatic life goals known as tiered aquatic life uses (TALUs) provide a framework to designate uses by setting protective goals for high quality water bodies and establishing attainable goals for water bodies altered by legally authorized legacy activities (e.g., channelization). Development of biological criteria or biocriteria typically requires identification of a set of least- or minimally-impacted reference sites that are used to establish a baseline from which goals are derived. Under a more refined system of stream types and aquatic life use goals, an adequate set of reference sites is needed to account for the natural variability of aquatic communities (e.g., landscape differences, thermal regime, and stream size). To develop sufficient datasets, Minnesota employed a reference condition approach in combination with an approach based on characterizing a stream's response to anthropogenic disturbance through development of a Biological Condition Gradient (BCG). These two approaches allowed for the creation of ecologically meaningful and consistent biocriteria within a more refined stream typology and solved issues related to small sample sizes and poor representation of minimally- or least-disturbed conditions for some stream types. Implementation of TALU biocriteria for Minnesota streams and rivers will result in consistent and protective goals that address fundamental differences among waters in terms of their potential for restoration. PMID:26920130

  17. Structural control in sinkhole development and speleogenesis: a case study from the High Murge karst landscape (Apulia, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepe, M.; Parise, M.

    2012-04-01

    The Murge plateau is the main karst sector of Apulia, an almost entirely carbonate region of SE Italy. It can be, in turn, subdivided into two sectors: High Murge, the inland plateau, where remnants of an ancient tropical karst are still recognizable; and Low Murge, closer to the Adriatic Sea, with smoother karst morphologies and landforms, but, at the same time, hosting some of the longest underground karst system in the region (Parise, 1998, 2006). Even though showing low energy relief, the landscape of High Murge is very articulated when examined at greater detail, with several interesting karst features. Among these, sinkholes are definitely the most significant, showing a variety of typologies and, at the same time, a high frequency, both as individual features and as coalescent landforms, giving origin to more complex depressions (Parise, 2011). Previous studies carried out in the High Murge through morphometric analysis of the main sinkholes identified on the 1:25,000 scale topographic maps from the Italian Army Geographical Institute indicated their likely genesis in a low relief cockpit karst (Sauro, 1991). Over such landscape, developed in Upper Tertiary, a hydrographic pattern was superimposed, that partly opened some of the depressions, also dismantling sectors of the karst relief and producing talus deposits (Caldara & Ciaranfi, 1988). In the present work we take into consideration the southern countryside of Ruvo di Puglia. Choice of the area, which extends over 15 km2, was dictated by presence of a high number of sinkholes, and of several important caves with prevailing vertical development, including the deepest pit ever explored in Apulia (Grave della Ferratella, depth - 320 m). The cave is nowadays not accessible, due to clogging caused by land use changes during the 80's. Based upon extensive field surveys and interpretation of multi-year aerial photographs (time range 1955-2003), integrated by surveying in selected caves, the main hydro

  18. Structural, physiognomic and above-ground biomass variation in savanna-forest transition zones on three continents - how different are co-occurring savanna and forest formations?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veenendaal, E. M.; Torello-Raventos, M.; Feldpausch, T. R.; Domingues, T. F.; Gerard, F.; Schrodt, F.; Saiz, G.; Quesada, C. A.; Djagbletey, G.; Ford, A.; Kemp, J.; Marimon, B. S.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Lenza, E.; Ratter, J. A.; Maracahipes, L.; Sasaki, D.; Sonke, B.; Zapfack, L.; Villarroel, D.; Schwarz, M.; Yoko Ishida, F.; Gilpin, M.; Nardoto, G. B.; Affum-Baffoe, K.; Arroyo, L.; Bloomfield, K.; Ceca, G.; Compaore, H.; Davies, K.; Diallo, A.; Fyllas, N. M.; Gignoux, J.; Hien, F.; Johnson, M.; Mougin, E.; Hiernaux, P.; Killeen, T.; Metcalfe, D.; Miranda, H. S.; Steininger, M.; Sykora, K.; Bird, M. I.; Grace, J.; Lewis, S.; Phillips, O. L.; Lloyd, J.

    2015-05-01

    Through interpretations of remote-sensing data and/or theoretical propositions, the idea that forest and savanna represent "alternative stable states" is gaining increasing acceptance. Filling an observational gap, we present detailed stratified floristic and structural analyses for forest and savanna stands located mostly within zones of transition (where both vegetation types occur in close proximity) in Africa, South America and Australia. Woody plant leaf area index variation was related to tree canopy cover in a similar way for both savanna and forest with substantial overlap between the two vegetation types. As total woody plant canopy cover increased, so did the relative contribution of middle and lower strata of woody vegetation. Herbaceous layer cover declined as woody cover increased. This pattern of understorey grasses and herbs progressively replaced by shrubs as the canopy closes over was found for both savanna and forests and on all continents. Thus, once subordinate woody canopy layers are taken into account, a less marked transition in woody plant cover across the savanna-forest-species discontinuum is observed compared to that inferred when trees of a basal diameter > 0.1 m are considered in isolation. This is especially the case for shrub-dominated savannas and in taller savannas approaching canopy closure. An increased contribution of forest species to the total subordinate cover is also observed as savanna stand canopy closure occurs. Despite similarities in canopy-cover characteristics, woody vegetation in Africa and Australia attained greater heights and stored a greater amount of above-ground biomass than in South America. Up to three times as much above-ground biomass is stored in forests compared to savannas under equivalent climatic conditions. Savanna-forest transition zones were also found to typically occur at higher precipitation regimes for South America than for Africa. Nevertheless, consistent across all three continents coexistence

  19. DEVELOPING A LANDSCAPE APPROACH TO EVALUATION OF WETLAND CONDITION IN THE SOUTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS: PHASE II.

    EPA Science Inventory

    This proposal details a project whose goal is to develop a rapid assessment tool for determining the success of compensatory wetland mitigation within a hydrogeomorphic framework. Phase I of this program, currently in progress and funded through FY 2000 RARE funds, is developing...

  20. Dynamic Transcriptome Landscape of Maize Embryo and Endosperm Development1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jian; Zeng, Biao; Zhang, Mei; Xie, Shaojun; Wang, Gaokui; Hauck, Andrew; Lai, Jinsheng

    2014-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays) is an excellent cereal model for research on seed development because of its relatively large size for both embryo and endosperm. Despite the importance of seed in agriculture, the genome-wide transcriptome pattern throughout seed development has not been well characterized. Using high-throughput RNA sequencing, we developed a spatiotemporal transcriptome atlas of B73 maize seed development based on 53 samples from fertilization to maturity for embryo, endosperm, and whole seed tissues. A total of 26,105 genes were found to be involved in programming seed development, including 1,614 transcription factors. Global comparisons of gene expression highlighted the fundamental transcriptomic reprogramming and the phases of development. Coexpression analysis provided further insight into the dynamic reprogramming of the transcriptome by revealing functional transitions during maturation. Combined with the published nonseed high-throughput RNA sequencing data, we identified 91 transcription factors and 1,167 other seed-specific genes, which should help elucidate key mechanisms and regulatory networks that underlie seed development. In addition, correlation of gene expression with the pattern of DNA methylation revealed that hypomethylation of the gene body region should be an important factor for the expressional activation of seed-specific genes, especially for extremely highly expressed genes such as zeins. This study provides a valuable resource for understanding the genetic control of seed development of monocotyledon plants. PMID:25037214

  1. Simulating Groundwater-Plant-Atmosphere Interactions in a Semiarid Savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gou, S.; Miller, G. R.

    2013-12-01

    Groundwater serves as one of the main water sources for deep rooted phreatophytic vegetation. Such vegetation acts as the linkage between groundwater, land surface and atmosphere. Through plant groundwater uptake and hydraulic redistribution (HR), the dynamics of relatively deep groundwater can influence ET and soil moisture of top soil layers. In this work, we first developed a plant scale model to simulate groundwater uptake and HR driven by the potential gradients along the groundwater-soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (GSPAC). The model included a new plant water stress function based on the 'vulnerability curve' theory in order to integrate the influences of both soil water and groundwater on transpiration. The model was calibrated and validated with measured ET, soil moisture, and leaf water potential data and was able to capture both energy and water dynamics along the GSPAC. We then coupled this plant scale model into a spatial distributed groundwater-land surface model (ParFlow.CLM). The revisions to ParFlow.CLM allow it to explicitly describe root water uptake and HR of different species, allowing for the study of how plant groundwater use and HR influence regional water budget and climate. This new uptake formulation was applied to simulate a heterogeneous savanna system at an AmeriFlux site in California. The site is dominated by blue oaks which can access both soil water and groundwater and grasses which only depend on soil water. The results match previous field measurements indicating that the oaks use most soil water during wet season and switch to groundwater use in dry season to buffer the impacts of drought. Therefore, the water and energy dynamics at this site showed the soil moisture controlled pattern in wet season, and the vegetation and groundwater controlled pattern in dry season. With HR, the rainfall is distributed into deeper soil in wet season by hydraulic descent. Such water will be lifted into shallower soil to promote transpiration in

  2. Landscape diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    While biodiversity is usually considered at the species level, maintenance of biodiversity requires management at higher levels of organization, particularly at the landscape scale. It is difficult to manage for each threatened species individually. Alternatively, management can focus on the ecosyst...

  3. Landscapes, tourism, and conservation

    PubMed

    Burger

    2000-04-17

    One key aspect of global change is a decrease in ecological integrity as more and more landscapes are developed, leaving a mosaic of intact refuges and degraded patches that may not be sufficient for conserving biodiversity. While increases in human population and shifts in the distribution of people affect land use, the temporary movement of people can have major implications for conservation and biodiversity. Three examples are presented where recreation/tourism can enhance the conservation of land on a landscape scale, leading to habitat protection and biodiversity preservation: (1) Shorebirds often require a matrix of different habitat types during migratory stopovers, and ecotourism can serve as a catalyst for landscape scale protection of habitat. (2) Riparian habitats can serve as corridors to link diverse habitat patches, as well as serving as biodiversity hotspots. (3) Remediation and rehabilitation of contaminated lands, such as those of the US Department of Energy, aimed at developing recreational activities on the uncontaminated portions, can be the most economical form of re-development with no increase in human or ecological risk. Since large areas on many DOE sites have been undisturbed since the Second World War, when they were acquired, they contain unique or valuable ecosystems that serve an important role within their regional landscapes. In all three cases the judicious development of recreational/tourist interests can encourage both the conservation of habitats and the wise management of habitats on a landscape scale. While some species or habitats are too fragile for sustained tourism, many can be managed so that species, ecosystems and ecotourists flourish. By contributing to the economic base of regions, ecotourists/recreationists can influence the protection of land and biodiversity on a landscape scale, contributing to ecosystem management. The human dimensions of land preservation and biodiversity protection are key to long

  4. Pathology Residency Programme of a Developing Country--Landscape of Last 25 Years

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siddiqui, Imran; Ali, Natasha; Kayani, Naila

    2016-01-01

    We report the evolution of a residency programme in Pathology from a developing country. This article highlights the historical perspective of our application procedure, the number of inductions, the programme framework, acheivements and limitations.

  5. Rill development, headcut migration, and sediment efflux from an evolving experimental landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Experiments were conducted using a soil-mantled flume subjected to simulated rain and downstream baselevel lowering to quantify the growth, development, and evolution of rills and rill networks. Digital elevation models constructed using photogrammetric techniques greatly facilitated data acquisiti...

  6. Effects of landscape-based green infrastructure on stormwater runoff in suburban developments

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development of impervious surfaces in urban and suburban catchments affects their hydrological behavior by decreasing infiltration, increasing peak hydrograph response following rainfall events, and ultimately increasing the total volume of water and mass of pollutants reachi...

  7. Geomorpho-Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farabollini, Piero; Lugeri, Francesca; Amadio, Vittorio

    2014-05-01

    Landscape is the object of human perceptions, being the image of spatial organization of elements and structures: mankind lives the first approach with the environment, viewing and feeling the landscape. Many definitions of landscape have been given over time: in this case we refer to the Landscape defined as the result of interaction among physical, biotic and anthropic phenomena acting in a different spatial-temporal scale (Foreman & Godron) Following an Aristotelic approach in studying nature, we can assert that " Shape is synthesis": so it is possible to read the land features as the expression of the endogenous and exogenous processes that mould earth surfaces; moreover, Landscape is the result of the interaction of natural and cultural components, and conditions the spatial-temporal development of a region. The study of the Landscape offers results useful in order to promote sustainable development, ecotourism, enhancement of natural and cultural heritage, popularization of the scientific knowledge. In Italy, a very important GIS-based tool to represent the territory is the "Carta della Natura" ("Map of Nature", presently coordinated by the ISPRA) that aims at assessing the state of the whole Italian territory, analyzing Landscape. The methodology follows a holistic approach, taking into consideration all the components of a landscape and then integrating the information. Each individual landscape, studied at different scales, shows distinctive elements: structural, which depend on physical form and specific spatial organization; functional, which depend on relationships created between biotic and abiotic elements, and dynamic, which depend on the successive evolution of the structure. The identification of the landscape units, recognized at different scales of analysis, allows an evaluation of the state of the land, referring to the dual risk/resource which characterizes the Italian country. An interesting opportunity is to discover those areas of unusual

  8. Understanding the ecological complexity of semi-arid savannas using remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Cho-Ying

    Savannas are ecosystems with a background herbaceous layer and intermittently distributed woody plants. A large body of literature has revealed that the ecological processes within savannas are complex and the spatial pattern and abundance of woody and herbaceous plants through time may be influenced by various factors. This dissertation research consists of three studies demonstrating the feasibility of utilizing remote sensing techniques to better understand the ecological complexity of semisavannas in southern Arizona, USA. The first study investigated the impacts of recent fire disturbance on structural changes of woody plants at varying scales. Results indicated that while field canopy cover and remote sensing woody cover fraction were strong predictors of woody biomass at local and landscape scales, respectively, fire history can significantly alter the nature of these relationships. This work suggested that simple predictions of woody biomass from field and remote sensing cover measures without considering disturbance will underestimate biomass in mature undisturbed settings, and overestimate biomass in recently disturbed locations in most cases. The second study investigated the ecological stability by implementing a top-down approach to analyze 21 years (1984--2005) of Landsat satellite data. This work suggested that a stable system needed to receive sufficient precipitation for basic plant growth, to be on coarse-textured and shallow soils that can efficiently store precipitation but inhibit the proliferation of woody plants, and to be on east facing slopes which can support clement microclimate. The perspectives gained from this study will enable us to target fine-scale field studies seeking to address circumstances conferring ecosystem stability; and improve predictions of potential carbon stocks in drylands. The third study derived the unique temporal and spatial signatures of vegetation [the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)] and

  9. Landscape development in an hyperarid sandstone environment along the margins of the Dead Sea fault: Implications from dated rock falls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matmon, A.; Shaked, Y.; Porat, N.; Enzel, Y.; Finkel, R.; Lifton, N.; Boaretto, E.; Agnon, A.

    2005-01-01

    In this study, we explored the spatial and temporal relations between boulders and their original in-situ locations on sandstone bedrock cliffs. This was accomplished by combining field observations with dating methods using cosmogenic isotopes (10Be and 14C) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). Our conclusions bear both on the landscape evolution and cliff retreat process in the hyperarid region of Timna and on the methodology of estimating exposure ages using cosmogenic isotopes. We recognize three discrete rock fall events, at 31 ka, 15 ka, and 4 ka. In this hyperarid region, the most plausible triggering mechanism for rock fall events is strong ground acceleration caused by earthquakes generated by the nearby Dead Sea fault (DSF). Our record, however, under represents the regional earthquake record implying that ongoing development of detachment cracks prior to the triggering event might be slower than the earthquake cycle. Cliff retreat rates calculated using the timing of rock fall events and estimated thickness of rock removed in each event range between 0.14 m ky-1 and 2 m ky-1. When only full cycles are considered, we derive a more realistic range of 0.4 m ky-1 to 0.7 m ky-1. These rates are an order of magnitude faster than the calculated rate of surface lowering in the area. We conclude that sandstone cliffs at Timna retreat through episodic rock fall events that preserve the sharp, imposing, landscape characteristic to this region and that ongoing weathering of the cliff faces is minor. A 10%-20% difference in the 10Be concentrations in samples from matching boulder and cliff faces that have identical exposure histories and are located only a few meters apart indicates that cosmogenic nuclide production rates are sensitive to shielding and vary spatially over short distances. However, uncertainties associated with age calculations yielded boulder and matching cliff face ages that are similar within 1 ??. The use of external constraints in the

  10. Reconciling Agricultural Needs with Biodiversity and Carbon Conservation in a Savanna Transformation Frontier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiegel, M. P.; Estes, L. D.; Caylor, K. K.; Searchinger, T.

    2015-12-01

    Zambia is a major hotspot for agricultural development in the African savannas, which will be targeted for agricultural expansion to relieve food shortages and economic insecurity in the next few decades. Recent scholarship rejects the assumption that the large reserves of arable land in the African savannas could be converted to cropland with low ecological costs. In light of these findings, the selection of land for agricultural expansion must consider not only its potential productivity, but also the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss that would result from the land conversion. To examine these tradeoffs, we have developed a multi-objective optimization technique to seek scenarios for agricultural development in Zambia that simultaneously achieve production targets and minimize carbon, biodiversity, and economic cost constraints, while factoring in the inter-annual variability in crop production in this highly uncertain climate. Potential production is determined from well-characterized yield potential estimates while robust metrics of biodiversity and high resolution mapping of carbon storage provide fine scale estimates of ecological impact. We draw production targets for individual crops from potential development pathways, primarily export, commodity-crop driven expansion and identify ecologically responsible agricultural development scenarios that are resilient to climate change and meet these demands. In order to achieve a doubling of production of nine key crops, assuming a modest 20% overall increase in yield potential, we find a range of scenarios that use less than 1600 km2 of new land without infringing on any protected areas or exceeding 6.7 million tons of carbon emissions.

  11. University Continuing Education in a Neoliberal Landscape: Developments in England and Aotearoa New Zealand

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowl, Marion

    2010-01-01

    This paper explores the impact of changing higher education policies and funding on university adult and continuing education in England and Aotearoa New Zealand. It discusses some of the contextual factors contributing to sustaining continuing education in New Zealand, against the tide of developments elsewhere, and in spite of its subjection to…

  12. MID-ATLANTIC COASTAL STREAMS STUDY: STATISTICAL DESIGN FOR REGIONAL ASSESSMENT AND LANDSCAPE MODEL DEVELOPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A network of stream-sampling sites was developed for the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (New Jersey through North Carolina) as part of collaborative research between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey. A stratified random sampling with unequal wei...

  13. MID-ATLANTIC COASTAL STREAMS STUDY: STATISTICAL DESIGN FOR REGIONAL ASSESSMENT AND LANDSCAPE MODEL DEVELOPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A network of stream-sampling sites was developed for the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (New Jersey through North Carolina) a collaborative study between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey. A stratified random sampling with unequal weighting was u...

  14. Obstacles to Enhancing Professional Development with Digital Tools in Rural Landscapes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt-Barron, Sarah; Tracy, Kelly N.; Howell, Emily; Kaminski, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    This case study examines the use of online tools, including blogs, as a means of enhancing face-to-face professional development in writing instruction for teachers in rural districts. Since many rural districts serve large physical areas that are geographically distant from larger metropolitan areas and/or colleges and universities, teachers in…

  15. The Federal Policy Landscape: A Look at How Legislation Affects Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Islas, M. Rene

    2010-01-01

    Four years ago, Learning Forward established "affecting the policy context" as the first of five strategic priorities that would guide its efforts through 2011. Learning Forward believes that good policy promotes good practice and that laws and policies that promote and support effective professional development are needed to achieve the…

  16. Creating a fuels baseline and establishing fire frequency relationships to develop a landscape management strategy at the Savannah River Site.

    SciTech Connect

    Parresol, Bernard R.; Shea, Dan; Ottmar, Roger.

    2006-10-01

    USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-41. pp 351-366. Abstract—The Savannah River Site is a Department of Energy Nuclear Defense Facility and a National Environmental Research Park located in the upper coastal plain of South Carolina. Prescribed burning is conducted on 15,000 to 20,000 ac annually. We modifi ed standard forest inventory methods to incorporate a complete assessment of fuel components on 622 plots, assessing coarse woody debris, ladder fuels, and the litter and duff layers. Because of deficiencies in south-wide data on litter-duff bulk densities, which are the fuels most often consumed in prescribed fires, we developed new bulk density relationships. Total surface fuel loading across the landscape ranged from 0.8 to 48.7 tons/ac. The variables basal area, stand age, and site index were important in accounting for variability in ladder fuel, coarse woody debris, and litter-duff for pine types. For a given pine stand condition, litter-duff loading decreased in direct proportion to the number of burns in the preceding thirty years. Ladder fuels for loblolly and longleaf increased in direct proportion to the years since the last prescribed burn. The pattern of fuel loading on the SRS reflects stand dynamics, stand management and fire management. It is suggested that the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program can easily modify sampling protocols to incorporate collection of fuels data.

  17. Structural, physiognomic and aboveground biomass variation in savanna-forest transition zones on three continents. How different are co-occurring savanna and forest formations?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veenendaal, E. M.; Torello-Raventos, M.; Feldpausch, T. R.; Domingues, T. F.; Gerard, F.; Schrodt, F.; Saiz, G.; Quesada, C. A.; Djagbletey, G.; Ford, A.; Kemp, J.; Marimon, B. S.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Lenza, E.; Ratter, J. A.; Maracahipes, L.; Sasaki, D.; Sonké, B.; Zapfack, L.; Villarroel, D.; Schwarz, M.; Yoko Ishida, F.; Gilpin, M.; Nardoto, G. B.; Affum-Baffoe, K.; Arroyo, L.; Bloomfield, K.; Ceca, G.; Compaore, H.; Davies, K.; Diallo, A.; Fyllas, N. M.; Gignoux, J.; Hien, F.; Johnson, M.; Mougin, E.; Hiernaux, P.; Killeen, T.; Metcalfe, D.; Miranda, H. S.; Steininger, M.; Sykora, K.; Bird, M. I.; Grace, J.; Lewis, S.; Phillips, O. L.; Lloyd, J.

    2014-03-01

    Through interpretations of remote sensing data and/or theoretical propositions, the idea that forest and savanna represent "alternative stable states" is gaining increasing acceptance. Filling an observational gap, we present detailed stratified floristic and structural analyses for forest and savanna stands mostly located within zones of transition (where both vegetation types occur in close proximity) in Africa, South America and Australia. Woody plant leaf area index variation was related in a similar way to tree canopy cover for both savanna and forest with substantial overlap between the two vegetation types. As total woody plant canopy cover increased, so did the contribution of middle and lower strata of woody vegetation to this total. Herbaceous layer cover also declined as woody cover increased. This pattern of understorey grasses and herbs being progressively replaced by shrubs as canopy closure occurs was found for both savanna and forests and on all continents. Thus, once subordinate woody canopy layers are taken into account, a less marked transition in woody plant cover across the savanna-forest species discontinuum is observed compared to that implied when trees of a basal diameter > 0.1m are considered in isolation. This is especially the case for shrub-dominated savannas and in taller savannas approaching canopy closure. An increased contribution of forest species to the total subordinate cover is also observed as savanna stand canopy closure occurs. Despite similarities in canopy cover characteristics, woody vegetation in Africa and Australia attained greater heights and stored a greater concentration of above ground biomass than in South America. Up to three times as much aboveground biomass is stored in forests compared to savannas under equivalent climatic conditions. Savanna/forest transition zones were also found to typically occur at higher precipitation regimes for South America than for Africa. Nevertheless, coexistence was found to be

  18. Combining laser microdissection and RNA-seq to chart the transcriptional landscape of fungal development

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background During sexual development, filamentous ascomycetes form complex, three-dimensional fruiting bodies for the protection and dispersal of sexual spores. Fruiting bodies contain a number of cell types not found in vegetative mycelium, and these morphological differences are thought to be mediated by changes in gene expression. However, little is known about the spatial distribution of gene expression in fungal development. Here, we used laser microdissection (LM) and RNA-seq to determine gene expression patterns in young fruiting bodies (protoperithecia) and non-reproductive mycelia of the ascomycete Sordaria macrospora. Results Quantitative analysis showed major differences in the gene expression patterns between protoperithecia and total mycelium. Among the genes strongly up-regulated in protoperithecia were the pheromone precursor genes ppg1 and ppg2. The up-regulation was confirmed by fluorescence microscopy of egfp expression under the control of ppg1 regulatory sequences. RNA-seq analysis of protoperithecia from the sterile mutant pro1 showed that many genes that are differentially regulated in these structures are under the genetic control of transcription factor PRO1. Conclusions We have generated transcriptional profiles of young fungal sexual structures using a combination of LM and RNA-seq. This allowed a high spatial resolution and sensitivity, and yielded a detailed picture of gene expression during development. Our data revealed significant differences in gene expression between protoperithecia and non-reproductive mycelia, and showed that the transcription factor PRO1 is involved in the regulation of many genes expressed specifically in sexual structures. The LM/RNA-seq approach will also be relevant to other eukaryotic systems in which multicellular development is investigated. PMID:23016559

  19. Multi-Sensor Model-Data Assimilation for Improved Modeling of Savanna Carbon and Water Budgets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, D. J.; Renzullo, L. J.; Guerschman, J.; Hill, M. J.

    2007-12-01

    Model-data assimilation methods are increasingly being used to improve model predictions of carbon pools and fluxes, soil profile moisture contents, and evapotranspiration at catchment to regional scales. In this talk, I will discuss the development of model-data assimilation methods for application to parameter and state estimation problems in the context of savanna carbon and water cycles. A particular focus of this talk will be on the integration of in situ datasets and multiple types of satellite observations with radiative transfer, surface energy balance, and carbon budget models. An example will be drawn from existing work demonstrating regional estimation of soil profile moisture content based on multiple satellite sensors. The data assimilation scheme comprised a forward model, observation operators, multiple observation datasets and an optimization scheme. The forward model propagates model state variables in time based on climate forcing, initial conditions and model parameters and includes processes governing evapotranspiration, water budget and carbon cycle processes. The observation operators calculate modeled land surface temperature and microwave brightness temperatures based on the state variables of profile soil moisture and soil surface layer soil moisture at less than 2.5 cm depth. Satellite observations used in the assimilation scheme are surface brightness temperatures from AMSR-E (passive microwave at 6.9GHz at horizontal polarization) and from AVHRR (thermal channels 4 & 5 from NOAA-18), and land surface reflectances from MODIS Terra (channels 1 and 2 at 250m resolution). These three satellite sensors overpass at approximately the same time of day and provide independent observations of the land surface at different wavelengths. The observed brightness temperatures are used as constraints on the coupled energy balance/microwave radiative transfer model, and a canopy optical model was inverted to retrieve leaf area indices from observed

  20. Performance Technology Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Addison, Roger M.

    2003-01-01

    Describes a performance technology landscape that has been developed for performance improvement institutes. Defines performance technology, including identification of value; definition of outcomes; performance analysis; valuation of effectiveness; focusing on results; systemic approach; adding value; aligning workers, activity, the organization,…

  1. LANDSCAPE SCIENCES OVERVIEW

    EPA Science Inventory

    The primary aim of the Landscape Sciences Program (LSP) is to develop methodologies to evaluate the status, trends, and vulnerability of ecological resources (primarily water) at site, watershed, regional, and national scales, and to evaluate the major stressors and exposures to...

  2. Divergent Genomic and Epigenomic Landscapes of Lung Cancer Subtypes Underscore the Selection of Different Oncogenic Pathways during Tumor Development

    PubMed Central

    Lockwood, William W.; Wilson, Ian M.; Coe, Bradley P.; Chari, Raj; Pikor, Larissa A.; Thu, Kelsie L.; Solis, Luisa M.; Nunez, Maria I.; Behrens, Carmen; Yee, John; English, John; Murray, Nevin; Tsao, Ming-Sound; Minna, John D.; Gazdar, Adi F.; Wistuba, Ignacio I.; MacAulay, Calum E.; Lam, Stephen; Lam, Wan L.

    2012-01-01

    For therapeutic purposes, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has traditionally been regarded as a single disease. However, recent evidence suggest that the two major subtypes of NSCLC, adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) respond differently to both molecular targeted and new generation chemotherapies. Therefore, identifying the molecular differences between these tumor types may impact novel treatment strategy. We performed the first large-scale analysis of 261 primary NSCLC tumors (169 AC and 92 SqCC), integrating genome-wide DNA copy number, methylation and gene expression profiles to identify subtype-specific molecular alterations relevant to new agent design and choice of therapy. Comparison of AC and SqCC genomic and epigenomic landscapes revealed 778 altered genes with corresponding expression changes that are selected during tumor development in a subtype-specific manner. Analysis of >200 additional NSCLCs confirmed that these genes are responsible for driving the differential development and resulting phenotypes of AC and SqCC. Importantly, we identified key oncogenic pathways disrupted in each subtype that likely serve as the basis for their differential tumor biology and clinical outcomes. Downregulation of HNF4α target genes was the most common pathway specific to AC, while SqCC demonstrated disruption of numerous histone modifying enzymes as well as the transcription factor E2F1. In silico screening of candidate therapeutic compounds using subtype-specific pathway components identified HDAC and PI3K inhibitors as potential treatments tailored to lung SqCC. Together, our findings suggest that AC and SqCC develop through distinct pathogenetic pathways that have significant implication in our approach to the clinical management of NSCLC. PMID:22629454

  3. Development and Evolution of the Amniote Integument: Current Landscape and Future Horizon

    PubMed Central

    CHUONG, CHENG-MING; HOMBERGER, DOMINIQUE G.

    2015-01-01

    This special issue on the development and evolution of the amniote integument begins with a discussion of the adaptations to terrestrial conditions, the acquisition of water-impermeability by the reptilian integument, and the initial formation of filamentous integumentary appendages that pave the way towards avian flight. Recent feather fossils are reviewed and a definition of feathers is developed. Hierarchical models are proposed for the formation of complex structures, such as feathers. Molecular signals that alter the phenotype of integumentary appendages at different levels of the hierarchy are presented. Tissue interactions and the roles of keratins in evolution are discussed and linked to their bio-mechanical properties. The role of mechanical forces on patterning is explored. Elaborate extant feather variants are introduced. The regeneration/gene mis-expression protocol for the chicken feather is established as a testable model for the study of biological structures. The adaptations of the mammalian distal limb end organs to terrestrial, arboreal and aquatic conditions are discussed. The development and cycling of hair are reviewed from a molecular perspective. These contributions reveal that the structure and function of diverse integumentary appendages are variations superimposed on a common theme, and that their formation is modular, hierarchical, and cyclical. They further reveal that these mechanisms can be understood at the molecular level, and that an integrative and organismal approach to studying integumentary appendages is needed. We propose that future research should foster interdisciplinary approaches, pursue understanding at the cellular and molecular level, analyze interactions between the environment and genome, and recognize the contributions of variation in morphogenesis and evolution. PMID:12949766

  4. Effectiveness of scat-detection dogs in determining species presence in a tropical savanna landscape.

    PubMed

    Vynne, Carly; Skalski, John R; Machado, Ricardo B; Groom, Martha J; Jácomo, Anah T A; Marinho-Filho, Jader; Ramos Neto, Mario B; Pomilla, Cristina; Silveira, Leandro; Smith, Heath; Wasser, Samuel K

    2011-02-01

    Most protected areas are too small to sustain populations of wide-ranging mammals; thus, identification and conservation of high-quality habitat for those animals outside parks is often a high priority, particularly for regions where extensive land conversion is occurring. This is the case in the vicinity of Emas National Park, a small protected area in the Brazilian Cerrado. Over the last 40 years the native vegetation surrounding the park has been converted to agriculture, but the region still supports virtually all of the animals native to the area. We determined the effectiveness of scat-detection dogs in detecting presence of five species of mammals threatened with extinction by habitat loss: maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), puma (Puma concolor), jaguar (Panthera onca), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), and giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus). The probability of scat detection varied among the five species and among survey quadrats of different size, but was consistent across team, season, and year. The probability of occurrence, determined from the presence of scat, in a randomly selected site within the study area ranged from 0.14 for jaguars, which occur primarily in the forested areas of the park, to 0.91 for maned wolves, the most widely distributed species in our study area. Most occurrences of giant armadillos in the park were in open grasslands, but in the agricultural matrix they tended to occur in riparian woodlands. At least one target species occurred in every survey quadrat, and giant armadillos, jaguars, and maned wolves were more likely to be present in quadrats located inside than outside the park. The effort required for detection of scats was highest for the two felids. We were able to detect the presence for each of five wide-ranging species inside and outside the park and to assign occurrence probabilities to specific survey sites. Thus, scat dogs provide an effective survey tool for rare species even when accurate detection likelihoods are required. We believe the way we used scat-detection dogs to determine the presence of species can be applied to the detection of other mammalian species in other ecosystems. PMID:21029162

  5. The Impact of Fire on Energy Balance in Southern African Savanna Ecosystems: Implications of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dintwe, K.; Okin, G. S.; Saha, M.; Scanlon, T. M.; D'Odorico, P.; De Sales, F.; Xue, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Savannas are the most fire prone ecosystems in the world accounting for more than 75% of annual global fires. Wildfires in savannas consume large quantities of biomass releasing CO2 and aerosols while leaving ash and char residues. The residues form black-grey patches on the soil surface, and together with newly exposed bare soil patches, they play a significant role in altering surface reflectance and vegetation condition. We investigated the impact of fire on savanna albedo and vegetation greenness (from Enhanced Vegetation Index, EVI) from 2000-2014 using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) for Africa south of the Equator. Preliminary results indicate that more mesic savannas near the Equator have the highest fire frequencies, with fire frequency generally decreasing with aridity. Immediately after fires, the average change in albedo and EVI is -5% and -10%, respectively, with the magnitude of the change increasing with aridity. The time for albedo to recover to values similar to unburned areas varied by latitude, with more mesic savannas recovering much faster (24 days vs. 65 days for dry savannas). The time for vegetation condition to recover did not vary strongly by latitude (about 65 days). The upward shortwave energy in burnt areas in mesic savannas is 53 W m-2 compared to 95 W m-2 for unburnt areas, indicating a positive forcing of about 42 W m-2 associated with mesic savanna fires locally. Approximately 7% of the (primarily savanna) land in southern Africa burns each year, suggesting an overall forcing in Africa south of the Equator of ~1-2 W m-2 associated with savanna fires. This large forcing indicates clearly the important interplay between ecosystem processes (fire) and climate (radiative forcing) in this region. With changing climate, this region is expected to become significantly drier, suggesting that the forcing due to fire might decrease in the coming decades and indicating that fire-induced albedo changes potentially

  6. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines.

    SciTech Connect

    Veldman, Joseph, W., Mattingly, Brett, W., Brudvig, Lars, A.

    2013-04-01

    Abstract. Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are more fire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity.

  7. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines.

    PubMed

    Veldman, Joseph W; Mattingly, W Brett; Brudvig, Lars A

    2013-02-01

    Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are morefire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity. PMID:23691661

  8. North African savanna fires and atmospheric carbon dioxide

    SciTech Connect

    Iacobellis, S.F.; Frouni, Razafimpaniolo, H.

    1994-04-20

    The effect of north African savanna fires on atmospheric CO{sub 2} is investigated using a tracer transport model. The model uses winds from operational numerical weather prediction analyses and provides CO{sub 2} concentrations as a function of space and time. After a spin-up period of several years, biomass-burning sources are added, and model experiments are run for an additional year, utilizing various estimates of CO{sub 2} sources. The various model experiments show that biomass burning in the north African savannas significantly affects CO{sub 2} concentrations in South America. The effect is more pronounced during the period from January through March, when biomass burning in South America is almost nonexistent. During this period, atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations in parts of South America typically may increase by 0.5 to 0.75 ppm at 970 mbar, the average pressure of the lowest model layer. These figures are above the probable uncertainty level, as model runs with biomass-burning sources estimated from independent studies using distinct data sets and techniques indicate. From May through September, when severe biomass burning occurs in South America, the effect of north African savanna fires over South America has become generally small at 970 mbar, but north of the equator it may be of the same magnitude or larger than the effect of South American fires. The CO{sub 2} concentration increase in the extreme northern and southern portions of South America, however, is mostly due to southern African fires, whose effect may be 2-3 times larger than the effect of South American fires at 970 mbar. Even in the central part of the continent, where local biomass-burning emissions are maximum, southern African fires contribute to at least 15% of the CO{sub 2} concentration increase at 970 mbar. 20 refs., 15 figs., 1 tab.

  9. Comparison of Infiltrability Measurements in the Thornbush Savanna, Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Classen, Nikolaus; Gröngröft, Alexander; Eschenbach, Annette

    2010-05-01

    Large proportions of Namibian Savannas are affected by strong bush encroachment leading to a reduction in grazing capacity. Especially woody plant encroachment is expected to have an impact on hydrology by increasing plant transpiration, bare soil evaporation and reducing soil water availability (HUXMAN et al. 2005). Although the processes are not fully understood, the role of soil water balance is highlighted by many studies. Especially the small-scale interactions of vegetation and soil are of high relevance. To characterize the water balance of different sites in the Namibian thornbush savanna long-term studies were conducted. In addition we applied three methods to quantify the infiltration rate (IR) at four central Namibian thornbush savanna sites differing in soil texture and vegetation type: a single ring (own construction, 14 cm inner diameter), a disc-infiltrometer (Eijkelkamp Agrisearch Equipment BV) and a hood infiltrometer (UGT Umwelt-Geräte-Technik GmbH). At each site, the measurements we conducted along short transect lines (15 m) in positions with differing plant influence (canopy of Acacia trees and shrubs, grass and dwarf-shrub tussocks, bare soil, termitaria). All three methods resulted in different mean IR as well as spatial distribution patterns. Using statistical analysis by ANOVA, dominant controlling variables were elaborated. The poster will demonstrate which of the methods is defensible with respect to the research question. References : HUXMAN, T. E., B. P. WILCOX, et al. (2005): Ecohydrological implications of woody plant encroachment. Ecology 86(2): 308-319. Acknowledgment: The work was founded by BMBF within the Project Biota South (support code 01LC 0624 A2).

  10. Fires in tropical savanna ecosystems -- The need for mitigation?

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, D.E.; Shea, R.; Hao, W.M.

    1994-12-31

    Fires in savanna ecosystems are usually considered to be ``natural`` in that the ecosystems where fire is present generally have evolved in the presence of fire. In the past several decades, with large increases in population in most of the tropical countries, there has been an accelerated demand for fuel wood, charcoal, building materials, and agriculture. The overall effect has been to reduce the above-ground biomass and to cycle the carbon more frequently. The authors discuss the mitigation strategies for reducing the release of carbon from charcoal production and shifting cultivation.

  11. North African savanna fires and atmospheric carbon dioxide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Iacobellis, Sam F.; Frouin, Robert; Razafimpanilo, Herisoa; Somerville, Richard C. J.; Piper, Stephen C.

    1994-01-01

    The effect of north African savanna fires on atmospheric CO2 is investigated using a tracer transport model. The model uses winds from operational numerical weather prediction analyses and provides CO2 concentrations as a function of space and time. After a spin-up period of several years, biomass-burning sources are added, and model experiments are run for an additional year, utilizing various estimates of CO2 sources. The various model experiments show that biomass burning in the north African savannas significantly affects CO2 concentrations in South America. The effect is more pronounced during the period from January through March, when biomass burning in South America is almost nonexistent. During this period, atmospheric CO2 concentrations in parts of South America typically may increase by 0.5 to 0.75 ppm at 970 mbar, the average pressure of the lowest model layer. These figures are above the probable uncertainty level, as model runs with biomass-burning sources estimated from independent studies using distinct data sets and techniques indicate. From May through September, when severe biomass burning occurs in South America, the effect of north African savanna fires over South America has become generally small at 970 mbar, but north of the equator it may be of the same magnitude or larger than the effect of South American fires. The CO2 concentration increase in the extreme northern and southern portions of South America, however, is mostly due to southern African fires, whose effect may be 2-3 times larger than the effect of South American fires at 970 mbar. Even in the central part of the continent, where local biomass-burning emissions are maximum, southern African fires contribute to at least 15% of the CO2 concentration increase at 970 mbar. At higher levels in the atmosphere, less CO2 emitted by north African savanna fires reaches South America, and at 100 mbar no significant amount of CO2 is transported across the Atlantic Ocean. The vertical

  12. Trace Gas Emissions From Tropical North Australian Savanna Fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paton-Walsh, C.; Deutscher, N. M.; Griffith, D. W.; Wilson, S. R.; Jones, N. B.; Forgan, B.

    2008-12-01

    We present measurements of atmospheric trace gases within smoke plumes from tropical North Australian savanna fires. The remote sensing measurements are made from Darwin (12.4°S, 130.9°E) using Fourier Transform spectroscopy with the sun as the source. From these infrared spectra column amounts of carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde (H2CO), acetylene (C2H2), ethane (C2H6) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) have been determined. Literature esimates of emission factors for CO are then used to infer emission factors for these other gases.

  13. Life on Guam: Savanna, Old Fields, Roadsides.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falanruw, Margie Cushing

    This unit is part of a series of materials produced by a project to develop locally applicable class, lab, and field materials in ecology and social studies for Guam junior and senior high schools. While the materials were developed for Guam, they can be adapted to other localities. The unit stresses the uniqueness of natural Guam, especially the…

  14. Age and dynamics of the Namib Sand Sea: A review of chronological evidence and possible landscape development models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, A. E. C.

    2013-06-01

    The Namib Sand Sea constitutes a major physiographic feature of the Namib Desert on the west of Namibia, covering a 50-160 km wide region of the coast between Lüderitz and Walvis Bay. It is widely considered to be one of the oldest desert regions, with a Tertiary-aged fossil desert underlying the modern sand sea. The sand sea has been well studied, benefiting from the presence of the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre during the past 50 years. Whilst much is understood about its sediments and geomorphology, it is only recently that new chronological information, using cosmogenic-nuclide burial dating and optically stimulated luminescence dating have offered new insights, and this calls for an updated review of the age and landscape development of the sand sea. This assessment of the geomorphological and Quaternary dynamics of the region is complemented by developments in the description and analysis of sediment composition. New age control from cosmogenic dating indicates that the sand sea is in excess of a million years old. Initial data from luminescence dating yields depositional ages for dune sediments from three broad areas of the sand sea that include MIS 5, later in the Pleistocene around the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene, although it is not expected that these will be the only, or discrete age groupings. Detailed dating and application of ground penetrating radar in the far northern reaches reveals extensive dune migration and deposition during the Holocene. It is important to stress that the upper limit of luminescence dating here is about ˜200 ka (depending on the environmental dose rate of the site) and that migration and reworking of dunes resets the luminescence signal (so what is recorded is(are) the last phase(s) of preserved sediment accumulation). Whilst there are three potential sources of material for the Namib Sand Sea (reworked Tsondab Sandstone (TSS), material from the Great Escarpment derived by rivers and water and wind

  15. Multifunctional landscapes--perspectives for the future.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Jesper

    2003-03-01

    New methods in landscape ecology to study the link between landscape heterogeneity and landscape functionality are needed. Heterogeneity is a basic characteristic of landscape, and landscape function is the capacity to change the structural heterogeneity of a landscape system. In most developed countries the industrialisation of agriculture has in general resulted in a change of agricultural landscapes from a small-grained heterogeneous pattern towards more monotonous and monofunctional landscapes. During the 1990's this trends seem to have changed due to a diversification of rural land use, and new trends in ubanisation. Whether these phases of landscape development should be expected in developing countries is a totally open question. Dealing with the study of multifunctionality of landscapes it is proposed to distinguish between ecological functionality of landscape ecosystems, functionality pertaining to land use and social functionality. Further, the relation between function, space and scale is important by the determination of spatial and time segregation as well as spatial and time integration of multifunctionality in landscapes. PMID:12765260

  16. Isolated Ficus trees deliver dual conservation and development benefits in a rural landscape.

    PubMed

    Cottee-Jones, H Eden W; Bajpai, Omesh; Chaudhary, Lal B; Whittaker, Robert J

    2015-11-01

    Many of the world's rural populations are dependent on the local provision of economically and medicinally important plant resources. However, increasing land-use intensity is depleting these resources, reducing human welfare, and thereby constraining development. Here we investigate a low cost strategy to manage the availability of valuable plant resources, facilitated by the use of isolated Ficus trees as restoration nuclei. We surveyed the plants growing under 207 isolated trees in Assam, India, and categorized them according to their local human-uses. We found that Ficus trees were associated with double the density of important high-grade timber, firewood, human food, livestock fodder, and medicinal plants compared to non-Ficus trees. Management practices were also important in determining the density of valuable plants, with grazing pressure and land-use intensity significantly affecting densities in most categories. Community management practices that conserve isolated Ficus trees, and restrict livestock grazing and high-intensity land-use in their vicinity, can promote plant growth and the provision of important local resources. PMID:25794815

  17. Adenoma development in familial adenomatous polyposis and MUTYH-associated polyposis: somatic landscape and driver genes.

    PubMed

    Rashid, Mamunur; Fischer, Andrej; Wilson, Cathy H; Tiffen, Jessamy; Rust, Alistair G; Stevens, Philip; Idziaszczyk, Shelley; Maynard, Julie; Williams, Geraint T; Mustonen, Ville; Sampson, Julian R; Adams, David J

    2016-01-01

    Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and MUTYH-associated polyposis (MAP) are inherited disorders associated with multiple colorectal adenomas that lead to a very high risk of colorectal cancer. The somatic mutations that drive adenoma development in these conditions have not been investigated comprehensively. In this study we performed analysis of paired colorectal adenoma and normal tissue DNA from individuals with FAP or MAP, sequencing 14 adenoma whole exomes (eight MAP, six FAP), 55 adenoma targeted exomes (33 MAP, 22 FAP) and germline DNA from each patient, and a further 63 adenomas by capillary sequencing (41 FAP, 22 MAP). With these data we examined the profile of mutated genes, the mutational signatures and the somatic mutation rates, observing significant diversity in the constellations of mutated driver genes in different adenomas, and loss-of-function mutations in WTX (9%; p < 9.99e-06), a gene implicated in regulation of the WNT pathway and p53 acetylation. These data extend our understanding of the early events in colorectal tumourigenesis in the polyposis syndromes. PMID:26414517

  18. Green Is the New Black: The Need for a New Currency That Values Water Resources in Rapidly Developing Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creed, I. F.; Webster, K. L.; Kreutzweiser, D. P.; Beall, F.

    2014-12-01

    Canada's boreal forest supports many aquatic ecosystem services (AES) due to the intimate linkage between aquatic systems and their surrounding terrestrial watersheds in forested landscapes. There is an increasing risk to AES because natural development activities (forest management, mining, energy) have resulted in disruptions that deteriorate aquatic ecosystems at local (10s of km2) to regional (100s of km2) scales. These activities are intensifying and expanding, placing at risk the healthy aquatic ecosystems that provide AES and may threaten the continued development of the energy, forest, and mining sectors. Remarkably, we know little about the consequences of these activities on AES. The idea that AES should be explicitly integrated into modern natural resource management regulations is gaining broad acceptance. A major need is the ability to measure cumulative effects and determine thresholds (the points where aquatic ecosystems and their services cannot recover to a desired state within a reasonable time frame) in these cumulative effects. However, there is no single conceptual approach to assessing cumulative effects that is widely accepted by both scientists and managers. We present an integrated science-policy framework that enables the integration of AES into forest management risk assessment and prevention/mitigation strategies. We use this framework to explore the risk of further deterioration of AES by (1) setting risk criteria; (2) using emerging technologies to map process-based indicators representing causes and consequences of risk events to the deterioration of AES; (3) assessing existing prevention and mitigation policies in place to avoid risk events; and (4) identifying priorities for policy change needed to reduce risk event. Ultimately, the success of this framework requires that higher value be placed on AES, and in turn to improve the science and management of the boreal forest.

  19. Fitness Landscapes of Functional RNAs.

    PubMed

    Kun, Ádám; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-01-01

    The notion of fitness landscapes, a map between genotype and fitness, was proposed more than 80 years ago. For most of this time data was only available for a few alleles, and thus we had only a restricted view of the whole fitness landscape. Recently, advances in genetics and molecular biology allow a more detailed view of them. Here we review experimental and theoretical studies of fitness landscapes of functional RNAs, especially aptamers and ribozymes. We find that RNA structures can be divided into critical structures, connecting structures, neutral structures and forbidden structures. Such characterisation, coupled with theoretical sequence-to-structure predictions, allows us to construct the whole fitness landscape. Fitness landscapes then can be used to study evolution, and in our case the development of the RNA world. PMID:26308059

  20. Effect of wildfires on surface reflectance from a savanna ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poudyal, R.; Gatebe, C. K.; Ichoku, C. M.; Varnai, T.

    2015-12-01

    During an airborne field campaign in South Africa in 2005, NASA's Cloud Absorption Radiometer (CAR) flew aboard South Africa Weather Service, Aerocommander 690A and measured surface bidirectional reflectance-distribution function (BRDF) over savanna comprised mostly of grasses and a few scattered trees. Savannas cover half the surface of Africa, large areas of Australia, South America, and India. . The region that was studied is located in Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa, which was heavily affected by the wildfires. The CAR measured surface reflectance along its flight path covering both burned and unburned areas. . In this study, we compared surface reflectance between burnt and un-burnt areas at various wavelengths (340nm, 380nm, 472nm, 682nm, 870nm, 1036nm, 1219nm, 1273nm, and 2205nm) at satellite sub-pixel scales. We found a relative burnt surface reflectance decrease of between 8 and 65% due to fires. These results not only serve to highlight the importance of biomass burning and effects on the energy budgets, but also the need to determine the effects of albedo changes due to fires on soil moisture budget, evapotranspiration, infiltration, and runoff, all of which govern the land-surface component of the water cycle.

  1. Modelling Fire Frequency in a Cerrado Savanna Protected Area

    PubMed Central

    Pereira Júnior, Alfredo C.; Oliveira, Sofia L. J.; Pereira, José M. C.; Turkman, Maria Antónia Amaral

    2014-01-01

    Covering almost a quarter of Brazil, the Cerrado is the world’s most biologically rich tropical savanna. Fire is an integral part of the Cerrado but current land use and agricultural practices have been changing fire regimes, with undesirable consequences for the preservation of biodiversity. In this study, fire frequency and fire return intervals were modelled over a 12-year time series (1997–2008) for the Jalapão State Park, a protected area in the north of the Cerrado, based on burned area maps derived from Landsat imagery. Burned areas were classified using object based image analysis. Fire data were modelled with the discrete lognormal model and the estimated parameters were used to calculate fire interval, fire survival and hazard of burning distributions, for seven major land cover types. Over the study period, an area equivalent to four times the size of Jalapão State Park burned and the mean annual area burned was 34%. Median fire intervals were generally short, ranging from three to six years. Shrub savannas had the shortest fire intervals, and dense woodlands the longest. Because fires in the Cerrado are strongly responsive to fuel age in the first three to four years following a fire, early dry season patch mosaic burning may be used to reduce the extent of area burned and the severity of fire effects. PMID:25054540

  2. Modelling fire frequency in a Cerrado savanna protected area.

    PubMed

    Pereira Júnior, Alfredo C; Oliveira, Sofia L J; Pereira, José M C; Turkman, Maria Antónia Amaral

    2014-01-01

    Covering almost a quarter of Brazil, the Cerrado is the world's most biologically rich tropical savanna. Fire is an integral part of the Cerrado but current land use and agricultural practices have been changing fire regimes, with undesirable consequences for the preservation of biodiversity. In this study, fire frequency and fire return intervals were modelled over a 12-year time series (1997-2008) for the Jalapão State Park, a protected area in the north of the Cerrado, based on burned area maps derived from Landsat imagery. Burned areas were classified using object based image analysis. Fire data were modelled with the discrete lognormal model and the estimated parameters were used to calculate fire interval, fire survival and hazard of burning distributions, for seven major land cover types. Over the study period, an area equivalent to four times the size of Jalapão State Park burned and the mean annual area burned was 34%. Median fire intervals were generally short, ranging from three to six years. Shrub savannas had the shortest fire intervals, and dense woodlands the longest. Because fires in the Cerrado are strongly responsive to fuel age in the first three to four years following a fire, early dry season patch mosaic burning may be used to reduce the extent of area burned and the severity of fire effects. PMID:25054540

  3. Ant plant herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Paulo S.; Freitas, André V. L.

    2004-12-01

    The Brazilian cerrado savanna covers nearly 2 million km2 and has a high incidence on foliage of various liquid food sources such as extrafloral nectar and insect exudates. These liquid rewards generate intense ant activity on cerrado foliage, making ant plant herbivore interactions especially prevalent in this biome. We present data on the distribution and abundance of extrafloral nectaries in the woody flora of cerrado communities and in the flora of other habitats worldwide, and stress the relevance of liquid food sources (including hemipteran honeydew) for the ant fauna. Consumption by ants of plant and insect exudates significantly affects the activity of the associated herbivores of cerrado plant species, with varying impacts on the reproductive output of the plants. Experiments with an ant plant butterfly system unequivocally demonstrate that the behavior of both immature and adult lepidopterans is closely related to the use of a risky host plant, where intensive visitation by ants can have a severe impact on caterpillar survival. We discuss recent evidence suggesting that the occurrence of liquid rewards on leaves plays a key role in mediating the foraging ecology of foliage-dwelling ants, and that facultative ant plant mutualisms are important in structuring the community of canopy arthropods. Ant-mediated effects on cerrado herbivore communities can be revealed by experiments performed on wide spatial scales, including many environmental factors such as soil fertility and vegetation structure. We also present some research questions that could be rewarding to investigate in this major neotropical savanna.

  4. Drivers of Recent Trends in African Landscape Fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andela, N.; van der Werf, G.

    2014-12-01

    Landscape fires play an important role in savannah ecosystem dynamics and are an important source of emissions of (greenhouse) gases and aerosols. Within the Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate (MACC) project these fires are monitored using MODIS satellite data which now provides more than a decade of continuous observations. Africa is nowadays responsible for about 70% of global burned area and about 50% of fire carbon emissions, affecting regional air quality and global atmospheric composition. Although it has been reported that fire activity varies according to climatic and anthropogenic influences, much remains unclear about the drivers of the spatial distribution of fire activity over the African continent and its temporal dynamics. Resolving the drivers of this spatiotemporal variability is crucial to understand the future role of fire on the African continent. We developed a model to account for variations in fire activity due to climate, and investigated the role of sea surface temperatures on rainfall patterns and thus fire dynamics. Spatial variation and trends in cropland extent were used to improve understanding of underlying trends caused by socio-economic changes. Over 2001-2012, satellite observations indicate strong but opposing trends in the African hemispheres. Changes in precipitation, driven by the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which changed from El Niño to la Niña dominance over the study period, contributed substantially to the upward trend over southern Africa. This shift also contributed to the downward trend in northern Africa, but here rapid demographic and socio-economic developments contributed equally. Given the economic perspective of Africa and the oscillative nature of ENSO, future African savannah burned area will likely decline. Using MACC and GFED emissions estimates we expect that in the long term this decrease may be so substantial that forests may take over savannas as the main source of global fire

  5. Vegetation-climate feedbacks in the conversion of tropical savanna to grassland

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffmann, W.A.; Jackson, R.B.

    2000-05-01

    Tropical savannas have been heavily impacted by human activity, with large expanses transformed from a mixture of trees and grasses to open grassland and agriculture. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) CCM3 general circulation model, coupled with the NCAR Land Surface Model, was used to simulate the effects of this conversion on regional climate. Conversion of savanna to grassland reduced precipitation by approximately 10% in four of the five savanna regions under study; only the northern African savannas showed no significant decline. Associated with this decline was an increase in the frequency of dry periods within the wet season, a change that could be particularly damaging to shallow-rooted crops. The overall decline in precipitation is almost equally attributable to changes in albedo and roughness length. Conversion to grassland increased mean surface air temperature of all the regions by 0.5 C, primarily because of reductions in surface roughness length. Rooting depth, which decreases dramatically with the conversion of savanna to grassland, contributed little to the overall effect of savanna conversion, but deeper rooting had a small positive effect on latent heat flux with a corresponding reduction in sensible heat flux. The authors propose that the interdependence of climate and vegetation in these regions is manifested as a positive feedback loop in which anthropogenic impacts on savanna vegetation are exacerbated by declines in precipitation.

  6. Environmental determinants of tropical forest and savanna distribution: A quantitative model evaluation and its implication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Zhenzhong; Chen, Anping; Piao, Shilong; Rabin, Sam; Shen, Zehao

    2014-07-01

    The distributions of tropical ecosystems are rapidly being altered by climate change and anthropogenic activities. One possible trend—the loss of tropical forests and replacement by savannas—could result in significant shifts in ecosystem services and biodiversity loss. However, the influence and the relative importance of environmental factors in regulating the distribution of tropical forest and savanna biomes are still poorly understood, which makes it difficult to predict future tropical forest and savanna distributions in the context of climate change. Here we use boosted regression trees to quantitatively evaluate the importance of environmental predictors—mainly climatic, edaphic, and fire factors—for the tropical forest-savanna distribution at a mesoscale across the tropics (between 15°N and 35°S). Our results demonstrate that climate alone can explain most of the distribution of tropical forest and savanna at the scale considered; dry season average precipitation is the single most important determinant across tropical Asia-Australia, Africa, and South America. Given the strong tendency of increased seasonality and decreased dry season precipitation predicted by global climate models, we estimate that about 28% of what is now tropical forest would likely be lost to savanna by the late 21st century under the future scenario considered. This study highlights the importance of climate seasonality and interannual variability in predicting the distribution of tropical forest and savanna, supporting the climate as the primary driver in the savanna biogeography.

  7. Relating Landscape Development Intensity to Coral Reef Condition in the Watersheds of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Diagnosing the degree to which local landscape activities impact coral reef ecosystems and their ecological services is critically important to coastal and watershed decision-makers. We report, for the first time, a study that relates coral reef condition metrics to metrics of h...

  8. Developing a landscape- and ecosystem-based framework for monitoring and management of grazinglands in the northeastern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improvement of grazinglands can contribute to increased farm profitability and ecosystem sustainability by reducing machinery requirements, time needed and fuel costs for harvesting forages, applying fertilizers, and distributing manure. Site type is effectively fixed (e.g. climate and landscape pos...

  9. Predicted climate-driven bird distribution changes and forecasted conservation conflicts in a neotropical savanna.

    PubMed

    Marini, Miguel Angelo; Barbet-Massin, Morgane; Lopes, Leonardo Esteves; Jiguet, Frédéric

    2009-12-01

    Climate-change scenarios project significant temperature changes for most of South America. We studied the potential impacts of predicted climate-driven change on the distribution and conservation of 26 broad-range birds from South America Cerrado biome (a savanna that also encompass tracts of grasslands and forests). We used 12 temperature or precipitation-related bioclimatic variables, nine niche modeling techniques, three general circulation models, and two climate scenarios (for 2030, 2065, 2099) for each species to model distribution ranges. To reach a consensus scenario, we used an ensemble-forecasting approach to obtain an average distribution for each species at each time interval. We estimated the range extent and shift of each species. Changes in range size varied across species and according to habitat dependency; future predicted range extent was negatively correlated with current predicted range extent in all scenarios. Evolution of range size under full or null dispersal scenarios varied among species from a 5% increase to an 80% decrease. The mean expected range shifts under null and full-dispersal scenarios were 175 and 200 km, respectively (range 15-399 km), and the shift was usually toward southeastern Brazil. We predicted larger range contractions and longer range shifts for forest- and grassland-dependent species than for savanna-dependent birds. A negative correlation between current range extent and predicted range loss revealed that geographically restricted species may face stronger threat and become even rarer. The predicted southeasterly direction of range changes is cause for concern because ranges are predicted to shift to the most developed and populated region of Brazil. Also, southeastern Brazil is the least likely region to contain significant dispersal corridors, to allow expansion of Cerrado vegetation types, or to accommodate creation of new reserves. PMID:19500118

  10. [Anatomical and nutrient features of plant leaves in Yuanjiang savanna valley].

    PubMed

    Song, Fuqiang; Cao, Kunfang

    2005-01-01

    Due to rain shadow effect, the valleys in southwestern China mountainous areas have hot and dry climate, and savanna or semi-savanna vegetations occur on the slopes of these valleys. Yuanjiang dry-hot valley is such a valley, which has a distinct dry season of about six months from November to next April. This paper studied the anatomical and nutrient features of the leaves of twenty plant species, including those on upland soils and hilly slopes. The results showed that compared with the species on upland soil and the rain forest, the leaves of the plants from savanna showed more xeromorphic features, such as thicker leaf thickness, greater leaf mass per area (LMA), smaller ratios of spongy/palisade tissues (S:P) and higher stomatal density (SD), which mainly came from the more severe drought in Yuanjiang savanna valley. Seven plant species in the savanna valley showed a shortage of nutrients in their leaves, and the leaf nutrient content was in order of 1.3% > Ca > N > K > 1% > Mg > P > S. Savanna had lower leaf mineral element concentrations than rain forest, but higher than other dry forests, including Asian heath forest and Bana forest. The differences in leaf nutrient concentrations between Yuanjiang valley savanna and other dry forests were mainly ascribed to the difference of soil nutrient contents, while those between valley savanna and rainforest were largely determined by the different plant biology. It could be concluded that the leaves of plant species in Yuanjiang savanna valley not only had obvious xeromorphic features, but also were deficit in nutrients. PMID:15852953

  11. Development and assessment of a landscape-scale ecological threat index for the Lower Colorado River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paukert, Craig P.; Pitts, K.L.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Olden, Julian D.

    2011-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances impact freshwater biota but are rarely incorporated into conservation planning due to the difficulties in quantifying threats. There is currently no widely accepted method to quantify disturbances, and determining how to measure threats to upstream catchments using disturbance metrics can be time consuming and subjective. We compared four watershed-scale ecological threat indices for the Lower Colorado River Basin (LCRB) using landscape-level threats of land use (e.g., agricultural and urban lands), waterway development and diversions (e.g., number of canals, dams), and human development (e.g., road and railroads density, pollution sites). The LCRB is an ideal region to assess ecological threat indices because of the increasing need for conservation to ensure the persistence of native fishes in highly altered habitat. Each threat was measured for severity (i.e., level of influence on the upstream watershed) and frequency throughout each watershed; both severity and frequency were measured using two different methods. Severity values were based either on peer-reviewed literature and weighted in accordance to their published ecological impact, or assumed equal severity across stressors. Threat frequency was calculated according to either the presence/absence of each stressor, or on the relative density of each stressor in the watershed. Each measure of severity was combined with a measure of frequency, creating four ecological threat indices, and transformed to a 0–100 scale. Threat indices were highly correlated (slopes of 0.94–1.63; R2 of 0.82–0.98), and were highest for watersheds close to urban centers, including Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Road crossings and density appeared to be the most influential stressors in the index, but the removal of any individual stressor only changed the index by <5.1 units. Our results indicate that a simpler index with less subjectivity (i.e., presence/absence of

  12. Inter- and intrahabitat dietary variability of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in South African savannas based on fecal delta13C, delta15N, and %N.

    PubMed

    Codron, Daryl; Lee-Thorp, Julia A; Sponheimer, Matt; de Ruiter, Darryl; Codron, Jacqueline

    2006-02-01

    Baboons are dietary generalists, consuming a wide range of food items in varying proportions. It is thus difficult to quantify and explain the dietary behavior of these primates. We present stable carbon (delta(13)C) and nitrogen (delta(15)N) isotopic data, and percentage nitrogen (%N), of feces from chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) living in two savanna environments of South Africa: the mountainous Waterberg region and the low-lying Kruger National Park. Baboons living in the more homogeneous landscapes of the Waterberg consume a more isotopically heterogeneous diet than their counterparts living in Kruger Park. Grasses and other C(4)-based foods comprise between approximately 10-20% (on average) of the bulk diet of Kruger Park baboons. Carbon isotopic data from the Waterberg suggest diets of approximately 30-50% grass, which is higher than generally reported for baboons across the African savanna. Based on observations of succulent-feeding, we propose that baboons in the Waterberg consume a mix of C(4) grasses and CAM-photosynthesizing succulents in combined proportions varying between approximately 5-75% (average, approximately 35%). Fecal delta(15)N of baboons is lower than that of sympatric ungulates, which may be due to a combination of low levels of faunivory, foraging on subterranean plant parts, or the use of human foods in the case of Kruger Park populations. Fecal N levels in baboons are consistently higher than those of sympatric ungulate herbivores, indicating that baboons consume a greater proportion of protein-rich foods than do other savanna mammals. These data suggest that chacma baboons adapt their dietary behavior so as to maximize protein intake, regardless of their environment. PMID:16247809

  13. How Plant Functional-Type, Weather, Seasonal Drought, and Soil Physical Properties Alter Water and Energy Fluxes of an Oak-Grass Savanna and an Annual Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baldocchi, D.; Xu, L.

    2003-12-01

    Savannas and open grasslands often co-exist in semi-arid regions. How these contrasting landscapes affect the exchanges of energy remain to be quantified. Here we examine how a number of abiotic, biotic and edaphic factors modulate water and energy flux densities over an oak/grass savanna and an annual grassland that coexist in the same climate but on soils with different hydraulic properties. The net radiation balance was greater over the oak woodland than the grassland despite the fact that both canopies received similar sums of incoming short and long wave radiation. The lower albedo and lower surface temperature of the transpiring woodland caused it to intercept and retain more long and shortwave energy during the dry period. The observed differences in net energy exchange had profound impacts on canopy evaporation and sensible heat exchange. The woodland evaporated about 380 mm per year and the grassland evaporated about 300 mm per year. Differences in the water holding characteristics of the soils at the two sites account for this difference in evaporation, and provide a partial explanation why the vegetation differs at the two sites. The response of evaporation to diminishing soil moisture was quantified using information on volumetric water content, soil water potential of the root zone and predawn water potential. When soil moisture was ample, after recharging winter rains, values of latent heat flux density, normalized by the equilibrium evaporation rate, were greater for the grassland than for the oak savanna. The grassland died and quit evaporating when the water content of the soil dropped below the permanent wilting point (-1.5 MPa). The oak trees, on the other hand, were able to transpire, at low rates, under very dry soil conditions (soil water potentials down to -4.0 MPa). The trees were able to endure such low water potentials and maintain basal levels of metabolism because a few exploratory roots tapped deep water sources during the dry season

  14. Desert landscape irrigation

    SciTech Connect

    Quinones, R.

    1995-06-01

    Industrialization can take place in an arid environment if a long term, overall water management program is developed. The general rule to follow is that recharge must equal or exceed use. The main problem encountered in landscape projects is that everyone wants a lush jungle setting, tall shade trees, ferns, with a variety of floral arrangements mixed in. What we want, what we can afford, and what we get are not always the same. Vegetation that requires large quantities of water are not native to any desert. Surprisingly; there are various types of fruit trees, and vegetables that will thrive in the desert. Peaches, plums, nut trees, do well with drip irrigation as well as tomatoes. Shaded berry plans will also do well, the strawberry being one. In summary; if we match our landscape to our area, we can then design our irrigation system to maintain our landscape and grow a variety of vegetation in any arid or semiarid environment. The application of science and economics to landscaping has now come of age.

  15. Stable isotopes in ecosystem science: structure, function and dynamics of a subtropical Savanna.

    PubMed

    Boutton, T W; Archer, S R; Midwood, A J

    1999-01-01

    Stable isotopes are often utilized as intrinsic tracers to study the effects of human land uses on the structural and functional characteristics of ecosystems. Here, we illustrate how stable isotopes of H, C, and O have been utilized to document changes in ecosystem structure and function using a case study from a subtropical savanna ecosystem. Specifically, we demonstrate that: (1) delta 13C values of soil organic carbon record a vegetation change in this ecosystem from C4 grassland to C3 woodland during the past 40-120 years, and (2) delta 2H and delta 18O of plant and soil water reveal changes in ecosystem hydrology that accompanied this grassland-to-woodland transition. In the Rio Grande Plains of North America, delta 13C values of plants and soils indicate that areas now dominated by C3 subtropical thorn woodland were once C4 grasslands. delta 13C values of current organic matter inputs from wooded landscape elements in this region are characteristic of C3 plants (-28 to -25/1000), while those of the associated soil organic carbon are higher and range from -20 to -15/1000. Approximately 50-90% of soil carbon beneath the present C3 woodlands is derived from C4 grasses. A strong memory of the C4 grasslands that once dominated this region is retained by delta 13C values of organic carbon associated with fine and coarse clay fractions. When delta 13C values are evaluated in conjunction with 14C measurements of that same soil carbon, it appears that grassland-to-woodland conversion occurred largely within the past 40-120 years, coincident with the intensification of livestock grazing and reductions in fire frequency. These conclusions substantiate those based on demographic characteristics of the dominant tree species, historical aerial photography, and accounts of early settlers and explores. Concurrent changes in soil delta 13C values and organic carbon content over the past 90 years also indicate that wooded landscape elements are behaving as sinks for

  16. Structure of arboreal and herbaceous strata in a neotropical seasonally flooded monodominant savanna of Tabebuia aurea.

    PubMed

    Bueno, M L; Damasceno-Junior, G A; Pott, A; Pontara, V; Seleme, E P; Fava, W S; Salomão, A K D; Ratter, J A

    2014-05-01

    Large areas in the Pantanal wetland are covered by monodominant formations, e.g. typical landscapes with local names such as "paratudal", dominated by T. aurea. Studies on structure of these formations generally include only woody strata, consequently the species richness registered is usually low due to the absence of the 'ground layer' of herbaceous and others low species. We recorded 13 species, 12 genera and 11 families for the arboreal stratum. Considering arboreal flora without the dominant (T. aurea) individuals showed great establishment in relation to the flood level between 35 - 45 cm while the individuals of the dominant species of 30 - 45 cm. The diameter distribution revealed that the population of T. aurea did not show the reverse J curve, the usual pattern for species in constant regeneration, also evidenced in inconstant Licourt quotient, indicating an episodic recruitment that could lead to future changes in structure. In the herbaceous strata we recorded 78 species, included in 62 genera and 27 families. Using plots method we sampled 46 species, 40 genera and 22 families, while in line interception we found 65 species distributed in 57 genera and 26 families. The floristic similarity of Sørensen between both methods was 59.4%, with 33 species in common, and the method of line interception was more efficient in detecting richness, with 35% more species found in the same time. According to the methods of plots and line interception applied on the woody stratum, our results gave similar detailed information on the structure of this type of savanna, and in spite of being monodominant it shows high species richness when the herbaceous stratum is taken into account. Plots and line interception methods showed similar results for the woody stratum and high species richness of the herbaceous stratum. PMID:25166317

  17. Indigenous Burning as Conservation Practice: Neotropical Savanna Recovery amid Agribusiness Deforestation in Central Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Welch, James R.; Brondízio, Eduardo S.; Hetrick, Scott S.; Coimbra, Carlos E. A.

    2013-01-01

    International efforts to address climate change by reducing tropical deforestation increasingly rely on indigenous reserves as conservation units and indigenous peoples as strategic partners. Considered win-win situations where global conservation measures also contribute to cultural preservation, such alliances also frame indigenous peoples in diverse ecological settings with the responsibility to offset global carbon budgets through fire suppression based on the presumed positive value of non-alteration of tropical landscapes. Anthropogenic fire associated with indigenous ceremonial and collective hunting practices in the Neotropical savannas (cerrado) of Central Brazil is routinely represented in public and scientific conservation discourse as a cause of deforestation and increased CO2 emissions despite a lack of supporting evidence. We evaluate this claim for the Xavante people of Pimentel Barbosa Indigenous Reserve, Brazil. Building upon 23 years of longitudinal interdisciplinary research in the area, we used multi-temporal spatial analyses to compare land cover change under indigenous and agribusiness management over the last four decades (1973–2010) and quantify the contemporary Xavante burning regime contributing to observed patterns based on a four year sample at the end of this sequence (2007–2010). The overall proportion of deforested land remained stable inside the reserve (0.6%) but increased sharply outside (1.5% to 26.0%). Vegetation recovery occurred where reserve boundary adjustments transferred lands previously deforested by agribusiness to indigenous management. Periodic traditional burning by the Xavante had a large spatial distribution but repeated burning in consecutive years was restricted. Our results suggest a need to reassess overreaching conservation narratives about the purported destructiveness of indigenous anthropogenic fire in the cerrado. The real challenge to conservation in the fire-adapted cerrado biome is the long

  18. Indigenous burning as conservation practice: neotropical savanna recovery amid agribusiness deforestation in Central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Welch, James R; Brondízio, Eduardo S; Hetrick, Scott S; Coimbra, Carlos E A

    2013-01-01

    International efforts to address climate change by reducing tropical deforestation increasingly rely on indigenous reserves as conservation units and indigenous peoples as strategic partners. Considered win-win situations where global conservation measures also contribute to cultural preservation, such alliances also frame indigenous peoples in diverse ecological settings with the responsibility to offset global carbon budgets through fire suppression based on the presumed positive value of non-alteration of tropical landscapes. Anthropogenic fire associated with indigenous ceremonial and collective hunting practices in the Neotropical savannas (cerrado) of Central Brazil is routinely represented in public and scientific conservation discourse as a cause of deforestation and increased CO2 emissions despite a lack of supporting evidence. We evaluate this claim for the Xavante people of Pimentel Barbosa Indigenous Reserve, Brazil. Building upon 23 years of longitudinal interdisciplinary research in the area, we used multi-temporal spatial analyses to compare land cover change under indigenous and agribusiness management over the last four decades (1973-2010) and quantify the contemporary Xavante burning regime contributing to observed patterns based on a four year sample at the end of this sequence (2007-2010). The overall proportion of deforested land remained stable inside the reserve (0.6%) but increased sharply outside (1.5% to 26.0%). Vegetation recovery occurred where reserve boundary adjustments transferred lands previously deforested by agribusiness to indigenous management. Periodic traditional burning by the Xavante had a large spatial distribution but repeated burning in consecutive years was restricted. Our results suggest a need to reassess overreaching conservation narratives about the purported destructiveness of indigenous anthropogenic fire in the cerrado. The real challenge to conservation in the fire-adapted cerrado biome is the long

  19. Planning Construction Research of Modern Urban Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Z. Q.; Chen, W.

    With the development and expansion of the city's traditional urban landscape planning methods have been difficult to adapt to the requirements of modern urban development, in the new urban construction, planning what kind of urban landscape is a new research topic. The article discusses the principles of modern urban landscape planning and development, promote the adoption of new concepts and theories, building more regional characteristics, more humane, more perfect, more emphasis on urban landscape pattern natural ecological protection and construction can sustainable development of urban living environment, and promote the development and construction of the city.

  20. Connecting Brabant's cover sand landscapes through landscape history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heskes, Erik; van den Ancker, Hanneke; Jungerius, Pieter Dirk; Harthoorn, Jaap; Maes, Bert; Leenders, Karel; de Jongh, Piet; Kluiving, Sjoerd; van den Oetelaar, Ger

    2015-04-01

    Noord-Brabant has the largest variety of cover sand landscapes in The Netherlands, and probably in Western Europe. During the Last Ice Age the area was not covered by land ice and a polar desert developed in which sand dunes buried the existing river landscapes. Some of these polar dune landscapes experienced a geomorphological and soil development that remained virtually untouched up to the present day, such as the low parabolic dunes of the Strabrechtse Heide or the later and higher dunes of the Oisterwijkse Vennen. As Noord-Brabant lies on the fringe of a tectonic basin, the thickness of cover sand deposits in the Centrale Slenk, part of a rift through Europe, amounts up to 20 metres. Cover sand deposits along the fault lines cause the special phenomenon of 'wijst' to develop, in which the higher grounds are wetter than the boarding lower grounds. Since 4000 BC humans settled in these cover sand landscapes and made use of its small-scale variety. An example are the prehistoric finds on the flanks and the historic towns on top of the 'donken' in northwest Noord-Brabant, where the cover sand landscapes are buried by river and marine deposits and only the peaks of the dunes protrude as donken. Or the church of Handel that is built beside a 'wijst' source and a site of pilgrimage since living memory. Or the 'essen' and plaggen agriculture that developed along the stream valleys of Noord-Brabant from 1300 AD onwards, giving rise to geomorphological features as 'randwallen' and plaggen soils of more than a metre thickness. Each region of Brabant each has its own approach in attracting tourists and has not yet used this common landscape history to connect, manage and promote their territories. We propose a landscape-historical approach to develop a national or European Geopark Brabants' cover sand landscapes, in which each region focuses on a specific part of the landscape history of Brabant, that stretches from the Late Weichselian polar desert when the dune

  1. Intellectual property rights and challenges for development of affordable human papillomavirus, rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines: Patent landscaping and perspectives of developing country vaccine manufacturers.

    PubMed

    Chandrasekharan, Subhashini; Amin, Tahir; Kim, Joyce; Furrer, Eliane; Matterson, Anna-Carin; Schwalbe, Nina; Nguyen, Aurélia

    2015-11-17

    The success of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance depends on the vaccine markets providing appropriate, affordable vaccines at sufficient and reliable quantities. Gavi's current supplier base for new and underutilized vaccines, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), rotavirus, and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is very small. There is growing concern that following globalization of laws on intellectual property rights (IPRs) through trade agreements, IPRs are impeding new manufacturers from entering the market with competing vaccines. This article examines the extent to which IPRs, specifically patents, can create such obstacles, in particular for developing country vaccine manufacturers (DCVMs). Through building patent landscapes in Brazil, China, and India and interviews with manufacturers and experts in the field, we found intense patenting activity for the HPV and pneumococcal vaccines that could potentially delay the entry of new manufacturers. Increased transparency around patenting of vaccine technologies, stricter patentability criteria suited for local development needs and strengthening of IPRs management capabilities where relevant, may help reduce impediments to market entry for new manufacturers and ensure a competitive supplier base for quality vaccines at sustainably low prices. PMID:26368398

  2. Spatial variation of the stable nitrogen isotope ratio of woody plants along a topoedaphic gradient in a subtropical savanna.

    PubMed

    Bai, Edith; Boutton, Thomas W; Liu, Feng; Wu, X Ben; Archer, Steven R; Hallmark, C Thomas

    2009-03-01

    Variation in the stable N isotope ratio (delta15N) of plants and soils often reflects the influence of environment on the N cycle. We measured leaf delta15N and N concentration ([N]) on all individuals of Prosopis glandulosa (deciduous tree legume), Condalia hookeri (evergreen shrub), and Zanthoxylum fagara (evergreen shrub) present within a belt transect 308 m long x 12 m wide in a subtropical savanna ecosystem in southern Texas, USA in April and August 2005. Soil texture, gravimetric water content (GWC), total N and delta15N were also measured along the transect. At the landscape scale, leaf delta15N was negatively related to elevation for all the three species along this topoedaphic sequence. Changes in soil delta15N, total N, and GWC appeared to contribute to this spatial pattern of leaf delta15N. In lower portions of the landscape, greater soil N availability and GWC are associated with relatively high rates of both N mineralization and nitrification. Both soil delta15N and leaf [N] were positively correlated with leaf delta15N of non-N2 fixing plants. Leaf delta15N of P. glandulosa, an N2-fixing legume, did not correlate with leaf [N]; the delta15N of P. glandulosa's leaves were closer to atmospheric N2 and significantly lower than those of C. hookeri and Z. fagara. Additionally, at smaller spatial scales, a proximity index (which reflected the density and distance of surrounding P. glandulosa trees) was negatively correlated with leaf delta15N of C. hookeri and Z. fagara, indicating the N2-fixing P. glandulosa may be important to the N nutrition of nearby non-N2-fixing species. Our results indicate plant 15N natural abundance can reflect the extent of N retention and help us better understand N dynamics and plant-soil interactions at ecosystem and landscape scales. PMID:19085012

  3. Geomorphology of anthropogenic landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sofia, Giulia; Tarolli, Paolo

    2015-04-01

    The construction of urban areas and the development of road networks leave a significant signature on the Earth surface, providing a geomorphological evidence to support the idea that humans are nowadays a geomorphic agent having deep effects on the morphological organization of the landscape. The reconstruction or identification of anthropogenic topographies, therefore, provides a mechanism for quantifying anthropogenic changes to the landscape systems in the Anthropocene. Following this research line, the present study tests the effectiveness of a recently published topographic index, the Slope Local Length of Autocorrelation (SLLAC, Sofia et al. 2014) to portrait anthropogenic geomorphology, focusing in particular on road network density, and urban complexity (UCI). At first, the research considers the increasing of anthropic structures and the resulting changes in the SLLAC and in two derived parameters (mean SLLAC per km2 and SLLAC roughness, or Surface Peak Curvature -Spc). As a second step, considering the SLLAC derived indices, the anthropogenic geomorphology is automatically depicted using a k-means clustering algorithm. In general, the increasing of road network density or of the UCI is positively correlated to the mean SLLAC per km2, while the Spc is negatively correlated to the increasing of the anthropic structures. Areas presenting different road network organization are effectively captured considering multiple combinations of the defined parameters. Landscapes with small scattered towns, and a network with long roads in a dendritic shape (with hierarchical branching) are characterized simultaneously by high mean SLLAC and low Spc. Large and complex urban areas served by rectilinear networks with numerous short straight lines and right angles, have either a maximized mean SLLAC or a minimized Spc or both. In all cases, the anthropogenic landscape identified by the procedure is comparable to the ones identified manually from orthophoto, with the

  4. How soil shapes the landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minasny, Budiman; Finke, Peter; Vanwalleghem, Tom Tom; Stockmann, Uta; McBratney, Alex

    2014-05-01

    There has been an increase in interest in quantitative modelling of soil genesis, which can provide prediction of environmental changes through numerical models. Modelling soil formation is a difficult task because soil itself is highly complex with interactions between water, inorganic materials and organic matter. This paper will provide a review on the research efforts of modelling soil genesis, their connection with landscape models and the inexorable genesis of the IUSS soil landscape modelling working group. Quantitative modelling soil formation using mechanistic models have begun in the 1980s such as the 'soil deficit' model by Kirkby (1985), Hoosbeek & Bryant's pedodynamic model (1992), and recently the SoilGen model by Finke (2008). These profile models considered the chemical reactions and physical processes in the soil at the horizon and pedon scale. The SoilGen model is an integration of sub-models, such as water and solute movement, heat transport, soil organic matter decomposition, mineral dissolution, ion exchange, adsorption, speciation, complexation and precipitation. The model can calculate with detail the chemical changes and materials fluxes in a profile and has been successfully applied. While they can simulate soil profile development in detail, there is still a gap how the processes act in the landscape. Meanwhile research in landscape formation in geomorphology is progressing steadily over time, slope development models model have been developed since 1970s (Ahnert, 1977). Soil was also introduced in a landscape, however soil processes are mainly modelled through weathering and transport processes (Minasny & McBratney 1999, 2001). Recently, Vanwalleghem et al. (2013) are able to combine selected physical, chemical and biological processes to simulate a full 3-D soil genesis in the landscape. Now there are research gaps between the 2 approaches: the landscape modellers increasingly recognise the importance of soil and need more detailed soil

  5. Modeling the Habitat Range of Phototrophs in Yellowstone National Park: Toward the Development of a Comprehensive Fitness Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, Eric S.; Fecteau, Kristopher M.; Havig, Jeff R.; Shock, Everett L.; Peters, John W.

    2012-01-01

    The extent to which geochemical variation shapes the distribution of phototrophic metabolisms was modeled based on 439 observations in geothermal springs in Yellowstone National Park (YNP), Wyoming. Generalized additive models (GAMs) were developed to predict the distribution of phototrophic metabolism as a function of spring temperature, pH, and total sulfide. GAMs comprised of temperature explained 38.8% of the variation in the distribution of phototrophic metabolism, whereas GAMs comprised of sulfide and pH explained 19.6 and 11.2% of the variation, respectively. These results suggest that of the measured variables, temperature is the primary constraint on the distribution of phototrophs in YNP. GAMs comprised of multiple variables explained a larger percentage of the variation in the distribution of phototrophic metabolism, indicating additive interactions among variables. A GAM that combined temperature and sulfide explained the greatest variation in the dataset (53.4%) while minimizing the introduction of degrees of freedom. In an effort to verify the extent to which phototroph distribution reflects constraints on activity, we examined the influence of sulfide and temperature on dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) uptake rates under both light and dark conditions. Light-driven DIC uptake decreased systematically with increasing concentrations of sulfide in acidic, algal-dominated systems, but was unaffected in alkaline, cyanobacterial-dominated systems. In both alkaline and acidic systems, light-driven DIC uptake was suppressed in cultures incubated at temperatures 10°C greater than their in situ temperature. Collectively, these quantitative results indicate that apart from light availability, the habitat range of phototrophs in YNP springs is defined largely by constraints imposed firstly by temperature and secondly by sulfide on the activity of these populations that inhabit the edges of the habitat range. These findings are consistent with the predictions

  6. Land Use Change In Australia's Tropical Savanna Woodlands: Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Deforestation And Conversion To Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutley, L. B.; Bristow, M.; Beringer, J.; Livesley, S. L.; Arndt, S. K.

    2015-12-01

    Clearing and burning of tropical savanna leads to globally significant emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), although there is large uncertainty relating to the magnitude of this flux. Australia's tropical savannas are 12% of global savanna extent and are largely intact; however there is currently a focus on agricultural expansion across northern Australia involving clearing for primary production. Eddy covariance and soil chamber methods were used over almost 2 years to quantify CO2 and non-CO2 fluxes from savanna that was cleared and prepared for agriculture (CS). Fluxes from an uncleared site (UC) were also monitored. Carbon fluxes from both sites were similar (NEE -0.23 Mg C ha-1 month-1) for the 5.4 months prior to clearing, a period spanning the late dry to mid-wet season. Fluxes were monitored for a further 17 months through a dry-wet-dry climate cycle and phased land use change which included clearing and a debris curing phase, followed by burning and soil preparation for cropping. Over this period (excluding the managed fire), the CS site was a source of +0.43 Mg C ha-1 month-1 compared to a net sink at the UC site of -0.05 Mg C ha-1 month-1. Woody debris from clearing (30.9 Mg C ha-1) was removed from the site via burning in the late dry season and emission factors were used to calculate emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O which totalled 138.0 Mg CO2-e ha-1. Over the 17 months of monitoring this land transformation, emissions were +9.7 Mg CO2-e ha-1 month-1 compared to a sink of -0.17 Mg CO2-e from the UC site. Using these emissions and LUC scenarios at catchment to regional scales suggest proposed clearing for agriculture could significantly increase the region's fire-dominated GHG emissions. These data are essential for both land-atmosphere models as well as decision support tools that inform trade-offs between greenhouse gas accounting, conservation and development goals.

  7. MANAGEMENT OF HERBACEOUS SEEPS AND WET SAVANNAS FOR THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wetland communities such as herbaceous seeps and wet savannas occur on military installations throughout the southeastern United States, usually as pockets of wet habitat within a matrix of drier longleaf pine woodlands. This larger community supports multiple uses, including the...

  8. Methane production from mixed tropical savanna and forest vegetation in Venezuela

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crutzen, P. J.; Sanhueza, E.; Brenninkmeijer, C. A. M.

    2006-04-01

    Measurements of methane concentrations in the boundary layer in the northern part of the Guayana shield, Venezuela, during the wet season (October 1988), showed the presence of substantial methane surface emissions. The measuring site is within the savanna climate region, but is affected by emissions from savanna and forest vegetation. From day versus night concentration measurements, with higher concentrations during night, a methane source strength near the site of 3-7×1011 molecules/cm2/s can be estimated, which includes emissions from small tracts of flooded soils, termites and especially tropical vegetation. Extrapolated to the entire savanna, this may imply a methane source of ~30-60 Tg yr-1 similar to the one calculated for tropical vegetation on the basis of recently published in vitro plant emission experiments by Keppler et al. (2006), which indicate emissions of ~30 Tg yr-1 for tropical savannas and grasslands and ~78 Tg yr-1 for tropical forests.

  9. Ant-caterpillar antagonism at the community level: interhabitat variation of tritrophic interactions in a neotropical savanna.

    PubMed

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2015-03-01

    Ant foraging on foliage can substantially affect how phytophagous insects use host plants and represents a high predation risk for caterpillars, which are important folivores. Ant-plant-herbivore interactions are especially pervasive in cerrado savanna due to continuous ant visitation to liquid food sources on foliage (extrafloral nectaries, insect honeydew). While searching for liquid rewards on plants, aggressive ants frequently attack or kill insect herbivores, decreasing their numbers. Because ants vary in diet and aggressiveness, their effect on herbivores also varies. Additionally, the differential occurrence of ant attractants (plant and insect exudates) on foliage produces variable levels of ant foraging within local floras and among localities. Here, we investigate how variation of ant communities and of traits among host plant species (presence or absence of ant attractants) can change the effect of carnivores (predatory ants) on herbivore communities (caterpillars) in a cerrado savanna landscape. We sampled caterpillars and foliage-foraging ants in four cerrado localities (70-460 km apart). We found that: (i) caterpillar infestation was negatively related with ant visitation to plants; (ii) this relationship depended on local ant abundance and species composition, and on local preference by ants for plants with liquid attractants; (iii) this was not related to local plant richness or plant size; (iv) the relationship between the presence of ant attractants and caterpillar abundance varied among sites from negative to neutral; and (v) caterpillars feeding on plants with ant attractants are more resistant to ant predation than those feeding on plants lacking attractants. Liquid food on foliage mediates host plant quality for lepidopterans by promoting generalized ant-caterpillar antagonism. Our study in cerrado shows that the negative effects of generalist predatory ants on herbivores are detectable at a community level, affecting patterns of abundance and

  10. Measuring and Modelling the Carbon Balance of Pinus palustris Savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, J. K.; Williams, M. D.; Mitchell, R. J.; Starr, G.; McGee, J.; Whelan, A.

    2011-12-01

    Longleaf pine savannas currently occupy 1.4 million hectares in the South Eastern USA - only 2.6% of their original range. These fire-dependent ecosystems are highly biodiverse and of economic and ecological importance to the region. This region of the United States, however, is increasingly prone to severe drought, including a classified "exceptional" drought in 2011. Drought occurrence and severity are likely to increase in future climate scenarios. Moreover, increasing drought and accompanying wildfire will influence the carbon balance of the South East, a region identified as having the highest carbon sequestration potential in the USA. Thus, understanding the effects of drought on the native longleaf pine savanna land cover, therefore, is of both scientific and economic interest. Longleaf pine exists over a wide soil moisture gradient, driven by the texture and drainage capacity of the soils. These ecosystems therefore provide a natural laboratory for exploring the interaction between productivity, fire and water use. Here we present results of a 3 year study comparing the ecophysiology and carbon balance of two adjacent (5 mile separation) longleaf pine savanna flux sites, one xeric, one mesic. A process-based model (Soil-Plant-Atmosphere - SPA) and leaf-level measurements of photosynthesis and water use in drought and non-drought periods have enabled the authors to partition the carbon fluxes observed at each site into three functional groups (C4 understorey, C3 canopy and mid-storey). Results of this study show that the comparative overall productivity of wet and dry longleaf pine savannas varies through the year, with both wet and dry sites achieving similar productivity in the summer months but with the wet site exceeding the dry site during winter. We hypothesise that this difference is due to the activity of the seasonal C4 understorey. Results from SPA, flux data and field measurements suggest the understorey, dominated by the C4 grass Aristida stricta

  11. Trace gas emissions from savanna fires in northern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paton-Walsh, C.; Deutscher, N. M.; Griffith, D. W. T.; Forgan, B. W.; Wilson, S. R.; Jones, N. B.; Edwards, D. P.

    2010-08-01

    We present analyses of near-infrared ground-based Fourier transform infrared solar absorption spectra recorded from a site in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia (12.4°S, 130.9°E) from August 2005 to June 2008. Total column amounts of carbon monoxide derived from these spectra show a very clear annual cycle, with evidence of transported pollution from Indonesian fires in 2006. Aerosol optical depth measurements from the same site show a similar annual cycle but without exceptional values in 2006, suggesting significant loss of aerosol loading in the transported and aged smoke. In addition, we report the first ever measurements by remote sensing solar Fourier transform infrared of emission ratios with respect to carbon monoxide for formaldehyde (0.022 ± 0.007), acetylene (0.0024 ± 0.0003), ethane (0.0020 ± 0.0003), and hydrogen cyanide (0.0018 ± 0.0003) from Australian savanna fires. These are derived from mid-infrared spectra recorded through smoke plumes over Darwin on 20 separate days. The only previous measurements of emission ratios for formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide from Australian savanna fires involved cryogenic trapping and storage of samples that were gathered in very fresh smoke. The results reported here are nearly an order of magnitude higher (but in agreement with laboratory studies), suggesting losses in the collection, storage, or transfer of the gases in the earlier measurements and/or chemical production of these reactive gases within the smoke plumes. Emission ratios for acetylene and ethane from this work are in broad agreement with other literature values.

  12. Distinctiveness, use, and value of midwestern oak savannas and woodlands as avian habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, R.; Pavlovic, N.B.

    2007-01-01

    Oak savannas and woodlands historically covered millions of hectares in the midwestern United States but are rare today. We evaluated the ecological distinctiveness and conservation value of savannas and woodlands by examining bird distributions across a fire-maintained woody-vegetation gradient in northwest Indiana encompassing five habitats—open habitats with low canopy cover, savannas, woodlands, scrublands, and forests—during migration, breeding, and overwintering. Savannas and woodlands were significantly different in overall bird species composition from open and forest habitats but were often intermediate between open and forest in guild densities. Few bird species were consistently and highly concentrated in savannas or woodlands, and the Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) was the only species significantly more abundant in savannas and woodlands than in open, scrub, and forest habitats. Fire frequency over a 15-year interval was a significant predictor of bird community composition and was positively related to species diversity, spring transient migrant density, and density of the most threatened species. Each habitat type had characteristics potentially important for avian conservation. Scrub had the highest density of transient migrants, which suggests it plays an important role as migration stopover habitat. More species were significantly concentrated in open or forest habitats than in the other habitats. Lack of species concentration and intermediate community composition suggested that birds experienced savannas and woodlands more as ecotones than as habitats distinct from forests or grasslands. However, this intermediate character can benefit conservation, as evidenced by savannas and woodlands having the highest density of the most threatened species along this woody-vegetation gradient.

  13. Contrasting physiological responses to excess heat and irradiance in two tropical savanna sedges

    PubMed Central

    John-Bejai, C.; Farrell, A. D.; Cooper, F. M.; Oatham, M. P.

    2013-01-01

    Tropical hyperseasonal savannas provide a rare example of a tropical climax community dominated by graminoid species. Species living in such savannas are frequently exposed to excess heat and light, in addition to drought and waterlogging, and must possess traits to avoid or tolerate these stress factors. Here we examine the contrasting heat and light stress adaptations of two dominant savanna sedges: Lagenocarpus guianensis, which is restricted to the sheltered forest edge, and Lagenocarpus rigidus, which extends from the forest edge to the open savanna. An ecotone extending from the forest edge to the open savanna was used to assess differences in a range of physiological traits (efficiency of photosystem II, cell membrane thermostability, stomatal conductance, leaf surface reflectance and canopy temperature depression) and a range of leaf functional traits (length : width ratio, specific leaf area and degree of folding). Lagenocarpus guianensis showed significantly less canopy temperature depression than L. rigidus, which may explain why this species was restricted to the forest edge. The range of leaf temperatures measured was within the thermal tolerance of L. guianensis and allowed photosystem II to function normally, at least within the cool forest edge. The ability of L. rigidus to extend into the open savanna was associated with an ability to decouple leaf temperature from ambient temperature combined with enhanced cell membrane thermostability. The high degree of canopy temperature depression seen in L. rigidus was not explained by enhanced stomatal conductance or leaf reflectance, but was consistent with a capacity to increase specific leaf area and reduce leaf length: width ratio in the open savanna. Plasticity in leaf functional traits and in cell membrane thermostability are key factors in the ability of this savanna sedge to survive abiotic stress. PMID:24379971

  14. Landscape Visualisation on the Internet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imhof, M. P.; Cox, M. T.; Harvey, D. W.; Heemskerk, G. E.; Pettit, C. J.

    2012-07-01

    The Victorian Resources Online (VRO) website (http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/vro) is the principal means for accessing landscapebased information in Victoria. In this paper we introduce a range of online landscape visualisations that have been developed to enhance existing static web content around the nature and distribution of Victoria's landforms and soils as well as associated processes. Flash is used to develop online visualisations that include interactive landscape panoramas, animations of soil and landscape processes and videos of experts explaining features in the field as well as landscape "flyovers". The use of interactive visualisations adds rich information multimedia content to otherwise static pages and offers the potential to improve user's appreciation and understanding of soil and landscapes. Visualisation is becoming a key component of knowledge management activities associated with VRO - proving useful for both "knowledge capture" (from subject matter specialists) and "knowledge transfer" to a diverse user base. A range of useful visualisation products have been made available online, with varying degrees of interactivity and suited to a variety of users. The use of video files, animation and interactive visualisations is adding rich information content to otherwise static web pages. These information products offer new possibilities to enhance learning of landscapes and the effectiveness of these will be tested as the next phase of development.

  15. Climate Change and Long-Term Fire Management Impacts on Australian Savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheiter, S.; Higgins, S. I.; Beringer, J.; Hutley, L. B.

    2014-12-01

    Tropical savannas cover a large proportion of the Earth's land surface and many people are dependent on the ecosystem services that savannas supply. Their sustainable management is therefore crucial. Due to the complexity of vegetation dynamics, the impacts of climate change and land use on savannas are highly uncertain. Here, we use a dynamic vegetation model, the aDGVM, to project how climate change and fire management influence vegetation in northern Australian savannas in 2100. We show that under future climate conditions, vegetation can store more carbon than under ambient conditions, despite substantial changes in fire regimes. Changes in rainfall seasonality influence future carbon storage but do not turn vegetation into a carbon source, suggesting that CO2 fertilization is the main driver of vegetation change. The application of prescribed fires with varying return intervals and burning season, influences vegetation dynamics and fire induced carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon sequestration is maximized with early dry season fires and long fire return intervals, grass productivity is maximized with late dry season fires at an intermediate fire return intervals. The study has implications for management policy across Australian savannas because it can contribute to identifying fire management strategies that optimize grazing yield, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions. This knowledge is crucial to maintain important ecosystem services of Australian savannas.

  16. Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities of oak savanna are distinct from forest communities.

    PubMed

    Dickie, I A; Dentinger, B T M; Avis, P G; McLaughlin, D J; Reich, P B

    2009-01-01

    Oak savanna is one of the most endangered ecosystems of North America, with less than 0.02% of its original area remaining. Here we test whether oak savanna supports a unique community of ectomycorrhizal fungi, a higher diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi or a greater proportional abundance of ascomycete fungi compared with adjacent areas where the absence of fire has resulted in oak savanna conversion to oak forest. The overall fungal community was highly diverse and dominated by Cenococcum geophilum and other ascomycetes, Cortinarius, Russula, Lactarius and Thelephoraceae. Oak savanna mycorrhizal communities were distinct from oak forest communities both aboveground (sporocarp surveys) and belowground (RFLP identification of ectomycorrhizal root tips); however total diversity was not higher in oak savanna than oak forests and there was no evidence of a greater abundance of ascomycetes. Despite not having a higher local diversity than oak forests, the presence of a unique fungal community indicates that oak savanna plays an important role in maintaining regional ectomycorrhizal diversity. PMID:19623927

  17. Landscaping for energy efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    This publication by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory addresses the use of landscaping for energy efficiency. The topics of the publication include minimizing energy expenses; landscaping for a cleaner environment; climate, site, and design considerations; planning landscape; and selecting and planting trees and shrubs. A source list for more information on landscaping for energy efficiency and a reading list are included.

  18. Economic Growth and Landscape Change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prato, Tony; Fagre, Dan

    2007-01-01

    Sustaining Rocky Mountain Landscapes provides a scientific basis for communities to develop policies for managing the growth and economic transformation of the CCE without sacrificing the quality of life and environment for which the land is renowned. This forthcoming edited volume focuses on five aspects of sustaining mountain landscapes in the CCE and similar regions in the Rocky Mountains. The five aspects are: 1) how social, economic, demographic and environmental forces are transforming ecosystem structure and function, 2) trends in use and conditions for human and environmental resources, 3) activating science, policy and education to enhance sustainable landscape management, 4) challenges to sustainable management of public and private lands, and 5) future prospects for achieving sustainable landscapes.

  19. Vulnerability and Resilience of Temperate Forest Landscapes to Broad-Scale Deforestation in Response to Changing Fire Regimes and Altered Post-Fire Vegetation Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tepley, A. J.; Veblen, T. T.; Perry, G.; Anderson-Teixeira, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    In the face of on-going climatic warming and land-use change, there is growing concern that temperate forest landscapes could be near a tipping point where relatively small changes to the fire regime or altered post-fire vegetation dynamics could lead to extensive conversion to shrublands or savannas. To evaluate vulnerability and resilience to such conversion, we develop a simple model based on three factors we hypothesize to be key in predicting temperate forest responses to changing fire regimes: (1) the hazard rate (i.e., the probability of burning in the next year given the time since the last fire) in closed-canopy forests, (2) the hazard rate for recently-burned, open-canopy vegetation, and (3) the time to redevelop canopy closure following fire. We generate a response surface representing the proportions of the landscape potentially supporting closed-canopy forest and non-forest vegetation under nearly all combinations of these three factors. We then place real landscapes on this response surface to assess the type and magnitude of changes to the fire regime that would drive extensive forest loss. We show that the deforestation of much of New Zealand that followed initial human colonization and the introduction of a new ignition source ca. 750 years ago was essentially inevitable due to the slow rate of forest recovery after fire and the high flammability of post-fire vegetation. In North America's Pacific Northwest, by contrast, a predominantly forested landscape persisted despite two periods of widespread burning in the recent past due in large part to faster post-fire forest recovery and less pronounced differences in flammability between forests and the post-fire vegetation. We also assess the factors that could drive extensive deforestation in other regions to identify where management could reduce this potential and to guide field and modeling work to better understand the responses and ecological feedbacks to changing fire regimes.

  20. Lightning fires in North Dakota grasslands and in pine-savanna lands of South Dakota and Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.

    1984-01-01

    Lightning strike fires which occurred between 1940 and 1981 were studied in mixed-grass prairie grasslands and in pine-savanna lands in the Northern Great Plains region. A majority (73%) of ignitions occurred during July and August, while a lesser number was recorded in April, May, June, and September. The April-September period is also the average time of the freeze-free period and approximates the average distribution period for thunderstorm activity in this region. The area burned by each of 293 lightning fires (most of which were suppressed) ranged from 0.004-1158.3 ha (mean = 10.8 ha). The frequency of lightning fires in mixed-grass prairie grasslands averaged 6.0/yr per 10,000 km2 in eastern North Dakota, 22.4/yr per 10,000 km2 in southcentral North Dakota, 24.7/yr per 10,000 km2 in western North Dakota, and 91.7/yr per 10,000 km2 in pine-savanna lands in northwestern South Dakota and southeastern Montana. The ecological role of lightning-set fires is discussed relative to the development of resource research and management plans and to the interpretation of historical records of natural fire occurrence in the Northern Great Plains region.

  1. The Development of Topography in Ancient and Active Orogens: Case Studies of Landscape Evolution in the Southern Appalachians, USA and Crete, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallen, Sean Francis

    Understanding the development of topography is fundamental to the geosciences. Topography represents the sum of all tectonic and geodynamic processes that force the earth's surface upward paired with those that act to bring it down. Spatial and temporal changes in topographic relief can modulate the various feedbacks between atmospheric, earth surface and rock exhumation processes, sediment flux, and the magnitude and style of gravity driven natural hazards. Plate tectonics provides the first-order framework necessary to understand how topography is built through the interaction of lithospheric plates. However, density contrasts in the mantle can also influence the elevation of the earth's surface through dynamic topography, while poorly understood nuances of mountain building at convergent margins complicate drawing direct connections between tectonics and topography. Such linkages are further confounded by non-linearity between rock uplift and erosion, variations in rates of deformation, changes in climate and the properties of bedrock. Great advances in our understanding of the evolution of topography have been achieved, yet numerous questions remain regarding the evolution of topography in ancient and active orogens. This research addresses knowledge gaps in the development of topography through case-studies of landscape evolution in the southern Appalachians Mountains, USA and the forearc overlying the Hellenic subduction zone. Chapter 1 explores the origins of modern topographic relief in the southern Appalachians, where tectonic activity ceased prior to 200 Ma. Conventional theories invoked to explain modern relief in the region are challenged. Quantitative analyses of digital elevation models and numerical modeling are coupled to provide the magnitudes and timing of changes in topographic relief. The results suggest that the southern Appalachians experienced a phase of topographic rejuvenation during the Miocene that increased the distance between the

  2. Equilibrium form of horizontally retreating, soil-mantled hillslopes: Model development and application to a groundwater sapping landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perron, J. Taylor; Hamon, Jennifer L.

    2012-03-01

    We present analytical solutions for the steady state topographic profile of a soil-mantled hillslope retreating into a level plain in response to a horizontally migrating base level. This model applies to several scenarios that commonly arise in landscapes, including widening valleys, eroding channel banks, and retreating scarps. For a sediment transport law in which sediment flux is linearly proportional to the topographic slope, the steady state profile is exponential, with an e-folding length, L, proportional to the ratio of the sediment transport coefficient to the base level migration speed. For the case in which sediment flux increases nonlinearly with slope, the solution has a similar form that converges to the linear case as L increases. We use a numerical model to explore the effects of different base level geometries and find that the one-dimensional analytical solution is a close approximation for the hillslope profile above an advancing channel tip. We then compare the analytical model with hillslope profiles above the tips of a groundwater sapping channel network in the Florida Panhandle. The model agrees closely with hillslope profiles measured from airborne laser altimetry, and we use a predicted log linear relationship between topographic slope and horizontal distance to estimate L for the measured profiles. Mapping 1/L over channel tips throughout the landscape reveals that adjacent channel networks may be growing at different rates and that south facing slopes experience more efficient hillslope transport.

  3. LANDSCAPING YOUR HOME, TEACHER'S GUIDE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    HEDGES, LOWELL E.

    THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE IS TO ASSIST THE VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE TEACHER TO DEVELOP A UNIT IN THE RELATIVELY SPECIALIZED FIELD OF HOME LANDSCAPING. IT WAS DEVELOPED BY A TEACHER IN CONSULTATION WITH HORTICULTURISTS AND TESTED IN THE CLASSROOM BEFORE PUBLICATION. THE OBJECTIVES OF THE UNIT ARE TO DEVELOP STUDENT ABILITY TO (1) UNDERSTAND THE NEED…

  4. Probing the String Landscape

    ScienceCinema

    Keith Dienes

    2010-01-08

    We are currently in the throes of a potentially huge paradigm shift in physics. Motivated by recent developments in string theory and the discovery of the so-called "string landscape", physicists are beginning to question the uniqueness of fundamental theories of physics and the methods by which such theories might be understood and investigated. In this colloquium, I will give a non-technical introduction to the nature of this paradigm shift and how it developed. I will also discuss some of the questions to which it has led, and the nature of the controversies it has spawned.

  5. Probing the String Landscape

    SciTech Connect

    Keith Dienes

    2009-12-01

    We are currently in the throes of a potentially huge paradigm shift in physics. Motivated by recent developments in string theory and the discovery of the so-called "string landscape", physicists are beginning to question the uniqueness of fundamental theories of physics and the methods by which such theories might be understood and investigated. In this colloquium, I will give a non-technical introduction to the nature of this paradigm shift and how it developed. I will also discuss some of the questions to which it has led, and the nature of the controversies it has spawned.

  6. Nutrient and Light Limitations on Grass Productivity in a Southern African Savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ries, L. P.; Shugart, H. H.; Caylor, K. K.; Okin, G. S.; Kgope, B.

    2006-12-01

    Despite the ubiquity of sub-tropical savannas throughout the earth, limitations of savanna productivity are understudied relative to other terrestrial systems. In particular, there has been little attention on the role of phosphorus (P) in savanna productivity and structure. This study examined the role of increased nitrogen (N) and P in grass productivity in a woodland savanna in Botswana. We added aqueous forms of N and P individually and together to selected grasses. During the following growing season we measured foliar nutrient concentrations, aboveground biomass productivity and photosynthetic response at various levels of incident photosynthetically active radiation to estimate the productivity response. As expected, we observed an increase in foliar P concentrations in P and N+P treatments. However, there was no increase in foliar N for any treatments. We also observed a significant increase in net carbon assimilation and Amax for all treatments relative to the control grasses. Despite a higher rate of leaf level carbon assimilation in the N treatment, the aboveground biomass production was smaller than that of the N+P treatment. These results suggest that the aboveground productivity of these woodland savanna grasses is limited by both N and P. Additionally, under constant CO2 availability, photosynthesis appears to be limited by nutrients for light levels greater than 500 μmol m-2s-1. This research will help broaden our understanding of the biogeochemical processes that govern savanna productivity. Ultimately, these data can be used to model canopy productivity and ecological succession of savannas under scenarios in which bush encroachment and desertification may alter light and nutrients availability.

  7. LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY AND THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF NEOTROPICAL MIGRATORY BIRDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The conservation and management of neotropical migratory birds needs to include a landscape perspective. andscape ecology represents a renewed interest in the development and dynamics of landscape mosaics, the effects of landscape patterns on species, biotic interactions and ecol...

  8. Changes in Carbon Emissions in Colombian Savannas Derived From Recent Land use and Land Cover Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etter, A.; Sarmiento, A.

    2007-12-01

    The global contribution of carbon emissions from land use dynamics and change to the global carbon (C) cycle is still uncertain, a major concern in global change modeling. Carbon emission from fires in the tropics is significant and represents 9% of the net primary production, and 50% of worldwide C emissions from fires are attributable to savanna fires. Such emissions may vary significantly due to differences in ecosystem types. Most savanna areas are devoted to grazing land uses making methane emissions also important in savanna ecosystems. Land use change driven by intensification of grazing and cropping has become a major factor affecting C emission dynamics from savanna regions. Colombia has some 17 MHa of mesic savannas which have been historically burned. Due to changes in market demands and improved accessibility during the last 20 years, important areas of savannas changed land use from predominantly extensive grazing to crops and intensive grazing systems. This research models and evaluates the impacts of such land use changes on the spatial and temporal burning patterns and C emissions in the Orinoco savannas of Colombia. We address the effects of land use change patterns using remote sensing data from MODIS and Landsat, ecosystem mapping products, and spatial GIS analysis. First we map the expansion of the agricultural frontier from the 1980s-2000s. We then model the changes in land use from the 1980s using a statistical modeling approach to analyze and quantify the impact of accessibility, ecosystem type and land tenure. We calculate the effects on C emissions from fire regimes and other sources of C based on patterns and extent of burned areas in the 2000s for different savanna ecosystem types and land uses. In the Llanos the fire regime exhibits a marked seasonal variability with most fire events occurring during the dry season between December-March. Our analysis shows that fire frequencies vary consistently between 0.6 and 2.8 fires.yr-1 per 2

  9. Soil moisture redistribution as a mechanism of facilitation in savanna tree-shrub clusters.

    PubMed

    Zou, C B; Barnes, P W; Archer, S; McMurtry, C R

    2005-08-01

    Plant-soil water relations were examined in the context of a selective removal study conducted in tree-shrub communities occupying different but contiguous soil types (small discrete clusters on shallow, duplex soils versus larger, extensive groves on deep, sandy soils) in a subtropical savanna parkland. We (1) tested for the occurrence of soil moisture redistribution by hydraulic lift (HL), (2) determined the influence of edaphic factors on HL, and (3) evaluated the significance of HL for overstory tree-understory shrub interactions. Diel cycling and nocturnal increases in soil water potential (Psisoil), characteristic signatures of HL, occurred intermittently throughout an annual growth cycle in both communities over a range of moisture levels (Psisoil=-0.5 to -6.0 MPa) but only when soils were distinctly stratified with depth (dry surface/wet deep soil layers). The magnitude of mean (+/-SE) diel fluctuations in Psisoil (0.19+/-0.01 MPa) did not differ on the two community types, though HL occurred more frequently in groves (deep soils) than clusters (shallow soils). Selective removal of either Prosopis glandulosa overstory or mixed-species shrub understory reduced the frequency of HL, indicating that Prosopis and at least one other woody species was conducting HL. For Zanthoxylum fagara, a shallow-rooted understory shrub, Prosopis removal from clusters decreased leaf water potential (Psileaf) and net CO2 exchange (A) during periods of HL. In contrast, overstory removal had neutral to positive effects on more deeply-rooted shrub species (Berberis trifoliolata and Condalia hookeri). Removal of the shrub understory in groves increased A in the overstory Prosopis. Results indicate the following: (a) HL is common but temporally dynamic in these savanna tree-shrub communities; (b) edaphic factors influencing the degree of overstory/understory development, rooting patterns and soil moisture distribution influence HL; (c) net interactions between overstory and

  10. Soil microbial communities following bush removal in a Namibian savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buyer, Jeffrey S.; Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne; Nghikembua, Matti; Maul, Jude E.; Marker, Laurie

    2016-03-01

    Savanna ecosystems are subject to desertification and bush encroachment, which reduce the carrying capacity for wildlife and livestock. Bush thinning is a management approach that can, at least temporarily, restore grasslands and raise the grazing value of the land. In this study we examined the soil microbial communities under bush and grass in Namibia. We analyzed the soil through a chronosequence where bush was thinned at 9, 5, or 3 years before sampling. Soil microbial biomass, the biomass of specific taxonomic groups, and overall microbial community structure was determined by phospholipid fatty acid analysis, while the community structure of Bacteria, Archaea, and fungi was determined by multiplex terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Soil under bush had higher pH, C, N, and microbial biomass than under grass, and the microbial community structure was also altered under bush compared to grass. A major disturbance to the ecosystem, bush thinning, resulted in an altered microbial community structure compared to control plots, but the magnitude of this perturbation gradually declined with time. Community structure was primarily driven by pH, C, and N, while vegetation type, bush thinning, and time since bush thinning were of secondary importance.

  11. Soil microbial communities following bush removal in a Namibian savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buyer, J. S.; Schmidt-Küntzel, A.; Nghikembua, M.; Maul, J. E.; Marker, L.

    2015-12-01

    Savanna ecosystems are subject to desertification and bush encroachment, which reduce the carrying capacity for wildlife and livestock. Bush thinning is a management approach that can, at least temporarily, restore grasslands and raise the grazing value of the land. In this study we examined the soil microbial communities under bush and grass in Namibia. We analyzed the soil through a chronosequence where bush was thinned at 9, 5, or 3 years before sampling. Soil microbial biomass, the biomass of specific taxonomic groups, and overall microbial community structure was determined by phospholipid fatty acid analysis, while the community structure of Bacteria, Archaea, and fungi was determined by multiplex terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Soil under bush had higher pH, C, N, and microbial biomass than under grass, and the microbial community structure was also altered under bush compared to grass. A major disturbance to the ecosystem, bush thinning, resulted in an altered microbial community structure compared to control plots, but the magnitude of this perturbation gradually declined with time. Community structure was primarily driven by pH, C, and N, while vegetation type, bush thinning, and time since bush thinning were of secondary importance.

  12. Assessment and kinetics of soil phosphatase in Brazilian Savanna systems.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Adão S; Espíndola, Suéllen P; Campos, Maria Rita C

    2016-05-31

    The activity and kinetics of soil phosphatases are important indicators to evaluate soil quality in specific sites such as the Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna). This study aimed to determine the activity and kinetic parameters of soil phosphatase in Cerrado systems. Soil phosphatase activity was assessed in samples of native Cerrado (NC), no-tillage (NT), conventional tillage (CT) and pasture with Brachiaria brizantha (PBb) and evaluated with acetate buffer (AB), tris-HCl buffer (TB), modified universal buffer (MUB) and low MUB. The Michaelis-Menten equation and Eadie-Hofstee model were applied to obtain the kinetic parameters of soil phosphatase using different concentrations of p-nitrophenol phosphate (p-NPP). MUB showed the lowest soil phosphatase activity in all soils whereas AB in NC and NT presented the highest. Low MUB decreased interferences in the assessment of soil phosphatase activity when compared to MUB, suggesting that organic acids interfere on the soil phosphatase activity. In NC and NT, soil phosphatase activity performed with TB was similar to AB and low MUB. Km values from the Michaels-Menten equation were higher in NC than in NT, which indicate a lower affinity of phosphatase activity for the substrate in NC. Vmax values were also higher in NC than in NT. The Eadie-Hofstee model suggests that NC had more phosphatase isoforms than NT. The study showed that buffer type is of fundamental importance when assessing soil phosphatase activity in Cerrado soils. PMID:27254453

  13. Savanna Tree Seedlings are Physiologically Tolerant to Nighttime Freeze Events

    PubMed Central

    O’Keefe, Kimberly; Nippert, Jesse B.; Swemmer, Anthony M.

    2016-01-01

    Freeze events can be important disturbances in savanna ecosystems, yet the interactive effect of freezing with other environmental drivers on plant functioning is unknown. Here, we investigated physiological responses of South African tree seedlings to interactions of water availability and freezing temperatures. We grew widely distributed South African tree species (Colophospermum mopane, Combretum apiculatum, Acacia nigrescens, and Cassia abbreviata) under well-watered and water-limited conditions and exposed individuals to nighttime freeze events. Of the four species studied here, C. mopane was the most tolerant of lower water availability. However, all species were similarly tolerant to nighttime freezing and recovered within one week following the last freezing event. We also show that water limitation somewhat increased freezing tolerance in one of the species (C. mopane). Therefore, water limitation, but not freezing temperatures, may restrict the distribution of these species, although the interactions of these stressors may have species-specific impacts on plant physiology. Ultimately, we show that unique physiologies can exist among dominant species within communities and that combined stresses may play a currently unidentified role in driving the function of certain species within southern Africa. PMID:26870065

  14. Savanna Tree Seedlings are Physiologically Tolerant to Nighttime Freeze Events.

    PubMed

    O'Keefe, Kimberly; Nippert, Jesse B; Swemmer, Anthony M

    2016-01-01

    Freeze events can be important disturbances in savanna ecosystems, yet the interactive effect of freezing with other environmental drivers on plant functioning is unknown. Here, we investigated physiological responses of South African tree seedlings to interactions of water availability and freezing temperatures. We grew widely distributed South African tree species (Colophospermum mopane, Combretum apiculatum, Acacia nigrescens, and Cassia abbreviata) under well-watered and water-limited conditions and exposed individuals to nighttime freeze events. Of the four species studied here, C. mopane was the most tolerant of lower water availability. However, all species were similarly tolerant to nighttime freezing and recovered within one week following the last freezing event. We also show that water limitation somewhat increased freezing tolerance in one of the species (C. mopane). Therefore, water limitation, but not freezing temperatures, may restrict the distribution of these species, although the interactions of these stressors may have species-specific impacts on plant physiology. Ultimately, we show that unique physiologies can exist among dominant species within communities and that combined stresses may play a currently unidentified role in driving the function of certain species within southern Africa. PMID:26870065

  15. Will savannas survive outside the parks? A lesson from Zambia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutsch, W.; Merbold, L.; Scholes, B.; Mukelabai, M.

    2012-04-01

    Miombo woodlands cover the transition zone between dry open savannas and moist forests in Southern Africa. They cover about 2.7 million km2 in southern Africa and provide many ecosystem services that support rural life, including medical products, wild foods, construction timber and fuel. In Zambia, as in many of its neighbouring countries, miombo woodlands are currently experiencing accelerating degradation and clearing, mostly with charcoal production as the initial driver. Domestic energy needs in the growing urban areas are largely satisfied by charcoal, which is less energy-efficient fuel on a tree-to-table basis than the firewood that is used in rural areas, but has a higher energy density and is thus cheaper to transport. This study uses data from inventories and from eddy covariance measurements of carbon exchange to characterize the impact of charcoal production on miombo woodlands. We address the following questions: (i) how much carbon is lost at local as well as at national scale and (ii) does forest degradation result in the loss of a carbon sink? On the basis of our data we (iii) estimate the per capita emissions through deforestation and forest degradation in Zambia and relate it to fossil fuel emissions. Furthermore, (iv) a rough estimate of the energy that is provided by charcoal production to private households at a national level is calculated and (v) options for alternative energy supply to private households are discussed.

  16. Western equatorial African forest-savanna mosaics: a legacy of late Holocene climatic change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngomanda, A.; Chepstow-Lusty, A.; Makaya, M.; Favier, C.; Schevin, P.; Maley, J.; Fontugne, M.; Oslisly, R.; Jolly, D.

    2009-10-01

    Past vegetation and climate changes reconstructed using two pollen records from Lakes Maridor and Nguène, located in the coastal savannas and inland rainforest of Gabon, respectively, provide new insights into the environmental history of western equatorial African rainforests during the last 4500 cal yr BP. These pollen records indicate that the coastal savannas of western equatorial Africa did not exist during the mid-Holocene and instead the region was covered by evergreen rainforests. From ca. 4000 cal yr BP a progressive decline of inland evergreen rainforest, accompanied by the expansion of semi-deciduous rainforest, occurred synchronously with grassland colonisation in the coastal region of Gabon. The contraction of moist evergreen rainforest and the establishment of coastal savannas in Gabon suggest decreasing humidity from ca. 4000 cal yr BP. The marked reduction in evergreen rainforest and subsequent savanna expansion was followed from 2700 cal yr BP by the colonization of secondary forests dominated by the palm, Elaeis guineensis, and the shrub, Alchornea cordifolia (Euphorbiaceae). A return to wetter climatic conditions from about 1400 cal yr BP led to the renewed spread of evergreen rainforest inland, whereas a forest-savanna mosaic still persists in the coastal region. There is no evidence to suggest that the major environmental changes observed were driven by human impact.

  17. Multidisciplinary modeling and GIS for landscape management

    SciTech Connect

    Flamm, R.O.; Turner, M.G.

    1993-12-31

    Ecological dynamics in human-influenced landscapes are strongly affected by the socioeconomic factors that influence land-use decisions. Incorporating these factors into a spatially-explicit landscape-change model requires the integration of multidisciplinary data. We developed a model that simulates the effects of land use on landscape structure in the Little Tennessee River Basin in western North Carolina. This model uses a variety of data, including interpreted remotely-sensed imagery, census and ownership maps, topography, and results from econometric models. Data are integrated by using a geographic information system and translated into a common format, maps. Simulations generate new maps of land cover representing the amount of land-cover change that occurs. With spatially-explicit projections of landscape change, issues such as biodiversity conservation, the importance of specific landscape elements to conservation goals, and long-term landscape integrity can be addressed. In order for management to use the model to address these issues, a computer-based landscape-management decision aid is being developed. This tool integrates the models, associated data bases, and a geographic information system to facilitate the evaluation of land-use decisions and management plans. This system will estimate landscape-level consequences of alternative actions and will serve to focus coordination among different land-owners and land-use interests in managing the regional landscape.

  18. Variation in woody plant delta(13)C along a topoedaphic gradient in a subtropical savanna parkland.

    PubMed

    Bai, Edith; Boutton, Thomas W; Liu, Feng; Wu, X Ben; Archer, Steven R

    2008-06-01

    delta(13)C values of C(3) plants are indicators of plant carbon-water relations that integrate plant responses to environmental conditions. However, few studies have quantified spatial variation in plant delta(13)C at the landscape scale. We determined variation in leaf delta(13)C, leaf nitrogen per leaf area (N(area)), and specific leaf area (SLA) in April and August 2005 for all individuals of three common woody species within a 308 x 12-m belt transect spanning an upland-lowland topoedaphic gradient in a subtropical savanna in southern Texas. Clay content, available soil moisture, and soil total N were all negatively correlated with elevation. The delta(13)C values of Prosopis glandulosa (deciduous N(2)-fixing tree legume), Condalia hookeri (evergreen shrub), and Zanthoxylum fagara (evergreen shrub) leaves increased 1-4 per thousand with decreasing elevation, with the delta(13)C value of P. glandulosa leaves being 1-3 per thousand higher than those of the two shrub species. Contrary to theory and results from previous studies, delta(13)C values were highest where soil water was most available, suggesting that some other variable was overriding or interacting with water availability. Leaf N(area) was positively correlated with leaf delta(13)C of all species (p < 0.01) and appeared to exert the strongest control over delta(13)C along this topoedaphic gradient. Since leaf N(area) is positively related to photosynthetic capacity, plants with high leaf N(area) are likely to have low p (I)/p (a) ratios and therefore higher delta(13)C values, assuming stomatal conductance is constant. Specific leaf area was not correlated significantly with leaf delta(13)C. Following a progressive growing season drought in July/August, leaf delta(13)C decreased. The lower delta(13)C in August may reflect the accumulation of (13)C-depleted epicuticular leaf wax. We suggest control of leaf delta(13)C along this topoedaphic gradient is mediated by leaf N(area) rather than by stomatal

  19. Groundwater dependent ecohydrology in a semi-arid oak savanna (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, G. R.; Rubin, Y.; Baldocchi, D. D.; Chen, X.; Ma, S.

    2010-12-01

    Groundwater can serve as an important resource for woody vegetation in semi-arid landscapes, particularly when soil water is functionally depleted and unavailable to plants. This study examines the uptake of groundwater by deciduous blue oak trees (Quercus douglasii) in a California oak savanna. Here, we present a suite of direct and indirect measurement techniques, combined with modeling, that demonstrate its occurrence and quantify its rates. The study site is similar to others with shallow-soil ecohydrology: it is underlain by a thin, rocky soil layer followed fractured metavolcanic bedrock. Typical depth to groundwater is approximately 8 m and varies from 7- 10 m, both spatially and temporally. A variety of water storage and flux measurements were collected from 2005 to 2008, including groundwater levels, soil moisture contents, sap flows, and latent heat fluxes. During the dry season, groundwater uptake rates ranged from 4 to 25 mm per month, and approximately 80% of total ET during June, July, and August came from groundwater. Leaf and soil water potentials supported these results, indicating that groundwater uptake was thermodynamically favorable over soil water uptake for key portions of the growing season. Sap flow rates suggest differential access to groundwater by trees of varying size classes. Dynamic groundwater-soil-plant-atmosphere modeling has shown that in order to achieve these uptake rates, approximately 20% of roots must be exposed to groundwater. Modeled evapotranspiration rates drop dramatically during the late summer when this connection is severed (Figure 1). These findings strongly suggest that blue oaks should be considered obligate phreatophytes, and that groundwater reserves provide a buffer to rapid changes in their hydro-climate, if these assets are not otherwise depleted by prolonged drought or human consumption. While groundwater uptake may provide for short-term protection, it should be viewed not as a mechanism for continued plant

  20. PARTITIONING OVERSTORY AND UNDERSTORY EVAPOTRANSPIRATION IN A SEMIARID SAVANNA WOODLAND FROM THE ISOTOPIC COMPOSITION OF WATER VAPOR 1498

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The relative contributions of overstory and understory plant transpiration and soil evaporation to total evapotranspiration (ET) in a semiarid savanna woodland were determined from stable isotope measurements of atmospheric water vapor. The savanna overstory was dominated by the deeply rooted, wood...

  1. Landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns and processes - eight hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Rand, Tatyana A; Didham, Raphael K; Fahrig, Lenore; Batáry, Péter; Bengtsson, Janne; Clough, Yann; Crist, Thomas O; Dormann, Carsten F; Ewers, Robert M; Fründ, Jochen; Holt, Robert D; Holzschuh, Andrea; Klein, Alexandra M; Kleijn, David; Kremen, Claire; Landis, Doug A; Laurance, William; Lindenmayer, David; Scherber, Christoph; Sodhi, Navjot; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Thies, Carsten; van der Putten, Wim H; Westphal, Catrin

    2012-08-01

    conservation management' includes (7) the intermediate landscape-complexity hypothesis-landscape-moderated effectiveness of local conservation management is highest in structurally simple, rather than in cleared (i.e. extremely simplified) or in complex landscapes, and (8) the landscape-moderated biodiversity versus ecosystem service management hypothesis-landscape-moderated biodiversity conservation to optimize functional diversity and related ecosystem services will not protect endangered species. Shifting our research focus from local to landscape-moderated effects on biodiversity will be critical to developing solutions for future biodiversity and ecosystem service management. PMID:22272640

  2. Remote Sensing Time Series Analysis of Coupled Impacts of Disturbance and Management on Landscape Carbon Storage in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crews, K.; Neuenschwander, A.

    2007-12-01

    Tropical and subtropical savanna processes are largely impacted by both disturbance and disturbance regimes, notably fire and grazing. In the Okavango Delta, Botswana, savanna-grassland ecotones are also influenced by a third type of disturbance/disturbance regime: flooding. The interspersal of seasonal and occasional wetlands with savanna, grassland, and riparian woodland interfluves culminates in an environment with interacting drivers of landscape change over space and time: fire, flooding, grazing, climatic oscillations, and differential human management practices. The environs of the Okavango are currently subject to four different land management regimes, most of which are now separated by staffed veterinary fences: open or communal lands, photography concessions, hunting concessions, and reserves / national parks. This work utilizes a suite of 85 Landsat TM and ETM+ images from 1989 to 2002 to assess fire magnitude and impact on landscape carbon storage as mitigated by 1) changing and variable rainfall and flooding and 2) the introduction of management zones aimed in part at controlling both proximate and ultimate drivers of fire dynamics and landscape change.

  3. Health assessment for Savanna Army Depot, Savanna, Carroll County, Illinois, Region 5. CERCLIS No. IL0213820376. Preliminary report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-19

    The Savanna Army Depot Activity (SADA) is on the National Priorities List. The 13,000-acre facility is an Army munitions plant engaged in munitions renovation and loading, and demolition and burning. About 20 areas within the facility have been identified as potential sources of hazardous waste. The environmental contamination on-site (maximum concentrations reported) consists of chloroform (20 ppb), trinitrotoluene or TNT (29 percent), trinitrobenzene or TNB (2,770 ppb), 2,6-dinitrotoluene or 2,6-DNT (1,400 ppb), 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (300,000 ppb), and 2,4-dinitrotoluene (94,200 ppb) in sediment; TNB (1,400 ppb), TNT (314 ppb), 2,4-DNT (113 ppb), trichloroethylene or TCE (20 ppb), chloroform (20 ppb), and nickel (185 ppb) in ground water; TNT (50 percent), 2,4-DNT (673 ppb), and cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine or RDX (12,300 ppb), and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs (greater than 59,000,000 ppb) in soil; and RDX (36,900 ppb) and TNT (16,600 ppb) in surface water. The site is considered to be of potential public health concern because of the risk to human health caused by the possibility of exposure to hazardous substances via ground water, surface water, soil, sediment, and air.

  4. Landscape Management: Field Supervisor.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newton, Deborah; Newton, Steve

    This module is the third volume in a series of instructional materials on landscape management. The materials are designed to help teachers train students in the job skills they will need in landscape occupations. The module contains six instructional units that cover the following topics: orientation; basic landscape design principles; irrigation…

  5. Assessing Landscapes to Support Watershed Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    As we change the face of the landscape in the United States with urban development and agriculture practices, the alterations can cause stormwater runoff, soil erosion and water pollution. Therefore, evaluating or assessing natural landscapes and providing the tools to do the...

  6. Oregon Hydrologic Landscapes: A Classification Framework

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is a growing need for hydrologic classification systems that can provide a basis for broad-scale assessments of the hydrologic functions of landscapes and watersheds and their responses to stressors such as climate change. We developed a hydrologic landscape (HL) classifica...

  7. ANALYTICAL TOOLS INTERFACE FOR LANDSCAPE ASSESSMENTS (ATTILA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Landscape Ecology Branch in cooperation with U.S. EPA Region 4 and TVA have developed a user friendly interface to facilitate with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS have become a powerful tool in the field of landscape ecology. A common application of GIS is the gener...

  8. Dynamics of Vegetatin Indices in Tropical and Subtropical Savannas Defined by Ecoregions and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectoradiometer (MODIS) Land Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, Michael J.; Roman, Miguel O.; Schaaf, Crytal B.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we explored the capacity of vegetation indices derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectance products to characterize global savannas in Australia, Africa and South America. The savannas were spatially defined and subdivided using the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) global ecoregions and MODIS land cover classes. Average annual profiles of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, shortwave infrared ratio (SWIR32), White Sky Albedo (WSA) and the Structural Scattering Index (SSI) were created. Metrics derived from average annual profiles of vegetation indices were used to classify savanna ecoregions. The response spaces between vegetation indices were used to examine the potential to derive structural and fractional cover measures. The ecoregions showed distinct temporal profiles and formed groups with similar structural properties, including higher levels of woody vegetation, similar forest savanna mixtures and similar grassland predominance. The potential benefits from the use of combinations of indices to characterize savannas are discussed.

  9. Seasonal variation in the relative dominance of herbivore guilds in an African savanna.

    PubMed

    Davies, Andrew B; van Rensburg, Berndt J; Robertson, Mark P; Levick, Shaun R; Asner, Gregory P; Parr, Catherine L

    2016-06-01

    African savannas are highly seasonal with a diverse array of both mammalian and invertebrate herbivores, yet herbivory studies have focused almost exclusively on mammals. We conducted a 2-yr exclosure experiment in South Africa's Kruger National Park to measure the relative impact of these two groups of herbivores on grass removal at both highly productive patches (termite mounds) and in the less productive savanna matrix. Invertebrate and mammalian herbivory was greater on termite mounds, but the relative importance of each group changed over time. Mammalian offtake was higher than invertebrates in the dry season, but can be eclipsed by invertebrates during the wet season when this group is more active. Our results demonstrate that invertebrates play a substantial role in savanna herbivory and should not be disregarded in attempts to understand the impacts of herbivory on ecosystems. PMID:27459791

  10. An index of ecological integrity for the Mississippi alluvial plain ecoregion: index development and relations to selected landscape variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Justus, B.G.

    2003-01-01

    Macroinvertebrate community, fish community, water-quality, and habitat data collected from 36 sites in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain Ecoregion during 1996-98 by the U.S. Geological Survey were considered for a multimetric test of ecological integrity. Test metrics were correlated to site scores of a Detrended Correspondence Analysis of the fish community (the biological community that was the most statistically significant for indicating ecological conditions in the ecoregion) and six metrics--four fish metrics, one chemical metric (total ammonia plus organic nitrogen) and one physical metric (turbidity)--having the highest correlations were selected for the index. Index results indicate that sites in the northern half of the study unit (in Arkansas and Missouri) were less degraded than sites in the southern half of the study unit (in Louisiana and Mississippi). Of 148 landscape variables evaluated, the percentage of Holocene deposits and cotton insecticide rates had the highest correlations to index of ecological integrity results. sites having the highest (best) index scores had the lowest percentages of Holocene deposits and the lowest cotton insecticide use rates, indicating that factors relating to the amount of Holocene deposits and cotton insecticide use rates partially explain differences in ecological conditions throughout the Mississippi Alluvial Plain Ecoregion.

  11. Interpreting climate-modulated processes of terrace development along the Colorado Front Range using a landscape evolution model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langston, Abigail L.; Tucker, Gregory E.; Anderson, Robert S.

    2015-10-01

    Flights of terraces that flank range fronts throughout the Rocky Mountains record episodic stream incision over the past 1.5 Ma. Studies dating terraces in the Denver Basin along the Colorado Front Range suggest that these high surfaces were formed during glacial intervals and were rapidly incised and abandoned during interglacials. Modulation of sediment supply or transport capacity associated with climate change related to glacial-interglacial cycles have been suggested as possible drivers for the repeated aggradation and abandonment of these high surfaces. Potential mechanisms for increasing sediment supply and transport in rivers include variations over time in sediment flux from intermittently glaciated major valleys, the efficiency of hillslope sediment transport, and the magnitude and timing of rainfall intensity and stream flow. In this study, we use a landscape evolution model to determine whether any of these processes, in isolation or in combination, is sufficient to explain the observed rates and patterns of terrace formation and abandonment along the Colorado piedmont. Cycles of channel aggradation and incision are apparent in the models when either mean rainfall intensity is varied or a glacial source of sediment is added. The models suggest that in the absence of a large addition of sediment to the streams, changes in stream power are necessary to allow channel aggradation and the planation of bedrock surfaces, and increased sediment flux from hillslopes is necessary to match observations of increased denudation rates that coincide with the deposition of terrace-capping gravels.

  12. Sources and sinks of methane in the African savanna. CH sub 4 emissions from biomass burning

    SciTech Connect

    Delmas, R.A.; Marenco, A. ); Tathy, J.P.; Cros, B. ); Baudet, J.G.R. )

    1991-04-20

    Sources and sinks of atmospheric methane are studied in savanna regions of west and central Africa. Flux measured over dry savanna soils, using static chambers, is always negative, the average uptake rate being 2 {times} 10{sup 10} molecules/cm{sup 2}/s. In these regions, sources are linked to biomass burning. Methane and CO{sub 2} emission from combustion of savanna plants and wood is studied by both field experiments and laboratory experiments using a combustion chamber. For savanna plants most of the carbon (85%) contained in the biomaterial is volatilized as CO{sub 2} and 0.1 to 0.25% as methane. For graminaceous plants like loudetia simplex the ratio C-CH{sub 4}/C-CO{sub 2} is 0.11%; it is 0.28% for hyparrhenia the other main type of savanna plants and it attains 1.4% for the combustion of wood. In natural fire plumes this ratio is around 0.26% for savanna fires and 0.56 to 2.22% for forest fires. These results show that methane release is highly dependent on the type of combustion. Methane to CO{sub 2} ratios are also studied in vertical profiles in the troposphere taken during the TROPOZ I campaign, an aerial research expedition carried out over west Africa during the bushfire period. Within polluted layers, the average ratio of CH{sub 4} to CO{sub 2} excess over ambient air concentration is 0.34%. These results show that biomass burning in tropical Africa constitutes an important source of atmospheric methane estimated to about 9.2 {times} 10{sup 6} T (CH{sub 4})/yr.

  13. Fuel biomass and combustion factors associated with fires in savanna ecosystems of South Africa and Zambia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shea, Ronald W.; Shea, Barbara W.; Kauffman, J. Boone; Ward, Darold E.; Haskins, Craig I.; Scholes, Mary C.

    1996-10-01

    Fires are dominant factors in shaping the structure and composition of vegetation in African savanna ecosystems. Emissions such as CO2, NOx, CH4, and other compounds originating from these fires are suspected to contribute substantially to changes in global biogeochemical processes. Limited quantitative data exist detailing characteristics of biomass, burning conditions, and the postfire environment in African savannas. Fourteen test sites, differentiated by distinct burn frequency histories and land-use patterns, were established and burned during August and September 1992 in savanna parklands of South Africa and savanna woodlands of Zambia. Vegetation physiognomy, available fuel loads, the levels of biomass consumed by fire, environmental conditions, and fire behavior are described. In the South African sites, total aboveground fuel loads ranged from 2218 to 5492 kg ha-1 where fire return intervals were 1-4 years and exceeded 7000 kg ha-1 at a site subjected to 38 years of fire exclusion. However, fireline intensity was only 1419 kW m-1 at the fire exclusion site, while ranging from 480 to 6130 kW m-1 among the frequent fire sites. In Zambia, total aboveground fuel loads ranged from 3164 kg ha-1 in a hydromorphic grassland to 7343 kg ha-1 in a fallow shifting cultivation site. Dormant grass and litter constituted 70-98% of the total fuel load among all sites. Although downed woody debris was a relatively minor fuel component at most sites, it constituted 43-57% of the total fuel load in the fire exclusion and shifting cultivation sites. Fire line intensity ranged between 1734 and 4061 kW m-1 among all Zambian sites. Mean grass consumption generally exceeded 95%, while downed woody debris consumption ranged from 3 to 73% at all sites. In tropical savannas and savanna woodlands of southern Africa, differences in environmental conditions, land- use patterns, and fire regimes influence vegetation characteristics and thus influence fire behavior and biomass

  14. Contrasting photosynthetic characteristics of forest vs. savanna species (Far North Queensland, Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloomfield, K. J.; Domingues, T. F.; Saiz, G.; Bird, M. I.; Crayn, D. M.; Ford, A.; Metcalfe, D. J.; Farquhar, G. D.; Lloyd, J.

    2014-12-01

    Forest and savanna are the two dominant vegetation types of the tropical regions with very few tree species common to both. At a broad scale, it has long been recognised that the distributions of these two biomes are principally governed by precipitation and its seasonality, but with soil physical and chemical properties also potentially important. For tree species drawn from a range of forest and savanna sites in tropical Far North Queensland, Australia, we compared leaf traits of photosynthetic capacity, structure and nutrient concentrations. Area-based photosynthetic capacity was higher for the savanna species with a steeper slope to the photosynthesis ↔ nitrogen (N) relationship compared with the forest group. Higher leaf mass per unit leaf area for the savanna trees derived from denser rather than thicker leaves and did not appear to restrict rates of light-saturated photosynthesis when expressed on either an area or mass basis. Median ratios of foliar N to phosphorus (P) were relatively high (>20) at all sites, but we found no evidence for a dominant P limitation of photosynthesis for either forest or savanna trees. A parsimonious mixed-effects model of area-based photosynthetic capacity retained vegetation type and both N and P as explanatory terms. Resulting model-fitted predictions suggested a good fit to the observed data (R2 = 0.82). The model's random component found variation in area-based photosynthetic response to be much greater among species (71% of response variance) than across sites (9%). These results suggest that, on a leaf-area basis, savanna trees of Far North Queensland, Australia, are capable of photosynthetically outperforming forest species at their common boundaries.

  15. Rapid Leaf Deployment Strategies in a Deciduous Savanna.

    PubMed

    February, Edmund Carl; Higgins, Steven Ian

    2016-01-01

    Deciduous plants avoid the costs of maintaining leaves in the unfavourable season, but carry the costs of constructing new leaves every year. Deciduousness is therefore expected in ecological situations with pronounced seasonality and low costs of leaf construction. In our study system, a seasonally dry tropical savanna, many trees are deciduous, suggesting that leaf construction costs must be low. Previous studies have, however, shown that nitrogen is limiting in this system, suggesting that leaf construction costs are high. Here we examine this conundrum using a time series of soil moisture availability, leaf phenology and nitrogen distribution in the tree canopy to illustrate how trees resorb nitrogen before leaf abscission and use stored reserves of nitrogen and carbon to construct new leaves at the onset of the growing season. Our results show that trees deployed leaves shortly before and in anticipation of the first rains with its associated pulse of nitrogen mineralisation. Our results also show that trees rapidly constructed a full canopy of leaves within two weeks of the first rains. We detected an increase in leaf nitrogen content that corresponded with the first rains and with the movement of nitrogen to more distal branches, suggesting that stored nitrogen reserves are used to construct leaves. Furthermore the stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) of these leaves suggest the use of stored carbon for leaf construction. Our findings suggest that the early deployment of leaves using stored nitrogen and carbon reserves is a strategy that is integrally linked with the onset of the first rains. This strategy may confer a competitive advantage over species that deploy leaves at or after the onset of the rains. PMID:27310398

  16. Rapid Leaf Deployment Strategies in a Deciduous Savanna

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Deciduous plants avoid the costs of maintaining leaves in the unfavourable season, but carry the costs of constructing new leaves every year. Deciduousness is therefore expected in ecological situations with pronounced seasonality and low costs of leaf construction. In our study system, a seasonally dry tropical savanna, many trees are deciduous, suggesting that leaf construction costs must be low. Previous studies have, however, shown that nitrogen is limiting in this system, suggesting that leaf construction costs are high. Here we examine this conundrum using a time series of soil moisture availability, leaf phenology and nitrogen distribution in the tree canopy to illustrate how trees resorb nitrogen before leaf abscission and use stored reserves of nitrogen and carbon to construct new leaves at the onset of the growing season. Our results show that trees deployed leaves shortly before and in anticipation of the first rains with its associated pulse of nitrogen mineralisation. Our results also show that trees rapidly constructed a full canopy of leaves within two weeks of the first rains. We detected an increase in leaf nitrogen content that corresponded with the first rains and with the movement of nitrogen to more distal branches, suggesting that stored nitrogen reserves are used to construct leaves. Furthermore the stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) of these leaves suggest the use of stored carbon for leaf construction. Our findings suggest that the early deployment of leaves using stored nitrogen and carbon reserves is a strategy that is integrally linked with the onset of the first rains. This strategy may confer a competitive advantage over species that deploy leaves at or after the onset of the rains. PMID:27310398

  17. The development of quick, robust, quantitative phenotypic assays for describing the host–nonhost landscape to stripe rust

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Andrew M.; Bettgenhaeuser, Jan; Gardiner, Matthew; Green, Phon; Hernández-Pinzón, Inmaculada; Hubbard, Amelia; Moscou, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Nonhost resistance is often conceptualized as a qualitative separation from host resistance. Classification into these two states is generally facile, as they fail to fully describe the range of states that exist in the transition from host to nonhost. This poses a problem when studying pathosystems that cannot be classified as either host or nonhost due to their intermediate status relative to these two extremes. In this study, we investigate the efficacy of the Poaceae-stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis Westend.) interaction for describing the host–nonhost landscape. First, using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and Brachypodium distachyon (L.) P. Beauv. We observed that macroscopic symptoms of chlorosis and leaf browning were associated with hyphal colonization by P. striiformis f. sp. tritici, respectively. This prompted us to adapt a protocol for visualizing fungal structures into a phenotypic assay that estimates the percent of leaf colonized. Use of this assay in intermediate host and intermediate nonhost systems found the frequency of infection decreases with evolutionary divergence from the host species. Similarly, we observed that the pathogen’s ability to complete its life cycle decreased faster than its ability to colonize leaf tissue, with no incidence of pustules observed in the intermediate nonhost system and significantly reduced pustule formation in the intermediate host system as compared to the host system, barley-P. striiformis f. sp. hordei. By leveraging the stripe rust pathosystem in conjunction with macroscopic and microscopic phenotypic assays, we now hope to dissect the genetic architecture of intermediate host and intermediate nonhost resistance using structured populations in barley and B. distachyon. PMID:26579142

  18. Satellite-based automated burned area detection: A performance assessment of the MODIS MCD45A1 in the Brazilian savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araújo, Fernando Moreira De; Ferreira, Laerte G.

    2015-04-01

    Burnings, which cause major changes to the environment, can be effectively monitored via satellite data, regarding both the identification of active fires and the estimation of burned areas. Among the many orbital sensors suitable for mapping burned areas on global and regional scales, the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), on board the Terra and Aqua platforms, has been the most widely utilized. In this study, the performance of the MODIS MCD45A1 burned area product was thoroughly evaluated in the Brazilian savanna, the second largest biome in South America and a global biodiversity hotspot, characterized by a conspicuous climatic seasonality and the systematic occurrence of natural and anthropogenic fires. Overall, September MCD45A1 polygons (2000-2012) compared well to the Landsat-based reference mapping (r2 = 0.92) and were closely accompanied, on a monthly basis, by MOD14 and MYD14 hotspots (r2 = 0.89), although large omissions errors, linked to landscape patterns, structures, and overall conditions depicted in each reference image, were observed. In spite of its spatial and temporal limitations, the MCD45A1 product proved instrumental for mapping and understanding fire behavior and impacts on the Cerrado landscapes.

  19. Implementation of a Time Series Analysis for the Assessment of the Role of Climate Variability in a Post-Disturbance Savanna System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibbes, C.; Southworth, J.; Waylen, P. R.

    2013-05-01

    How do climate variability and climate change influence vegetation cover and vegetation change in savannas? A landscape scale investigation of the effect of changes in precipitation on vegetation is undertaken through the employment of a time series analysis. The multi-national study region is located within the Kavango-Zambezi region, and is delineated by the Okavango, Kwando, and Zambezi watersheds. A mean-variance time-series analysis quantifies vegetation dynamics and characterizes vegetation response to climate. The spatially explicit approach used to quantify the persistence of vegetation productivity permits the extraction of information regarding long term climate-landscape dynamics. Results show a pattern of reduced mean annual precipitation and increased precipitation variability across key social and ecological areas within the study region. Despite decreased mean annual precipitation since the mid to late 1970's vegetation trends predominantly indicate increasing biomass. The limited areas which have diminished vegetative cover relate to specific vegetation types, and are associated with declines in precipitation variability. Results indicate that in addition to short term changes in vegetation cover, long term trends in productive biomass are apparent, relate to spatial differences in precipitation variability, and potentially represent shifts vegetation composition. This work highlights the importance of time-series analyses for examining climate-vegetation linkages in a spatially explicit manner within a highly vulnerable region of the world.

  20. SAVANNAH RIVER BASIN LANDSCAPE ANALYSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4, Science and Ecosystem Support Division, enlisted the assistance of the landscape ecology group of U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Exposure Research Laboratory, Environmental Sci...

  1. Units of Instruction in Landscape and Nursery Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iowa State Univ. of Science and Technology, Ames. Dept. of Agricultural Education.

    This set of teacher-developed instructional units is intended for use in secondary-level vocational agriculture courses dealing with landscape and nursery management courses. The following topics are covered in the individual units: identification of landscape plants, selection of landscape plants, understanding soils and fertilizers, water…

  2. Evaluating channel morphology in small watersheds of oak savannas Southeastern New Mexico, USA: Do seasonal prescribed burn treatments have a significant impact on sediment processes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koestner, Karen; Neary, Daniel; Gottfried, Gerald; Tecle, Aregai

    2010-05-01

    Oak-savannas comprise over 80,000 km2 of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. However, there is a paucity of data to assist in the management of this vast ecotype. Fire, which was once the most important natural disturbance in this system, has been excluded due to over-grazing and fire suppression practices. This has resulted in ecosystem changes and fuel accumulations. Prescribed fire is one management technique to restore natural processes within southwestern oak-savannas by reducing woody species density, increasing herbaceous plant production, and creating vegetative mosaics on the landscape. However, questions concerning the seasonality of burn treatments and the overall effects of these treatments on physical and ecological processes need to be addressed prior to broad management application. The Cascabel Watershed Study is a collaborative effort between multiple government agencies, universities, local land managers, and environmental interest groups to evaluate the impacts of warm and cool season burn treatments on an array of ecosystem processes. Established in 2000, the Cascabel Watershed study takes an "ecosystem approach" to watershed research by examining an array of physical and biological components, including geomorphologic, climatologic, hydrologic, and biologic (flora and fauna) data to determine ecosystem response to prescribed fire. The 182.6 ha study area is located in the eastern Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico at about the 1,640 m elevation. It consists of 12 small watersheds dominated by an oak (Quercus spp.) overstory and bunch-grass (Bouteloua spp.), savanna component. The parent material is fine-grained Tertiary rhyolite that is part of an extensive lava field that was formed about 25 to 27 M ybp. A US Forest Service soil survey in the area classified 45% of the soils as Typic Haplustolls, coarse-loamy, mixed, mesic, 25% as Typic Haplustalfs, and 15% rock outcrops. Here, we evaluate within-channel processes to establish

  3. Cancer Genome Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Vogelstein, Bert; Papadopoulos, Nickolas; Velculescu, Victor E.; Zhou, Shibin; Diaz, Luis A.; Kinzler, Kenneth W.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past decade, comprehensive sequencing efforts have revealed the genomic landscapes of common forms of human cancer. For most cancer types, this landscape consists of a small number of “mountains” (genes altered in a high percentage of tumors) and a much larger number of “hills” (genes altered infrequently). To date, these studies have revealed ~140 genes that, when altered by intragenic mutations, can promote or “drive” tumorigenesis. A typical tumor contains two to eight of these “driver gene” mutations; the remaining mutations are passengers that confer no selective growth advantage. Driver genes can be classified into 12 signaling pathways that regulate three core cellular processes: cell fate, cell survival, and genome maintenance. A better understanding of these pathways is one of the most pressing needs in basic cancer research. Even now, however, our knowledge of cancer genomes is sufficient to guide the development of more effective approaches for reducing cancer morbidity and mortality. PMID:23539594

  4. Landscapes Impacted by Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arellano, B.; Roca, J.

    2016-06-01

    The gradual spread of urbanization, the phenomenon known under the term urban sprawl, has become one of the paradigms that have characterized the urban development since the second half of the twentieth century and early twenty-first century. However, there is no unanimous consensus about what means "urbanization". The plurality of forms of human settlement on the planet difficult to identify the urbanization processes. The arrival of electrification to nearly every corner of the planet is certainly the first and more meaningful indicator of artificialization of land. In this sense, the paper proposes a new methodology based on the analysis of the satellite image of nighttime lights designed to identify the highly impacted landscapes worldwide and to build an index of Land Impacted by Light per capita (LILpc) as an indicator of the level of urbanization. The used methodology allows the identification of different typologies of urbanized areas (villages, cities or metropolitan areas), as well as "rural", "rurban", "periurban" and "central" landscapes. The study identifies 186,134 illuminated contours (urbanized areas). In one hand, 404 of these contours could be consider as real "metropolitan areas"; and in the other hand, there are 161,821 contours with less than 5,000 inhabitants, which could be identify as "villages". Finally, the paper shows that 44.5 % live in rural areas, 15.5 % in rurban spaces, 26.2 % in suburban areas and only 18.4 % in central areas.

  5. Spatial modeling of personalized exposure dynamics: the case of pesticide use in small-scale agricultural production landscapes of the developing world

    PubMed Central

    Leyk, Stefan; Binder, Claudia R; Nuckols, John R

    2009-01-01

    Background Pesticide poisoning is a global health issue with the largest impacts in the developing countries where residential and small-scale agricultural areas are often integrated and pesticides sprayed manually. To reduce health risks from pesticide exposure approaches for personalized exposure assessment (PEA) are needed. We present a conceptual framework to develop a spatial individual-based model (IBM) prototype for assessing potential exposure of farm-workers conducting small-scale agricultural production, which accounts for a considerable portion of global food crop production. Our approach accounts for dynamics in the contaminant distributions in the environment, as well as patterns of movement and activities performed on an individual level under different safety scenarios. We demonstrate a first prototype using data from a study area in a rural part of Colombia, South America. Results Different safety scenarios of PEA were run by including weighting schemes for activities performed under different safety conditions. We examined the sensitivity of individual exposure estimates to varying patterns of pesticide application and varying individual patterns of movement. This resulted in a considerable variation in estimates of magnitude, frequency and duration of exposure over the model runs for each individual as well as between individuals. These findings indicate the influence of patterns of pesticide application, individual spatial patterns of movement as well as safety conditions on personalized exposure in the agricultural production landscape that is the focus of our research. Conclusion This approach represents a conceptual framework for developing individual based models to carry out PEA in small-scale agricultural settings in the developing world based on individual patterns of movement, safety conditions, and dynamic contaminant distributions. The results of our analysis indicate our prototype model is sufficiently sensitive to differentiate and

  6. Cydonia Landscape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    The Cydonia region on Mars straddles the boundary between the bright, dusty, cratered highlands to the southeast and the dark, relatively dust-free, lowland plains to the west. The countless mesas and buttes that cover the region are testament to the former presence of vast layers of material that have been stripped back over the eons leaving the isolated remnants seen in this THEMIS image. Evidence of larger masses of these remnants is visible to the south in the MOLA context image. Note the lobes of ejecta emanating from the large crater in the upper right of the THEMIS image. This style of ejecta is thought to arise when an impact occurs into water or ice-rich material, indicating that at least at the time of the impact such material was present.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  7. Comparisons of savanna functioning, phenology, and disturbance in Brazil and Australia using MODIS and TRMM satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratana, P.; Huete, A. R.; Ferreira, L. G.; Ma, X.; Restrepo-Coupe, N.

    2013-12-01

    The savanna biome is comprised of complex vegetation structures with multifunctional herbaceous (grass) and woody (tree- shrub) layers, each responding uniquely to different environmental controls. Globally, their rich biodiversity is under pressure from land conversion to crops, pastures, grazing activities, and fire. A better understanding of their vegetation functioning, seasonal dynamics and phenology, and responses to climate, disturbance, and management practices is needed. This study focuses on two contrasting tropical savanna regions; the Brazilian cerrado and the savanna biome in northern Australia. The cerrado has open to closed woodlands and is the most intensively converted (pastures), whereas the Australian savanna is relatively undisturbed and encompasses both wet and dry savanna classes along an ecological rainfall gradient. We investigated these environmental and management drivers on savanna class seasonal functioning patterns using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation index (VI) time series from 2000 to 2013 combined with rainfall data over the same time period from the Tropical Rainfall Monitoring Mission (TRMM). We found unique seasonal/ phenological vegetation response patterns with varying tree- grass ratios, rainfall seasonal distribution, and magnitude of land conversion and management. Temporal VI profiles of both regions depicted high seasonal contrasts in vegetation production over the pronounced dry and wet seasons, and seasonal amplitude variations varied negatively with the presence and extent of woody tree cover. We found pronounced shifts in seasonal/ phenology patterns in both Brazilian cerrado and Australian savanna induced by land conversion. Lastly, sensitivity to climate variability was greatest in the areas dominated with low tree-grass ratios.

  8. Effects of Precommercial Thinning and Midstory Control on Avian and Small Mammal Communities during Longleaf Pine Savanna Restoration.

    SciTech Connect

    Lane, Vanessa R; Kilgo, John C

    2015-01-01

    Abstract - Restoring longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) savanna is a goal of many southern land managers, and longleaf plantations may provide a mechanism for savanna restoration. However, the effects of silvicultural treatments used in the management of longleaf pine plantations on wildlife communities are relatively unknown. Beginning in 1994, we examined effects of longleaf pine restoration with plantation silviculture on avian and small mammal communities using four treatments in four 8- to 11- year-old plantations within the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Treatments included prescribed burning every 3 to 5 years, plus: (1) no additional treatment (burn-only control); (2) precommercial thinning; (3) non-pine woody control with herbicides; and (4) combined thinning and woody control. We surveyed birds (1996-2003) using 50-m point counts and small mammals with removal trapping. Thinning and woody control alone had short-lived effects on avian communities, and the combination treatment increased avian parameters over the burn-only control in all years. Small mammal abundance showed similar trends as avian abundance for all three treatments when compared with the burn-only control, but only for 2 years post-treatment. Both avian and small mammal communities were temporarily enhanced by controlling woody vegetation with chemicals in addition to prescribed fire and thinning. Therefore, precommercial thinning in longleaf plantations, particularly when combined with woody control and prescribed fire, may benefit early-successional avian and small mammal communities by developing stand conditions more typical of natural longleaf stands maintained by periodic fire.

  9. Sustainable Land Management and Adult Education: Issues for the Stakeholders of Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benson, Rebecca

    1998-01-01

    Sustainable land management is an important consideration for stakeholders in Australia's tropical savannas. Land-management-education providers must deal with issues of access and the impact of values and perceptions on behavior. Adult educators must take on the role of negotiating attitudes and beliefs among stakeholders. (SK)

  10. Ecology and management of savannas and semi-deserts of central Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetation of western pampas of central Argentina comprises: caldera, local name of a savanna to woodland ecosystem dominated by Prosopis caldenia; short-grassland and dune-grassland. The area include the central La Pampa and southern San Luis provinces, following a western precipitation gradient fr...

  11. STRUCTURE OF MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES IN NATIVE AND CONVERTED SAVANNA AREAS OF CENTRAL BRAZIL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Brazilian savannas (Cerrado) have suffered drastic changes in land use with major conversion of native areas to agriculture since 1960. Burning, both due to natural conditions and as a human-induced practice, is a common event during the dry season (April to September) and plays ...

  12. Fire controls population structure in four dominant tree species in a tropical savanna.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Caroline E R; Prior, Lynda D; Bowman, David M J S

    2009-09-01

    The persistence of mesic savannas has been theorised as being dependent on disturbances that restrict the number of juveniles growing through the sapling size class to become fire-tolerant trees. We analysed the population structures of four dominant tropical savanna tree species from 30 locations in Kakadu National Park (KNP), northern Australia. We found that across KNP as a whole, the population size structures of these species do not exhibit recruitment bottlenecks. However, individual stands had multimodal size-class distributions and mixtures of tree species consistent with episodic and individualistic recruitment of co-occurring tree species. Using information theory and multimodel inference, we examined the relative importance of fire frequency, stand basal area and elevation difference between a site and permanent water in explaining variations in the proportion of sapling to adult stems in four dominant tree species. This showed that the proportion of the tree population made up of saplings was negatively related to both fire frequencies and stand basal area. Overall, fire frequency has density-dependent effects in the regulation of the transition of saplings to trees in this Australian savanna, due to interactions with stem size, regeneration strategies, growth rates and tree-tree competition. Although stable at the regional scale, the spatiotemporal variability of fire can result in structural and floristic diversity of savanna tree populations. PMID:19629532

  13. Spatial-temporal distribution of fire-protected savanna physiognomies in Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Marcelo H O; Azevedo, Thiago S de; Monteiro, Reinaldo

    2010-06-01

    The analysis of the influence of edaphic finer textures, as a facilitating factor for the expansion of forest formations in the absence of fire, was possible thanks to rare characteristics found in a savanna fragment located in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The total suppression of fire for over four decades, and the occurrence of two savanna physiognomies, cerrado sensu stricto and cerradão, allowed the conduction of this study based on the hypothesis that cerradão, a physiognomy of forest aspect consisting of fire-sensitive tree and shrubs species, is favored by fire absence and higher soil hydric retention capacity. Edaphic samples were collected from a regular grid of 200 m(2) for the production of isopletic maps of the distribution of clay, fine sand, coarse sand and silt edaphic textures by the geostatistic method of ordinary kriging. Changes in the areas occupied by both savanna physiognomies, defined on the basis of aerial photographs taken over a period of 43 years, were assessed through mean variation rates. Besides corroborating the hypothesis of edaphic hydric retention as a facilitating factor for the expansion of forest physiognomies in savanna areas, we were able to infer the positive influence of higher precipitation on the increase in cerradão expansion rates. PMID:20563419

  14. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savanna plant community composition explained by total herbivory, not herbivore identity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The replacement of wild ungulate herbivores by domestic livestock in African savannas is composed of two interrelated phenomena: 1) loss or reduction in numbers of individual wildlife species or guilds, and 2) addition of livestock to the system. Yet very few studies have addressed the individual, c...

  15. RELATIONSHIP OF MICROBIAL COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND CARBON DYNAMICS IN SOILS FROM BRAZILIAN SAVANNAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fertilization is a widespread management practice in savanna areas of central Brazil (Cerrado) that are undergoing rapid agricultural land use changes. We conducted field and laboratory studies in soils with added fertilizers to determine the effect that fertilization of native a...

  16. SEASONAL SOIL FLUXES OF CARBON MONOXIDE IN BURNED AND UNBURNED BRAZILIAN SAVANNAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Soil-atmosphere fluxes of carbon monoxide (CO) were measured from September 1999 through November 2000 in savanna areas in central Brazil (Cerrado) under different fire regimes using transparent and opaque static chambers. Studies focused on two vegetation types, cerrado stricto...

  17. Stability of elemental carbon in a savanna soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bird, M. I.; Moyo, C.; Veenendaal, E. M.; Lloyd, J.; Frost, P.

    1999-12-01

    We have investigated the stability of oxidation-resistant elemental carbon (OREC) in a sandy savanna soil at the Matopos fire trial site, Zimbabwe. The protection of some soil plots from fire for the last 50 years at this site has enabled a comparison of OREC abundances between those plots which have been protected from fire and plots which have continued to be burnt. The total 0-5 cm OREC inventory of the soil protected from fire is estimated to be 2.0±0.5 mg cm-2; approximately half the "natural" OREC inventory at the study site of 3.8±0.5 mg cm-2 (the mean for plots burnt every 1-5 years). The associated half-life for natural OREC loss from the 0-5 cm interval of the protected plots is calculated to be <100 years, with the half-life for large carbonized particles (>2000 μm) in the soil being considerably <50 years. These results suggest that at least in well-aerated tropical soil environments, charcoal and OREC can be can be significantly degraded on decadal to centennial timescales. OREC abundance and carbon-isotope data suggest that OREC in coarse particles is progressively degraded into finer particle sizes, with a concomitant increase in resistance to oxidative degradation of OREC in the finer particle sizes due to the progressive loss of more readily degraded OREC. It remains unclear whether the OREC that is degraded is oxidized completely to CO2 and subsequently emitted from the soil, reduced to a sufficiently small particle size to be illuviated to deeper parts of the soil profile, solubilized and lost from the profile as dissolved organic carbon or transmuted into a chemical form which is susceptible to attack by the acid-dichromate reagent. The conclusion that a significant proportion of OREC can undergo natural degradation in well-aerated environments on decadal/centennial timescales suggests that only a fraction of the total production of OREC from biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion is likely to be sequestered in the slow

  18. (U-Th)/He Age Elevation Profiles from the Adamello Batholith (Southern Alps, Italy): Possible Insights into the Miocene Landscape Development of the European Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reverman, R.

    2009-12-01

    Alpine landscapes are developed through the complex interplay between tectonics and climate. However, the nature of this interplay is still poorly understood. Age elevation profiles, especially those for low temperature thermochronometers, provide high resolution near surface exhumation rates. These rates can be used to constrain the rate of surface relief development in response to climatic and/or tectonic events. In this study we present the first apatite (U-TH) /He ages for two vertical profiles from the Adamello batholith (Southern Alps, Italy). These initial ages span the Miocene and suggest at least two periods of accelerated cooling. The Adamello batholith is the largest of the Tertiary intrusions along the Insubric line in the European Alps and is bound by two major faults, the Tonale line and the Giudicarie line. Major river systems within the massif drain south to the Po Plain. This makes it an ideal location to determine the role and magnitude of known tectonic events (Giudicarie phase shortening in the Tortonian) and climatic events (Messinian Salinity crisis and Neogene glaciation) in the recent development of alpine relief. Further work will include 4He/3He analysis, zircon (U-Th)/He dating and apatite fission-track analysis.

  19. Another Paper Landscape?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radlak, Ted

    2001-01-01

    Describes the University of Toronto's extensive central campus revitalization plan to create lush landscapes that add to the school's image and attractiveness. Drawings and photographs are included. (GR)

  20. Contrasting photosynthetic characteristics of forest vs. savanna species (far North Queensland, Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloomfield, K. J.; Domingues, T. F.; Saiz, G.; Bird, M. I.; Crayn, D. M.; Ford, A.; Metcalfe, D. J.; Farquhar, G. D.; Lloyd, J.

    2014-06-01

    Forest and savanna are the two dominant vegetation types of the tropical regions with very few tree species common to both. Aside from precipitation patterns, boundaries between these two vegetation types are strongly determined by soil characteristics and nutrient availability. For tree species drawn from a range of forest and savanna sites in tropical far north Queensland, Australia, we compared leaf traits of photosynthetic capacity, structure and nutrient concentrations. Area-based photosynthetic capacity was higher for the savanna species with a steeper slope to the photosynthesis ↔ Nitrogen relationship compared with the forest group. Higher leaf mass per unit leaf area for the savanna trees derived from denser rather than thicker leaves and did not appear to restrict rates of light-saturated photosynthesis when expressed on either an area- or mass-basis. Median ratios of foliar N to phosphorus were above 20 at all sites, but we found no evidence for a dominant P-limitation of photosynthesis for the forest group. A parsimonious mixed-effects model of area-based photosynthetic capacity retained vegetation type and both N and P as explanatory terms. Resulting model-fitted predictions suggested a good fit to the observed data (R2 = 0.82). The model's random component found variation in area-based photosynthetic response to be much greater among species (71% of response variance) than across sites (9%). These results suggest that in leaf area-based photosynthetic terms, savanna trees of far north Queensland, Australia are capable of out-performing forest species at their common boundaries1. 1 Adopted symbols and abbreviations are defined in Table 5.

  1. LANDSCAPE SCALE INDICATORS OF MINING ACTIVITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators of stress are used by the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) to quantify the status, trends and changes of ecological goods and services. The purpose of developing landscape indicators of stress is to identify environmental and ecological...

  2. Toronto: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spelt, Jacob

    1984-01-01

    In the course of history, the Toronto, Canada, landscape has acquired many interesting and attractive features. The history of its urban renewal projects, suburban expansion, inner city change, residential preservation and stabilization, and central city development is examined. (RM)

  3. Managing landscape disturbances to increase watershed infiltration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural land undergoing conversion to conventional urban development can drastically increase runoff and degrade water quality. A study of landscape management for improving watershed infiltration was conducted using readily available runoff data from experimental watersheds. This article focus...

  4. Development of edge effects around experimental ecosystem hotspots is affected by edge density and matrix type

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecological edge effects are sensitive to landscape context. In particular, edge effects can be altered by matrix type and by the presence of other nearby edges. We experimentally altered patch configurations in an African savanna to determine how edge density and matrix type influence edge effect de...

  5. Imprint of oaks on nitrogen availability and δ15N in California grassland-savanna: A case of enhanced N inputs?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perakis, S.S.; Kellogg, C.H.

    2007-01-01

    Woody vegetation is distributed patchily in many arid and semi-arid ecosystems, where it is often associated with elevated nitrogen (N) pools and availability in islands of fertility. We measured N availability and δ15N in paired blue-oak versus annual grass dominated patches to characterize the causes and consequences of spatial variation in N dynamics of grassland-savanna in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. We found significantly greater surface soil N pools (0–20 cm) in oak patches compared to adjacent grass areas across a 700 m elevation gradient from foothills to the savanna-forest boundary. N accumulation under oaks was associated with a 0.6‰ depletion in soil δ15N relative to grass patches. Results from a simple δ15N mass balance simulation model, constrained by surface soil N and δ15N measured in the field, suggest that the development of islands of N fertility under oaks can be traced primarily to enhanced N inputs. Net N mineralization and percent nitrification in laboratory incubations were consistently higher under oaks across a range of experimental soil moisture regimes, suggesting a scenario whereby greater N inputs to oak patches result in net N accumulation and enhanced N cycling, with a potential for greater nitrate loss as well. N concentrations of three common herbaceous annual plants were nearly 50% greater under oak than in adjacent grass patches, with community composition shifted towards more N-demanding species under oaks. We find that oaks imprint distinct N-rich islands of fertility that foster local feedback between soil N cycling, plant N uptake, and herbaceous community composition. Such patch-scale differences in N inputs and plant–soil interactions increase biogeochemical heterogeneity in grassland-savanna ecosystems and may shape watershed-level responses to chronic N deposition.

  6. Scale-dependent bi-trophic interactions in a semi-arid savanna: how herbivores eliminate benefits of nutrient patchiness to plants.

    PubMed

    van der Waal, Cornelis; de Kroon, Hans; van Langevelde, Frank; de Boer, Willem F; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Slotow, Rob; Pretorius, Yolanda; Prins, Herbert H T

    2016-08-01

    The scale of resource heterogeneity may influence how resources are locally partitioned between co-existing large and small organisms such as trees and grasses in savannas. Scale-related plant responses may, in turn, influence herbivore use of the vegetation. To examine these scale-dependent bi-trophic interactions, we varied fertilizer [(nitrogen (N)/phosphorus (P)/potassium (K)] applications to patches to create different scales of nutrient patchiness (patch size 2 × 2 m, 10 × 10 m, or whole-plot 50 × 50 m) in a large field experiment in intact African savanna. Within-patch fertilizer concentration and the total fertilizer load per plot were independently varied. We found that fertilization increased the leaf N and P concentrations of trees and grasses, resulting in elevated utilization by browsers and grazers. Herbivory off-take was particularly considerable at higher nutrient concentrations. Scale-dependent effects were weak. The net effect of fertilization and herbivory was that plants in fertilized areas tended to grow less and develop smaller rather than larger standing biomass compared to plants growing in areas that remained unfertilized. When all of these effects were considered together at the community (plot) level, herbivory completely eliminated the positive effects of fertilization on the plant community. While this was true for all scales of fertilization, grasses tended to profit more from coarse-grained fertilization and trees from fine-grained fertilization. We conclude that in herbivore-dominated communities, such as the African savanna, nutrient patchiness results in the herbivore community profiting rather more than the plant community, irrespective of the scale of patchiness. At the community level, the allometric scaling theory's prediction of plant-and probably also animal-production does not hold or may even be reversed as a result of complex bi-trophic interactions. PMID:27094543

  7. A Smartphone Application for Landscape Plants: A Case Study and Guide to Developing a Decision-Making Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hansen, Gail; Purcell, Scott

    2012-01-01

    Smart phone applications are rapidly gaining popularity, and Extension programs are eager to use this teaching tool. But developing an application can be time intensive and costly. Students in environmental horticulture at the University of Florida teamed with the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program to develop an application with an extensive…

  8. Buildings Interoperability Landscape

    SciTech Connect

    Hardin, Dave; Stephan, Eric G.; Wang, Weimin; Corbin, Charles D.; Widergren, Steven E.

    2015-12-31

    Through its Building Technologies Office (BTO), the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE) is sponsoring an effort to advance interoperability for the integration of intelligent buildings equipment and automation systems, understanding the importance of integration frameworks and product ecosystems to this cause. This is important to BTO’s mission to enhance energy efficiency and save energy for economic and environmental purposes. For connected buildings ecosystems of products and services from various manufacturers to flourish, the ICT aspects of the equipment need to integrate and operate simply and reliably. Within the concepts of interoperability lie the specification, development, and certification of equipment with standards-based interfaces that connect and work. Beyond this, a healthy community of stakeholders that contribute to and use interoperability work products must be developed. On May 1, 2014, the DOE convened a technical meeting to take stock of the current state of interoperability of connected equipment and systems in buildings. Several insights from that meeting helped facilitate a draft description of the landscape of interoperability for connected buildings, which focuses mainly on small and medium commercial buildings. This document revises the February 2015 landscape document to address reviewer comments, incorporate important insights from the Buildings Interoperability Vision technical meeting, and capture thoughts from that meeting about the topics to be addressed in a buildings interoperability vision. In particular, greater attention is paid to the state of information modeling in buildings and the great potential for near-term benefits in this area from progress and community alignment.

  9. Epistasis and the Structure of Fitness Landscapes: Are Experimental Fitness Landscapes Compatible with Fisher's Geometric Model?

    PubMed

    Blanquart, François; Bataillon, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    The fitness landscape defines the relationship between genotypes and fitness in a given environment and underlies fundamental quantities such as the distribution of selection coefficient and the magnitude and type of epistasis. A better understanding of variation in landscape structure across species and environments is thus necessary to understand and predict how populations will adapt. An increasing number of experiments investigate the properties of fitness landscapes by identifying mutations, constructing genotypes with combinations of these mutations, and measuring the fitness of these genotypes. Yet these empirical landscapes represent a very small sample of the vast space of all possible genotypes, and this sample is often biased by the protocol used to identify mutations. Here we develop a rigorous statistical framework based on Approximate Bayesian Computation to address these concerns and use this flexible framework to fit a broad class of phenotypic fitness models (including Fisher's model) to 26 empirical landscapes representing nine diverse biological systems. Despite uncertainty owing to the small size of most published empirical landscapes, the inferred landscapes have similar structure in similar biological systems. Surprisingly, goodness-of-fit tests reveal that this class of phenotypic models, which has been successful so far in interpreting experimental data, is a plausible in only three of nine biological systems. More precisely, although Fisher's model was able to explain several statistical properties of the landscapes-including the mean and SD of selection and epistasis coefficients-it was often unable to explain the full structure of fitness landscapes. PMID:27052568

  10. New emission factors for Australian vegetation fires measured using open-path Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy - Part 2: Australian tropical savanna fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, T. E. L.; Paton-Walsh, C.; Meyer, C. P.; Cook, G. D.; Maier, S. W.; Russell-Smith, J.; Wooster, M. J.; Yates, C. P.

    2014-10-01

    Savanna fires contribute approximately 40-50% of total global annual biomass burning carbon emissions. Recent comparisons of emission factors from different savanna regions have highlighted the need for a regional approach to emission factor development, and better assessment of the drivers of the temporal and spatial variation in emission factors. This paper describes the results of open-path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopic field measurements at 21 fires occurring in the tropical savannas of the Northern~Territory, Australia, within different vegetation assemblages and at different stages of the dry season. Spectra of infrared light passing through a long (22-70 m) open-path through ground-level smoke released from these fires were collected using an infrared lamp and a field-portable FTIR system. The IR spectra were used to retrieve the mole fractions of 14 different gases present within the smoke, and these measurements used to calculate the emission ratios and emission factors of the various gases emitted by the burning. Only a handful of previous emission factor measures are available specifically for the tropical savannas of Australia and here we present the first reported emission factors for methanol, acetic acid, and formic acid for this biome. Given the relatively large sample size, it was possible to study the potential causes of the within-biome variation of the derived emission factors. We find that the emission factors vary substantially between different savanna vegetation assemblages; with a majority of this variation being mirrored by variations in the modified combustion efficiency (MCE) of different vegetation classes. We conclude that a significant majority of the variation in the emission factor for trace gases can be explained by MCE, irrespective of vegetation class, as illustrated by variations in the calculated methane emission factor for different vegetation classes using data sub-set by different combustion efficiencies

  11. New emission factors for Australian vegetation fires measured using open-path Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy - Part 2: Australian tropical savanna fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, T. E. L.; Paton-Walsh, C.; Meyer, C. P.; Cook, G. D.; Maier, S. W.; Russell-Smith, J.; Wooster, M. J.; Yates, C. P.

    2014-03-01

    Savanna fires contribute approximately 40-50% of total global annual biomass burning carbon emissions. Recent comparisons of emission factors from different savanna regions have highlighted the need for a regional approach to emission factor development, and better assessment of the drivers of the temporal and spatial variation in emission factors. This paper describes the results of open-path Fourier Transform Infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopic field measurements at twenty-one fires occurring in the tropical savannas of the Northern Territory, Australia, within different vegetation assemblages and at different stages of the dry season. Spectra of infrared light passing through a long (22-70 m) open-path through ground-level smoke released from these fires were collected using an infrared lamp and a field-portable FTIR system. The IR spectra were used to retrieve the mole fractions of fourteen different gases present within the smoke, and these measurements used to calculate the emission ratios and emission factors of the various gases emitted by the burning. Only a handful of previous emission factor measures are available specifically for the tropical savannas of Australia and here we present the first reported emission factors for methanol, acetic acid, and formic acid for this biome. Given the relatively large sample size, it was possible to study the potential causes of the within-biome variation of the derived emission factors. We find that the emission factors vary substantially between different savanna vegetation assemblages; with a majority of this variation being mirrored by variations in the modified combustion efficiency (MCE) of different vegetation classes. We conclude that a significant majority of the variation in the emission factor for trace gases can be explained by MCE, irrespective of vegetation class, as illustrated by variations in the calculated methane emission factor for different vegetation classes using data subsetted by different

  12. The effect of carbon credits on savanna land management and priorities for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Douglass, Lucinda L; Possingham, Hugh P; Carwardine, Josie; Klein, Carissa J; Roxburgh, Stephen H; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Wilson, Kerrie A

    2011-01-01

    Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent) on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1-2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments. PMID:21935363

  13. Monitoring drought impact on Mediterranean oak savanna vegetation using remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Dugo, Maria P.; Carpintero, Elisabet; Andreu, Ana

    2015-04-01

    A holm oak savanna, known as dehesa in Spain and montado in Portugal, is the largest agroforest ecosystem in Europe, covering about 3 million hectares in the Iberian Peninsula and Greece (Papanastasis et al., 2004). It is considered an example of sustainable land use, supporting a large number of species and diversity of habitats and for its importance in rural development and economy (Plieninger et al., 2001). It is a combination between an agricultural and a naturally vegetated ecosystem, consisting of widely-spaced oak trees (mostly Quercus Ilex and Quercus suber) combined with a sub-canopy composed by crops, annual grassland and/or shrubs. It has a Mediterranean climate with severe periodic droughts. In the last decades, this system is being exposed to multiple threats derived from socio-economic changes and intensive agricultural use, which have caused environmental degradation, including tree decline, changes in soil properties and hydrological processes, and an increase of soil erosion (Coelho et al., 2004). Soil water dynamics plays a central role in the current decline and reduction of forested areas that jeopardizes the preservation of the system. In this work, a series of remotely sensed images since 1990 to present was used to evaluate the effect of several drought events occurred in the study area (1995, 2009, 2010/2011) on the tree density and water status. Data from satellites Landsat and field measurements have been combined in a spectral mixture model to assess separately the evolution of tree, dry grass and bare soil ground coverage. Only summer images have been used to avoid the influence of the green herbaceous layer on the analysis. Thermal data from the same sensors and meteorological information are integrated in a two source surface energy balance model to compute the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) and evaluate the vegetation water status. The results have provided insights about the severity of each event and the spatial distribution of

  14. The Effect of Carbon Credits on Savanna Land Management and Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Douglass, Lucinda L.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Carwardine, Josie; Klein, Carissa J.; Roxburgh, Stephen H.; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Wilson, Kerrie A.

    2011-01-01

    Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent) on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1–2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments. PMID:21935363

  15. Isolation-by-distance in landscapes: considerations for landscape genetics.

    PubMed

    van Strien, M J; Holderegger, R; Van Heck, H J

    2015-01-01

    In landscape genetics, isolation-by-distance (IBD) is regarded as a baseline pattern that is obtained without additional effects of landscape elements on gene flow. However, the configuration of suitable habitat patches determines deme topology, which in turn should affect rates of gene flow. IBD patterns can be characterized either by monotonically increasing pairwise genetic differentiation (for example, FST) with increasing interdeme geographic distance (case-I pattern) or by monotonically increasing pairwise genetic differentiation up to a certain geographical distance beyond which no correlation is detectable anymore (case-IV pattern). We investigated if landscape configuration influenced the rate at which a case-IV pattern changed to a case-I pattern. We also determined at what interdeme distance the highest correlation was measured between genetic differentiation and geographic distance and whether this distance corresponded to the maximum migration distance. We set up a population genetic simulation study and assessed the development of IBD patterns for several habitat configurations and maximum migration distances. We show that the rate and likelihood of the transition of case-IV to case-I FST-distance relationships was strongly influenced by habitat configuration and maximum migration distance. We also found that the maximum correlation between genetic differentiation and geographic distance was not related to the maximum migration distance and was measured across all deme pairs in a case-I pattern and, for a case-IV pattern, at the distance where the FST-distance curve flattens out. We argue that in landscape genetics, separate analyses should be performed to either assess IBD or the landscape effects on gene flow. PMID:25052412

  16. Isolation-by-distance in landscapes: considerations for landscape genetics

    PubMed Central

    van Strien, M J; Holderegger, R; Van Heck, H J

    2015-01-01

    In landscape genetics, isolation-by-distance (IBD) is regarded as a baseline pattern that is obtained without additional effects of landscape elements on gene flow. However, the configuration of suitable habitat patches determines deme topology, which in turn should affect rates of gene flow. IBD patterns can be characterized either by monotonically increasing pairwise genetic differentiation (for example, FST) with increasing interdeme geographic distance (case-I pattern) or by monotonically increasing pairwise genetic differentiation up to a certain geographical distance beyond which no correlation is detectable anymore (case-IV pattern). We investigated if landscape configuration influenced the rate at which a case-IV pattern changed to a case-I pattern. We also determined at what interdeme distance the highest correlation was measured between genetic differentiation and geographic distance and whether this distance corresponded to the maximum migration distance. We set up a population genetic simulation study and assessed the development of IBD patterns for several habitat configurations and maximum migration distances. We show that the rate and likelihood of the transition of case-IV to case-I FST–distance relationships was strongly influenced by habitat configuration and maximum migration distance. We also found that the maximum correlation between genetic differentiation and geographic distance was not related to the maximum migration distance and was measured across all deme pairs in a case-I pattern and, for a case-IV pattern, at the distance where the FST–distance curve flattens out. We argue that in landscape genetics, separate analyses should be performed to either assess IBD or the landscape effects on gene flow. PMID:25052412

  17. The global risk landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2015-03-01

    Initiatives aimed at preserving or enhancing the state of the environment are created in a broad political landscape influenced by, among other things, perceived risks. We take a brief look at this risk landscape in the run up to Paris 2015.

  18. Instrumentation, monitoring and hydrology of an experimental small catchment in the Brazilian savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodrigues, Lineu; Roosevelt, Antonio; Marioti, Juliana; Wallender, Wesley; Steenhuis, Tammo

    2010-05-01

    from 3.5 (regular bean) to 9.2 (wheat). Root depth varied from 0.17 m (annual crops) to 5 m (natural vegetation). To date, policymakers lack scientific evidence on the consequences for growth, poverty alleviation or environmental sustainability of alternative uses of water resources, such as the increase of water resources demand in the savannas that will probably occur due to increasing of biofuel production in the region. In the future the development of irrigation water use will increase conflicts not only between farmers but also between farmers and city dwellers. Before this occurs, a well designed strategy that optimizes sustainable water use has to be in place. Realistically this can only be accomplished when data such as collected here are available taking into account that a well instrumented basin does not imply that the basin is being well monitored.

  19. The farmer as a landscape steward: Comparing local understandings of landscape stewardship, landscape values, and land management actions.

    PubMed

    Raymond, Christopher M; Bieling, Claudia; Fagerholm, Nora; Martin-Lopez, Berta; Plieninger, Tobias

    2016-03-01

    We develop a landscape stewardship classification which distinguishes between farmers' understanding of landscape stewardship, their landscape values, and land management actions. Forty semi-structured interviews were conducted with small-holder (<5 acres), medium-holders (5-100 acres), and large-holders (>100 acres) in South-West Devon, UK. Thematic analysis revealed four types of stewardship understandings: (1) an environmental frame which emphasized the farmers' role in conserving or restoring wildlife; (2) a primary production frame which emphasized the farmers' role in taking care of primary production assets; (3) a holistic frame focusing on farmers' role as a conservationist, primary producer, and manager of a range of landscape values, and; (4) an instrumental frame focusing on the financial benefits associated with compliance with agri-environmental schemes. We compare the landscape values and land management actions that emerged across stewardship types, and discuss the global implications of the landscape stewardship classification for the engagement of farmers in landscape management. PMID:26346276

  20. Human-environment interactions and sustainable urban development: Spatial modeling and landscape prediction the case of Nang Rong town, Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varnakovida, Pariwate

    It is now well-recognized that, at local, regional, and global scales, land use changes are significantly altering land cover, perhaps at an accelerating pace. Further, the world's scientific community is increasingly recognizing what, in retrospect, should have been obvious, that human behavior and agency is a critical driver of Land Cover and Land Use Change. In this research, using recently developed computer modeling procedures and a rich case study, I develop spatially-explicit model-based simulations of LULCC scenarios within the rubric of sustainability science for Nang Rong town, Thailand. The research draws heavily on recent work in geography and complexity theory. A series of scenarios were built to explore different development trajectories based upon empirically observed relationships. The development models incorporate a) history and spatial pattern of village settlement; b) road development and changing geographic accessibility; c) population; d) biophysical characteristics and e) social drivers. This research uses multi-temporal and spatially-explicit data, analytic results, and dynamic modeling approaches combined with to describe, explain, and explore LULCC as the consequences of different production theories for rural, small town urbanization in the South East Asian context. Two Agent Based models were built: 1) Settlement model and 2) Land-use model. The Settlement model suggests that new development will emerge along the existing road network especially along the major highway and in close proximity to the urban center. If the population doubles in 2021, the settlement process may inhibit development along some corridors creating low density sprawl. The Land-use model under the urban expansion scenario suggests that new settlements will occur in close proximity to the town center and roads; even though, the area is suitable for rice farming or located on a flood plain. The Land-use model under the cash-crop expansion scenario captures that new

  1. THE ECOLOGICAL EFFECTIVENESS OF PONDS AND WETLANDS AS "BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPS)" FOR STREAMS IN DEVELOPING LANDSCAPES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ponds and constructed wetlands, also referred to as detention/retention basins, have a long history as best management practices (BMPs) used to mitigate the impacts of stormwater runoff from developed lands on receiving waters. Initially designed for flood control by peak flow at...

  2. Methane emissions from termites - landscape level estimates and methods of measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamali, Hizbullah; Livesley, Stephen J.; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Arndt, Stefan K.

    2013-04-01

    Termites contribute between <5 and 19% of the global methane emissions. These estimates have large uncertainties because of the limited number of field-based studies and species investgated, as well as issues of diurnal and seasonal variations. We measured methane fluxes from four common mound-building termite species diurnally and seasonally in tropical savannas in the Northern Territory, Australia. Our results showed that there were significant diel and seasonal variations of methane emissions from termite mounds and we observed large species-specific differences. On a diurnal basis, methane fluxes were least at the coolest time of the day and greatest at the warmest for all species for both wet and dry seasons. We observed a strong and significant positive correlation between methane flux and mound temperature for all species. Fluxes in the wet season were 5-26-fold greater than those in the dry season and this was related to population dynamics of the termites. We observed significant relationships between mound methane flux and mound carbon dioxide flux, enabling the prediction of methane flux from measured carbon dioxide flux. However, these relationships were clearly termite species specific. We also determined significant relationships between mound flux and gas concentration inside mound, for both gases, and for all termite species, thereby enabling the prediction of flux from measured mound internal gas concentration. However, these relationships were also termite species specific. Consequently, there was no generic relationship that would enable an easier prediction of methane flux from termite mounds. On a landscape scale we estimated that termites were a methane source of +0.24 kg methane-C ha-1 year-1 whilst savanna soils were a methane sink of 1.14 kg methane-C ha-1 year-1. Termites therefore only offset 21% of methane consumed by savanna soil resulting in net sink strength of -0.90 kg methane-C ha-1 year-1 for these savannas. Assuming a similar

  3. Topo-edaphic Controls over Woody Biomass in South African Savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colgan, M.; Asner, G. P.; Levick, S. R.

    2009-12-01

    The influence of substrate type on woody plant growth is well documented in the granite and basalt savannas of Kruger National Park, South Africa. Over the past two decades field studies and airborne photography have shown the gradually undulating granitic landscapes support higher woody cover than the basaltic plains. Yet nested within these broader trends are significant variations in biomass at the hillslope scale (0.5-1km), and it is debated to what extent the gradual slopes and subtle relief exert a catena influence on woody biomass. These trends have been qualitatively observed in the field, especially on the granite substrates, but drawing clear correlations between vegetation and terrain is hampered in the field by limited visibility due to relatively gradual (1-2°) and long (hundreds of meters) hillslopes. Here airborne LiDAR reveals clear, quantifiable biomass trends at the hillslope spatial scale and at the resolution (~1m) necessary to resolve the heterogeneity inherent in an open-canopy system. Our aim is to investigate the importance of hillslope topographic and soil properties in controlling woody biomass relative to regional differences in parent material. Aboveground woody biomass (AGWB) was estimated using airborne LiDAR over seven sites in Kruger National Park (KNP) in April-May 2008. Sites were selected to encompass the park’s range of substrate types, as well as variation in precipitation, topography, and dominant vegetation types. Throughout these seven sites 202 field plots were collected during the same period to inform and validate airborne biomass estimates. Basal diameter, height, and species of 4,500+ trees spanning 50+ woody species were recorded, and existing field allometry was applied to estimate dry AGWB. When regressed individually, canopy height and canopy cover each explained approximately the same variation in biomass (R2=0.60). Using canopy cover from three height classes significantly improved goodness of fit (R2=0.80) and

  4. Methane fluxes from the mound-building termite species of North Australian savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamali, H.; Livesely, S. J.; Arndt, S. K.; Dawes-Gromadzki, T.; Cook, G. D.; Hutley, L.

    2009-04-01

    Termites are estimated to contribute 3-19% to the global methane emissions. These estimates have large uncertainties because of the limited number of field-based studies and species studied, as well as issues of diel and seasonal variation. We measured methane fluxes from four common mound-building termite species (Microcerotermes nervosus, n=26; M. serratus, n=4; Tumulitermes pastinator, n=5; and Amitermes darwini, n=4) in tropical savannas near Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia. Methane fluxes from replicated termite mounds were measured in the field using manual chambers with fluxes reported on a mound volume basis. Methane flux was measured in both wet and dry seasons and diel variation was investigated by measuring methane flux every 4 hours over a 24 hour period. Mound temperature was measured concurrently with flux to examine this relationship. In addition, five M. nervosus mounds removed from the field and incubated under controlled temperature conditions over a 24 hour period to remove the effect of varying temperature. During the observation campaigns, mean monthly minimum and maximum temperatures for February (wet season) were 24.7 and 30.8°C, respectively, and were 20.1 to 31.4 °C in June (dry season). Annual rainfall in 2008 for Darwin was 1970.1 mm, with a maximum of 670 mm falling in February and no rain in May and June. Methane fluxes were greatest in the wet season for all species, ranging from 265.1±101.1 (T. pastinator) to 2256.6±757.1 (M. serratus) µg CH4-C/m3/h. In the dry season, methane fluxes were at their lowest, ranging from 10.0±5.5 (T. pastinator) to 338.0±165.9 (M. serratus) µg CH4-C/m3/h. On a diel basis, methane fluxes were smallest at the coolest time of the day (~0700 hrs) and greatest at the warmest (~1400 hrs) for all species, and for both wet and dry seasons. Typical diel variation in flux from M. serratus dominated mounds ranged from 902.6±261.9 to 1392.1±408.1 µg CH4-C/m3/h in wet season and 99.6±57.4 to

  5. Multiple ecosystem services landscape index: a tool for multifunctional landscapes conservation.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Loinaz, Gloria; Alday, Josu G; Onaindia, Miren

    2015-01-01

    The contribution of ecosystems to human well-being has been widely recognised. Taking into account existing trade-offs between ecosystem services (ES) at the farm scale and the dependence of multiple ES on processes that take place at the landscape scale, long-term preservation of multifunctional landscapes must be a priority. Studies carried out from such perspective, and those that develop appropriate indicators, could provide useful tools for integrating ES in landscape planning. In this study we propose a new integrative environmental indicator based on the ES provided by the landscape and named "multiple ecosystem services landscape index" (MESLI). Because synergies and trade-offs between ES are produced at regional or local levels, being different from those perceived at larger scales, MESLI was developed at municipality level. Furthermore, in order to identify main drivers of change in ES provision at the landscape scale an analysis of the relationship between the environmental and the socioeconomic characteristics of the municipalities was carried out. The study was located in the Basque Country and the results demonstrated that the MESLI index is a good tool to measure landscape multifunctionality at local scales. It is effective evaluating landscapes, distinguishing between municipalities based on ES provision, and identifying the drivers of change and their effects. This information about ES provisioning at the local level is usually lacking; therefore, MESLI would be very useful for policy-makers and land managers because it provides relevant information to local scale decision-making. PMID:25265555

  6. Integrating Landscape Ecology and Geoinformatics to Decipher Landscape Dynamics for Regional Planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dikou, Angela; Papapanagiotou, Evangelos; Troumbis, Andreas

    2011-09-01

    We used remote sensing and GIS in conjunction with multivariate statistical methods to: (i) quantify landscape composition (land cover types) and configuration (patch density, diversity, fractal dimension, contagion) for five coastal watersheds of Kalloni gulf, Lesvos Island, Greece, in 1945, 1960, 1971, 1990 and 2002/2003, (ii) evaluate the relative importance of physical (slope, geologic substrate, stream order) and human (road network, population density) variables on landscape composition and configuration, and (iii) characterize processes that led to land cover changes through land cover transitions between these five successive periods in time. Distributions of land cover types did not differ among the five time periods at the five watersheds studied because the largest cumulative changes between 1945 and 2002/2003 did not take place at dominant land cover types. Landscape composition related primarily to the physical attributes of the landscape. Nevertheless, increase in population density and the road network were found to increase heterogeneity of the landscape mosaic (patchiness), complexity of patch shape (fractal dimension), and patch disaggregation (contagion). Increase in road network was also found to increase landscape diversity due to the creation of new patches. The main processes involved in land cover changes were plough-land abandonment and ecological succession. Landscape dynamics during the last 50 years corroborate the ecotouristic-agrotouristic model for regional development to reverse trends in agricultural land abandonment and human population decline and when combined with hypothetical regulatory approaches could predict how this landscape could develop in the future, thus, providing a valuable tool to regional planning.

  7. The effects of gap size and disturbance type on invasion of wet pine savanna by cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (Poaceae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, S.E.; Grace, J.B.

    2000-01-01

    Cogongrass is a nonindigenous species perceived to threaten native communities of the southeastern United States through modification of species composition and alteration of community processes. To examine how gap size and disturbance type influence the invasion of wet pine savannas by cogongrass, we performed three field experiments to evaluate the response of cogongrass seeds and transplanted seedlings to four different gap sizes, four types of site disturbance, and recent burning of savanna vegetation. Cogongrass germinated, survived, and grew in all gap sizes, from 0 to 100 cm in diameter. Similarly, disturbance type had no effect on germination or seedling and transplant survival. Tilling, however, significantly enhanced transplanted seedling growth, resulting in a tenfold increase in biomass over the other disturbance types. Seedling survival to 1 and 2 mo was greater in burned savanna than unburned savanna, although transplant survival and growth were not affected by burning. Results of this study suggest that cogongrass can germinate, survive, and grow in wet pine savanna communities regardless of gap size or type of disturbance, including burning. Burning of savanna vegetation may enhance establishment by improving early seedling survival, and soil disturbance can facilitate invasion of cogongrass by enhancing plant growth.

  8. The effects of gap size and disturbance type on invasion of wet pine savanna by cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (Poaceae).

    PubMed

    King, S E; Grace, J B

    2000-09-01

    Cogongrass is a nonindigenous species perceived to threaten native communities of the southeastern United States through modification of species composition and alteration of community processes. To examine how gap size and disturbance type influence the invasion of wet pine savannas by cogongrass, we performed three field experiments to evaluate the response of cogongrass seeds and transplanted seedlings to four different gap sizes, four types of site disturbance, and recent burning of savanna vegetation. Cogongrass germinated, survived, and grew in all gap sizes, from 0 to 100 cm in diameter. Similarly, disturbance type had no effect on germination or seedling and transplant survival. Tilling, however, significantly enhanced transplanted seedling growth, resulting in a tenfold increase in biomass over the other disturbance types. Seedling survival to 1 and 2 mo was greater in burned savanna than unburned savanna, although transplant survival and growth were not affected by burning. Results of this study suggest that cogongrass can germinate, survive, and grow in wet pine savanna communities regardless of gap size or type of disturbance, including burning. Burning of savanna vegetation may enhance establishment by improving early seedling survival, and soil disturbance can facilitate invasion of cogongrass by enhancing plant growth. PMID:10991899

  9. Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Signature of Adaptation to Landscape Fragmentation

    PubMed Central

    Ikonen, Suvi; Auvinen, Petri; Paulin, Lars; Koskinen, Patrik; Holm, Liisa; Taipale, Minna; Duplouy, Anne; Ruokolainen, Annukka; Saarnio, Suvi; Sirén, Jukka; Kohonen, Jukka; Corander, Jukka; Frilander, Mikko J.; Ahola, Virpi; Hanski, Ilkka

    2014-01-01

    We characterize allelic and gene expression variation between populations of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) from two fragmented and two continuous landscapes in northern Europe. The populations exhibit significant differences in their life history traits, e.g. butterflies from fragmented landscapes have higher flight metabolic rate and dispersal rate in the field, and higher larval growth rate, than butterflies from continuous landscapes. In fragmented landscapes, local populations are small and have a high risk of local extinction, and hence the long-term persistence at the landscape level is based on frequent re-colonization of vacant habitat patches, which is predicted to select for increased dispersal rate. Using RNA-seq data and a common garden experiment, we found that a large number of genes (1,841) were differentially expressed between the landscape types. Hexamerin genes, the expression of which has previously been shown to have high heritability and which correlate strongly with larval development time in the Glanville fritillary, had higher expression in fragmented than continuous landscapes. Genes that were more highly expressed in butterflies from newly-established than old local populations within a fragmented landscape were also more highly expressed, at the landscape level, in fragmented than continuous landscapes. This result suggests that recurrent extinctions and re-colonizations in fragmented landscapes select a for specific expression profile. Genes that were significantly up-regulated following an experimental flight treatment had higher basal expression in fragmented landscapes, indicating that these butterflies are genetically primed for frequent flight. Active flight causes oxidative stress, but butterflies from fragmented landscapes were more tolerant of hypoxia. We conclude that differences in gene expression between the landscape types reflect genomic adaptations to landscape fragmentation. PMID:24988207

  10. Transcriptome analysis reveals signature of adaptation to landscape fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Somervuo, Panu; Kvist, Jouni; Ikonen, Suvi; Auvinen, Petri; Paulin, Lars; Koskinen, Patrik; Holm, Liisa; Taipale, Minna; Duplouy, Anne; Ruokolainen, Annukka; Saarnio, Suvi; Sirén, Jukka; Kohonen, Jukka; Corander, Jukka; Frilander, Mikko J; Ahola, Virpi; Hanski, Ilkka

    2014-01-01

    We characterize allelic and gene expression variation between populations of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) from two fragmented and two continuous landscapes in northern Europe. The populations exhibit significant differences in their life history traits, e.g. butterflies from fragmented landscapes have higher flight metabolic rate and dispersal rate in the field, and higher larval growth rate, than butterflies from continuous landscapes. In fragmented landscapes, local populations are small and have a high risk of local extinction, and hence the long-term persistence at the landscape level is based on frequent re-colonization of vacant habitat patches, which is predicted to select for increased dispersal rate. Using RNA-seq data and a common garden experiment, we found that a large number of genes (1,841) were differentially expressed between the landscape types. Hexamerin genes, the expression of which has previously been shown to have high heritability and which correlate strongly with larval development time in the Glanville fritillary, had higher expression in fragmented than continuous landscapes. Genes that were more highly expressed in butterflies from newly-established than old local populations within a fragmented landscape were also more highly expressed, at the landscape level, in fragmented than continuous landscapes. This result suggests that recurrent extinctions and re-colonizations in fragmented landscapes select a for specific expression profile. Genes that were significantly up-regulated following an experimental flight treatment had higher basal expression in fragmented landscapes, indicating that these butterflies are genetically primed for frequent flight. Active flight causes oxidative stress, but butterflies from fragmented landscapes were more tolerant of hypoxia. We conclude that differences in gene expression between the landscape types reflect genomic adaptations to landscape fragmentation. PMID:24988207

  11. The influence of parental effects on transcriptomic landscape during early development in brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis, Mitchill)

    PubMed Central

    Bougas, B; Audet, C; Bernatchez, L

    2013-01-01

    Parental effects represent an important source of variation in offspring phenotypes. Depending on the specific mechanisms involved, parental effects may be caused to different degrees by either the maternal or the paternal parent, and these effects may in turn act at different stages of development. To detect parental effects acting on gene transcription regulation and length phenotype during ontogeny, the transcriptomic profiles of two reciprocal hybrids from Laval × Rupert and Laval × Domestic populations of brook charr were compared at hatching, yolk sac resorption and 15 weeks after exogenous feeding. Using a salmonid cDNA microarray, our results show that parental effects modulated gene expression among reciprocal hybrids only at the yolk sac resorption stage. In addition, Laval × Domestic and Laval × Rupert reciprocal hybrids differed in the magnitude of theses parental effects, with 199 and 630 differentially expressed transcripts, respectively. This corresponds to a maximum of 18.5% of the analyzed transcripts. These transcripts are functionally related to cell cycle, nucleic acid metabolism and intracellular protein traffic, which is consistent with observed differences associated with embryonic development and growth differences in other fish species. Our results thus illustrate how parental effects on patterns of gene transcription seem dependent on the genetic architecture of the parents. In addition, in absence of transcriptional differences, non-transcript deposits in the yolk sac could contribute to the observed length differences among the reciprocal hybrids before yolk sac resorption. PMID:23299101

  12. Newly discovered landscape traps produce regime shifts in wet forests

    PubMed Central

    Lindenmayer, David B.; Hobbs, Richard J.; Likens, Gene E.; Krebs, Charles J.; Banks, Samuel C.

    2011-01-01

    We describe the “landscape trap” concept, whereby entire landscapes are shifted into, and then maintained (trapped) in, a highly compromised structural and functional state as the result of multiple temporal and spatial feedbacks between human and natural disturbance regimes. The landscape trap concept builds on ideas like stable alternative states and other relevant concepts, but it substantively expands the conceptual thinking in a number of unique ways. In this paper, we (i) review the literature to develop the concept of landscape traps, including their general features; (ii) provide a case study as an example of a landscape trap from the mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forests of southeastern Australia; (iii) suggest how landscape traps can be detected before they are irrevocably established; and (iv) present evidence of the generality of landscape traps in different ecosystems worldwide. PMID:21876151

  13. Changes in soil nitrogen storage and δ15N with woody plant encroachment in a subtropical savanna parkland landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutton, T. W.; Liao, J. D.

    2010-09-01

    Subtropical woodlands dominated by N-fixing tree legumes have largely replaced grasslands in the Rio Grande Plains, southwestern United States, during the past century. To evaluate the impact of this vegetation change on the N cycle, we measured the mass and isotopic composition (δ15N) of N in the soil system of remnant grasslands and woody plant stands ranging in age from 10 to 130 years. Nitrogen accumulated at linear rates following woody encroachment in the litter (0.10-0.14 g N m-2 yr-1), roots (0.63-0.98 g N m-2 yr-1), and soils (0.75-3.50 g N m-2 yr-1), resulting in a 50%-150% increase in N storage in the soil system (0-30 cm) in woody stands older than 60 years. Simultaneous decreases in soil δ15N of up to 2‰ in the upper 30 cm of the profile are consistent with a scenario in which N inputs have exceeded losses following woody encroachment and suggest N accrual was derived from symbiotic N fixation by tree legumes and/or differential atmospheric N deposition to wooded areas. Vertical uplift and lateral transfer of N by the more deeply and intensively rooted woody plants may have contributed to N accumulation in wooded areas, but soil δ15N values are inconsistent with this explanation. N accumulation following woody encroachment may alter soil N availability, species interactions and successional dynamics, flux rates of key trace gases such as NOX and N2O and ecosystem C sequestration. Given the geographic dimensions of woody encroachment, these results may have implications for atmospheric composition and the climate system.

  14. Aviation Medicine: global historical perspectives and the development of Aviation Medicine alongside the growth of Singapore's aviation landscape.

    PubMed

    Gan, W H; Low, R; Singh, J

    2011-05-01

    Aviation Medicine traces its roots to high altitude physiology more than 400 years ago. Since then, great strides have been made in this medical specialty, initially catalysed by the need to reduce pilot medical attrition during the World Wars, and more recently, fuelled by the explosive growth in globalised commercial air travel. This paper traces the historical milestones in Aviation Medicine, and maps its development in Singapore since the 1960s. Advancements in military aviation platforms and technology as well as the establishment of Singapore as an international aviation hub have propelled Aviation Medicine in Singapore to the forefront of many domains. These span Aviation Physiology training, selection medical standards, performance maximisation, as well as crew and passenger protection against communicable diseases arising from air travel. The year 2011 marks the centennial milestone of the first manned flight in Singapore, paving the way for further growth of Aviation Medicine as a mature specialty in Singapore. PMID:21633764

  15. Global alterations of the transcriptional landscape during yeast growth and development in the absence of Ume6-dependent chromatin modification.

    PubMed

    Lardenois, Aurélie; Becker, Emmanuelle; Walther, Thomas; Law, Michael J; Xie, Bingning; Demougin, Philippe; Strich, Randy; Primig, Michael

    2015-10-01

    Chromatin modification enzymes are important regulators of gene expression and some are evolutionarily conserved from yeast to human. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a major model organism for genome-wide studies that aim at the identification of target genes under the control of conserved epigenetic regulators. Ume6 interacts with the upstream repressor site 1 (URS1) and represses transcription by recruiting both the conserved histone deacetylase Rpd3 (through the co-repressor Sin3) and the chromatin-remodeling factor Isw2. Cells lacking Ume6 are defective in growth, stress response, and meiotic development. RNA profiling studies and in vivo protein-DNA binding assays identified mRNAs or transcript isoforms that are directly repressed by Ume6 in mitosis. However, a comprehensive understanding of the transcriptional alterations, which underlie the complex ume6Δ mutant phenotype during fermentation, respiration, or sporulation, is lacking. We report the protein-coding transcriptome of a diploid MAT a/α wild-type and ume6/ume6 mutant strains cultured in rich media with glucose or acetate as a carbon source, or sporulation-inducing medium. We distinguished direct from indirect effects on mRNA levels by combining GeneChip data with URS1 motif predictions and published high-throughput in vivo Ume6-DNA binding data. To gain insight into the molecular interactions between successive waves of Ume6-dependent meiotic genes, we integrated expression data with information on protein networks. Our work identifies novel Ume6 repressed genes during growth and development and reveals a strong effect of the carbon source on the derepression pattern of transcripts in growing and developmentally arrested ume6/ume6 mutant cells. Since yeast is a useful model organism for chromatin-mediated effects on gene expression, our results provide a rich source for further genetic and molecular biological work on the regulation of cell growth and cell differentiation in eukaryotes. PMID:25957495

  16. Behavioral Landscapes and Change in Behavioral Landscapes: A Multiple Time-Scale Density Distribution Approach

    PubMed Central

    Ram, Nilam; Coccia, Michael; Conroy, David; Lorek, Amy; Orland, Brian; Pincus, Aaron; Sliwinski, Martin; Gerstorf, Denis

    2013-01-01

    In developmental arenas, it is well accepted that multiple observations are needed to obtain a robust characterization of individuals’ behavioral tendencies across time and context. In this paper, we fuse core ideas from the study of lifespan development with intraindividual variability based approaches to personality and methods used to characterize the topography of geographic landscapes. We generalize the notion of density distributions into bivariate and multivariate space and draw parallels between the resulting behavioral landscapes and geographic landscapes. We illustrate through an empirical example how multiple time-scale study designs, measures of intraindividual variability, and methods borrowed from geography can be used to describe both an individual’s behavioral landscape and changes in the behavioral landscape. PMID:23914142

  17. Establishing an Ongoing Binational U.S.-Mexico Border Climate Diagnostic Summary: Developing a Prototype and Navigating the Institutional Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-05-01

    In its eighth report to the President and Congress of the United States, the Good Neighbor Environmental Board (an independent federal advisory committee, that advises the President and Congress on environmental practices and infrastructure needs along the U.S. border with Mexico) noted that management of water resources issues along the U.S. border with Mexico would be aided by data and information sharing. They encouraged agencies and institutions to make data accessible, and to exchange data and information, even on a limited or ad hoc basis, in order to build trust and the capacity for managers and staff on both sides of the border to collaborate and work together to solve problems of mutual interest. Although climate is merely one factor affecting decision makers, it can often be the "straw that breaks the camel's back." Along the arid and semiarid U.S. border with Mexico, population growth, industrialization, increasing water consumption, and other factors have exacerbated societal vulnerability to naturally occurring persistent climate phenomena, such as drought. In 2006, scientists from institutions in the U.S. and Mexico agreed to collaborate to address decision makers' pressing needs for climate information, by developing a climate diagnostic and outlook product in a format usable and easily accessible by managers and policy makers. The Border Climate Summary (Resumen del Climate de la Frontera), modeled after monthly climate newsletters produced in the U.S., provides a tangible and simple information tool to strengthen the basic capacity for climate information to be usefully incorporated into decision processes. The Summary provides forecasts and value-added information on temperature, precipitation, and drought within the region. However, in order for the Summary to be effective at reaching its intended audiences, collaborators must break through barriers posed by regulatory and institutional control. They must also identify key insertion points for

  18. Geoheritage, geotourism and cultural landscapes in Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, John E.

    2015-04-01

    Geoheritage is closely linked with many aspects of cultural heritage and the development of tourism in Scotland. Historically, aesthetic appreciation of the physical landscape and links with literature and art formed the foundation for tourism during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, exploration of the cultural links between geodiversity and landscape is providing new opportunities for raising awareness of geoheritage through literature, poetry, art and the built heritage. Interpreting the cultural dimension of geodiversity can enable people to connect with geodiversity through different experiences and a renewed sense of wonder about the physical landscape and the creative inspiration provided by geodiversity. It can also link geodiversity to cultural roots and sense of place, allowing exploration of different connections between people and the natural world. Such experiential engagement is promoted through the development of Geoparks. It requires thinking about how interpretation can add value to people's experiences and provide involvement that evokes a sense of wonder about the physical landscape. This means encouraging new and memorable experiential ways of interpreting the landscape and communicating its geological stories, not simply presenting information. Rediscovering a sense of wonder about the physical landscape through cultural links can enable wider public appreciation of geoheritage and help to develop greater support for geoconservation.

  19. Evidence of (pre-) historic to modern landscape development and land use history in Lower Lusatia (Brandenburg, Germany)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolay, Alexander; Raab, Alexandra; Raab, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    In the apron of three active lignite opencast pits in Lower Lusatia (Brandenburg, Germany), archaeological survey trenches were investigated in areas where Quaternary aeolian sand deposits are widespread. The investigated palaeoenvironmental archives in Jänschwalde, Cottbus-Nord and Welzow contain evidence of fluvial and aeolian morphodynamics, soil formation and agricultural land use from (pre-)historic to modern times. To study the age and the causes of sand drifting and landform stabilization, standard soil physical and chemical laboratory analyses as well as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon dating (14C) were carried out. Two main sedimentological units were identified: Unit 1 consists of glacio-fluvial and Late Weichselian aeolian sands representing the parent material for the native Podsol-Braunerde and Podsol development, while Unit 2 represents the Late Holocene aeolian deposits. Four periods of Late glacial and Holocene aeolian activity and three phases of geomorphological stability have been identified: (i) Aeolian sedimentation during the Late glacial, (ii) Mesolithic reactivation of aeolian processes, (iii) soil formation until Late Roman Iron Age settlers intensified the agricultural land use, (iv) intensive drift sand formation during the High Middle Ages due to agricultural expansion, (v) stabilization of the drift sands and weak soil formation, (vi) reactivation of aeolian processes due to the increasing wood consumption and charcoal production from the early 16th until the mid-19th century, (vii) surface stabilization and formation of Regosols since the mid-19th century due to afforestation.

  20. Why is a landscape perspective important in studies of primates?

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Fahrig, Lenore

    2014-10-01

    With accelerated deforestation and fragmentation through the tropics, assessing the impact that landscape spatial changes may have on biodiversity is paramount, as this information is required to design and implement effective management and conservation plans. Primates are expected to be particularly dependent on the landscape context; yet, our understanding on this topic is limited as the majority of primate studies are at the local scale, meaning that landscape-scale inferences are not possible. To encourage primatologists to assess the impact of landscape changes on primates, and help future studies on the topic, we describe the meaning of a "landscape perspective" and evaluate important assumptions of using such a methodological approach. We also summarize a number of important, but unanswered, questions that can be addressed using a landscape-scale study design. For example, it is still unclear if habitat loss has larger consistent negative effects on primates than habitat fragmentation per se. Furthermore, interaction effects between habitat area and other landscape effects (e.g., fragmentation) are unknown for primates. We also do not know if primates are affected by synergistic interactions among factors at the landscape scale (e.g., habitat loss and diseases, habitat loss and climate change, hunting, and land-use change), or whether landscape complexity (or landscape heterogeneity) is important for primate conservation. Testing for patterns in the responses of primates to landscape change will facilitate the development of new guidelines and principles for improving primate conservation. PMID:24715680

  1. Quaternary landscape development, alluvial fan chronology and erosion of the Mecca Hills at the southern end of the San Andreas Fault zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, Harrison J.; Owen, Lewis; Dietsch, Craig; Beck, Richard A.; Caffee, Marc A.; Finkelman, Robert B.; Mahan, Shannon

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative geomorphic analysis combined with cosmogenic nuclide 10Be-based geochronology and denudation rates have been used to further the understanding of the Quaternary landscape development of the Mecca Hills, a zone of transpressional uplift along the southern end of the San Andreas Fault, in southern California. The similar timing of convergent uplifts along the San Andreas Fault with the initiation of the sub-parallel San Jacinto Fault suggest a possible link between the two tectonic events. The ages of alluvial fans and the rates of catchment-wide denudation have been integrated to assess the relative influence of climate and tectonic uplift on the development of catchments within the Mecca Hills. Ages for major geomorphic surfaces based on 10Be surface exposure dating of boulders and 10Be depth profiles define the timing of surface stabilization to 2.6 +5.6/–1.3 ka (Qyf1 surface), 67.2 ± 5.3 ka (Qvof2 surface), and 280 ± 24 ka (Qvof1 surface). Comparison of 10Be measurements from active channel deposits (Qac) and fluvial terraces (Qt) illustrate a complex history of erosion, sediment storage, and sediment transport in this environment. Beryllium-10 catchment-wide denudation rates range from 19.9 ± 3.2 to 149 ± 22.5 m/Ma and demonstrate strong correlations with mean catchment slope and with total active fault length normalized by catchment area. The lack of strong correlation with other geomorphic variables suggests that tectonic uplift and rock weakening have the greatest control. The currently measured topography and denudation rates across the Mecca Hills may be most consistent with a model of radial topographic growth in contrast to a model based on the rapid uplift and advection of crust.

  2. Quaternary landscape development, alluvial fan chronology and erosion of the Mecca Hills at the southern end of the San Andreas Fault zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, Harrison J.; Owen, Lewis A.; Dietsch, Craig; Beck, Richard A.; Caffee, Marc A.; Finkel, Robert C.; Mahan, Shannon A.

    2014-12-01

    Quantitative geomorphic analysis combined with cosmogenic nuclide 10Be-based geochronology and denudation rates have been used to further the understanding of the Quaternary landscape development of the Mecca Hills, a zone of transpressional uplift along the southern end of the San Andreas Fault, in southern California. The similar timing of convergent uplifts along the San Andreas Fault with the initiation of the sub-parallel San Jacinto Fault suggest a possible link between the two tectonic events. The ages of alluvial fans and the rates of catchment-wide denudation have been integrated to assess the relative influence of climate and tectonic uplift on the development of catchments within the Mecca Hills. Ages for major geomorphic surfaces based on 10Be surface exposure dating of boulders and 10Be depth profiles define the timing of surface stabilization to 2.6 +5.6/-1.3 ka (Qyf1 surface), 67.2 ± 5.3 ka (Qvof2 surface), and 280 ± 24 ka (Qvof1 surface). Comparison of 10Be measurements from active channel deposits (Qac) and fluvial terraces (Qt) illustrate a complex history of erosion, sediment storage, and sediment transport in this environment. Beryllium-10 catchment-wide denudation rates range from 19.9 ± 3.2 to 149 ± 22.5 m/Ma and demonstrate strong correlations with mean catchment slope and with total active fault length normalized by catchment area. The lack of strong correlation with other geomorphic variables suggests that tectonic uplift and rock weakening have the greatest control. The currently measured topography and denudation rates across the Mecca Hills may be most consistent with a model of radial topographic growth in contrast to a model based on the rapid uplift and advection of crust.

  3. Pollen-rain-vegetation relationships along a forest-savanna transect in southeastern Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Vincens; Dubois; Guillet; Achoundong; Buchet; Kamgang Kabeyene Beyala V; de Namur C; Riera

    2000-07-01

    Modern soil and litter samples from southeastern Cameroon, collected along a continuous forest-savanna transect were analysed for pollen content to define modern pollen-vegetation relationships. The pollen results, completed and compared with botanical inventories, leaf area index and basal area measurements performed in the same area, clearly registered the physiognomy, the main floristic composition and floral richness of the two sampled ecosystems. Distortions were observed between sampled vegetations and their pollen rain, related to important differences in pollen production and dispersal of plant species: this is a general feature in many tropical regions. The pollen data in the area studied reflected well the recent transgression of forest versus savanna. This permitted us to define inside the forest ecosystem more successional vegetation communities than the botanical surveys allowed. PMID:10930605

  4. Tree Cover Bimodality in Savannas and Forests Emerging from the Switching between Two Fire Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    De Michele, Carlo; Accatino, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Moist savannas and tropical forests share the same climatic conditions and occur side by side. Experimental evidences show that the tree cover of these ecosystems exhibits a bimodal frequency distribution. This is considered as a proof of savanna–forest bistability, predicted by dynamic vegetation models based on non-linear differential equations. Here, we propose a change of perspective about the bimodality of tree cover distribution. We show, using a simple matrix model of tree dynamics, how the bimodality of tree cover can emerge from the switching between two linear dynamics of trees, one in presence and one in absence of fire, with a feedback between fire and trees. As consequence, we find that the transitions between moist savannas and tropical forests, if sharp, are not necessarily catastrophic. PMID:24663432

  5. Trace gas emissions to the atmosphere by biomass burning in the west African savannas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frouin, Robert J.; Iacobellis, Samuel F.; Razafimpanilo, Herisoa; Somerville, Richard C. J.

    1994-01-01

    Savanna fires and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) detection and estimating burned area using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer_(AVHRR) reflectance data are investigated in this two part research project. The first part involves carbon dioxide flux estimates and a three-dimensional transport model to quantify the effect of north African savanna fires on atmospheric CO2 concentration, including CO2 spatial and temporal variability patterns and their significance to global emissions. The second article describes two methods used to determine burned area from AVHRR data. The article discusses the relationship between the percentage of burned area and AVHRR channel 2 reflectance (the linear method) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (the nonlinear method). A comparative performance analysis of each method is described.

  6. Termites as Mediators of the Water Economy of Arid Savanna Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, S.

    2002-05-01

    Termites of the genus Macrotermes are major movers of carbon, minerals and soil through arid savanna ecosystems. They and their fungal symbionts concentrate cellulose digestion and metabolism in a tightly regulated nest environment, which results in a very high metabolic power density in the nest. Cellulose, their principal food, is a potent source of stored energy through the photosynthetic fixation of carbon dioxide. However, cellulose is also fixed water, which is released by its metabolism. Because of the highly seasonal rains in arid savannas, plants often experience drought conditions in the summer months. However, termite metabolism can make water available year-round to plants growing near termite colonies. Long-term variations in rainfall and drought (such as periodic El Nino events) can be further ameliorated by the regulated release of fixed water by termites.

  7. Relationships between avian richness and landscape structure at multiple scales using multiple landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, M.S.; Rutzmoser, S.H.; Wigley, T.B.; Loehle, C.; Gerwin, J.A.; Keyser, P.D.; Lancia, R.A.; Perry, R.W.; Reynolds, C.J.; Thill, R.E.; Weih, R.; White, D.; Wood, P.B.

    2006-01-01

    Little is known about factors that structure biodiversity on landscape scales, yet current land management protocols, such as forest certification programs, place an increasing emphasis on managing for sustainable biodiversity at landscape scales. We used a replicated landscape study to evaluate relationships between forest structure and avian diversity at both stand and landscape-levels. We used data on bird communities collected under comparable sampling protocols on four managed forests located across the Southeastern US to develop logistic regression models describing relationships between habitat factors and the distribution of overall richness and richness of selected guilds. Landscape models generated for eight of nine guilds showed a strong relationship between richness and both availability and configuration of landscape features. Diversity of topographic features and heterogeneity of forest structure were primary determinants of avian species richness. Forest heterogeneity, in both age and forest type, were strongly and positively associated with overall avian richness and richness for most guilds. Road density was associated positively but weakly with avian richness. Landscape variables dominated all models generated, but no consistent patterns in metrics or scale were evident. Model fit was strong for neotropical migrants and relatively weak for short-distance migrants and resident species. Our models provide a tool that will allow managers to evaluate and demonstrate quantitatively how management practices affect avian diversity on landscapes.

  8. Radiative transfer in shrub savanna sites in Niger: Preliminary results from HAPEX-Sahel. Part 1: Modelling surface reflectance using a geometric-optical approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Franklin, Janet; Duncan, Jeff; Huete, Alfredo R.; vanLeeuwen, W. J. D.; Li, Xiaowen; Begue, Agnes

    1994-01-01

    To use optical remote sensing to monitor land surface-climate interactions over large areas, algorithms must be developed to relate multispectral measurements to key variables controlling the exchange of matter (water, carbon dioxide) and energy between the land surface and the atmosphere. The proportion of the ground covered by vegetation and the interception of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) by vegetation are examples of two variables related to evapotranspiration and primary production, respectively. An areal-proportion model of the multispectral reflectance of shrub savanna, composed of scattered shrubs with a grass, forb or soil understory, predicted the reflectance of two 0.5 km(exp 2) sites as the area-weighted average of the shrub and understory or 'background' reflectances. Although the shaded crown and shaded background have darker reflectances, ignoring them in the area-weighted model is not serious when shrub cover is low and solar zenith angle is small. A submodel predicted the reflectance of the shrub crown as a function of the foliage reflectance and amount of plant material within the crown, and the background reflectance scattered or transmitted through canopy gaps (referred to as a soil-plant 'spectral interaction' term). One may be able to combine these two models to estimate both the fraction of vegetation cover and interception of PAR by green vegetation in a shrub savanna.

  9. Heat shock effects on seed germination of five Brazilian savanna species.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, L C; Pedrosa, M; Borghetti, F

    2013-01-01

    Fire is considered an important factor in influencing the physiognomy, dynamics and composition of Neotropical savannas. Species of diverse physiognomies exhibit different responses to fire, such as population persistence and seed mortality, according to the fire frequency to which they are submitted. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of heat shocks on seed germination of Anadenanthera macrocarpa (Benth.) Brenan, Dalbergia miscolobium Benth., Aristolochia galeata Mart. & Zucc., Kielmeyera coriacea (Spreng.) Mart. and Guazuma ulmifolia Lam., which are native species of the Brazilian savanna. The temperatures and exposure times to which the seeds were submitted were established according to data obtained in the field during a prescribed fire: 60 °C (10, 20 and 40 min), 80 °C (5, 10 and 20 min) and 100 °C (2, 5 and 10 min). Untreated seeds were used as controls. Seeds of A. galeata and K. coriacea showed high tolerance to most heat treatments, and seeds of A. macrocarpa showed a significant reduction in germination percentage after treatments of 80 °C and 100 °C. Treatments of 100 °C for 10 min reduced germination percentage for all species except G. ulmifolia, which has dormant seeds. For this species, germination was accelerated by heat treatments. The high temperatures applied did not interfere with the time to 50% germination (T(50) ) of the tolerant seeds. Seeds of the savanna species K. coriacea and A. galeata were more tolerant to heat shocks than seeds of the forest species A. macrocarpa. Guazuma ulmifolia, the forest species with seeds that germinate after heat shock, also occurs in savanna physiognomies. Overall, the high temperatures applied did not affect the germination rate of the tolerant seeds. PMID:22672775

  10. Patterns in volatile organic compound emissions along a savanna-rainforest gradient in central Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinger, L. F.; Greenburg, J.; Guenther, A.; Tyndall, G.; Zimmerman, P.; M'bangui, M.; Moutsamboté, J.-M.; Kenfack, D.

    1998-01-01

    In temperate regions the chemistry of the lower troposphere is known to be significantly affected by biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by plants. The chemistry of the lower troposphere over the tropics, however, is poorly understood, in part because of the considerable uncertainties in VOC emissions from tropical ecosystems. Present global VOC models predict that base emissions of isoprene from tropical rainforests are considerably higher than from savannas. These global models of VOC emissions which rely mainly on species inventories are useful, but significant improvement might be made with more ecologically based models of VOC emissions by plants. Ecosystems along a successional transect from woodland savanna to primary rainforest in central Africa were characterized for species composition and vegetation abundance using ground surveys and remotely sensed data. A total of 336 species (mostly trees) at 13 sites were recorded, and 208 of these were measured for VOC emissions at near-optimal light and temperature conditions using a leaf cuvette and hand-held photoionization detector (PID). A subset of 59 species was also sampled using conventional VOC emission techniques in order to validate the PID technique. Results of ecological and VOC emission surveys indicate both phylogenetic and successional patterns along the savanna-rainforest transect. Genera and families of trees which tend to emit isoprene include Lophira, Irvingia, Albizia, Artocarpus, Ficus, Pterocarpus, Caesalpiniaceae, Arecaceae, and Moraceae. Other taxa tend to contain stored VOCs (Annonaceae and Asteraceae). Successional patterns suggest that isoprene emissions are highest in the relatively early successional Isoberlinia forest communities and progressively decrease in the later successional secondary and primary rainforest communities. Stored VOCs appear to increase along the savanna-rainforest succession, but these data are more tentative. These findings are consistent with

  11. Topo-edaphic controls over woody plant biomass in South African savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colgan, M. S.; Asner, G. P.; Levick, S. R.; Martin, R. E.; Chadwick, O. A.

    2012-05-01

    The distribution of woody biomass in savannas reflects spatial patterns fundamental to ecosystem processes, such as water flow, competition, and herbivory, and is a key contributor to savanna ecosystem services, such as fuelwood supply. While total precipitation sets an upper bound on savanna woody biomass, the extent to which substrate and terrain constrain trees and shrubs below this maximum remains poorly understood, often occluded by local-scale disturbances such as fire and trampling. Here we investigate the role of hillslope topography and soil properties in controlling woody plant aboveground biomass (AGB) in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Large-area sampling with airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) provided a means to average across local-scale disturbances, revealing an unexpectedly linear relationship between AGB and hillslope-position on basalts, where biomass levels were lowest on crests, and linearly increased toward streams (R2 = 0.91). The observed pattern was different on granite substrates, where AGB exhibited a strongly non-linear relationship with hillslope position: AGB was high on crests, decreased midslope, and then increased near stream channels (R2 = 0.87). Overall, we observed 5-to-8-fold lower AGB on clayey, basalt-derived soil than on granites, and we suggest this is due to herbivore-fire interactions rather than lower hydraulic conductivity or clay shrinkage/swelling, as previously hypothesized. By mapping AGB within and outside fire and herbivore exclosures, we found that basalt-derived soils support tenfold higher AGB in the absence of fire and herbivory, suggesting high clay content alone is not a proximal limitation on AGB. Understanding how fire and herbivory contribute to AGB heterogeneity is critical to predicting future savanna carbon storage under a changing climate.

  12. Topo-edaphic controls over woody plant biomass in South African savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colgan, M. S.; Asner, G. P.; Levick, S. R.; Martin, R. E.; Chadwick, O. A.

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of woody biomass in savannas reflects spatial patterns fundamental to ecosystem processes, such as water flow, competition, and herbivory, and is a key contributor to savanna ecosystem services, such as fuelwood supply. While total precipitation sets an upper bound on savanna woody biomass, the extent to which substrate and terrain constrain trees and shrubs below this maximum remains poorly understood, often occluded by local-scale disturbances such as fire and trampling. Here we investigate the role of hillslope topography and soil properties in controlling woody plant aboveground biomass (AGB) in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Large-area sampling with airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) provided a means to average across local-scale disturbances, revealing an unexpectedly linear relationship between AGB and hillslope-position on basalts, where biomass levels were lowest on crests, and linearly increased toward streams (R2 = 0.91). The observed pattern was different on granite substrates, where AGB exhibited a strongly non-linear relationship with hillslope position: AGB was high on crests, decreased midslope, and then increased near stream channels (R2 = 0.87). Overall, we observed 5-to-8-fold lower AGB on clayey, basalt-derived soil than on granites, and we suggest this is due to herbivore-fire interactions rather than lower hydraulic conductivity or clay shrinkage/swelling, as previously hypothesized. By mapping AGB within and outside fire and herbivore exclosures, we found that basalt-derived soils support tenfold higher AGB in the absence of fire and herbivory, suggesting high clay content alone is not a~proximal limitation on AGB. Understanding how fire and herbivory contribute to AGB heterogeneity is critical to predicting future savanna carbon storage under a changing climate.

  13. Carbon balance of grazed savanna grassland ecosystem in Welgegund, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Räsänen, Matti; Aurela, Mika; Vakkari, Ville; Beukes, Paul; Van Zyl, Pieter; Josipovic, Micky; Venter, Andrew; Jaars, Kerneels; Siebert, Stefan; Laurila, Tuomas; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Rinne, Janne; Laakso, Lauri

    2016-04-01

    Tropical savannas and grasslands are estimated to contribute significantly to the global primary production of all terrestrial vegetation. It is suggested that semi-arid ecosystems dominate the inter-annual variation of the global land carbon sink. Most of the previous carbon flux measurements of African savannas have focused on the areas around national parks or nature reserves. However, large parts of African savannas and grasslands are used for agriculture or cattle grazing and there is a lack of measurements from these areas. In this study, we present carbon dioxide fluxes measured with the eddy covariance method for three years at a grazed savanna grassland in South Africa. The tree cover around the Welgegund measurement site (26°34'10"S, 26°56'21"E, 1480 m.a.s.l.; www.welgegund.org) was around 15% and it was grazed by cattle and sheep. Weekly monitoring of the measurements produced high quality flux measurements and only 33% of the measured flux values were missing or discarded due to e.g. too small turbulence. The inter-annual variation of yearly carbon balance was high. The carbon balance for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 were -73, 82 and 167 gC m-2 y-1, respectively. The yearly variation in GPP and respiration followed the changes in precipitation, whereas the yearly variation in NEE was not explained by the changes in annual precipitation, the length of rainy season or peak NDVI. However, the number of days when soil was wet, seems to relate to the annual sum of NEE.

  14. Fire alters ecosystem carbon and nutrients but not plant nutrient stoichiometry or composition in tropical savanna.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Hedin, Lars O; Staver, A Carla; Govender, Navashni

    2015-05-01

    Fire and nutrients interact to influence the global distribution and dynamics of the savanna biome, but the results of these interactions are both complex and poorly known. A critical but unresolved question is whether short-term losses of carbon and nutrients caused by fire can trigger long-term and potentially compensatory responses in the nutrient stoichiometry of plants, or in the abundance of dinitrogen-fixing trees. There is disagreement in the literature about the potential role of fire on savanna nutrients, and, in turn, on plant stoichiometry and composition. A major limitation has been the lack of fire manipulations over time scales sufficiently long for these interactions to emerge. We use a 58-year, replicated, large-scale, fire manipulation experiment in Kruger National Park (South Africa) in savanna to quantify the effect of fire on (1) distributions of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus at the ecosystem scale; (2) carbon: nitrogen: phosphorus stoichiometry of above- and belowground tissues of plant species; and (3) abundance of plant functional groups including nitrogen fixers. Our results show dramatic effects of fire on the relative distribution of nutrients in soils, but that individual plant stoichiometry and plant community composition remained unexpectedly resilient. Moreover, measures of nutrients and carbon stable isotopes allowed us to discount the role of tree cover change in favor of the turnover of herbaceous biomass as the primary mechanism that mediates a transition from low to high 'soil carbon and nutrients in the absence of fire. We conclude that, in contrast to extra-tropical grasslands or closed-canopy forests, vegetation in the savanna biome may be uniquely adapted to nutrient losses caused by recurring fire. PMID:26236841

  15. Amassing power in a northern landscape: J. B. Duke and the development of the Saguenay River, 1897-1927

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massell, David Perera

    Beginning at the turn of the century, Chapter One reconstructs the process by which the Provincial Government of Quebec sold--individually, outright, and cheaply--the waterfalls and rapids strung out along the length of the Saguenay River. The small-scale Canadian power projects stalled, however, for want of capital or power customers in a remote North American region. A major shift in developmental scale ensues in Chapter Two as a Canadian who owned riparian rights, Thomas "Carbide" Willson, uncorks a genie of American capital in industrialist J. B. Duke. While Duke was invited to participate in the Saguenay's development as a third party, Chapter Three describes how the aggressive New York trader seizes the entire length of the river for his exclusive use. Chapter Four recounts the unexpectedly stiff resistance to the industrial plans of Duke's lieutenants by a young French-Canadian engineer named Arthur Amos, head of Quebec's newly established Hydraulic Service. Stymied in Quebec City, Duke nonetheless proves remarkably agile in the broader theater of multinational enterprise. As Chapter Five documents, Duke succeeds in rounding up an array of industrial power customers to justify the enormous cost of his dams, most notably Delaware-based explosives manufacturer E. I du Pont de Nemours Powder Company. Ultimately Du Pont gets cold feet, and Duke's giant electrochemical scheme collapses around him at the end of 1915. Only after 1920, in Chapter Six, is Duke able to proceed with his project in a changed political and business climate of the postwar period. Contemplating aluminum manufacture by his own company, in Chapter Seven, he attempts to procure the requisite supply of high grade bauxite. But he encounters ferocious competition for possession of the essential raw material. Choosing to merge rather than fight, Duke and Alcoa's President Arthur Vining Davis ally in 1925. Their deal sealed, the two businessmen send their Canadian lawyer to Quebec City to sidestep

  16. Landscape dynamics of northeastern forests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canham, Charles D.; Silander, John A., Jr.; Civco, Daniel L.

    1994-01-01

    This project involves collaborative research with Stephen W. Pacala and Simon A. Levin of Princeton University to calibrate, test, and analyze models of heterogeneous forested landscapes containing a diverse array of habitats. The project is an extension of previous, NASA-supported research to develop a spatially-explicit model of forest dynamics at the scale of an individual forest stand (hectares to square kilometer spatial scales). That model (SORTIE) has been thoroughly parameterized from field studies in the modal upland environment of western Connecticut. Under our current funding, we are scaling-up the model and parameterizing it for the broad range of upland environments in the regi