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Sample records for agricultural landscape southern

  1. A change in landscape: Lessons learned from abandonment of ancient Wari agricultural terraces in Southern Peru.

    PubMed

    Londoño, Ana C; Williams, Patrick Ryan; Hart, Megan L

    2017-01-13

    Ancient agricultural terrace practices have survived for millennia, sustaining populations through extreme climatic shifts and political regime changes. In arid regions with abrupt relief such as Southern Peru, agricultural terracing is undergoing a resurgence, as has seen revitalization of once abandoned terrace and hydraulic systems. Wari terraces at Cerro Baul provide clues to past cultural practices. They also document sustainable farming practices by using resilient land management techniques which can help combat desertification and degradation of arable lands. Three abandoned Wari terrace systems were mapped using microtopographic methods, the erosion patterns examined, the states of preservation compared, and then the design contrasted with modern terracing practices in the Moquegua Valley. In order to negate the harmful effects of desertification, rehabilitation and reconstruction of these terraces using ancient knowledge and techniques may be necessary. Rehabilitation must be conducted with consideration for preservation of cultural patrimony that may be encountered within the terrace treads or riser structures. With future climatic shifts impacting vulnerable dryland areas more than others, the ability to resiliently respond to these changes may be found in the lessons learned from ancient farming techniques such as the Wari.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Negri, M. Cristina; Ssegane, H.

    2015-08-01

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

  6. Landscape transformations at the dawn of agriculture in southern Syria (10.7-9.9 ka cal. BP): Plant-specific responses to the impact of human activities and climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arranz-Otaegui, Amaia; López-Sáez, José Antonio; Araus, José Luis; Portillo, Marta; Balbo, Andrea; Iriarte, Eneko; Gourichon, Lionel; Braemer, Frank; Zapata, Lydia; Ibáñez, Juan José

    2017-02-01

    In southwest Asia, the accelerated impact of human activities on the landscape has often been linked to the development of fully agricultural societies during the middle and late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) period (around 10.2-7.9 ka cal. BP). This work contributes to the debate on the environmental impact of the so-called Neolitisation process by identifying the climatic and anthropogenic factors that contributed to change local and regional vegetation at the time when domesticated plants appeared and developed in southern Syria (around 10.7-9.9 ka cal. BP). In this work a multidisciplinary analysis of plant microremains (pollen and phytoliths) and macroremains (wood charcoal) is carried out along with stable carbon isotope discrimination of wood charcoals in an early PPNB site (Tell Qarassa North, west of the Jabal al-Arab area). Prior to 10.5 ka cal. BP, the results indicate a dynamic equilibrium in the local and regional vegetation, which comprised woodland-steppe, Mediterranean evergreen oak-woodlands, wetland vegetation and coniferous forests. Around 10.5-9.9 ka cal. BP, the elements that regulated the vegetation system changed, resulting in reduced proportions of arboreal cover and the spread of cold-tolerant and wetlands species. Our data show that reinforcing interaction between the elements of the anthropogenic (e.g. herding, fire-related activities) and climatic systems (e.g. temperature, rainfall) contributed to the transformation of early Holocene vegetation during the emergence of fully agricultural societies in southern Syria.

  7. Monitoring of Agricultural Landscape in Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallin, H. G.; Engan, G.

    2012-07-01

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

  8. Distributed denitrification in a northeastern agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, T. R.; Groffman, P. M.; Walter, M. T.

    2011-12-01

    Denitrification may be an important sink of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) in eastern US watersheds. Denitrification occurs primarily under anaerobic conditions by heterotrophic microbes, and is therefore expected to be vigorous in wet soils containing large amounts of organic carbon. Actual rates of denitrification, however, have been difficult to quantify, and remain one of the critical unresolved N processes at the landscape scale. We measured denitrification rates in situ along hydrologic flow paths and across gradients of hydroperiodicities, i.e., frequencies and durations of saturated conditions, at Cornell University's Teaching & Research Center in Harford, NY (an active dairy farm). Denitrification rates were measured monthly using the 15N push-pull method from 14 mini-piezometers arrayed along a gradient of hydroperiodicity as indicated by a soil topographic index (STI). Measured rates of denitrification were spatially variable across sites and ranged from undetectable to over 4500 μg N/kg soil/day with a mean of 572 ± 167 μg N/kg soil/day. Mean rates of denitrification increased with STI, which ranged from 8.7 to 23.0 across our mini-piezometer sites. This relationship was used to estimate denitrification rates across the landscape and resolve a missing piece of the N budget for the farm. Only 14% of the farm fell into areas of STI greater than 8.7; however, denitrification in these areas account for more than 60% of the missing N balance for the entire landscape. Improved understanding of the distribution and magnitudes of denitrification in agricultural landscapes has good potential to facilitate new, novel, and better management practices for controlling N loading to streams and rivers. Indeed, the very areas that appear to have a propensity to harbor denitrification, i.e., areas prone to be wet, are often artificially drained as part of standard agricultural practices which reduces the frequency that these areas are likely to be anaerobic and

  9. Distributed Denitrification in a Northeastern Agricultural Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, T. R.; Groffman, P. M.; Kaushal, S. S.; Walter, M. T.

    2009-05-01

    Denitrification may be an important sink of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) in eastern US watersheds. Denitrification occurs primarily under anaerobic conditions by heterotrophic microbes, and is therefore expected to be vigorous in wet soils containing high amounts of organic carbon. Actual rates of denitrification, however, have been difficult to quantify, and remain one of the critical unresolved N processes at the landscape scale. We measured denitrification rates in situ along hydrologic flow paths and across gradients of hydroperiodicities, i.e., frequencies and durations of saturated conditions, at Cornell University's Teaching and Research Center in Harford, NY (an active dairy farm). Denitrification rates were measured monthly using the 15N push-pull method from 14 mini-piezometers arrayed along a gradient of hydroperiodicity as indicated by a soil topographic index (STI). Measured rates of denitrification were spatially variable across sites and ranged from undetectable to over 200 µg N/kg soil/day with a mean of 55.9 ± 16.4 µg N/kg soil/day. Mean rates of denitrification increased with STI, which ranged from 10 to 23. This relationship was used to estimate distributed denitrification rates across the landscape and resolve a missing piece of the N budget for the farm. We found that 16% of the farm fell into areas of STI greater than 10. Using the distributed denitrification rates, this area accounts for 15-27% of the missing N balance for the farm (9.7-17.8 Mg N/yr). Improved understanding of the distribution and magnitudes of denitrification in agricultural landscapes has good potential to facilitate new, novel, and better management practices for controlling nitrogen loading to streams and rivers. Indeed, the very areas that appear to have a propensity to harbor denitrification, i.e., areas prone to be wet, are often artificially drained as part of standard agricultural practices which effectively increase N loading to rivers and contributes to downstream

  10. Farming with Grass: Achieving Sustainable Mixed Agricultural Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. A Landscape Perspective on Sustainability of Agricultural Systems

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Monitoring the agricultural landscape for insect resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-02

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

  17. Eco-hydrological Controls in Mediterranean Agricultural Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portoghese, I.; Iacobellis, V.; Sivapalan, M.

    2005-12-01

    This work is focused on semi-arid Mediterranean regions as this is the context in which water shortage is endemic and hydrologic prediction becomes crucial as it involves a variety of problems related to water resources management and water balance in general. Moreover water balance prediction has to deal with further complexities coming from the human-induced perturbations interacting with the climate-soil-vegetation dynamics. Vegetation types and agricultural practices play a central role in the control of water balance processes, and the different strategies that they may have developed to succeed in such water-limited environments may be the key for a better understanding and modelling. A bucket approach is employed to model the temporal water balance dynamics, with vegetation water use efficiency being parameterised with the use of empirically obtained crop coefficients. Sensitivity analysis with respect to the root zone depth and soil properties is carried out with the aim of assessing the robustness of model predictions and exploring the possible spatial distribution of these vegetation types within the study region. Based on these sensitivity analyses the degrees of suitability and adaptability of each vegetation type to the study region are discussed. It is argued at this point that eco-hydrological controls such as prolonged periods of soil moisture deficit, and hence of productivity losses, operates as a major mechanism in determining the spatial patters of vegetation by way of the soil water holding capacity which indeed is recognized as a limiting factor for agricultural development. These results represent a robust, though non-conventional, validation of the model-based hypotheses on the spatial patterns of vegetation. In fact, the observation of co-occurrences of soil properties and land-use across a wide region of Southern Italy have shown a tied dependency between these two landscape features which indeed can be useful in modelling water balance

  18. [Landscape planning approaches for biodiversity conservation in agriculture].

    PubMed

    Liu, Yun-hui; Li, Liang-tao; Yu, Zhen-rong

    2008-11-01

    Biodiversity conservation in agriculture not only relates to the sustainable development of agriculture, but also is an essential part of species conservation. In recent years, the landscape planning approach for biodiversity was highlighted instead of species-focused approach. In this paper, the landscape factors affecting the biodiversity in agriculture were reviewed, and the possible landscape approaches at three different scales for more efficient conservation of biodiversity in agro-landscape were suggested, including: (1) the increase of the proportion of natural or semi-natural habitats in agriculture, diversification of land use or crop pattern, and protection or construction of corridor at landscape level; (2) the establishment of non-cropping elements such as field margin at between-field level; and (3) the application of reasonable crop density, crop distribution pattern and rotation, and intercrop etc. at within-field level. It was suggested that the relevant policies for natural conservation, land use planning, and ecological compensation should be made to apply the landscape approaches for biodiversity conservation at larger scale.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-22

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

  20. Modelling pollination services across agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Assessing the habitat suitability of agricultural landscapes for characteristic breeding bird guilds using landscape metrics.

    PubMed

    Borges, Friederike; Glemnitz, Michael; Schultz, Alfred; Stachow, Ulrich

    2017-04-01

    Many of the processes behind the decline of farmland birds can be related to modifications in landscape structure (composition and configuration), which can partly be expressed quantitatively with measurable or computable indices, i.e. landscape metrics. This paper aims to identify statistical relationships between the occurrence of birds and the landscape structure. We present a method that combines two comprehensive procedures: the "landscape-centred approach" and "guild classification". Our study is based on more than 20,000 individual bird observations based on a 4-year bird monitoring approach in a typical agricultural area in the north-eastern German lowlands. Five characteristic bird guilds, each with three characteristic species, are defined for the typical habitat types of that area: farmland, grassland, hedgerow, forest and settlement. The suitability of each sample plot for each guild is indicated by the level of persistence (LOP) of occurrence of three respective species. Thus, the sample plots can be classified as "preferred" or "less preferred" depending on the lower and upper quartiles of the LOP values. The landscape structure is characterized by 16 different landscape metrics expressing various aspects of landscape composition and configuration. For each guild, the three landscape metrics with the strongest rank correlation with the LOP values and that are not mutually dependent were identified. For four of the bird guilds, the classification success was better than 80%, compared with only 66% for the grassland bird guild. A subset of six landscape metrics proved to be the most meaningful and sufficiently classified the sample areas with respect to bird guild suitability. In addition, derived logistic functions allowed the production of guild-specific habitat suitability maps for the whole landscape. The analytical results show that the proposed approach is appropriate to assess the habitat suitability of agricultural landscapes for characteristic

  2. Nutrient removal by prairie filter strips in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural landscapes have been identified as a primary source of excess nutrients in aquatic systems. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in removing nutrients from cropland runoff in 12 small watersheds...

  3. Directions of change in land cover and landscape patterns from 1957 to 2000 in agricultural landscapes in NW Spain.

    PubMed

    Calvo-Iglesias, María Silvia; Fra-Paleo, Urbano; Crecente-Maseda, Rafael; Díaz-Varela, Ramón Alberto

    2006-12-01

    The aim of this work is the analysis of the dynamics in cultural landscapes, focused on the spatial distribution of changes in land cover and landscape patterns, and their possible linkages. These dynamics have been analyzed for the years 1957 and 2000 in a sector of the north of Galicia (NW Spain) characterized with diverse landscapes. Afforestation processes linked to agriculture abandonment and forestry specialization were the main processes observed in the study area, with the exception of the southern mountainous sector that was dominated by ploughing of scrubland for conversion into grassland, reflecting a specialization in livestock production. The structural changes that have taken place in most of the study area were related to the heterogeneity aspects, although the mountainous sectors were characterized by changes in heterogeneity and fragmentation. According to the tests performed, the comparison of the spatial distribution of both dynamics showed a certain statistical significance, reflecting the interrelationship between patterns and processes. This approach could be useful for the identification of areas with similar characteristics in terms of spatial dynamics so as to define more effective and targeted landscape planning and management strategies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzel, N.

    2012-04-01

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

  6. Comparative landscape genetics of two pond-breeding amphibian species in a highly modified agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Caren S; Waits, L P

    2010-09-01

    Evaluating fine-scale population structure of multiple species in the same landscape increases our ability to identify common patterns as well as discern ecological differences among species' landscape genetic relationships. In the Palouse bioregion of northern Idaho, USA, 99% of the native prairie has been converted to nonirrigated agriculture and exotic grasslands. Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) and long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in this area breed almost entirely in artificial ponds on private land. We used genetic distances (F(ST) and D(c)) derived from eight microsatellite loci in 783 samples to evaluate the relationships among sympatric breeding populations (N = 20 and 26) of these species in a 213-km(2) landscape. Both species showed a pattern of isolation by distance that was not improved when distance was measured along drainages instead of topographically corrected straight lines (P < 0.01). After testing for autocorrelation among genetic distances, we used an information theoretic approach to model landscape resistance based on slope, soil type, solar insolation, and land cover, and multi-model inference to rank the resistance of landscape surfaces to dispersal (represented by genetic distance). For both species, urban and rural developed land cover provided the highest landscape resistances. Resistance values for long-toed salamanders followed a moisture gradient where forest provided the least resistance, while agriculture and shrub/clearcut provided the least resistance for Columbia spotted frogs. Comparative landscape genetics can be a powerful tool for detecting similarities and differences between codistributed species, and resulting models can be used to predict species-specific responses to landscape change.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Landscape--wildfire interactions in southern Europe: implications for landscape management.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Francisco; Viedma, Olga; Arianoutsou, Margarita; Curt, Thomas; Koutsias, Nikos; Rigolot, Eric; Barbati, Anna; Corona, Piermaria; Vaz, Pedro; Xanthopoulos, Gavriil; Mouillot, Florent; Bilgili, Ertugrul

    2011-10-01

    Every year approximately half a million hectares of land are burned by wildfires in southern Europe, causing large ecological and socio-economic impacts. Climate and land use changes in the last decades have increased fire risk and danger. In this paper we review the available scientific knowledge on the relationships between landscape and wildfires in the Mediterranean region, with a focus on its application for defining landscape management guidelines and policies that could be adopted in order to promote landscapes with lower fire hazard. The main findings are that (1) socio-economic drivers have favoured land cover changes contributing to increasing fire hazard in the last decades, (2) large wildfires are becoming more frequent, (3) increased fire frequency is promoting homogeneous landscapes covered by fire-prone shrublands; (4) landscape planning to reduce fuel loads may be successful only if fire weather conditions are not extreme. The challenges to address these problems and the policy and landscape management responses that should be adopted are discussed, along with major knowledge gaps.

  12. Avian Species and Functional Diversity in Agricultural Landscapes: Does Landscape Heterogeneity Matter?

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    While the positive relationship between avian diversity and habitat heterogeneity is widely accepted, it is primarily based on observed species richness without accounting for imperfect detection. Other facets of diversity such as functional diversity are also rarely explored. We investigated the avian diversity-landscape heterogeneity relationship in agricultural landscapes by considering two aspects of diversity: taxonomic diversity (species richness) estimated from a multi-species dynamic occupancy model, and functional diversity (functional evenness [FEve] and divergence [FDiv]) based on traits of occurring species. We also assessed how agricultural lands enrolled in a conservation program managed on behalf of declining early successional bird species (hereafter CP38 fields, an agri-environment scheme) influenced avian diversity. We analyzed breeding bird data collected at CP38 fields in Mississippi, USA, during 2010–2012, and two principal components of environmental variables: a gradient of heterogeneity (Shannon’s landscape diversity index) and of the amount of CP38 fields (percent cover of CP38 fields; CP38). FEve did not show significant responses to environmental variables, whereas FDiv responded positively to heterogeneity and negatively to CP38. However, most FDiv values did not significantly differ from random expectations along an environmental gradient. When there was a significant difference, FDiv was lower than that expected. Unlike functional diversity, species richness showed a clear pattern. Species richness increased with increasing landscape heterogeneity but decreased with increasing amounts of CP38 fields. Only one species responded negatively to heterogeneity and positively to CP38. Our results suggest that the relationships between avian diversity and landscape heterogeneity may vary depending on the aspect of diversity considered: strong positive effects of heterogeneity on taxonomic diversity, but weakly positive or non

  13. Avian Species and Functional Diversity in Agricultural Landscapes: Does Landscape Heterogeneity Matter?

    PubMed

    Lee, Myung-Bok; Martin, James A

    2017-01-01

    While the positive relationship between avian diversity and habitat heterogeneity is widely accepted, it is primarily based on observed species richness without accounting for imperfect detection. Other facets of diversity such as functional diversity are also rarely explored. We investigated the avian diversity-landscape heterogeneity relationship in agricultural landscapes by considering two aspects of diversity: taxonomic diversity (species richness) estimated from a multi-species dynamic occupancy model, and functional diversity (functional evenness [FEve] and divergence [FDiv]) based on traits of occurring species. We also assessed how agricultural lands enrolled in a conservation program managed on behalf of declining early successional bird species (hereafter CP38 fields, an agri-environment scheme) influenced avian diversity. We analyzed breeding bird data collected at CP38 fields in Mississippi, USA, during 2010-2012, and two principal components of environmental variables: a gradient of heterogeneity (Shannon's landscape diversity index) and of the amount of CP38 fields (percent cover of CP38 fields; CP38). FEve did not show significant responses to environmental variables, whereas FDiv responded positively to heterogeneity and negatively to CP38. However, most FDiv values did not significantly differ from random expectations along an environmental gradient. When there was a significant difference, FDiv was lower than that expected. Unlike functional diversity, species richness showed a clear pattern. Species richness increased with increasing landscape heterogeneity but decreased with increasing amounts of CP38 fields. Only one species responded negatively to heterogeneity and positively to CP38. Our results suggest that the relationships between avian diversity and landscape heterogeneity may vary depending on the aspect of diversity considered: strong positive effects of heterogeneity on taxonomic diversity, but weakly positive or non

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  17. The residence time of intensively managed agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Macedo, Marta

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, U.

    2014-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, U.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Quantifying and sustaining biodiversity in tropical agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Mendenhall, Chase D.; Shields-Estrada, Analisa; Krishnaswami, Arjun J.; Daily, Gretchen C.

    2016-01-01

    Decision-makers increasingly seek scientific guidance on investing in nature, but biodiversity remains difficult to estimate across diverse landscapes. Here, we develop empirically based models for quantifying biodiversity across space. We focus on agricultural lands in the tropical forest biome, wherein lies the greatest potential to conserve or lose biodiversity. We explore two questions, drawing from empirical research oriented toward pioneering policies in Costa Rica. First, can remotely sensed tree cover serve as a reliable basis for improved estimation of biodiversity, from plots to regions? Second, how does tropical biodiversity change across the land-use gradient from native forest to deforested cropland and pasture? We report on understory plants, nonflying mammals, bats, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Using data from 67,737 observations of 908 species, we test how tree cover influences biodiversity across space. First, we find that fine-scale mapping of tree cover predicts biodiversity within a taxon-specific radius (of 30–70 m) about a point in the landscape. Second, nearly 50% of the tree cover in our study region is embedded in countryside forest elements, small (typically 0.05–100 ha) clusters or strips of trees on private property. Third, most species use multiple habitat types, including crop fields and pastures (to which 15% of species are restricted), although some taxa depend on forest (57% of species are restricted to forest elements). Our findings are supported by comparisons of 90 studies across Latin America. They provide a basis for a planning tool that guides investments in tropical forest biodiversity similar to those for securing ecosystem services. PMID:27791070

  6. Quantifying and sustaining biodiversity in tropical agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Shields-Estrada, Analisa; Krishnaswami, Arjun J; Daily, Gretchen C

    2016-12-20

    Decision-makers increasingly seek scientific guidance on investing in nature, but biodiversity remains difficult to estimate across diverse landscapes. Here, we develop empirically based models for quantifying biodiversity across space. We focus on agricultural lands in the tropical forest biome, wherein lies the greatest potential to conserve or lose biodiversity. We explore two questions, drawing from empirical research oriented toward pioneering policies in Costa Rica. First, can remotely sensed tree cover serve as a reliable basis for improved estimation of biodiversity, from plots to regions? Second, how does tropical biodiversity change across the land-use gradient from native forest to deforested cropland and pasture? We report on understory plants, nonflying mammals, bats, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Using data from 67,737 observations of 908 species, we test how tree cover influences biodiversity across space. First, we find that fine-scale mapping of tree cover predicts biodiversity within a taxon-specific radius (of 30-70 m) about a point in the landscape. Second, nearly 50% of the tree cover in our study region is embedded in countryside forest elements, small (typically 0.05-100 ha) clusters or strips of trees on private property. Third, most species use multiple habitat types, including crop fields and pastures (to which 15% of species are restricted), although some taxa depend on forest (57% of species are restricted to forest elements). Our findings are supported by comparisons of 90 studies across Latin America. They provide a basis for a planning tool that guides investments in tropical forest biodiversity similar to those for securing ecosystem services.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masný, Matej; Zaušková, Lubica

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chown, Steven L.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowe, J. Stan

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

  12. Decoupling fragmentation from habitat loss for spiders in patchy agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Gavish, Yoni; Ziv, Yaron; Rosenzweig, Michael L

    2012-02-01

    Habitat loss reduces species diversity, but the effect of habitat fragmentation on number of species is less clear because fragmentation generally accompanies loss of habitat. We compared four methods that aim to decouple the effects of fragmentation from the effects of habitat loss. Two methods are based on species-area relations, one on Fisher's alpha index of diversity, and one on plots of cumulative number of species detected against cumulative area sampled. We used these methods to analyze the species diversity of spiders in 2, 3.2 × 4 km agricultural landscapes in Southern Judea Lowlands, Israel. Spider diversity increased as fragmentation increased with all four methods, probably not because of the additive within-patch processes, such as edge effect and heterogeneity. The positive relation between fragmentation and species diversity might reflect that most species can disperse through the fields during the wheat-growing season. We suggest that if a given area was designated for the conservation of spiders in Southern Judea Lowlands, Israel, a set of several small patches may maximize species diversity over time.

  13. Reducing sedimentation of depressional wetlands in agricultural landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Tracking environmental dynamics and agricultural intensification in southern Mali

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tappan, Gary; McGahuey, M.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    LaFevor, M C

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Consistency in bird use of tree cover across tropical agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Vilchez Mendoza, Sergio; Harvey, Celia A; Sáenz, Joel C; Casanoves, Fernando; Pablo Carvajal, Jose; González Villalobos, Jorge; Hernandez, Blas; Medina, Arnulfo; Montero, Jorge; Sánchez Merlo, Dalia; Sinclair, Fergus L

    2014-01-01

    In tropical regions where forests have been replaced by agriculture, the future of biodiversity is increasingly dependent on the presence of remnant forest patches and on-farm tree cover within agricultural landscapes. While there is growing evidence of the importance of tree cover within agricultural landscapes, most studies have been conducted in a single landscape, making it difficult to ascertain whether the conservation value of different types of tree cover can be generalized across landscapes. To explore whether use of different forms of tree cover by birds is consistent across landscapes, we compared the number of individuals, species richness, and diversity of birds associated with different forms of tree cover in four agricultural landscapes in Central America, using a standardized methodology and sampling effort. In each landscape, we compared bird assemblages in six tree cover types (secondary forests, riparian forests, forest fallows, live fences, pastures with high tree cover, and pastures with low tree cover). We observed a total of 10 723 birds of 283 species, with 83-196 species per landscape. The specific patterns of bird species richness, number of individuals, and diversity associated with tree cover types varied across the four landscapes, but these variables were consistently higher in the forest forms of tree cover (riparian forests, secondary forests, and forest fallows) than in non-forest habitats. In addition, forest forms of tree cover had distinct species composition from non-forest forms in all landscapes. There was also consistency in the use of different types of tree cover by forest birds across the four landscapes, with higher richness and number of individuals of forest birds in forested than non-forested forms of tree cover, and more forest bird species in pastures with high tree cover than in pastures with low tree cover. Our findings indicate that riparian and secondary forests are consistently of higher value for bird

  5. Landscape position influences soil respiration variability and sensitivity to physiological drivers in mixed-use lands of Southern California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crum, Steven M.; Liang, Liyin L.; Jenerette, G. Darrel

    2016-10-01

    Linking variation in ecosystem functioning to physiological and landscape drivers has become an important research need for understanding ecosystem responses to global changes. We investigate how these contrasting scale-dependent ecosystem drivers influence soil respiration (Rs), a key ecosystem process, using in situ landscape surveys and experimental subsidies of water and labile carbon. Surveys and experiments were conducted in summer and winter seasons and were distributed along a coastal to desert climate gradient and among the dominant land use classes in Southern California, USA. We found that Rs decreased from lawn to agricultural and wildland land uses for both seasons and along the climate gradient in the summer while increasing along the climate gradient in the winter. Rs variation was positively correlated with soil temperature and negatively to soil moisture and substrate. Water additions increased Rs in wildland land uses, while urban land uses responded little or negatively. However, most land uses exhibited carbon limitation, with wildlands experiencing largest responses to labile carbon additions. These findings show that intensively managed land uses have increased rates, decreased spatial variation, and decreased sensitivity to environmental conditions in Rs compared to wildlands, while increasing aridity has the opposite effect. In linking scales, physiological drivers were correlated with Rs but landscape position influenced Rs by altering both the physiological drivers and the sensitivity to the drivers. Systematic evaluation of physiological and landscape variation provides a framework for understanding the effects of interactive global change drivers to ecosystem metabolism across multiple scales.

  6. Bee Abundance and Nutritional Status in Relation to Grassland Management Practices in an Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Smith, Griffin W; Debinski, Diane M; Scavo, Nicole A; Lange, Corey J; Delaney, John T; Moranz, Raymond A; Miller, James R; Engle, David M; Toth, Amy L

    2016-04-01

    Grasslands provide important resources for pollinators in agricultural landscapes. Managing grasslands with fire and grazing has the potential to benefit plant and pollinator communities, though there is uncertainty about the ideal approach. We examined the relationships among burning and grazing regimes, plant communities, and Bombus species and Apis mellifera L. abundance and nutritional indicators at the Grand River Grasslands in southern Iowa and northern Missouri. Treatment regimes included burn-only, grazed-and-burned, and patch-burn graze (pastures subdivided into three temporally distinct fire patches with free access by cattle). The premise of the experimental design was that patch-burn grazing would increase habitat heterogeneity, thereby providing more diverse and abundant floral resources for pollinators. We predicted that both bee abundance and individual bee nutritional indicators (bee size and lipid content) would be positively correlated with floral resource abundance. There were no significant differences among treatments with respect to bee abundance. However, some of the specific characteristics of the plant community showed significant relationships with bee response variables. Pastures with greater abundance of floral resources had greater bee abundance but lower bee nutritional indicators. Bee nutritional variables were positively correlated with vegetation height, but, in some cases, negatively correlated with stocking rate. These results suggest grassland site characteristics such as floral resource abundance and stocking rate are of potential importance to bee pollinators and suggest avenues for further research to untangle the complex interactions between grassland management, plant responses, and bee health.

  7. BATS AND BT INSECT RESISTANCE ON AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. RIPARIAN AREAS OF AN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE IN WESTERN OREGON

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Spatial organization of agricultural landscape, farming activities and hydrological risk assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viaud, V.; Merot, P.

    2003-04-01

    Agriculture intensification is considered as a major cause of water pollution since it has gone both with an increasing use of fertilisers and significant changes in land-use patterns. Among the prescriptions for pollution control, the management of buffer zones at the landscape scale is supported by the environmental policies, but often without consideration of the systems of human activities they are aimed at. Agricultural landscapes, with fields potentially source of pollution and buffer zones, are spatially organized and managed by farming activities. In a perspective of sustainable management, an integrating approach of environmental issues and farming activities is thus required. This approach was applied to bocage landscapes (landscapes with cultivated fields surrounded by hedgerow systems) in Brittany (Western France). Bocage landscapes are frequently encountered, especially in Europe, and many studies put forward their hydrological and hydrochemical buffer functions. Those results provide informations on the link between spatial organization of hedgerow systems and their environmental effectiveness. They enable to design models of functional bocage landscapes. The objective of this work was to pick out, among those theoretical models, the models compatible with the farming activities. The results will be presented and the additional constraints for the farming systems created by a functional landscape, from a hydrological and hydrochemical perspective, will be discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Sustainable corn stover harvest strategies for Midwest agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    In intensive agricultural landscapes, plant species previously relying on semi-natural habitats may persist as metapopulations within landscape linear elements. Maintenance of populations' connectivity through pollen and seed dispersal is a key factor in species persistence in the face of substantial habitat loss. The goals of this study were to investigate the potential corridor role of ditches and to identify the landscape components that significantly impact patterns of gene flow among remnant populations. Using microsatellite loci, we explored the spatial genetic structure of two hydrochorous wetland plants exhibiting contrasting local abundance and different habitat requirements: the rare and regionally protected Oenanthe aquatica and the more commonly distributed Lycopus europaeus, in an 83 km2 agricultural lowland located in northern France. Both species exhibited a significant spatial genetic structure, along with substantial levels of genetic differentiation, especially for L. europaeus, which also expressed high levels of inbreeding. Isolation-by-distance analysis revealed enhanced gene flow along ditches, indicating their key role in effective seed and pollen dispersal. Our data also suggested that the configuration of the ditch network and the landscape elements significantly affected population genetic structure, with (i) species-specific scale effects on the genetic neighborhood and (ii) detrimental impact of human ditch management on genetic diversity, especially for O. aquatica. Altogether, these findings highlighted the key role of ditches in the maintenance of plant biodiversity in intensive agricultural landscapes with few remnant wetland habitats. PMID:26486611

  17. A Landscape View of Agricultural Insecticide Use across the Conterminous US from 1997 through 2012

    PubMed Central

    Meehan, Timothy D.; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Simplification of agricultural landscapes is expected to have positive effects on many crop pests and negative effects on their natural enemies, potentially leading to increased pest pressure, decreased crop yield, and increased insecticide use. While many intermediate links in this causal chain have empirical support, there is mixed evidence for ultimate relationships between landscape simplification, crop yield, and insecticide use, especially at large spatial and temporal scales. We explored relationships between landscape simplification (proportion of a county in harvested cropland) and insecticide use (proportion of harvested cropland treated with insecticides), using county-level data from the US Census of Agriculture and a variety of standard and spatiotemporal regression techniques. The best model indicated that insecticide use across the US has increased between 1997 and 2012, was strongly dependent on the crops grown in a county, increased with average farm income and size, and increased with annual growing degree days. After accounting for those variables, and other unidentified spatial and temporal structure in the data, there remained a statistically significant, moderate, positive relationship between insecticide use and landscape simplification. These results lend general support to the causal chain outlined above, and to the notion that a landscape perspective is useful for managing ecosystem services that are provided by mobile organisms and valuable to agriculture. PMID:27902726

  18. A Landscape View of Agricultural Insecticide Use across the Conterminous US from 1997 through 2012.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Timothy D; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Simplification of agricultural landscapes is expected to have positive effects on many crop pests and negative effects on their natural enemies, potentially leading to increased pest pressure, decreased crop yield, and increased insecticide use. While many intermediate links in this causal chain have empirical support, there is mixed evidence for ultimate relationships between landscape simplification, crop yield, and insecticide use, especially at large spatial and temporal scales. We explored relationships between landscape simplification (proportion of a county in harvested cropland) and insecticide use (proportion of harvested cropland treated with insecticides), using county-level data from the US Census of Agriculture and a variety of standard and spatiotemporal regression techniques. The best model indicated that insecticide use across the US has increased between 1997 and 2012, was strongly dependent on the crops grown in a county, increased with average farm income and size, and increased with annual growing degree days. After accounting for those variables, and other unidentified spatial and temporal structure in the data, there remained a statistically significant, moderate, positive relationship between insecticide use and landscape simplification. These results lend general support to the causal chain outlined above, and to the notion that a landscape perspective is useful for managing ecosystem services that are provided by mobile organisms and valuable to agriculture.

  19. Transforming river basins: Post-livelihood transition agricultural landscapes and implications for natural resource governance.

    PubMed

    Sreeja, K G; Madhusoodhanan, C G; Eldho, T I

    2015-08-15

    The agricultural and livelihood transitions post globalization are redefining resource relations and redrawing landscapes in the Global South and have major implications for nascent natural resource governance regimes such as Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM). A mosaic of divergent reciprocations in resource relations were noticed due to livelihood transitions in the rural areas where previous resource uses and relations had been primarily within agriculture. The reconstitution of rural spaces and the attendant changes in the resource equations are observed to be creating new sites of conformity, contestation and conflicts that often move beyond local spaces. This paper critically reviews studies across the Global South to explore the nature and extent of changes in resource relations and agricultural landscapes post livelihood diversification and the implication and challenges of these changes for natural resource governance. Though there is drastic reduction in agricultural livelihoods throughout the Global South, changes in agricultural area are found to be inconsistent and heterogeneous in the region. Agriculture continues in the countrysides but in widely differentiated capacities and redefined value systems. The transformed agrarian spaces are characterized by a mosaic of scenarios from persistence and sustainable subsistence to differentiation and exploitative commercial practices to abandonment and speculation. The reconfigured resource relations, emergent multiple and multi-scalar interest groups, institutional and policy changes and altered power differentials in these diversified landscapes are yet to be incorporated into natural resource governance frameworks such as IRBM.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winterhalder, Bruce; Evans, Tom

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Is there an optimum scale for predicting bird species' distribution in agricultural landscapes?

    PubMed

    Pelosi, Céline; Bonthoux, Sébastien; Castellarini, Fabiana; Goulard, Michel; Ladet, Sylvie; Balent, Gérard

    2014-04-01

    Changes in forest cover in agricultural landscapes affect biodiversity. Its management needs some indications about scale to predict occurrence of populations and communities. In this study we considered a forest cover index to predict bird species and community patterns in agricultural landscapes in south-western France. We used generalized linear models for that purpose with prediction driven by wooded areas' spatial distribution at nine different radii. Using 1064 point counts, we modelled the distribution of 10 bird species whose habitat preferences are spread along a landscape opening gradient. We also modelled the distribution of species richness for farmland species and for forest species. We used satellite images to construct a 'wood/non-wood' map and calculated a forest index, considering the surface area of wooded areas at nine radii from 110m to 910m. The models' predictive quality was determined by the AUC (for predicted presences) and ρ (for predicted species richness) criteria. We found that the forest cover was a good predictor of the distribution of seven bird species in agricultural landscapes (mean AUC for the seven species = 0.74 for the radius 110m). Species richness of farmland and forest birds was satisfactorily predicted by the models (ρ = 0.55 and 0.49, respectively, for the radius 110m). The presence of the studied species and species richness metrics were better predicted at smaller scales (i.e. radii between 110 m and 310 m) within the range tested. These results have implications for bird population management in agricultural landscapes since better pinpointing the scale to predict species distributions will enhance targeting efforts to be made in terms of landscape management.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  7. Network for measuring runoff and water erosion in small agricultural cathments in Southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taguas, E. V.; Gómez, J. A.; Boulal, H.; Gómez, H.; Vanwalleghem, T.; Pérez-Alcántara, R.; Peña, A.; Ayuso-Muñoz, J. L.; Giráldez, J. V.; Mateos, L.

    2010-05-01

    Water erosion is one of the major environmental threats to sustainability of agricultural production in Souther Spain. In Mediterranean climates, innapropriate soil management in steep or hilly landscapes causes intensive and extensive on-site and off-site damage. However, limited experimental information is available for fully understand the relationship between soil management practices and erosion at varying scales. This communication describes a network of five experimental catchments equipped with runoff and erosion monitoring devices established in the last five years in agricultural areas of Southern Spain. Three of the catchments are of small size (2 to 6.7 ha) and are covered by olive trees, a fourth one, of 20 ha, is cultivated with irrigated field crops, and the fifth catchment is located in an irrigation district where irrigated annual and tree crops coexist covering an area of 316 ha. Monitoring stations consist of a long-throated flume equipped with a untrasonic sensor to measure water depth, an ISCO water sampler, a rain gauge and a datalogger. This communication will present a preliminary comparison of runoff and sediment generated in the catchments during recent years, and it will discuss some of the main problems encountered in the establishment of the network and the future plans for upgrading the monitoring stations and analysing of results.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Pollinator interactions with yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) across urban, agricultural, and natural landscapes.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, L.

    2011-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Melcher, Cynthia P.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2005-01-01

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

  13. [Dynamic changes of land desertification landscape pattern in agriculture and pasturage interlaced zone of northern Shaanxi].

    PubMed

    Jia, Ke-Li; Chang, Qing-Rui

    2007-09-01

    By using the 1986, 1993 and 2003 Landsat TM images and with the help of GIS, the dynamic changes of land desertification landscape pattern in agriculture and pasturage interlaced zone of northern Shaanxi in 1986-2003 were analyzed. The results showed that in the past 17 years, the desertification area in the zone decreased by 206,655.2 hm2, with the patches in landscape structure reduced and fragmentation abated. Fortunately, the desertification degree decreased obviously, and moderate and light desertification took the leading position. From 1986 to 2003, the spatial centroid of desertification landscape patches expanded southwestward and northeastward, giving serious threat to the ecological safety of the southeast and northeast loess gully and hilly areas.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Increasing corn for biofuel production reduces biocontrol services in agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Landis, Douglas A.; Gardiner, Mary M.; van der Werf, Wopke; Swinton, Scott M.

    2008-01-01

    Increased demand for corn grain as an ethanol feedstock is altering U.S. agricultural landscapes and the ecosystem services they provide. From 2006 to 2007, corn acreage increased 19% nationally, resulting in reduced crop diversity in many areas. Biological control of insects is an ecosystem service that is strongly influenced by local landscape structure. Here, we estimate the value of natural biological control of the soybean aphid, a major pest in agricultural landscapes, and the economic impacts of reduced biocontrol caused by increased corn production in 4 U.S. states (Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). For producers who use an integrated pest management strategy including insecticides as needed, natural suppression of soybean aphid in soybean is worth an average of $33 ha−1. At 2007–2008 prices these services are worth at least $239 million y−1 in these 4 states. Recent biofuel-driven growth in corn planting results in lower landscape diversity, altering the supply of aphid natural enemies to soybean fields and reducing biocontrol services by 24%. This loss of biocontrol services cost soybean producers in these states an estimated $58 million y−1 in reduced yield and increased pesticide use. For producers who rely solely on biological control, the value of lost services is much greater. These findings from a single pest in 1 crop suggest that the value of biocontrol services to the U.S. economy may be underestimated. Furthermore, we suggest that development of cellulosic ethanol production processes that use a variety of feedstocks could foster increased diversity in agricultural landscapes and enhance arthropod-mediated ecosystem services. PMID:19075234

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-06-01

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

  18. Agricultural intensification and drought frequency increases may have landscape-level consequences for ephemeral ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Dalu, Tatenda; Wasserman, Ryan J; Dalu, Mwazvita T B

    2017-03-01

    Ephemeral wetlands in arid regions are often degraded or destroyed through poor land-use practice long before they are ever studied or prioritized for conservation. Climate change will likely also have implications for these ecosystems given forecast changes in rainfall patterns in many arid environments. Here, we present a conceptual diagram showing typical and modified ephemeral wetlands in agricultural landscapes and how modification impacts on species diversity and composition.

  19. Socially optimal drainage system and agricultural biodiversity: a case study for Finnish landscape.

    PubMed

    Saikkonen, Liisa; Herzon, Irina; Ollikainen, Markku; Lankoski, Jussi

    2014-12-15

    This paper examines the socially optimal drainage choice (surface/subsurface) for agricultural crop cultivation in a landscape with different land qualities (fertilities) when private profits and nutrient runoff damages are taken into account. We also study the measurable social costs to increase biodiversity by surface drainage when the locations of the surface-drained areas in a landscape affect the provided biodiversity. We develop a general theoretical model and apply it to empirical data from Finnish agriculture. We find that for low land qualities the measurable social returns are higher to surface drainage than to subsurface drainage, and that the profitability of subsurface drainage increases along with land quality. The measurable social costs to increase biodiversity by surface drainage under low land qualities are negative. For higher land qualities, these costs depend on the land quality and on the biodiversity impacts. Biodiversity conservation plans for agricultural landscapes should focus on supporting surface drainage systems in areas where the measurable social costs to increase biodiversity are negative or lowest.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-21

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

  1. Agricultural landscape simplification and insecticide use in the Midwestern United States

    PubMed Central

    Meehan, Timothy D.; Werling, Ben P.; Landis, Douglas A.; Gratton, Claudio

    2011-01-01

    Agronomic intensification has transformed many agricultural landscapes into expansive monocultures with little natural habitat. A pervasive concern is that such landscape simplification results in an increase in insect pest pressure, and thus an increased need for insecticides. We tested this hypothesis across a range of cropping systems in the Midwestern United States, using remotely sensed land cover data, data from a national census of farm management practices, and data from a regional crop pest monitoring network. We found that, independent of several other factors, the proportion of harvested cropland treated with insecticides increased with the proportion and patch size of cropland and decreased with the proportion of seminatural habitat in a county. We also found a positive relationship between the proportion of harvested cropland treated with insecticides and crop pest abundance, and a positive relationship between crop pest abundance and the proportion cropland in a county. These results provide broad correlative support for the hypothesized link between landscape simplification, pest pressure, and insecticide use. Using regression coefficients from our analysis, we estimate that, across the seven-state region in 2007, landscape simplification was associated with insecticide application to 1.4 million hectares and an increase in direct costs totaling between $34 and $103 million. Both the direct and indirect environmental costs of landscape simplification should be considered in design of land use policy that balances multiple ecosystem goods and services. PMID:21746934

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taft, Oriane W.; Haig, Susan M.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Seed rain under tree islands planted to restore degraded lands in a tropical agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Holl, K D; Zahawi, R A

    2010-07-01

    Planting native tree seedlings is the predominant restoration strategy for accelerating forest succession on degraded lands. Planting tree "islands" is less costly and labor intensive than establishing larger plantations and simulates the nucleation process of succession. Assessing the role of island size in attracting seed dispersers, the potential of islands to expand through enhanced seed deposition, and the effect of planting arrangements on seed dispersal by birds and bats informs restoration design. Determining the relative importance of local restoration approach vs. landscape-level factors (amount of surrounding forest cover) helps prioritize methods and locations for restoration. We tested how three restoration approaches affect the arrival of forest seeds at 11 experimental sites spread across a gradient of surrounding forest cover in a 100-km2 area of southern Costa Rica. Each site had three 50 x 50 m treatments: (1) control (natural regeneration), (2) island (planting tree seedlings in patches of three sizes: 16 m2, 64 m2, and 144 m2), and (3) plantation (planting entire area). Four tree species were used in planting (Terminalia amazonia, Vochysia guatemalensis, Erythrina poeppigiana, and Inga edulis). Seed rain was measured for 18 months beginning approximately 2 years after planting. Plantations received the most zoochorous tree seeds (266.1 +/- 64.5 seeds x m(-2) x yr(-1) [mean +/- SE]), islands were intermediate (210.4 +/- 52.7 seeds x m(-2) x yr(-1)), and controls were lowest (87.1 +/- 13.9 seeds x m(-2) x yr(-1)). Greater tree seed deposition in the plantations was due to birds (0.51 +/- 0.18 seeds x m(-2) x d(-1)), not bats (0.07 +/- 0.03 seeds x m(-2) x d(-1)). Seed rain was primarily small-seeded, early-successional species. Large and medium islands received twice as many zoochorous tree seeds as small islands and areas away from island edges, suggesting there is a minimum island size necessary to increase seed deposition and that seed rain

  7. 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.

  8. [Spatial distribution pattern of carabid assemblage in agricultural landscape of Miyun County, Beijing].

    PubMed

    Chang, Hong; Zhang, Xu-Zhu; Duan, Mei-Chun; Yu, Zhen-Rong; Liu, Yun-Hui

    2012-06-01

    By the method of pitfall trap sampling, an investigation was conducted on the carabid assemblage in four typical habitats (maize field, peanut field, orchard, and semi-natural woodland) in the agricultural landscape in Xitiange Village of Miyun County, Beijing. Among the four habitats, orchard had the highest alpha-diversity of carabid assemblage, followed by woodland and maize field, and peanut field had the lowest one. The species composition of the assemblage in woodland, peanut field, and orchard had evident difference, but was similar to that in maize field to some extent. The number of the individuals of predatory and omnivorous carabid sub-assemblages was larger in orchard, and the predatory sub-assemblage presented more distinct difference in its species turnover rate than the omnivore sub-assemblage among the habitats. This study showed that low-intensively managed orchard habitat could sustain higher alpha-diversity of carabid assemblage than semi-natural woodland habitat, and the landscape with diversified habitats could benefit the beta-diversity of carabid assemblage and its predatory sub-assemblage. To attach importance to the conservation of diversified habitats and low-intensively managed farmland habitat would have significance for the conservation of carabid assemblage diversity and its pest control function in agricultural landscape.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. The influence of plants on atmospheric methane in an agriculture-dominated landscape.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Lee, Xuhui; Griffis, Timothy J; Baker, John M; Erickson, Matt D; Hu, Ning; Xiao, Wei

    2014-07-01

    The primary objective of this study was to clarify the influence of crop plants on atmospheric methane (CH4) in an agriculture-dominated landscape in the Upper Midwest of the United States. Measurements were carried out at two contrasting scales. At the plant scale, CH4 fluxes from soybean and corn plants were measured with a laser-based plant chamber system. At the landscape scale, the land surface flux was estimated with a modified Bowen ratio technique using measurements made on a tall tower. The chamber data revealed a diurnal pattern for the plant CH4 flux: it was positive (an emission rate of 0.4±0.1 nmol m(-2) s(-1), average of soybean and corn, in reference to the unit ground area) during the day, and negative (an uptake rate of -0.8±0.8 nmol m(-2) s(-1)) during the night. At the landscape scale, the flux was estimated to be 14.8 nmol m(-2) s(-1) at night and highly uncertain during the day, but the available references and the flux estimates from the equilibrium methods suggested that the CH4 flux during the entire observation period was similar to the estimated nighttime flux. Thus, soybean and corn plants have a negligible role in the landscape-scale CH4 budget.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Farm ponds make a contribution to the biodiversity of aquatic insects in a French agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Ruggiero, Antonio; Céréghino, Régis; Figuerola, Jordi; Marty, Pierre; Angélibert, Sandrine

    2008-04-01

    Manmade ecosystems provide a variety of resources that have strong economic values. We assessed the importance of 37 farm ponds for the biodiversity of Odonata in an agricultural landscape lacking natural wetlands in southwestern France. Farm ponds captured 40% of the regional species pool, including both common and rare species. The species assemblages were not correlated with pond use (e.g., cattle watering, duck farming, etc.) or to landscape variable. Species richness was correlated with pond area, suggesting that community diversity was primarily driven by autoecological processes. Farm ponds thus made a positive contribution to the maintenance of aquatic biodiversity. This added value for biodiversity should be considered when calculating the costs and benefits of constructing water bodies for human activities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Landscape development in Southern Peninsular India from 10Be denudation rates in river sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandal, Sanjay; Lupker, Maarten; Haghipour, Negar; Burg, Jean-Pierre; Christl, Marcus

    2014-05-01

    The persistence of high elevation and topography observed along many passive margins remains one of the outstanding problems in landscape evolution. In Southern Peninsular India, this question revolves around the understanding of whether the observed high relief and pronounced topography results from equilibrium with contemporaneous external forcing or whether the relief was acquired during the late Cenozoic and conserved over several tens of millions years. Modern denudation rates dictating the current landscape evolution are ruled by the interactions between climate, tectonics and rock strength. We used detrital cosmogenic 10Be from 43 drainage basins ranging in size from 4 to 68768 km2, to infer millennial averaged denudation rates along and across the Western Ghat Mountains in Southern India and to understand if the present landscape is still actively evolving or not. The Western Ghat is characterized by a W-E gradient in relief and rainfall with only minor variations in lithology allowing to isolate the relationship between erosion rates and topographic indices. Cosmogenic-derived erosion rates are spatially variable, ranging from ~8 to 77 mm/ka on the western side and 8 to 51 mm/ka on the eastern side. The rugged topography of Western Ghats and Nilgiri Mountains exhibit pronounced topography in conjunction with low denudation rates. This represents an exception to the often-cited general coupling of topography and denudation rates and suggests that steep slopes and high relief in passive margin settings are not associated to high denudation. Nevertheless, locally the differences in denudation rates along and across the Western Ghats are well correlated with local relief, which suggests that the inherited topography still controls current denudation rates. Even though the catchments in Western Ghats receive a mean annual precipitation ~ 5 m, due to the SW Indian monsoon, precipitation shows only a minor control on denudation rates. This suggests that in the

  19. Long-term landscape evolution of the Molise sector of the central-southern Apennines, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amato, Vincenzo; Aucelli, Pietro P. C.; Bracone, Vito; Cesarano, Massimo; Rosskopf, Carmen Maria

    2017-02-01

    This paper concerns the reconstruction of the main stages of the long-term landscape evolution of the Molise portion of the central-southern Apennines along a transect divided into three sectors (SW, Central and NE). Analysis mainly focused on geomorphological, stratigraphical and structural data supported by chronological constraints, coming from an overall review of past literature and several studies carried out by the authors of the paper during the last 20 years. The results obtained allowed the elaboration of a conceptual model of the long-term evolution of the Molise sector of the central-southern Apennines. Starting from the Pliocene, the emersion of the Molise area occurred gradually from SW to NE, allowing a polycyclic landscape to evolve under the major controls first of compression then transtensional to extensional tectonics as well as climatic variations. Principal markers of the Quaternary geomorphological evolution of the Molise area are represented by the infill successions of the intermontane tectonic depressions located in its internal, SW sector and by four orders of palaeosurfaces that developed between the Early Pleistocene and the beginning of the Late Pleistocene across the region. These markers testify to the alternation of phases of substantial tectonic stability and uplift whose spatial-temporal distribution could be assessed along the investigated transect. Results highlight that the most important stages of landscape evolution occurred during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. At the beginning of the Late Pleistocene, the Molise sector of the Apennine chain had already reached its present setting and further landscape evolution occurred under the major control of climate and land-use.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-01

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

  2. Ghost Dancing the Grand Canyon. Southern Paiute Rock Art, Ceremony, and Cultural Landscapes.

    PubMed

    Stoffle; Loendorf; Austin; Halmo; Bulletts

    2000-02-01

    Combining rock art studies with ethnohistory, contemporary ethnographic analysis, and the interpretations of people who share the cultural traditions being studied, this paper documents a rock art site in Kanab Creek Canyon that appears to have been the location of a Ghost Dance ceremony performed by Southern Paiute and perhaps Hualapai people in the late 1800s. Using the site as a point of departure, it focuses on the way in which synergistic associations among place, artifact, resources, events, and historic and contemporary Indian people contribute to the construction of a contextual cultural landscape.

  3. Mosaic-level inference of the impact of land cover changes in agricultural landscapes on biodiversity: a case-study with a threatened grassland bird.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Francisco; Silva, João P; Estanque, Beatriz; Palmeirim, Jorge M; Lecoq, Miguel; Pinto, Márcia; Leitão, Domingos; Alonso, Ivan; Pedroso, Rui; Santos, Eduardo; Catry, Teresa; Silva, Patricia; Henriques, Inês; Delgado, Ana

    2012-01-01

    Changes in land use/land cover are a major driver of biodiversity change in the Mediterranean region. Understanding how animal populations respond to these landscape changes often requires using landscape mosaics as the unit of investigation, but few previous studies have measured both response and explanatory variables at the land mosaic level. Here, we used a "whole-landscape" approach to assess the influence of regional variation in the land cover composition of 81 farmland mosaics (mean area of 2900 ha) on the population density of a threatened bird, the little bustard (Tetrax tetrax), in southern Portugal. Results showed that ca. 50% of the regional variability in the density of little bustards could be explained by three variables summarising the land cover composition and diversity in the studied mosaics. Little bustard breeding males attained higher population density in land mosaics with a low land cover diversity, with less forests, and dominated by grasslands. Land mosaic composition gradients showed that agricultural intensification was not reflected in a loss of land cover diversity, as in many other regions of Europe. On the contrary, it led to the introduction of new land cover types in homogenous farmland, which increased land cover diversity but reduced overall landscape suitability for the species. Based on these results, the impact of recent land cover changes in Europe on the little bustard populations is evaluated.

  4. Airplane measurements above a patchy, agricultural dominated landscape in Central Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schween, J. H.; Selbach, C.; Crewell, S.; Geiss, H.

    2009-04-01

    During the FLUXPAT campaign in 2008 the MetAir Dimona research aricraft performed several fligths above a patchy, agricultural dominated landscape near Juelich/Germany. Main focus of the measurements are variability of water vapor and CO2 and their turbulent fluxes in the atmospheric boundary layer close to the ground. Flights took place at changing levels between 80m and 400m above ground in legs parallel and perpendicular to the prevailing wind. Agriculture in the region is dominated by two different crops: sugar beet and wheat. Simultaneous to the flights measurements at the ground took place to determine evapotranspiration and CO2 uptake of the crops, single plants and the soil below. We will present analyses of the airborne concentration and flux measurements, identify organized structures or at least parameters characterizing them. These parameters are related to external parameters as wind, stability, boundary layer depth and and surface fluxes and their distribution on the ground.

  5. Modeling the hydroclimatic disturbance of soil landscapes in the southern Canadian plains: the problems of scale and place.

    PubMed

    Sauchyn, D J

    2001-01-01

    The sensitivity of soil landscapes to climatic variability and hydroclimatic events can be expressed as a landscape change safety factor, the ratio of potential disturbance to resistance to change. The use of a geographic information system (GIS) enables the spatially-explicit modeling of landscape sensitivity, but also raises the risk of violating the characteristic scales of disturbance and resistance, because the GIS technically simplifies the extrapolation of models, and associated concepts, to landscapes and scales not represented by the digital data base. Embedding landscape sensitivity into hierarchy theory, the formal analysis of the hierarchical structure of complex systems, provides a conceptual framework for the transfer of models and variables among landscape scales. In the subhumid southern Canadian plains, major hydroclimatic events (strong winds, intense rain, rapid snow melt) cause much of the physical disturbance of soil landscapes and terrestrial ecosystems. Prolonged dry or wet weather influences the resistance of soil and vegetation to these events. The potential disturbance of soil landscapes therefore can be derived from the probabilities of extreme events and seasonal conditions, as recorded in instrumental and proxy climate records. This time series analysis can be linked to the modeling of landscape sensitivity by establishing the probabilities of hydroclimatic events and climatic conditions which may exceed or lower the resistance of individual soil landscapes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Evolution of antibiotic occurrence in a river through pristine, urban and agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shinwoo; Carlson, Kenneth

    2003-11-01

    A river along the semi-arid Front Range of Colorado was monitored for antibiotics including five tetracycline and six sulfonamide compounds. Existing analytical methods were adapted to measure these compounds in a surface water matrix at environmentally relevant concentrations (0.05 microg/L). Natural organic matter present in surface waters was confirmed to significantly impact the low-level analysis of tetracyclines (TCs) necessitating the use of standard addition quantification techniques. Five sites along the Cache la Poudre River were monitored for antibiotics encompassing pristine areas without anthropogenic influence, urban areas impacted by wastewater discharges and agricultural areas susceptible to non-point source contaminant runoff. The only site at which no antibiotics were detected was the pristine site in the mountains before the river had encountered urban or agricultural landscapes. By the time the river had exited the urban area, 6 of the 11 antibiotic compounds that were monitored were found in the samples. At Site 5, which had both urban and agricultural influences all five of the TCs monitored were detected indicating both urban and agricultural influences. The concentration of TCs at Site 5 ranged from 0.08 to 0.30 microg/L.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. Agricultural intensification and biodiversity partitioning in European landscapes comparing plants, carabids, and birds.

    PubMed

    Flohre, Andreas; Fischer, Christina; Aavik, Tsipe; Bengtsson, Jan; Berendse, Frank; Bommarco, Riccardo; Ceryngier, Piotr; Clement, Lars W; Dennis, Christopher; Eggers, Sönke; Emmerson, Mark; Geiger, Flavia; Guerrero, Irene; Hawro, Violetta; Inchausti, Pablo; Liira, Jaan; Morales, Manuel B; Oñate, Juan J; Pärt, Tomas; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Winqvist, Camilla; Thies, Carsten; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-07-01

    Effects of agricultural intensification (AI) on biodiversity are often assessed on the plot scale, although processes determining diversity also operate on larger spatial scales. Here, we analyzed the diversity of vascular plants, carabid beetles, and birds in agricultural landscapes in cereal crop fields at the field (n = 1350), farm (n = 270), and European-region (n = 9) scale. We partitioned diversity into its additive components alpha, beta, and gamma, and assessed the relative contribution of beta diversity to total species richness at each spatial scale. AI was determined using pesticide and fertilizer inputs, as well as tillage operations and categorized into low, medium, and high levels. As AI was not significantly related to landscape complexity, we could disentangle potential AI effects on local vs. landscape community homogenization. AI negatively affected the species richness of plants and birds, but not carabid beetles, at all spatial scales. Hence, local AI was closely correlated to beta diversity on larger scales up to the farm and region level, and thereby was an indicator of farm- and region-wide biodiversity losses. At the scale of farms (12.83-20.52%) and regions (68.34-80.18%), beta diversity accounted for the major part of the total species richness for all three taxa, indicating great dissimilarity in environmental conditions on larger spatial scales. For plants, relative importance of alpha diversity decreased with AI, while relative importance of beta diversity on the farm scale increased with AI for carabids and birds. Hence, and in contrast to our expectations, AI does not necessarily homogenize local communities, presumably due to the heterogeneity of farming practices. In conclusion, a more detailed understanding of AI effects on diversity patterns of various taxa and at multiple spatial scales would contribute to more efficient agri-environmental schemes in agroecosystems.

  15. Vulnerability of southern plains agriculture to climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate is a key driver for all ecological and economic systems; therefore, climate change introduces additional uncertainty and vulnerability into these systems. Agriculture represents a major land use that is critical to the survival of human societies and it is highly vulnerable to climate. Clima...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-02

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Organic farming benefits local plant diversity in vineyard farms located in intensive agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-15

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

  8. Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes: challenges and opportunities of coffee agroforests in the Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Claude A; Bhagwat, Shonil A; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Nath, Cheryl D; Nanaya, Konerira M; Kushalappa, Chepudira G; Raghuramulu, Yenugula; Nasi, Robert; Vaast, Philippe

    2010-04-01

    The new approaches advocated by the conservation community to integrate conservation and livelihood development now explicitly address landscape mosaics composed of agricultural and forested land rather than only protected areas and largely intact forests. We refer specifically to a call by Harvey et al. (2008) to develop a new approach based on six strategies to integrate biodiversity conservation with sustainable livelihoods in Mesoamerican landscape mosaics. We examined the applicability of this proposal to the coffee agroforests of the Western Ghats, India. Of the six strategies, only one directly addresses livelihood conditions. Their approach has a clear emphasis on conservation and, as currently formulated risks repeating the failures of past integrated conservation and development projects. It fails to place the aspirations of farmers at the core of the agenda. Thus, although we acknowledge and share the broad vision and many of the ideas proposed by this approach, we urge more balanced priority setting by emphasizing people as much as biodiversity through a careful consideration of local livelihood needs and aspirations.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaman, Mohammad; Nguyen, Minh Long

    2014-05-01

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

  11. Mosaic-Level Inference of the Impact of Land Cover Changes in Agricultural Landscapes on Biodiversity: A Case-Study with a Threatened Grassland Bird

    PubMed Central

    Moreira, Francisco; Silva, João P.; Estanque, Beatriz; Palmeirim, Jorge M.; Lecoq, Miguel; Pinto, Márcia; Leitão, Domingos; Alonso, Ivan; Pedroso, Rui; Santos, Eduardo; Catry, Teresa; Silva, Patricia; Henriques, Inês; Delgado, Ana

    2012-01-01

    Changes in land use/land cover are a major driver of biodiversity change in the Mediterranean region. Understanding how animal populations respond to these landscape changes often requires using landscape mosaics as the unit of investigation, but few previous studies have measured both response and explanatory variables at the land mosaic level. Here, we used a “whole-landscape” approach to assess the influence of regional variation in the land cover composition of 81 farmland mosaics (mean area of 2900 ha) on the population density of a threatened bird, the little bustard (Tetrax tetrax), in southern Portugal. Results showed that ca. 50% of the regional variability in the density of little bustards could be explained by three variables summarising the land cover composition and diversity in the studied mosaics. Little bustard breeding males attained higher population density in land mosaics with a low land cover diversity, with less forests, and dominated by grasslands. Land mosaic composition gradients showed that agricultural intensification was not reflected in a loss of land cover diversity, as in many other regions of Europe. On the contrary, it led to the introduction of new land cover types in homogenous farmland, which increased land cover diversity but reduced overall landscape suitability for the species. Based on these results, the impact of recent land cover changes in Europe on the little bustard populations is evaluated. PMID:22723899

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spruce, J.P.; Dowell, B.A.; Robbins, C.S.; Sader, S.A.; Doyle, Jamie K.; Schelhas, John

    1993-01-01

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

  18. The impact of HIV on agricultural livelihoods in southern Uganda and the challenges of attribution.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Ben; Bukenya, Dominic; van Asten, Piet; Agol, Dorice; Pain, Adam; Seeley, Janet

    2011-03-01

    Changes in agriculture and rural livelihoods in Africa are often attributed to the HIV epidemic. While acknowledging that the epidemic has devastated many families and communities because of excess morbidity and mortality, this review explores other causes of change in agriculture practices and production in southern Uganda. Over the past 20 years labour shortages, because of labour migration and changing aspirations (as well as HIV), crop and livestock pests and diseases, declining soil fertility, changes in commodity markets and a growing off-farm sector have contributed to the changes seen in rural southern Uganda. Policy interventions outside agriculture and health have also had an impact on households. The HIV epidemic has not happened in isolation. The perceived impacts of the epidemic cannot be addressed in isolation from these other drivers of change.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barlow, Jeannie R.; Kröger, Robert

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rands, Sean A

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Pest Control and Pollination Cost-Benefit Analysis of Hedgerow Restoration in a Simplified Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Morandin, L A; Long, R F; Kremen, C

    2016-05-11

    Field edge habitat in homogeneous agricultural landscapes can serve multiple purposes including enhanced biodiversity, water quality protection, and habitat for beneficial insects, such as native bees and natural enemies. Despite this ecosystem service value, adoption of field border plantings, such as hedgerows, on large-scale mono-cropped farms is minimal. With profits primarily driving agricultural production, a major challenge affecting hedgerow plantings is linked to establishment costs and the lack of clear economic benefits on the restoration investment. Our study documented that hedgerows are economically viable to growers by enhancing beneficial insects and natural pest control and pollination on farms. With pest control alone, our model shows that it would take 16 yr to break even from insecticide savings on the US$4,000 cost of a typical 300-m hedgerow field edge planting. By adding in pollination benefits by native bees, where honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) may be limiting, the return time is reduced to 7 yr. USDA cost share programs allow for a quicker return on a hedgerow investment. Our study shows that over time, small-scale restoration can be profitable, helping to overcome the barrier of cost associated with field edge habitat restoration on farms.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taft, Oriane W.; Haig, Susan M.

    2006-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  8. [Ecological risk assessment and its management of Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu based on landscape pattern].

    PubMed

    Gong, Jie; Zhao, Cai-Xia; Xie, Yu-Chu; Gao, Yan-Jing

    2014-07-01

    Watershed ecological risk assessment is an important research subject of watershed ecological protection and environmental management. Research on the ecological risk focuses on addressing the influence of human activities and its spatial variation at watershed scale is vital to policy-making to control the impact of human activity and protocols for sustainable economic and societal development. A comprehensive ecological environment index, incorporating a landscape index and an assessment of ecological vulnerability, was put forward to assess the spatio-temporal characteristics of ecological risk of the Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu Province, Northwest China. Using ArcGIS and Fragstats software and a land use map of 2010, an ecological risk map was obtained through spatial sampling and disjunctive Kriging interpolation. The results indicated that there were some obvious spatial differences of ecological risk levels in the watershed. The ecological risk level of the north and northwest of the Bailongjiang was higher than that of the western and southern extremities of the watershed. Ecological risk index (ERI) of Wudu and Tanchang was higher than that of Wenxian and Diebu. Some measures for ecological risk management were put forward on the basis of ERI of Bailongjiang watershed. To strengthen the integrated management of human activities and land use in the watershed, to carry out the vegetation restoration and ecological reconstruction, and to reduce the ecological risks and hazards of irrational human disturbance, are vital to the realization 'multiple-win' of the economic, social and ecological protection and for the sustainable development in the hilly area in southern Gansu.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Natural and semi-natural habitats in agricultural landscapes are likely to come under increasing pressure with the global population set to exceed 9 billion by 2050. These non-cropped habitats are primarily made up of trees, hedgerows and grassy margins and their amount, quality and spatial configuration can have strong implications for the delivery and sustainability of various ecosystem services. In this study high spatial resolution (0.5 m) colour infrared aerial photography (CIR) was used in object based image analysis for the classification of non-cropped habitat in a 10,029 ha area of southeast England. Three classification scenarios were devised using 4 and 9 class scenarios. The machine learning algorithm Random Forest (RF) was used to reduce the number of variables used for each classification scenario by 25.5 % ± 2.7%. Proportion of votes from the 4 class hierarchy was made available to the 9 class scenarios and where the highest ranked variables in all cases. This approach allowed for misclassified parent objects to be correctly classified at a lower level. A single object hierarchy with 4 class proportion of votes produced the best result (kappa 0.909). Validation of the optimum training sample size in RF showed no significant difference between mean internal out-of-bag error and external validation. As an example of the utility of this data, we assessed habitat suitability for a declining farmland bird, the yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella), which requires hedgerows associated with grassy margins. We found that ∼22% of hedgerows were within 200 m of margins with an area >183.31 m(2). The results from this analysis can form a key information source at the environmental and policy level in landscape optimisation for food production and ecosystem service sustainability.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Baselga, Andrés; Bonthoux, Sébastien; Balent, Gérard

    2015-01-01

    Temporal variation in the composition of species assemblages could be the result of deterministic processes driven by environmental change and/or stochastic processes of colonization and local extinction. Here, we analyzed the relative roles of deterministic and stochastic processes on bird assemblages in an agricultural landscape of southwestern France. We first assessed the impact of land cover change that occurred between 1982 and 2007 on (i) the species composition (presence/absence) of bird assemblages and (ii) the spatial pattern of taxonomic beta diversity. We also compared the observed temporal change of bird assemblages with a null model accounting for the effect of stochastic dynamics on temporal beta diversity. Temporal assemblage dissimilarity was partitioned into two separate components, accounting for the replacement of species (i.e. turnover) and for the nested species losses (or gains) from one time to the other (i.e. nestedness-resultant dissimilarity), respectively. Neither the turnover nor the nestedness-resultant components of temporal variation were accurately explained by any of the measured variables accounting for land cover change (r(2)<0.06 in all cases). Additionally, the amount of spatial assemblage heterogeneity in the region did not significantly change between 1982 and 2007, and site-specific observed temporal dissimilarities were larger than null expectations in only 1% of sites for temporal turnover and 13% of sites for nestedness-resultant dissimilarity. Taken together, our results suggest that land cover change in this agricultural landscape had little impact on temporal beta diversity of bird assemblages. Although other unmeasured deterministic process could be driving the observed patterns, it is also possible that the observed changes in presence/absence species composition of local bird assemblages might be the consequence of stochastic processes in which species populations appeared and disappeared from specific localities in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roda-Boluda, Duna; Whittaker, Alex

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Davis, Thomas Seth; Landolt, Peter J

    2013-07-01

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

  1. Quantifying exposure of wild bumblebees to mixtures of agrochemicals in agricultural and urban landscapes.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; David, Arthur; Hill, Elizabeth M; Goulson, Dave

    2017-03-01

    The increased use of pesticides has caused concern over the possible direct association of exposure to combinations of these compounds with bee health problems. There is growing proof that bees are regularly exposed to mixtures of agrochemicals, but most research has been focused on managed bees living in farmland, whereas little is known about exposure of wild bees, both in farmland and urban habitats. To determine exposure of wild bumblebees to pesticides in agricultural and urban environments through the season, specimens of five different species were collected from farms and ornamental urban gardens in three sampling periods. Five neonicotinoid insecticides, thirteen fungicides and a pesticide synergist were analysed in each of the specimens collected. In total, 61% of the 150 individuals tested had detectable levels of at least one of the compounds, with boscalid being the most frequently detected (35%), followed by tebuconazole (27%), spiroxamine (19%), carbendazim (11%), epoxiconazole (8%), imidacloprid (7%), metconazole (7%) and thiamethoxam (6%). Quantifiable concentrations ranged from 0.17 to 54.4 ng/g (bee body weight) for individual pesticides. From all the bees where pesticides were detected, the majority (71%) had more than one compound, with a maximum of seven pesticides detected in one specimen. Concentrations and detection frequencies were higher in bees collected from farmland compared to urban sites, and pesticide concentrations decreased through the season. Overall, our results show that wild bumblebees are exposed to multiple pesticides when foraging in agricultural and urban landscapes. Such mixtures are detected in bee tissues not just during the crop flowering period, but also later in the season. Therefore, contact with these combinations of active compounds might be more prolonged in time and widespread in the environment than previously assumed. These findings may help to direct future research and pesticide regulation strategies to

  2. Late Quaternary climate and landscape changes in Southern Africa based on integrative analyses of geoarchives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huerkamp, K.; Voelkel, J.; Heine, K.; Bens, O.; Winkelbauer, J.

    2009-12-01

    Although it is clear that large, rapid temperature changes have occurred during the last glacial-interglacial cycle and the Holocene in Southern Africa, we have only limited, and often imprecise, knowledge of how the major moisture-bearing atmospheric circulation systems have reacted to these changes. Using slope deposits, soils and sediments as palaeoclimatic geoarchives we will overcome these constraints. The role of many geoarchives in the reconstruction of the Quaternary climate in Southern Africa remains controversial, since the palaeoclimate data are based on evidence from marine cores, lake sediments, speleothems and spring sinter, fluvial sediments, aeolian sands and dust, colluvium, and coastal sediments. To elucidate climate controls on Quaternary landscape evolution and to use these data for palaeoclimatic reconstructions, slope deposits, soils and sediments have been investigated. The project will employ state-of-the-art geoscience methodology to interpret the record of precipitation changes of the Late Quaternary, including the shifting of the summer and winter rain belts, the chronology of catastrophic floods, the wind intensity and direction, and the role climatic factors may have played for prehistoric cultures. High resolution Late Quaternary records are provided by analysing the interstratification of slope deposits and soils with fluvial, lacustrine and aeolian sediment sequences. Earlier research has shown that aeolian and fluvial processes were active at the same time in the southwestern Kalahari during the LGM, documented by sequences of alternate bedding of aeolian, colluvial and fluvial sediments. The interfingering of slope deposits with fluvial flood sediments (slackwater deposits) in Namib Desert valleys document extreme precipitation events in the upper highland catchments and rains at the same time in the desert itself.

  3. Extent and role of ditches in affecting hydrological connectivity in agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shore, M.; Mechan, S.; Cushen, M.; Jordan, P.; Mellander, P. E.; Kelly-Quinn, M.; Melland, A.

    2012-04-01

    The ease of nutrient transfer from agricultural sources to downstream watercourses is partly dependant on the hydrological connectivity of the landscape which is influenced by surface and sub-surface ditch networks. Approaches to understanding, testing and quantifying hydrological connectivity in the environment have centered on models and indices, many of which have not been tested for their ability to account for surface ditch networks, such as the 'network index' (NI) model (Lane et al., 2004, Lane et al 2009). This model estimates of the time-averaged spatial variability in surface and near-surface connectivity, in terms of both the propensity and generation of hydrological connection. An evaluation of this model as a metric for surface and near-surface connectivity with and without the inclusion of the ditch network is being undertaken in two agricultural watersheds (~12 km2) in Ireland: well drained Catchment A and poorly drained Catchment B. A field survey of the ditch networks in both catchments was conducted to map their extent, and physical characteristics. Results were digitised in ArcGIS and subsequently 'burned' into a 5m x 5m digital elevation model (DEM) by reducing the elevation to the recorded depth for ditches. The NI model was applied to both the original and modified DEMs. These were compared for direction and magnitude of connected flows at the field, ditch network and subcatchment scales using GIS tools. Validation is underway and consists of hydrograph analysis of flow discharge data from 3 locations in each catchment and field surveys across scales and seasons mapping percentage areas of fields and lengths of ditches with observable surface flowing water. Ditch density (excluding streams) was much higher in Catchment B (5,865m km-2) than Catchment A (1,271m km-2) illustrating their widespread nature on poorly drained soils. The ability of the original NI model to predict direction of flow (represented by the surveyed ditch network) improved

  4. Using Nanotechnology to Identify and Characterize Hydrological Flowpaths in Agricultural Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, A. N.; Luo, D.; Regan, J. M.; Walter, M.

    2008-12-01

    Applying the power of nanoscale technology to answer landscape-scale questions constitutes an exciting new frontier in science and engineering. In this project, we propose a possible method of reducing the "nonpoint" problem associated with nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, a problem that has hampered agricultural sustainability and water quality protection for decades. We are developing superparamagnetic polylactic acid (PLA) microspheres incorporating DNA "nanobarcodes" as potential tracers. The eventual goal of this project is to develop technologies for identifying and characterizing different flowpaths at field and watershed scales by using multiple sets of polymer microspheres, each coded with unique DNA sequences, of which there are essentially limitless combinations, i.e., many flowpaths can be uniquely coded. Our ultimate vision is to have the capacity of introducing microsphere-encapsulated DNA at different points in a watershed and collecting these microspheres elsewhere in the watershed; using quantitative, real-time polymerase chain reaction targeted at the specific DNA, we would be able to determine the hydrological linkages and transport times between the collection point(s) and the points of DNA introduction. The potential advantages of this nanotechnology strategy compared to conventional tracers are the elimination of background interferences, the ability to segregate superimposed flowpaths through the design of strictly unique DNA tracers and the biodegradability of the tracers. This presentation highlights recent advances, new challenges, and potential applications for this tracer technology.

  5. Phylogenetic Relationships of Xylella fastidiosa Strains Isolated from Landscape Ornamentals in Southern California.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Martinez, Rufina; de la Cerda, Karla A; Costa, Heather S; Cooksey, Donald A; Wong, Francis P

    2007-07-01

    ABSTRACT Xylella fastidiosa is an insect-borne, xylem-limited pathogenic bacterium that has been associated with a rise in incidence of diseased landscape ornamentals in southern California. The objective of this study was to genetically characterize strains isolated from ornamental hosts to understand their distribution and identity. Strains of X. fastidiosa isolated from ornamentals were characterized using a multiprimer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR, and sequence analysis of the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region (ISR). Based on RAPD-PCR and 16S-23S rDNA ISR, strains isolated from daylily, jacaranda, and magnolia clustered with members of X. fastidiosa subsp. sandyi and caused oleander leaf scorch but not Pierce's disease symptoms in glasshouse assays on oleander and grape, respectively. This demonstrated both that our groupings based on genetic characterization were valid and that strains of X. fastidiosa subsp. sandyi are present in hosts other than oleander. Strains isolated from Spanish broom, cherry, and one strain isolated from western redbud clustered with X. fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa members. Strains isolated from purple-leafed plum, olive, peach, plum, sweetgum, maidenhair tree, crape myrtle, and another western redbud strain clustered with members of X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex. All strains isolated from mulberry and one from heavenly bamboo formed a separate cluster that has not yet been defined as a subspecies.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kędziora, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaubius, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Patterns and scaling properties of surface soil moisture in an agricultural landscape: An ecohydrological modeling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korres, W.; Reichenau, T. G.; Schneider, K.

    2013-08-01

    Soil moisture is a key variable in hydrology, meteorology and agriculture. Soil moisture, and surface soil moisture in particular, is highly variable in space and time. Its spatial and temporal patterns in agricultural landscapes are affected by multiple natural (precipitation, soil, topography, etc.) and agro-economic (soil management, fertilization, etc.) factors, making it difficult to identify unequivocal cause and effect relationships between soil moisture and its driving variables. The goal of this study is to characterize and analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of surface soil moisture (top 20 cm) in an intensively used agricultural landscape (1100 km2 northern part of the Rur catchment, Western Germany) and to determine the dominant factors and underlying processes controlling these patterns. A second goal is to analyze the scaling behavior of surface soil moisture patterns in order to investigate how spatial scale affects spatial patterns. To achieve these goals, a dynamically coupled, process-based and spatially distributed ecohydrological model was used to analyze the key processes as well as their interactions and feedbacks. The model was validated for two growing seasons for the three main crops in the investigation area: Winter wheat, sugar beet, and maize. This yielded RMSE values for surface soil moisture between 1.8 and 7.8 vol.% and average RMSE values for all three crops of 0.27 kg m-2 for total aboveground biomass and 0.93 for green LAI. Large deviations of measured and modeled soil moisture can be explained by a change of the infiltration properties towards the end of the growing season, especially in maize fields. The validated model was used to generate daily surface soil moisture maps, serving as a basis for an autocorrelation analysis of spatial patterns and scale. Outside of the growing season, surface soil moisture patterns at all spatial scales depend mainly upon soil properties. Within the main growing season, larger scale

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Selection of flooded agricultural fields and other landscapes by female northern pintails wintering in Tulare Basin, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fleskes, Joseph P.; Jarvis, Robert L.; Gilmer, David S.

    2003-01-01

    Habitat selection and use are measures of relative importance of habitats to wildlife and necessary information for effective wildlife conservation. To measure the relative impor- tance of flooded agricultural fields and other landscapes to northern pintails (Anas acuta) wintering in Tulare Basin (TB), California, we radiotagged female pintails during late August-early October, 1991-1993 in TB and other San Joaquin Valley areas and deter- mined use and selection of these TB landscapes through March each year. Availability of landscape and field types in TB changed within and among years. Pintail use and selec- tion (based upon use-to-availability log ratios) of landscape and field types differed among seasons, years, and diel periods. Fields flooded after harvest and before planting (i.e., pre-irrigated) were the most available, used, and selected landscape type before the hunting season (Prehunt). Safflower was the most available, used, and-except in 1993, when pre-irrigated fallow was available-selected pre-irrigated field type during Prehunt. Pre-irrigated barley-wheat received 19-22% of use before hunting season, but selection varied greatly among years and diel periods. During and after hunting season, managed marsh was the most available, used, and, along with floodwater areas, selected landscape type; pre-irrigated cotton and alfalfa were the least selected field types and accounted for <13% of pintail use. Agricultural drainwater evaporation ponds, sewage treatment ponds, and reservoirs accounted for 42-48% of flooded landscape available but were lit- tle used and least selected. Exodus of pintails from TB coincided with drying of pre-irri- gated fallow, safflower, and barley-wheat fields early in winter, indicating that preferred habitats were lacking in TB during late winter. Agriculture conservation programs could improve TB for pintails by increasing flooding of fallow and harvested safflower and grain fields. Conservation of remaining wetlands should

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruhoff, Anderson

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yao, Xia; He, Linchun

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-05-01

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

  8. Measurements of biogenic volatile organic compounds at a grazed savannah grassland agricultural landscape in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaars, Kerneels; van Zyl, Pieter G.; Beukes, Johan P.; Hellén, Heidi; Vakkari, Ville; Josipovic, Micky; Venter, Andrew D.; Räsänen, Matti; Knoetze, Leandra; Cilliers, Dirk P.; Siebert, Stefan J.; Kulmala, Markku; Rinne, Janne; Guenther, Alex; Laakso, Lauri; Hakola, Hannele

    2016-12-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) play an important role in the chemistry of the troposphere, especially in the formation of tropospheric ozone (O3) and secondary organic aerosols (SOA). Ecosystems produce and emit a large number of BVOCs. It is estimated on a global scale that approximately 90 % of annual BVOC emissions are from terrestrial sources. In this study, measurements of BVOCs were conducted at the Welgegund measurement station (South Africa), which is considered to be a regionally representative background site situated in savannah grasslands. Very few BVOC measurements exist for savannah grasslands and results presented in this study are the most extensive for this type of landscape. Samples were collected twice a week for 2 h during the daytime and 2 h during the night-time through two long-term sampling campaigns from February 2011 to February 2012 and from December 2013 to February 2015, respectively. Individual BVOCs were identified and quantified using a thermal desorption instrument, which was connected to a gas chromatograph and a mass selective detector. The annual median concentrations of isoprene, 2-methyl-3-butene-2-ol (MBO), monoterpene and sesquiterpene (SQT) during the first campaign were 14, 7, 120 and 8 pptv, respectively, and 14, 4, 83 and 4 pptv, respectively, during the second campaign. The sum of the concentrations of the monoterpenes were at least an order of magnitude higher than the concentrations of other BVOC species during both sampling campaigns, with α-pinene being the most abundant species. The highest BVOC concentrations were observed during the wet season and elevated soil moisture was associated with increased BVOC concentrations. However, comparisons with measurements conducted at other landscapes in southern Africa and the rest of the world that have more woody vegetation indicated that BVOC concentrations were, in general, significantly lower for savannah grasslands. Furthermore, BVOC concentrations were an

  9. Successful de-fragmentation of woodland by planting in an agricultural landscape? An assessment based on landscape indicators.

    PubMed

    Quine, C P; Watts, K

    2009-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is the focus of much conservation concern and associated research. In some countries, such as Britain, the main phase of fragmentation occurred centuries ago and the focus of conservation management is now on restoration and recovery. Scenario studies have suggested that spatial targeting is preferable if landscape scale restoration is to be achieved, and that this should bring greater benefits than site-focussed activities but this has rarely been tested in practice. In Britain, woodland expansion has been encouraged through a number of financial incentives, which have evolved from instruments that encouraged almost any addition to the potential woodland resource, to grant schemes that have set out to restore connectivity to remnant ancient woodland. This study assessed the degree of de-fragmentation achieved by woodland expansion on the Isle of Wight and in particular the success of spatial targeting of new woodland planting implemented through grant aid in the JIGSAW (Joining and Increasing Grant Scheme for Ancient Woodland) scheme. Five steps in the re-development of broad-leaved woodland were tested using eight indicators - six commonly used landscape metrics, and two ecologically scaled indicators derived from application of least-cost network evaluation. Only half of the measures indicated de-fragmentation over the whole sequence of five steps. However, the spatial targeting did appear successful, when compared to equivalent untargeted grant-aided woodland expansion, and resulted in positive change to six of the eight indicators. We discuss the utility of the indicators and ways in which future targeting could be supported by their application.

  10. Using Comprehensive Biophysical Characterisation of Hydro-Geologic Landscapes to Constrain Surficial and Subsurface Fluid Flow and Solute Transport: An Example from Southern Rivers in Southeast Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey, K.; Moore, C. L.

    2009-04-01

    The geology in the transect from Canberra to the east coast of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, consists of three major groups. These include the rocks of the Palaeozoic Lachlan Fold Belt, Mesozoic Sydney Basin sediments and Cainozoic sediments. The Lachlan Fold Belt lithologies, in the study area, are characterised by an intensely deformed Ordovician turbidite basement overlain by Silurian and Devonian rift successions, with siliciclastic and volcanogenic sediment fill, bimodal volcanics and associated granitic intrusions. These rocks are unconformably overlain by thick, relatively flat-lying, Permo-Triassic glacial-periglacial, fluvial and shallow marine siliciclastic sediments of the Sydney Basin. Localised areas of Cainozoic gravels cover the palaeo-landscapes developed on the older rocks, and modern fluvial and coastal processes continue to modify the landscape. Salt is concentrated in this landscape through aeolian accession, deposition from oceanic aerosols, or rarely as fossil (connate) salts. The redistribution of salts by the process of aeolian accession typically takes place when the salts are coupled with windblown dust known as parna. For south-eastern NSW, this dust originates from areas which are more arid, such as the western regions of the NSW and Victorian states. Aerosols from the ocean can be responsible for the deposition of salts up to a few hundred kilometres from their source. This process is responsible for a significant contribution of salt in the south-east of NSW, especially on the coastal plains and the eastern Southern Highlands. The presence of connate fluids is commonly associated with marine derived sediments. While many of the geological units of the Lachlan Fold Belt were marine deposits, these units have undergone up to four major folding and faulting events and many minor deformations. It is commonly believed that these units have been too intensely deformed, upthrust, eroded and flushed to allow the retention of any original

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ha, M.; Wu, M. M.

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Hunting or habitat? Drivers of waterbird abundance and community structure in agricultural wetlands of southern India.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Ramesh; Kumar, Ajith; Gopi Sundar, Kolla S; Bhalla, Ravinder Singh

    2017-02-28

    The relative impacts of hunting and habitat on waterbird community were studied in agricultural wetlands of southern India. We surveyed wetlands to document waterbird community, and interviewed hunters to document hunting intensity, targeted species, and the motivations for hunting. Our results show that hunting leads to drastic declines in waterbird diversity and numbers, and skew the community towards smaller species. Hunting intensity, water spread, and vegetation cover were the three most important determinants of waterbird abundance and community structure. Species richness, density of piscivorous species, and medium-sized species (31-65 cm) were most affected by hunting. Out of 53 species recorded, 47 were hunted, with a preference for larger birds. Although illegal, hunting has increased in recent years and is driven by market demand. This challenges the widely held belief that waterbird hunting in India is a low intensity, subsistence activity, and undermines the importance of agricultural wetlands in waterbird conservation.

  14. Guinea worm in southern Ghana: its epidemiology and impact on agricultural productivity.

    PubMed

    Belcher, D W; Wurapa, F K; Ward, W B; Lourie, I M

    1975-03-01

    In southern Ghana guinea worm disease was found to occur almost exclusively in villages dependent upon pond water during the dry season. The recent occurrence of guinea worm for the first time in many villages in the survey area suggests that the disease is spreading. The risk of increasing disease in the Accra plains is serious, because almost half of the 159 villages surveyed use pond water, and residents frequently travel to endemic areas. In this study adult male farmers were at greatest risk of becoming infected. The average work loss in untreated adults was more than 5 weeks. Because guinea worm disease is seasonal, conciding with peak agricultural activities, and few alternative labor sources are available for the incapacitated farmer, a marked reduction in agricultural output occurs. Additional research is needed to guide health education programs, to evaluate the effectiveness of chemical control of cyclops in ponds, and to develop low-cost improved rural water supplies.

  15. Ecosystem services in the face of invasion: the persistence of native and nonnative spiders in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Brian N; Daane, Kent M

    2011-03-01

    The presence of intact natural ecosystems in agricultural landscapes can mitigate losses in the diversity of natural enemies and enhance ecosystem services. However, native natural enemies may fail to persist in agroecosystems if invaders dominate species interactions. In this study, native and nonnative spiders were sampled along transects that extended from oak woodland and riparian zones into surrounding California vineyards, to assess the role of natural habitat as a source for spider biodiversity in the vineyard landscape, and to compare the dominance of exotic Cheiracanthium spiders between habitats. Many spider species were more abundant in natural habitat than in vineyards, and numbers of spiders and spider species within vineyards were higher at the vineyard edge adjacent to oak woodland. These results suggest that natural habitat is a key source for spiders in vineyards. The positive effect of oak woodland on the vineyard spider community extended only to the vineyard edge, however. Proportions of Cheiracanthium spiders increased dramatically in the vineyard, while numbers of native wandering spiders (the native ecological homologues of Cheiracanthium spiders) decreased. Dispersal limitation and strong habitat preferences may have prevented native wandering spiders from establishing far from the vineyard edge. Exotic Cheiracanthium spiders, in contrast, may possess specific adaptations to vineyards or to a wide range of habitats. Results suggest that the ecosystem services provided by intact natural habitat may be limited in agricultural landscapes that are dominated by invasive species.

  16. Assessing the Ecological Response of Dung Beetles in an Agricultural Landscape Using Number of Individuals and Biomass in Diversity Measures.

    PubMed

    Cultid-Medina, C A; Escobar, F

    2016-04-01

    The global increase in demand for productive land requires us to increase our knowledge of the value of agricultural landscapes for the management and conservation of biodiversity, particularly in tropical regions. Thus, comparative studies of how different community attributes respond to changes in land use under different levels of deforestation intensity would be useful. We analyzed patterns of dung beetle diversity in an Andean region dominated by sun-grown coffee. Diversity was estimated using two measures of species abundance (the number of individuals and biomass) and was compared among four types of vegetation cover (forest, riparian forest, sun-grown coffee, and pastures) in three landscape plots with different degrees of deforestation intensity (low, intermediate, and high). We found that dung beetle diversity patterns differed between types of vegetation cover and degree of deforestation, depending on whether the number of individuals or biomass was used. Based on biomass, inequality in the dung beetle community was lowest in the forest, and increased in the sun-grown coffee and pastures across all levels of deforestation, particularly for the increasing dominance of large species. The number of beetles and biomass indicate that the spatial dominance of sun-grown coffee does not necessarily imply the drastic impoverishment of dung beetle diversity. In fact, for these beetles, it would seem that the landscape studied has not yet crossed "a point of no return." This system offers a starting point for exploring biodiversity management and conservation options in the sun-grown coffee landscapes of the Colombian Andes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    McNab, W.H.

    1996-12-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Strong discrepancies between local temperature mapping and interpolated climatic grids in tropical mountainous agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaskulska, R.; Szajdak, L.

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollenz, S.; Glasmacher, P. A.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  9. Impacts of agriculture on the parasite communities of northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) in southern Quebec, Canada.

    PubMed

    King, K C; McLaughlin, J D; Gendron, A D; Pauli, B D; Giroux, I; Rondeau, B; Boily, M; Juneau, P; Marcogliese, D J

    2007-12-01

    Given that numerous amphibians are suffering population declines, it is becoming increasingly important to examine the relationship between disease and environmental disturbance. Indeed, while many studies relate anthropogenic activity to changes in the parasitism of snails and fishes, little is known of the impact on the parasites of amphibians, particularly from agriculture. For 2 years, the parasite communities of metamorphic northern leopard frogs from 7 agricultural wetlands were compared with those from 2 reference wetlands to study differences in parasite community diversity and abundance of various species under pristine conditions and 3 categories of disturbance: only agricultural landscape, only pesticides, and agricultural landscape with pesticides. Agricultural (and urban) area was negatively related to species richness, and associated with the near absence of adult parasites and species that infect birds or mammals. We suggest that agriculture and urbanization may hinder parasite transmission to frogs by limiting access of other vertebrate hosts of their parasites to wetlands. The only parasite found at all localities was an unidentified echinostome infecting the kidneys. This parasite dominated communities in localities surrounded by the most agricultural land, suggesting generalist parasites may persist in disrupted habitats. Community composition was associated with dissolved organic carbon and conductivity, but few links were found with pesticides. Pollution effects may be masked by a strong impact of land use on parasite transmission.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-06-13

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

  12. Urban water budgets: a comparative study of three landscape management scenarios in southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bijoor, N. S.; Haver, D.; Pataki, D. E.

    2009-12-01

    The fate of irrigation water in urban landscapes is highly uncertain, due in large part to uncertainties in urban ecohydrology. In this study, we compared evapotranspiration (ET), leaf-level stomatal conductance, and soil moisture of three landscapes managed under typical, retrofitted, and low-impact scenarios. The typical landscape consisted of fescue (Schedonorus phoenix (Scop.) Holub), a common cool-season turfgrass species. Watering was controlled by a timer and occurred on a daily basis, representative of irrigation by most homeowners. The retrofitted landscape consisted of seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), a warm-season species, and watering was based on measurements of soil moisture. The low-impact landscape consisted of mixed species of cool-season native sedge (Carex), and watering was based on measurements of weather conditions. The amount of irrigation received was highest in the typical landscape, and lowest in the retrofitted landscape. We hypothesized that the low-impact landscape would have the highest irrigation efficiency or IE (ET/applied irrigation water) while the typical landscape would have the lowest, due to differences in stomatal conductance and soil moisture. ET was measured using a chamber technique, and stomatal conductance was determined using a porometer. Destructive samples were used to estimate leaf area index (LAI) and soil moisture was measured using time domain reflectometry (TDR). We found no significant difference in soil moisture among landscapes, except in spring when the retrofitted landscape was drier than the other two. The average annual ET was similar among landscapes, though there were large seasonal differences. In the fall, the ET of sedge was higher than fescue, and paspalum did not differ from the other two species. In the winter, the ET of the warm-season grass paspalum was lower than the cool-season sedge and similar to fescue. In spring, there were no differences among species. In summer, the ET of paspalum

  13. Monarchs in decline: a collateral landscape-level effect of modern agriculture.

    PubMed

    Stenoien, Carl; Nail, Kelly R; Zalucki, Jacinta M; Parry, Hazel; Oberhauser, Karen S; Zalucki, Myron P

    2016-09-21

    We review the postulated threatening processes that may have affected the decline in the eastern population of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus L. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), in North America. Although there are likely multiple contributing factors, such as climate and resource-related effects on breeding, migrating, and overwintering populations, the key landscape-level change appears to be associated with the widespread use of genetically modified herbicide resistant crops that have rapidly come to dominate the extensive core summer breeding range. We dismiss misinterpretations of the apparent lack of population change in summer adult count data as logically flawed. Glyphosate-tolerant soybean and maize have enabled the extensive use of this herbicide, generating widespread losses of milkweed (Asclepias spp.), the only host plants for monarch larvae. Modeling studies that simulate lifetime realized fecundity at a landscape scale, direct counts of milkweeds, and extensive citizen science data across the breeding range suggest that a herbicide-induced, landscape-level reduction in milkweed has precipitated the decline in monarchs. A recovery will likely require a monumental effort for the re-establishment of milkweed resources at a commensurate landscape scale.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Życzyńska-Bałoniak, Irena; Wojciech Szajdak, Lech

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Even the Smallest Non-Crop Habitat Islands Could Be Beneficial: Distribution of Carabid Beetles and Spiders in Agricultural Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Energy-conserving perennial agriculture for marginal land in southern Appalachia. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, G.

    1982-01-30

    USDA economists predict the end of surplus farm production in the US within this decade. More and more marginal land will be cropped to provide feed for the growing world population and to produce energy. Much of this potential cropland in Southern Appalachia is poorly suited to annual crops, such as corn. Perennial crops are much better suited to steep, rocky, and wet sites. Research was undertaken on the theoretical potentials of perennial species with high predicted yields of protein, carbohydrates, or oils. Several candidate staple perennial crops for marginal land in Southern Appalachia were identified, and estimates were made of their yields, energy input requirements, and general suitabilities. Cropping systems incorporating honeylocust, persimmon, mulberry, jujube, and beech were compared with corn cropping systems. It appears that these candidate staple perennials show distinct advantages for energy conservation and environmental preservation. Detailed economic analyses must await actual demonstration trials, but preliminary indications for ethanol conversion systems with honeylocust are encouraging. It is suggested that short-term loans to farmers undertaking this new type of agriculture would be appropriate to solve cash-flow problems.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taft, O.W.; Haig, S.M.; Kiilsgaard, C.

    2003-01-01

    Many of today's agricultural landscapes once held vast amounts of wetland habitat for waterbirds and other wildlife. Successful restoration of these landscapes relies on access to accurate maps of the wetlands that remain. We used C-band (5.6-cm-wavelength), HH-polarized radar remote sensing (RADARSAT) at a 38?? incidence angle (8-m resolution) to map the distribution of winter shorebird (Charadriiformes) habitat on agricultural lands in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. We acquired imagery on three dates (10 December 1999, 27 January 2000, and 15 March 2000) and simultaneously collected ground reference data to classify radar signatures and evaluate map accuracy of four habitat classes: (1) wet with ??? 50% vegetation (considered optimal shorebird habitat), (2) wet with > 50% vegetation, (3) dry with ??? 50% vegetation, and (4) dry with > 50% vegetation. Overall accuracy varied from 45 to 60% among the three images, but the accuracy of focal class 1 was greater, ranging from 72 to 80%. Class 4 coverage was stable and dominated maps (40% of mapped study area) for all three dates, while class 3 coverage decreased slightly throughout the study period. Among wet classes, class 1 was most abundant (30% coverage) in December and January, decreasing in March by 15%. Conversely, class 2 increased dramatically from January to March, likely due to transition from class 1 as vegetation grew. This approach was successful in detecting optimal habitat for shorebirds on agricultural lands. For modest classification schemes, radar remote sensing is a valuable option for wetland mapping in areas where cloud cover is persistent. ?? 2003 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taft, Oriane W.; Haig, Susan M.

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Agricultural nematology in East and Southern Africa: problems, management strategies and stakeholder linkages.

    PubMed

    Talwana, Herbert; Sibanda, Zibusiso; Wanjohi, Waceke; Kimenju, Wangai; Luambano-Nyoni, Nessie; Massawe, Cornel; Manzanilla-López, Rosa H; Davies, Keith G; Hunt, David J; Sikora, Richard A; Coyne, Danny L; Gowen, Simon R; Kerry, Brian R

    2016-02-01

    By 2050, Africa's population is projected to exceed 2 billion. Africa will have to increase food production more than 50% in the coming 50 years to meet the nutritional requirements of its growing population. Nowhere is the need to increase agricultural productivity more pertinent than in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, where it is currently static or declining. Optimal pest management will be essential, because intensification of any system creates heightened selection pressures for pests. Plant-parasitic nematodes and their damage potential are intertwined with intensified systems and can be an indicator of unsustainable practices. As soil pests, nematodes are commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed, particularly where appropriate expertise and knowledge transfer systems are meager or inadequately funded. Nematode damage to roots results in less efficient root systems that are less able to access nutrients and water, which can produce symptoms typical of water or nutrient deficiency, leading to misdiagnosis of the underlying cause. Damage in subsistence agriculture is exacerbated by growing crops on degraded soils and in areas of low water retention where strong root growth is vital. This review focuses on the current knowledge of economically important nematode pests affecting key crops, nematode control methods and the research and development needs for sustainable management, stakeholder involvement and capacity building in the context of crop security in East and Southern Africa, especially Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

  5. Physical activity in youth from a subsistence agriculture community in the Valley of Oaxaca, southern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Malina, Robert M; Reyes, Maria Eugenia Peña; Tan, Swee Kheng; Little, Bertis B

    2008-08-01

    Observations of activities of contemporary subsistence agricultural communities may provide insights into the lifestyle of youth of 2 to 3 generations ago. The purpose of this study was to document age- and sex-associated variation in household activities and daily steps walking to school of youth 9-17 years in an indigenous subsistence agricultural community in Oaxaca, southern Mexico. Activities during leisure were also considered. A cross-sectional survey of a rural Zapotec-speaking community was undertaken, and respondents included 118 boys and 152 girls, aged 8.7-17.9 years. Household and leisure activities were documented by questionnaire and subsequent interview. Household activities were classified by estimated intensity for before and after school and on the weekend, and an estimate of METS per day accumulated while doing chores was derived. Number of steps from home to school was estimated. Contingency table analysis and MANCOVA controlling for age was used to evaluate results. Household activities tended to cluster at light and moderate intensities in girls and at moderate to moderate-to-vigorous intensities in boys. Estimated METS per day in approximately 2 h of chores differed significantly by sex. Secondary school girls expended significantly more METS per day in chores than primary school girls, but there was no difference by school level in boys. The daily round trip from home to school was approximately 2400 steps for primary students and approximately 2700 and approximately 3100 steps for secondary boys and girls, respectively. Television viewing and participation in sports were major leisure activities for boys and girls. Daily household chores, walking, and leisure activities suggest moderately active and moderately-to-vigorously active lifestyles in girls and boys, respectively, in this indigenous subsistence agricultural community.

  6. Daily Evolution of the Insect Biomass Spectrum in an Agricultural Landscape Accessed with Lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brydegaard, Mikkel; Gebru, Alem; Kirkeby, Carsten; Åkesson, Susanne; Smith, Henrik

    2016-06-01

    We present measurements of atmospheric insect fauna intercepted by a static lidar transect over arable and pastoral land over one day. We observe nearly a quarter million of events which are calibrated to optical cross section. Biomass spectra are derived from the size distribution and presented against space and time. We discuss detection limits and instrument biasing, and we relate the insect observations to relevant ecological landscape features and land use. Future directions and improvements of the technique are also outlined.

  7. Application of ground-based LIDAR for gully investigation in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Detailed scientific investigation of gullies in agricultural fields requires accurate topographic information with adequate temporal and spatial resolution. New technologies, such as ground-based LIDAR systems, are capable of generating datasets with high temporal and spatial resolutions. The spatia...

  8. Quantifying landscape change following the 1999 jökulhlaup at Sólheimajökull, southern Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staines, Kate E. H.

    2010-05-01

    Glacial outburst floods (jökulhlaups) occur periodically in glaciated areas worldwide as the result of subglacial volcanism, geothermal activity, natural dam-failures, high rainfall events and the release of stored meltwater. Despite their relative low frequency, the high discharge magnitudes and flow velocities can lead to widespread, intensive and long-lasting landscape change. Indeed, in the jökulhlaup-prone regions of southern Iceland, outburst floods are hypothesised to largely control long-term proglacial landscape evolution, with low-magnitude/high-frequency ablation-controlled meltwater flow having a minimal impact. Jökulhlaups also pose a major threat to populations, infrastructures and property. It is predicted with climate change that the frequency and potentially the magnitude of jökulhlaups will increase. It is therefore important to study jökulhlaup flow processes and understand how landscapes are impacted by and recover from these floods. Ultimately, this will better inform policy, flood prediction and hazard management in populated regions at risk from jökulhlaups. Currently, our understanding of jökulhlaup flow processes and the links between these processes and resulting landforms is limited. This is in parts due to the difficulty in directly measuring these high-magnitude, high-velocity floods. Research into jökulhlaup flow characteristics has consequently focussed on reconstructing flow parameters through a variety of palaeohydraulic techniques. However, these often produce conflicting and inaccurate reconstructions of flow inundation, peak discharge and flow rheology as key characteristics of jökulhlaups are frequently neglected (e.g. sediment transport, flow attenuation, sediment bulking and de-bulking). Furthermore, there has been little research into quantifying landscape change, response and recovery following jökulhlaups. The degree of preservation of flood deposits is determined in large parts by the pre-flood sensitivity of the

  9. Integrating objectives and scales for planning and implementing wetland restoration and creation in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Mateos, D; Comin, F A

    2010-11-01

    Traditionally, wetland management strategies have focused on single familiar objectives, such as improving water quality, strengthening biodiversity, and providing flood control. Despite the relevant amount of studies focused on wetland creation or restoration with these and other objectives, still little is known on how to integrate objectives of wetland creation or restoration at different landscape scales. We have reviewed the literature to this aim, and based on the existing current knowledge, we propose a four step approach to take decisions in wetland creation or restoration planning. First, based on local needs and limitations we should elucidate what the wetland is needed for. Second, the scale at which wetland should be created or restored must be defined. Third, conflicts and compatibilities between creation or restoration objectives must then be carefully studied. Fourth, a creation or restoration strategy must be defined. The strategy can be either creating different unipurpose wetlands or multipurpose wetlands, or combinations of them at different landscape scales. In any case, in unipurpose wetland projects we recommend to pursue additional secondary objectives. Following these guidelines, restored and created wetlands would have more ecological functions, similar to natural wetlands, especially if spatial distribution in the landscape is considered. Restored and created wetlands could then provide an array of integrated environmental services adapted to local ecological and social needs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  11. Climate change and Australian agriculture: a review of the threats facing rural communities and the health policy landscape.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Elizabeth G; Bell, Erica; King, Debra; Woodruff, Rosalie

    2011-03-01

    Population health is a function of social and environmental health determinants. Climate change is predicted to bring significant alterations to ecological systems on which human health and livelihoods depend; the air, water, plant, and animal health. Agricultural systems are intrinsically linked with environmental conditions, which are already under threat in much of southern Australian because of rising heat and protracted drying. The direct impact of increasing heat waves on human physiology and survival has recently been well studied. More diffusely, increasing drought periods may challenge the viability of agriculture in some regions, and hence those communities that depend on primary production. A worst case scenario may herald the collapse of some communities. Human health impacts arising from such transition would be profound. This article summarizes existing rural health challenges and presents the current evidence plus future predictions of climate change impacts on Australian agriculture to argue the need for significant augmentation of public health and existing health policy frameworks. The article concludes by suggesting that adaptation to climate change requires planning for worst case scenario outcomes to avert catastrophic impacts on rural communities. This will involve national policy planning as much as regional-level leadership for rapid development of adaptive strategies in agriculture and other key areas of rural communities.

  12. Using landscape typologies to model socioecological systems: Application to agriculture of the United States Gulf Coast

    DOE PAGES

    Preston, Benjamin L.; King, Anthony Wayne; Mei, Rui; ...

    2016-02-11

    Agricultural enterprises are vulnerable to the effects of climate variability and change. Improved understanding of the determinants of vulnerability and adaptive capacity in agricultural systems is important for projecting and managing future climate risk. At present, three analytical tools dominate methodological approaches to understanding agroecological vulnerability to climate: process-based crop models, empirical crop models, and integrated assessment models. A common weakness of these approaches is their limited treatment of socio-economic conditions and human agency in modeling agroecological processes and outcomes. This study proposes a framework that uses spatial cluster analysis to generate regional socioecological typologies that capture geographic variance inmore » regional agricultural production and enable attribution of that variance to climatic, topographic, edaphic, and socioeconomic components. This framework was applied to historical corn production (1986-2010) in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region as a testbed. The results demonstrate that regional socioeconomic heterogeneity is an important driving force in human dominated ecosystems, which we hypothesize, is a function of the link between socioeconomic conditions and the adaptive capacity of agricultural systems. Meaningful representation of future agricultural responses to climate variability and change is contingent upon understanding interactions among biophysical conditions, socioeconomic conditions, and human agency their incorporation in predictive models.« less

  13. Using landscape typologies to model socioecological systems: Application to agriculture of the United States Gulf Coast

    SciTech Connect

    Preston, Benjamin L.; King, Anthony Wayne; Mei, Rui; Nair, Sujithkumar Surendran

    2016-02-11

    Agricultural enterprises are vulnerable to the effects of climate variability and change. Improved understanding of the determinants of vulnerability and adaptive capacity in agricultural systems is important for projecting and managing future climate risk. At present, three analytical tools dominate methodological approaches to understanding agroecological vulnerability to climate: process-based crop models, empirical crop models, and integrated assessment models. A common weakness of these approaches is their limited treatment of socio-economic conditions and human agency in modeling agroecological processes and outcomes. This study proposes a framework that uses spatial cluster analysis to generate regional socioecological typologies that capture geographic variance in regional agricultural production and enable attribution of that variance to climatic, topographic, edaphic, and socioeconomic components. This framework was applied to historical corn production (1986-2010) in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region as a testbed. The results demonstrate that regional socioeconomic heterogeneity is an important driving force in human dominated ecosystems, which we hypothesize, is a function of the link between socioeconomic conditions and the adaptive capacity of agricultural systems. Meaningful representation of future agricultural responses to climate variability and change is contingent upon understanding interactions among biophysical conditions, socioeconomic conditions, and human agency their incorporation in predictive models.

  14. Comparison of the ranging behavior of Scotophilus kuhlii (Lesser Asiatic Yellow Bat) in agricultural and urban landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atiqah, Nur; Akbar, Zubaid; Syafrinna, Ubaidah, Nur; Foo, Ng Yong

    2015-09-01

    Knowledge on home range sizes and movement patterns of animals through the environment is crucial for determining effects of habitat disturbance and fragmentation. To gauge the effects of land-use changes on Scotophilus kuhlii, a telemetric study was conducted between February 2014 and April 2014 in Tasik Chini, Pahang and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi Campus. The home range sizes and movement patterns of S. kuhlii inhabiting agricultural landscape (Tasik Chini, Pahang) versus urban landscape (UKM) were compared. A total of ten individuals were successfully radio-tracked. Comparison of home range sizes of both sexes showed male S. kuhlii at Tasik Chini have larger mean home range sizes compared to UKM while female S.kuhlii in UKM have larger mean home range sizes compared to Tasik Chini. All individuals from both localities showed random movement. It is suggested that the home range and activity patterns might be influenced by food availability in the study area, food preferences and diet segregation and breeding behavior. This study provides baseline information on habitat utilization by S. kuhlii in relation to habitat perturbations.

  15. Contrast in edge vegetation structure modifies the predation risk of natural ground nests in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Nicole A; Low, Matthew; Arlt, Debora; Pärt, Tomas

    2012-01-01

    Nest predation risk generally increases nearer forest-field edges in agricultural landscapes. However, few studies test whether differences in edge contrast (i.e. hard versus soft edges based on vegetation structure and height) affect edge-related predation patterns and if such patterns are related to changes in nest conspicuousness between incubation and nestling feeding. Using data on 923 nesting attempts we analyse factors influencing nest predation risk at different edge types in an agricultural landscape of a ground-cavity breeding bird species, the Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe). As for many other bird species, nest predation is a major determinant of reproductive success in this migratory passerine. Nest predation risk was higher closer to woodland and crop field edges, but only when these were hard edges in terms of ground vegetation structure (clear contrast between tall vs short ground vegetation). No such edge effect was observed at soft edges where adjacent habitats had tall ground vegetation (crop, ungrazed grassland). This edge effect on nest predation risk was evident during the incubation stage but not the nestling feeding stage. Since wheatear nests are depredated by ground-living animals our results demonstrate: (i) that edge effects depend on edge contrast, (ii) that edge-related nest predation patterns vary across the breeding period probably resulting from changes in parental activity at the nest between the incubation and nestling feeding stage. Edge effects should be put in the context of the nest predator community as illustrated by the elevated nest predation risk at hard but not soft habitat edges when an edge is defined in terms of ground vegetation. These results thus can potentially explain previously observed variations in edge-related nest predation risk.

  16. Effects of lakes and reservoirs on annual river nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment export in agricultural and forested landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powers, Steve M.; Robertson, Dale M.; Stanley, Emily H.

    2014-01-01

    Recently, effects of lakes and reservoirs on river nutrient export have been incorporated into landscape biogeochemical models. Because annual export varies with precipitation, there is a need to examine the biogeochemical role of lakes and reservoirs over time frames that incorporate interannual variability in precipitation. We examined long-term (~20 years) time series of river export (annual mass yield, Y, and flow-weighted mean annual concentration, C) for total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and total suspended sediment (TSS) from 54 catchments in Wisconsin, USA. Catchments were classified as small agricultural, large agricultural, and forested by use of a cluster analysis, and these varied in lentic coverage (percentage of catchment lake or reservoir water that was connected to river network). Mean annual export and interannual variability (CV) of export (for both Y and C) were higher in agricultural catchments relative to forested catchments for TP, TN, and TSS. In both agricultural and forested settings, mean and maximum annual TN yields were lower in the presence of lakes and reservoirs, suggesting lentic denitrification or N burial. There was also evidence of long-term lentic TP and TSS retention, especially when viewed in terms of maximum annual yield, suggesting sedimentation during high loading years. Lentic catchments had lower interannual variability in export. For TP and TSS, interannual variability in mass yield was often >50% higher than interannual variability in water yield, whereas TN variability more closely followed water (discharge) variability. Our results indicate that long-term mass export through rivers depends on interacting terrestrial, aquatic, and meteorological factors in which the presence of lakes and reservoirs can reduce the magnitude of export, stabilize interannual variability in export, as well as introduce export time lags.

  17. Landscape configuration is the primary driver of impacts on water quality associated with agricultural expansion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Hamel, Perrine; Sharp, Richard; Kowal, Virgina; Wolny, Stacie; Sim, Sarah; Mueller, Carina

    2016-07-01

    Corporations and other multinational institutions are increasingly looking to evaluate their innovation and procurement decisions over a range of environmental criteria, including impacts on ecosystem services according to the spatial configuration of activities on the landscape. We have developed a spatially explicit approach and modeled a hypothetical corporate supply chain decision representing contrasting patterns of land-use change in four regions of the globe. This illustrates the effect of introducing spatial considerations in the analysis of ecosystem services, specifically sediment retention. We explored a wide variety of contexts (Iowa, USA; Mato Grosso, Brazil; and Jiangxi and Heilongjiang in China) and these show that per-area representation of impacts based on the physical characterization of a region can be misleading. We found two- to five-fold differences in sediment export for the same amount of habitat conversion within regions characterized by similar physical traits. These differences were mainly determined by the distance between land use changes and streams. The influence of landscape configuration is so dramatic that it can override wide variation in erosion potential driven by physical factors like soil type, slope, and climate. To minimize damage to spatially-dependent ecosystem services like water purification, sustainable sourcing strategies should not assume a direct correlation between impact and area but rather allow for possible nonlinearity in impacts, especially in regions with little remaining habitat and highly variable hydrological connectivity.

  18. Innovative best management practices for improving nutrient reductions in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As the burgeoning human population increases pressures on agriculture for increasing yields, the concomitant strain on the aquatic environment downstream is elevated through non-point source pollution. Traditional management practices of conservation tillage, terracing, and cover crops are good prac...

  19. Comparison/Validation of Remote Sensing-Based Surface Energy Balance Models Over the Agricultural Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate characterization of surface energy fluxes over a range of spatial and temporal scales is critical for many applications in agriculture, hydrology, meteorology, and climatology. Over the past several years, there has been a major effort devoted to the development and refinement of remote sen...

  20. Landscape Evolution and the Reincarnation of the Southern Residual Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, S.; Zuber, M. T.

    2006-10-01

    Given the present rate of erosion on the southern residual ice cap, it is unlikely that any part of the cap is older than a few centuries. Unless we're lucky, why is there a residual cap present today for us to observe? We propose a solution involving constant destruction and renewal of the cap.

  1. Nitrate fate and transport through current and former depressional wetlands in an agricultural landscape, Choptank Watershed, Maryland, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Denver, J.M.; Ator, S.W.; Lang, M.W.; Fisher, T.R.; Gustafson, A.B.; Fox, R.; Clune, J.W.; McCarty, G.W.

    2014-01-01

    denitrification were limited, particularly where reducing conditions did not extend throughout the entire thickness of the surficial aquifer allowing NO3 to pass conservatively beneath a wetland along deeper groundwater flow paths. The complexity of N fate and transport associated with depressional wetlands complicates the understanding of their importance to water quality in adjacent streams. Although depressional wetlands often contribute low NO3 water to local streams, their effectiveness as landscape sinks, for N from adjacent agriculture varies with natural conditions, such as the thickness of the aquifer and the extent of reducing conditions. Measurement of such natural geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical conditions are therefore fundamental to understanding N mitigation in individual wetlands.

  2. Erosion processes by water in agricultural landscapes: a low-cost methodology for post-event analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prosdocimi, Massimo; Calligaro, Simone; Sofia, Giulia; Tarolli, Paolo

    2015-04-01

    Throughout the world, agricultural landscapes assume a great importance, especially for supplying food and a livelihood. Among the land degradation phenomena, erosion processes caused by water are those that may most affect the benefits provided by agricultural lands and endanger people who work and live there. In particular, erosion processes that affect the banks of agricultural channels may cause the bank failure and represent, in this way, a severe threat to floodplain inhabitants and agricultural crops. Similarly, rills and gullies are critical soil erosion processes as well, because they bear upon the productivity of a farm and represent a cost that growers have to deal with. To estimate quantitatively soil losses due to bank erosion and rills processes, area based measurements of surface changes are necessary but, sometimes, they may be difficult to realize. In fact, surface changes due to short-term events have to be represented with fine resolution and their monitoring may entail too much money and time. The main objective of this work is to show the effectiveness of a user-friendly and low-cost technique that may even rely on smart-phones, for the post-event analyses of i) bank erosion affecting agricultural channels, and ii) rill processes occurring on an agricultural plot. Two case studies were selected and located in the Veneto floodplain (northeast Italy) and Marche countryside (central Italy), respectively. The work is based on high-resolution topographic data obtained by the emerging, low-cost photogrammetric method named Structure-from-Motion (SfM). Extensive photosets of the case studies were obtained using both standalone reflex digital cameras and smart-phone built-in cameras. Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) derived from SfM revealed to be effective to estimate quantitatively erosion volumes and, in the case of the bank eroded, deposited materials as well. SfM applied to pictures taken by smartphones is useful for the analysis of the topography

  3. Tightly-coupled plant-soil nitrogen cycling: Implications for multiple ecosystem services on organic farms across an intensively managed agricultural landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Variability among farms across an agricultural landscape may reveal diverse biophysical contexts and experiences that show innovations and insights to improve nitrogen (N) cycling and yields, and thus the potential for multiple ecosystem services. In order to assess potential tradeoffs between yield...

  4. The importance of natural habitats to Brazilian free-tailed bats in intensive agricultural landscapes in the Winter Garden Region of Texas, United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The conversion of natural lands to agriculture affects the distribution of biological diversity across the landscape. In particular, cropland monocultures alter insect abundance and diversity compared to adjacent natural habitats, but nevertheless can provide large numbers of insect pests as prey i...

  5. Impact of land consolidation and field borders on soil erosion and storage within agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chartin, Caroline; Salvador-Blanes, Sébastien; Olivier, Evrard; Van Oost, Kristof; Hinschberger, Florent; Macaire, Jean-Jacques

    2014-05-01

    Soil erosion plays an important role in sediment and carbon storage within, and exports from, catchments. In cultivated landscapes, field borders can improve the temporary storage of eroded soil particles and associated carbon, by impeding lateral soil fluxes. These local soil accumulations can lead to the development of linear landforms (such as headlands and lynchets) which will keep evolving after field border removal. A recent study performed in a representative cultivated hillslope of the SW Parisian Basin showed that 39% of the area corresponds to landforms resulting from soil accumulation induced by former and present field borders. This study demonstrated that field borders influence greatly the landscape morphology, but also the spatial distribution of soil thickness, and locally the A-horizon thickness, which are essential parameters for the prediction of SOC stocks. This study aims at characterizing and quantifying the effect of field borders and their removal on medium term topsoil erosion and deposition rates in a cultivated hillslope of the SW Parisian Basin, consolidated in 1967. Here, we used the Cs-137 technique to assess recent patterns of soil redistribution. We measured the Cs-137 inventories of 68 soil cores sampled along transects covering the area and, more specifically, linear landforms identified along present and past field borders (i.e., lynchet and undulation landforms, respectively). Then, we used a spatially-distributed Cs-137 conversion model that simulates and discriminates soil redistribution induced by water and tillage erosion processes over the last fifty years. Finally, observations and model outputs were confronted. Our results show that tillage erosion dominate the soil redistribution in the study area for the 1954-2009 period and generated about 95% (i.e., 4.50 Mg.ha-1.yr-1) of the total gross erosion. Soil redistribution was largely affected by the presence of current and former field borders, where hotspots areas of

  6. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  7. Pre-Columbian agricultural landscapes, ecosystem engineers, and self-organized patchiness in Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    McKey, Doyle; Rostain, Stéphen; Iriarte, José; Glaser, Bruno; Birk, Jago Jonathan; Holst, Irene; Renard, Delphine

    2010-01-01

    The scale and nature of pre-Columbian human impacts in Amazonia are currently hotly debated. Whereas pre-Columbian people dramatically changed the distribution and abundance of species and habitats in some parts of Amazonia, their impact in other parts is less clear. Pioneer research asked whether their effects reached even further, changing how ecosystems function, but few in-depth studies have examined mechanisms underpinning the resilience of these modifications. Combining archeology, archeobotany, paleoecology, soil science, ecology, and aerial imagery, we show that pre-Columbian farmers of the Guianas coast constructed large raised-field complexes, growing on them crops including maize, manioc, and squash. Farmers created physical and biogeochemical heterogeneity in flat, marshy environments by constructing raised fields. When these fields were later abandoned, the mosaic of well-drained islands in the flooded matrix set in motion self-organizing processes driven by ecosystem engineers (ants, termites, earthworms, and woody plants) that occur preferentially on abandoned raised fields. Today, feedbacks generated by these ecosystem engineers maintain the human-initiated concentration of resources in these structures. Engineer organisms transport materials to abandoned raised fields and modify the structure and composition of their soils, reducing erodibility. The profound alteration of ecosystem functioning in these landscapes coconstructed by humans and nature has important implications for understanding Amazonian history and biodiversity. Furthermore, these landscapes show how sustainability of food-production systems can be enhanced by engineering into them fallows that maintain ecosystem services and biodiversity. Like anthropogenic dark earths in forested Amazonia, these self-organizing ecosystems illustrate the ecological complexity of the legacy of pre-Columbian land use. PMID:20385814

  8. A small-scale land-sparing approach to conserving biological diversity in tropical agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Chandler, Richard B; King, David I; Raudales, Raul; Trubey, Richard; Chandler, Carlin; Chávez, Víctor Julio Arce

    2013-08-01

    Two contrasting strategies have been proposed for conserving biological diversity while meeting the increasing demand for agricultural products: land sparing and land sharing production systems. Land sparing involves increasing yield to reduce the amount of land needed for agriculture, whereas land-sharing agricultural practices incorporate elements of native ecosystems into the production system itself. Although the conservation value of these systems has been extensively debated, empirical studies are lacking. We compared bird communities in shade coffee, a widely practiced land-sharing system in which shade trees are maintained within the coffee plantation, with bird communities in a novel, small-scale, land-sparing coffee-production system (integrated open canopy or IOC coffee) in which farmers obtain higher yields under little or no shade while conserving an area of forest equal to the area under cultivation. Species richness and diversity of forest-dependent birds were higher in the IOC coffee farms than in the shade coffee farms, and community composition was more similar between IOC coffee and primary forest than between shade coffee and primary forest. Our study represents the first empirical comparison of well-defined land sparing and land sharing production systems. Because IOC coffee farms can be established by allowing forest to regenerate on degraded land, widespread adoption of this system could lead to substantial increases in forest cover and carbon sequestration without compromising agricultural yield or threatening the livelihoods of traditional small farmers. However, we studied small farms (<5 ha); thus, our results may not generalize to large-scale land-sharing systems. Furthermore, rather than concluding that land sparing is generally superior to land sharing, we suggest that the optimal approach depends on the crop, local climate, and existing land-use patterns.

  9. Watershed-scale Evapotranspiration Changed Little over 50 years of Agricultural Land Abandonment in Southern Michigan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, S. K.; Hussain, M. Z.; Lowrie, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    The difference between precipitation and stream discharge over annual periods provides an indication of the total water loss to evaporation and evapotranspiration. The response of evaporative water loss to land cover change affects groundwater recharge, stream flow, and lake levels. This study examined the watershed water balance for Augusta Creek, which drains a 95-km2 glacial landscape in southwestern Michigan covered by cropland, grassland, forest, and wetlands. The climate is humid and temperate; between 1964-2014 the water-year precipitation averaged 948 mm and ranged from 695-1386 mm with no temporal trend. Over the study period the percentage of land in agriculture has decreased to about a third of its original extent, with abandoned lands gradually transitioning from old fields to woody vegetation. Comparison of precipitation on the upland watershed to baseflow discharge (USGS data; baseflow estimation by WHAT model) across the 50-year record shows that total evaporative water loss averaged 563 + 103 mm and ranged from 385-897 mm, with no apparent trend over the record. The evaporative water loss accounts for a mean + s.d. of 59 + 6% of precipitation (range, 48-70%). Evaporative water loss was positively related to total precipitation (r2 = 0.74. These results are interpreted using a Budyko plot framework to facilitate comparison with other settings. This water balance approach to infer evaporative water loss compares well with direct measurements in the same watershed since 2009 using eddy covariance (grasslands and crops) and soil moisture monitoring by time-domain reflectometry (grasslands, crops, and forest). Thus the evaporative water loss, which is predominantly by evapotranspiration, has been remarkably similar across a period of changing land cover, leaving a relatively consistent proportion for groundwater recharge and streamflow.

  10. Classification of crops across heterogeneous agricultural landscape in Kenya using AisaEAGLE imaging spectroscopy data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piiroinen, Rami; Heiskanen, Janne; Mõttus, Matti; Pellikka, Petri

    2015-07-01

    Land use practices are changing at a fast pace in the tropics. In sub-Saharan Africa forests, woodlands and bushlands are being transformed for agricultural use to produce food for the rapidly growing population. The objective of this study was to assess the prospects of mapping the common agricultural crops in highly heterogeneous study area in south-eastern Kenya using high spatial and spectral resolution AisaEAGLE imaging spectroscopy data. Minimum noise fraction transformation was used to pack the coherent information in smaller set of bands and the data was classified with support vector machine (SVM) algorithm. A total of 35 plant species were mapped in the field and seven most dominant ones were used as classification targets. Five of the targets were agricultural crops. The overall accuracy (OA) for the classification was 90.8%. To assess the possibility of excluding the remaining 28 plant species from the classification results, 10 different probability thresholds (PT) were tried with SVM. The impact of PT was assessed with validation polygons of all 35 mapped plant species. The results showed that while PT was increased more pixels were excluded from non-target polygons than from the polygons of the seven classification targets. This increased the OA and reduced salt-and-pepper effects in the classification results. Very high spatial resolution imagery and pixel-based classification approach worked well with small targets such as maize while there was mixing of classes on the sides of the tree crowns.

  11. Prevalence of conservation design in an agriculture-dominated landscape: the case of Northern Indiana.

    PubMed

    Crick, Julie; Prokopy, Linda Stalker

    2009-06-01

    We examined the prevalence of residential development that occurs with consideration of the natural features of the site, known as conservation design, within county-level planning jurisdictions across Northern Indiana. Using data from telephone interviews with representatives of planning departments, jurisdictions were ranked based on reported use of conservation design. Three categories of use emerged from the data: no use, use of individual practices associated with conservation design, and integration of multiple conservation design practices. Qualitative data analysis revealed that conservation design practices were not being used widely and, when used, were often used to fulfill stormwater requirements. Statistical analysis, using data from interviews, spatial data sets, and the U.S. Census Bureau, identified several significant positive predictors of the levels of conservation design use including conversion of forest or agricultural land cover to urban uses and education levels in the jurisdiction. Many of the interviewees noted that agricultural land is perceived to meet open space needs within their counties. Given that agricultural land does not fully meet all ecosystem needs, education about the benefits of other types of open space is suggested.

  12. Prevalence of Conservation Design in an Agriculture-Dominated Landscape: The Case of Northern Indiana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crick, Julie; Prokopy, Linda Stalker

    2009-06-01

    We examined the prevalence of residential development that occurs with consideration of the natural features of the site, known as conservation design, within county-level planning jurisdictions across Northern Indiana. Using data from telephone interviews with representatives of planning departments, jurisdictions were ranked based on reported use of conservation design. Three categories of use emerged from the data: no use, use of individual practices associated with conservation design, and integration of multiple conservation design practices. Qualitative data analysis revealed that conservation design practices were not being used widely and, when used, were often used to fulfill stormwater requirements. Statistical analysis, using data from interviews, spatial data sets, and the U.S. Census Bureau, identified several significant positive predictors of the levels of conservation design use including conversion of forest or agricultural land cover to urban uses and education levels in the jurisdiction. Many of the interviewees noted that agricultural land is perceived to meet open space needs within their counties. Given that agricultural land does not fully meet all ecosystem needs, education about the benefits of other types of open space is suggested.

  13. Impact of the Spatial Arrangement of Agricultural Land Use on Ecosystems Services and Peri-Urban Livelihoods at the Landscape Scale.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inkoom, J. N.; Fürst, C.

    2014-12-01

    The relationship between agricultural land uses (ALU) and their impact on ecosystems services (ES) including biodiversity conservation is complex. This complexity has been augmented by isolated research on the impact of ALU on the landscape's capacity to provide ES in most climatically vulnerable areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Though a considerable number of studies emphasise the nexus between specific land use types and their impact on ES, a sufficient modelling basis for an empirical consideration of spatial interactions between different agricultural land uses at the landscape scale within peri-urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa is consistently missing. The need to assess and address significant issues regarding size, shape, spatial location, and interactivity of different land use patches in assessing land use interactions and their impact on ecosystem service provision necessitated this investigation. To formulate a methodology to correspond to this complexity, ES obtained from a characteristically agricultural and urbanizing landscapes were mapped using analytical hierarchical processes and management expert approaches. Further, landscape metrics and mean enrichment factor approaches are explored as neighbourhood assessment tools aimed at assessing the mutual impact gradient of agricultural and adjacent urban land uses on ES provision. Implementation is undertaken in GISCAME using a 2012 rapideye image classification and primary data collected on selected ES from local farmers within the VEA catchment of Upper East, Ghana. The outcome aims to provide the understanding of expected trade-offs and synergies varying ALU could pose to current and potential ES provision within urbanizing landscapes. Policy implications for observed trade-offs and synergies of ALU interaction on ES, rural livelihoods, and food security are communicated to farmers and decision makers. Keywords: Agricultural land use, neighbourhood interaction, ecosystems services, livelihoods, GISCAME.

  14. Woodchip bioreactors for N-source reduction in a highly managed agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kult, K.; Jones, C. S.

    2011-12-01

    Excess nutrification and the resulting hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico are increasingly understood to originate in managed landscapes of the Upper Mississippi River basin. Nitrogen inputs to cropped fields are high in landscapes with soils containing high organic nitrogen content that, when mineralized, releases nitrogen in the soluble nitrate form. These in situ sources supply extensive subsurface drainage systems that rapidly transport nitrogen to streams and ultimately the Gulf. Aggressive in-field N management can reduce loading to streams, but will not reduce loads to sufficiently impact Gulf hypoxia. Edge of Field (EOF) treatment will be needed to reach water quality objectives. Denitrification bioreactors are one technology being studied for practical and economical EOF nitrate reduction. Bioreactors intercept the high-N tile-drain effluent with woodchip substrates that provide carbon and energy to support denitrification. Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) installed six bioreactors. Design of the ISA bioreactors has focused on the diameter of the field tile and the catchment area. Designs balance discharge with retention times. The bioreactors have been designed to have a 4-hour hydraulic retention time (HRT) capable of treating 20% of peak flow. Denitrification is assumed to follow zero-order kinetics given the high NO3 concentrations in the studied systems. Aerobic organisms must deplete DO sufficiently so anaerobic denitrifying organisms can compete. Insufficient HRT results in unsatisfactory NO3 reductions. Conditions favoring incomplete denitrification can lead to emission of the greenhouse gas N2O. Excessive retention times allow for complete denitrification enabling SO4-reducing bacteria to thrive. This produces undesirable results: conversion of SO4 to H2S, C-source depletion, production of toxic CH3Hg+, and methanogenesis. A flow control structure (FCS) allows for management of HRT by modifying the position of stop logs. Increased HRT reduces the amount

  15. Sampling network stratification by terrain classification in eroded agricultural landscapes at plot scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penížek, Vít; Zádorová, Tereza; Kodešová, Radka

    2015-04-01

    The description of soil properties variability is important aspect in land management and food production at plot scale. We describe novelty approach for design of sampling network on agricultural plots with high relief variability. The terrain properties were used for improved spatial prediction of soil properties including design of the sampling network. Regular sampling network, random sampling network, systematic unaligned sampling network and stratified sampling network schemes were compared to prove the advantages of relief based stratified sampling networks. The study was performed for humus horizon depth prediction on agriculture plot of 6.5 ha with dissected relief where originally homogenous soil cover was differentiated by erosion and sedimentation into mosaic of Chernozem, Regosol and colluvial soils. Moreover the comparison was done on three levels of sampling density (65, 40 and 24 sampling points). The stratification of sampling network was based on unsupervised relief classification. The performance of the soil properties prediction based on different sampling network was assesed by RMSE calculation based on predicted values versus validation dataset. According the RMSE, the stratified sampling network performed the best (7.4 cm) comparing the regular sampling network (10.8 cm), random sampling network (17.7 cm) and systematic unaligned sampling network (11.2 cm). The accuracy of the soil properties spatial prediction decreased with the decreasing number of sampling points, but the stratified network performed significantly better that other used methods. The study showed that, for soil properties spatial variability description at certain accuracy level, relief-based stratified network can contain 25 % less sampling points comparing to regular network. This leads to potential financial and person cost reduction for the soil survey. The study was supported by grant nr. 13-07516P of the Czech science foundation and by grant nr. QJ1230319 of the

  16. Data on four criteria for targeting the placement of conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Zeyuan; Dosskey, Michael G.; Kang, Yang

    2016-01-01

    Four criteria are generally used to prioritize agricultural lands for placing conservation buffers. The criteria include soil erodibility, hydrological sensitivity, wildlife habitat, and impervious surface rate that capture conservation buffers’ benefits in reducing soil erosion, controlling runoff generation, enhancing wildlife habitat, and mitigating stormwater impacts, respectively. This article describes the data used to derive the values of those attributes and a scheme to classify the values in multi-criteria analysis of conservation buffer placement in “Choosing between alternative placement strategies for conservation buffers using borda count” [1]. PMID:27222843

  17. Agriculture at the Edge: Landscape Variability of Soil C Stocks and Fluxes in the Tropical Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Peña, C.

    2015-12-01

    Paramos, or tropical alpine grasslands occurring right above the forest tree-line (2,800 - 4,700 m), are among the most transformed landscapes in the humid tropics. In the Tropical Andes, Paramos form an archipelago-like pattern from Northern Colombia to Central Peru that effectively captures atmospheric moisture originated in the Amazon-Orinoco basins, while marking the highest altitude capable of sustaining vegetation growth (i.e., 'the edge'). This study investigates the role of land management on mediating soil carbon stocks and fluxes in Paramo ecosystems of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. Observations were collected at a Paramo site strongly modified by land use change, including active potato plantations, pasture, tillage, and land abandonment. Results show that undisturbed Paramos soils have high total organic carbon (TOC), high soil water content (SWC), and low soil CO2 efflux (RS) rates. However, Paramo soils that experience human intervention show lower TOC, higher and more variable RS rates, and lower SWC. This study demonstrates that changes in land use in Paramos affect differentially the accumulation and exchange of soil carbon with the atmosphere and offers implications for management and protection strategies of what has been deemed the fastest evolving biodiversity ecosystem in the world.

  18. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  19. Estimating Evapotranspiration Over Agricultural Landscapes with Thermal Infrared Data: Towards the Comparison of Two Approaches Using Simple Energy Budget and Svat Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bigeard, G.; Coudert, B.; Jarlan, L.

    2011-12-01

    agricultural landscapes. The in-situ dataset used comes from 3 sites in southern France and Morocco managed by the CESBIO ("Sud-Ouest" and "Sud-Med" projects) and local actors in charge of water management. It covers several kinds of cultures (wheat, sunflower and corn), several vegetative states (growth, max of vegetation development, senescence) and several meteorological conditions (water stress, wet periods...), providing a wide variety of cases to discuss models behaviors. Globally, TSEB is less sensitive to inputs and parameters and so it is suitable for modeling at low resolution. It provides RMSD of around 50W/m2 and 60 W/m2 for latent (H) and sensible (LE) heat flux respectively. SEtHyS requires finer parameters tuning and better knowledge of surface and vegetation, however it gives lower RMSD of around 40W/m2 for both heat fluxes. Finally, first results of low resolution ET simulations following both approaches are presented.

  20. Metal pollution (Cd, Pb, Zn, and As) in agricultural soils and soybean, Glycine max, in southern China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yunyun; Fang, Xiaolong; Mu, Yinghui; Cheng, Yanbo; Ma, Qibin; Nian, Hai; Yang, Cunyi

    2014-04-01

    Crops produced on metal-polluted agricultural soils may lead to chronic toxicity to humans via the food chain. To assess metal pollution in agricultural soils and soybean in southern China, 30 soybean grain samples and 17 soybean-field soil samples were collected from 17 sites in southern China, and metal concentrations of samples were analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The integrated pollution index was used to evaluate if the samples were contaminated by Cd, Pb, Zn and As. Results showed that Cd concentration of 12 samples, Pb concentration of 2 samples, Zn concentration of 2 samples, and As concentrations of 2 samples were above the maximum permissible levels in soils. The integrated pollution index indicated that 11 of 17 soil samples were polluted by metals. Metal concentrations in soybean grain samples ranged from 0.11 to 0.91 mg kg(-1) for Cd; 0.34 to 2.83 mg kg(-1) for Pb; 42 to 88 mg kg(-1) for Zn; and 0.26 to 5.07 mg kg(-1) for As, which means all 30 soybean grain samples were polluted by Pb, Pb/Cd, Cd/Pb/As or Pb/As. Taken together, our study provides evidence that metal pollution is an important concern in agricultural soils and soybeans in southern China.

  1. Monitoring roadside ditches for antibiotic resistant E. coli in forest and agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storrer, S.; Archibald, J. A.

    2009-12-01

    There is growing concern over the threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria and how they travel through natural environments. This study was developed to: (1) measure the quantities of antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli present in stormwater collected from roadside ditches, (2) examine the spatial and temporal distribution of antibiotic resistance and (3) explore the difference in antibiotic resistance between different land uses. Autosamplers were used to collect composite samples of stormwater flowing in roadside ditches located near manure fertilized fields or forested areas. Samples were filtered using standard membrane filtration methods and grown with and without antibiotics on EC medium containing MUG. Three antibiotics commonly used to treat infection in humans and dairy cows were used to measure antibiotic resistance: penicillin, ampicillin and tetracycline. Though antibiotic resistance was found at forested and farm sites, preliminary data suggest higher counts of antibiotic resistant E. coli near agricultural areas.

  2. Agricultural peatlands: towards a greenhouse gas sink - a synthesis of a Dutch landscape study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrier-Uijl, A. P.; Kroon, P. S.; Hendriks, D. M. D.; Hensen, A.; Van Huissteden, J.; Berendse, F.; Veenendaal, E. M.

    2014-08-01

    It is generally known that managed, drained peatlands act as carbon (C) sources. In this study we examined how mitigation through the reduction of the intensity of land management and through rewetting may affect the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and the C balance of intensively managed, drained, agricultural peatlands. Carbon and GHG balances were determined for three peatlands in the western part of the Netherlands from 2005 to 2008 by considering spatial and temporal variability of emissions (CO2, CH4 and N2O). One area (Oukoop) is an intensively managed grass-on-peatland area, including a dairy farm, with the ground water level at an average annual depth of 0.55 (±0.37) m below the soil surface. The second area (Stein) is an extensively managed grass-on-peatland area, formerly intensively managed, with a dynamic ground water level at an average annual depth of 0.45 (±0.35) m below the soil surface. The third area is a (since 1998) rewetted former agricultural peatland (Horstermeer), close to Oukoop and Stein, with the average annual ground water level at a depth of 0.2 (±0.20) m below the soil surface. During the measurement campaigns we found that both agriculturally managed sites acted as C and GHG sources and the rewetted former agricultural peatland acted as a C and GHG sink. The ecosystem (fields and ditches) total GHG balance, including CO2, CH4 and N2O, amounted to 3.9 (±0.4), 1.3 (±0.5) and -1.7 (±1.8) g CO2-eq m-2 d-1 for Oukoop, Stein and Horstermeer, respectively. Adding the farm-based emissions to Oukoop and Stein resulted in a total GHG emission of 8.3 (±1.0) and 6.6 (±1.3) g CO2-eq m-2 d-1, respectively. For Horstermeer the GHG balance remained the same since no farm-based emissions exist. Considering the C balance (uncertainty range 40-60%), the total C release in Oukoop and Stein is 5270 and 6258 kg C ha-1 yr-1, respectively (including ecosystem and management fluxes), and the total C uptake in Horstermeer is 3538 kg C ha-1 yr-1. Water

  3. Beetle succession and diversity between clothed sun-exposed and shaded pig carrion in a tropical dry forest landscape in Southern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Caballero, Ubaldo; León-Cortés, Jorge L

    2014-12-01

    Over a 31-day period, the decomposition process, beetle diversity and succession on clothed pig (Sus scrofa L.) carcasses were studied in open (agricultural land) and shaded habitat (secondary forest) in Southern Mexico. The decomposition process was categorised into five stages: fresh, bloated, active decay, advanced decay and remains. Except for the bloated stage, the elapsed time for each decomposition stage was similar between open and shaded habitats, all carcasses reached an advanced decay stage in seven days, and the fifth stage (remains) was not recorded in any carcass during the time of this study. A total of 6344 beetles, belonging to 130 species and 21 families, were collected during the entire decomposition process, and abundances increased from fresh to advanced decay stages. Staphylinidae, Scarabaeidae and Histeridae were taxonomically and numerically dominant, accounting for 61% of the species richness and 87% of the total abundance. Similar numbers of species (87 and 88 species for open and shaded habitats, respectively), levels of diversity and proportions (open 49%; shaded 48%) of exclusive species were recorded at each habitat. There were significantly distinct beetle communities between habitats and for each stage of decomposition. An indicator species analysis ("IndVal") identified six species associated to open habitats, 10 species to shaded habitats and eight species to advanced decay stages. In addition, 23 beetle species are cited for the first time in the forensic literature. These results showed that open and shaded habitats both provide suitable habitat conditions for the carrion beetle diversity with significant differences in community structure and identity of the species associated to each habitat. This research provides the first empirical evidence of beetle ecological succession and diversity on carrion in Mexican agro-pastoral landscapes.

  4. An integrated landscape designed for commodity and bioenergy crops for a tile-drained agricultural watershed

    SciTech Connect

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M. Cristina

    2016-09-16

    Here, locating bioenergy crops on strategically selected subfield areas of marginal interest for commodity agriculture can increase environmental sustainability. Location and choice of bioenergy crops should improve environmental benefits with minimal disruption of current food production systems. We identified subfield soils of a tile-drained agricultural watershed as marginal if they had areas of low crop productivity index (CPI), were susceptible to nitrate-nitrogen (NO3–N) leaching, or were susceptible to at least two other forms of environmental degradation (marginal areas). In the test watershed (Indian Creek watershed, IL) with annual precipitation of 852 mm, 3% of soils were CPI areas and 22% were marginal areas. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to forecast the impact of growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), willow (Salix spp.), and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi Vitman) in these subfield areas on annual grain yields, NO3–N and sediment exports, and water yield. Simulated conversion of CPI areas from current land use to bioenergy crops had no significant (p ≤ 0.05) impact on grain production and reduced NO3–N and sediment exports by 5.0 to 6.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Conversion of marginal areas from current land use to switchgrass forecasted the production of 34,000 t of biomass and reductions in NO3–N (26.0%) and sediment (33.0%) exports. Alternatively, conversion of marginal areas from current land use to willow forecasted similar reductions as switchgrass for sediment but significantly (p ≤ 0.01) lower reductions in annual NO3–N export (18.0 vs. 26.0%).

  5. An integrated landscape designed for commodity and bioenergy crops for a tile-drained agricultural watershed

    DOE PAGES

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M. Cristina

    2016-09-16

    Here, locating bioenergy crops on strategically selected subfield areas of marginal interest for commodity agriculture can increase environmental sustainability. Location and choice of bioenergy crops should improve environmental benefits with minimal disruption of current food production systems. We identified subfield soils of a tile-drained agricultural watershed as marginal if they had areas of low crop productivity index (CPI), were susceptible to nitrate-nitrogen (NO3–N) leaching, or were susceptible to at least two other forms of environmental degradation (marginal areas). In the test watershed (Indian Creek watershed, IL) with annual precipitation of 852 mm, 3% of soils were CPI areas and 22%more » were marginal areas. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to forecast the impact of growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), willow (Salix spp.), and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi Vitman) in these subfield areas on annual grain yields, NO3–N and sediment exports, and water yield. Simulated conversion of CPI areas from current land use to bioenergy crops had no significant (p ≤ 0.05) impact on grain production and reduced NO3–N and sediment exports by 5.0 to 6.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Conversion of marginal areas from current land use to switchgrass forecasted the production of 34,000 t of biomass and reductions in NO3–N (26.0%) and sediment (33.0%) exports. Alternatively, conversion of marginal areas from current land use to willow forecasted similar reductions as switchgrass for sediment but significantly (p ≤ 0.01) lower reductions in annual NO3–N export (18.0 vs. 26.0%).« less

  6. Ecological traits affect the sensitivity of bees to land-use pressures in European agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    De Palma, Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Roberts, Stuart P M; Potts, Simon G; Börger, Luca; Hudson, Lawrence N; Lysenko, Igor; Newbold, Tim; Purvis, Andy

    2015-12-01

    Bees are a functionally important and economically valuable group, but are threatened by land-use conversion and intensification. Such pressures are not expected to affect all species identically; rather, they are likely to be mediated by the species' ecological traits.Understanding which types of species are most vulnerable under which land uses is an important step towards effective conservation planning.We collated occurrence and abundance data for 257 bee species at 1584 European sites from surveys reported in 30 published papers (70 056 records) and combined them with species-level ecological trait data. We used mixed-effects models to assess the importance of land use (land-use class, agricultural use-intensity and a remotely-sensed measure of vegetation), traits and trait × land-use interactions, in explaining species occurrence and abundance.Species' sensitivity to land use was most strongly influenced by flight season duration and foraging range, but also by niche breadth, reproductive strategy and phenology, with effects that differed among cropland, pastoral and urban habitats. Synthesis and applications. Rather than targeting particular species or settings, conservation actions may be more effective if focused on mitigating situations where species' traits strongly and negatively interact with land-use pressures. We find evidence that low-intensity agriculture can maintain relatively diverse bee communities; in more intensive settings, added floral resources may be beneficial, but will require careful placement with respect to foraging ranges of smaller bee species. Protection of semi-natural habitats is essential, however; in particular, conversion to urban environments could have severe effects on bee diversity and pollination services. Our results highlight the importance of exploring how ecological traits mediate species responses to human impacts, but further research is needed to enhance the predictive ability of such analyses.

  7. Maximizing the Wildlife Conservation Value of Road Right-of-Ways in an Agriculturally Dominated Landscape

    PubMed Central

    McCleery, Robert A.; Holdorf, Allison R.; Hubbard, Laura L.; Peer, Brian D.

    2015-01-01

    There has been a growing recognition that the narrow linear strips of uncultivated vegetation that lie between roads and agricultural crops, referred to as roadside right-of-ways or verges, can serve as areas for the conservation of wildlife. The features of right-of-ways that should influence the composition of wildlife communities vary considerably. Our goal was to determine what features of right-of-ways increased the conservation potential of right-of-ways for wildlife in a grassland system dominated by agricultural production. We sampled 100 right-of-ways for birds and 92 right-of-ways for small mammals in McDonough and Warren Counties in west-central Illinois. We found that the sizes of right-of-ways and the amount of traffic on the adjacent roads synergistically worked to influence wildlife communities. On roads with low traffic, avian species richness increased rapidly with increased right-of-way width, while on roads with high traffic, avian richness increased only slightly with increasing right-of-way widths. We found that wider roadside right-of-ways (preferably across the road from equally wide right-of-ways) with thicker and taller vegetation had the greatest conservation value for birds and small mammals. The features that enhanced the conservation value of right-of-ways in our study area were uncommon. Efforts to create or enhance these features for the benefit of wildlife would likely face numerous obstacles. Nonetheless, from a grassland conservation perspective, working with stakeholders to implement specific strategies to enhance these often neglected areas may be an effective complement to purchasing and restoring conservation lands away from roads. PMID:25794180

  8. Maximizing the wildlife conservation value of road right-of-ways in an agriculturally dominated landscape.

    PubMed

    McCleery, Robert A; Holdorf, Allison R; Hubbard, Laura L; Peer, Brian D

    2015-01-01

    There has been a growing recognition that the narrow linear strips of uncultivated vegetation that lie between roads and agricultural crops, referred to as roadside right-of-ways or verges, can serve as areas for the conservation of wildlife. The features of right-of-ways that should influence the composition of wildlife communities vary considerably. Our goal was to determine what features of right-of-ways increased the conservation potential of right-of-ways for wildlife in a grassland system dominated by agricultural production. We sampled 100 right-of-ways for birds and 92 right-of-ways for small mammals in McDonough and Warren Counties in west-central Illinois. We found that the sizes of right-of-ways and the amount of traffic on the adjacent roads synergistically worked to influence wildlife communities. On roads with low traffic, avian species richness increased rapidly with increased right-of-way width, while on roads with high traffic, avian richness increased only slightly with increasing right-of-way widths. We found that wider roadside right-of-ways (preferably across the road from equally wide right-of-ways) with thicker and taller vegetation had the greatest conservation value for birds and small mammals. The features that enhanced the conservation value of right-of-ways in our study area were uncommon. Efforts to create or enhance these features for the benefit of wildlife would likely face numerous obstacles. Nonetheless, from a grassland conservation perspective, working with stakeholders to implement specific strategies to enhance these often neglected areas may be an effective complement to purchasing and restoring conservation lands away from roads.

  9. An Integrated Landscape Designed for Commodity and Bioenergy Crops for a Tile-Drained Agricultural Watershed.

    PubMed

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M Cristina

    2016-09-01

    Locating bioenergy crops on strategically selected subfield areas of marginal interest for commodity agriculture can increase environmental sustainability. Location and choice of bioenergy crops should improve environmental benefits with minimal disruption of current food production systems. We identified subfield soils of a tile-drained agricultural watershed as marginal if they had areas of low crop productivity index (CPI), were susceptible to nitrate-nitrogen (NO-N) leaching, or were susceptible to at least two other forms of environmental degradation (marginal areas). In the test watershed (Indian Creek watershed, IL) with annual precipitation of 852 mm, 3% of soils were CPI areas and 22% were marginal areas. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to forecast the impact of growing switchgrass ( L.), willow ( spp.), and big bluestem ( Vitman) in these subfield areas on annual grain yields, NO-N and sediment exports, and water yield. Simulated conversion of CPI areas from current land use to bioenergy crops had no significant ( 0.05) impact on grain production and reduced NO-N and sediment exports by 5.0 to 6.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Conversion of marginal areas from current land use to switchgrass forecasted the production of 34,000 t of biomass and reductions in NO-N (26.0%) and sediment (33.0%) exports. Alternatively, conversion of marginal areas from current land use to willow forecasted similar reductions as switchgrass for sediment but significantly ( 0.01) lower reductions in annual NO-N export (18.0 vs. 26.0%).

  10. Socioeconomic dimensions of changes in the agricultural landscape of the Mediterranean basin: a case study of the abandonment of cultivation terraces on Nisyros Island, Greece.

    PubMed

    Petanidou, Theodora; Kizos, Thanasis; Soulakellis, Nikolaos

    2008-02-01

    Agricultural landscapes illustrate the impact of human actions on physical settings, and differential human pressures cause these landscapes to change with time. Our study explored changes in the terraced landscapes of Nisyros Island, Greece, focusing on the socioeconomic aspects during two time periods using field data, cadastral research, local documents, and published literature, as well as surveys of the islanders. Population increases during the late 19th to early 20th centuries marked a significant escalation of terrace and dry stone wall construction, which facilitated cultivation on 58.4% of the island. By the mid-20th century, the economic collapse of agricultural activities and consequent emigration caused the abandonment of cultivated land and traditional management practices, dramatically reducing farm and field numbers. Terrace abandonment continued in recent decades, with increased livestock grazing becoming the main land management tool; as a result, both farm and pasture sizes increased. Neglect and changing land use has led to deterioration and destruction of many terraces on the island. We discuss the socioeconomic and political backgrounds responsible for the land-use change before World War II (annexation of Nisyros Island by the Ottoman Empire, Italy, and Greece; overseas migration opportunities; and world transportation changes) and after the war (social changes in peasant societies; worldwide changes in agricultural production practices). The adverse landscape changes documented for Nisyros Island appear to be inevitable for modern Mediterranean rural societies, including those on other islands in this region. The island's unique terraced landscapes may qualify Nisyros to become an archive or repository of old agricultural management techniques to be used by future generations and a living resource for sustainable management.

  11. Socioeconomic Dimensions of Changes in the Agricultural Landscape of the Mediterranean Basin: A Case Study of the Abandonment of Cultivation Terraces on Nisyros Island, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petanidou, Theodora; Kizos, Thanasis; Soulakellis, Nikolaos

    2008-02-01

    Agricultural landscapes illustrate the impact of human actions on physical settings, and differential human pressures cause these landscapes to change with time. Our study explored changes in the terraced landscapes of Nisyros Island, Greece, focusing on the socioeconomic aspects during two time periods using field data, cadastral research, local documents, and published literature, as well as surveys of the islanders. Population increases during the late 19th to early 20th centuries marked a significant escalation of terrace and dry stone wall construction, which facilitated cultivation on 58.4% of the island. By the mid-20th century, the economic collapse of agricultural activities and consequent emigration caused the abandonment of cultivated land and traditional management practices, dramatically reducing farm and field numbers. Terrace abandonment continued in recent decades, with increased livestock grazing becoming the main land management tool; as a result, both farm and pasture sizes increased. Neglect and changing land use has led to deterioration and destruction of many terraces on the island. We discuss the socioeconomic and political backgrounds responsible for the land-use change before World War II (annexation of Nisyros Island by the Ottoman Empire, Italy, and Greece; overseas migration opportunities; and world transportation changes) and after the war (social changes in peasant societies; worldwide changes in agricultural production practices). The adverse landscape changes documented for Nisyros Island appear to be inevitable for modern Mediterranean rural societies, including those on other islands in this region. The island’s unique terraced landscapes may qualify Nisyros to become an archive or repository of old agricultural management techniques to be used by future generations and a living resource for sustainable management.

  12. Static and moving frontiers: the genetic landscape of Southern African Bantu-speaking populations.

    PubMed

    Marks, Sarah J; Montinaro, Francesco; Levy, Hila; Brisighelli, Francesca; Ferri, Gianmarco; Bertoncini, Stefania; Batini, Chiara; Busby, George B J; Arthur, Charles; Mitchell, Peter; Stewart, Brian A; Oosthuizen, Ockie; Oosthuizen, Erica; D'Amato, Maria Eugenia; Davison, Sean; Pascali, Vincenzo; Capelli, Cristian

    2015-01-01

    A consensus on Bantu-speaking populations being genetically similar has emerged in the last few years, but the demographic scenarios associated with their dispersal are still a matter of debate. The frontier model proposed by archeologists postulates different degrees of interaction among incoming agropastoralist and resident foraging groups in the presence of "static" and "moving" frontiers. By combining mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome data collected from several southern African populations, we show that Bantu-speaking populations from regions characterized by a moving frontier developing after a long-term static frontier have larger hunter-gatherer contributions than groups from areas where a static frontier was not followed by further spatial expansion. Differences in the female and male components suggest that the process of assimilation of the long-term resident groups into agropastoralist societies was gender biased. Our results show that the diffusion of Bantu languages and culture in Southern Africa was a process more complex than previously described and suggest that the admixture dynamics between farmers and foragers played an important role in shaping the current patterns of genetic diversity.

  13. Connecting landscape function to hyperspectral reflectance in a dry sub-humid native grassland in southern Queensland, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Wendy; Apan, Armando; Alchin, Bruce

    2016-04-01

    Native grasslands cover over 80% of significant ecosystems in Australia, stretching across arid, semi-arid, tropical, sub-tropical and savannah landscapes. Scales of pastoral operations in Australia range from hundreds of hectares to thousands of square kilometres and are predominately found in regions with highly variable rainfall. Land use is governed by the need to cope with droughts, floods and fires. Resilience to climatic extremes can be attained through effective soil management. Connecting landscape function on the fine scale to broad land management objectives is a critical step in evaluation and requires an understanding of the relevant spectral properties in remotely sensed images. The aim of this study was to assess key landscape function indices across spatial scales in order to examine their correlation with hyperspectral reflectance measurements. The results from this study could be applied as a model for land management centred on remote sensing. The study site is located at Stonehenge (southern Queensland) on a moderately deep texture contrast soil with hard setting gravelly topsoil. Mean annual rainfall of 667 mm supports open forest and native perennial pastures with a diverse biocrust dominated by N-fixing cyanobacteria. Land use history is continuous grazing however; it had been destocked for several years prior to our study. There was some evidence of cattle, kangaroos and feral herbivores (rabbits, deer and goats) although impacts appeared to be minimal. We established four land cover types: native pasture - NP1 (~100% FPC - foliage projective cover), native pasture - NP2 (~50% FPC, 50% biocrust), natural bare soil - BC (>80% biocrust), bare and eroded soil - BE (<1% biocrust). Duplicate 0.25 m2 quadrats of each land cover type were selected contiguous with a 100 m transect across the slope. The quadrats were analysed as five micro-transects with each row consisting of five sub-cells. Stability, infiltration and nutrient cycling indices were

  14. Grassland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. LandscapeDNDC used to model nitrous oxide emissions from soils under an oak forest in southern England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cade, Shirley; Clemitshaw, Kevin; Lowry, David; Yamulki, Sirwan; Casella, Eric; Molina, Saul; Haas, Edwin; Kiese, Ralf

    2013-04-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas, having a global warming potential of approximately 300 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2), and plays a significant role in depleting stratospheric ozone. Its principal source is microbial activity in soils and waters. Measured values of N2O emissions from soils show high temporal dynamics and a large range as a result of inter-related physico-chemical factors affecting the microbial processes, thus making predictions difficult. Emissions often occur in pulses following re-wetting, frost-thaw or management events such as N-fertilization, which further complicates predictions. Process-based models have been developed to help understand this emission variability and as potential tools for IPCC Tier 3 reporting on national emission inventories. Forests are promoted as sinks for CO2 and can be used as renewable sources of energy or longer term CO2 storage if timber is used in products such as in construction and furniture, provided appropriate replanting takes place. It is important that the effect of any changes in forest management and land use as a result of a desire to reduce CO2 emissions does not increase N2O emissions from forest soils, which are still poorly understood, compared to agricultural soils. LandscapeDNDC (Haas et al 2012) has been developed as a process-oriented model, based on the biogeochemical model, DNDC (Li et al, 1992), in order to simulate biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere exchanges at site and regional scales. It can model the carbon and nitrogen turnover and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of forest, agricultural and grassland ecosystems, and allows modelling of impacts of regional land use change over time. This study uses data (including forest growth, GHG emissions and soil moisture) from an oak forest, known as the Straits Enclosure, at Alice Holt in Hampshire, where extensive measurements have been made by Forest Research since 1995. It involves validation of the site scale

  16. Watershed Influences on Residence Time and Oxygen Reduction Rates in an Agricultural Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shope, C. L.; Tesoriero, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural use of synthetic fertilizers and animal manure has led to increased crop production, but also elevated nitrogen concentrations in groundwater, resulting in impaired water quality. Groundwater oxygen concentrations are a key indicator of potential biogeochemical processes, which control water/aquifer interactions and contaminant transport. The U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program has a long-history of studying nutrient transport and processing across the United States and the Glacial Aquifer system in particular. A series of groundwater well networks in Eastern Wisconsin is being used to evaluate the distribution of redox reaction rates over a range of scales with a focus on dissolved O2 reduction rates. An analysis of these multi-scale networks elucidates the influence of explanatory variables (i.e.: soil type, land use classification) on reduction rates and redox reactions throughout the Fox-Wolf-Peshtigo watersheds. Multiple tracers including dissolved gasses, tritium, helium, chlorofluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and carbon-14 were used to estimate groundwater ages (0.8 to 61.2 yr) at over 300 locations. Our results indicate O2 reduction rates along a flowpath study area (1.2 km2) of 0.15 mg O2 L-1 yr-1 (0.12 to 0.18 mg O2 L-1 yr-1) up to 0.41 mg O2 L-1 yr-1 (0.23 to 0.89 mg O2 L-1 yr-1) for a larger scale land use study area (3,300 km2). Preliminary explanatory variables that can be used to describe the variability in reduction rates include soil type (hydrologic group, bulk density) and chemical concentrations (nitrite plus nitrate, silica). The median residence time expected to reach suboxic conditions (≤ 0.4 mg O2 L-1) for the flowpath and the land use study areas was 66 and 25 yr, respectively. These results can be used to elucidate and differentiate the impact of residence time on groundwater quality vulnerability and sustainability in agricultural regions without complex flow models.

  17. Occurrence of maize detritus and a transgenic insecticidal protein (Cry1Ab) within the stream network of an agricultural landscape

    PubMed Central

    Tank, Jennifer L.; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J.; Royer, Todd V.; Whiles, Matt R.; Griffiths, Natalie A.; Frauendorf, Therese C.; Treering, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Widespread planting of maize throughout the agricultural Midwest may result in detritus entering adjacent stream ecosystems, and 63% of the 2009 US maize crop was genetically modified to express insecticidal Cry proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. Six months after harvest, we conducted a synoptic survey of 217 stream sites in Indiana to determine the extent of maize detritus and presence of Cry1Ab protein in the stream network. We found that 86% of stream sites contained maize leaves, cobs, husks, and/or stalks in the active stream channel. We also detected Cry1Ab protein in stream-channel maize at 13% of sites and in the water column at 23% of sites. We found that 82% of stream sites were adjacent to maize fields, and Geographical Information Systems analyses indicated that 100% of sites containing Cry1Ab-positive detritus in the active stream channel had maize planted within 500 m during the previous crop year. Maize detritus likely enters streams throughout the Corn Belt; using US Department of Agriculture land cover data, we estimate that 91% of the 256,446 km of streams/rivers in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana are located within 500 m of a maize field. Maize detritus is common in low-gradient stream channels in northwestern Indiana, and Cry1Ab proteins persist in maize leaves and can be measured in the water column even 6 mo after harvest. Hence, maize detritus, and associated Cry1Ab proteins, are widely distributed and persistent in the headwater streams of a Corn Belt landscape. PMID:20876106

  18. Occurrence of maize detritus and a transgenic insecticidal protein (Cry1Ab) within the stream network of an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Tank, Jennifer L; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J; Royer, Todd V; Whiles, Matt R; Griffiths, Natalie A; Frauendorf, Therese C; Treering, David J

    2010-10-12

    Widespread planting of maize throughout the agricultural Midwest may result in detritus entering adjacent stream ecosystems, and 63% of the 2009 US maize crop was genetically modified to express insecticidal Cry proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. Six months after harvest, we conducted a synoptic survey of 217 stream sites in Indiana to determine the extent of maize detritus and presence of Cry1Ab protein in the stream network. We found that 86% of stream sites contained maize leaves, cobs, husks, and/or stalks in the active stream channel. We also detected Cry1Ab protein in stream-channel maize at 13% of sites and in the water column at 23% of sites. We found that 82% of stream sites were adjacent to maize fields, and Geographical Information Systems analyses indicated that 100% of sites containing Cry1Ab-positive detritus in the active stream channel had maize planted within 500 m during the previous crop year. Maize detritus likely enters streams throughout the Corn Belt; using US Department of Agriculture land cover data, we estimate that 91% of the 256,446 km of streams/rivers in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana are located within 500 m of a maize field. Maize detritus is common in low-gradient stream channels in northwestern Indiana, and Cry1Ab proteins persist in maize leaves and can be measured in the water column even 6 mo after harvest. Hence, maize detritus, and associated Cry1Ab proteins, are widely distributed and persistent in the headwater streams of a Corn Belt landscape.

  19. Comparison of the Nature of Work Performed: Southern Land-Grant University Colleges of Agriculture Alumni.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zekeri, Andrew A.

    American agriculture is seriously threatened by growing shortages of highly qualified scientists, managers, and technical professionals. This paper examines the work outcomes of agricultural college alumni who were previously surveyed as students in 1977. Questionnaires were completed by 1,917 graduates in agricultural majors at 1862 and 1890…

  20. Towards multifunctional agricultural landscapes in Europe: Assessing and governing synergies between food production, biodiversity, and ecosystem services - TALE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volk, Martin; Cord, Anna; Demiguel, Ángel; Holzkämper, Annelie; Kaim, Andrea; Kirchner, Mathias; Lienhoop, Nele; Nieto Romero, Marta; Nitsch, Heike; Rutz, Cordula; Saa, Antonio; Schmid, Erwin; Schönhart, Martin; Schramek, Jörg; Strauch, Michael; Tarquis Alfonso, Ana Maria; van der Zanden, Emma H.; Verburg, Peter; Willaarts, Bárbara; Zarrineh, Nina; Rivas, David; Hagemann, Nina

    2016-04-01

    There is a need to improve our understanding of the synergies between biodiversity, food and energy production and other regulating or cultural ecosystem services (ESS) and the development of technical and policy measures to support these synergies. Procedures to quantify synergies and trade-offs between ESS and biodiversity are considered as promising solutions to close this gap. The BiodivERsA project TALE aims at developing such methodologies in a set of representative European agricultural landscapes in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands and Spain. This will be done by using i) a framework that links process-based, integrated, and statistical models with optimization algorithms, and ii) a set of land use scenarios and land use policies, iii) a systematic stakeholder integration process that allows the incorporation of expert knowledge in all phases of the research project to safeguard that research results are of practical relevance. Moreover, the project not only addresses experts but provides an innovative online learning environment that is accessible also for students and the general public.

  1. Groundwater dynamics in wetland soils control the production and transfer mechanisms of dissolved reactive phosphorus in an agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupas, Rémi; Gu, Sen; Gruau, Gérard; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal

    2015-04-01

    Because of its high sorption affinity on soils solid phase, mitigation options to reduce diffuse P transfer usually focus on trapping particulate P forms delivered via surface flowpaths. Therefore, vegetated buffer zones placed between croplands and watercourses have been promoted worldwide, sometimes in wetland areas. To investigate the risk of such P trapping riparian wetlands (RWs) releasing dissolved P to rivers, we monitored molybdate reactive P (MRP) in the free soil solution of two RWs in an intensively farmed catchment. Two main mechanisms causing MRP release were identified in light of the geochemical and hydrological conditions in the RWs, controlled by groundwater dynamics. First, soil rewetting after the dry summer was associated with the presence of a pool of mobile P, limited in size. Its mobilization started under conditions of water saturation caused by groundwater uprise in RW organo-mineral soil horizons. Second, the establishment of anoxic conditions in the end of the winter caused reductive solubilization of Fe oxide-hydroxide, along with release of P. Comparison between sites revealed that the first MRP release occurred only in a RW with P enriched soils, whereas the second was recorded even in a RW with a low soil P status. Seasonal variations in MRP concentrations in the stream were synchronized with those in RW soils. Hence, enriched and/or periodically anoxic RWs can act as a key component of the P transfer continuum in agricultural landscapes by converting particulate P from croplands into MRP released to rivers.

  2. Assessing the mitigation potential of agricultural systems by optimization of the agricultural management: A modeling study on 8 agricultural observation sites across Europe with the process based model LandscapeDNDC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molina Herrera, Saul; Haas, Edwin; Klatt, Steffen; Kraus, David; Kiese, Ralf; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus

    2014-05-01

    The use of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizers increase crop yields but cause the biggest anthropogenic source of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and strongly contribute to surface water eutrophication (e.g. nitrate leaching). The necessity to identify affordable strategies that improve crop production while improving ecosystem services are in continuous debate between policy decision makers and farmers. In this line, a lack commitment from farmers to enforce laws might result in the reduction of benefits. For this reason, farmers should aim to increase crop production and to reduce environmental harm by the adoption of precision climate smart agriculture tools applied to management practices for instance. In this study we present optimized strategies for 8 sites (agricultural and grassland ecosystems) with long term field observation across Europe to show the mitigation potential to reduce reactive nitrogen losses under the constrain of keeping yields at observed levels. LandscapeDNDC simulations of crop yields and associated nitrogen losses (N2O emissions and NO3 leaching) were evaluated against long term field measurements. The sites presented different management regimes including the main commodity crops (maize, wheat, barley, rape seeds, etc) and fertilization amendments (synthetic and organic fertilizers) in Europe. The simulations reproduced the observed yields, captured N2O emissions and NO3 leaching losses with high statistical presicion (r2), acurrency (ME) and agreement (RMSPEn). The mitigation potentials to reduce N losses while keeping yields at observed levels for all 8 sites were assesed by Monte Carlo optimizations of the individual underlying multi year agricultural management options (timings of planting and harvest, fertilization & manure applications and rates, residues management). In this study we present for all 8 agricultural observations sites their individual mitigation potentials to reduce N losses for multi year rotations. The conclusions

  3. Tall tower landscape scale N2O flux measurements in a Danish agricultural and urban, coastal area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrom, Andreas; Lequy, Émeline; Loubet, Benjamin; Pilegaard, Kim; Ambus, Per

    2015-04-01

    eastern coastline of the Roskilde fjord on the Danish island Zealand. The tower is surrounded by the fjord, by agricultural area, forests and, in the South by the urban area of the City of Roskilde. The City of Roskilde operates a waste incinerator and a waste water treatment plant, which drains treated waste water into the fjord. The level of the measured flux values was generally relatively low. Based on the clear definition of the lag time between N2O concentrations and the vertical wind speed, fluxes were measureable over larger periods. The fluxes showed clear directional relationships indicating their large spatial and temporal variability in the landscape. Footprint calculations were performed to attribute source areas to the measured fluxes ...(Kormann and Meixner, 2001; Neftel et al., 2008). The footprint of the flux measurement included areas between 200 m and several kilometres distance from the tower. A preliminary approach was developed to generate monthly maps of N2O fluxes around the tower. Here we present the results from the first seven months of flux measurements. Based on these results we discuss the potential and the limitations of tall tower eddy covariance measurements to estimate maps of N2O fluxes and the integral value of the landscape N2O flux. Acknowledgements: This work was funded by the EU-FP7 InGOS project. We thank Ebba Dellwik (Technical University of Denmark) for providing sonic anemometer data. References: Kormann, R. and Meixner, F.X., 2001. An Analytical Footprint Model For Non-Neutral Stratification. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 99(2): 207-224. Neftel, A., Spirig, C. and Ammann, C., 2008. Application and test of a simple tool for operational footprint evaluations. Environmental Pollution, 152(3): 644-652.

  4. Fugitive methane emissions from natural, urban, agricultural, and energy-production landscapes of eastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, Bryce F. J.; Iverach, Charlotte P.; Lowry, Dave; Fisher, Rebecca E.; France, James L.; Nisbet, Euan G.

    2015-04-01

    Modern cavity ringdown spectroscopy systems (CRDS) enable the continuous measurement of methane concentration. This allows for improved quantification of greenhouse gas emissions associated with various natural and human landscapes. We present a subset of over 4000 km of continuous methane surveying along the east coast of Australia, made using a Picarro G2301 CRDS, deployed in a utility vehicle with an air inlet above the roof at 2.2 mAGL. Measurements were made every 5 seconds to a precision of <0.5 ppb for CH4. These surveys were undertaken during dry daytime hours and all measurements were moisture corrected. We compare the concentration of methane in the near surface atmosphere adjacent to open-cut coal mines, unconventional gas developments (coal seam gas; CSG), and leaks detected in cities and country towns. In areas of dryland crops the median methane concentration was 1.78 ppm, while in the irrigation districts located on vertisol soils the concentration was as low as 1.76 ppm, which may indicate that these soils are a sink for methane. In the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, open-cut coal mining district we mapped a continuous 50 km interval where the concentration of methane exceeded 1.80 ppm. The median concentration in this interval was 2.02 ppm. Peak readings were beyond the range of the reliable measurement (in excess of 3.00 ppm). This extended plume is an amalgamation of plumes from 17 major pits 1 to 10 km in length. Adjacent to CSG developments in the Surat Basin, southeast Queensland, only small anomalies were detected near the well-heads. Throughout the vast majority of the gas fields the concentration of methane was below 1.80 ppm. The largest source of fugitive methane associated with CSG was off-gassing methane from the co-produced water holding ponds. At one location the down wind plume had a cross section of approximately 1 km where the concentration of methane was above 1.80 ppm. The median concentration within this section was 1.82 ppm

  5. Evaluating atmospheric CO2 inversions at multiple scales over a highly inventoried agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Schuh, Andrew E; Lauvaux, Thomas; West, Tristram O; Denning, A Scott; Davis, Kenneth J; Miles, Natasha; Richardson, Scott; Uliasz, Marek; Lokupitiya, Erandathie; Cooley, Daniel; Andrews, Arlyn; Ogle, Stephen

    2013-05-01

    An intensive regional research campaign was conducted by the North American Carbon Program (NACP) in 2007 to study the carbon cycle of the highly productive agricultural regions of the Midwestern United States. Forty-five different associated projects were conducted across five US agencies over the course of nearly a decade involving hundreds of researchers. One of the primary objectives of the intensive campaign was to investigate the ability of atmospheric inversion techniques to use highly calibrated CO2 mixing ratio data to estimate CO2 flux over the major croplands of the United States by comparing the results to an inventory of CO2 fluxes. Statistics from densely monitored crop production, consisting primarily of corn and soybeans, provided the backbone of a well studied bottom-up inventory flux estimate that was used to evaluate the atmospheric inversion results. Estimates were compared to the inventory from three different inversion systems, representing spatial scales varying from high resolution mesoscale (PSU), to continental (CSU) and global (CarbonTracker), coupled to different transport models and optimization techniques. The inversion-based mean CO2 -C sink estimates were generally slightly larger, 8-20% for PSU, 10-20% for CSU, and 21% for CarbonTracker, but statistically indistinguishable, from the inventory estimate of 135 TgC. While the comparisons show that the MCI region-wide C sink is robust across inversion system and spatial scale, only the continental and mesoscale inversions were able to reproduce the spatial patterns within the region. In general, the results demonstrate that inversions can recover CO2 fluxes at sub-regional scales with a relatively high density of CO2 observations and adequate information on atmospheric transport in the region.

  6. Whole-stream response to nitrate loading in three streams draining agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Duff, John H; Tesoriero, Anthony J; Richardson, William B; Strauss, Eric A; Munn, Mark D

    2008-01-01

    Physical, chemical, hydrologic, and biologic factors affecting nitrate (NO3(-)) removal were evaluated in three agricultural streams draining orchard/dairy and row crop settings. Using 3-d "snapshots" during biotically active periods, we estimated reach-level NO3(-) sources, NO3(-) mass balance, in-stream processing (nitrification, denitrification, and NO3(-) uptake), and NO3(-) retention potential associated with surface water transport and ground water discharge. Ground water contributed 5 to 11% to stream discharge along the study reaches and 8 to 42% of gross NO3(-) input. Streambed processes potentially reduced 45 to 75% of ground water NO3(-) before discharge to surface water. In all streams, transient storage was of little importance for surface water NO3(-) retention. Estimated nitrification (1.6-4.4 mg N m(-2) h(-1)) and unamended denitrification rates (2.0-16.3 mg N m(-2) h(-1)) in sediment slurries were high relative to pristine streams. Denitrification of NO3(-) was largely independent of nitrification because both stream and ground water were sources of NO3(-). Unamended denitrification rates extrapolated to the reach-scale accounted for <5% of NO3(-) exported from the reaches minimally reducing downstream loads. Nitrate retention as a percentage of gross NO3(-) inputs was >30% in an organic-poor, autotrophic stream with the lowest denitrification potentials and highest benthic chlorophyll a, photosynthesis/respiration ratio, pH, dissolved oxygen, and diurnal NO3(-) variation. Biotic processing potentially removed 75% of ground water NO3(-) at this site, suggesting an important role for photosynthetic assimilation of ground water NO3(-) relative to subsurface denitrification as water passed directly through benthic diatom beds.

  7. Influence of sustainable management on aggregate stability and soil organic matter on agricultural soil of southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugan-Coronado, Alicia; Arcenegui, Victoria; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Gomez-Lucas, Ignacio; Garcia-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2016-04-01

    Intensive agriculture has increased crop yields but also posed severe environmental problems. Unsustainable land management such as excessive tillage can lead to a loss of soil fertility and a drastic reduction in the aggregate stability and soil organic matter content. However sustainable agriculture can keep good crop yields with minimal impact on ecological factors conserving the soil quality and its ecosystem services. Sustainable agriculture management promotes the maintenance of soil organic matter levels providing plant nutrients through the microbial decomposition of organic materials. Also this management has a positive effect on soil structure with the improvement of stability of aggregates. The resistance of soil aggregates to the slaking and dispersive effects of water (aggregate stability) is important for maintaining the structure in arable soils. Our purpose was to investigate and compare the effects of sustainable agricultural practices versus intensive agriculture on aggregate stability and soil organic matter. Three agricultural areas are being monitored in the southern of Spain, two of them with citrus orchards (AL) and (FE) and one with grapevine(PA). In all of them two agricultural treatments are being developed, organic with no-tillage management(O) and inorganic fertilization with herbicide application and intensive tillage (I). The sustainable agricultural management (manure, no tillage and vegetation cover) contributed to the improve of soil conditions, increasing organic matter and aggregate stability. Meanwhile, herbicide treatment and intensive tillage with inorganic fertilization managements resulted in the decreasing of aggregate stability and low levels of soil organic carbon. Soil organic matter content is generally low in all unsustainable treatments plots and tends to decline in aggregate stability and soil physical condition. In both treatments the crop yield are comparable.

  8. Changes in water budgets and sediment yields from a hypothetical agricultural field as a function of landscape and management characteristics--A unit field modeling approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roth, Jason L.; Capel, Paul D.

    2012-01-01

    Crop agriculture occupies 13 percent of the conterminous United States. Agricultural management practices, such as crop and tillage types, affect the hydrologic flow paths through the landscape. Some agricultural practices, such as drainage and irrigation, create entirely new hydrologic flow paths upon the landscapes where they are implemented. These hydrologic changes can affect the magnitude and partitioning of water budgets and sediment erosion. Given the wide degree of variability amongst agricultural settings, changes in the magnitudes of hydrologic flow paths and sediment erosion induced by agricultural management practices commonly are difficult to characterize, quantify, and compare using only field observations. The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model was used to simulate two landscape characteristics (slope and soil texture) and three agricultural management practices (land cover/crop type, tillage type, and selected agricultural land management practices) to evaluate their effects on the water budgets of and sediment yield from agricultural lands. An array of sixty-eight 60-year simulations were run, each representing a distinct natural or agricultural scenario with various slopes, soil textures, crop or land cover types, tillage types, and select agricultural management practices on an isolated 16.2-hectare field. Simulations were made to represent two common agricultural climate regimes: arid with sprinkler irrigation and humid. These climate regimes were constructed with actual climate and irrigation data. The results of these simulations demonstrate the magnitudes of potential changes in water budgets and sediment yields from lands as a result of landscape characteristics and agricultural practices adopted on them. These simulations showed that variations in landscape characteristics, such as slope and soil type, had appreciable effects on water budgets and sediment yields. As slopes increased, sediment yields increased in both the arid and

  9. Whole-stream response to nitrate loading in three streams draining agricultural landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duff, J.H.; Tesoriero, A.J.; Richardson, W.B.; Strauss, E.A.; Munn, M.D.

    2008-01-01

    Physical, chemical, hydrologic, and biologic factors affecting nitrate (NO3 −) removal were evaluated in three agricultural streams draining orchard/dairy and row crop settings. Using 3-d “snapshots” during biotically active periods, we estimated reach-level NO3 − sources, NO3 − mass balance, in-stream processing (nitrification, denitrification, and NO3 − uptake), and NO3 − retention potential associated with surface water transport and ground water discharge. Ground water contributed 5 to 11% to stream discharge along the study reaches and 8 to 42% of gross NO3 − input. Streambed processes potentially reduced 45 to 75% of ground water NO3 − before discharge to surface water. In all streams, transient storage was of little importance for surface water NO3 − retention. Estimated nitrification (1.6–4.4 mg N m−2 h−1) and unamended denitrification rates (2.0–16.3 mg N m−2 h−1) in sediment slurries were high relative to pristine streams. Denitrification of NO3 − was largely independent of nitrification because both stream and ground water were sources of NO3 − Unamended denitrification rates extrapolated to the reach-scale accounted for <5% of NO3 − exported from the reaches minimally reducing downstream loads. Nitrate retention as a percentage of gross NO3 − inputs was >30% in an organic-poor, autotrophic stream with the lowest denitrification potentials and highest benthic chlorophyll a, photosynthesis/respiration ratio, pH, dissolved oxygen, and diurnal NO3 − variation. Biotic processing potentially removed 75% of ground water NO3 − at this site, suggesting an important role for photosynthetic assimilation of ground water NO3 − relative to subsurface denitrification as water passed directly through benthic diatom beds.

  10. Conservation of Pollinators in Traditional Agricultural Landscapes – New Challenges in Transylvania (Romania) Posed by EU Accession and Recommendations for Future Research

    PubMed Central

    Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó; Földesi, Rita; Mózes, Edina; Szirák, Ádám; Fischer, Joern; Hanspach, Jan; Báldi, András

    2016-01-01

    Farmland biodiversity is strongly declining in most of Western Europe, but still survives in traditional low intensity agricultural landscapes in Central and Eastern Europe. Accession to the EU however intensifies agriculture, which leads to the vanishing of traditional farming. Our aim was to describe the pollinator assemblages of the last remnants of these landscapes, thus set the baseline of sustainable farming for pollination, and to highlight potential measures of conservation. In these traditional farmlands in the Transylvanian Basin, Romania (EU accession in 2007), we studied the major pollinator groups—wild bees, hoverflies and butterflies. Landscape scale effects of semi-natural habitats, land cover diversity, the effects of heterogeneity and woody vegetation cover and on-site flower resources were tested on pollinator communities in traditionally managed arable fields and grasslands. Our results showed: (i) semi-natural habitats at the landscape scale have a positive effect on most pollinators, especially in the case of low heterogeneity of the direct vicinity of the studied sites; (ii) both arable fields and grasslands hold abundant flower resources, thus both land use types are important in sustaining pollinator communities; (iii) thus, pollinator conservation can rely even on arable fields under traditional management regime. This has an indirect message that the tiny flower margins around large intensive fields in west Europe can be insufficient conservation measures to restore pollinator communities at the landscape scale, as this is still far the baseline of necessary flower resources. This hypothesis needs further study, which includes more traditional landscapes providing baseline, and exploration of other factors behind the lower than baseline level biodiversity values of fields under agri-environmental schemes (AES). PMID:27285118

  11. Facilitation of a native pest of rice, Stenotus rubrovittatus (Hemiptera: Miridae), by the non-native Lolium multiflorum (Cyperales: Poaceae) in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Yoshioka, Akira; Takada, Mayura; Washitani, Izumi

    2011-10-01

    Source populations of polyphagous pests often occur on host plants other than the economically damaged crop. We evaluated the contribution of patches of a non-native meadow grass, Lolium multiflorum Lam. (Poaceae), and other weeds growing in fallow fields or meadows as source hosts of an important native pest of rice, Stenotus rubrovittatus (Matsumura) (Hemiptera: Miridae), in an agricultural landscape of northern Japan. Periodical censuses of this mirid bug by using the sweeping method, vegetation surveys, and statistical analysis revealed that L. multiflorum was the only plant species that was positively correlated with the density of adult S. rubrovittatus through two generations and thus may be the most stable and important host of the mirid bug early in the season before the colonization of rice paddies. The risk and cost of such an indirect negative effect on a crop plant through facilitation of a native pest by a non-native plant in the agricultural landscape should not be overlooked.

  12. Warming of the Indian Ocean Threatens Eastern and Southern Africa, but could be Mitigated by Agricultural Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Funk, Chris; Dettinger, Michael D.; Brown, Molly E.; Michaelsen, Joel C.; Verdin, James P.; Barlow, Mathew; Howell, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    Since 1980, the number of undernourished people in eastern and southern Africa has more than doubled. Rural development stalled and rural poverty expanded during the 1990s. Population growth remains very high and declining per capita agricultural capacity retards progress towards Millennium Development goals. Analyses of in situ station data and satellite observations of precipitation identify another problematic trend. Main growing season rainfall receipts have diminished by approximately 15% in food insecure countries clustered along the western rim of the Indian Ocean. Occurring during the main growing seasons in poor countries dependent on rain fed agriculture, these declines are societally dangerous. Will they persist or intensify? Tracing moisture deficits upstream to an anthropogenically warming Indian Ocean leads us to conclude that further rainfall declines are likely. We present analyses suggesting that warming in the central Indian Ocean disrupts onshore moisture transports, reducing continental rainfall. Thus late 20th century anthropogenic Indian Ocean warming has probably already produced societally dangerous climate change by creating drought and social disruption in some of the world's most fragile food economies. We quantify the potential impacts of the observed precipitation and agricultural capacity trends by modeling millions of undernourished people as a function of rainfall, population, cultivated area, seed and fertilizer use. Persistence of current tendencies may result in a 50% increase in undernourished people. On the other hand, modest increases in per capita agricultural productivity could more than offset the observed precipitation declines. Investing in agricultural development can help mitigate climate change while decreasing rural poverty and vulnerability.

  13. Landscape formation at the Deuteronilus contact in southern Isidis Planitia, Mars: Implications for an Isidis Sea?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erkeling, G.; Reiss, D.; Hiesinger, H.; Ivanov, M. A.; Hauber, E.; Bernhardt, H.

    2014-11-01

    Two of the most widely studied landforms that are associated with a putative ocean that filled the northern hemisphere of Mars are (1) the Vastitas Borealis Formation (VBF), plain units that cover a larger portion of the northern lowlands of Mars, and (2) a candidate paleoshoreline, e.g., the Deuteronilus contact, which represents the outer margin of the VBF. The VBF and the Deuteronilus contact are interpreted to result from a short-lived Late Hesperian ocean that readily froze and sublimated. Similar landforms are also present in the impact basin of Isidis Planitia and suggest formation processes comparable to those that formed the VBF and the Deuteronilus contact in the northern lowlands. Our study of the Deuteronilus contact in Isidis revealed geologic evidence that possibly supports the existence of a Late Hesperian/Early Amazonian Isidis Sea. For example, numerous valleys that are incised into the plains of the southern Isidis basin rim between 82°/90°E and 3°/6°N and trend a few tens of kilometers to the north following the general topographic gradient toward the center of Isidis Planitia. A few of them reach the Deuteronilus contact and continue as sinuous ridges in the Isidis Interior Plains (IIP). Based on our findings we conclude that the geologic setting along the Deuteronilus contact, including the valleys and ridges is a result of (1) Late Hesperian short-term fluvial activity, (2) a Late Hesperian/Early Amazonian short-lived Isidis Sea that readily froze, (3) subglacial drainage and esker formation, and (4) subsequent sublimation of the proposed Isidis ice sheet. Although the fluvio-glacial model we introduce in our manuscript cannot fully explain the geologic setting, possible alternative formation models, including relief inversion and fluvio-volcanic scenarios are even less capable in explaining the observed geologic setting along the Deuteronilus contact.

  14. The relative importance of fertilization and soil erosion on C-dynamics in agricultural landscapes of NE Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, Madlen; Hoffmann, Mathias; Hagemann, Ulrike; Jurisch, Nicole; Remus, Rainer; Sommer, Michael; Augustin, Jürgen

    2016-04-01

    The hummocky ground moraine landscape of north-east Germany is characterized by distinct small-scale soil heterogeneity on the one hand, and intensive energy crop cultivation on the other. Both factors are assumed to significantly influence gaseous C exchange, and thus driving the dynamics of soil organic carbon stocks in terrestrial, agricultural ecosystems. However, it is not yet clear to which extent fertilization and soil erosional status influence soil C dynamics and whether one of these factors is more relevant than the other. We present seasonal and dynamic soil C balances of biogas maize for the growing season 2011, recorded at different sites located within the CarboZALF experimental area. The sites differ regarding soils (non-eroded Albic Luvisols (Cutanic), extremely eroded Calcaric Regosol and depositional Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol,) and applied fertilizer (100% mineral N fertilizer, 50% mineral and 50% N organic fertilizer, 100% organic N fertilizer). Fertilization treatments were established on the Albic Luvisol (Cutanic). Net-CO2-exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were measured every four weeks using a dynamic flow-through non-steady-state closed manual chamber system. Gap filling was performed based on empirical temperature and PAR dependency functions to derive daily NEE values. At the same time, daily above-ground biomass production (NPP) was estimated based on biomass samples and final harvest, using a sigmoidal growth function. In a next step, dynamic soil C balances were generated as the balance of daily NEE and NPP considering the initial C input due to N fertilizers. The resulted seasonal soil C balances varied from strong C losses at the Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol (602 g C m-2) to C gains at the Calcaric Regosol (-132 g C m-2). In general, soils exerted a stronger impact on seasonal and dynamic C balances compared to differences in applied N fertilizer. There are indications that inter-annual variations in climate conditions

  15. Barriers to Uptake of Conservation Agriculture in southern Africa: Multi-level Analyses from Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougill, Andrew; Stringer, Lindsay; Whitfield, Stephen; Wood, Ben; Chinseu, Edna

    2015-04-01

    Conservation agriculture is a key set of actions within the growing body of climate-smart agriculture activities being advocated and rolled out across much of the developing world. Conservation agriculture has purported benefits for environmental quality, food security and the sustained delivery of ecosystem services. In this paper, new multi-level analyses are presented, assessing the current barriers to adoption of conservation agriculture practices in Malawi. Despite significant donor initiatives that have targeted conservation agriculture projects, uptake rates remain low. This paper synthesises studies from across 3 levels in Malawi: i.) national level- drawing on policy analysis, interviews and a multi-stakeholder workshop; ii.) district level - via assessments of development plans and District Office and extension service support, and; iii) local level - through data gained during community / household level studies in Dedza District that have gained significant donor support for conservation agriculture as a component of climate smart agriculture initiatives. The national level multi-stakeholder Conservation Agriculture workshop identified three areas requiring collaborative research and outlined routes for the empowerment of the National Conservation Agriculture Task Force to advance uptake of conservation agriculture and deliver associated benefits in terms of agricultural development, climate adaptation and mitigation. District level analyses highlight that whilst District Development Plans are now checked against climate change adaptation and mitigation criteria, capacity and knowledge limitations exist at the District level, preventing project interventions from being successfully up-scaled. Community level assessments highlight the need for increased community participation at the project-design phase and identify a pressing requirement for conservation agriculture planning processes (in particular those driven by investments in climate

  16. Low temperature thermochronometric constraints on exhumation and landscape evolution of the eastern Lhasa block, southern Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, M. M.; Shuster, D. L.; Schmidt, J. L.; Zeitler, P. K.; Harrison, M.

    2013-12-01

    Thermochronometric constraints on unroofing in the eastern Lhasa block--bound by the Bangong-Nujiang and Indus-Yarlung sutures to the north and south, respectively, and east of Nyainqentanglha Shan--are important to understanding the geodynamic evolution of the Himalaya-Tibet orogen. With the exception of the Yarlung-Tsangpo River, the eastern Lhasa block marks the westernmost reach of east-flowing rivers in the externally drained portion of the Tibetan Plateau and is characterized by 1-1.5 km of local relief. At the southern margin of Asia prior to collision with India, the Lhasa block has also experienced all stages of the India-Asia collision since its inception at ~50 Ma. However, we know relatively little about when externally drained rivers propagated, how much material has been denuded, or how tectonic and erosional processes have interacted throughout collision to develop the modern relief in the eastern Lhasa block. To address these questions, we conducted apatite (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He analyses on granites of the Gangdese batholith from a 1.1 km vertical transect at the eastern headwaters of the Lhasa River. Apatite (U-Th)/He ages range from 11.2 to 15.3 Ma and show an age elevation relationship with a sharp break in slope between higher elevation samples (exhumation rate = 0.7 mm/yr) and samples from the valley floor (constant exhumation rate < 0.1 mm/yr). Inverse modeling of 4He/3He ages and release spectra agrees well with conventional apatite (U-Th)/He data, predicting at least 2 km of exhumation over ~3 Myr in the middle Miocene, followed by slow to negligible exhumation rates up to the present. Rapid middle Miocene unroofing likely reflects an increase in local erosion rate, which may be associated with activity on the north-south trending Nari Yun Chu rift system 20 km east of the vertical transect. Additional 4He/3He analyses of the lowest elevation samples are required to constrain when the modern relief at the headwaters of the Lhasa River

  17. Estimating Pesticide Retention Efficacy for Edge of Field Buffers Using the Riparian Ecosystem Management Model (REMM) in Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain croplands are vulnerable to runoff; thus agricultural pesticide use may adversely impact surface water quality. Our research group has collected data over the past 5 years indicating that this is not the case in Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW) located in co...

  18. Landscape factors influencing the spatial distribution and abundance of mosquito vector Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) in a mixed residential-agricultural community in Hawai'i

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reiter, M.E.; Lapointe, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Mosquito-borne avian diseases, principally avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum Grassi and Feletti) and avian pox (Avipoxvirus sp.) have been implicated as the key limiting factor associated with recent declines of endemic avifauna in the Hawaiian Island archipelago. We present data on the relative abundance, infection status, and spatial distribution of the primary mosquito vector Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae) across a mixed, residential-agricultural community adjacent to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on Hawai'i Island. We modeled the effect of agriculture and forest fragmentation in determining relative abundance of adult Cx. quinquefasciatus in Volcano Village, and we implement our statistical model in a geographic information system to generate a probability of mosquito capture prediction surface for the study area. Our model was based on biweekly captures of adult mosquitoes from 20 locations within Volcano Village from October 2001 to April 2003. We used mixed effects logistic regression to model the probability of capturing a mosquito, and we developed a set of 17 competing models a priori to specifically evaluate the effect of agriculture and fragmentation (i.e., residential landscapes) at two spatial scales. In total, 2,126 mosquitoes were captured in CO 2-baited traps with an average probability of 0.27 (SE = 0.10) of capturing one or more mosquitoes per trap night. Twelve percent of mosquitoes captured were infected with P. relictum. Our data indicate that agricultural lands and forest fragmentation significantly increase the probability of mosquito capture. The prediction surface identified areas along the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park boundary that may have high relative abundance of the vector. Our data document the potential of avian malaria transmission in residential-agricultural landscapes and support the need for vector management that extends beyond reserve boundaries and considers a reserve's spatial position in a highly

  19. Caesium-137 root uptake by agricultural and wild crops in post-Chernobyl landscape: the possibilities for phytoremediation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Shamshurina, Eugenia; Komissarova, Olga; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2015-04-01

    In spite of long term period after Chernobyl fallout (≈25 years after the accident) the level of Cs-137 in soils of contaminated landscapes remains several times more than radiation safety standard (= 37 kBq/m2). In particular, within the area of Plavsk radioactive hot spot (Tula region, Russia) current Cs-137 activities in soil are 460-500 Bq/kg (170-200 kBq/m2) on watershed, 580-680 Bq/kg (200-220 kBq/m2) in arable lower parts of slopes and 620-710 Bq/kg (210-280 kBq/m2) in untilled foots of slopes and river floodplains. To estimate the process of Cs-137 root uptake and incorporation of the radionuclide in plant tissues 6 agricultural crops of typical field rotation (spring barley, maize, summer rape, galega, potatoes, amaranth) as well as natural ecosystems of dry and wet meadows were selected for the detailed study. Total bioproductivity of agricultural crops varies between 1.7-3.9 kg/m2, natural grass ecosystems - 1.9-2.2 g/m2, and is obviously unaffected by radioactive land contamination. At the same time Cs-137 activity in total biomass slightly increases with Cs-137 activity in soil (correlation coefficient r=0.45) and with total biomass (correlation coefficient r=0.51) in the row: rape (5 Bq/kg) < amaranth, galega (17-19 Bq/kg) < barley, potatoes (31-37 Bq/kg) < maize (58 Bq/kg) < dry meadow (73 Bq/kg) < wet meadow (120 Bq/kg). Commonly, Cs-137 activity in vegetation of natural ecosystems with predominance of perennial grasses is significantly higher than in agrosystems with annual crops. But a substantial portion of Cs-137 in meadow vegetation is associated with belowground biomass, where the radionuclide's activity is 3-5 times greater than in the aboveground part. The distribution of Cs-137 activities between above- and belowground parts of agricultural crops greatly varies depending on the biological characteristics of plants: barley and maize (Gramíneae family) are also characterized by elevated Cs-137 concentrations in belowground parts (12

  20. Simulating Sustainable P Management Practices in Tile-Drained Landscapes of Central Ohio Using the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, W. I., III; King, K.; Williams, M.

    2014-12-01

    Despite extensive application of conservation practices to minimize sediment P delivery to streams, hypoxic conditions and harmful algal blooms persist in receiving water bodies. Tile-drainage networks are a focal point for reducing soluble P in the food-producing Midwestern United States in that they promote higher connectivity between upland soils and stream channels which decreases soil contact time, and biogeochemical alterations. A critical next step to reduce the environmental impact and maintain sustainable agriculture is to implement best management practices (BMPs) under a holistic framework that considers adverse effects to water resources and crop production, while maintaining economic feasibility. The objective of this study was to apply a robust numerical model, the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX), in a tile-drained landscape in Central Ohio in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a suite of BMPs on soluble and particulate P delivery to stream channels. The model was applied and evaluated at two adjacent edge-of-field sites with similar soil, topographic and management characteristics (except for tillage and tile installation on the south field in 2012, preceded by more than 20 years of no-till operations). Three years of daily discharge, total suspended solids, soluble P, soluble N (NO3 and NH4), total P, total N, and crop yields were utilized to verify the model performance. Prevalent BMPs simulated within the modeling framework included drainage water management, tillage and crop rotations, the 4Rs framework (right fertilizer source, rate, time, and placement), and bioreactors. Results of the study quantify the ability of the numerical model to simulate hydrology and P transport for surface runoff and subsurface tile drainage and highlight modifications that improve model performance. Further, results highlight BMPs that effectively reduce P loads to streams while maintaining crop yields, which can later be used to inform BMPs

  1. Southern Research Conference in Agricultural Education Proceedings. (34th, Mobile, Alabama, March 23-25, 1985).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rawls, Willie J.; And Others

    These proceedings include presentations that reflect the conference's focus on reporting current research in agricultural education. Twenty-one papers are presented in six general sessions: "Future Research Needs for Improving Vocational Agriculture Teacher Education Programs" (David L. Williams); "Assessment of Competencies…

  2. Variability in Surface BRDF at Different Spatial Scales (30 m-500 m) Over a Mixed Agricultural Landscape as Retrieved from Airborne and Satellite Spectral Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roman, Miguel O.; Gatebe, Charles K.; Schaaf, Crystal B.; Poudyal, Rajesh; Wang, Zhousen; King, Michael D.

    2011-01-01

    Over the past decade, the role of multiangle remote sensing has been central to the development of algorithms for the retrieval of global land surface properties including models of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF), albedo, land cover/dynamics, burned area extent, as well as other key surface biophysical quantities represented by the anisotropic reflectance characteristics of vegetation. In this study, a new retrieval strategy for fine-to-moderate resolution multiangle observations was developed, based on the operational sequence used to retrieve the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 5 reflectance and BRDF/albedo products. The algorithm makes use of a semiempirical kernel-driven bidirectional reflectance model to provide estimates of intrinsic albedo (i.e., directional-hemispherical reflectance and bihemispherical reflectance), model parameters describing the BRDF, and extensive quality assurance information. The new retrieval strategy was applied to NASA's Cloud Absorption Radiometer (CAR) data acquired during the 2007 Cloud and Land Surface Interaction Campaign (CLASIC) over the well-instrumented Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site in Oklahoma, USA. For the case analyzed, we obtained approx.1.6 million individual surface bidirectional reflectance factor (BRF) retrievals, from nadir to 75 off-nadir, and at spatial resolutions ranging from 3 m - 500 m. This unique dataset was used to examine the interaction of the spatial and angular characteristics of a mixed agricultural landscape; and provided the basis for detailed assessments of: (1) the use of a priori knowledge in kernel-driven BRDF model inversions; (2) the interaction between surface reflectance anisotropy and instrument spatial resolution; and (3) the uncertain ties that arise when sub-pixel differences in the BRDF are aggregated to a moderate resolution satellite pixel

  3. Variability in Surface BRDF at Different Spatial Scales (30m-500m) Over a Mixed Agricultural Landscape as Retrieved from Airborne and Satellite Spectral Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roman, Miguel O.; Gatebe, Charles K.; Schaaf, Crystal B.; Poudyal, Rajesh; Wang, Zhuosen; King, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade, the role of multiangle 1 remote sensing has been central to the development of algorithms for the retrieval of global land surface properties including models of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF), albedo, land cover/dynamics, burned area extent, as well as other key surface biophysical quantities represented by the anisotropic reflectance characteristics of vegetation. In this study, a new retrieval strategy for fine-to-moderate resolution multiangle observations was developed, based on the operational sequence used to retrieve the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 5 reflectance and BRDF/albedo products. The algorithm makes use of a semiempirical kernel-driven bidirectional reflectance model to provide estimates of intrinsic albedo (i.e., directional-hemispherical reflectance and bihemispherical reflectance), model parameters describing the BRDF, and extensive quality assurance information. The new retrieval strategy was applied to NASA's Cloud Absorption Radiometer (CAR) data acquired during the 2007 Cloud and Land Surface Interaction Campaign (CLASIC) over the well-instrumented Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site in Oklahoma, USA. For the case analyzed, we obtained approx.1.6 million individual surface bidirectional reflectance factor (BRF) retrievals, from nadir to 75deg off-nadir, and at spatial resolutions ranging from 3 m - 500 m. This unique dataset was used to examine the interaction of the spatial and angular 18 characteristics of a mixed agricultural landscape; and provided the basis for detailed assessments of: (1) the use of a priori knowledge in kernel-driven BRDF model inversions; (2) the interaction between surface reflectance anisotropy and instrument spatial resolution; and (3) the uncertainties that arise when sub-pixel differences in the BRDF are aggregated to a moderate resolution satellite

  4. Analysis of land cover change and its driving forces in a desert oasis landscape of southern Xinjiang, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amuti, T.; Luo, G.

    2014-07-01

    The combined effects of drought, warming and the changes in land cover have caused severe land degradation for several decades in the extremely arid desert oases of Southern Xinjiang, Northwest China. This study examined land cover changes during 1990-2008 to characterize and quantify the transformations in the typical oasis of Hotan. Land cover classifications of these images were performed based on the supervised classification scheme integrated with conventional vegetation and soil indexes. Change-detection techniques in remote sensing (RS) and a geographic information system (GIS) were applied to quantify temporal and spatial dynamics of land cover changes. The overall accuracies, Kappa coefficients, and average annual increase rate or decrease rate of land cover classes were calculated to assess classification results and changing rate of land cover. The analysis revealed that major trends of the land cover changes were the notable growth of the oasis and the reduction of the desert-oasis ecotone, which led to accelerated soil salinization and plant deterioration within the oasis. These changes were mainly attributed to the intensified human activities. The results indicated that the newly created agricultural land along the margins of the Hotan oasis could result in more potential areas of land degradation. If no effective measures are taken against the deterioration of the oasis environment, soil erosion caused by land cover change may proceed. The trend of desert moving further inward and the shrinking of the ecotone may lead to potential risks to the eco-environment of the Hotan oasis over the next decades.

  5. Implementing automatic LiDAR and supervised mapping methodologies to quantify agricultural terraced landforms at landscape scale: the case of Veneto Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eugenio Pappalardo, Salvatore; Ferrarese, Francesco; Tarolli, Paolo; Varotto, Mauro

    2016-04-01

    Traditional agricultural terraced landscapes presently embody an important cultural value to be deeply investigated, both for their role in local heritage and cultural economy and for their potential geo-hydrological hazard due to abandonment and degradation. Moreover, traditional terraced landscapes are usually based on non-intensive agro-systems and may enhance some important ecosystems services such as agro-biodiversity conservation and cultural services. Due to their unplanned genesis, mapping, quantifying and classifying agricultural terraces at regional scale is often critical as far as they are usually set up on geomorphologically and historically complex landscapes. Hence, traditional mapping methods are generally based on scientific literature and local documentation, historical and cadastral sources, technical cartography and aerial images visual interpretation or, finally, field surveys. By this, limitations and uncertainty in mapping at regional scale are basically related to forest cover and lack in thematic cartography. The Veneto Region (NE of Italy) presents a wide heterogeneity of agricultural terraced landscapes, mainly distributed within the hilly and Prealps areas. Previous studies performed by traditional mapping method quantified 2,688 ha of terraced areas, showing the higher values within the Prealps of Lessinia (1,013 ha, within the Province of Verona) and in the Brenta Valley (421 ha, within the Province of Vicenza); however, terraced features of these case studies show relevant differences in terms of fragmentation and intensity of terraces, highlighting dissimilar degrees of clusterization: 1.7 ha on one hand (Province of Verona) and 1.2 ha per terraced area (Province of Vicenza) on the other one. The aim of this paper is to implement and to compare automatic methodologies with traditional survey methodologies to map and assess agricultural terraces in two representative areas of the Veneto Region. Testing different Remote Sensing

  6. Predicted effect of landscape position on wildlife habitat value of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program wetlands in a tile-drained agricultural region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otis, David L.; Crumpton, William R.; Green, David; Loan-Wilsey, Anna; Cooper, Tom; Johnson, Rex R.

    2013-01-01

    Justification for investment in restored or constructed wetland projects are often based on presumed net increases in ecosystem services. However, quantitative assessment of performance metrics is often difficult and restricted to a single objective. More comprehensive performance assessments could help inform decision-makers about trade-offs in services provided by alternative restoration program design attributes. The primary goal of the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is to establish wetlands that efficiently remove nitrates from tile-drained agricultural landscapes. A secondary objective is provision of wildlife habitat. We used existing wildlife habitat models to compare relative net change in potential wildlife habitat value for four alternative landscape positions of wetlands within the watershed. Predicted species richness and habitat value for birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles generally increased as the wetland position moved lower in the watershed. However, predicted average net increase between pre- and post-project value was dependent on taxonomic group. The increased average wetland area and changes in surrounding upland habitat composition among landscape positions were responsible for these differences. Net change in predicted densities of several grassland bird species at the four landscape positions was variable and species-dependent. Predicted waterfowl breeding activity was greater for lower drainage position wetlands. Although our models are simplistic and provide only a predictive index of potential habitat value, we believe such assessment exercises can provide a tool for coarse-level comparisons of alternative proposed project attributes and a basis for constructing informed hypotheses in auxiliary empirical field studies.

  7. Landscape effects of a non-native grass facilitate source populations of a native generalist bug, Stenotus rubrovittatus, in a heterogeneous agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Yoshioka, A; Takada, M B; Washitani, I

    2014-01-01

    Non-native plant species can provide native generalist insects, including pests, with novel food and habitats. It is hypothesized that local and landscape-level abundances of non-native plants can affect the population size of generalist insects, although generalists are assumed to be less sensitive to habitat connectivity than specialists. In a heterogeneous landscape in Japan, the relationship between the density of a native pest of rice (Stenotus rubrovittatus (Matsumura) (Heteroptera: Miridae)) and the abundance of Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam. (Poales: Poaceae)), a non-native meadow grass known to facilitate S. rubrovittatus, was analyzed. Statistical analyses of data on bug density, vegetation, and the spatial distribution of fallow fields and meadows dominated by Italian ryegrass, obtained by field surveys, demonstrated that local and landscape-level abundances of Italian ryegrass (the unmowed meadow areas within a few hundred meters of a sampling plot) positively affected bug density before its immigration into rice fields. Our findings suggest that a generalist herbivorous insect that prefers non-native plants responds to spatial availability and connectivity of plant species patches at the metapopulation level. Fragmentation by selective mowing that decreases the total area of source populations and increases the isolation among them would be an effective and environmentally-friendly pest management method.

  8. Warming of the Indian Ocean threatens eastern and southern African food security but could be mitigated by agricultural development.

    PubMed

    Funk, Chris; Dettinger, Michael D; Michaelsen, Joel C; Verdin, James P; Brown, Molly E; Barlow, Mathew; Hoell, Andrew

    2008-08-12

    Since 1980, the number of undernourished people in eastern and southern Africa has more than doubled. Rural development stalled and rural poverty expanded during the 1990s. Population growth remains very high, and declining per-capita agricultural capacity retards progress toward Millennium Development goals. Analyses of in situ station data and satellite observations of precipitation have identified another problematic trend: main growing-season rainfall receipts have diminished by approximately 15% in food-insecure countries clustered along the western rim of the Indian Ocean. Occurring during the main growing seasons in poor countries dependent on rain-fed agriculture, these declines are societally dangerous. Will they persist or intensify? Tracing moisture deficits upstream to an anthropogenically warming Indian Ocean leads us to conclude that further rainfall declines are likely. We present analyses suggesting that warming in the central Indian Ocean disrupts onshore moisture transports, reducing continental rainfall. Thus, late 20th-century anthropogenic Indian Ocean warming has probably already produced societally dangerous climate change by creating drought and social disruption in some of the world's most fragile food economies. We quantify the potential impacts of the observed precipitation and agricultural capacity trends by modeling "millions of undernourished people" as a function of rainfall, population, cultivated area, seed, and fertilizer use. Persistence of current tendencies may result in a 50% increase in undernourished people by 2030. On the other hand, modest increases in per-capita agricultural productivity could more than offset the observed precipitation declines. Investing in agricultural development can help mitigate climate change while decreasing rural poverty and vulnerability.

  9. Warming of the Indian Ocean threatens eastern and southern African food security but could be mitigated by agricultural development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Funk, C.; Dettinger, M.D.; Michaelsen, J.C.; Verdin, J.P.; Brown, M.E.; Barlow, M.; Hoell, A.

    2008-01-01

    Since 1980, the number of undernourished people in eastern and southern Africa has more than doubled. Rural development stalled and rural poverty expanded during the 1990s. Population growth remains very high, and declining per-capita agricultural capacity retards progress toward Millennium Development goals. Analyses of in situ station data and satellite observations of precipitation have identified another problematic trend: main growing-season rainfall receipts have diminished by ???15% in food-insecure countries clustered along the western rim of the Indian Ocean. Occurring during the main growing seasons in poor countries dependent on rain-fed agriculture, these declines are societally dangerous. Will they persist or intensify? Tracing moisture deficits upstream to an anthropogenically warming Indian Ocean leads us to conclude that further rainfall declines are likely. We present analyses suggesting that warming in the central Indian Ocean disrupts onshore moisture transports, reducing continental rainfall. Thus, late 20th-century anthropogenic Indian Ocean warming has probably already produced societally dangerous climate change by creating drought and social disruption in some of the world's most fragile food economies. We quantify the potential impacts of the observed precipitation and agricultural capacity trends by modeling 'millions of undernourished people' as a function of rainfall, population, cultivated area, seed, and fertilizer use. Persistence of current tendencies may result in a 50% increase in undernourished people by 2030. On the other hand, modest increases in per-capita agricultural productivity could more than offset the observed precipitation declines. Investing in agricultural development can help mitigate climate change while decreasing rural poverty and vulnerability. ?? 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

  10. Warming of the Indian Ocean threatens eastern and southern African food security but could be mitigated by agricultural development

    PubMed Central

    Funk, Chris; Dettinger, Michael D.; Michaelsen, Joel C.; Verdin, James P.; Brown, Molly E.; Barlow, Mathew; Hoell, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    Since 1980, the number of undernourished people in eastern and southern Africa has more than doubled. Rural development stalled and rural poverty expanded during the 1990s. Population growth remains very high, and declining per-capita agricultural capacity retards progress toward Millennium Development goals. Analyses of in situ station data and satellite observations of precipitation have identified another problematic trend: main growing-season rainfall receipts have diminished by ≈15% in food-insecure countries clustered along the western rim of the Indian Ocean. Occurring during the main growing seasons in poor countries dependent on rain-fed agriculture, these declines are societally dangerous. Will they persist or intensify? Tracing moisture deficits upstream to an anthropogenically warming Indian Ocean leads us to conclude that further rainfall declines are likely. We present analyses suggesting that warming in the central Indian Ocean disrupts onshore moisture transports, reducing continental rainfall. Thus, late 20th-century anthropogenic Indian Ocean warming has probably already produced societally dangerous climate change by creating drought and social disruption in some of the world's most fragile food economies. We quantify the potential impacts of the observed precipitation and agricultural capacity trends by modeling “millions of undernourished people” as a function of rainfall, population, cultivated area, seed, and fertilizer use. Persistence of current tendencies may result in a 50% increase in undernourished people by 2030. On the other hand, modest increases in per-capita agricultural productivity could more than offset the observed precipitation declines. Investing in agricultural development can help mitigate climate change while decreasing rural poverty and vulnerability. PMID:18685101

  11. Digital Mapping of Soil Salinity and Crop Yield across a Coastal Agricultural Landscape Using Repeated Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) Surveys.

    PubMed

    Yao, Rongjiang; Yang, Jingsong; Wu, Danhua; Xie, Wenping; Gao, Peng; Jin, Wenhui

    2016-01-01

    Reliable and real-time information on soil and crop properties is important for the development of management practices in accordance with the requirements of a specific soil and crop within individual field units. This is particularly the case in salt-affected agricultural landscape where managing the spatial variability of soil salinity is essential to minimize salinization and maximize crop output. The primary objectives were to use linear mixed-effects model for soil salinity and crop yield calibration with horizontal and vertical electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements as ancillary data, to characterize the spatial distribution of soil salinity and crop yield and to verify the accuracy of spatial estimation. Horizontal and vertical EMI (type EM38) measurements at 252 locations were made during each survey, and root zone soil samples and crop samples at 64 sampling sites were collected. This work was periodically conducted on eight dates from June 2012 to May 2013 in a coastal salt-affected mud farmland. Multiple linear regression (MLR) and restricted maximum likelihood (REML) were applied to calibrate root zone soil salinity (ECe) and crop annual output (CAO) using ancillary data, and spatial distribution of soil ECe and CAO was generated using digital soil mapping (DSM) and the precision of spatial estimation was examined using the collected meteorological and groundwater data. Results indicated that a reduced model with EMh as a predictor was satisfactory for root zone ECe calibration, whereas a full model with both EMh and EMv as predictors met the requirement of CAO calibration. The obtained distribution maps of ECe showed consistency with those of EMI measurements at the corresponding time, and the spatial distribution of CAO generated from ancillary data showed agreement with that derived from raw crop data. Statistics of jackknifing procedure confirmed that the spatial estimation of ECe and CAO exhibited reliability and high accuracy. A general

  12. Digital Mapping of Soil Salinity and Crop Yield across a Coastal Agricultural Landscape Using Repeated Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) Surveys

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Rongjiang; Yang, Jingsong; Wu, Danhua; Xie, Wenping; Gao, Peng; Jin, Wenhui

    2016-01-01

    Reliable and real-time information on soil and crop properties is important for the development of management practices in accordance with the requirements of a specific soil and crop within individual field units. This is particularly the case in salt-affected agricultural landscape where managing the spatial variability of soil salinity is essential to minimize salinization and maximize crop output. The primary objectives were to use linear mixed-effects model for soil salinity and crop yield calibration with horizontal and vertical electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements as ancillary data, to characterize the spatial distribution of soil salinity and crop yield and to verify the accuracy of spatial estimation. Horizontal and vertical EMI (type EM38) measurements at 252 locations were made during each survey, and root zone soil samples and crop samples at 64 sampling sites were collected. This work was periodically conducted on eight dates from June 2012 to May 2013 in a coastal salt-affected mud farmland. Multiple linear regression (MLR) and restricted maximum likelihood (REML) were applied to calibrate root zone soil salinity (ECe) and crop annual output (CAO) using ancillary data, and spatial distribution of soil ECe and CAO was generated using digital soil mapping (DSM) and the precision of spatial estimation was examined using the collected meteorological and groundwater data. Results indicated that a reduced model with EMh as a predictor was satisfactory for root zone ECe calibration, whereas a full model with both EMh and EMv as predictors met the requirement of CAO calibration. The obtained distribution maps of ECe showed consistency with those of EMI measurements at the corresponding time, and the spatial distribution of CAO generated from ancillary data showed agreement with that derived from raw crop data. Statistics of jackknifing procedure confirmed that the spatial estimation of ECe and CAO exhibited reliability and high accuracy. A general

  13. Passive margin high altitude low relief surfaces: old or new? Testing the glacial/periglacial buzzsaw hypothesis on the landscape of Southern Norway.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthling, Ivar

    2015-04-01

    Low relief surfaces at relatively high altitude are a main characteristic of the landscape in Southern Norway. These surfaces have for more than a century been regarded as old surfaces, originally developed as low altitude peneplains and later tectonically uplifted during the Cenozoic (e.g. LidmarBergstrom et al., 2000). Recently, this standard model has been challenged by models suggesting more recent uplift from erosionally driven isostatic adjustments during Pliocene and Pleistocene (Nielsen et al., 2009) or also earlier (Gołędowski et al., 2013). These models differ in opinion as to how and when the surfaces actually have developed from denudational processes in increasingly colder climates, unconstrained by a common base level, but both a glacial and a periglacial 'buzzsaw' have been invoked. If this interpretation is correct, it provides an example of large-scale periglacial bedrock landscape development and further underlines the importance of cryo-conditioning for long-term landscape development (Berthling and Etzelmüller, 2011) and the interconnected role of earth surface processes in cold climates. According to (French, 2007), however, large scale periglacial landscapes are rare or non-existent. Testing the periglacial 'buzzsaw' is therefore important, both for addressing the potential general long-term effects of periglacial processes on landscape development, and specifically to evaluate the mentioned models for Cenozoic landscape development. Here, we assess both the standard model and the glacial/periglacial 'buzzsaw' hypotheses on the Southern Norway landscape development, based on available field relationships. The periglacial 'buzzsaw' involves two aspects: sediment production by frost weathering, and sediment transport by periglacial mass wasting, i.e. solifluction and/or permafrost creep. Several studies evaluate frost weathering at the landscape scale, but periglacial mass wasting - especially regarding solifluction - has mainly been

  14. Measures of the EU Agri-Environmental Protection Scheme (GAEPS) and their impacts on the visual acceptability of Finnish agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Tahvanainen, Liisa; Ihalainen, Marjut; Hietala-Koivu, Reija; Kolehmainen, Osmo; Tyrväinen, Liisa; Nousiainen, Ismo; Helenius, Juha

    2002-11-01

    As a member of the European Union, Finland has committed itself to creating an environmental policy for agriculture. The aims of this study were to evaluate visual impacts of the General Agri-Environmental Protection Scheme (GAEPS) and Supplementary Protection Scheme (SPS) and general attitudes towards some activities in those policies and furthermore to examine the suitability of the method of Alho et al. (2001) for the scenic beauty assessment. The study areas consisted of three original, untreated, and 15 modified rural landscapes representing a variety of different activities. The scenic beauty of the landscapes was evaluated through pairwise comparisons of the responses of 68 people. Furthermore, attitudes towards environmental values, water protection, buffer strips and subsidies to agriculture were obtained. The respondents found the maintained buffer strips more pleasing than unmaintained strips and considered that the quality of watercourses was increased by buffer strips along them. A suitable width for the buffer strip along main ditches, brooks and waterways was regarded, on average, to be wider than the current recommendations. Although the opinions of farmers were basically in line with the existing recommendations, farmers' opininons on the second and third most important effects of buffer strips, an increase in weeds and a decrease in cultivated land, clearly differed from those of the other respondents. Afforestation, lack of building maintenance and abandoned fields were considered to be the most important factors impacting rural landscapes. This study indicates that the Finnish Agri-Environmental Protection Schemes have had positive impacts on the visual quality of landscapes. Attitudes towards other impacts are contradictory. This study also showed the improvement of the Alho et al. (2001) method in these kinds of studies relative to other methods of pairwise comparisons.

  15. Patterns of Quaternary uplift of the Corinth rift southern border (N Peloponnese, Greece) revealed by fluvial landscape morphometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demoulin, A.; Beckers, A.; Hubert-Ferrari, A.

    2015-10-01

    The Rift of Corinth is a world-class example of young active rifting and, as such, is an ideal natural laboratory of continental extension. However, though much investigated for two decades, several aspects of the mechanisms at work are still poorly understood. The aim of this paper is a detailed morphometric study of the fluvial landscape response to the tectonic uplift of the rift southern shoulder in order to reconstruct the rift's Quaternary evolution, with special attention to timing, location, and intensity of uplift episodes. Based on the use of a large set of catchment and long profile metrics complemented by the new R/SR integrative approach of the regional drainage network, we identified three distinct episodes of uplift of the northern Peloponnese coastal tract, of which the intermediate one, dated around 0.35-0.4 Ma, is only recorded in the topography of the central part of the rift shoulder, and the youngest one appears to have propagated from east to west over the last 10-20 ka. While net uplift remained minimum in the eastern part of the study area during the whole Quaternary, it shows a clear maximum in the central part of the rift shoulder since 0.4 Ma and an eastward shift of this maximum in recent times. Maximum uplift rates calculated from the morphometric data are of > 1.05 and 2-5 mm year- 1 for, the mid-Middle Pleistocene and Holocene uplift episodes, respectively. The morphometric evidence reveals an onshore uplift history remarkably consistent with the rift evolution reconstructed from other data sets. In the long term, it shows a stable pattern of maximum activity in the central part of the rift, confirming previous conclusions about the absence of rift propagation. In the short term, it sheds light on a possible E-W migration of the zone of recent uplift, suggesting that in the near future fault activity and seismic hazard might concentrate in the Heliki-Aegion area, at the western tip of this uplift wave.

  16. Landscapes and their relation to hominin habitats: case studies from Australopithecus sites in eastern and southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Sally C; Bailey, Geoff N; King, Geoffrey C P

    2011-03-01

    We examine the links between geomorphological processes, specific landscape features, surface water drainage, and the creation of suitable habitats for hominins. The existence of mosaic (i.e., heterogeneous) habitats within hominin site landscape reconstructions is typically explained using models of the riverine and gallery forest settings, or the pan or lake setting. We propose a different model: the Tectonic Landscape Model (TLM), where tectonic faulting and volcanism disrupts existing pan or river settings at small-scales (∼10-25 km). Our model encompasses the interpretation of the landscape features, the role of tectonics in creating these landscapes, and the implications for hominins. In particular, the model explains the underlying mechanism for the creation and maintenance of heterogeneous habitats in regions of active tectonics. We illustrate how areas with faulting and disturbed drainage patterns would have been attractive habitats for hominins, such as Australopithecus, and other fauna. Wetland areas are an important characteristic of surface water disturbance by fault activity; therefore we examine the tectonically-controlled Okavango Delta (Botswana) and the Nylsvley wetland (South Africa) as modern examples of how tectonics in a riverine setting significantly enhance the faunal and floral biodiversity. While tectonic landscapes may not have been the only type of attractive habitats to hominins, we propose a suite of landscape, faunal, and floral indicators, which when recovered together suggest that site environments may have been influenced by tectonic and/or volcanic activity while hominins were present. For the fossil sites, we interpret the faulting and landscapes around australopithecine-bearing sites of the Middle Awash (Ethiopia) and Makapansgat, Taung, and Sterkfontein (South Africa) to illustrate these relationships between landscape features and surface water bodies. Exploitation of tectonically active landscapes may explain why the

  17. The role of the agricultural matrix: coffee management and euglossine bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini) communities in southern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Briggs, H M; Perfecto, I; Brosi, B J

    2013-12-01

    With growing concern surrounding global pollinator declines, it is important to understand how habitat destruction and agricultural intensification impact pollinator communities. Euglossine bees are tropical forest-dependent pollinators responsible for pollination of both economically important crops and wild plant species. A growing body of work has focused on the effect of habitat fragmentation on euglossine bees, yet little is known about how these bees are impacted by agricultural intensification. Coffee cultivation is widespread in the tropics, and its management is conducted along a gradient of intensity, which ranges from monoculture (i.e., no shade, high inputs) to polyculture (shade overstory retained, fewer inputs). We used a landscape in Soconusco, Chiapas, Mexico, that allowed for comparison between monoculture and polyculture coffee farms, while holding distance to native habitat, as well as native habitat quality, constant. We found that habitat management influenced abundance, estimated richness, and community composition of euglossine bees. The polyculture coffee farm boasts a more similar community composition to the forest than to the monoculture coffee farm. In addition, the polyculture farm had almost double the euglossine abundance compared with the monoculture farm. Our results suggest that coffee management regimes may strongly impact euglossine communities and that less intensive polyculture approaches may mitigate species losses of this important group of pollinators.

  18. Expanding soil health assessment methods for agricultural systems of the southern great plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In agricultural systems, soil health (also referred as soil quality) is critical for sustainable production and ecosystem services. Soil health analyses dependent upon singular parameters fail to account for the host of interactions occurring within the soil ecosystem. Soil health is in flux with m...

  19. DISTRIBUTIONS OF AIRBORNE AGRICULTURAL CONTAMINANTS RELATIVE TO AMPHIBIAN POPULATIONS IN THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA, CA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Sierra Nevada mountain range lies adjacent to one of the heaviest pesticide use areas in the USA, the Central Valley of California. Because of this proximity, concern has arisen that agricultural pesticides, in addition to other contaminants, are adversely affecting the natur...

  20. Greenhouse gas emissions from alternative futures of deforestation and agricultural management in the southern Amazon.

    PubMed

    Galford, Gillian L; Melillo, Jerry M; Kicklighter, David W; Cronin, Timothy W; Cerri, Carlos E P; Mustard, John F; Cerri, Carlos C

    2010-11-16

    The Brazilian Amazon is one of the most rapidly developing agricultural areas in the world and represents a potentially large future source of greenhouse gases from land clearing and subsequent agricultural management. In an integrated approach, we estimate the greenhouse gas dynamics of natural ecosystems and agricultural ecosystems after clearing in the context of a future climate. We examine scenarios of deforestation and postclearing land use to estimate the future (2006-2050) impacts on carbon dioxide (CO(2)), methane (CH(4)), and nitrous oxide (N(2)O) emissions from the agricultural frontier state of Mato Grosso, using a process-based biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystems Model (TEM). We estimate a net emission of greenhouse gases from Mato Grosso, ranging from 2.8 to 15.9 Pg CO(2)-equivalents (CO(2)-e) from 2006 to 2050. Deforestation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions over this period, but land uses following clearing account for a substantial portion (24-49%) of the net greenhouse gas budget. Due to land-cover and land-use change, there is a small foregone carbon sequestration of 0.2-0.4 Pg CO(2)-e by natural forests and cerrado between 2006 and 2050. Both deforestation and future land-use management play important roles in the net greenhouse gas emissions of this frontier, suggesting that both should be considered in emissions policies. We find that avoided deforestation remains the best strategy for minimizing future greenhouse gas emissions from Mato Grosso.

  1. A revised chronology for the adoption of agriculture in the Southern Levant and the role of Lateglacial climatic change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blockley, S. P. E.; Pinhasi, R.

    2011-01-01

    This paper re-examines the chronology and environmental context for the transition to agriculture in the Southern Levant, seen as the likely starting point for the adoption of agriculture in Europe and the Near East. The role in this process of abrupt late Quaternary climate change has been discussed widely, but limitations on the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental chronologies have led to varying interpretations. Here we attempt to clarify the situation by first testing the available radiocarbon database for the archaeological transitions from the Natufian through to the PPNA. We apply internationally accepted radiocarbon quality assurance procedures and find that a significant number of the published dates fall bellow acceptable standards. The cleaning process significantly clarifies and constrains the reported time ranges for the Natufian, Late Natufian and PPNA. We then apply the new IntCal09 calibration curve and Bayesian calibration methods, using the archaeological phasing to constrain the data and calculate the most likely timing of the transitions between each phase. We then compare the onset and duration of archaeological phases to data representing the key Northern Hemisphere climatic transitions, using the new GICC05 Greenland Ice core timescale and the timing of transitions between wet and dry phases in the southern Levant from published high precision isotopic analyses of Speleothem data. The results of this exercise present the currently best available chronology for these events and suggest that during the second part of the Lateglacial interstadial, drying of the southern Levant may have triggered the transition to the Late Natufian, when hunter-gatherer communities resorted to a more mobile lifestyle. The Late Natufian culture appears to have disappeared from the southern Levant during the Younger Dryas, as drying intensified. There is then a gap in well dated evidence for human occupation until a reappearance of humans at the onset of the Pre

  2. Landscape structure in a managed forest mosaic of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and its influence on songbirds and small mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leimgruber, Peter

    Forests in the Appalachian Mountains have been severely affected by logging in the past and little old-growth is left. The remaining forests form a heterogeneous mosaic of different forest successions. A concern for conservation is how additional logging will alter the mosaic and its fauna. I studied the effects of logging on the landscape mosaic and how changes in the landscape structure influence small mammals and birds in the George Washington National Forest, Virginia. My dissertation also included research on how to improve techniques for landscape ecological studies, such as roadside monitoring of birds and mapping of forest resources using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Because of the scale dependency of landscape-ecological relationships, I investigated how landscape structure in the forest mosaic changes with increasing scales. I determined threshold scales at which structure changed markedly. After establishing a baseline, I examined how logging affected the intensity and location of such thresholds. I found thresholds in landscape structure exist at 400-, 500-, and 800-m intervals from the outer edge of the cut. While logging did not change threshold location and intensity for global landscape indices, such as dominance and contagion, thresholds for focal indices, such as mean patch size and percent cover for early-successional forest, changed markedly. Using GIS, I determined how logging affected small mammals and birds at the landscape scale. I divided the landscape into three zones (zone 1, inside logged areas; zone 2, 20--400 m from logged areas; zone 3, 1000--1500 m from logged areas). Logging changed species presence and richness more drastically in close proximity of cuts than on the landscape and influenced birds more strongly than mammals. In the cuts, edge-adapted birds, such as the indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea), replaced forest interior species, such as the Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens). Most

  3. Changes in Carbon Pools 50 Years after Reversion of a Landscape Dominated by Agriculture to Managed Forests in the Upper Southeastern Atlantic Coastal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Z.; Trettin, C.; Parresol, B. R.; Li, C.

    2010-12-01

    The landscape of the upper coastal plain of South Carolina in the late 1940’s was typified by rural agricultural communities and farms comprising cleared fields and mixed-use woodlots. Approximately 80,000 ha of that landscape was appropriated by the US Government in the early 1950’s to form the Savannah River Site which is now managed by the US Dept. of Energy. The US Forest Service was engaged to reforest the agricultural parcels, 40% of the tract, and to develop sustainable management practices for the woodlots and restored areas. As part of the acquisition process in 1951, a complete inventory of the land and forest resources were conducted. In 2001, an intensive forest survey was conducted which encompassed 90% of the tract, detailing the above-ground biomass pools. We’ve used those inventories in conjunction with soil resource data to assemble a carbon balance sheet encompassing the above and belowground carbon pools over the 50 year period. We’ve also employed inventories on forest removals, forest burning and runoff to estimate fluxes from the landscape over the same period. There was a net sequestration of 5,486 Gg of C in forest vegetation over the 50 yr. period (1.5 Mg ha-1 yr-1), with carbon density increasing from 6.3 to 83.3 Mg ha-1. The reforestation of the agricultural land and the increased density of the former woodlots was the cause of the gain. Fifty years after imposition of silvicultural prescriptions, the forest composition has changed from being dominated by hardwoods to pine. The forest floor increased by 311 Gg carbon. Fluxes in form of harvested wood and oxidation from burning were 24% and 10% respectively of the net gain in vegetative biomass. These findings document real changes in carbon storage on a landscape that was changed from mixed agricultural use to managed forests, and they suggest responses that should be similar if reforestation for biofuels production is expanded.

  4. Case study of groundwater pollution in a critical area of the Southern-Friuli exposed to agricultural and landfill pressures.

    PubMed

    Adami, G; Siviero, P; Barbieri, P; Piselli, S; Reisenhofer, E

    2001-01-01

    Groundwater of the Southern-Friuli displays high levels of agricultural pollutants, such as nitrates and triazinic herbicides not only in the surficial layers, but also in the deeper ones, below 150 m. Some wells of the district of Gonars was monitored. The examined waters, used for irrigation but also for drinkable use, are exposed to environmental risk due to both agricultural practices and presence of many waste disposal sites. Heavy metals, nitrates and triazinic herbicides were measured in samples taken at four wells in three periods having different rain conditions. We found that groundwater quality is affected mainly by agricultural practices: nitrates and triazines are present at levels very near as well as superior to the maximum concentration allowable by Italian law. These agricultural contaminants have similar levels at all sampled sites: no difference was detected between dry periods and rain ones. Heavy metal contents are negligible in all cases; this fact suggests that ion-exchange, sorbing and complexing properties of the soils hinder the way of the metal leachates towards underlying groundwater. Zinc constitutes an exception; it is found at levels near or superior to the maximum allowable concentration (CMA), and the highest contents are observed in rain periods; different sites display different zinc levels, suggesting that this metal could have various point sources. Nitrates fertilisers were found in all sites at similar levels, very near to CMA (50 mg/L). Triazines are specific herbicides for corn growing, highly diffused here: their use in recent years is forbidden by Italian law, but the presence in groundwater of parent triazines and metabolites is a persistent problem of this area. The Italian law indicates a CMA of 0.10 microgram/L for the sum of atrazine and desethylatrazine, but we found that desethylatrazine by itself exceeds largely CMA in all sites.

  5. Greenhouse gas emissions from alternative futures of deforestation and agricultural management in the southern Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Galford, Gillian L.; Melillo, Jerry M.; Kicklighter, David W.; Cronin, Timothy W.; Cerri, Carlos E. P.; Mustard, John F.; Cerri, Carlos C.

    2010-01-01

    The Brazilian Amazon is one of the most rapidly developing agricultural areas in the world and represents a potentially large future source of greenhouse gases from land clearing and subsequent agricultural management. In an integrated approach, we estimate the greenhouse gas dynamics of natural ecosystems and agricultural ecosystems after clearing in the context of a future climate. We examine scenarios of deforestation and postclearing land use to estimate the future (2006–2050) impacts on carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from the agricultural frontier state of Mato Grosso, using a process-based biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystems Model (TEM). We estimate a net emission of greenhouse gases from Mato Grosso, ranging from 2.8 to 15.9 Pg CO2-equivalents (CO2-e) from 2006 to 2050. Deforestation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions over this period, but land uses following clearing account for a substantial portion (24–49%) of the net greenhouse gas budget. Due to land-cover and land-use change, there is a small foregone carbon sequestration of 0.2–0.4 Pg CO2-e by natural forests and cerrado between 2006 and 2050. Both deforestation and future land-use management play important roles in the net greenhouse gas emissions of this frontier, suggesting that both should be considered in emissions policies. We find that avoided deforestation remains the best strategy for minimizing future greenhouse gas emissions from Mato Grosso. PMID:20651250

  6. Microsatellite typing of ancient maize: insights into the history of agriculture in southern South America

    PubMed Central

    Lia, Verónica V; Confalonieri, Viviana A; Ratto, Norma; Hernández, Julián A. Cámara; Alzogaray, Ana M. Miante; Poggio, Lidia; Brown, Terence A

    2006-01-01

    Archaeological maize specimens from Andean sites of southern South America, dating from 400 to 1400 years before present, were tested for the presence of ancient DNA and three microsatellite loci were typed in the specimens that gave positive results. Genotypes were also obtained for 146 individuals corresponding to modern landraces currently cultivated in the same areas and for 21 plants from Argentinian lowland races. Sequence analysis of cloned ancient DNA products revealed a high incidence of substitutions appearing in only one clone, with transitions prevalent. In the archaeological specimens, there was no evidence of polymorphism at any one of the three microsatellite loci: each exhibited a single allelic variant, identical to the most frequent allele found in contemporary populations belonging to races Amarillo Chico, Amarillo Grande, Blanco and Altiplano. Affiliation between ancient specimens and a set of races from the Andean complex was further supported by assignment tests. The striking genetic uniformity displayed by the ancient specimens and their close relationship with the Andean complex suggest that the latter gene pool has predominated in the western regions of southern South America for at least the past 1400 years. The results support hypotheses suggesting that maize cultivation initially spread into South America via a highland route, rather than through the lowlands. PMID:17476775

  7. Assessing the humus status and CO2 production in soils of anthropogenic and agrogenic landscapes in southern regions of the Russian Far East

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purtova, L. N.; Kostenkov, N. M.; Shchapova, L. N.

    2017-01-01

    The humus status and CO2 production have been assessed in soils of natural and anthropogenic landscapes in southern regions of the Far East with different types of redox conditions. A higher production of CO2 is typical of burozems and soddy-eluvial-metamorphic soils with oxidative and contrast redox conditions. These are soils with medium or high humus content, high potential humification capacity, and medium enrichment with catalase. A decrease in the content of humus in the plow horizons of soils in agrogenic landscapes is revealed compared to their natural analogues. The studied soils mainly have humus of the fulvate-humate type. The fractions strongly bound to the mineral soil component prevail in humic acids. In waterlogged mucky-humus gley soils, the anaerobic conditions hamper the biological activity and transformation of organic matter, which favors its accumulation. A low production of CO2 is observed in soils with reducing conditions. To determine the differences between the CO2 emission parameters in soils of agrogenic and natural landscapes, monitoring studies should be extended.

  8. Substantial Mortality of Cabbage Looper (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) From Predators in Urban Agriculture Is not Influenced by Scale of Production or Variation in Local and Landscape-Level Factors.

    PubMed

    Lowenstein, David M; Gharehaghaji, Maryam; Wise, David H

    2017-02-01

    As Midwestern (United States) cities experience population decline, there is growing interest in converting underutilized vacant spaces to agricultural production. Urban agriculture varies in area and scope, yet most growers use similar cultivation practices such as avoiding chemical control of crop pests. For community gardens and farms that sell produce commercially, effective pest suppression by natural enemies is important for both societal, economic, and marketing reasons. To gauge the amount of prey suppression at 28 urban food-production sites, we measured removal of sentinel eggs and larvae of the cabbage looper Trichoplusia ni (Hubner), a caterpillar pest that defoliates Brassica. We investigated how landscape and local factors, such as scale of production, influence cabbage looper mortality caused by predators. Predators removed 50% of eggs and 25% of larvae over a 3-d period. Landscape factors did not predict mortality rates, and the amount of loss and damage to sentinel prey were similar across sites that differed in scale (residential gardens, community gardens, and farms). To confirm that removal of sentinel items was likely caused by natural enemies, we set up a laboratory assay that measured predation of cabbage looper eggs and larvae by several predators occurring in urban gardens. Lady beetles caused the highest mortality rates, suggesting their potential value for biocontrol; spiders and pirate bugs also consumed both eggs and larvae at high rates. Our results suggest that urban growers benefit from high consumption rates of cabbage looper eggs and larvae by arthropod predators.

  9. The soil moisture regimes beneath forest and an agricultural crop in southern India--Measurement and modelling

    SciTech Connect

    Harding, R.J.; Hall, R.L.; Swaminath, M.H.; Murthy, K.V.

    1992-12-31

    The environmental effects of plantations of fast growing tree species has been a subject of some controversy in recent years. Extensive soil moisture measurements were made at three sites in Karnataka, southern India. At each site measurements were made beneath a number of vegetation types. These included fast growing tree species (Eucalyptus, Casuarina and Leucaena), degraded natural forest and an agricultural crop (ragi). The measurements indicate that beneath mature forest the available soil water is exhausted towards the end of the dry season, usually by March. The soil only becomes completely wetted if the subsequent monsoon has above average rainfall; during the weak monsoon of 1989 the soil remained approximately 150 mm below field capacity. After the monsoon (and during breaks in the monsoon) soil moisture depletion is between three and five mm per day. This rate decreases as the soil drys out. All the mature forest types show a similar soil water regime. This contrasts strongly with that of the agricultural crop, which shows much smaller changes. A range of soil water accounting models was applied to these data. The most successful are those which use the Penman formulation to estimate the potential evaporation and include a two-layer soil water depletion model. The more general Penman-Monteith formulation was also tested.

  10. Feeding Preferences of the Larval Southern Two-Lined Salamander, Eurycea Cirrigera, in an Impacted Agricultural Area, Southwest Georgia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muenz, T. K.; Golladay, S. W.; Smith, L. L.; Vellidis, G.

    2005-05-01

    Feeding preference of the stream-dwelling Southern Two-lined Salamander, Eurycea cirrigera, was examined in streams affected by agricultural practices in southwest Georgia. Larvae were collected within bimonthly benthic macroinvertebrate samples from February 2002 to February 2003. Five stream reaches were sampled, two of which were fenced from cattle and three allowed cattle access. Forty larvae were recovered from the invertebrate collections, with significantly higher captures at fenced sites than unfenced sites. The entire digestive tract was removed from larvae and stomach contents were examined to better understand prey selection in streams with differing intensities of adjacent agricultural land-use. Invertebrates were enumerated in 34 salamander stomachs, with Chironomidae comprising the largest percentage of individuals found, both in stomach contents and habitat collections. Electivity values showed a wide range of variability among individual salamanders, however, overall indices suggest slight positive selection for a subfamily of the Chironomidae, the Tanypodinae. It appears that E.cirrigera larvae select for Tanypodinae, however, this invertebrate group was found at all stream sites, suggesting factors other than prey abundance, such as stream habitat quality, may also influence larval salamander abundance.

  11. West nile virus prevalence across landscapes is mediated by local effects of agriculture on vector and host communities.

    PubMed

    Crowder, David W; Dykstra, Elizabeth A; Brauner, Jo Marie; Duffy, Anne; Reed, Caitlin; Martin, Emily; Peterson, Wade; Carrière, Yves; Dutilleul, Pierre; Owen, Jeb P

    2013-01-01

    Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) threaten the health of humans, livestock, and wildlife. West Nile virus (WNV), the world's most widespread arbovirus, invaded the United States in 1999 and rapidly spread across the county. Although the ecology of vectors and hosts are key determinants of WNV prevalence across landscapes, the factors shaping local vector and host populations remain unclear. Here, we used spatially-explicit models to evaluate how three land-use types (orchards, vegetable/forage crops, natural) and two climatic variables (temperature, precipitation) influence the prevalence of WNV infections and vector/host distributions at landscape and local spatial scales. Across landscapes, we show that orchard habitats were associated with greater prevalence of WNV infections in reservoirs (birds) and incidental hosts (horses), while increased precipitation was associated with fewer infections. At local scales, orchard habitats increased the prevalence of WNV infections in vectors (mosquitoes) and the abundance of mosquitoes and two key reservoir species, the American robin and the house sparrow. Thus, orchard habitats benefitted WNV vectors and reservoir hosts locally, creating focal points for the transmission of WNV at landscape scales in the presence of suitable climatic conditions.

  12. When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture.

    PubMed

    Ferro-Vázquez, C; Lang, C; Kaal, J; Stump, D

    2017-01-28

    Before the invention of modern, large-scale engineering projects, terrace systems were rarely built in single phases of construction, but instead developed gradually, and could even be said to have evolved. Understanding this process of landscape change is therefore important in order to fully appreciate how terrace systems were built and functioned, and is also pivotal to understanding how the communities that farmed these systems responded to changes; whether these are changes to the landscape brought about by the farming practices themselves, or changes to social, economic or climatic conditions. Combining archaeological stratigraphy, soil micromorphology and geochemistry, this paper presents a case-study from the historic and extensive terraced landscape at Konso, southwest Ethiopia, and demonstrates - in one important river valley at least - that the original topsoil and much of the subsoil was lost prior to the construction of hillside terraces. Moreover, the study shows that alluvial sediment traps that were built adjacent to rivers relied on widespread hillside soil erosion for their construction, and strongly suggests that these irrigated riverside fields were formerly a higher economic priority than the hillside terraces themselves; a possibility that was not recognised by numerous observational studies of farming in this landscape. Research that takes into account how terrace systems change through time can thus provide important details of whether the function of the system has changed, and can help assess how the legacies of former practices impact current or future cultivation.

  13. Climate, agriculture, and cycles of human occupation over the last 4000 yr in southern Zacatecas, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, Michelle; Fisher, Christopher T.; Nelson, Ben A.; Molina Garza, Roberto S.; Collins, Shawn K.; Pearsall, Deborah M.

    2010-07-01

    Scholars attribute the growth and decline of Classic period (AD 200-900) settlements in the semi-arid northern frontier zone of Mesoamerica to rainfall cycles that controlled the extent of arable land. However, there is little empirical evidence to support this claim. We present phytolith, organic carbon, and magnetic susceptibility analyses of a 4000-yr alluvial record of climate and human land use from the Malpaso Valley, the site of one such Classic frontier community. The earliest farming occupation is detected around 500 BC and appears related to a slight increase of aridity, similar to the level of the modern day valley. By AD 500, the valley's Classic period Mesoamerican settlements were founded under these same dry conditions, which continued into the Postclassic period. This indicates that the La Quemada occupation did not develop during a period of increased rainfall, but rather an arid phase. The most dramatic changes detected in the valley resulted from the erosion associated with Spanish Colonial grazing and deforestation that began in the 16th century. The landscape of the modern Malpaso Valley is thus primarily the product of a series of intense and rapid transformations that were concentrated within the last 400 yr.

  14. Future Projections for Southern High Plains Agriculture Using Coupled Economic and Hydrologic Models and Climate Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rainwater, K.; Tewari, R.; Willis, D.; Stovall, J.; Hayhoe, K.; Hernandez, A.; Mauget, S. A.; Leiker, G.; Johnson, J.

    2013-12-01

    The objective of the project was to evaluate the hypothesis that predicted climate change will affect the useful life of the Ogallala aquifer in the Southern High Plains (SHP) through its impact on the amount of irrigation withdrawals, and thus affect the yields and economic costs and net income. A ninety-year time frame has been considered, although the research team recognizes that long-term predictions of crop prices and selections are perhaps even more uncertain than long-term weather projections. Previous work by the research team recently demonstrated the development of regionally downscaled climate projections for the SHP. Quantitative projections of precipitation, potential evaporation, and temperature trends for the 90-yr duration were selected from a downscaled set of high-resolution (one-eighth degree) daily climate and hydrological simulations covering the entire Great Plains region, driven by the latest IPCC AR4 climate model outputs. These projections were used as input to the Ogallala Ag Tool software developed by the USDA-ARS to predict daily and seasonal values of those variables, which directly affect irrigation, at different locations in the study area. Results from the Ogallala Ag Tool were then used to drive future projected crop production functions for cotton, corn, wheat, and sorghum using the DSSAT crop model. These production functions were then included in an integrated economic-hydrologic modeling approach that coupled an economic optimization model with a groundwater hydrological model. The groundwater model was based on the Texas Water Development Board's Southern Ogallala Groundwater Availability Model, which has been recalibrated by the research team for previous applications. The coupling of the two models allowed better recognition of spatial heterogeneity across the SHP, such that irrigation water availability was better represented through the spatial variations in pumping demands and saturated thickness. With this hydrologic

  15. Soil Enzyme Activities, Microbial Communities and Carbon and Nitrogen Availability in Organic Agroecosystems Across an Intensively-Managed Agricultural Landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Variability in the activity and composition of soil microbial communities may have important implications for the suite of microbially-derived ecosystem functions upon which agricultural systems rely, particularly organic agriculture. An on-farm approach was used to investigate microbial communitie...

  16. Water quality and agricultural practices: the case study of southern Massaciuccoli reclaimed land (Tuscany, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pistocchi, Chiara; Baneschi, Ilaria; Basile, Paolo; Cannavò, Silvia; Guidi, Massimo; Risaliti, Rosalba; Rossetto, Rudy; Sabbatini, Tiziana; Silvestri, Nicola; Bonari, Enrico

    2010-05-01

    Owing to increasing anthropogenic impacts, lagoons and wetlands are being exposed to environmental degradation. Therefore, the sustainable management of these environmental resources is a fundamental issue to maintain either the ecosystems and the human activity. The Massaciuccoli Lake is a coastal lake of fresh to brackish water surrounded by a marsh, which drains a total catchment of about 114 km2. Large part of the basin has been reclaimed since 1930 by means of pumping stations forcing water from the drained areas into the lake. The system is characterized by: high complexity of the hydrological setting; subsidence of the peaty soils in the reclaimed area (2 to 3 m in 70 years), that left the lake perched; reclaimed land currently devoted mainly to conventional agriculture (e.g.: maize monoculture) along with some industrial sites, two sewage treatment plants and some relevant urban settlements; social conflicts among different land users because of the impact on water quality and quantity. The interaction between such a fragile natural system and human activities leads to an altered ecological status mainly due to eutrophication and water salinisation. Hence, the present work aims at identifying and assessing the sources of nutrients (phosphorous in particular) into the lake, and characterising land use and some socio-economic aspects focusing on agricultural systems, in order to set up suitable mitigation measures. Water quantity and quality in the most intensively cultivated sub-catchment, placed 0.5 to 3 m under m.s.l. were monitored in order to underlain the interaction between water and its nutrient load. Questionnaires and interviews to farmers were conducted to obtain information about agricultural practices, farm management, risks and constraints for farming activities. The available information about the natural system and land use were collected and organised in a GIS system: a conceptual model of surface water hydrodinamics was build up and 14

  17. Proceedings of the 30th Southern Conservation Agricultural Systems Conference and the 8th Annual Georgia Conservation Production Systems Training Conference, Tifton, Georgia, July 29-31, 2008

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This 2008 conference to be held at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, GA, on 29-31 July 2008, will be a joint effort of the 30th Southern Conservation Agricultural Systems Conference (SCASC) and the 8th Annual Conservation Production Systems Training Conference (CPS...

  18. [Agricultural policies and farming systems: A case study of landscape changes in Shizuitou Village in the recent four decades].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-jun; Zhou, Yang; Yan, Yan-bin; Li, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural policy in China's rural heartland is driving profound changes to traditional farming systems. A case study covering four decades mapped and recorded farming patterns and processes in Shizuitou Village, a rural village in northwest Shanxi. An integrated geospatial methodology from geography and anthropology was employed in the case study to record the changing dynamics of farming systems in Shizuitou Village to discover the long-term impacts of China's agricultural policies on village farming systems. Positive and negative impacts of agricultural policies on village farming systems were mapped, inventoried and evaluated using Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS). The results revealed traditional polycultures are being gradually replaced by industrialized monocultures. The driving forces behind these farming changes come from a series of government agricultural policies aiming at modernization of farming systems in China. The goal of these policies was to spur rapid development of industrial agriculture under the guise of modernization but is leading to the decay of traditional farming systems in the village that maintained local food security with healthy land for hundreds of years. The paper concluded with a recommendation that in future, agricultural policy makers should strike a more reasonable balance between short-term agricultural profits and long-term farming sustainability based on the principles of ecological sustainable development under the context of global changes.

  19. 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

  20. A modeling study on mitigation of N2O emissions and NO3 leaching at different agricultural sites across Europe using LandscapeDNDC.

    PubMed

    Molina-Herrera, Saúl; Haas, Edwin; Klatt, Steffen; Kraus, David; Augustin, Jürgen; Magliulo, Vincenzo; Tallec, Tiphaine; Ceschia, Eric; Ammann, Christof; Loubet, Benjamin; Skiba, Ute; Jones, Stephanie; Brümmer, Christian; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Kiese, Ralf

    2016-05-15

    The identification of site-specific agricultural management practices in order to maximize yield while minimizing environmental nitrogen losses remains in the center of environmental pollution research. Here, we used the biogeochemical model LandscapeDNDC to explore different agricultural practices with regard to their potential to reduce soil N2O emissions and NO3 leaching while maintaining yields. In a first step, the model was tested against observations of N2O emissions, NO3 leaching, soil micrometeorology as well as crop growth for eight European cropland and grassland sites. Across sites, LandscapeDNDC predicts very well mean N2O emissions (r(2)=0.99) and simulates the magnitude and general temporal dynamics of soil inorganic nitrogen pools. For the assessment of site-specific mitigation potentials of environmental nitrogen losses a Monte Carlo optimization technique considering different agricultural management options (i.e., timing of planting, harvest and fertilization, amount of applied fertilizer as well as residue management) was used. The identified optimized field management practices reduce N2O emissions and NO3 leaching from croplands on average by 21% and 31%, respectively. Likewise, average reductions of 55% for N2O emissions and 16% for NO3 leaching are estimated for grasslands. For mitigating environmental loss - while maintaining yield levels - it was most important to reduce fertilizer application rates by in average 10%. Our analyses indicate that yield scaled N2O emissions and NO3 leaching indicate possible improvements of nitrogen use efficiencies in European farming systems. Moreover, the applied optimization approach can be used also in a prognostic way to predict optimal timings and fertilization options (rates and splitting) upon accurate weather forecasts combined with the knowledge of modeled soil nutrient availability and plant nitrogen demand.

  1. Understanding the genetic effects of recent habitat fragmentation in the context of evolutionary history: Phylogeography and landscape genetics of a southern California endemic Jerusalem cricket (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae: Stenopelmatus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vandergast, A.G.; Bohonak, A.J.; Weissman, D.B.; Fisher, R.N.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation due to urbanization are the most pervasive threats to biodiversity in southern California. Loss of habitat and fragmentation can lower migration rates and genetic connectivity among remaining populations of native species, reducing genetic variability and increasing extinction risk. However, it may be difficult to separate the effects of recent anthropogenic fragmentation from the genetic signature of prehistoric fragmentation due to previous natural geological and climatic changes. To address these challenges, we examined the phylogenetic and population genetic structure of a flightless insect endemic to cismontane southern California, Stenopelmatus 'mahogani' (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae). Analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequence data suggest that diversification across southern California began during the Pleistocene, with most haplotypes currently restricted to a single population. Patterns of genetic divergence correlate with contemporary urbanization, even after correcting for (geographical information system) GIS-based reconstructions of fragmentation during the Pleistocene. Theoretical simulations confirm that contemporary patterns of genetic structure could be produced by recent urban fragmentation using biologically reasonable assumptions about model parameters. Diversity within populations was positively correlated with current fragment size, but not prehistoric fragment size, suggesting that the effects of increased drift following anthropogenic fragmentation are already being seen. Loss of genetic connectivity and diversity can hinder a population's ability to adapt to ecological perturbations commonly associated with urbanization, such as habitat degradation, climatic changes and introduced species. Consequently, our results underscore the importance of preserving and restoring landscape connectivity for long-term persistence of low vagility native species. Journal compilation ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Understanding the genetic effects of recent habitat fragmentation in the context of evolutionary history: phylogeography and landscape genetics of a southern California endemic Jerusalem cricket (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae: Stenopelmatus).

    PubMed

    Vandergast, Amy G; Bohonak, Andrew J; Weissman, David B; Fisher, Robert N

    2007-03-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation due to urbanization are the most pervasive threats to biodiversity in southern California. Loss of habitat and fragmentation can lower migration rates and genetic connectivity among remaining populations of native species, reducing genetic variability and increasing extinction risk. However, it may be difficult to separate the effects of recent anthropogenic fragmentation from the genetic signature of prehistoric fragmentation due to previous natural geological and climatic changes. To address these challenges, we examined the phylogenetic and population genetic structure of a flightless insect endemic to cismontane southern California, Stenopelmatus'mahogani' (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae). Analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequence data suggest that diversification across southern California began during the Pleistocene, with most haplotypes currently restricted to a single population. Patterns of genetic divergence correlate with contemporary urbanization, even after correcting for (geographical information system) GIS-based reconstructions of fragmentation during the Pleistocene. Theoretical simulations confirm that contemporary patterns of genetic structure could be produced by recent urban fragmentation using biologically reasonable assumptions about model parameters. Diversity within populations was positively correlated with current fragment size, but not prehistoric fragment size, suggesting that the effects of increased drift following anthropogenic fragmentation are already being seen. Loss of genetic connectivity and diversity can hinder a population's ability to adapt to ecological perturbations commonly associated with urbanization, such as habitat degradation, climatic changes and introduced species. Consequently, our results underscore the importance of preserving and restoring landscape connectivity for long-term persistence of low vagility native species.

  3. Recovery based on plot experiments is a poor predictor of landscape-level population impacts of agricultural pesticides.

    PubMed

    Topping, Christopher John; Kjaer, Lene Jung; Hommen, Udo; Høye, Toke Thomas; Preuss, Thomas G; Sibly, Richard M; van Vliet, Peter

    2014-07-01

    Current European Union regulatory risk assessment allows application of pesticides provided that recovery of nontarget arthropods in-crop occurs within a year. Despite the long-established theory of source-sink dynamics, risk assessment ignores depletion of surrounding populations and typical field trials are restricted to plot-scale experiments. In the present study, the authors used agent-based modeling of 2 contrasting invertebrates, a spider and a beetle, to assess how the area of pesticide application and environmental half-life affect the assessment of recovery at the plot scale and impact the population at the landscape scale. Small-scale plot experiments were simulated for pesticides with different application rates and environmental half-lives. The same pesticides were then evaluated at the landscape scale (10 km × 10 km) assuming continuous year-on-year usage. The authors' results show that recovery time estimated from plot experiments is a poor indicator of long-term population impact at the landscape level and that the spatial scale of pesticide application strongly determines population-level impact. This raises serious doubts as to the utility of plot-recovery experiments in pesticide regulatory risk assessment for population-level protection. Predictions from the model are supported by empirical evidence from a series of studies carried out in the decade starting in 1988. The issues raised then can now be addressed using simulation. Prediction of impacts at landscape scales should be more widely used in assessing the risks posed by environmental stressors.

  4. RELATIONSIPS BETWEEN AQUATIC INVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGES AND REACH AND LANDSCAPE ATTRIBUTES ON WADEABLE, WILLAMETTE VALLEY STREAMS IN AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    In summer 1997, we sampled reaches in 24 wadeable, Willamette Valley ecoregion streams draining agriculturally-infiuenced watersheds. Within these reaches, physical habitat, water chemistry, aquatic invertebrate and fish data and samples were collected. Low-level air photos were ...

  5. Land use as a driver of soil fertility and biodiversity across an agricultural landscape in the Central Peruvian Andes.

    PubMed

    de Valença, Anne W; Vanek, Steven J; Meza, Katherin; Ccanto, Raul; Olivera, Edgar; Scurrah, Maria; Lantinga, Egbert A; Fonte, Steven J

    2017-01-24

    Land use change and intensification in agricultural landscapes of the Andean highlands have resulted in widespread soil degradation and a loss in soil-based ecosystem services and biodiversity. This trend threatens the sustainability of farming communities in the Andes, with important implications for food security and biodiversity conservation throughout the region. Based on these challenges, we sought to understand the impact of current and future land use practices on soil fertility and biodiversity, so as to inform landscape planning and management decisions for sustainable agroecosystem management. We worked with local communities to identify and map dominant land uses in an agricultural landscape surrounding Quilcas, Peru. These land uses existed within two elevations zones (low-medium, 3200-3800 m, and high elevation, 3800-4300 m). They included three types of low-medium elevation forests (eucalyptus, alder, and mixed/native species), five pasture management types (permanent pasture, temporal pasture [in fallow stage], degraded pasture, high-altitude permanent pasture, and high-altitude temporal pasture [in fallow stage]) and six cropping systems (forage crops, maize/beans, and potato under four types of management). Soil fertility was evaluated in surface soils (0-20 cm) with soil physicochemical parameters (e.g., pH, soil organic matter, available nutrients, texture), while soil biological properties were assessed using the abundance and diversity of soil macrofauna and ground cover vegetation. Our results indicated clear impacts of land use on soil fertility and biological communities. Altitude demonstrated the strongest effect on soil physicochemical properties, but management systems within the low-mid elevation zone also showed important differences in soil biological communities. In general, the less-disturbed forest and pasture systems supported more diverse soil communities than the more intensively managed croplands. Degraded soils demonstrated

  6. Epidemiological and evolutionary management of plant resistance: optimizing the deployment of cultivar mixtures in time and space in agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The management of genes conferring resistance to plant–pathogens should make it possible to control epidemics (epidemiological perspective) and preserve resistance durability (evolutionary perspective). Resistant and susceptible cultivars must be strategically associated according to the principles of cultivar mixture (within a season) and rotation (between seasons). We explored these questions by modeling the evolutionary and epidemiological processes shaping the dynamics of a pathogen population in a landscape composed of a seasonal cultivated compartment and a reservoir compartment hosting pathogen year-round. Optimal deployment strategies depended mostly on the molecular basis of plant–pathogen interactions and on the agro-ecological context before resistance deployment, particularly epidemic intensity and landscape connectivity. Mixtures were much more efficient in landscapes in which between-field infections and infections originating from the reservoir were more prevalent than within-field infections. Resistance genes requiring two mutations of the pathogen avirulence gene to be broken down, rather than one, were particularly useful when infections from the reservoir predominated. Combining mixture and rotation principles were better than the use of the same mixture each season as (i) they controlled epidemics more effectively in situations in which within-field infections or infections from the reservoir were frequent and (ii) they fulfilled the epidemiological and evolutionary perspectives. PMID:26640518

  7. Isoscapes as a tool to capture the complexity of small water bodies interspersed across a moraine landscape managed for agriculture in NE Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitzsche, K. N.; Flury, S.; Premke, K.; Gessler, A.; Kayler, Z. E.

    2013-12-01

    Across the northeastern region of Germany lies a moraine landscape where thousands of small water bodies called 'Sölle' (kettle holes) are found. These kettle holes, which are generally less than 1 ha in size, are interspersed across an agricultural landscape and predicted to undergo severe alterations in hydrology and biogeochemistry as the global climate changes. Within the project LandScales, we investigate specific C dynamics of this unique landscape at three different spatial scales: (i) C degradation at the molecular scale; (ii) lateral C transfer in the kettle hole aquatic-terrestrial transition zone; and (iii) erosion and C/N dynamics at the regional landscape scale. In the first phase of the project (iii), we constructed isotopic maps (Isoscapes; δ13C, δ15N, δ18O) to provide an overview of how these water bodies are spatially represented across the study area as seen through a biogeochemical lens. We expect to capture gradients in precipitation, land management effects (e.g., fertilization), patterns in soil erosion, and plant physiological responses. Ultimately, we will combine these isotope data with high-resolution maps involving geostatistical interpolation and link them to biogeochemical models. We collected plant, top-soil (5-20cm), sediment and water samples from a 33 km2 rectangular area of the catchment, sampling a 250 m raster in the main 2013 growing season. We sampled sediment cores, water, and plants from 50 kettle holes that represent the geomorphological and hydrological variability within the study area. Soil and sediment samples are further analyzed by physically and chemically separating organic matter fractions hypothesized to contain stabilized carbon. From these multiple lines of data, we expect to get a broader landscape view of: kettle holes function as hot spots of nutrient cycling, potential land management effects on biogeochemical processes, and patterns of erosion and carbon storage. Furthermore, the Isoscapes will serve to

  8. Southeastern USA regional landscape patterns and population dynamics of the stink bug, Euchistus servus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Introduction: The brown stink bug, Euschistus servus is an economically important pest of many agronomic crops in the southern USA, motivating the study of factors influencing population build-up in agricultural regions and landscapes to facilitate management. Methods: ArcGIS was used to characteriz...

  9. Soil fertility in relation to slope position and agricultural land use: a case study of Umbulo Catchment in southern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Moges, Awdenegest; Holden, Nicholas M

    2008-11-01

    A study was conducted in southern Ethiopia to evaluate the nutrient status on smallholder farms with respect to land use class (garden, grassland, and outfield) and slope position (upper, middle, and lower). Soil physical and chemical properties were quantified using soil samples collected at two depths (0-15 and 15-30 cm). Available phosphorous was significantly different among the three land use classes. However, organic carbon and total nitrogen were lower in the outfield compared to the garden and grass land but not significantly different. The lower than expected nutrient status of the garden and grassland, which receive almost all available organic supplements, was attributed to the overall low availability of these inputs. Similarly, pH and cation exchange capacity were not significantly different among the different land use classes. However, the sum of the exchangeable cations was significantly higher in the garden compared to the outfields. Comparison at landscape level revealed that the sand fraction was significantly greater, whereas the silt fractions were significantly smaller, on the lower slopes relative to the middle slopes. Moreover, the organic carbon, total nitrogen, cation exchange capacity, Ca, and Mg values were significantly less on lower slopes than upper and middle slopes. Perhaps this is because of leaching and the effect of deposition of coarser sediments from the prevailing gully system. Overall, the fertility of the soil was adequate for supporting smallholder farming, but consideration must be given to reducing pressure on the land resources, addressing erosion problems, and providing a line of credit for purchasing inputs.

  10. Forest floor bacterial community composition and catabolic profiles in relation to landscape features in Québec's southern boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Lamarche, Josyanne; Bradley, Robert L; Hooper, Elaine; Shipley, Bill; Simao Beaunoir, Anne-Marie; Beaulieu, Carole

    2007-07-01

    Bacterial communities mediate many of the processes in boreal forest floors that determine the functioning of these ecosystems, yet it remains uncertain whether the composition of these communities is distributed nonrandomly across the landscape. In a study performed in the southern boreal mixed wood forest of Québec, Canada, we tested the hypothesis that stand type (spruce/fir, aspen, paper birch), stand age (57, 78-85, and 131 years old), and geologic parent material (clay and till) were correlated with forest floor bacterial community composition. Forest floors in 54 independent forest stands were sampled to comprise a full factorial array of the three predictor variables. Bacterial community structure was examined by terminal restriction fragment (T-RF) length polymorphism analysis of genes encoding for 16S rRNA. Distance-based redundancy analysis of T-RF assemblages revealed that each predictor variable, as well as their interaction terms, had a significant effect on bacterial community composition, geologic parent material being the most discriminating factor. A survey of the 15 T-RFs with the highest percentage fit on the first two ordination axes describing the main effects indicated that each landscape feature correlated to a distinct group of bacteria. A survey of the most discriminant T-RFs describing the effect of stand type within each combination of stand age and geologic parent material indicated a strong dependency of several T-RFs on geologic parent material. Given the possible link between bacterial community composition and forest floor functioning, we also assessed the effects of the same three landscape features on community-level catabolic profiles (CLCP) of the extractable forest floor microbiota. Geologic parent material and stand type had significant effects on CLCPs. On clay plots, the effects of landscape features on T-RF patterns were highly consistent with their effects on CLCPs. In light of our results, we suggest that future research

  11. Population differentiation of southern Indian male lineages correlates with agricultural expansions predating the caste system.

    PubMed

    Arunkumar, Ganeshprasad; Soria-Hernanz, David F; Kavitha, Valampuri John; Arun, Varatharajan Santhakumari; Syama, Adhikarla; Ashokan, Kumaran Samy; Gandhirajan, Kavandanpatti Thangaraj; Vijayakumar, Koothapuli; Narayanan, Muthuswamy; Jayalakshmi, Mariakuttikan; Ziegle, Janet S; Royyuru, Ajay K; Parida, Laxmi; Wells, R Spencer; Renfrew, Colin; Schurr, Theodore G; Smith, Chris Tyler; Platt, Daniel E; Pitchappan, Ramasamy

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies that pooled Indian populations from a wide variety of geographical locations, have obtained contradictory conclusions about the processes of the establishment of the Varna caste system and its genetic impact on the origins and demographic histories of Indian populations. To further investigate these questions we took advantage that both Y chromosome and caste designation are paternally inherited, and genotyped 1,680 Y chromosomes representing 12 tribal and 19 non-tribal (caste) endogamous populations from the predominantly Dravidian-speaking Tamil Nadu state in the southernmost part of India. Tribes and castes were both characterized by an overwhelming proportion of putatively Indian autochthonous Y-chromosomal haplogroups (H-M69, F-M89, R1a1-M17, L1-M27, R2-M124, and C5-M356; 81% combined) with a shared genetic heritage dating back to the late Pleistocene (10-30 Kya), suggesting that more recent Holocene migrations from western Eurasia contributed <20% of the male lineages. We found strong evidence for genetic structure, associated primarily with the current mode of subsistence. Coalescence analysis suggested that the social stratification was established 4-6 Kya and there was little admixture during the last 3 Kya, implying a minimal genetic impact of the Varna (caste) system from the historically-documented Brahmin migrations into the area. In contrast, the overall Y-chromosomal patterns, the time depth of population diversifications and the period of differentiation were best explained by the emergence of agricultural technology in South Asia. These results highlight the utility of detailed local genetic studies within India, without prior assumptions about the importance of Varna rank status for population grouping, to obtain new insights into the relative influences of past demographic events for the population structure of the whole of modern India.

  12. Population Differentiation of Southern Indian Male Lineages Correlates with Agricultural Expansions Predating the Caste System

    PubMed Central

    Arun, Varatharajan Santhakumari; Syama, Adhikarla; Ashokan, Kumaran Samy; Gandhirajan, Kavandanpatti Thangaraj; Vijayakumar, Koothapuli; Narayanan, Muthuswamy; Jayalakshmi, Mariakuttikan; Ziegle, Janet S.; Royyuru, Ajay K.; Parida, Laxmi; Wells, R. Spencer; Renfrew, Colin; Schurr, Theodore G.; Smith, Chris Tyler; Platt, Daniel E.; Pitchappan, Ramasamy

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies that pooled Indian populations from a wide variety of geographical locations, have obtained contradictory conclusions about the processes of the establishment of the Varna caste system and its genetic impact on the origins and demographic histories of Indian populations. To further investigate these questions we took advantage that both Y chromosome and caste designation are paternally inherited, and genotyped 1,680 Y chromosomes representing 12 tribal and 19 non-tribal (caste) endogamous populations from the predominantly Dravidian-speaking Tamil Nadu state in the southernmost part of India. Tribes and castes were both characterized by an overwhelming proportion of putatively Indian autochthonous Y-chromosomal haplogroups (H-M69, F-M89, R1a1-M17, L1-M27, R2-M124, and C5-M356; 81% combined) with a shared genetic heritage dating back to the late Pleistocene (10–30 Kya), suggesting that more recent Holocene migrations from western Eurasia contributed <20% of the male lineages. We found strong evidence for genetic structure, associated primarily with the current mode of subsistence. Coalescence analysis suggested that the social stratification was established 4–6 Kya and there was little admixture during the last 3 Kya, implying a minimal genetic impact of the Varna (caste) system from the historically-documented Brahmin migrations into the area. In contrast, the overall Y-chromosomal patterns, the time depth of population diversifications and the period of differentiation were best explained by the emergence of agricultural technology in South Asia. These results highlight the utility of detailed local genetic studies within India, without prior assumptions about the importance of Varna rank status for population grouping, to obtain new insights into the relative influences of past demographic events for the population structure of the whole of modern India. PMID:23209694

  13. Land cover, land use, and climate change impacts on agriculture in southern Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kontgis, Caitlin

    Global environmental change is rapidly changing the surface of the Earth in varied and irrevocable ways. Across the world, land cover and land use have been altered to accommodate the needs of expanding populations, and climate change has required plant, animal, and human communities to adapt to novel climates. These changes have created unprecedented new ecosystems that affect the planet in ways that are not fully understood and difficult to predict. Of utmost concern is food security, and whether agro-ecosystems will adapt and respond to widespread changes so that growing global populations can be sustained. To understand how one staple food crop, rice, responds to global environmental change in southern Vietnam, this dissertation aims to accomplish three main tasks: (1) quantify the rate and form of urban and peri-urban expansion onto cropland using satellite imagery and demographic data, (2) track changes to annual rice paddy harvests using time series satellite data, and (3) model the potential effects of climate change on rice paddies by incorporating farmer interview data into a crop systems model. The results of these analyses show that the footprint of Ho Chi Minh City grew nearly five times between 1990 and 2012. Mismatches between urban development and population growth suggest that peri-urbanization is driven by supply-side investment, and that much of this form of land expansion has occurred near major transit routes. In the nearby Mekong River Delta, triple-cropped rice paddy area doubled between 2000 and 2010, from one-third to two-thirds of rice fields, while paddy area expanded by about 10%. These results illustrate the intensification of farming practices since Vietnam liberalized its economy, yet it is not clear whether such practices are environmentally sustainable long-term. Although triple-cropped paddy fields have expanded, future overall production is estimated to decline without the effects of CO2 fertilization. Temperatures are anticipated

  14. Research in Agricultural Education. Proceedings of the Annual Southern Agricultural Education Research Meeting (44th, Wilmington, North Carolina, March 19-20, 1995).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flowers, Jim, Comp.

    The proceedings includes the following: "Evaluation of the Leadership Development of Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program Graduates" (Lee-Cooper, Weeks); "Model for Undergraduate Academic Programs in Agricultural Communications" (Terry, Jr. et al.); "Competencies Needed for Graduates of Agricultural Communications Programs" (Terry,…

  15. Reduced complexity model to simulate reductions in sediment delivery from a agricultural watershed in southern Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, S. J.; Wilcock, P. R.

    2015-12-01

    The Greater Blue Earth River Basin (GBERB), a tributary to the Minnesota River, produces very large loads of suspended sediment. Most of the watershed is flat, poorly drained, till and glacial lake deposit that are now almost entirely in row crops with pervasive subsurface drainage tiling. The lower part of the watershed is deeply incised in response to a baselevel fall of 60 m on the Minnesota River. Agricultural conversion of the uplands in the past 200 years is correlated with accelerated sediment delivery from the watershed. The balance of sediment sources has shifted from field erosion to near-channel erosion with the advent of soil conservation and increased river discharge over the past 70 years. Solution of the sediment loading problem will require some combination of direct reduction in sediment erosion and reduction in peak river discharges via distributed water storage. To support decision-making by watershed stakeholders, we developed a watershed simulation model to evaluate reductions in GBERB sediment loading in response to different water and sediment management. The model uses a reduced complexity approach to (i) provide real-time evaluation of model uncertainty, (ii) accommodate existing information from soil mapping, stream gaging, sediment fingerprinting, and high-resolution topography, and (iii) incorporate near-channel sediment supply, which is the largest source of sediment and is not adequately represented by other watershed models. We apply a topographic filter to spatially distribute information on sediment sources to quantify the fraction of sediment sources delivered to the watershed outlet. A corresponding sediment delivery ratio is then used to discount reductions in sediment erosion from management actions. We use stream gaging records to develop a relation between peak river discharges and sediment loading from near-channel sources. This relation is used to indicate the reduction in sediment supply from upland water storage and reduce

  16. Landscape structure affects the provision of multiple ecosystem services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamy, T.; Liss, K. N.; Gonzalez, A.; Bennett, E. M.

    2016-12-01

    Understanding how landscape structure, the composition and configuration of land use/land cover (LULC) types, affects the relative supply of ecosystem services (ES), is critical to improving landscape management. While there is a long history of studies on landscape composition, the importance of landscape configuration has only recently become apparent. To understand the role of landscape structure in the provision of multiple ES, we must understand how ES respond to different measures of both composition and configuration of LULC. We used a multivariate framework to quantify the role of landscape configuration and composition in the provision of ten ES in 130 municipalities in an agricultural region in Southern Québec. We identified the relative influence of composition and configuration in the provision of these ES using multiple regression, and on bundles of ES using canonical redundancy analysis. We found that both configuration and composition play a role in explaining variation in the supply of ES, but the relative contribution of composition and configuration varies significantly among ES. We also identified three distinct ES bundles (sets of ES that regularly appear together on the landscape) and found that each bundle was associated with a unique area in the landscape, that mapped to a gradient in the composition and configuration of forest and agricultural LULC. These results show that the distribution of ES on the landscape depends upon both the overall composition of LULC types and their configuration on the landscape. As ES become more widely used to steer land use decision-making, quantifying the roles of configuration and composition in the provision of ES bundles can improve landscape management by helping us understand when and where the spatial pattern of land cover is important for multiple services.

  17. The role of a fertilizer trial in reconciling agricultural expectations and landscape ecology requirements on an opencast coal site in South Wales, United Kingdom

    SciTech Connect

    Humphries, C.E.L.; Humphries, R.N.; Wesemann, H.

    1999-07-01

    Since the 1940s the restoration of opencast coal sites in the UK has been predominantly to productive agriculture and forestry. With new UK government policies on sustainability and biodiversity such land uses may be no longer be acceptable or appropriate in the upland areas of South Wales. A scheme was prepared for the upland Nant Helen site with the objective of restoring the landscape ecology of the site; it included acid grassland to provide the landscape setting and for grazing. The scheme met with the approval of the planning authority. An initial forty hectares (about 13% of the site) was restored between 1993 and 1996. While the approved low intensity grazing and low fertilizer regime met the requirements of the planning authority and the statutory agencies, it was not meeting the expectations of the grazers who had grazing rights to the land. To help reconcile the apparent conflict a fertilizer trial was set up. The trial demonstrated that additional fertilizer and intensive grazing was required to meet the nutritional needs of sheep. It also showed typical upland stocking densities of sheep could be achieved with the acid grassland without the need for reseeding with lowland types. However this was not acceptable to the authority and agencies as such fertilizer and grazing regimes would be detrimental to the landscape and ecological objectives of the restoration scheme. A compromise was agreed whereby grazing intensity and additional fertilizer have been zoned. This has been implemented and is working to the satisfaction of all parties. Without the fertilizer trial it is unlikely that the different interests could have been reconciled.

  18. The uses of ERTS-1 imagery in the analysis of landscape change. [agriculture, strip mining forests, urban-suburban growth, and flooding in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rehder, J. B. (Principal Investigator)

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The analysis of strip mining from ERTS-1 data has resulted in the mapping of landscape changes for the Cumberland Plateau Test Site. Several mapping experiments utilizing ERTS-1 data have been established for the mapping of state-wide land use regions. The first incorporates 12 frames of ERTS-1 imagery for the generalized thematic mapping of forest cover for the state of Tennessee. In another mapping effort, 14 ERTS-1 images have been analyzed for plowed ground signatures to produce a map of agricultural regions for Tennessee, Kentucky, and the northern portions of Mississippi and Alabama. Generalized urban land use categories and transportation networks have been determined from ERTS-1 imagery for the Knoxville Test Site. Finally, through the analysis of ERTS-1 imagery, short-lived phenomena such as the 1973 spring floods on the Mississippi River in western Tennessee, have been detected, monitored, and mapped.

  19. Annual Southern Region Research Conference in Agricultural Education. Proceedings (36th, Williamsburg, Virginia, March 22-23, 1987).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1987

    The following papers are included in this proceedings of a conference on agricultural education: "Misuse of Statistics" (Miller); "Significance of Doctoral Research in Agricultural Education" (Moore, Bailey, Burnett); "Identification of Science-Related Competencies Taught in Vocational Agriculture Programs in…

  20. Long-term stability of peneplains and landscape evolution in southern Tibet inferred from field data, cosmogenic nuclides, and digital elevation models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Peneplains constitute a widespread and well developed geomorphic element on the Tibetan Plateau, nevertheless little is known about their formation and the subsequent landscape evolution. In southern Tibet, north of Nam Co (~31° 20'N, 90° E), a particularly well-preserved peneplain occurs at an elevation of ~5350 m in Cretaceous granitoids. The main planation surface has been incised by small streams that formed additional small low-relief surfaces at lower elevations. Fluvial incision of the main peneplain has generated a local relief of up to ~700 m. The progressive incision has led to hillslope gradients that increase with decreasing elevation, i.e. from the main peneplain at ~5350 m down to the current base level at ~4650 m, as revealed by field observations and the analysis of digital elevation model. In order to quantify the landscape evolution of the peneplain region we determined local and catchment-wide erosion rates from the concentration of in situ-produced cosmogenic 10Be. Local erosion rates on the main peneplain and the low-relief bedrock surfaces at lower elevation range from 6 to 12 m Ma-1 and indicate that the geomorphic surfaces are stable over long periods of time. Spatially integrated erosion rates of small river systems that are incising and eroding headwards into the main peneplain are only slightly higher and range from 11 to 18 m Ma-1. Even if river incision has proceeded at a rate that is 2-4 times higher than the catchment-wide erosion rates, i.e. at 30 to 60 m Ma-1, it would take about 10 to 20 Ma to generate the local relief of ~700 m observed today. This demonstrates that the major peneplain is a very stable geomorphic element with a minimum age of 10 to 20 Ma and that the landscape in the region has barely been modified by erosion in the last millions of years.

  1. On the LiDAR contribution for landscape archaeology and palaeoenvironmental studies: the case study of Bosco dell'Incoronata (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coluzzi, R.; Lanorte, A.; Lasaponara, R.

    2010-06-01

    This paper focuses on the potential of the latest generation of Airborne laser scanning (ALS) for the detection and the spatial characterization of microtopographic relief linked to ancient landscapes and palaeoenvironmental features. ALS is an optical measurement technique for obtaining high-precision information about the Earth's surface including basic terrain mapping (Digital terrain model, bathymetry, corridor mapping), vegetation cover (forest assessment and inventory), coastal, and urban areas. Recent studies examined the possibility of using ALS in archaeological investigations to identify earthworks, although the ability of ALS measurements in this context has not yet been studied in detail. In this study, the investigations based on ALS survey and aerial photos were carried out for the natural protected area, Bosco dell'Incoronata in the Apulia Region (Southern Italy). The investigated area is an important site from the naturalistic, historic and archaeological point of view. It is an ancient lowland forest, still present in the medieval time, which has been characterized by a long and intensive human activity from Neolithic to Middle Ages. The LiDAR based analysis allowed us to identify features not visible from ground or from optical data set because hidden by forest canopy and dense understory. The DTM enabled us to identify some microtopographic relief linked to traces of past landscapes, as in the case of the Cervaro paleaoriverbed. It is quite interesting to note that the river changed many times from North to South side compared to the present stream, and traces of past human activities can be still evident close to the diverse paleaoriverbeds. Nevertheless, intensive and systematic study of the ancient landscapes of the Bosco dell'Incoronata is just beginning and so far questions tend to be raised rather than answered. The current study emphasizes the potential of aerial LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) survey for detecting surface

  2. Occurrence of glyphosate in water bodies derived from intensive agriculture in a tropical region of southern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Toledo, Jovani; Castro, Ricardo; Rivero-Pérez, Norma; Bello-Mendoza, Ricardo; Sánchez, Daniel

    2014-09-01

    Glyphosate is an agrochemical widely used to control weeds. However, glyphosate spreads to water bodies by spray-drift, run-off and leaching, potentially causing detrimental effects on non-target biota. There is no information on the occurrence of this herbicide in water bodies near crop fields in Mexico, although it is the most commonly used pesticide in this country. To fill this gap, we quantified glyphosate in water bodies from twenty-three locations, including natural protected areas and agricultural areas in southern Mexico, during the dry and the rainy seasons. We expected (1) higher concentrations during the dry season due to reduced dilution by precipitation and, (2) absence of glyphosate in the protected areas. In agreement with our expectation, concentration of glyphosate was higher during the dry season (up to 36.7 μg/L). Nonetheless, glyphosate was detected in all samples-including natural protected areas. These results emphasize the need for an evaluation of the impact of glyphosate on native species as well as regulate its use.

  3. Aquatic Insect Emergence in Post-Harvest Flooded Agricultural Fields in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moss, R. C.; Blumenshine, S.; Fleskes, J.

    2005-05-01

    California's Southern San Joaquin Valley is one of the most important waterbird areas in North America, but has suffered a disproportionate loss of wetlands when compared to other California regions. This project analyzes the habitat value of post-harvest flooded cropland by measuring the emergence of aquatic insects across multiple crop types. Aquatic insect emergence was sampled from post-harvest flooded fields of four crop types (alfalfa, corn, tomato, wheat), August-October, 2003-2004. Emergence was measured using traps deployed with a stratified random distribution to sample between and within field variation. Emergence rate and emergent biomass was significantly higher in flooded tomato fields. Results from corn fields indicate that flooding depth was correlated (r=0.095) with both diel temperature fluctuation and emergence rate. Chironomus dilutus larvae were grown in environmental chambers, under two thermal treatments with the same mean but different amplitudes (high: 15°-32°C, low: 20°-26°C) to investigate thermal fluctuation effects on survival and biomass. Larval survival (4x) and biomass (2x) were significantly greater in the low versus high temperature fluctuation treatment. This research has the potential to affect agricultural management throughout the 12,600 km2 region, increase aquatic insect production and aid in the recovery of declining bird populations.

  4. Heavy metal contamination of agricultural soils affected by mining activities around the Ganxi River in Chenzhou, Southern China.

    PubMed

    Ma, Li; Sun, Jing; Yang, Zhaoguang; Wang, Lin

    2015-12-01

    Heavy metal contamination attracted a wide spread attention due to their strong toxicity and persistence. The Ganxi River, located in Chenzhou City, Southern China, has been severely polluted by lead/zinc ore mining activities. This work investigated the heavy metal pollution in agricultural soils around the Ganxi River. The total concentrations of heavy metals were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The potential risk associated with the heavy metals in soil was assessed by Nemerow comprehensive index and potential ecological risk index. In both methods, the study area was rated as very high risk. Multivariate statistical methods including Pearson's correlation analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis, and principal component analysis were employed to evaluate the relationships between heavy metals, as well as the correlation between heavy metals and pH, to identify the metal sources. Three distinct clusters have been observed by hierarchical cluster analysis. In principal component analysis, a total of two components were extracted to explain over 90% of the total variance, both of which were associated with anthropogenic sources.

  5. Temporal changes of eroded soils depending on their agricultural use in the southern Cis-Ural region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabbasova, I. M.; Suleimanov, R. R.; Khabirov, I. K.; Komissarov, M. A.; Fruehauf, M.; Liebelt, P.; Garipov, T. T.; Sidorova, L. V.; Khaziev, F. Kh.

    2016-10-01

    Temporal changes of eroded soils in the southern Cis-Ural region (Republic of Bashkortostan) depending on their agricultural use during the period from 1975 to 2011 were studied. In the northern foreststeppe zone, the development of erosion processes was retarded upon the use of soil-saving management practices and grain-fallow-grass crop rotations. In slightly eroded light gray forest soils (Eutric Retisols (Cutanic)), the thickness of humus-accumulative horizons and the content of humus increased; the conversion of cropland into permanent fallow was found to be the most efficient measure to control soil erosion. In podzolized chernozems (Luvic Greyzemic Chernic Phaeozems) and typical chernozems (Haplic Chernozems) of the Cis-Ural steppe, the content of humus in the plow layer under grain-row crop rotation and classical soil management decreased, especially in moderately eroded soils. The development of water and wind erosion on slopes depended on the slope shape: the texture of soils at different degrees of erosion on slopes with free runoff became coarser by one gradation after 35 years; in the presence of linear obstacles in the lower part of slopes, the content of fine fractions in moderately and strongly eroded soils increased.

  6. Spatial analysis of Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) male population in a mediterranean agricultural landscape in central Italy.

    PubMed

    Sciarretta, A; Zinni, A; Mazzocchetti, A; Trematerra, P

    2008-04-01

    The results obtained from the spatial analysis of pheromone-baited trap catch data of Lobesia botrana (Denis and Schiffermüller) males are reported. The research was undertaken in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. In the study area, vineyards (of Vitis vinifera L.) are the predominant cultivation, surrounded by hedgerows and small woodlots, and interspersed with cereal crops and olive groves. The main purpose of the study was to investigate the spatio-temporal dynamics of L. botrana, inside and outside vineyards, and to evaluate the effect of the landscape elements on pest distribution. A trend orientation over the experimental area was observed along the direction from northwest to southeast. Correlograms fitted using a spherical model showed in all cases an aggregated distribution and an estimated range having a mean of 174 m in 2005 and 116 m in 2006. Contour maps highlighted that spatial distribution of L. botrana was not limited to vineyards, but its presence is high particularly inside olive groves. The adult distribution on the experimental area changed during the season: hot spots of flight I were positioned inside olive groves; during flights II and III, they were concentrated in vineyards. L. botrana males were also captured in uncultivated fields, but never in high densities. Our results showed that a large proportion of the adult population of L. botrana inhabits areas outside those usually targeted by pest management programs. Thus, in Mediterranean agro-ecosystems, it is highly recommended to consider the whole landscape, with particular attention to olive crops.

  7. Landscape Level Carbon and Water Balances and Agricultural Production in Mountainous Terrain of the Haean Basin, South Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, B.; Geyer, R.; Seo, B.; Lindner, S.; Walther, G.; Tenhunen, J. D.

    2009-12-01

    The process-based spatial simulation model PIXGRO was used to estimate gross primary production, ecosystem respiration, net ecosystem CO2 exchange and water use by forest and crop fields of Haean Basin, South Korea at landscape scale. Simulations are run for individual years from early spring to late fall, providing estimates for dry land crops and rice paddies with respect to carbon gain, biomass and leaf area development, allocation of photoproducts to the belowground ecosystem compartment, and harvest yields. In the case of deciduous oak forests, gas exchange is estimated, but spatial simulation of growth over the single annual cycles is not included. Spatial parameterization of the model is derived for forest LAI based on remote sensing, for forest and cropland fluxes via eddy covariance and chamber studies, for soil characteristics by generalization from spatial surveys, for climate drivers by generalizing observations at ca. 20 monitoring stations distributed throughout the basin and along the elevation gradient from 500 to 1000 m, and for incident radiation via modelling of the radiation components in complex terrain. Validation of the model is being carried out at point scale based on comparison of model output at selected locations with observations as well as with known trends in ecosystem response documented in the literature. The resulting modelling tool is useful for estimation of ecosystem services at landscape scale, first expressed as kg ha-1 crop yield, but via future cooperative studies also in terms of monetary gain to individual farms and farming cooperatives applying particular management strategies.

  8. Decreasing nitrate-N loads to coastal ecosystems with innovative drainage management strategies in agricultural landscapes: An experimental approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Controlled drainage in agricultural ditches contributes to a drainage management strategy with potential environmental and production benefits. Innovative drainage strategies including spatially orientated low-grade weirs show promise to significantly improve nutrient (e.g. nitrate-N) reductions by...

  9. Effects of native perennial vegetation buffer strips on dissolved organic carbon in surface runoff from an agricultural landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) constitutes a small yet important part of a watershed’s carbon budget because it is the most mobile and biologically reactive form of carbon. Agricultural practices which promote carbon sequestration may also influence DOC concentrations and load in surface runoff, con...

  10. LANDSCAPE INFLUENCES ON LAKE CHEMISTRY AND OSTRACOD COMMUNITY STRUCTURE OF SMALL DIMICTIC LAKES IN SOUTHERN WISCONSIN DIMICTIC LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The natural land cover patterns that characterize the southern part of Wisconsin are legacies of a

    glaciated past. Land cover pattern and geomorphology control the hydrologic connections between water

    resources and the land by which ecosystems, including lakes are o...

  11. The role of tropical cyclones on landscape dynamics in southern Baja California, Mexico based on Late Pleistocene-Holocene alluvial stratigraphy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Eric; Antinao, Jose Luis; Rhodes, Edward J.; Brown, Nathan; Gosse, John

    2015-04-01

    Region-wide alluvial records provide evidence that time-transgressive changes in climate can be a major driver of landscape evolution. Historically, landfall of eastern Pacific tropical cyclones in southwestern North America during the late summer and early fall provide the strongest storms that have demonstrated geomorphic impact on the landscape. The alluvial fan record of the southern portion of Baja California (Mexico) was investigated to determine if linkages exist between region-wide fluvial deposits and tropical cyclones. The regional distribution and Pleistocene to Holocene morphostratigraphy of alluvial fans has been established for the southern portion of Baja California with primary focus on the La Paz and San José del Cabo basins. Six discrete morphopedosedimentary alluvial units (Qt1 through Qt6) were differentiated across the region using a combination of geomorphologic mapping, sedimentological analysis, and soil development further reinforced with geochronology using radiocarbon, optically stimulated luminescence and cosmogenic depth-profiles. A first phase of regional aggradation began before ~ 100 ka (Qt1) and culminated ~10 ka (Qt4). After deposition of Qt4, increasing regional incision of older units and the progressive development of a channelized alluvial landscape coincide with deposition of Qt5 and Qt6 units in a second, incisional phase. All units are conformed of multiple 1-3 m thick alluvial packages deposited in upper-flow regime and representing individual storms. Aggradational units (Qt1-Qt4) covered broad (>2 km) channels in the form of sheetflood deposition while incisional stage deposits are mostly confined to channels of ~0.5-2 km width. Continuous deposition of the thicker sequences is demonstrated by closely spaced luminescence dates in vertical profiles. In a few places disconformities between major units are evident and indicated by partly eroded buried soils. Analysis of historical terraces as part of the younger units

  12. Florida Agriculture - Utilizing TRMM to Analyze Sea Breeze Thunderstorm Patterns During El Nino Southern Oscillations and Their Effects Upon Available Fresh Water for South Florida Agricultural Planning and Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Billiot, Amanda; Lee, Lucas; McKee, Jake; Cooley, Zachary Clayton; Mitchell, Brandie

    2010-01-01

    This project utilizes Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Landsat satellite data to assess the impact of sea breeze precipitation upon areas of agricultural land use in southern Florida. Water is a critical resource to agriculture, and the availability of water for agricultural use in Florida continues to remain a key issue. Recent projections of statewide water use by 2020 estimate that 9.3 billion gallons of water per day will be demanded, and agriculture represents 47% of this demand (Bronson 2003). Farmers have fewer options for water supplies than public users and are often limited to using available supplies from surface and ground water sources which depend in part upon variable weather patterns. Sea breeze thunderstorms are responsible for much of the rainfall delivered to Florida during the wet season (May-October) and have been recognized as an important overall contributor of rainfall in southern Florida (Almeida 2003). TRMM satellite data was used to analyze how sea breeze-induced thunderstorms during El Nino and La Nina affected interannual patterns of precipitation in southern Florida from 1998-2009. TRMM's Precipitation Radar and Microwave Imager provide data to quantify water vapor in the atmosphere, precipitation rates and intensity, and the distribution of precipitation. Rainfall accumulation data derived from TRMM and other microwave sensors were used to analyze the temporal and spatial variations of rainfall during each phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Through the use of TRMM and Landsat, slight variations were observed, but it was determined that neither sea breeze nor total rainfall patterns in South Florida were strongly affected by ENSO during the study period. However, more research is needed to characterize the influence of ENSO on summer weather patterns in South Florida. This research will provide the basis for continued observations and study with the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission.

  13. Biological-Community Composition in Small Streams and its Relations to Habitat, Nutrients, and Land Use in Agriculturally Dominated Landscapes in Indiana and Ohio, 2004, and Implications for Assessing Nutrient Conditions in Midwest Streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Caskey, Brian J.; Frey, Jeffrey W.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to relate algal-, invertebrate-, and fish-community composition to habitat, nutrients, and land-use variables in small streams in agriculturally dominated landscapes of the Midwest in Indiana and Ohio. Thirty sample locations were selected from a single ecoregion; all were small wadable streams within agriculturally dominated landscapes with similar substrate and canopy. Biological and nutrient samples were collected during stable flow conditions in August 2004. Canonical correspondence analysis was used to determine which variables most influenced each community. Total phosphorus concentrations significantly influenced the depositional-targeted habitat algal-diatom community and the richest-targeted habitat invertebrate community. Multivariate statistical analysis showed that habitat variables were more influential to the richest-targeted habitat algal-diatom and fish communities than nutrient concentrations. Although the nutrient concentrations measured during this study indicate that most streams were not eutrophic, the biological communities were dominated by eutrophic species, suggesting streams sampled were eutrophic. Consequently, it was concluded that biological relations to nutrients in agriculturally dominated landscapes are complex and habitat variables should be included in biological assessments of nutrient conditions in agriculturally dominated landscapes.

  14. Nitrogen Legacies in Agricultural Landscapes: A 150-year Longitudinal Study of the Susquehanna and Mississippi River Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Meter, K. J.; Van Cappellen, P.; Basu, N. B.

    2015-12-01

    Global flows of reactive nitrogen (N) have increased significantly over the last century in response to land-use change, agricultural intensification and elevated levels of atmospheric N. Although the use of commercial N fertilizers began to plateau in developed countries in the mid-1980s and despite widespread implementation of a range of conservation measures to mitigate the impacts of N-intensive agriculture, N concentrations in surface waters are in many cases remaining steady or continuing to increase. This lack of correlation between N inputs and outputs is increasingly being attributed to the presence of legacy N stores in subsurface reservoirs, with present-day concentrations being a function of inputs that are many decades old. It has remained unclear, however, what the magnitudes of such stores might be, and how they are partitioned between soil and groundwater reservoirs. In the present work, we have synthesized agricultural, population, and land-use data to develop a comprehensive, 150-year dataset of N inputs to the land surface of the continental United States. We have concurrently developed a parsimonious, process-based model that utilizes this N input trajectory to simulate biogeochemical transformations of N along subsurface pathways. Model results allow us predict the magnitudes of legacy N in soil and groundwater pools and to predict long-term stream N concentration trajectories over the last century and into the future. We have applied this modeling approach to two U.S. watersheds, the Mississippi River and Susquehanna River Basins, which are major sources of nutrient contamination to the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay, respectively. Our results show significant stream N loading above baseline levels in both watersheds before the widespread use of commercial N fertilizers, largely due to 19th-century conversion of natural forest and grassland areas to row-crop agriculture. However, the temporal patterns of this loading differ between the two

  15. Effect of large rainfall events on runoff and soil losses in two small experimental agricultural catchments in Southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, J. A.; Taguas, E. V.; Vanwalleghem, T.; Pérez-Alcántara, R.

    2010-05-01

    This communication presents the results and a preliminary discussion of the results of a medium term monitoring of runoff and soil losses in two small agricultural catchments, Conchuela and Puente Genil, of 8.0 and 6.1 ha respectively. Puente Genil has been monitored since 2005 and Conchuela since 2006. The gauging station at both catchments is composed of a measure flume provided of an ultrasonic water depth sensor, a raingauge and an ISCO sampler for taking suspended sediment samplers. The Puente Genil catchment presents average slope of 15%, and is on a soil of loamy sand texture, while La Conchuela presents an average slope of 9% and is on a clay soil. Soil management in both catchments is based on no tillage with mechanical or chemical control of the adventitious vegetation growing in the inter tree space since mid March, to avoid competition for soil water with the olive trees. The years monitored since 2005/06 to 2008/09 were significantly below the average rainfall in the region with a reduced number of intense events. So, annual soil losses for both basins ranged from 4 to less than 0.2 t ha-1 year-1, and average annual runoff coefficients ranging from 8 to less than 3 %. Hydrological year 2009/2010 has presented unusually high rainfalls. By early January cumulative rainfall from September first is above the average annual rainfall, and a large number of highly erosive events have been monitored in both catchments. Provisional results indicate that these periodical episodes of moist years with high intensity events are key in evaluating the erosive and hydrological behaviour of agricultural areas in Southern Spain. For instance, the sediment delivered from La Conchuela trough the monitoring station during 2009/10 has been estimated in 13.9 t ha-1 by January 2nd. The practical implications for monitoring schemes under these conditions, and the need of long term experiments that need to be complemented with model analysis will be discussed trough this

  16. Fire history, related to climate and land use in three southern Appalachian landscapes in the eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Flatley, William T; Lafon, Charles W; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D; LaForest, Lisa B

    2013-09-01

    Fire-maintained ecosystems and associated species are becoming increasingly rare in the southern Appalachian Mountains because of fire suppression policies implemented in the early 20th century. Restoration of these communities through prescribed fire has been hindered by a lack of information on historical fire regimes. To characterize past fire regimes, we collected and absolutely dated the tree rings on cross sections from 242 fire-scarred trees at three different sites in the southern Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. Our objectives were to (1) characterize the historical frequency of fire in southern Appalachian mixed pine-oak forests, (2) assess the impact of interannual climatic variability on the historical occurrence of fire, and (3) determine whether changes in human culture and land use altered the frequency of fire. Results demonstrate that fires burned frequently at all three sites for at least two centuries prior to the implementation of fire suppression and prevention in the early to mid 20th century. Composite mean fire return intervals were 2-4 yr, and point mean fire return intervals were 9-13 yr. Area-wide fires that burned across multiple stands occurred at 6-13-yr intervals. The majority of fires were recorded during the dormant season. Fire occurrence exhibited little relationship with reconstructed annual drought conditions. Also, fire activity did not change markedly during the transition from Native American to Euro-American settlement or during the period of industrial logging at the start of the 20th century. Fire activity declined significantly, however, during the fire suppression period, with a nearly complete absence of fire during recent decades. The characterization of past fire regimes should provide managers with specific targets for restoration of fire-associated communities in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The fire chronologies reported here are among the longest tree-ring reconstructions of fire

  17. Landscape Alteration by Pre-Pottery Neolithic Communities in the Southern Levant - The Kaizer Hilltop Quarry, Israel.

    PubMed

    Grosman, Leore; Goren-Inbar, Naama

    2016-01-01

    This study focuses on Kaizer Hill, a quarry site located in the vicinity of the city of Modiin where remains of a single prehistoric cultural entity assigned to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A were discovered. A systematic survey revealed that large-scale quarrying activities have left damage markings on the bedrock of the Hilltop and its slopes. We aim to present here our findings from the Hilltop, which are concerned with the human impact on rock surfaces and the lithic artifacts retrieved during the survey. It is evident that the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A inhabitants of the area changed their landscape forever, "stripping" the caliche surface and penetrating it in search of flint bedded in the bedrock.

  18. Landscape Alteration by Pre-Pottery Neolithic Communities in the Southern Levant – The Kaizer Hilltop Quarry, Israel

    PubMed Central

    Grosman, Leore; Goren-Inbar, Naama

    2016-01-01

    This study focuses on Kaizer Hill, a quarry site located in the vicinity of the city of Modiin where remains of a single prehistoric cultural entity assigned to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A were discovered. A systematic survey revealed that large-scale quarrying activities have left damage markings on the bedrock of the Hilltop and its slopes. We aim to present here our findings from the Hilltop, which are concerned with the human impact on rock surfaces and the lithic artifacts retrieved during the survey. It is evident that the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A inhabitants of the area changed their landscape forever, “stripping” the caliche surface and penetrating it in search of flint bedded in the bedrock. PMID:26960156

  19. Abundances of a bean bug and its natural enemy in seminatural and cultivated habitats in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Tabuchi, Ken; Taki, Hisatomo; Iwai, Hideki; Mizutani, Nobuo; Nagasaka, Koukichi; Moriya, Seiichi; Sasaki, Rikiya

    2014-04-01

    To determine differences in distribution patterns between the soybean pest Riptortus pedestris F. (Hemiptera: Alydidae) and its egg parasitoid Ooencyrtus nezarae Ishii (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) in source and cultivated habitats, we compared their abundances in soybean fields and forest edges, which were assumed to be the overwintering sites of R. pedestris. We set synthetic attractant-baited traps for both species over 2 yr in mid-August, just before R. pedestris normally colonizes soybeans. During one of the 2 yr, we also examined the rate of parasitism using an egg trap. The numbers of both R. pedestris and O. nezarae trapped at forest edges were higher than the numbers caught in soybean fields, suggesting that forest edges are important source habitats. Compared with R. pedestris, the abundance of O. nezarae in soybean fields was considerably lower than in forest edges, presumably because of differences in their dispersal abilities and their responses to landscape structure and resource distribution. Better pest control service by O. nezarae was provided at forest edges than in soybean fields. Therefore, when using pest control by O. nezarae in soybean fields, spatial arrangement and distance from the forest edge should be considered.

  20. Landscape Planning for Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Reduction. II. Balancing Watershed Size, Number of Watersheds, and Implementation Effort

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

    Agricultural non-point source (NPS) pollution poses a severe threat to water quality and aquatic ecosystems. In response, tremendous efforts have been directed toward reducing these pollution inputs by implementing agricultural conservation practices. Although conservation practices reduce pollution inputs from individual fields, scaling pollution control benefits up to the watershed level (i.e., improvements in stream water quality) has been a difficult challenge. This difficulty highlights the need for NPS reduction programs that focus efforts within target watersheds and at specific locations within target watersheds, with the ultimate goal of improving stream water quality. Fundamental program design features for NPS control programs—i.e., number of watersheds in the program, total watershed area, and level of effort expended within watersheds—have not been considered in any sort of formal analysis. Here, we present an optimization model that explores the programmatic and environmental trade-offs between these design choices. Across a series of annual program budgets ranging from 2 to 200 million, the optimal number of watersheds ranged from 3 to 27; optimal watershed area ranged from 29 to 214 km2; and optimal expenditure ranged from 21,000 to 35,000/km2. The optimal program configuration was highly dependent on total program budget. Based on our general findings, we delineated hydrologically complete and spatially independent watersheds ranging in area from 20 to 100 km2. These watersheds are designed to serve as implementation units for a targeted NPS pollution control program currently being developed in Wisconsin.

  1. Landscape planning for agricultural non-point source pollution reduction. II. Balancing watershed size, number of watersheds, and implementation effort.

    PubMed

    Maxted, Jeffrey T; Diebel, Matthew W; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2009-01-01

    Agricultural non-point source (NPS) pollution poses a severe threat to water quality and aquatic ecosystems. In response, tremendous efforts have been directed toward reducing these pollution inputs by implementing agricultural conservation practices. Although conservation practices reduce pollution inputs from individual fields, scaling pollution control benefits up to the watershed level (i.e., improvements in stream water quality) has been a difficult challenge. This difficulty highlights the need for NPS reduction programs that focus efforts within target watersheds and at specific locations within target watersheds, with the ultimate goal of improving stream water quality. Fundamental program design features for NPS control programs--i.e., number of watersheds in the program, total watershed area, and level of effort expended within watersheds--have not been considered in any sort of formal analysis. Here, we present an optimization model that explores the programmatic and environmental trade-offs between these design choices. Across a series of annual program budgets ranging from $2 to $200 million, the optimal number of watersheds ranged from 3 to 27; optimal watershed area ranged from 29 to 214 km(2); and optimal expenditure ranged from $21,000 to $35,000/km(2). The optimal program configuration was highly dependent on total program budget. Based on our general findings, we delineated hydrologically complete and spatially independent watersheds ranging in area from 20 to 100 km(2). These watersheds are designed to serve as implementation units for a targeted NPS pollution control program currently being developed in Wisconsin.

  2. Spatial variability of 10Be-derived erosion rates across the southern Peninsular Indian escarpment: A key to landscape evolution across passive margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandal, Sanjay Kumar; Lupker, Maarten; Burg, Jean-Pierre; Valla, Pierre G.; Haghipour, Negar; Christl, Marcus

    2015-09-01

    The persistence of significant topography in ancient, tectonically inactive orogenic belts remains one of the outstanding questions in geomorphology. In southern Peninsular India, the impressive topographic relief of the Western Ghat Mountains in tectonic quiescence since at least ca. 65 Ma has raised important questions concerning the long-term mechanism of topographic evolution. Quantifying the distribution of erosion in space and time is critical to understanding landscape evolution. Although the long-term erosion rates are reasonably well known, the short-term erosion rates and the relative importance of factors controlling erosion in southern Peninsular India are less well constrained. We present a new suite of catchment-averaged and local erosion rates using in situ produced 10Be concentrations in river sediments and exposed bedrock samples in southern Peninsular India. Catchment-averaged erosion rates vary from 9.6 ± 0.8 mMa-1 in the highlands to 114.3 ± 13.8 mMa-1 on the escarpment side. Bedrock erosion rates range from 2.4 ± 0.2 mMa-1 in the ridge-top to 143.4 ± 25.4 mMa-1 in active channel beds of the highlands. Catchment-averaged erosion rates derived from the across-escarpment, westward-draining catchments are significantly higher than those derived from the eastward-draining, over highland catchments. The difference indicates that long-term down-wearing of the highland proceeds at lower rates than in the escarpment zones. Catchment-averaged erosion rates are moderately correlated with mean hillslope angles and local relief whereas they are strongly correlated with catchment-averaged channel steepness index. This suggests that topographic steepness is the major control on the spatial variability of erosion while strong rainfall gradient is of minor importance in this area. 10Be-derived average erosion rates in highlands are consistent with previous long-term erosion rate estimated from thermochronometry. These results collectively point to large

  3. Satellite-based GNSS-R observations from TDS-1 for soil moisture studies in agricultural vegetation landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, P. W.; Clarizia, M. P.; Judge, J.; Camps, A.; Ruf, C. S.; Bongiovanni, T. E.

    2015-12-01

    Soil moisture (SM) is a critical factor governing the water and energy fluxes at the land surface that are important for near-term climate forecasting, drought monitoring, crop yield estimation, and better water resources management. Remotely sensed observations at microwave frequencies are the most sensitive to changes of water in the soil. Particularly, frequencies at L-band (1-2 GHz) have been widely used for SM studies under the vegetated land covers because of their minimal atmospheric interference and attenuation by vegetation, allowing observations from the soil surface. In addition to current satellite based microwave sensors, such as the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) missions, the Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflectometry technique is capable of observing the GNSS signal reflected from the terrain that contains combined information of soil and vegetation characteristics. The technique has recently attracted attention for global SM monitoring because its receiver is small in size and light weight and can be on board the low orbit, small satellites with low power consumption and low cost. Therefore the GNSS-R remote sensing may lead to affordable multi-satellite constellations that enable improved temporal resolution for highly dynamic hydrologic conditions. The current UK Technology Demonstration Satellite (TDS-1) has been providing global GNSS-R observations since September 2014 for experimental purposes and the receiver is accessed and operated for 2 days during every 8-day cycle. In the near future, the NASA Cyclone GNSS (CYGNSS) mission, scheduled to be launched in 2016, will consist of 8 satellites observing GPS L1 signal at a frequency of 1.5754 GHz with a spatial resolution of 10-25 km and a temporal resolution of < 12 hours. The goal of this study is to understand the impacts of SM and characteristics of agricultural vegetation on the forward scattering mechanisms of satellite-based GNSS-R observations. The GNSS-R observations from TDS

  4. Coupled carbon-nitrogen land surface modelling for UK agricultural landscapes using JULES and JULES-ECOSSE-FUN (JEF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comyn-Platt, Edward; Clark, Douglas; Blyth, Eleanor

    2016-04-01

    The UK is required to provide accurate estimates of the UK greenhouse gas (GHG; CO2, CH4 and N2O) emissions for the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Process based land surface models (LSMs), such as the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES), attempt to provide such estimates based on environmental (e.g. land use and soil type) and meteorological conditions. The standard release of JULES focusses on the water and carbon cycles, however, it has long been suggested that a coupled carbon-nitrogen scheme could enhance simulations. This is of particular importance when estimating agricultural emission inventories where the carbon cycle is effectively managed via the human application of nitrogen based fertilizers. JULES-ECOSSE-FUN (JEF) links JULES with the Estimation of Carbon in Organic Soils - Sequestration and Emission (ECOSSE) model and the Fixation and Uptake of Nitrogen (FUN) model as a means of simulating C:N coupling. This work presents simulations from the standard release of JULES and the most recent incarnation of the JEF coupled system at the point and field scale. Various configurations of JULES and JEF were calibrated and fine-tuned based on comparisons with observations from three UK field campaigns (Crichton, Harwood Forest and Brattleby) specifically chosen to represent the managed vegetation types that cover the UK. The campaigns included flux tower and chamber measurements of CO2, CH4 and N2O amongst other meteorological parameters and records of land management such as application of fertilizer and harvest date at the agricultural sites. Based on the results of these comparisons, JULES and/or JEF will be used to provide simulations on the regional and national scales in order to provide improved estimates of the total UK emission inventory.

  5. Farmers' perception on the importance of variegated grasshopper (Zonocerus variegatus (L.)) in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Kekeunou, Sévilor; Weise, Stephan; Messi, Jean; Tamò, Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Background Zonocerus variegatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) is known as an agricultural pest in West and Central Africa. However, its importance in the agricultural production system in Cameroon has not been investigated. The study assesses farmers' perception on the importance of Z. variegatus in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. Methods Research was carried out in 5 villages of each of three Agro-Ecological, Cultural and Demographic Blocks (AECD-Blocks) of the Forest Margin Benchmark Area (FMBA). In each village, a semi-structured survey was used; male and female groups of farmers were interviewed separately. Results Z. variegatus is present throughout the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon, where it is ranked as the third most economically important insect pest of agriculture. In the farmers' opinion, Z. variegatus is a polyphagous insect with little impact on young perennial crops. The length of the pre-farming fallow does not affect Z. variegatus pest pressure in the following crops. The increased impact of the grasshopper observed today in the fields, compared to what existed 10 years ago is as a result of deforestation and increase in surface of herbaceous fallow. The damage caused by Z. variegatus is higher in fields adjacent to C. odorata and herbaceous fallows than in those adjacent to forests and shrubby fallows. The fight against this grasshopper is often done through physical methods carried out by hand, for human consumption. The farmers highlight low usage of the chemical methods and a total absence of biological and ecological methods. Conclusion Farmers' perception have contributed to understanding the status of Z. variegatus in the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. The results are in general similar to those obtained in other countries. PMID:16573815

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of off-road vehicle use on the hydrology and landscape of arid environments in central and southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, Charles T.; Frickel, D.G.; Hadley, R.F.; Miller, R.F.

    1976-01-01

    Two widely separated sites in California used for motorcycle hill-climbing were studied to evaluate the impact on the landscape and hydrology. At Panoche Hills in central California, an area formerly used by motorcycles together with an adjacent unused area were monitored from 1971 to 1975. Observations in both areas included measurements of precipitation, runoff, soil moisture, soil bulk density, plant cover, and erosion surveys. At Dove Spring Canyon in souther California erosion was measured on a site that is currently being used for motorcycle hill-climbing. At the Panoche Hills site, the area used by motorcycles produced about eight times as nuch runoff as the unused area. Similarly, sediment yield from the used areas was 857 cubic meters/sq km, while the quantity of sediment from the unused area was not measurable by standard methods. At the Dove Spring Canyon site, which is still being used for hill-climbing, erosion surveys show that degradation in trails has been as much as 0.3 m in the period 1973-75. Compaction of soils and reduction of permeability appears to be the most serious hydrologic impact of motorcycle use at Panoche Hills. Increased bulk density of soils reduces depth of moisture penetration which deprives plants of moisture needed for growth. (Woodard-USGS)

  8. Land use and land management effects on soil organic carbon stock in Mediterranean agricultural areas (Southern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Lozano-García, Beatriz

    2014-05-01

    Anderson-Darling test at each horizon or a combination of horizons for each soil type. RESULTS The LUC had a negative impact in the soil, reducing the SOC and TN stocks. The conversion from AC to V and OG involved the loss of the SOC stock (52.7% and 64.9% to V and OG respectively) and the loss of the TN stock (42.6% and 38.1% to V and OG respectively). The reduction of SOC by LUC, can be explained by a degraded process (due to vegetation losses and unsustainable soil management, which result in progressive impoverishment in the soil organic matter (OM) content, causing low productivity, which derived in unsuitable chemical properties) and by the reduced input of OM in cultivated soils, which reduced physical protection of soil and increased water erosion. However, 46 years of LUC had a positive effect in the soil, increasing the SR (in V and OG) of SOC, TN and C:N ratio (Parras-Alcántara et al., 2013). REFERENCES Parras-Alcántara, L., Martín-Carrillo, M., Lozano-García, B. 2013. Impacts of land use change in soil carbon and nitrogen in a Mediterranean agricultural area (Southern Spain). Solid Earth, 4: 167-177.

  9. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nogeire, Theresa M.; Davis, Frank W.; Duggan, Jennifer M.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.

    2013-01-01

    Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  10. Recent range expansion and agricultural landscape heterogeneity have only minimal effect on the spatial genetic structure of the plant pathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis.

    PubMed

    Rieux, A; De Lapeyre De Bellaire, L; Zapater, M-F; Ravigne, V; Carlier, J

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how geographical and environmental features affect genetic variation at both the population and individual levels is crucial in biology, especially in the case of pathogens. However, distinguishing between these factors and the effects of historical range expansion on spatial genetic structure remains challenging. In the present study, we investigated the case of Mycosphaerella fijiensis-a plant pathogenic fungus that has recently colonized an agricultural landscape characterized by the presence of potential barriers to gene flow, including several commercial plantations in which disease control practises such as the use of fungicides are applied frequently, and low host density areas. We first genotyped 300 isolates sampled at a global scale on untreated plants in two dimensions over a 50 × 80-km area. Using two different clustering algorithms, no genetic structure was detected in the studied area, suggesting expansion of large populations and/or no influence of potential barriers. Second, we investigated the potential effect of disease control practises on M. fijiensis diversity by comparing populations sampled in commercial vs food-crop plantations. At this local scale, we detected significantly higher allelic richness inside commercial plantations compared with the surrounding food-crop plantation populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that 99% of the total genetic variance occurred within populations. We discuss the suggestion that high population size and/or high migration rate between populations might be responsible for the absence of any effect of disease control practises on genetic diversity and differentiation.

  11. Spatio-Temporal Trends of Fire in Slash and Burn Agriculture Landscape: A Case Study from Nagaland, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padalia, H.; Mondal, P. P.

    2014-11-01

    Increasing incidences of fire from land conversion and residue burning in tropics is the major concern in global warming. Spatial and temporal monitoring of trends of fire incidences is, therefore, significant in order to determine contribution of carbon emissions from slash and burn agriculture. In this study, we analyzed time-series Terra / Aqua MODIS satellite hotspot products from 2001 to 2013 to derive intra- and inter-annual trends in fire incidences in Nagaland state, located in the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. Time-series regression was applied to MODIS fire products at variable spatial scales in GIS. Significance of change in fire frequency at each grid level was tested using t statistic. Spatial clustering of higher or lower fire incidences across study area was determined using Getis-OrdGi statistic. Maximum fire incidences were encountered in moist mixed deciduous forests (46%) followed by secondary moist bamboo brakes (30%). In most parts of the study area fire incidences peaked during March while in warmer parts (e.g. Mon district dominated by indigenous people) fire activity starts as early as during November and peaks in January. Regression trend analysis captured noticeable areas with statistically significant positive (e.g. Mokokchung, Wokha, Mon, Tuensang and Kiphire districts) and negative (e.g. Kohima and north-western part of Mokokchung district) inter-annual fire frequency trends based on area-based aggregation of fire occurrences at different grid sizes. Localization of spatial clusters of high fire incidences was observed in Mokokchung, Wokha, Mon,Tuensang and Kiphire districts.

  12. Habitat and host indicate lineage identity in Colletotrichum gloeosporioides s.l. from wild and agricultural landscapes in North America.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Vinson P; Oudemans, Peter V; Rehner, Stephen A; Litt, Amy

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the factors that drive the evolution of pathogenic fungi is central to revealing the mechanisms of virulence and host preference, as well as developing effective disease control measures. Prerequisite to these pursuits is the accurate delimitation of species boundaries. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides s.l. is a species complex of plant pathogens and endophytic fungi for which reliable species recognition has only recently become possible through a multi-locus phylogenetic approach. By adopting an intensive regional sampling strategy encompassing multiple hosts within and beyond agricultural zones associated with cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton), we have integrated North America strains of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides s.l. from these habitats into a broader phylogenetic framework. We delimit species on the basis of genealogical concordance phylogenetic species recognition (GCPSR) and quantitatively assess the monophyly of delimited species at each of four nuclear loci and in the combined data set with the genealogical sorting index (gsi). Our analysis resolved two principal lineages within the species complex. Strains isolated from cranberry and sympatric host plants are distributed across both of these lineages and belong to seven distinct species or terminal clades. Strains isolated from V. macrocarpon in commercial cranberry beds belong to four species, three of which are described here as new. Another species, C. rhexiae Ellis & Everh., is epitypified. Intensive regional sampling has revealed a combination of factors, including the host species from which a strain has been isolated, the host organ of origin, and the habitat of the host species, as useful indicators of species identity in the sampled regions. We have identified three broadly distributed temperate species, C. fructivorum, C. rhexiae, and C. nupharicola, that could be useful for understanding the microevolutionary forces that may lead to species divergence in this important

  13. Agricultural Education's Opportunities in the 21st Century. Proceedings of the Annual Southern Regional Agricultural Education Research Meeting (42nd, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, April 4-5, 1993).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waters, Randol G., Comp.

    Selected papers are as follows: "Analysis of Factors Used in Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness" (Vaughn et al.); "Assessment of the Readability Level of State Adopted High School Agriculture Textbooks" (Hitchner, Deeds); "Attitudes and Perceptions of Superintendents, Principals, Guidance Counselors, and…

  14. Change in Agriculture Education. Proceedings of the Annual Southern Research Conference in Agricultural Education (17th, Oklahoma State Univ., July 30,31 and August 1, 1968).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hull, William L., Ed.; Stevenson, William W., Ed.

    Sixty-five participants from 13 states attended this annual conference. The major papers presented included: (1) "Change Process in Education, A Theoretical Construct," by R. Meisner, (2) "Application of the Change Construct in Agricultural Education," by D. Towne, (3) "Variables Influencing Adoption of Cooperative…

  15. The Role of Neotectonics in Landscape Formation in What Is Now the Divnogorie Nature Park (Southern East European Plain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romanovskaya, M. A.; Bessudnov, A. N.; Kuznetsova, T. V.

    2015-12-01

    The Divnogorie Nature Park is in the basin of the middle Don River. Tectonically, it sits on the Ostrogozhskoye Neotectonic Uplift, a recent extension of the northern wing of the Voronezh Anteclise of the Russian Platform. The neotectonic uplift amplitude of this structure is estimated at more than 200 m. A structural geomorphological study of the area has shown that the Ostrogozhskoye Uplift is an actively growing structure. This is clearly demonstrated by the following: dramatic changes in the flow direction of the rivers Don and Tikhaya Sosna, forced to bypass the growing upland; instances of damming up, which created numerous oxbow lakes and led to waterlogging in floodplains; increase in the density of the erosion grid on the upland; fall of the groundwater table (Romanovskaya, 2015). Uplifting has intensified erosion and slope wash processes, forming numerous canyon-shaped ravines, very steep slopes (>60º) and interconnected bastion-like relief forms. Superimposed on the geology of the area, neotectonic movements and erosion have led to the formation of a peculiar relief (chalk outliers), microclimate and ecosystem (petrophytic steppe). Surrounded by protections in the form of steep slopes and water courses, this area is a natural fortress which has favored human habitation since the Late Paleolithic Age. In a location in the Tikhaya Sosna river basin, gully erosion has exposed a large accumulation of ancient horse (Equus caballus) bones. Now this location (50.9649ºN, 39.3031ºE) is known as the Upper Paleolithic (13.5-14 kaBP) multi-level archaeological site Divnogorie-9. About 8,000 horse bones and 65 human-made stone artifacts have been discovered here in Late Pleistocene diluvial-alluvial-colluvial deposits (Kuznetsova, 2014). The mass die-off of wild horses and their reburial at the site are most probably the result of landscape and geological impact of massive temporary water flows that will be addressed in some detail in the actual presentation of

  16. Proceedings of the Annual Southern Research Conference in Agricultural Education (30th, Lubbock, Texas, July 21-23, 1981).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cepica, M. J.; And Others

    These proceedings contain 20 presentations and reports made during the 30th Annual Research Conference in Agricultural Education in Lubbock, Texas. The keynote address on importance of research to agricultural education is followed by 16 research papers reporting on analysis of student teacher morale before and after student teaching;…

  17. Landscape features and attractants that predispose grizzly bears to risk of conflicts with humans: A spatial and temporal analysis on privately owned agricultural land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Seth Mark

    Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) deaths in the US tend to be concentrated on the periphery of core habitats. These deaths were often preceded by conflicts with humans. Management removals of "nuisance" and or habituated grizzly bears are a leading cause of death in many populations. This exploratory study focuses on the conditions that lead to human-grizzly bear conflicts on private lands near core habitat. I examined spatial associations among reported human-grizzly bear conflicts during 1986--2001, landscape features, and agricultural-attractants in north-central Montana. I surveyed 61 of a possible 64 active livestock related land users and I used geographic information system (GIS) techniques to collect information on cattle and sheep pasture locations, seasons of use, and bone yard (carcass dumps) and beehive locations. I used GIS spatial analyses, univariate tests, and logistic regression models to explore the associations among conflicts, landscape features, and attractants. A majority (75%) of conflicts were found in distinct seasonal conflict hotspots. Conflict hotspots with spatial overlap were associated with riparian vegetation, bone yards, and beehives in close proximity to one another and accounted for 62% of all conflicts. Consistently available seasonal attractants in overlapping hotspots such as calving areas, sheep lambing areas and spring, summer, and fall sheep and cattle pastures appear to perpetuate the occurrence of conflicts. I found that lambing areas and spring and summer sheep pastures were strongly associated with conflict locations as were cattle calving areas, spring cow/calf pastures, fall pastures, and bone yards. Logistic regression modeling revealed that the presence of riparian vegetation within a 1.6 km search radius strongly influenced the likelihood of conflict. After controlling for riparian vegetation, I found that unmanaged bone yards, unfenced and fenced beehives, all increased the odds of conflict. For every 1 km moved away

  18. On the rebound: soil organic carbon stocks can bounce back to near forest levels when agroforests replace agriculture in southern India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hombegowda, H. C.; van Straaten, O.; Köhler, M.; Hölscher, D.

    2016-01-01

    Tropical agroforestry has an enormous potential to sequester carbon while simultaneously producing agricultural yields and tree products. The amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestered is influenced by the type of the agroforestry system established, the soil and climatic conditions, and management. In this regional-scale study, we utilized a chronosequence approach to investigate how SOC stocks changed when the original forests are converted to agriculture, and then subsequently to four different agroforestry systems (AFSs): home garden, coffee, coconut and mango. In total we established 224 plots in 56 plot clusters across 4 climate zones in southern India. Each plot cluster consisted of four plots: a natural forest reference, an agriculture reference and two of the same AFS types of two ages (30-60 years and > 60 years). The conversion of forest to agriculture resulted in a large loss the original SOC stock (50-61 %) in the top meter of soil depending on the climate zone. The establishment of home garden and coffee AFSs on agriculture land caused SOC stocks to rebound to near forest levels, while in mango and coconut AFSs the SOC stock increased only slightly above the agriculture SOC stock. The most important variable regulating SOC stocks and its changes was tree basal area, possibly indicative of organic matter inputs. Furthermore, climatic variables such as temperature and precipitation, and soil variables such as clay fraction and soil pH were likewise all important regulators of SOC and SOC stock changes. Lastly, we found a strong correlation between tree species diversity in home garden and coffee AFSs and SOC stocks, highlighting possibilities to increase carbon stocks by proper tree species assemblies.

  19. On the rebound: soil organic carbon stocks can bounce back to near forest levels when agroforests replace agriculture in southern India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hombegowda, H. C.; van Straaten, O.; Köhler, M.; Hölscher, D.

    2015-08-01

    Tropical agroforestry has an enormous potential to sequester carbon while simultaneously producing agricultural yields and tree products. The amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestered is however influenced by the type of the agroforestry system established, the soil and climatic conditions and management. In this regional scale study, we utilized a chronosequence approach to investigate how SOC stocks changed when the original forests are converted to agriculture, and then subsequently to four different agroforestry systems (AFSs): homegarden, coffee, coconut and mango. In total we established 224 plots in 56 plot clusters across four climate zones in southern India. Each plot cluster consisted of four plots: a natural forest reference plot, an agriculture reference and two of the same AFS types of two ages (30-60 years and > 60 years). The conversion of forest to agriculture resulted in a large loss the original SOC stock (50-61 %) in the top meter of soil depending on the climate zone. The establishment of homegarden and coffee AFSs on agriculture land caused SOC stocks to rebound to near forest levels, while in mango and coconut AFSs the SOC stock increased only slightly above the agriculture stock. The most important variable regulating SOC stocks and its changes was tree basal area, possibly indicative of organic matter inputs. Furthermore, climatic variables such as temperature and precipitation, and soil variables such as clay fraction and soil pH were likewise all important regulators of SOC and SOC stock changes. Lastly, we found a strong correlation between tree species diversity in homegarden and coffee AFSs and SOC stocks, highlighting possibilities to increase carbon stocks by proper tree species assemblies.

  20. The USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub: Regional agricultural management in the context of weather and climate variability and change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Southern Great Plains of the United States, extremes of weather and climate are the norm. Farmers, ranchers, and foresters rely upon timely and authoritative data and information when making management decisions that are weather- and climate-dependent. In response to the needs of these agricu...

  1. Hydrology of a zero-order Southern Piedmont watershed through 45 years of changing agricultural land use. Part 1. Monthly and seasonal rainfall-runoff relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endale, Dinku M.; Fisher, Dwight S.; Steiner, Jean L.

    2006-01-01

    Few studies have reported runoff from small agricultural watersheds over sufficiently long period so that the effect of different cover types on runoff can be examined. We analyzed 45-yrs of monthly and annual rainfall-runoff characteristics of a small (7.8 ha) zero-order typical Southern Piedmont watershed in southeastern United States. Agricultural land use varied as follows: 1. Row cropping (5-yrs); 2. Kudzu ( Pueraria lobata; 5-yrs); 3. Grazed kudzu and rescuegrass ( Bromus catharticus; 7-yrs); and 4. Grazed bermudagrass and winter annuals ( Cynodon dactylon; 28-yrs). Land use and rainfall variability influenced runoff characteristics. Row cropping produced the largest runoff amount, percentage of the rainfall partitioned into runoff, and peak flow rates. Kudzu reduced spring runoff and almost eliminated summer runoff, as did a mixture of kudzu and rescuegrass (KR) compared to row cropping. Peak flow rates were also reduced during the kudzu and KR. Peak flow rates increased under bermudagrass but were lower than during row cropping. A simple process-based 'tanh' model modified to take the previous month's rainfall into account produced monthly rainfall and runoff correlations with coefficient of determination ( R2) of 0.74. The model was tested on independent data collected during drought. Mean monthly runoff was 1.65 times the observed runoff. Sustained hydrologic monitoring is essential to understanding long-term rainfall-runoff relationships in agricultural watersheds.

  2. Comparative Assessment of Soil Contamination by Lead and Heavy Metals in Riparian and Agricultural Areas (Southern Québec, Canada)

    PubMed Central

    Saint-Laurent, Diane; Hähni, Marlies; St-Laurent, Julien; Baril, Francis

    2010-01-01

    Soils contaminated with hydrocarbons (C10–C50), PAHS, lead and other heavy metals were recently found in the banks of two major rivers in southern Québec. Alluvial soils are contaminated over a distance of 100 kilometers. Eight sampling sites, including some located in agriculture areas (farm woodlots) have been selected to compare air pollution (aerosol fallout and rainout) and river pollution values. The concentrations detected in soil profiles for As, Cd and Pb vary between 3.01 to 37.88 mg kg−1 (As), 0.11 to 0.81 mg kg−1 (Cd) 12.32 to 149.13 mg kg−1 (Pb). These metallic elements are considered highly toxic and can harm wildlife and human health at high levels. The maximum concentration of Pb (149.13 mg kg−1) in soils of the riparian zone is twelve times higher than the average Pb concentration found in a natural state evaluated at 15.3 mg kg−1 (SD 17.5). Pb concentrations in soils of agricultural areas (woodland control sites) range between 12 and 22 mg kg−1, and given that these values are recorded in surrounding cultivated land, the issue of the quality of agricultural products (crops and forage) to feed livestock or destined for human consumption must be further addressed in detail. PMID:20948950

  3. Annual Southern Region Research Conference in Agricultural Education Proceedings (35th, North Little Rock, Arkansas, March 22-24, 1986).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rolloff, John A., Comp.

    These proceedings contain a summary of each of the 15 papers presented and the discussants' reactions. The keynote address and reflections on the outcome of the conference are also included. The keynote address is "Priorities for Continuing Progress in Research in Agricultural Education" (J. Robert Warmbrod). Presentations include…

  4. Functions on the Job in Relation to Data, People, and Things among Agricultural Students from Southern Land-Grant Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zekeri, Andrew A.; Warren, Rueben

    2013-01-01

    This paper uses data from a sample of agriculture graduates from selected land-grant universities in the south to examine workers' functions on the job in relation to data, people, and things as described in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Tabular analysis was conducted using gamma and Pearson's correlation as measures of association.…

  5. Nitrous oxide emissions in southern Poland from agricultural soils under various tillage conditions and from urban soils under strong anthropopression