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Sample records for alpine dwarf shrub

  1. Growth and community responses of alpine dwarf shrubs to in situ CO₂ enrichment and soil warming.

    PubMed

    Dawes, Melissa A; Hagedorn, Frank; Zumbrunn, Thomas; Handa, Ira Tanya; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Wipf, Sonja; Rixen, Christian

    2011-08-01

    • Rising CO₂ concentrations and the associated global warming are expected to have large impacts on high-elevation ecosystems, yet long-term multifactor experiments in these environments are rare. • We investigated how growth of dominant dwarf shrub species (Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium gaultherioides and Empetrum hermaphroditum) and community composition in the understorey of larch and pine trees responded to 9 yr of CO₂ enrichment and 3 yr of soil warming at the treeline in the Swiss Alps. • Vaccinium myrtillus was the only species that showed a clear positive effect of CO₂ on growth, with no decline over time in the annual shoot growth response. Soil warming stimulated V. myrtillus growth even more than elevated CO₂ and was accompanied by increased plant-available soil nitrogen (N) and leaf N concentrations. Growth of Vaccinium gaultherioides and E. hermaphroditum was not influenced by warming. Vascular plant species richness declined in elevated CO₂ plots with larch, while the number of moss and lichen species decreased under warming. • Ongoing environmental change could lead to less diverse plant communities and increased dominance of the particularly responsive V. myrtillus in the studied alpine treeline. These changes are the consequence of independent CO₂ and soil warming effects, a result that should facilitate predictive modelling approaches. PMID:21770945

  2. Growth and reproduction of the alpine grasshopper Miramella alpina feeding on CO2-enriched dwarf shrubs at treeline.

    PubMed

    Asshoff, Roman; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2005-01-01

    The consequences for plant-insect interactions of atmospheric changes in alpine ecosystems are not well understood. Here, we tested the effects of elevated CO(2) on leaf quality in two dwarf shrub species (Vaccinium myrtillus and V. uliginosum) and the response of the alpine grasshopper (Miramella alpina) feeding on these plants in a field experiment at the alpine treeline (2,180 m a.s.l.) in Davos, Switzerland. Relative growth rates (RGR) of M. alpina nymphs were lower when they were feeding on V. myrtillus compared to V. uliginosum, and were affected by elevated CO(2) depending on plant species and nymph developmental stage. Changes in RGR correlated with CO(2)-induced changes in leaf water, nitrogen, and starch concentrations. Elevated CO(2) resulted in reduced female adult weight irrespective of plant species, and prolonged development time on V. uliginosum only, but there were no significant differences in nymphal mortality. Newly molted adults of M. alpina produced lighter eggs and less secretion (serving as egg protection) under elevated CO(2). When grasshoppers had a choice among four different plant species grown either under ambient or elevated CO(2), V. myrtillus and V. uliginosum consumption increased under elevated CO(2) in females while it decreased in males compared to ambient CO(2)-grown leaves. Our findings suggest that rising atmospheric CO(2) distinctly affects leaf chemistry in two important dwarf shrub species at the alpine treeline, leading to changes in feeding behavior, growth, and reproduction of the most important insect herbivore in this system. Changes in plant-grasshopper interactions might have significant long-term impacts on herbivore pressure, community dynamics and ecosystem stability in the alpine treeline ecotone. PMID:15480804

  3. A novel system for in situ determination of heat tolerance of plants: first results on alpine dwarf shrubs

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Heat stress and heat damage to plants gain globally increasing importance for crop production and plant survival in endangered habitats. Therefore the knowledge of heat tolerance of plants is of great interest. As many heat tolerance measurement procedures require detachment of plants and protocols expose samples to various heat temperatures in darkness, the ecological relevance of such results may be doubted. To overcome these constraints we designed a novel field compatible Heat Tolerance Testing System (HTTS) that opens the opportunity to induce controlled heat stress on plants in situ under full natural solar irradiation. Subsequently, heat tolerance can be evaluated by a variety of standard viability assays like the electrolyte leakage test, chlorophyll fluorescence measurements and visual assessment methods. Furthermore, recuperation can be studied under natural environmental conditions which is impossible when detached plant material is used. First results obtained on three alpine dwarf - shrubs are presented. Results When heat tolerance of Vaccinium gaultherioides Bigelow was tested with the HTTS in situ, the visual assessment of leaves showed 50% heat injury (LT50) at 48.3°C, while on detached leaves where heat exposure took place in small heat chambers this already happened at 45.8°C. Natural solar irradiation being applied during heat exposure in the HTTS had significantly protective effects: In Loiseleuria procumbens L. (Desv.), if heat exposure (in situ) took place in darkness, leaf heat tolerance was 50.6°C. In contrast, when heat exposure was conducted under full natural solar irradiation heat tolerance was increased to 53.1°C. In Rhododendron ferrugineum L. heat tolerance of leaves was 42.5°C if the exposure took place ex situ and in darkness, while it was significantly increased to 45.8°C when this happened in situ under natural solar irradiation. Conclusions The results obtained with the HTTS tested in the field indicate a

  4. Ice barriers promote supercooling and prevent frost injury in reproductive buds, flowers and fruits of alpine dwarf shrubs throughout the summer☆

    PubMed Central

    Kuprian, Edith; Briceño, Verónica F.; Wagner, Johanna; Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    Over-wintering reproductive buds of many woody plants survive frost by supercooling. The bud tissues are isolated from acropetally advancing ice by the presence of ice barriers that restrict ice growth. Plants living in alpine environments also face the risk of ice formation in summer months. Little knowledge exists, how reproductive structures of woody alpine plants are protected from frost injury during episodic summer frosts. In order to address this question, frost resistance of three common dwarf shrubs, Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Loiseleuria procumbens was measured and ice formation and propagation were monitored in twigs bearing reproductive shoots during various stages of reproductive development (bud, anthesis, and fruit) throughout the alpine summer. Results indicated that, in the investigated species, ice barriers were present at all reproductive stages, isolating the reproductive shoots from ice advancing from the subtending vegetative shoot. Additionally, in the reproductive stems ice nucleating agents that are active at warm, sub-zero temperatures, were absent. The ice barriers were 100% effective, with the exception of L. procumbens, where in 13% of the total observations, the ice barrier failed. The ice barriers were localized at the base of the pedicel, at the anatomical junction of the vegetative and reproductive shoot. There, structural aspects of the tissue impede or prevent ice from advancing from the frozen stem into the pedicel of the reproductive shoot. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, ice nucleation initially occurred in the stem of the vegetative shoot at species-specific mean temperatures in the range of −4.7 to −5.8 °C. Reproductive shoots, however, remained supercooled and ice free down to a range of −7.2 to −18.2 °C or even below −22 °C, the lowest temperature applied in the study. This level of supercooling is sufficient to prevent freezing of reproductive structures at the

  5. Ice barriers promote supercooling and prevent frost injury in reproductive buds, flowers and fruits of alpine dwarf shrubs throughout the summer.

    PubMed

    Kuprian, Edith; Briceño, Verónica F; Wagner, Johanna; Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-10-01

    Over-wintering reproductive buds of many woody plants survive frost by supercooling. The bud tissues are isolated from acropetally advancing ice by the presence of ice barriers that restrict ice growth. Plants living in alpine environments also face the risk of ice formation in summer months. Little knowledge exists, how reproductive structures of woody alpine plants are protected from frost injury during episodic summer frosts. In order to address this question, frost resistance of three common dwarf shrubs, Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Loiseleuria procumbens was measured and ice formation and propagation were monitored in twigs bearing reproductive shoots during various stages of reproductive development (bud, anthesis, and fruit) throughout the alpine summer. Results indicated that, in the investigated species, ice barriers were present at all reproductive stages, isolating the reproductive shoots from ice advancing from the subtending vegetative shoot. Additionally, in the reproductive stems ice nucleating agents that are active at warm, sub-zero temperatures, were absent. The ice barriers were 100% effective, with the exception of L. procumbens, where in 13% of the total observations, the ice barrier failed. The ice barriers were localized at the base of the pedicel, at the anatomical junction of the vegetative and reproductive shoot. There, structural aspects of the tissue impede or prevent ice from advancing from the frozen stem into the pedicel of the reproductive shoot. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, ice nucleation initially occurred in the stem of the vegetative shoot at species-specific mean temperatures in the range of -4.7 to -5.8 °C. Reproductive shoots, however, remained supercooled and ice free down to a range of -7.2 to -18.2 °C or even below -22 °C, the lowest temperature applied in the study. This level of supercooling is sufficient to prevent freezing of reproductive structures at the lowest air

  6. Ice barriers promote supercooling and prevent frost injury in reproductive buds, flowers and fruits of alpine dwarf shrubs throughout the summer.

    PubMed

    Kuprian, Edith; Briceño, Verónica F; Wagner, Johanna; Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-10-01

    Over-wintering reproductive buds of many woody plants survive frost by supercooling. The bud tissues are isolated from acropetally advancing ice by the presence of ice barriers that restrict ice growth. Plants living in alpine environments also face the risk of ice formation in summer months. Little knowledge exists, how reproductive structures of woody alpine plants are protected from frost injury during episodic summer frosts. In order to address this question, frost resistance of three common dwarf shrubs, Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Loiseleuria procumbens was measured and ice formation and propagation were monitored in twigs bearing reproductive shoots during various stages of reproductive development (bud, anthesis, and fruit) throughout the alpine summer. Results indicated that, in the investigated species, ice barriers were present at all reproductive stages, isolating the reproductive shoots from ice advancing from the subtending vegetative shoot. Additionally, in the reproductive stems ice nucleating agents that are active at warm, sub-zero temperatures, were absent. The ice barriers were 100% effective, with the exception of L. procumbens, where in 13% of the total observations, the ice barrier failed. The ice barriers were localized at the base of the pedicel, at the anatomical junction of the vegetative and reproductive shoot. There, structural aspects of the tissue impede or prevent ice from advancing from the frozen stem into the pedicel of the reproductive shoot. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, ice nucleation initially occurred in the stem of the vegetative shoot at species-specific mean temperatures in the range of -4.7 to -5.8 °C. Reproductive shoots, however, remained supercooled and ice free down to a range of -7.2 to -18.2 °C or even below -22 °C, the lowest temperature applied in the study. This level of supercooling is sufficient to prevent freezing of reproductive structures at the lowest air

  7. The Response of the Alpine Dwarf Shrub Salix herbacea to Altered Snowmelt Timing: Lessons from a Multi-Site Transplant Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Cortés, Andrés J.; Bossdorf, Oliver; Hoch, Guenter; Lexer, Christian; Wipf, Sonja; Karrenberg, Sophie; van Kleunen, Mark; Rixen, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is altering spring snowmelt patterns in alpine and arctic ecosystems, and these changes may alter plant phenology, growth and reproduction. To predict how alpine plants respond to shifts in snowmelt timing, we need to understand trait plasticity, its effects on growth and reproduction, and the degree to which plants experience a home-site advantage. We tested how the common, long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea responded to changing spring snowmelt time by reciprocally transplanting turfs of S. herbacea between early-exposure ridge and late-exposure snowbed microhabitats. After the transplant, we monitored phenological, morphological and fitness traits, as well as leaf damage, during two growing seasons. Salix herbacea leafed out earlier, but had a longer development time and produced smaller leaves on ridges relative to snowbeds. Longer phenological development times and smaller leaves were associated with reduced sexual reproduction on ridges. On snowbeds, larger leaves and intermediate development times were associated with increased clonal reproduction. Clonal and sexual reproduction showed no response to altered snowmelt time. We found no home-site advantage in terms of sexual and clonal reproduction. Leaf damage probability depended on snowmelt and thus exposure period, but had no short-term effect on fitness traits. We conclude that the studied populations of S. herbacea can respond to shifts in snowmelt by plastic changes in phenology and leaf size, while maintaining levels of clonal and sexual reproduction. The lack of a home-site advantage suggests that S. herbacea may not be adapted to different microhabitats. The studied populations are thus unlikely to react to climate change by rapid adaptation, but their responses will also not be constrained by small-scale local adaptation. In the short term, snowbed plants may persist due to high stem densities. However, in the long term, reduction in leaf size and flowering, a longer phenological

  8. The Response of the Alpine Dwarf Shrub Salix herbacea to Altered Snowmelt Timing: Lessons from a Multi-Site Transplant Experiment.

    PubMed

    Sedlacek, Janosch; Wheeler, Julia A; Cortés, Andrés J; Bossdorf, Oliver; Hoch, Guenter; Lexer, Christian; Wipf, Sonja; Karrenberg, Sophie; van Kleunen, Mark; Rixen, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is altering spring snowmelt patterns in alpine and arctic ecosystems, and these changes may alter plant phenology, growth and reproduction. To predict how alpine plants respond to shifts in snowmelt timing, we need to understand trait plasticity, its effects on growth and reproduction, and the degree to which plants experience a home-site advantage. We tested how the common, long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea responded to changing spring snowmelt time by reciprocally transplanting turfs of S. herbacea between early-exposure ridge and late-exposure snowbed microhabitats. After the transplant, we monitored phenological, morphological and fitness traits, as well as leaf damage, during two growing seasons. Salix herbacea leafed out earlier, but had a longer development time and produced smaller leaves on ridges relative to snowbeds. Longer phenological development times and smaller leaves were associated with reduced sexual reproduction on ridges. On snowbeds, larger leaves and intermediate development times were associated with increased clonal reproduction. Clonal and sexual reproduction showed no response to altered snowmelt time. We found no home-site advantage in terms of sexual and clonal reproduction. Leaf damage probability depended on snowmelt and thus exposure period, but had no short-term effect on fitness traits. We conclude that the studied populations of S. herbacea can respond to shifts in snowmelt by plastic changes in phenology and leaf size, while maintaining levels of clonal and sexual reproduction. The lack of a home-site advantage suggests that S. herbacea may not be adapted to different microhabitats. The studied populations are thus unlikely to react to climate change by rapid adaptation, but their responses will also not be constrained by small-scale local adaptation. In the short term, snowbed plants may persist due to high stem densities. However, in the long term, reduction in leaf size and flowering, a longer phenological

  9. Small-scale patterns in snowmelt timing affect gene flow and the distribution of genetic diversity in the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea.

    PubMed

    Cortés, A J; Waeber, S; Lexer, C; Sedlacek, J; Wheeler, J A; van Kleunen, M; Bossdorf, O; Hoch, G; Rixen, C; Wipf, S; Karrenberg, S

    2014-09-01

    Current threats to biodiversity, such as climate change, are thought to alter the within-species genetic diversity among microhabitats in highly heterogeneous alpine environments. Assessing the spatial organization and dynamics of genetic diversity within species can help to predict the responses of organisms to environmental change. In this study, we evaluated whether small-scale heterogeneity in snowmelt timing restricts gene flow between microhabitats in the common long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea L. We surveyed 273 genets across 12 early- and late-snowmelt sites (that is, ridges and snowbeds) in the Swiss Alps for phenological variation over 2 years and for genetic variation using seven SSR markers. Phenological differentiation triggered by differences in snowmelt timing did not correlate with genetic differentiation between microhabitats. On the contrary, extensive gene flow appeared to occur between microhabitats and slightly less extensively among adjacent mountains. However, ridges exhibited significantly lower levels of genetic diversity than snowbeds, and patterns of effective population size (Ne) and migration (Nem) between microhabitats were strongly asymmetric, with ridges acting as sources and snowbeds as sinks. As no recent genetic bottlenecks were detected in the studied sites, this asymmetry is likely to reflect current meta-population dynamics of the species dominated by gene flow via seeds rather than ancient re-colonization after the last glacial period. Overall, our results suggest that seed dispersal prevents snowmelt-driven genetic isolation, and snowbeds act as sinks of genetic diversity. We discuss the consequences of such small-scale variation in gene flow and diversity levels for population responses to climate change.

  10. Small-scale drivers: the importance of nutrient availability and snowmelt timing on performance of the alpine shrub Salix herbacea.

    PubMed

    Little, Chelsea J; Wheeler, Julia A; Sedlacek, Janosch; Cortés, Andrés J; Rixen, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Alpine plant communities are predicted to face range shifts and possibly extinctions with climate change. Fine-scale environmental variation such as nutrient availability or snowmelt timing may contribute to the ability of plant species to persist locally; however, variation in nutrient availability in alpine landscapes is largely unmeasured. On three mountains around Davos, Switzerland, we deployed Plant Root Simulator probes around 58 Salix herbacea plants along an elevational and microhabitat gradient to measure nutrient availability during the first 5 weeks of the summer growing season, and used in situ temperature loggers and observational data to determine date of spring snowmelt. We also visited the plants weekly to assess performance, as measured by stem number, fruiting, and herbivory damage. We found a wide snowmelt gradient which determined growing season length, as well as variations of an order of magnitude or more in the accumulation of 12 nutrients between different microhabitats. Higher nutrient availability had negative effects on most shrub performance metrics, for instance decreasing stem number and the proportion of stems producing fruits. High nutrient availability was associated with increased herbivory damage in early-melting microhabitats, but among late-emerging plants this pattern was reversed. We demonstrate that nutrient availability is highly variable in alpine settings, and that it strongly influences performance in an alpine dwarf shrub, sometimes modifying the response of shrubs to snowmelt timing. As the climate warms and human-induced nitrogen deposition continues in the Alps, these factors may contribute to patterns of local plants persistence.

  11. Phytosociological study of the dwarf shrub heath of Simeonof Wilderness, Shumagin Islands, Southwestern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Daniels, F.J.A.; Talbot, S. S.; Looman, Talbot S.; Schofield, W.B.

    2004-01-01

    The maritime dwarf shrub heath vegetation of the Northern Pacific, Simeonof Island, Shumagin Islands, Southwestern Alaska, was studied according to the Braun-Blanquet approach. Based on 30 releve??s of 16 m2 that include vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens, two new associations could be described belonging to the class Loiseleurio-Vaccinietea (order Rhododendro-Vaccinietalia): Rubo-Empetretum nigri and Carici-Empetretum nigri. The wind-sheltered Rubo-Empetretum nigri (alliance Phyllodoco-Vaccinion) mainly occurs in the lowlands on level terrain or sloping sites at lower foot slopes of mountains on deeper, mesic soil; this association is the zonal vegetation of the lowlands. Boreal, widespread and amphi-Beringian species are prominent in the distribution-type spectrum of the vascular plants. Two variants of Rubo-Empetretum nigri are described. A Geranium erianthum variant occurs on south-facing slopes and is rich in vascular plants species. A Plagiothecium undulatum variant is restricted to northern exposures and is rich in bryophytes and lichens. A Carici-Empetretum nigri (alliance Loiseleurio-Diapension) occurs on shallow soil on wind exposed sites at higher elevations in the mountains. It is very rich in lichen species of arctic-alpine distribution. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) suggests that altitude, nutrient content of the soil and exposition are the most important differential ecological factors. Soil depth, total carbon and nitrogen content, plant available phosphorus and all other measured cation contents are higher in Rubo-Empetretum than in Carici-Empetretum. Literature comparisons confirm the occurrence of both associations in other areas on the Southwest Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. Presumably both associations have an amphi-Beringian distribution. The syntaxonomy of boreal-montane dwarf shrub heaths and synecological aspects are briefly discussed. ?? 2004 Gebru??der Borntraeger.

  12. Establishing a missing link: warm summers and winter snow cover promote shrub expansion into alpine tundra in Scandinavia.

    PubMed

    Hallinger, Martin; Manthey, Michael; Wilmking, Martin

    2010-06-01

    *Shrub expansion in alpine and arctic areas is a process with possibly profound implications for ecosystem functioning. The recent shrub expansion has been mainly documented by remote sensing techniques, but the drivers for this process largely remain hypotheses. *Here, we outline a dendrochronological method, adapted to shrubs, to address these hypotheses and then present a mechanism for the current shrub expansion by linking recent climate change to shrub growth performance in northern Sweden. *A pronounced increase in radial and vertical growth during recent decades along an elevational gradient from treeline to shrubline indicates an ongoing shrub expansion. Age distribution of the shrub population indicates the new colonization of shrubs at high elevations. *Shrub growth is correlated with warm summers and winter snow cover and suggests the potential for large-scale ecosystem changes if climate change continues as projected.

  13. Seasonal Dynamics of Water Use Strategy of Two Salix Shrubs in Alpine Sandy Land, Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yajuan; Wang, Guojie; Li, Renqiang

    2016-01-01

    Water is a limiting factor for plant growth and vegetation dynamics in alpine sandy land of the Tibetan Plateau, especially with the increasing frequency of extreme precipitation events and drought caused by climate change. Therefore, a relatively stable water source from either deeper soil profiles or ground water is necessary for plant growth. Understanding the water use strategy of dominant species in the alpine sandy land ecosystem is important for vegetative rehabilitation and ecological restoration. The stable isotope methodology of δD, δ18O, and δ13C was used to determine main water source and long-term water use efficiency of Salix psammophila and S. cheilophila, two dominant shrubs on interdune of alpine sandy land in northeastern Tibetan Plateau. The root systems of two Salix shrubs were investigated to determine their distribution pattern. The results showed that S. psammophila and S. cheilophila absorbed soil water at different soil depths or ground water in different seasons, depending on water availability and water use strategy. Salix psammophila used ground water during the growing season and relied on shallow soil water recharged by rain in summer. Salix cheilophila used ground water in spring and summer, but relied on shallow soil water recharged by rain in spring and deep soil water recharged by ground water in fall. The two shrubs had dimorphic root systems, which is coincident with their water use strategy. Higher biomass of fine roots in S. psammophila and longer fine roots in S. cheilophila facilitated to absorb water in deeper soil layers. The long-term water use efficiency of two Salix shrubs increased during the dry season in spring. The long-term water use efficiency was higher in S. psammophila than in S. cheilophila, as the former species is better adapted to semiarid climate of alpine sandy land.

  14. Seasonal Dynamics of Water Use Strategy of Two Salix Shrubs in Alpine Sandy Land, Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yajuan; Wang, Guojie; Li, Renqiang

    2016-01-01

    Water is a limiting factor for plant growth and vegetation dynamics in alpine sandy land of the Tibetan Plateau, especially with the increasing frequency of extreme precipitation events and drought caused by climate change. Therefore, a relatively stable water source from either deeper soil profiles or ground water is necessary for plant growth. Understanding the water use strategy of dominant species in the alpine sandy land ecosystem is important for vegetative rehabilitation and ecological restoration. The stable isotope methodology of δD, δ18O, and δ13C was used to determine main water source and long-term water use efficiency of Salix psammophila and S. cheilophila, two dominant shrubs on interdune of alpine sandy land in northeastern Tibetan Plateau. The root systems of two Salix shrubs were investigated to determine their distribution pattern. The results showed that S. psammophila and S. cheilophila absorbed soil water at different soil depths or ground water in different seasons, depending on water availability and water use strategy. Salix psammophila used ground water during the growing season and relied on shallow soil water recharged by rain in summer. Salix cheilophila used ground water in spring and summer, but relied on shallow soil water recharged by rain in spring and deep soil water recharged by ground water in fall. The two shrubs had dimorphic root systems, which is coincident with their water use strategy. Higher biomass of fine roots in S. psammophila and longer fine roots in S. cheilophila facilitated to absorb water in deeper soil layers. The long-term water use efficiency of two Salix shrubs increased during the dry season in spring. The long-term water use efficiency was higher in S. psammophila than in S. cheilophila, as the former species is better adapted to semiarid climate of alpine sandy land. PMID:27243772

  15. Seasonal Dynamics of Water Use Strategy of Two Salix Shrubs in Alpine Sandy Land, Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yajuan; Wang, Guojie; Li, Renqiang

    2016-01-01

    Water is a limiting factor for plant growth and vegetation dynamics in alpine sandy land of the Tibetan Plateau, especially with the increasing frequency of extreme precipitation events and drought caused by climate change. Therefore, a relatively stable water source from either deeper soil profiles or ground water is necessary for plant growth. Understanding the water use strategy of dominant species in the alpine sandy land ecosystem is important for vegetative rehabilitation and ecological restoration. The stable isotope methodology of δD, δ18O, and δ13C was used to determine main water source and long-term water use efficiency of Salix psammophila and S. cheilophila, two dominant shrubs on interdune of alpine sandy land in northeastern Tibetan Plateau. The root systems of two Salix shrubs were investigated to determine their distribution pattern. The results showed that S. psammophila and S. cheilophila absorbed soil water at different soil depths or ground water in different seasons, depending on water availability and water use strategy. Salix psammophila used ground water during the growing season and relied on shallow soil water recharged by rain in summer. Salix cheilophila used ground water in spring and summer, but relied on shallow soil water recharged by rain in spring and deep soil water recharged by ground water in fall. The two shrubs had dimorphic root systems, which is coincident with their water use strategy. Higher biomass of fine roots in S. psammophila and longer fine roots in S. cheilophila facilitated to absorb water in deeper soil layers. The long-term water use efficiency of two Salix shrubs increased during the dry season in spring. The long-term water use efficiency was higher in S. psammophila than in S. cheilophila, as the former species is better adapted to semiarid climate of alpine sandy land. PMID:27243772

  16. Phenology is plastic: the response of alpine shrub Salix herbacea to earlier snowmelt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, Julia; Sedlacek, Janosch; van Kleunen, Mark; Bossdorf, Oliver; Hoch, Guenter; Wipf, Sonja; Karrenberg, Sophie; Lexer, Christian; Cortés, Andres; Rixen, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Climate change has been demonstrated to accelerate snowmelt in alpine systems, which can represent a critical ecosystem change for alpine plant communities. Understanding how snowmelt timing affects phenology and the development of alpine plants, and the capacity of these plants to respond, is thus necessary for predicting alpine community response to climate change. We examined the effects of snowmelt timing on the phenological development of the common clonal alpine shrub Salix herbacea over three growing seasons using both a space-for-time substitution along a natural snowmelt gradient and a reciprocal transplant experiment of clonal fragments between early and late snowmelt microhabitats. Leaf, flower and fruit development time was significantly influenced by snowmelt timing along both the natural snow gradient and in the reciprocal transplant, with less time required to develop to each phenophase in shrubs growing naturally in late-lying snowbeds and in S. herbacea clonal fragments transplanted from early-exposure sites into late snowbed microhabitats. This suggests that snowmelt timing, likely through the regulation of seasonal temperature accumulation, controls phenological development. In addition, the transplant experiment indicated that S. herbacea demonstrates a highly plastic phenological response to snowmelt timing, because there was no significant difference in phenology between clones originating either from snowbeds or early exposure sites when exposed to the same climatic conditions. Thus, S. herbacea may be able to profit from accelerated snowmelt due to climate change by developing soon after snowmelt. However, freezing damage during vulnerable early development stages may increase, as phenological development is slowed and the probability of lethal freezing events is increased under early snowmelt conditions.

  17. Where to Combat Shrub Encroachment in Alpine Timberline Ecosystems: Combining Remotely-Sensed Vegetation Information with Species Habitat Modelling

    PubMed Central

    Braunisch, Veronika; Patthey, Patrick; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    In many cultural landscapes, the abandonment of traditional grazing leads to encroachment of pastures by woody plants, which reduces habitat heterogeneity and impacts biodiversity typical of semi-open habitats. We developed a framework of mutually interacting spatial models to locate areas where shrub encroachment in Alpine treeline ecosystems deteriorates vulnerable species’ habitat, using black grouse Tetrao tetrix (L.) in the Swiss Alps as a study model. Combining field observations and remote-sensing information we 1) identified and located the six predominant treeline vegetation types; 2) modelled current black grouse breeding habitat as a function thereof so as to derive optimal habitat profiles; 3) simulated from these profiles the theoretical spatial extension of breeding habitat when assuming optimal vegetation conditions throughout; and used the discrepancy between (2) and (3) to 4) locate major aggregations of homogeneous shrub vegetation in otherwise suitable breeding habitat as priority sites for habitat restoration. All six vegetation types (alpine pasture, coniferous forest, Alnus viridis (Chaix), Rhododendron-dominated, Juniperus-dominated and mixed heathland) were predicted with high accuracy (AUC >0.9). Breeding black grouse preferred a heterogeneous mosaic of vegetation types, with none exceeding 50% cover. While 15% of the timberline belt currently offered suitable breeding habitat, twice that fraction (29%) would potentially be suitable when assuming optimal shrub and ground vegetation conditions throughout the study area. Yet, only 10% of this difference was attributed to habitat deterioration by shrub-encroachment of dense heathland (all types 5.2%) and Alnus viridis (4.8%). The presented method provides both a general, large-scale assessment of areas covered by dense shrub vegetation as well as specific target values and priority areas for habitat restoration related to a selected target organism. This facilitates optimizing the spatial

  18. Gap locations influence the release of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in two shrub foliar litter in an alpine fir forest

    PubMed Central

    He, Wei; Wu, Fuzhong; Yang, Wanqin; Zhang, Danju; Xu, Zhenfeng; Tan, Bo; Zhao, Yeyi; Justine, Meta Francis

    2016-01-01

    Gap formation favors the growth of understory plants and affects the decomposition process of plant debris inside and outside of gaps. Little information is available regarding how bioelement release from shrub litter is affected by gap formation during critical periods. The release of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) in the foliar litter of Fargesia nitida and Salix paraplesia in response to gap locations was determined in an alpine forest of the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau via a 2-year litter decomposition experiment. The daily release rates of C, N, and P increased from the closed canopy to the gap centers during the two winters, the two later growing seasons and the entire 2 years, whereas this trend was reversed during the two early growing seasons. The pairwise ratios among C, N, and P converged as the litter decomposition proceeded. Compared with the closed canopy, the gap centers displayed higher C:P and N:P ratio but a lower C:N ratio as the decomposition proceeded. Alpine forest gaps accelerate the release of C, N, and P in decomposing shrub litter, implying that reduced snow cover resulting from vanishing gaps may inhibit the release of these elements in alpine forests. PMID:26906762

  19. Invasion of dwarf bamboo into alpine snow-meadows in northern Japan: pattern of expansion and impact on species diversity

    PubMed Central

    Kudo, Gaku; Amagai, Yukihiro; Hoshino, Buho; Kaneko, Masami

    2011-01-01

    Recently, a dwarf bamboo species,Sasa kurilensis; Poaceae, has invaded into alpine snow-meadows in the wilderness area of the Taisetsu Mountains, northern Japan. This dwarf bamboo species has a wide distribution range from lowland to alpine sites of snowy regions. Because of the formation of dense evergreen culms and an extensive rhizome system, other plants are excluded following invasion by this dwarf bamboo, resulting in low species diversity. Dwarf bamboo originally inhabited the leeward slopes of alpine dwarf pine (Pinus pumila) clumps in alpine regions. During the last 32 years, however, dwarf bamboo has expanded its distribution area by up to 47% toward snow-meadows, especially on southeastern facing slopes. This rapid change may be related to the decrease in soil moisture and expansion of the annual growing period caused by the recent acceleration of snowmelt time. A multiyear census revealed that the density of bamboo culms increased 30–150% during 2 years, and the annual expansion of bamboo rhizomes was 39 cm on average. In addition to the expansion of bamboo clumps by vegetative growth, the possibility of migration by seed dispersal was also suggested by a genet analysis. With the increase in culm density, the species richness of snow-meadow vegetation decreased to less than one-quarter of the original level due to intense shading by dwarf bamboo. The rapid vegetation change in these almost pristine alpine environments isolated from the human activity implies that global climate change already influences the alpine ecosystem. PMID:22393485

  20. Invasion of dwarf bamboo into alpine snow-meadows in northern Japan: pattern of expansion and impact on species diversity.

    PubMed

    Kudo, Gaku; Amagai, Yukihiro; Hoshino, Buho; Kaneko, Masami

    2011-09-01

    Recently, a dwarf bamboo species,Sasa kurilensis; Poaceae, has invaded into alpine snow-meadows in the wilderness area of the Taisetsu Mountains, northern Japan. This dwarf bamboo species has a wide distribution range from lowland to alpine sites of snowy regions. Because of the formation of dense evergreen culms and an extensive rhizome system, other plants are excluded following invasion by this dwarf bamboo, resulting in low species diversity. Dwarf bamboo originally inhabited the leeward slopes of alpine dwarf pine (Pinus pumila) clumps in alpine regions. During the last 32 years, however, dwarf bamboo has expanded its distribution area by up to 47% toward snow-meadows, especially on southeastern facing slopes. This rapid change may be related to the decrease in soil moisture and expansion of the annual growing period caused by the recent acceleration of snowmelt time. A multiyear census revealed that the density of bamboo culms increased 30-150% during 2 years, and the annual expansion of bamboo rhizomes was 39 cm on average. In addition to the expansion of bamboo clumps by vegetative growth, the possibility of migration by seed dispersal was also suggested by a genet analysis. With the increase in culm density, the species richness of snow-meadow vegetation decreased to less than one-quarter of the original level due to intense shading by dwarf bamboo. The rapid vegetation change in these almost pristine alpine environments isolated from the human activity implies that global climate change already influences the alpine ecosystem.

  1. Moss Mediates the Influence of Shrub Species on Soil Properties and Processes in Alpine Tundra

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Scott N.; Barrio, Isabel C.; Helgadóttir, Ágústa; HiK, David S.

    2016-01-01

    In tundra ecosystems, bryophytes influence soil processes directly and indirectly through interactions with overstory shrub species. We experimentally manipulated moss cover and measured seasonal soil properties and processes under two species of deciduous shrubs with contrasting canopy structures, Salix planifolia pulchra and Betula glandulosa-nana complex. Soil properties (seasonal temperature, moisture and C:N ratios) and processes (seasonal litter decomposition and soil respiration) were measured over twelve months. Shrub species identity had the largest influence on summer soil temperatures and soil respiration rates, which were higher under Salix canopies. Mosses were associated with lower soil moisture irrespective of shrub identity, but modulated the effects of shrubs on winter soil temperatures and soil C:N ratios so that moss cover reduced differences in soil winter temperatures between shrub species and reduced C:N ratios under Betula but not under Salix canopies. Our results suggest a central role of mosses in mediating soil properties and processes, with their influence depending on shrub species identity. Such species-dependent effects need to be accounted for when forecasting vegetation dynamics under ongoing environmental changes. PMID:27760156

  2. Intraspecific variation in the water relations of Salix arctica, an arctic-alpine dwarf willow.

    PubMed

    Dawson, T E; Bliss, L C

    1989-05-01

    The seasonal and diurnal water relations were investigated within arctic and alpine populations of the dwarf willow Salix arctica. Marked differences that were habitat dependent (e.g. xeric vs. mesic) occured both within and between the populations. The environmental variables that most affected plant water balance and the bulk tissue water relations were soil water potential (Ψsoil) and the leafto-air water vapor pressure gradient (Δw), however, low soil temperature (<4.0° C) also had a marked effect in the wet to mesic habitats. The effects of declining Ψsoil and increased ‡w were most pronounced in the plants growing in xiric habitats in both populations. Stomatal response to increased ‡w was two-fold greater in alpine versus arctic plants and is hypothesized to have arisen in response to more frequent exposure to the higher evaporative conditions of alpine existance. Seasonal fluctuations in the osmotic potential closely followed changes in Ψsoil, suggesting that these were active rather that passive changes. Additionally, plants from xeric habiats had a lower bulk tissue elastic modulus (more elastic tissues) in both arctic and alpine populations. The osmotic and elastic properties enhanced turgor maintenance over a broad range of leaf water potentials and during periods when ‡w was high. Turgor maintenance also correlated to continued transpiration despite fluctuations in soil and atmospherically induced water deficits. Arctic habitats have a shorter growing season, lower soil temperatures due to the presence of permafrost, but higher soil water potentials and lower leaf-to-air vapor pressure gradients than alpine habitats. The observed variation in patterns of stomatal conductance and in values of tissue water relations characteristics between arctic and alpine populations of S. arctica is hypothesized to have arisen in response to these different environmental regimes which represent different selective regimes that occur along the arctic-alpine

  3. Matorral and reclamation. The contribution of scrubs and dwarf shrubs to soil and water conservation in Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, A.; González Hidalgo, J. C.

    2009-04-01

    The Mediterranean Matorral (scrubs and dwarf shrubs) was seen by John Thornes as a protective vegetative cover of semiarid lands. His studies on matorral triggered the research, vocations and scientific work of researchers and contributed with a relevant knowledge to the environmental studies in Spain. This research reviews the changes in land use and the use of matorral in Spain. A review of the research done on the effect of matorral on soil and water losses is presented. Books, scientific papers, book chapters and research reports are being reviewed to report how matorral control the soil and water losses under different climatic conditions in Spain. The main conclusion is that scrubs and dwarf shrubs are very efficient in controlling the soil and water losses under semiarid climatic conditions were trees are rare. Nevertheless, scrub has been neglected by the Spanish forestry policy-makers and sometimes the shrubs cover is removed to develop afforestations, mainly with Aleppo pine. Palabras clave: Matorral, Soil, Water, Losses, Spain, Land use, Land management.

  4. Talus cone activity recorded by tree-rings of Arctic dwarf shrubs: a study case from SW Spitsbergen, Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owczarek, Piotr

    2010-12-01

    Dendrochronological methods were used to determine talus cone activity in the Arctic area. Talus cones are one of the most characteristic geomorphological features of the Svalbad Archipelago. Two species of dwarf shrubs, Salix polaris and Salix reticulata, which belong to the Willow family (Salicaceae), were collected from two talus cones located in the SW Spitsbergen Island. These small creeping shrubs (less than 10 cm tall with stem diameters ranging from 0.5 cm to 1.1 cm) have well developed tree-rings which allow them to be used for dendrochronological research. The age of the dwarf shrubs showed the minimum time during which the cones were disturbed by mass movements. Observations and material analysis indicate that currently the talus cones are active, but their development through debris flow, creep and rock particle slide is observed only episodically. An increased rate of vegetation colonization during the 1980s indicates that geomorphic events were less active in the talus cone area during this time.

  5. Relationship between Shoot-rooting and Root-sprouting Abilities and the Carbohydrate and Nitrogen Reserves of Mediterranean Dwarf Shrubs

    PubMed Central

    Palacio, Sara; Maestro, Melchor; Montserrat-Martí, Gabriel

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims This study analysed the differences in nitrogen (N), non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) and biomass allocation to the roots and shoots of 18 species of Mediterranean dwarf shrubs with different shoot-rooting and resprouting abilities. Root N and NSC concentrations of strict root-sprouters and species resprouting from the base of the stems were also compared. Methods Soluble sugars (SS), starch and N concentrations were assessed in roots and shoots. The root : shoot ratio of each species was obtained by thorough root excavations. Cross-species analyses were complemented by phylogenetically independent contrasts (PICs). Key Results Shoot-rooting species showed a preferential allocation of starch to shoots rather than roots as compared with non-shoot-rooting species. Resprouters displayed greater starch concentrations than non-sprouters in both shoots and roots. Trends were maintained after PICs analyses, but differences became weak when root-sprouters versus non-root-sprouters were compared. Within resprouters, strict root-sprouters showed greater root concentrations and a preferential allocation of starch to the roots than stem-sprouters. No differences were found in the root : shoot ratio of species with different rooting and resprouting abilities. Conclusions The shoot-rooting ability of Mediterranean dwarf shrubs seems to depend on the preferential allocation of starch and SS to shoots, though alternative C-sources such as current photosynthates may also be involved. In contrast to plants from other mediterranean areas of the world, the resprouting ability of Mediterranean dwarf shrubs is not related to a preferential allocation of N, NSC and biomass to roots. PMID:17728338

  6. Evolutionary potential in the Alpine: trait heritabilities and performance variation of the dwarf willow Salix herbacea from different elevations and microhabitats.

    PubMed

    Sedlacek, Janosch; Cortés, Andrés J; Wheeler, Julia; Bossdorf, Oliver; Hoch, Guenter; Klápště, Jaroslav; Lexer, Christian; Rixen, Christian; Wipf, Sonja; Karrenberg, Sophie; van Kleunen, Mark

    2016-06-01

    Alpine ecosystems are seriously threatened by climate change. One of the key mechanisms by which plants can adapt to changing environmental conditions is through evolutionary change. However, we still know little about the evolutionary potential in wild populations of long-lived alpine plants. Here, we investigated heritabilities of phenological traits, leaf size, and performance traits in natural populations of the long-lived alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea using relatedness estimates inferred from SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers. Salix herbacea occurs in early- and late-snowmelt microhabitats (ridges and snowbeds), and we assessed how performance consequences of phenological traits and leaf size differ between these microhabitats in order to infer potential for evolutionary responses. Salix herbacea showed low, but significant, heritabilities of leaf size, clonal and sexual reproduction, and moderate heritabilities of phenological traits. In both microhabitats, we found that larger leaves, longer intervals between snowmelt and leaf expansion, and longer GDD (growing-degree days) until leaf expansion resulted in a stronger increase in the number of stems (clonal reproduction). In snowbeds, clonal reproduction increased with a shorter GDD until flowering, while the opposite was found on ridges. Furthermore, the proportion of flowering stems increased with GDD until flowering in both microhabitats. Our results suggest that the presence of significant heritable variation in morphology and phenology might help S. herbacea to adapt to changing environmental conditions. However, it remains to be seen if the rate of such an evolutionary response can keep pace with the rapid rate of climate change. PMID:27516856

  7. Pastoral practices to reverse shrub encroachment of sub-alpine grasslands: dung beetles (coleoptera, scarabaeoidea) respond more quickly than vegetation.

    PubMed

    Tocco, Claudia; Probo, Massimiliano; Lonati, Michele; Lombardi, Giampiero; Negro, Matteo; Nervo, Beatrice; Rolando, Antonio; Palestrini, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    In recent decades, pastoral abandonment has produced profound ecological changes in the Alps. In particular, the reduction in grazing has led to extensive shrub encroachment of semi-natural grasslands, which may represent a threat to open habitat biodiversity. To reverse shrub encroachment, we assessed short-term effects of two different pastoral practices on vegetation and dung beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea). Strategic placement of mineral mix supplements (MMS) and arrangement of temporary night camp areas (TNCA) for cattle were carried out during summer 2011 in the Val Troncea Natural Park, north-western Italian Alps. In 2012, one year after treatment, a reduction in shrub cover and an increase in bare ground cover around MMS sites was detected. A more intense effect was detected within TNCA through increases in forage pastoral value, and in the cover and height of the herbaceous layer. Immediately after treatment, changes in dung beetle diversity (total abundance, species richness, Shannon diversity, taxonomic and functional diversity) showed a limited disturbance effect caused by high cattle density. In contrast, dung beetle diversity significantly increased one year later both at MMS and TNCA sites, with a stronger effect within TNCA. Multivariate Regression Trees and associated Indicator Value analyses showed that some ecologically relevant dung beetle species preferred areas deprived of shrub vegetation. Our main conclusions are: i) TNCA are more effective than MMS in terms of changes to vegetation and dung beetles, ii) dung beetles respond more quickly than vegetation to pastoral practices, and iii) the main driver of the rapid response by dung beetles is the removal of shrubs. The resulting increase in dung beetle abundance and diversity, which are largely responsible for grassland ecosystem functioning, may have a positive effect on meso-eutrophic grassland restoration. Shrub encroachment in the Alps may therefore be reversed, and restoration of

  8. Pastoral Practices to Reverse Shrub Encroachment of Sub-Alpine Grasslands: Dung Beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea) Respond More Quickly Than Vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Tocco, Claudia; Probo, Massimiliano; Lonati, Michele; Lombardi, Giampiero; Negro, Matteo; Nervo, Beatrice; Rolando, Antonio; Palestrini, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    In recent decades, pastoral abandonment has produced profound ecological changes in the Alps. In particular, the reduction in grazing has led to extensive shrub encroachment of semi-natural grasslands, which may represent a threat to open habitat biodiversity. To reverse shrub encroachment, we assessed short-term effects of two different pastoral practices on vegetation and dung beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea). Strategic placement of mineral mix supplements (MMS) and arrangement of temporary night camp areas (TNCA) for cattle were carried out during summer 2011 in the Val Troncea Natural Park, north-western Italian Alps. In 2012, one year after treatment, a reduction in shrub cover and an increase in bare ground cover around MMS sites was detected. A more intense effect was detected within TNCA through increases in forage pastoral value, and in the cover and height of the herbaceous layer. Immediately after treatment, changes in dung beetle diversity (total abundance, species richness, Shannon diversity, taxonomic and functional diversity) showed a limited disturbance effect caused by high cattle density. In contrast, dung beetle diversity significantly increased one year later both at MMS and TNCA sites, with a stronger effect within TNCA. Multivariate Regression Trees and associated Indicator Value analyses showed that some ecologically relevant dung beetle species preferred areas deprived of shrub vegetation. Our main conclusions are: i) TNCA are more effective than MMS in terms of changes to vegetation and dung beetles, ii) dung beetles respond more quickly than vegetation to pastoral practices, and iii) the main driver of the rapid response by dung beetles is the removal of shrubs. The resulting increase in dung beetle abundance and diversity, which are largely responsible for grassland ecosystem functioning, may have a positive effect on meso-eutrophic grassland restoration. Shrub encroachment in the Alps may therefore be reversed, and restoration of

  9. Monsoon Season Moisture Deficit Limits Growth in Co-Occurring Alpine Shrub (Cassiope fastigata) and Tree (Abies spectabilis) Species in the Central Himalayas, Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rayback, S. A.; Shrestha, K. B.; Hofgaard, A.

    2015-12-01

    landscape transitions from forest to alpine shrubs and have important implications for future land surface-atmosphere interactions in the region.

  10. Vegetation shift from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs in response to selective herbivory offsets carbon losses: evidence from 19 years of warming and simulated herbivory in the subarctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Ylänne, Henni; Stark, Sari; Tolvanen, Anne

    2015-10-01

    Selective herbivory of palatable plant species provides a competitive advantage for unpalatable plant species, which often have slow growth rates and produce slowly decomposable litter. We hypothesized that through a shift in the vegetation community from palatable, deciduous dwarf shrubs to unpalatable, evergreen dwarf shrubs, selective herbivory may counteract the increased shrub abundance that is otherwise found in tundra ecosystems, in turn interacting with the responses of ecosystem carbon (C) stocks and CO2 balance to climatic warming. We tested this hypothesis in a 19-year field experiment with factorial treatments of warming and simulated herbivory on the dominant deciduous dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus. Warming was associated with a significantly increased vegetation abundance, with the strongest effect on deciduous dwarf shrubs, resulting in greater rates of both gross ecosystem production (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) as well as increased C stocks. Simulated herbivory increased the abundance of evergreen dwarf shrubs, most importantly Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, which led to a recent shift in the dominant vegetation from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs. Simulated herbivory caused no effect on GEP and ER or the total ecosystem C stocks, indicating that the vegetation shift counteracted the herbivore-induced C loss from the system. A larger proportion of the total ecosystem C stock was found aboveground, rather than belowground, in plots treated with simulated herbivory. We conclude that by providing a competitive advantage to unpalatable plant species with slow growth rates and long life spans, selective herbivory may promote aboveground C stocks in a warming tundra ecosystem and, through this mechanism, counteract C losses that result from plant biomass consumption.

  11. Evaluate the Invasion of dwarf bamboo to alpine snow-meadow in northern Japan based on ground measurement and L-band microwave backscatter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yonemori, Maino; Buho, Hoshino; Kudo, Gaku; Kaneko, Masami; Yabuki, Tetsuo

    Dwarf bamboo (Sasa kurilensis) is extensively increasing the distribution area in the alpine snow-meadow within the wilderness area of the Taisetsu Mountains, northern Japan. This rapid change may be related to the soil desiccation and expansion of annual growing period caused by the recent acceleration of snowmelt time (Kudo et al., 2010). Control the expansion of the dwarf bamboo, first it is necessary to identify spatial distribution of the soil moisture. However, Soil moisture is highly variable both spatially and temporally. In order to estimate soil moisture, extrapolation of much point's ground measurements has been necessary (Wood et al., 1993, Hall, 1996). The theoretical basis for measuring soil moisture by backscattering coefficient (dB) of microwave satellite is based on the large contrast between the dielectric properties of liquid water and of dry soil (Hoshino et al., 2009). The following variables affect the measurement of soil moisture: surface roughness, soil texture, vegetation canopy effects and instrument parameters such as incidence angle, frequency and polarization. With this study, we made a correlation model between backscattering coefficient (dB) and Volumetric Water Content (VWC, %) based extrapolation of point's ground measurements and PALSAR L-band backscatter. However, it did not shows good correlation in the place where dwarf bamboo high density area. Probably it is because the dwarf bamboo cover (surface roughness) plays a dominant role compared to the soil moisture in this case. The degree to which vegetation, both dwarf bamboo and alpine, affects the determination of soil moisture depends on the mass of vegetation and the wavelength. The effect of a rough surface is to increase the surface emissivity and thus to decrease the sensitivity to soil moisture, and, as mentioned earlier, whether or not a surface is smooth depends on the wavelength. But, the microwave backscatter very effectively method for the Taisetuzan Mountains area

  12. Flowering phenology influences seed production and outcrossing rate in populations of an alpine snowbed shrub, Phyllodoce aleutica: effects of pollinators and self-incompatibility

    PubMed Central

    Kameyama, Yoshiaki; Kudo, Gaku

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Because of differences in snowmelt time, the reproductive phenologies of alpine plants are highly variable among local populations, and there is large variation in seed set across populations. Temporal variation in pollinator availability during the season may be a major factor affecting not only seed production but also outcrossing rate of alpine plants. Methods Among local populations of Phyllodoce aleutica that experience different snowmelt regimes, flowering phenology, pollinator availability, seed-set rate, and outcrossing rate were compared with reference to the mating system (self-compatibility or heterospecific compatibility with a co-occurring congeneric species). Key Results Flowering occurred sequentially among populations reflecting snowmelt time from mid-July to late August. The visit frequency of bumble-bees increased substantially in late July when workers appeared. Both seed set and outcrossing rate increased as flowering season progressed. Although flowers were self-compatible and heterospecific compatible, the mixed-pollination experiment revealed that fertilization with conspecific, outcrossing pollen took priority over selfing and hybridization, indicating a cryptic self-incompatibility. In early snowmelt populations, seed production was pollen-limited and autogamous selfing was common. However, genetic analyses revealed that selfed progenies did not contribute to the maintenance of populations due to late-acting inbreeding depression. Conclusions Large variations in seed-set and outcrossing rates among populations were caused by the timing of pollinator availability during the season and the cryptic self-incompatibility of this species. Despite the intensive pollen limitation in part of the early season, reproductive assurance by autogamous selfing was not evident. Under fluctuating conditions of pollinator availability and flowering structures, P. aleutica maintained the genetic composition by conspecific outcrossing. PMID

  13. Phenological indicators derived with CO2 flux, MODIS image and ground monitor at a temperate mixed forest and an alpine shrub

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Leiming; Cao, Peiyu; Li, Shenggong; Yu, Guirui; Zhang, Junhui; Li, Yingnian

    2016-04-01

    To accurately assess the change of phenology and its relationship with ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP) is one of the key issues in context of global change study. In this study, an alpine shrubland meadow in Haibei (HBS) of Qinghai-Tibetan plateau and a broad-leaved Korean pine forest in Changbai Mountain (CBM) of Northeastern China were selected. Based on the long-term GPP from eddy flux measurements and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from remote sensed vegetation index, phenological indicators including the start of growing season (SOS), the end of growing season (EOS), and the growing season length (GSL) since 2003 were derived via multiple methods, and then the influences of phenology variation on GPP were explored. Compared with ground phenology observations of dominant plant species, both GPP- and NDVI-derived SOS and EOS exhibited a similar interannual trend. GPP-derived SOS was quite close to NDVI-derived SOS, but GPP-derived EOS differed significantly from NDVI-derived EOS, and thus leading to a significant difference between GPP- and NDVI-derived GSL. Relative to SOS, EOS presented larger differences between the extraction methods, indicating large uncertainties to accurately define EOS. In general, among the methods used, the threshold methods produced more satisfactory assessment on phenology change. This study highlights that how to harmonize with the flux measurements, remote sensing and ground monitoring are a big challenge that needs further consideration in phenology study, especially the accurate extraction of EOS. Key words: phenological variation, carbon flux, vegetation index, vegetation grwoth, interannual varibility

  14. Tree and shrub expansion over the past 34 years at the tree-line near Abisko, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Rundqvist, Sara; Hedenås, Henrik; Sandström, Anneli; Emanuelsson, Urban; Eriksson, Håkan; Jonasson, Christer; Callaghan, Terry V

    2011-09-01

    Shrubs and trees are expected to expand in the sub-Arctic due to global warming. Our study was conducted in Abisko, sub-arctic Sweden. We recorded the change in coverage of shrub and tree species over a 32- to 34-year period, in three 50 x 50 m plots; in the alpine-tree-line ecotone. The cover of shrubs and trees (<3.5 cm diameter at breast height) were estimated during 2009-2010 and compared with historical documentation from 1976 to 1977. Similarly, all tree stems (> or =3.5 cm) were noted and positions determined. There has been a substantial increase of cover of shrubs and trees, particularly dwarf birch (Betula nana), and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii), and an establishment of aspen (Populus tremula). The other species willows (Salix spp.), juniper (Juniperus communis), and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) revealed inconsistent changes among the plots. Although this study was unable to identify the causes for the change in shrubs and small trees, they are consistent with anticipated changes due to climate change and reduced herbivory.

  15. Shrub tundra snowmelt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pomeroy, J. W.; Bewley, D. S.; Essery, R. L. H.; Hedstrom, N. R.; Link, T.; Granger, R. J.; Sicart, J. E.; Ellis, C. R.; Janowicz, J. R.

    2006-03-01

    Observations of land surface and snowpack energetics and mass fluxes were made over arctic shrub tundra of varying canopy height and density using radiometers, eddy covariance flux measurements, and snow mass changes from snow surveys of depth and density. Over several years, snow accumulation in the shrubs was found to be consistently higher than in sparse tundra due to greater retention of snowfall by all shrubs and wind redistribution of snowfall to tall shrubs. Where snow accumulation was highest due to snow redistribution, shrubs often became buried by the end of winter. Three classes of shrub-snow interactions were observed: tall shrubs that were exposed over snow, tall shrubs that were bent over and buried by snow, and short shrubs buried by snow. Tall shrubs buried by snow underwent spring-up during melt. Though spring-up was episodic for a single shrub, over an area it was a progressive emergence from early to mid melt of vegetation that dramatically altered the radiative and aerodynamic properties of the surface. Short shrubs were exposed more rapidly once snow depth declined below shrub height, usually near the end of melt. Net radiation increased with increasing shrub due to the decreased reflectance of shortwave radiation overwhelming the increased longwave emission from relatively warm and dark shrubs. Net radiation to snow under shrubs was much smaller than that over shrubs, but was greater than that to snow with minimal shrub exposure, in this case the difference was due to downward longwave radiation from the canopy exceeding the effect of attenuated shortwave transmission through the canopy. Because of reduced turbulent transfer under shrub canopies and minimal water vapour contributions from the bare shrub branches, sublimation fluxes declined with increasing shrub exposure. In contrast, sensible heat fluxes to the shrub surface became more negative and those to the underlying snow surface more positive with increasing shrub exposure, because of

  16. Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems: dynamics, impacts and research priorities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Forbes, Bruce C.; Wilmking, Martin; Hallinger, Martin; Lantz, Trevor; Blok, Daan; Tape, Ken D.; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Sass-Klaassen, Ute; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane; Ropars, Pascale; Hermanutz, Luise; Trant, Andrew; Siegwart Collier, Laura; Weijers, Stef; Rozema, Jelte; Rayback, Shelly A.; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Wipf, Sonja; Rixen, Christian; Ménard, Cécile B.; Venn, Susanna; Goetz, Scott; Andreu-Hayles, Laia; Elmendorf, Sarah; Ravolainen, Virve; Welker, Jeffrey; Grogan, Paul; Epstein, Howard E.; Hik, David S.

    2011-12-01

    Recent research using repeat photography, long-term ecological monitoring and dendrochronology has documented shrub expansion in arctic, high-latitude and alpine tundra ecosystems. Here, we (1) synthesize these findings, (2) present a conceptual framework that identifies mechanisms and constraints on shrub increase, (3) explore causes, feedbacks and implications of the increased shrub cover in tundra ecosystems, and (4) address potential lines of investigation for future research. Satellite observations from around the circumpolar Arctic, showing increased productivity, measured as changes in ‘greenness’, have coincided with a general rise in high-latitude air temperatures and have been partly attributed to increases in shrub cover. Studies indicate that warming temperatures, changes in snow cover, altered disturbance regimes as a result of permafrost thaw, tundra fires, and anthropogenic activities or changes in herbivory intensity are all contributing to observed changes in shrub abundance. A large-scale increase in shrub cover will change the structure of tundra ecosystems and alter energy fluxes, regional climate, soil-atmosphere exchange of water, carbon and nutrients, and ecological interactions between species. In order to project future rates of shrub expansion and understand the feedbacks to ecosystem and climate processes, future research should investigate the species or trait-specific responses of shrubs to climate change including: (1) the temperature sensitivity of shrub growth, (2) factors controlling the recruitment of new individuals, and (3) the relative influence of the positive and negative feedbacks involved in shrub expansion.

  17. Effects of experimentally modified soil temperatures and nutrient availability on growth and mycorrhization of Pinus cembra at the alpine treeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruber, Andreas; Peintner, Ursula; Wieser, Gerhard; Oberhuber, Walter

    2015-04-01

    Soil temperature affects litter decomposition, nutrient uptake, root growth and respiration and it is suggested that soil temperature has direct impact on tree growth at the alpine treeline. We have evaluated the impact of experimentally modified soil temperatures and nutrient availability on growth and mycorrhization of Pinus cembra at the treeline in the Central Eastern Alps (c. 2150 m a.s.l., Tyrol, Austria). Soil temperature in the rooting zone of naturally grown c. 25 year old trees (n=6 trees per treatment) was altered by shading and heat-trapping using non-transparent and glasshouse foils mounted c. 20 cm above soil surface. Additional trees were selected for a nitrogen fertilisation treatment and as controls. During the study period, mean soil temperatures at 10 cm depth were reduced by c. 3°C at the cooled vs. warmed plots. Soil moisture was not influenced due to soil water transport along the slope. Results revealed that changed soil temperatures did not significantly affect tree growth, gas exchange, needle nutrient content and specific leaf area. We also found no significant difference in degree of mycorrhization or number of mycorrhized root tips between treatments. On the other hand, nitrogen fertilization and a reduction of interspecific root competition led to significantly raised radial stem growth. Results indicate that tree growth at the selected study area was not limited by soil temperature, while interspecific competition for nutrients among trees and low stature vegetation (dwarf shrubs, grasses) had significant impact. Therefore, we suggest that root competition with alpine grassland and dwarf-shrub communities will hamper temperature driven advance of alpine treeline in the course of climate warming. Acknowledgements This work was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF Project No. P22836-B16, 'Growth response of Pinus cembra to experimentally modified soil temperatures at the treeline').

  18. Palatability of Selected Alpine Plant Litters for the Decomposer Lumbricus rubellus (Lumbricidae)

    PubMed Central

    Rief, Alexander; Knapp, Brigitte A.; Seeber, Julia

    2012-01-01

    On alpine pastureland the decline in large-bodied earthworm numbers and biomass after abandonment of management might be the result of a shift from highly palatable grass litter to poorly digestible leaf litter of dwarf shrubs. To test this hypothesis, we analysed nitrogen, phosphorous and total phenolic contents of fresh and aged litter of eight commonly occuring alpine plant species and compared consumption rates of these food sources in a controlled feeding experiment with Lumbricus rubellus (Lumbricidae). Furthermore, we analysed the microbial community structure of aged litter materials to check for a relationship between the microbial characteristics of the different plant litter types and the food choice of earthworms. Plant litters differed significantly in their chemical composition, earthworms, however, showed no preference for any litter species, but generally rejected fresh litter material. Microbial community structures of the litter types were significantly different, but we could find no evidence for selective feeding of L. rubellus. We conclude that L. rubellus is a widespread, adaptable ubiquist, which is able to feed on a variety of food sources differing in quality and palatability, as long as they have been exposed to wheathering. PMID:23028949

  19. Frost resistance in alpine woody plants.

    PubMed

    Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research. Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover. Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate. In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers, and fruits) and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  20. Frost resistance in alpine woody plants

    PubMed Central

    Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research. Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover. Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate. In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers, and fruits) and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone. PMID:25520725

  1. Spatio-temporal patterns of ptarmigan occupancy relative to shrub cover in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmutz, Joel A.

    2014-01-01

    Rock and willow ptarmigan are abundant herbivores that require shrub habitats in arctic and alpine areas. Shrub expansion is likely to increase winter habitat availability for ptarmigan, which in turn influence shrub architecture and growth through browsing. Despite their ecological role in the Arctic, the distribution and movement patterns of ptarmigan are not well known, particularly in northern Alaska where shrub expansion is occurring. We used multi-season occupancy models to test whether ptarmigan occupancy varied within and among years, and the degree to which colonization and extinction probabilities were related to shrub cover and latitude. Aerial surveys were conducted from March to May in 2011 and April to May 2012 in a 21,230 km2 area in northeastern Alaska. In areas with at least 30 % shrub cover, the probability of colonization by ptarmigan was >0.90, indicating that moderate to extensive patches of shrubs (typically associated with riparian areas) had a high probability of becoming occupied by ptarmigan. Occupancy increased throughout the spring in both years, providing evidence that ptarmigan migrated from southern wintering areas to breeding areas north of the Brooks Range. Occupancy was higher in the moderate snow year than the high snow year, and this was likely due to higher shrub cover in the moderate snow year. Ptarmigan distribution and migration in the Arctic are linked to expanding shrub communities on a wide geographic scale, and these relationships may be shaping ptarmigan population dynamics, as well as rates and patterns of shrub expansion.

  2. Distinct temperature sensitivity among taiga and tundra shrubs in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreu-Hayles, L.; Anchukaitis, K. J.; D'Arrigo, R.

    2014-12-01

    Shrub expansion into Arctic and alpine tundra ecosystems is well documented, mostly over the last 50 years, based on remote sensing data, aerial photography, and in-situ observations. Warming temperatures are considered the main driver of the observed change in shrub vegetation patterns. Here, we assess the relationship between temperatures and shrub growth from five populations of Salix spp. (willow) and Alnus spp. (alder) in Alaska growing within the tundra and the boreal forest (~taiga) using dendrochronological techniques. The three tundra shrub sites are located on the Dalton Highway north from Toolik Lake (~69ºN 148ºW), whereas the two taiga shrub sites are located closer to Fairbanks at the Twelve Mile Summit site (~65ºN 146ºW). Because shrub ages vary among the studied populations lead to different time spans for the ring-width chronologies generated, a common period with available satellite data spanning from 1982 to 2010 was selected for this study. All tundra shrub chronologies shared a strong positive response to summer temperatures despite growing in heterogeneous site conditions and belonging to different species. In contrast, in the taiga, summer temperatures enhance willow growth, whereas alder growth appears almost insensitive to temperature over the interval studied. Extending the analyses back in time, a very strong positive relationship was found between alder ring-width and June temperatures prior to 1970. This phenomenon, a weakening of the previously existing relationship between growth and temperatures, was also detected in white spruce (Picea glauca) growing at the same site, and it is known in the literature as the 'divergence problem'. Thus, at this taiga location, alder shrubs and trees seem to have similar growth patterns. Summer temperatures no longer seem to enhance taiga alder growth. Shrubs of different species exposed to the same climatic conditions can exhibit varied growth responses. The distinct temperature sensitivities

  3. Above- and Belowground Biomass Allocation in Shrub Biomes across the Northeast Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yuanhe; Yang, Lucun; Zhou, Guoying

    2016-01-01

    Biomass partitioning has been explored across various biomes. However, the strategies of allocation in plants still remain contentious. This study investigated allocation patterns of above- and belowground biomass at the community level, using biomass survey from the Tibetan Plateau. We explored above- and belowground biomass by conducting three consecutive sampling campaigns across shrub biomes on the northeast Tibetan Plateau during 2011–2013. We then documented the above-ground biomass (AGB), below-ground biomass (BGB) and root: shoot ratio (R/S) and the relationships between R/S and environment factors using data from 201 plots surveyed from 67 sites. We further examined relationships between above-ground and below-ground biomass across various shrub types. Our results indicated that the median values of AGB, BGB, and R/S in Tibetan shrub were 1102.55, 874.91 g m-2, and 0.85, respectively. R/S showed significant trend with mean annual precipitation (MAP), while decreased with mean annual temperature (MAT). Reduced major axis analysis indicated that the slope of the log-log relationship between above- and belowground biomass revealed a significant difference from 1.0 over space, supporting the optimal hypothesis. Interestingly, the slopes of the allometric relationship between log AGB and log BGB differed significantly between alpine and desert shrub. Our findings supported the optimal theory of above- and belowground biomass partitioning in Tibetan shrub, while the isometric hypothesis for alpine shrub at the community level. PMID:27119379

  4. Modelling basin-scale effects of shrub expansion on snow distribution, turbulent fluxes and soil temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ménard, Cécile; Essery, Richard; Pomeroy, John

    2013-04-01

    The interactions between shrubs, snow and soil are at the core of feedback loops affecting the water, energy and carbon budget at high latitude. Many studies, providing evidence from plot scale measurements to pan-Arctic satellite observations, have shown that shrubs are colonizing higher grounds, both latitudinally and altitudinally, in all countries circling the Arctic. It is therefore critical to understand how these changes may affect snow distribution, water equivalent and soil temperature. Given that shrubs colonize bare ground through the expansion of existing shrub patches, the potential effect of shrub expansion was investigated by selecting a site where shrubs are already in the landscape. Modelled snow distribution, water equivalent, turbulent fluxes and soil temperature under the current vegetation cover was compared to those of runs where cover was modified by 1/ removing all vegetation ("no-shrub") 2/ increasing shrub cover and height as a function of their respective neighbouring cell values ("shrub+"). The study was performed in the Granger Basin, Yukon Territory, Canada, which is situated within a sub-alpine ecozone and characterised by a shrub-tundra landscape. A distributed land surface model which calculates the energy balance over three sources (snow - shrub - ground) within each gridbox was used to investigate these processes. Although much of the snow distribution in the basin is topographically driven, increasing shrub cover and height reduced the spatial variability of snow depth and increased the snow cover fraction. Despite the heat advection from shrubs to snow patches, the basin became snow-free earlier in the control run than in the shrub+ run because of the shading effect of denser canopies. Removing shrubs caused higher latent heat fluxes across the basin both on snow and snow-free tiles whereas adding shrubs homogenized latent heat fluxes and soil temperatures across the basin, following the homogenization of the snow depth. The

  5. Contrasting radiation and soil heat fluxes in Arctic shrub and wet sedge tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juszak, Inge; Eugster, Werner; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-07-01

    Vegetation changes, such as shrub encroachment and wetland expansion, have been observed in many Arctic tundra regions. These changes feed back to permafrost and climate. Permafrost can be protected by soil shading through vegetation as it reduces the amount of solar energy available for thawing. Regional climate can be affected by a reduction in surface albedo as more energy is available for atmospheric and soil heating. Here, we compared the shortwave radiation budget of two common Arctic tundra vegetation types dominated by dwarf shrubs (Betula nana) and wet sedges (Eriophorum angustifolium) in North-East Siberia. We measured time series of the shortwave and longwave radiation budget above the canopy and transmitted radiation below the canopy. Additionally, we quantified soil temperature and heat flux as well as active layer thickness. The mean growing season albedo of dwarf shrubs was 0.15 ± 0.01, for sedges it was higher (0.17 ± 0.02). Dwarf shrub transmittance was 0.36 ± 0.07 on average, and sedge transmittance was 0.28 ± 0.08. The standing dead leaves contributed strongly to the soil shading of wet sedges. Despite a lower albedo and less soil shading, the soil below dwarf shrubs conducted less heat resulting in a 17 cm shallower active layer as compared to sedges. This result was supported by additional, spatially distributed measurements of both vegetation types. Clouds were a major influencing factor for albedo and transmittance, particularly in sedge vegetation. Cloud cover reduced the albedo by 0.01 in dwarf shrubs and by 0.03 in sedges, while transmittance was increased by 0.08 and 0.10 in dwarf shrubs and sedges, respectively. Our results suggest that the observed deeper active layer below wet sedges is not primarily a result of the summer canopy radiation budget. Soil properties, such as soil albedo, moisture, and thermal conductivity, may be more influential, at least in our comparison between dwarf shrub vegetation on relatively dry patches and

  6. Drivers of tall shrub proliferation adjacent to the Dempster Highway, Northwest Territories, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, Emily A.; Lantz, Trevor C.

    2016-04-01

    Arctic ecosystems are undergoing rapid changes as a result of climate warming and more frequent disturbances. Disturbances can have particularly large effects on high-latitude ecosystems when ecosystem structure and function is controlled by strong feedbacks between soil conditions, vegetation, and ground thermal regime. In this study we investigated the impact of road construction and maintenance on vegetation structure and biomass along the Dempster Highway where it crosses the Peel Plateau in the Northwest Territories. To explore drivers of tall shrub proliferation and to quantify shrub proliferation in this region of continuous permafrost, greyscale air photos (1975) and Quickbird satellite imagery (2008) were used to map landcover change within two 0.6 km2 belts next to the road and two 0.6 km2 belts 500 m away from the road. Maps showing areas where: 1) tall shrubs expanded, and 2) dwarf shrub tundra resisted invasion were then used to select field sites where a suite of biophysical variables were measured. Rapid tall shrub proliferation and greater biomass adjacent to the road indicate that disturbance can facilitate vegetation change in tundra environments. Our field data also suggests that increased shrub proliferation adjacent to the road was caused by greater soil moisture. Tall shrub proliferation adjacent to the road occurred at lower elevation sites characterized by wetter soils with thicker organic layers. Areas that resisted tall shrub encroachment were located at higher elevations and had drier soils with thin organic layers. Our observations also support previous work illustrating that tall shrub expansion next to the highway promotes strong positive feedbacks to ongoing shrub growth and proliferation.

  7. Plants in alpine environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Germino, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Alpine and subalpine plant species are of special interest in ecology and ecophysiology because they represent life at the climate limit and changes in their relative abundances can be a bellwether for climate-change impacts. Perennial life forms dominate alpine plant communities, and their form and function reflect various avoidance, tolerance, or resistance strategies to interactions of cold temperature, radiation, wind, and desiccation stresses that prevail in the short growing seasons common (but not ubiquitous) in alpine areas. Plant microclimate is typically uncoupled from the harsh climate of the alpine, often leading to substantially warmer plant temperatures than air temperatures recorded by weather stations. Low atmospheric pressure is the most pervasive, fundamental, and unifying factor for alpine environments, but the resulting decrease in partial pressure of CO2 does not significantly limit carbon gain by alpine plants. Factors such as tree islands and topographic features create strong heterogeneous mosaics of microclimate and snow cover that are reflected in plant community composition. Factors affecting tree establishment and growth and formation of treeline are key to understanding alpine ecology. Carbohydrate and other carbon storage, rapid development in a short growing season, and physiological function at low temperature are prevailing attributes of alpine plants. A major contemporary research theme asks whether chilling at alpine-treeline affects the ability of trees to assimilate the growth resources and particularly carbon needed for growth or whether the growth itself is limited by the alpine environment. Alpine areas tend to be among the best conserved, globally, yet they are increasingly showing response to a range of anthropogenic impacts, such as atmospheric deposition.

  8. Alpine plant community trends on the elk summer range of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado: An analysis of existing data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zeigenfuss, Linda C.

    2006-01-01

    The majority of the elk (Cervus elaphus) population of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado summer in the park’s high-elevation alpine and subalpine meadows and willow krummholz. The park’s population of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus altipetens) depends on both dwarf and krummholz willows for food and cover. Concern about the effects of elk herbivory on these communities prompted the monitoring of 12 vegetation transects in these regions from 1971 to 1996. Over this 25-year period, data were collected on plant species cover and frequency and shrub heights. These data have not been statistically analyzed for trends in the measured variables over time to determine changes in species abundance. Krummholz willow species (Salix planifolia, S. brachycarpa) declined 17–20 percent in cover and about 25 centimeters in height over the study period. Graminoids (particularly Deschampsia caespitosa, Carex, and Poa) increased slightly from 1971 to 1996. No significant increases of nonnative plant species were observed. An increase in presence of bare ground over the 25-year period warrants continued measurement of these transects. Lack of good data on elk density, distribution, or use levels precludes correlating changes in plant species cover, frequency, or heights with elk population trends. I recommend development of a more rigorously designed monitoring program that includes these transects as well as others chosen on a random or stratified design and consistent measurement protocol and sampling intervals. Some method of quantifying elk use, either through measurement of plant utilization, pellet counts, or census-type surveys, would allow correlation of changes in plant species over time with changes in elk distribution and density on the park’s alpine and subalpine regions.

  9. Shrub patterns and surface hydrological fluxes in a semiarid hillslope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svoray, Tal; Sela, Shai; Assouline, Shmuel

    2010-05-01

    Climate-vegetation interactions and feedbacks are the subject of many studies and recently, the rainfall-plant-soil interplay in the hillslope scale is in the foci of ecohydrology. As most of the models in this scale rely on synthetic environments, there is a need for studies that use remotely sensed and in-situ data to examine the effect of hillslope hydrological processes on ecosystem functioning and plant population spread in a more realistic manner. A major problem is the difficulty encountered in simulating water budget and measuring vegetation at the individual level. In this research, a typical hillslope was chosen offering variations in slope decline and orientation, soil depth and vegetation cover, at the LTER Lehavim site in the center of Israel (31020' N, 34045' E). The annual rainfall is 290 mm, the soils are brown lithosols and arid brown loess and the dominant rock formations are Eocenean limestone and chalk with patches of calcrete. The vegetation is characterized by scattered dwarf shrubs (dominant species Sarcopoterium spinosum) and patches of herbaceous vegetation, mostly annuals, are spread between rocks and dwarf shrubs. Eight areal photographs of the slope, between the years 1978-2005, were acquired, georeferenced and shrub cover was estimated based on supervised classification of the airphotos. An extensive spatial database of soil hydraulic and environmental parameters (e.g. slope, radiation, bulk density, soil depth) was measured in the field and interpolated to continuous maps using geostatistical techniques and physically-based modeling. This spatio-temporal database was used to characterize 1187 spatial cells serving as an input to a numeric hydrological model (Hydrus 1D) solving the flow equations to predict soil water content at the single storm and seasonal scales. The model was verified by sampling soil moisture at 63 random locations at the research site, during three consecutive storms in the 2008-09 rainy seasons. The results show

  10. Dwarf novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ladous, Constanze

    1993-01-01

    Dwarf novae are defined on grounds of their semi-regular brightness variations of some two to five magnitudes on time scales of typically 10 to 100 days. Historically several different classification schemes have been used. Today, dwarf novae are divided into three sub-classes: the U Geminorum stars, the SU Ursae Majoris stars, and the Z Camelopardalis stars. Outbursts of dwarf novae occur at semi-periodic intervals of time, typically every 10 to 100 days; amplitudes range from typically 2 to 5 mag. Within certain limits values are characteristic for each object. Relations between the outburst amplitude, or the total energy released during outburst, and the recurrence time have been found, as well as relations between the orbital period and the outburst decay time, the absolute magnitude during outburst maximum, and the widths of long and short outbursts, respectively. Some dwarf novae are known to have suspended their normal outburst activity altogether for a while. They later resumed it without having undergone any observable changes. The optical colors of dwarf novae all are quite similar during outburst, considerably bluer than during the quiescent state. During the outburst cycle, characteristic loops in the two color diagram are performed. At a time resolution on the order of minutes, strictly periodic photometric changes due to orbital motion become visible in the light curves of dwarf novae. These are characteristic for each system. Remarkably little is known about orbital variations during the course of an outburst. On time-scales of minutes and seconds, further more or less periodic types of variability are seen in dwarf novae. Appreciable flux is emitted by dwarf novae at all wavelengths from the X-rays to the longest IR wavelengths, and in some cases even in the radio. Most dwarf novae exhibit strong emission line spectra in the optical and UV during quiescence, although some have only very weak emissions in the optical and/or weak absorptions at UV

  11. Will greater shrub abundance greatly impact tundra surface-atmosphere exchanges of energy and carbon?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, E.; Lafleur, P.

    2015-12-01

    Increasing deciduous shrub abundance, productivity, and range in the Arctic comes with the potential for both negative and positive feedbacks to the climate system. This study presents six seasons of eddy covariance measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) and latent and sensible heat fluxes along a shrub gradient in Canada's Low Arctic. Three flux tower sites with 17, 45, and 64% dwarf birch cover were established within a few kilometers of each other to investigate differences in microclimate, energy and carbon exchanges. As expected, there was greater winter snow depth but less summer soil thaw with greater shrub cover. However, snowmelt timing and speed were usually similar among sites. Despite a reduction in albedo in spring and greater leaf area through summer, latent heat fluxes were consistently lower with greater shrub cover. Offset by small differences in sensible heat fluxes, total seasonal atmospheric heating (combined sensible and latent heat fluxes) was similar among sites. We anticipated greater net uptake of CO2 through the growing season with greater shrub cover. However, that was only the case in some years. There was much more week-to-week and year-to-year variability in CO2 fluxes at the shrubbiest site suggesting photosynthesis and respiration processes were more sensitive to weather variations. Shrub abundance does impact tundra surface-atmosphere exchanges of energy and carbon but these observations also highlight the complexity involved in predicting the net climate feedback effect of current and future Arctic vegetation change.

  12. Canopy storage capacity of xerophytic shrubs in Northwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin-ping; Zhang, Ya-feng; Hu, Rui; Pan, Yan-xia; Berndtsson, Ronny

    2012-08-01

    SummaryThe capacity of shrub canopy water storage is a key factor in controlling the rainfall interception. Thus, it affects a variety of hydrological processes in water-limited arid desert ecosystems. Vast areas of revegetated desert ecosystems in Northwestern China are occupied by shrub and dwarf shrub communities. Yet, data are still scarce regarding their rainwater storage capacity. In this study, simulated rainfall tests were conducted in controlled conditions for three dominant xerophytic shrub types in the arid Tengger Desert. Eight rainfall intensities varying from 1.15 to 11.53 mm h-1 were used to determine the canopy water storage capacity. The simulated rainfall intensities were selected according to the long-term rainfall records in the study area. The results indicate that canopy storage capacity (expressed in water storage per leaf area, canopy projection area, biomass, and volume of shrub respectively) increased exponentially with increase in rainfall intensity for the selected shrubs. Linear relationships were found between canopy storage capacity and leaf area (LA) or leaf area index (LAI), although there was a striking difference in correlation between storage capacity and LA or LAI of Artemisia ordosica compared to Caragana korshinskii and Hedysarum scoparium. This is a result of differences in biometric characteristics, especially canopy morphology between the shrub species. Pearson correlation coefficient indicated that LA and dry biomass are better predictors as compared to canopy projection area and volume of samples for precise estimation of canopy water storage capacity. In terms of unit leaf area, mean storage capacity was 0.39 mm (range of 0.24-0.53 mm), 0.43 mm (range of 0.28-0.60 mm), and 0.61 mm (range of 0.29-0.89 mm) for C. korshinskii, H. scoparium, and A. ordosica, respectively. Correspondingly, divided per unit dry biomass, mean storage capacity was 0.51 g g-1 (range of 0.30-0.70 g g-1), 0.41 g g-1 (range of 0.26-0.57 g g-1), and

  13. Why Be a Shrub? A Basic Model and Hypotheses for the Adaptive Values of a Common Growth Form.

    PubMed

    Götmark, Frank; Götmark, Elin; Jensen, Anna M

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs are multi-stemmed short woody plants, more widespread than trees, important in many ecosystems, neglected in ecology compared to herbs and trees, but currently in focus due to their global expansion. We present a novel model based on scaling relationships and four hypotheses to explain the adaptive significance of shrubs, including a review of the literature with a test of one hypothesis. Our model describes advantages for a small shrub compared to a small tree with the same above-ground woody volume, based on larger cross-sectional stem area, larger area of photosynthetic tissue in bark and stem, larger vascular cambium area, larger epidermis (bark) area, and larger area for sprouting, and faster production of twigs and canopy. These components form our Hypothesis 1 that predicts higher growth rate for a small shrub than a small tree. This prediction was supported by available relevant empirical studies (14 publications). Further, a shrub will produce seeds faster than a tree (Hypothesis 2), multiple stems in shrubs insure future survival and growth if one or more stems die (Hypothesis 3), and three structural traits of short shrub stems improve survival compared to tall tree stems (Hypothesis 4)-all hypotheses have some empirical support. Multi-stemmed trees may be distinguished from shrubs by more upright stems, reducing bending moment. Improved understanding of shrubs can clarify their recent expansion on savannas, grasslands, and alpine heaths. More experiments and other empirical studies, followed by more elaborate models, are needed to understand why the shrub growth form is successful in many habitats. PMID:27507981

  14. Why Be a Shrub? A Basic Model and Hypotheses for the Adaptive Values of a Common Growth Form

    PubMed Central

    Götmark, Frank; Götmark, Elin; Jensen, Anna M.

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs are multi-stemmed short woody plants, more widespread than trees, important in many ecosystems, neglected in ecology compared to herbs and trees, but currently in focus due to their global expansion. We present a novel model based on scaling relationships and four hypotheses to explain the adaptive significance of shrubs, including a review of the literature with a test of one hypothesis. Our model describes advantages for a small shrub compared to a small tree with the same above-ground woody volume, based on larger cross-sectional stem area, larger area of photosynthetic tissue in bark and stem, larger vascular cambium area, larger epidermis (bark) area, and larger area for sprouting, and faster production of twigs and canopy. These components form our Hypothesis 1 that predicts higher growth rate for a small shrub than a small tree. This prediction was supported by available relevant empirical studies (14 publications). Further, a shrub will produce seeds faster than a tree (Hypothesis 2), multiple stems in shrubs insure future survival and growth if one or more stems die (Hypothesis 3), and three structural traits of short shrub stems improve survival compared to tall tree stems (Hypothesis 4)—all hypotheses have some empirical support. Multi-stemmed trees may be distinguished from shrubs by more upright stems, reducing bending moment. Improved understanding of shrubs can clarify their recent expansion on savannas, grasslands, and alpine heaths. More experiments and other empirical studies, followed by more elaborate models, are needed to understand why the shrub growth form is successful in many habitats. PMID:27507981

  15. Variations in the Sensitivity of Shrub Growth to Climate Change along Arctic Environmental and Biotic Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, P. S. A.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Elmendorf, S.; Georges, D.

    2015-12-01

    Despite evidence of rapid shrub expansion at many Arctic sites and the profound effects this has on ecosystem structure, biogeochemical cycling, and land-atmosphere feedbacks in the Arctic, the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. The compilation of 41,576 annual shrub growth measurements made around the Arctic, allowed for the first systematic evaluation of the climate sensitivity of Arctic shrub growth, i.e. the strength of the relationship between annual shrub growth and monthly climate variables. The growth measurements were taken on 1821 plants of 25 species at 37 arctic and alpine sites, either as annual ring widths or as stem increments. We evaluated climate sensitivity of shrub growth for each genus-by-site combination in this data set based on the performance and parameters of linear mixed models that used CRU TS3.21 climate data as predictors of shrub growth between 1950 and 2010. 76% of genus-by-site combinations showed climate sensitive growth, but climate-growth relationships varied with soil moisture, species canopy height, and geographic position within the species ranges. Shrubs growing at sites with more soil moisture showed greater climate sensitivity, suggesting that water availability might limit shrub growth if continued warming isn't matched by a steady increase in soil moisture. Tall shrub species growing at their northern range limit were particularly climate sensitive causing climate sensitivity of shrubs to peak at the transition between Low and High Arctic, where carbon storage in permafrost is greatest. Local and regional studies have documented matching spatial and temporal patterns in dendrochronological measurements and satellite observations of vegetation indices both in boreal and Arctic regions. Yet the circumarctic comparison of patterns in dendrochronological and remote sensing data sets yielded poor levels of agreement. In much of the Arctic, steep environmental gradients generate fine spatial patterns of vegetation

  16. Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s.

    PubMed

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E

    2014-04-01

    Circumpolar expansion of tall shrubs and trees into Arctic tundra is widely thought to be occurring as a result of recent climate warming, but little quantitative evidence exists for northern Siberia, which encompasses the world's largest forest-tundra ecotonal belt. We quantified changes in tall shrub and tree canopy cover in 11, widely distributed Siberian ecotonal landscapes by comparing very high-resolution photography from the Cold War-era 'Gambit' and 'Corona' satellite surveillance systems (1965-1969) with modern imagery. We also analyzed within-landscape patterns of vegetation change to evaluate the susceptibility of different landscape components to tall shrub and tree increase. The total cover of tall shrubs and trees increased in nine of 11 ecotones. In northwest Siberia, alder (Alnus) shrubland cover increased 5.3-25.9% in five ecotones. In Taymyr and Yakutia, larch (Larix) cover increased 3.0-6.7% within three ecotones, but declined 16.8% at a fourth ecotone due to thaw of ice-rich permafrost. In Chukotka, the total cover of alder and dwarf pine (Pinus) increased 6.1% within one ecotone and was little changed at a second ecotone. Within most landscapes, shrub and tree increase was linked to specific geomorphic settings, especially those with active disturbance regimes such as permafrost patterned-ground, floodplains, and colluvial hillslopes. Mean summer temperatures increased at most ecotones since the mid-1960s, but rates of shrub and tree canopy cover expansion were not strongly correlated with temperature trends and were better correlated with mean annual precipitation. We conclude that shrub and tree cover is increasing in tundra ecotones across most of northern Siberia, but rates of increase vary widely regionally and at the landscape scale. Our results indicate that extensive changes can occur within decades in moist, shrub-dominated ecotones, as in northwest Siberia, while changes are likely to occur much more slowly in the highly continental

  17. Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s.

    PubMed

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E

    2014-04-01

    Circumpolar expansion of tall shrubs and trees into Arctic tundra is widely thought to be occurring as a result of recent climate warming, but little quantitative evidence exists for northern Siberia, which encompasses the world's largest forest-tundra ecotonal belt. We quantified changes in tall shrub and tree canopy cover in 11, widely distributed Siberian ecotonal landscapes by comparing very high-resolution photography from the Cold War-era 'Gambit' and 'Corona' satellite surveillance systems (1965-1969) with modern imagery. We also analyzed within-landscape patterns of vegetation change to evaluate the susceptibility of different landscape components to tall shrub and tree increase. The total cover of tall shrubs and trees increased in nine of 11 ecotones. In northwest Siberia, alder (Alnus) shrubland cover increased 5.3-25.9% in five ecotones. In Taymyr and Yakutia, larch (Larix) cover increased 3.0-6.7% within three ecotones, but declined 16.8% at a fourth ecotone due to thaw of ice-rich permafrost. In Chukotka, the total cover of alder and dwarf pine (Pinus) increased 6.1% within one ecotone and was little changed at a second ecotone. Within most landscapes, shrub and tree increase was linked to specific geomorphic settings, especially those with active disturbance regimes such as permafrost patterned-ground, floodplains, and colluvial hillslopes. Mean summer temperatures increased at most ecotones since the mid-1960s, but rates of shrub and tree canopy cover expansion were not strongly correlated with temperature trends and were better correlated with mean annual precipitation. We conclude that shrub and tree cover is increasing in tundra ecotones across most of northern Siberia, but rates of increase vary widely regionally and at the landscape scale. Our results indicate that extensive changes can occur within decades in moist, shrub-dominated ecotones, as in northwest Siberia, while changes are likely to occur much more slowly in the highly continental

  18. Soil warming and CO2 enrichment induce biomass shifts in alpine tree line vegetation.

    PubMed

    Dawes, Melissa A; Philipson, Christopher D; Fonti, Patrick; Bebi, Peter; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Hagedorn, Frank; Rixen, Christian

    2015-05-01

    Responses of alpine tree line ecosystems to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global warming are poorly understood. We used an experiment at the Swiss tree line to investigate changes in vegetation biomass after 9 years of free air CO2 enrichment (+200 ppm; 2001-2009) and 6 years of soil warming (+4 °C; 2007-2012). The study contained two key tree line species, Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata, both approximately 40 years old, growing in heath vegetation dominated by dwarf shrubs. In 2012, we harvested and measured biomass of all trees (including root systems), above-ground understorey vegetation and fine roots. Overall, soil warming had clearer effects on plant biomass than CO2 enrichment, and there were no interactive effects between treatments. Total plant biomass increased in warmed plots containing Pinus but not in those with Larix. This response was driven by changes in tree mass (+50%), which contributed an average of 84% (5.7 kg m(-2) ) of total plant mass. Pinus coarse root mass was especially enhanced by warming (+100%), yielding an increased root mass fraction. Elevated CO2 led to an increased relative growth rate of Larix stem basal area but no change in the final biomass of either tree species. Total understorey above-ground mass was not altered by soil warming or elevated CO2 . However, Vaccinium myrtillus mass increased with both treatments, graminoid mass declined with warming, and forb and nonvascular plant (moss and lichen) mass decreased with both treatments. Fine roots showed a substantial reduction under soil warming (-40% for all roots <2 mm in diameter at 0-20 cm soil depth) but no change with CO2 enrichment. Our findings suggest that enhanced overall productivity and shifts in biomass allocation will occur at the tree line, particularly with global warming. However, individual species and functional groups will respond differently to these environmental changes, with consequences for ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID

  19. Soil warming and CO2 enrichment induce biomass shifts in alpine tree line vegetation.

    PubMed

    Dawes, Melissa A; Philipson, Christopher D; Fonti, Patrick; Bebi, Peter; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Hagedorn, Frank; Rixen, Christian

    2015-05-01

    Responses of alpine tree line ecosystems to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global warming are poorly understood. We used an experiment at the Swiss tree line to investigate changes in vegetation biomass after 9 years of free air CO2 enrichment (+200 ppm; 2001-2009) and 6 years of soil warming (+4 °C; 2007-2012). The study contained two key tree line species, Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata, both approximately 40 years old, growing in heath vegetation dominated by dwarf shrubs. In 2012, we harvested and measured biomass of all trees (including root systems), above-ground understorey vegetation and fine roots. Overall, soil warming had clearer effects on plant biomass than CO2 enrichment, and there were no interactive effects between treatments. Total plant biomass increased in warmed plots containing Pinus but not in those with Larix. This response was driven by changes in tree mass (+50%), which contributed an average of 84% (5.7 kg m(-2) ) of total plant mass. Pinus coarse root mass was especially enhanced by warming (+100%), yielding an increased root mass fraction. Elevated CO2 led to an increased relative growth rate of Larix stem basal area but no change in the final biomass of either tree species. Total understorey above-ground mass was not altered by soil warming or elevated CO2 . However, Vaccinium myrtillus mass increased with both treatments, graminoid mass declined with warming, and forb and nonvascular plant (moss and lichen) mass decreased with both treatments. Fine roots showed a substantial reduction under soil warming (-40% for all roots <2 mm in diameter at 0-20 cm soil depth) but no change with CO2 enrichment. Our findings suggest that enhanced overall productivity and shifts in biomass allocation will occur at the tree line, particularly with global warming. However, individual species and functional groups will respond differently to these environmental changes, with consequences for ecosystem structure and functioning.

  20. Are low altitude alpine tundra ecosystems under threat? A case study from the Parc National de la Gaspésie, Québec

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumais, Catherine; Ropars, Pascale; Denis, Marie-Pier; Dufour-Tremblay, Geneviève; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2014-09-01

    According to the 2007 IPCC report, the alpine tundra ecosystems found on low mountains of the northern hemisphere are amongst the most threatened by climate change. A treeline advance or a significant erect shrub expansion could result in increased competition for the arctic-alpine species usually found on mountaintops and eventually lead to their local extinction. The objectives of our study were to identify recent changes in the cover and growth of erect woody vegetation in the alpine tundra of Mont de la Passe, in the Parc National de la Gaspésie (Québec, Canada). The comparison of two orthorectified aerial photos revealed no significant shift of the treeline between 1975 and 2004. During the same period however, shrub species cover increased from 20.2% to 30.4% in the lower alpine zone. Dendrochronological analyses conducted on Betula glandulosa Michx. sampled at three different positions along an altitudinal gradient (low, intermediate and high alpine zone) revealed that the climatic determinants of B. glandulosa radial growth become more complex with increasing altitude. In the lower alpine zone, B. glandulosa radial growth is only significantly associated positively to July temperature. In the intermediate alpine zone, radial growth is associated positively to July temperature but negatively to March temperature. In the high alpine zone, radial growth is positively associated to January, July and August temperature but negatively to March temperature. The positive association between summer temperatures and radial growth suggests that B. glandulosa could potentially benefit from warmer temperatures, a phenomenon that could lead to an increase in its cover over the next few decades. Although alpine tundra vegetation is not threatened in the short-term in the Parc National de la Gaspésie, erect shrub cover, especially B. glandulosa, could likely increase in the near future, threatening the local arctic-alpine flora.

  1. Within-population spatial variation in pollinator visitation rates, pollen limitation on seed set, and flower longevity in an alpine species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundemo, Sverre; Totland, Ørjan

    2007-11-01

    Pollen limitation through insufficient pollen deposition on stigmas caused by too infrequent pollinator visitation may influence the reproductive outcome of plants. In this study we investigated how pollinator visitation rate, the degree of pollen limitation, and flower longevity varied spatially among three sites at different altitudes within a population of the dwarf shrub Dryas octopetala L. in alpine southern Norway. Significant pollen limitation on seed set only occurred at the mid-elevation site, while seed set at the other sites appeared to be mainly resource limited, thus indicating a spatial variation in pollen limitation. There was no association between the spatial variation in the extent of pollen limitation and pollinator visitation rate to flowers. However, pollinator visitation rates were related to flower longevity of Dryas; sites with low visitation rates had long-lived flowers and vice versa. Thus, our results suggest within-population spatial co-variation between pollinator visitation rates, pollen limitation, and a developmental response to these factors, flower longevity.

  2. Hazards of alpine sport.

    PubMed

    Robinson, M

    1991-07-01

    Alpine sports in Australia include downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and tobogganing. Despite a popular impression that the sport is risky the injury rate is low and there has been a large decrease in injuries relative to increased participation in the past 20 years. Nevertheless, more young skiers are sustaining injuries, many of which could be avoided.

  3. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low Arctic shrub tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.

    2015-03-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (56°34´ N; 76°29´ W) and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at 4 heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time-evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. Shrubs are observed to have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevents snow compaction and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  4. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low-Arctic shrub tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.; Arnaud, L.

    2015-06-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low-Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (N56°34'; W76°29') and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at four heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events in the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. We conclude that shrubs have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevent snow compaction, and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  5. Land use and surface process domains on alpine hillslopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Shrubs and trees are generally considered to protect hillslopes from erosion. As a consequence, shrub encroachment on mountain pastures after abandoning grazing is not considered a threat to soils. However, the abandonment of mown or grazed grasslands causes a shift in vegetation composition and thus a change in landscape ecology and geomorphology. On many alpine slopes, current changes in land use and vegetation cover are accompanied by climate change, potentially generating a new geomorphic regime. Most of the debate focuses on the effect of land abandonment on water erosion rates. Generally, an established perennial vegetation cover improves the mechanical anchoring of the soil and the regulation of the soil water budget, including runoff generation and erosion. However, changing vegetation composition affects many other above- and below-ground properties like root density, -diversity and -geometry, soil structure, pore volume and acidity. Each combination of these properties can lead to a distinct scenario of dominating surface processes, often not reflected by common erosion risk assessment procedures. The study of soil properties along a chronosequence of green alder (alnusviridis) encroachment on the Unteralptal in central Switzerland reveals that shrub encroachment changes soil and vegetation properties towards an increase of resistance to run-off related erosion processes, but a decrease of slope stability against shallow landslides. The latter are a particular threat because of the currently increasing frequency of slide-triggering high magnitude rainfalls. The potential change of process domain on alpine pastures highlights the need for a careful use of erosion models when assessing future land use and climate scenarios. In mountains, but also other intensively managed agricultural landscapes, risk assessment without the appropriate reflection on the shifting relevance of surface processes carries the risk of missing future threats to environmental

  6. Naming Disney's Dwarfs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sidwell, Robert T.

    1980-01-01

    Discusses Disney's version of the folkloric dwarfs in his production of "Snow White" and weighs the Disney rendition of the dwarf figure against the corpus of traits and behaviors pertaining to dwarfs in traditional folklore. Concludes that Disney's dwarfs are "anthropologically true." (HOD)

  7. 137Cs re-sampling as a method for soil erosion assessment in Alpine grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arata, Laura; Meusburger, Katrin; Bissig, Nicole; Mabit, Lionel; Alewell, Christine

    2014-05-01

    Over the past decades, radioactive fallout 137Cs has been used as a tracer to provide information on soil erosion and sedimentation rates. However, the method may produce relatively large uncertainties in Alpine grasslands. The latter difficulties are caused by a combination of (i) the heterogeneous distribution of atmospheric 137Cs Chernobyl fallout, (ii) the partly snow covered ground in Alpine areas during the fallout event in April 1986, which results in inhomogeneous 137Cs distribution during snow melt and (iii) uncertainties in finding undisturbed references sites in the geomorphological and anthropogenic highly active slopes of the Alps. To overcome these difficulties, our aim is to replace the classical 137Cs approach, where an undisturbed reference site is compared to erosional sites, with a re-sampling approach, where we re-sample sites which have already been measured for 137Cs inventories in the past. Thus, we use temporal instead of spatial reference. The study area is located in the Central Swiss Alps in the Urseren Valley. Potential erosional sites have been sampled in 2007 and re-sampled in 2012. Two different grassland types were investigated: hayfield (2 sites) and pasture without dwarf shrubs (3 sites). For each site, 4 to 9 sampling points have been defined, and at each point two soil samples have been collected. To reduce the random error, the two soil samples were bulked prior to gamma-analysis. 137Cs inventories of the two sampling years were calculated and used to assess recent soil erosion in the experimental sites. Our results show that within the 5 years measurable soil erosion and deposition processes have occurred within the sites, as indicated by the relevant difference between the 137Cs inventories of 2007 and 2012. 64% of the sites exhibit a decrease in 137Cs inventories, 20% of the sites an increase, and the remaining 16% no significant difference. In particular, hayfield sites have been affected by erosion processes, mostly due to

  8. Effects of surface characteristics on infiltration patterns in an arid shrub desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin-Ping; Li, Xin-Rong; Xiao, Hong-Lang; Berndtsson, Ronny; Pan, Yan-Xia

    2007-01-01

    Precipitation is often the sole source of water replenishment in arid and semi-arid areas and, thus, plays a pertinent role in sustaining desert ecosystems. Revegetation over 40 years using mainly Artemisia ordosica and Caragana korshinskii at Shapotou Desert Experimental Research Station near Lanzhou, China, has established a dwarf-shrub and microbiotic soil crust cover on the stabilized sand dunes. The redistribution of infiltrated moisture through percolation, root extraction, and evapotranspiration pathways was investigated. Three sets of time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probes were inserted horizontally at 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 cm depths below the ground surface in a soil pit. The three sets of TDR probes were installed in dwarf-shrub sites of A. ordosica and C. korshinskii community with and without a microbiotic soil crust cover, and an additional set was placed in a bare sand dune area that had neither vegetation nor a microbiotic soil crust present. Volumetric soil moisture content was recorded at hourly intervals and used in the assessment of infiltration for the different surface covers. Infiltration varied greatly, from 7.5 cm to more than 45 cm, depending upon rainfall quantity and soil surface conditions. In the shrub community area without microbiotic soil crust cover, infiltration increased due to preferential flow associated with root tunnels. The microbiotic soil crust cover had a significant negative influence on the infiltration for small rainfall events (10 mm), restricting the infiltration depth to less than 20 cm and increasing soil moisture content just beneath the soil profile of 10 cm, whereas it was not as strong or clear for larger rainfall events (60 mm). For small rainfall events, the wetting front depth for the three kinds of surface cover was as follows: shrub community without microbiotic soil crust > bare area > shrub community with microbiotic soil crust. In contrast, for large rainfall events, infiltration was similar in shrub

  9. What are the patterns of carbon allocation in Arctic shrub tundra: do species differ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Street, Lorna; Subke, Jens-Arne; Baxter, Robert; Billett, Mike; Dinsmore, Kerry; Lessels, Jason; Wookey, Philip

    2014-05-01

    Arctic "greening" is now a well-accepted phenomenon; multiple lines of evidence suggest that plant productivity has increased, driven by increases in shrub abundance. There is very little understanding, however, of how this "shrubification" will impact biogeochemical cycling, including the allocation and turnover of carbon. Recent research has shown, for example, that greater plant productivity is not necessary associated with greater ecosystem C storage. Proliferation of a number of shrub species has been observed in different regions; for example increased willow growth in Arctic Russia, as opposed to primarily alder expansion in NW Canada, where stem density increased 68 % between 1968 and 2004. The degree to which shrub type will determine the impacts of shrub expansion on the carbon cycle is unknown. We use 13C pulse-labelling to trace the fate of recently photosynthesised carbon in vegetation dominated by two common Arctic shrubs, Betula nana (dwarf birch) and Alnus viridis (green alder) just above the Arctic treeline in NW Canada. We quantify the amount of 13C assimilated, and the proportion of assimilate returned to the atmosphere via respiration versus that allocated to plant tissues. This enables an analysis of the contrasting carbon-use-efficiencies and aboveground versus belowground allocation patterns in the two vegetation types. We use these novel field data to address the hypothesis that belowground C allocation in A. viridis (a symbiotic nitrogen fixing species) is a smaller proportion of total C assimilation, as this species supports less extensive ectomycorrhizal networks compared to B. nana. This is the first tracer study of carbon allocation in N-fixing and non-N-fixing vegetation types in a natural system and provides crucial data for predictive modelling of the Arctic carbon cycle.

  10. Increasing NDVI values in northern Alaska: studies that mix shrub density, spectral and CO2 exchange measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson-Smith, A.; Lewis, A.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Delineating the mechanisms and consequences of changes in tundra landscapes is central to predicting the functional ecology of Alaska in the 21st Century. Evidence has been mounting during the last decade that shrub communities are expanding in the Arctic and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values which measure surface greenness are rising. Several studies have suggested that NDVI increases are being driven by increases in shrub abundance. While it is clear that NDVI has increased across vegetation types, it is not clear that NDVI values are increasing in moist acidic tundra (MAT), the most extensive vegetation type in arctic Alaska and the one most likely to be changed by global warming. The MAT is important to large mammal herbivores such as caribou which provide subsistence for indigenous people. The focus of this research was to determine what rising NDVI values actually mean in the MAT. The degree to which tundra community composition affects NDVI is still very poorly understood. In order to clarify the role of shrub encroachment per se as opposed to other functional groups in driving increases in NDVI, we measured functional group composition in moist acidic tundra in conjunction with hand-held measures of NDVI and direct CO2 exchange measurements to explicitly link spectral properties, shrub, graminoid and bryophyte density and trace gas feedbacks to atmospheric chemistry. Point frame data shows a shrub coverage of Betula nana (Dwarf Birch) and Salix pulchra (Diamond Leaf Willow) combined of 5% to 35% in MAT. Our results seem to indicate that high shrub density (>30%) corresponds to peak season NDVI values greater than .75 whereas low shrub density correspond to values below .65 (R2=.66). Furthermore, NDVI is closely correlated with canopy leaf area and greater leaf area is associated with higher rates of gross and net ecosystem CO2 uptake.

  11. Cold ecosystems in a warmer climate: carbon fluxes at the alpine treeline under experimental soil warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wipf, Sonja; Hagedorn, Frank; Martin, Melissa

    2010-05-01

    The impact of climatic warming on the C balance of terrestrial ecosystems is uncertain because rising temperature increases both C gains through net primary production, but also respiratory C losses. 'Cold' ecosystems such as treeline ecotones will respond particularly sensitive to climatic changes because many processes are limited by temperature and soils store particular large amounts of labile soil organic matter. In our study, we investigate ecosystem responses to 9 years of elevated atmospheric CO2 and to 3 years of experimental soil warming by 4° C. The added CO2 contains another δ13C signature than normal air, which allows the tracing of new carbon through the plant and soil system. This provides new insight into carbon cycling at the treeline and it shows which C flux respond most sensitive to climatic changes. Results showed that soil warming increased soil CO2 effluxes instantaneously and persisted for at least three vegetation periods (+35-45%; +80 to 120 g C m y-1). In contrast, DOC leaching showed a negligible response of less than 5% increase. Annual C uptake of new shoots was not significantly affected by elevated soil temperatures, with a 10 to 20% increase for larch, pine, and dwarf shrubs, respectively, resulting in an overall increase in net C uptake by plants of 20 to 40 g C m-2y-1. The Q10 of 3.0 measured for soil respiration did not change compared to a three-year period before the warming treatment started, suggesting little impact of warming-induced lower soil moisture (-15% relative decrease) or a depletion in labile soil C. The fraction of recent plant-derived C in soil respired CO2 from warmed soils was smaller than that from control soils (25 vs. 40% of total C respired), which implies that the warming-induced increase in soil CO2 efflux resulted mainly from mineralization of older SOM rather than from stimulated root respiration. In summary, the 4 ° C soil warming led to C losses from the studied alpine treeline ecosystem by

  12. Nye Lecture: Snow Crystals, Shrubs, and the Changing Climate of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturm, M.

    2005-12-01

    At the peak of winter, snow covers more than 45 million km2 of the northern hemisphere. More than 90 percent of this snow will melt before the end of the following summer. In the southern part of this snow-covered area, the seasonal pack is ephemeral, lasting but a few short weeks, but with increasing latitude (or altitude), it lasts much longer. In arctic and alpine locations it can persist for 9 months of the year. In these more extreme locations, the snow is an essential element of the ecosystem, both acting upon, and being acted on, by the biota. For historical reasons, our understanding of snow cover and its interactions has come from two disparate scientific sources: geophysicists working on glaciers and avalanches who were trying to understand snow properties and to develop a physical basis for snow science, and ecologists who were trying to understand the impact of snow on plants, animals, and humans. With the recognition now that snow is both a passive and active agent, we are seeing an increasing number of studies wherein both of these traditional approaches are combined. Geophysicists are learning the Latin names of shrubs while botanist can now identify wind slab. A personal example that illustrates the necessity of this melding process has been our effort to understand the climatic implications of Arctic snow-shrub interactions. We have had to combine traditional snow geophysical studies (i.e., crystal growth, thermal processes, light reflection) with traditional ecological studies (i.e., competition, carbon and nitrogen cycling). Through this process we have discovered that snow-shrub interactions, or more broadly, snow-vegetation interactions, are helping to push the Arctic down a warming trajectory that has global implications. Soil microbes and snow crystals, wind-blown snow and shrubs, are all leading actors in a climate change drama whose outcome is of concern to us all.

  13. Shrub canopies influence soil temperatures but not nutrient dynamics: An experimental test of tundra snow-shrub interactions.

    PubMed

    Myers-Smith, Isla H; Hik, David S

    2013-10-01

    Shrubs are the largest plant life form in tundra ecosystems; therefore, any changes in the abundance of shrubs will feedback to influence biodiversity, ecosystem function, and climate. The snow-shrub hypothesis asserts that shrub canopies trap snow and insulate soils in winter, increasing the rates of nutrient cycling to create a positive feedback to shrub expansion. However, previous work has not been able to separate the abiotic from the biotic influences of shrub canopies. We conducted a 3-year factorial experiment to determine the influences of canopies on soil temperatures and nutrient cycling parameters by removing ∼0.5 m high willow (Salix spp.) and birch (Betula glandulosa) shrubs, creating artificial shrub canopies and comparing these manipulations to nearby open tundra and shrub patches. Soil temperatures were 4-5°C warmer in January, and 2°C cooler in July under shrub cover. Natural shrub plots had 14-33 cm more snow in January than adjacent open tundra plots. Snow cover and soil temperatures were similar in the manipulated plots when compared with the respective unmanipulated treatments, indicating that shrub canopy cover was a dominant factor influencing the soil thermal regime. Conversely, we found no strong evidence of increased soil decomposition, CO2 fluxes, or nitrate or ammonia adsorbtion under artificial shrub canopy treatments when compared with unmanipulated open tundra. Our results suggest that the abiotic influences of shrub canopy cover alone on nutrient dynamics are weaker than previously asserted.

  14. Significance of brown dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Black, D. C.

    1986-01-01

    The significance of brown dwarfs for resolving some major problems in astronomy is discussed. The importance of brown dwarfs for models of star formation by fragmentation of molecular clouds and for obtaining independent measurements of the ages of stars in binary systems is addressed. The relationship of brown dwarfs to planets is considered.

  15. Breeding Lyonia and Leucothoe, native evergreen shrubs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native evergreen shrubs that thrive in shade are typically limited to specific hollies and azaleas. Few evergreen ornamental plants tolerate deep shade and humidity in the south. Several species of Lyonia and Leucothoe thrive in partial to full shade and tolerate a wide variety of soil and environme...

  16. SHRUB BATTLE: Understanding the Making of Landscape

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Depigny, Sylvain; Michelin, Yves

    2007-01-01

    Landscape changes in Europe's rural areas seem to generate a more visible impact. This trend raises new questions on rural management and brings about a conflict between farmers' land-use patterns and public expectations, which are often exclusively based on esthetics. The aim of the SHRUB BATTLE board game is to help tutors make future rural…

  17. Why trees and shrubs but rarely trubs?

    PubMed

    Scheffer, Marten; Vergnon, Remi; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Hantson, Stijn; Holmgren, Milena; van Nes, Egbert H; Xu, Chi

    2014-08-01

    An analysis of the maximum height of woody plant species across the globe reveals that an intermediate size is remarkably rare. We speculate that this may be due to intrinsic suboptimality or to ecosystem bistability with open landscapes favouring shrubs, and closed canopies propelling trees to excessive tallness. PMID:24951396

  18. Shrub control by browsing: Targeting adult plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silveira Pontes, Laíse; Magda, Danièle; Gleizes, Benoît; Agreil, Cyril

    2016-01-01

    Reconciling the well known benefits of shrubs for forage with environmental goals, whilst preventing their dominance, is a major challenge in rangeland management. Browsing may be an economical solution for shrubby rangelands as herbivore browsing has been shown to control juvenile shrub growth. Less convincing results have been obtained for adult plants, and long-term experiments are required to investigate the cumulative effects on adult plants. We therefore assessed the impact of different levels of browsing intensity on key demographic parameters for a major dominant shrub species (broom, Cytisus scoparius), focusing on adult plants. We assigned individual broom plants to one of three age classes: 3-5 years (young adults); 5-7 years (adults); and 7-9 years (mature adults). These plants were then left untouched or had 50% or 90% of their total edible stem biomass removed in simulated low-intensity and high-intensity browsing treatments, respectively. Morphological, survival and fecundity data were collected over a period of four years. Browsing affected the morphology of individual plants, promoting changes in subsequent regrowth, and decreasing seed production. The heavily browsed plants were 17% shorter, 32% narrower, and their twigs were 28% shorter. Light browsing seemed to control the growth of young adult plants more effectively than that of older plants. Reproductive output was considerably lower than for control plants after light browsing, and almost 100% lower after heavy browsing. High-intensity browsing had a major effect on survival causing high levels of plant mortality. We conclude that suitable browsing practices could be used to modify adult shrub demography in the management of shrub dominance and forage value.

  19. Expansion of dwarf birch in subarctic Québec: linking radial growth to climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ropars, P.; Boudreau, S.

    2010-12-01

    In subarctic regions of North America, shrub species have been shown to increase in abundance in response to recent climate change. At the forest-tundra ecotone in northern Québec, the shrub layer is dominated by dwarf birch (Betula glandulosa Michx.), a deciduous species that can reproduce sexually via the production of viable seeds or asexually through clonal growth. Its morphological plasticity is often mentioned to explain its high sensibility to experimental warming. In this study, our objectives were to evaluate if recent warming recorded in subarctic Québec has resulted in dwarf birch expansion and densification in the last few decades and in an increase in its radial growth. This study took place in the Boniface river region, Nunavik (57° 45’ N, 76° 20’ W). In order to quantify the change in birch cover, we compared two sets of orthorectified aerial photographs (July 1957 and July 2008; resolution 1.0m and 0.5m, respectively). Fifty sites located on well-drained substrate ranging from 8 000 and 14 400 m2 have been selected. For each site, a 16m2-cell grid was superimposed on both orthoimages and shrub cover class was estimated in each cells. Preliminary results suggest that shrub cover increase ranges from 17.02 to 54.03%. No site showed a decrease of mean shrub cover between 1957 and 2008. On the other hand, we have found a decline in the percentage of cells having no shrub cover, from 46% in 1957 to 17% in 2008. An exhaustive ground truthing exercise confirmed that Betula glandulosa was the major shrub species responsible for the increase in shrub cover in the studied sites. The rapid expansion and densification of the shrub layer could have important ecological consequences in the region. Dense thickets of dwarf birch could actually interfere with future tree establishment and limit the progression of the latitudinal treeline in the short term. The dendrochronological analysis is based on 360 individuals of dwarf birch (40 individuals taken from

  20. [Soil faunal diversity under typical alpine vegetations in West Sichuan].

    PubMed

    Huang, Xu; Wen, Wei-Quan; Zhang, Jian; Yang, Wan-Qin; Liu, Yang; Yan, Bang-Guo; Huang, Yu-Mei

    2010-01-01

    In order to understand the variations of soil faunal diversity under different natural alpine vegetations in West Sichuan, an investigation was made on the soil faunal communities under alpine coniferous forest, shrub, and meadow from August 2008 to June 2009. A total of 48343 individuals were collected, belonging to 7 phyla, 16 classes, 31 orders and 117 families. There was a great difference in the dominant groups of soil macro-fauna, and a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the number of soil faunal groups under different vegetations. Both the individual density and the group number of soil fauna decreased obviously with increasing soil depth, and were significantly higher (P < 0.01) in moss layer than in litter layer in coniferous forest. Significant difference (P < 0.01) was also observed in the density-group index among the three vegetations. The maximum biomass of soil macro-fauna was found in June. Jacard indices indicated that disturbed meadow had the lowest similarity of soil faunal community with the other vegetations. It was suggested that vegetation type had significant effects on the community structure of soil fauna, while aspect, altitude, and disturbance also had definite effects.

  1. Design of alpine skis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordt, Alison Audrey

    Models were developed to calculate the mechanical properties and the turning characteristics of alpine skis. The skis considered are constructed of layers of materials which may include wood, foam, metal, plastics, and fiber reinforced composites. The ski may be manufactured with or without camber and sidecut. The first model, and the corresponding SKI-MECH computer code, yields the mass, the bending and torsional stiffness distributions along the length, the flex, the twist, the natural frequencies, and the pressure distribution along the base of the ski. The second model, and the corresponding SKI-TURN code, simulates the motion of a skier of given height, weight, and skill level going down a smooth slope while executing a constant radius turn. The computer code provides the time it requires the skier to complete the turn. Both the SKI-MECH and SKI-TURN codes were verified by comparing the outputs of these codes to laboratory data and to data generated by skiers executing turns on a hill. The results of the model and the data are in good agreement lending confidence to the models and the computer codes. Numerical results are also presented which illustrate the usefulness of the computer codes for assessing the performance of skis and shed light on the role sidecut plays in affecting an efficient turn.

  2. Tolerance of an Expanding Subarctic Shrub, Betula glandulosa, to Simulated Caribou Browsing

    PubMed Central

    Champagne, Emilie; Tremblay, Jean-Pierre; Côté, Steeve D.

    2012-01-01

    Densification of the shrub layer has been reported in many subarctic regions, raising questions about the implication for large herbivores and their resources. Shrubs can tolerate browsing and their level of tolerance could be affected by browsing and soils productivity, eventually modifying resource availability for the caribou. Our objective was to assess the compensatory growth potential of a subarctic shrub, Betula glandulosa Michx., in relation with caribou browsing and nutriment availability for the plants. We used a simulated browsing (0, 25 and 75% of available shoots) and nitrogen-fertilisation (0 and 10 g m−2) experiment to test two main hypotheses linking tolerance to resource availability, the Compensatory Continuum Hypothesis and the Growth Rate Hypothesis as well as the predictions from the Limiting Resource Model. We seek to explicitly integrate the relative browsing pressure in our predictions since the amount of tissues removed could affect the capacity of long-lived plants to compensate. Birches fully compensated for moderate browsing with an overall leaf biomass similar to unbrowsed birches but undercompensated under heavy browsing pressure. The main mechanism explaining compensation appears to be the conversion of short shoots into long shoots. The leaf area increased under heavy browsing pressure but only led to undercompensation. Fertilisation for two consecutive years did not influence the response of birch, thus we conclude that our results support the LRM hypothesis of equal tolerance under both high and low nitrogen availability. Our results highlight that the potential for compensatory growth in dwarf birch is surpassed under heavy browsing pressure independently of the fertilisation regime. In the context of the worldwide decline in caribou herds, the reduction in browsing pressure could act synergistically with global climate change to promote the current shrub expansion reported in subarctic regions. PMID:23272191

  3. Alpine Skiing in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mendez-Gimenez, Antonio; Fernandez-Rio, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Many students settle indoors in the winter. However, this does not mean that winter should be a period of time with no physical activity. Several snow activities could be practiced during those months, such as ice-skating, ice-hockey, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, or snowboarding. In order to counteract the tendency for…

  4. Chernobyl fallout on Alpine glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Ambach, W.; Rehwald, W.; Blumthaler, M.; Eisner, H.; Brunner, P.

    1989-01-01

    Measurements of the gross beta activity of snow samples from four Alpine glaciers contaminated by radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident and a gamma-spectrum analysis of selected samples are reported. The results are discussed with respect to possible risks to the population from using meltwater from these glaciers as drinking water.

  5. Astrophysics: Illuminating brown dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showman, Adam P.

    2016-05-01

    Objects known as brown dwarfs are midway between stars and planets in mass. Observations of a hot brown dwarf irradiated by a nearby star will help to fill a gap in our knowledge of the atmospheres of fluid planetary objects. See Letter p.366

  6. WISE and Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; WISE Team

    2009-05-01

    The search for the nearest and coolest brown dwarfs will use WISE's two short-wavelength channels (W1 and W2), which are optimized for brown dwarf detection. W1 samples the methane fundamental absorption band at 3.3 microns, and W2 measures the relatively opacity-free portion of the brown dwarf atmosphere near 4.7 microns. Cool brown dwarfs will thus have very red [W1]-[W2] colors, maximizing our chances of identifying them. Extrapolating preferred mass functions to very low masses and assuming that the star formation rate has been constant over the last 10 Gyr, we can predict the number of brown dwarfs WISE is expected to image. At spectral types later than T7 (Teff > 850K), WISE is expected to find 500 brown dwarfs, which makes WISE uniquely suited among future surveys to measure the low-mass limit of star formation for the first time. This sample will also show whether a new spectral class beyond T, dubbed "Y", is needed at the lowest temperatures. Although the primary six-month WISE mission will cover the entire sky once, WISE should have sufficient cryogen to perform a second, complete pass of the sky. In this case, the identification of nearby brown dwarfs need not rely solely on color selection. Kinematics (proper motion) and geometry (parallax) can also be used to distinguish our closest brown dwarf neighbors, one of which may lie less distant than Proxima Centauri or even fall within our own Oort Cloud.

  7. Consequences for selected high-elevation butterflies and moths from the spread of Pinus mugo into the alpine zone in the High Sudetes Mountains

    PubMed Central

    Šipoš, Jan; Kindlmann, Pavel; Kuras, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo), which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butterflies at alpine sites in the High Sudetes Mountains (Mts.) were sampled using Moericke yellow water traps. The results of a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) indicated that at a local scale the area of alpine habitats is the main limiting factor for native species of alpine butterflies. Butterfly assemblages are associated with distance to the tree-line with the optimum situated in the lower forest zone. In addition the CCA revealed that biotic factors (i.e. Pinus mugo and alpine tundra vegetation) accounted for a significant amount of the variability in species data. Regionally, the CCA identified that the species composition of butterflies and moths is associated with presence and origin of Pinus mugo. Our study provides evidence that the structure of the Lepidopteran fauna that formed during the postglacial period and also the present composition of species assemblages is associated with the presence of Pinus mugo. With global warming, Pinus mugo has the potential to spread further into alpine areas and negatively affect the local species communities. PMID:27330857

  8. Consequences for selected high-elevation butterflies and moths from the spread of Pinus mugo into the alpine zone in the High Sudetes Mountains.

    PubMed

    Bílá, Karolína; Šipoš, Jan; Kindlmann, Pavel; Kuras, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo), which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butterflies at alpine sites in the High Sudetes Mountains (Mts.) were sampled using Moericke yellow water traps. The results of a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) indicated that at a local scale the area of alpine habitats is the main limiting factor for native species of alpine butterflies. Butterfly assemblages are associated with distance to the tree-line with the optimum situated in the lower forest zone. In addition the CCA revealed that biotic factors (i.e. Pinus mugo and alpine tundra vegetation) accounted for a significant amount of the variability in species data. Regionally, the CCA identified that the species composition of butterflies and moths is associated with presence and origin of Pinus mugo. Our study provides evidence that the structure of the Lepidopteran fauna that formed during the postglacial period and also the present composition of species assemblages is associated with the presence of Pinus mugo. With global warming, Pinus mugo has the potential to spread further into alpine areas and negatively affect the local species communities. PMID:27330857

  9. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Huawu; Li, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong

    2016-01-15

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0-30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant-soil-water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation.

  10. Star Formation in Dwarf-Dwarf Mergers: Fueling Hierarchical Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stierwalt, Sabrina; Johnson, K. E.; Kallivayalil, N.; Patton, D. R.; Putman, M. E.; Besla, G.; Geha, M. C.

    2014-01-01

    We present early results from the first systematic study a sample of isolated interacting dwarf pairs and the mechanisms governing their star formation. Low mass dwarf galaxies are ubiquitous in the local universe, yet the efficiency of gas removal and the enhancement of star formation in dwarfs via pre-processing (i.e. dwarf-dwarf interactions occurring before the accretion by a massive host) are currently unconstrained. Studies of Local Group dwarfs credit stochastic internal processes for their complicated star formation histories, but a few intriguing examples suggest interactions among dwarfs may produce enhanced star formation. We combine archival UV imaging from GALEX with deep optical broad- and narrow-band (Halpha) imaging taken with the pre- One Degree Imager (pODI) on the WIYN 3.5-m telescope and with the 2.3-m Bok telescope at Steward Observatory to confirm the presence of stellar bridges and tidal tails and to determine whether dwarf-dwarf interactions alone can trigger significant levels of star formation. We investigate star formation rates and global galaxy colors as a function of dwarf pair separation (i.e. the dwarf merger sequence) and dwarf-dwarf mass ratio. This project is a precursor to an ongoing effort to obtain high spatial resolution HI imaging to assess the importance of sequential triggering caused by dwarf-dwarf interactions and the subsequent affect on the more massive hosts that later accrete the low mass systems.

  11. Main elevation of 33123314 Alpine St., SW. This house was ...

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

    Main elevation of 3312-3314 Alpine St., SW. This house was built for use by workers from nearby Merrimack Mill (now demolished) - 3312-3314 Alpine Street, Southwest (House), 3312-3314 Alpine Street, Southwest, Huntsville, Madison County, AL

  12. Photosynthetic strategies of two Mojave Desert shrubs

    SciTech Connect

    Kleinkopf, G.E.; Hartsock, T.L.; Wallace, A.; Romney, E.M.

    1980-01-01

    Photosynthetic production of two Mojave Desert shrubs was measured under natural growing conditions. Measurements of photosynthesis, transpiration, resistances to water vapor flux, soil moisture potential, and tissue water potential were made. Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt., a member of the C/sub 4/ biochemical carbon dioxide fixation group was highly competitive in growth rate and production during conditions of adequate soil moisture. As soil moisture conditions declined to minus 40 bars, the net photosynthetic rate of Atriplex decreased to zero. However, the C/sub 3/ shrub species Larrea tridentata (Sesse and Moc. ex DC.) Cov. was able to maintain positive net photosynthetic production during conditions of high temperature and extreme low soil moisture through the major part of the season. The comparative advantages of the C/sub 4/ versus the C/sub 3/ pathway of carbon fixation was lost between these two species as the soil moisture potential declined to minus 40 bars. Desert plants have diffferent strategies for survival, one of the strategies being the C/sub 4/ biochemical carbon fixation pathway. However, many of the plants are members of the C/sub 3/ group. In this instance, the C/sub 4/ fixation pathway does not confer an added advantage to the productivity of the species in the Mojave Desert. Species distribution based on comparative photosynthetic production is discussed

  13. Methanogenic activities in alpine soils.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Andreas O; Hofmann, Katrin; Prem, Eva; Illmer, Paul

    2012-07-01

    Uncontrolled microbial methane production is playing an important role in global warming. In the present study, we showed that water content and incubation temperature increase the potential for methane formation in the two alpine soils under investigation. Beside these factors, the grazing of cows and thus the amendment of methanogenic microorganisms by cattle dung is the most important factor determining the potential of methane production in those soils.

  14. Shrubs tracing sea surface temperature--Calluna vulgaris on the Faroe Islands.

    PubMed

    Beil, Ilka; Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Smiljanić, Marko; Wilmking, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The climate of Central and Northern Europe is highly influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean due to heat transfer from lower latitudes. Detailed knowledge about spatio-temporal variability of sea surface temperature (SST) in that region is thus of high interest for climate and environmental research. Because of the close relations between ocean and coastal climate and the climate sensitivity of plant growth, annual rings of woody plants in coastal regions might be used as a proxy for SST. We show here for the first time the proxy potential of the common and widespread evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris (heather), using the Faroe Islands as our case study. Despite its small and irregular ring structure, the species seems suitable for dendroecological investigations. Ring width showed high and significant correlations with summer and winter air temperatures and SST. The C. vulgaris chronology from the Faroe Islands, placed directly within the North Atlantic Current, clearly reflects variations in summer SSTs over an area between Iceland and Scotland. Utilising shrubs like C. vulgaris as easy accessible and annually resolved proxies offers an interesting possibility for reconstruction of the coupled climate-ocean system at high latitudes.

  15. Shrubs tracing sea surface temperature--Calluna vulgaris on the Faroe Islands.

    PubMed

    Beil, Ilka; Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Smiljanić, Marko; Wilmking, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The climate of Central and Northern Europe is highly influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean due to heat transfer from lower latitudes. Detailed knowledge about spatio-temporal variability of sea surface temperature (SST) in that region is thus of high interest for climate and environmental research. Because of the close relations between ocean and coastal climate and the climate sensitivity of plant growth, annual rings of woody plants in coastal regions might be used as a proxy for SST. We show here for the first time the proxy potential of the common and widespread evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris (heather), using the Faroe Islands as our case study. Despite its small and irregular ring structure, the species seems suitable for dendroecological investigations. Ring width showed high and significant correlations with summer and winter air temperatures and SST. The C. vulgaris chronology from the Faroe Islands, placed directly within the North Atlantic Current, clearly reflects variations in summer SSTs over an area between Iceland and Scotland. Utilising shrubs like C. vulgaris as easy accessible and annually resolved proxies offers an interesting possibility for reconstruction of the coupled climate-ocean system at high latitudes. PMID:25620645

  16. Shrubs tracing sea surface temperature— Calluna vulgaris on the Faroe Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beil, Ilka; Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Smiljanić, Marko; Wilmking, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The climate of Central and Northern Europe is highly influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean due to heat transfer from lower latitudes. Detailed knowledge about spatio-temporal variability of sea surface temperature (SST) in that region is thus of high interest for climate and environmental research. Because of the close relations between ocean and coastal climate and the climate sensitivity of plant growth, annual rings of woody plants in coastal regions might be used as a proxy for SST. We show here for the first time the proxy potential of the common and widespread evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris (heather), using the Faroe Islands as our case study. Despite its small and irregular ring structure, the species seems suitable for dendroecological investigations. Ring width showed high and significant correlations with summer and winter air temperatures and SST. The C. vulgaris chronology from the Faroe Islands, placed directly within the North Atlantic Current, clearly reflects variations in summer SSTs over an area between Iceland and Scotland. Utilising shrubs like C. vulgaris as easy accessible and annually resolved proxies offers an interesting possibility for reconstruction of the coupled climate-ocean system at high latitudes.

  17. Meter scale variation in shrub dominance and soil moisture structure Arctic arthropod communities

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph J.; Treier, Urs A.; Normand, Signe; Høye, Toke

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. This impacts Arctic species both directly, through increased temperatures, and indirectly, through structural changes in their habitats. Species are expected to exhibit idiosyncratic responses to structural change, which calls for detailed investigations at the species and community level. Here, we investigate how arthropod assemblages of spiders and beetles respond to variation in habitat structure at small spatial scales. We sampled transitions in shrub dominance and soil moisture between three different habitats (fen, dwarf shrub heath, and tall shrub tundra) at three different sites along a fjord gradient in southwest Greenland, using yellow pitfall cups. We identified 2,547 individuals belonging to 47 species. We used species richness estimation, indicator species analysis and latent variable modeling to examine differences in arthropod community structure in response to habitat variation at local (within site) and regional scales (between sites). We estimated species responses to the environment by fitting species-specific generalized linear models with environmental covariates. Species assemblages were segregated at the habitat and site level. Each habitat hosted significant indicator species, and species richness and diversity were significantly lower in fen habitats. Assemblage patterns were significantly linked to changes in soil moisture and vegetation height, as well as geographic location. We show that meter-scale variation among habitats affects arthropod community structure, supporting the notion that the Arctic tundra is a heterogeneous environment. To gain sufficient insight into temporal biodiversity change, we require studies of species distributions detailing species habitat preferences. PMID:27478709

  18. Meter scale variation in shrub dominance and soil moisture structure Arctic arthropod communities.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Rikke Reisner; Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph J; Treier, Urs A; Normand, Signe; Høye, Toke

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. This impacts Arctic species both directly, through increased temperatures, and indirectly, through structural changes in their habitats. Species are expected to exhibit idiosyncratic responses to structural change, which calls for detailed investigations at the species and community level. Here, we investigate how arthropod assemblages of spiders and beetles respond to variation in habitat structure at small spatial scales. We sampled transitions in shrub dominance and soil moisture between three different habitats (fen, dwarf shrub heath, and tall shrub tundra) at three different sites along a fjord gradient in southwest Greenland, using yellow pitfall cups. We identified 2,547 individuals belonging to 47 species. We used species richness estimation, indicator species analysis and latent variable modeling to examine differences in arthropod community structure in response to habitat variation at local (within site) and regional scales (between sites). We estimated species responses to the environment by fitting species-specific generalized linear models with environmental covariates. Species assemblages were segregated at the habitat and site level. Each habitat hosted significant indicator species, and species richness and diversity were significantly lower in fen habitats. Assemblage patterns were significantly linked to changes in soil moisture and vegetation height, as well as geographic location. We show that meter-scale variation among habitats affects arthropod community structure, supporting the notion that the Arctic tundra is a heterogeneous environment. To gain sufficient insight into temporal biodiversity change, we require studies of species distributions detailing species habitat preferences. PMID:27478709

  19. When White Dwarfs Collide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawley, Wendy Phyllis

    2012-01-01

    3D models of white dwarf collisions are used to assess the likelihood of double-degenerate mergers as progenitors for Type Ia supernovae (henceforth SNIa) and to identify observational signatures of double-degenerate collisions. Observations of individual SNIa, SNIa rates in different galaxy types, and double white dwarf binary systems suggest that mergers or collisions between two white dwarfs play a role in the overall SNIa population. Given the possibility of two progenitor systems (single-degenerate and double-degenerate), the sample of SNIa used in cosmological calcula- tions needs to be carefully examined. To improve calculations of cosmological parameters, the development of calibrated diagnostics for double-degenerate progenitor SNIa is essential. Head-on white dwarf collision simulations are used to provide an upper limit on the 56Ni production in white dwarf collisions. In chapter II, I explore zero impact parameter collisions of white dwarfs using the Eulerian grid code FLASH. The initial 1D white dwarf profiles are created assuming hydrostatic equilibrium and a uniform composition of 50% 12C and 50% 16O. The masses range from 0.64 to 0.81 solar masses and have an isothermal temperature of 107 K. I map these 1D models onto a 3D grid, where the dimensions of the grid are each eight times the white dwarf radius, and the dwarfs are initially placed four white dwarf radii apart (center to center). To provide insight into a larger range of physical possibilities, I also model non-zero impact parameter white dwarf collisions (Chapter III). Although head-on white dwarf collisions provide an upper limit on 56Ni production, non-zero impact parameter collisions provide insight into a wider range of physical scenarios. The initial conditions (box size, initial separation, composition, and initial temperature) are identical to those used for the head-on collisions (Chapter II) for the same range of masses. For each mass pair- ing, collision simulations are carried

  20. M dwarfs: Theoretical work

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullan, Dermott J.

    1987-01-01

    Theoretical work on the atmospheres of M dwarfs has progressed along lines parallel to those followed in the study of other classes of stars. Such models have become increasingly sophisticated as improvements in opacities, in the equation of state, and in the treatment of convection were incorporated during the last 15 to 20 years. As a result, spectrophotometric data on M dwarfs can now be fitted rather well by current models. The various attempts at modeling M dwarf photospheres in purely thermal terms are summarized. Some extensions of these models to include the effects of microturbulence and magnetic inhomogeneities are presented.

  1. Root reinforcement and its implications in shallow landsliding susceptibility on a small alpine catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morandi, M. C.; Farabegoli, E.; Onorevoli, G.

    2012-04-01

    Roots shear resistance offers a considerable contribution to hill-slope stability on vegetated terrains. Through the pseudo-cohesion of shrubs, trees and turf's roots, the geomechanical properties of soils can be drastically increased, exerting a positive influence on the hillslope stability. We analysed the shallow landsliding susceptibility of a small alpine catchment (Duron valley, Central Dolomites, Italy) that we consider representative of a wide altitude belt of the Dolomites (1800 - 2400 m a.s.l). The catchment is mostly mantled by grass (Nardetum strictae s.l.), with clustered shrubs (Rhododendron hirsutum and Juniperus nana), and trees (Pinus cembra, Larix decidua and Picea abies). The soil depth, investigated with direct and indirect methods, ranges from 0 to 180 cm, with its peak at the hollow axes. Locally, the bedrock, made of Triassic volcanic rocks, is deeply incised by the Holocene drainage network. Intensive grazing of cows and horses pervades the catchment area and cattle-trails occupy ca 20% of the grass cover. We used laboratory and field tests to characterize the geotechnical properties of these alpine soils; moreover we designed and tested an experimental device that measures, in situ, the shear strengths of the grass mantle. In the study area we mapped 18 shallow landslides, mostly related to road cuts and periodically reactivated as retrogressive landslides. The triggering mechanisms of these shallow landslides were qualitatively analysed at large scale and modelled at smaller scale. We used SHALSTAB to model the shallow landsliding susceptibility of the catchment at the basin scale and SLIDE (RocScience) to compute the Safety Factor at the versant scale. Qualitative management solutions are provided, in order to reduce the shallow landsliding susceptibility risk in this alpine context.

  2. Understanding Brown Dwarf Variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark S.

    2013-01-01

    Surveys of brown dwarf variability continue to find that roughly half of all brown dwarfs are variable. While variability is observed amongst all types of brown dwarfs, amplitudes are typically greatest for L-T transition objects. In my talk I will discuss the possible physical mechanisms that are responsible for the observed variability. I will particularly focus on comparing and contrasting the effects of changes in atmospheric thermal profile and cloud opacity. The two different mechanisms will produce different variability signatures and I will discuss the extent to which the current datasets constrain both mechanisms. By combining constraints from studies of variability with existing spectral and photometric datasets we can begin to construct and test self-consistent models of brown dwarf atmospheres. These models not only aid in the interpretation of existing objects but also inform studies of directly imaged giant planets.

  3. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kozma, Chahira

    2006-02-15

    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities.

  4. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kozma, Chahira

    2006-02-15

    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities. PMID:16380966

  5. Nitrogen deposition but not climate warming promotes Deyeuxia angustifolia encroachment in alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains, Northeast China.

    PubMed

    Zong, Shengwei; Jin, Yinghua; Xu, Jiawei; Wu, Zhengfang; He, Hongshi; Du, Haibo; Wang, Lei

    2016-02-15

    Vegetation in the alpine tundra area of the Changbai Mountains, one of two alpine tundra areas in China, has undergone great changes in recent decades. The aggressive herb species Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L. Chang, a narrow-leaf small reed, was currently encroaching upon the alpine landscape and threatening tundra biota. The alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains has been experiencing a warmer climate and receiving a high load of atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In this study, we aimed to assess the respective roles of climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen deposition in promoting the upward encroachment of D. angustifolia. We conducted experiments for three years to examine the response of D. angustifolia and a native alpine shrub, Rhododendron chrysanthum, to the conditions in which temperature and nitrogen were increased. Treatments consisting of temperature increase, nitrogen addition, temperature increase combined with nitrogen addition, and controls were conducted on the D. angustifolia communities with three encroachment levels (low, medium, and high levels). Results showed that 1) D. angustifolia grew in response to added nutrients but did not grow well when temperature increased. R. chrysanthum showed negligible responses to the simulated environmental changes. 2) Compared to R. chrysanthum, D. angustifolia could effectively occupy the above-ground space by increasing tillers and growing rapidly by efficiently using nitrogen. The difference in nitrogen uptake abilities between the two species contributed to expansion of D. angustifolia. 3) D. angustifolia encroachment could deeply change the biodiversity of tundra vegetation and may eventually result in the replacement of native biota, especially with nitrogen addition. Our research indicated that nutrient perturbation may be more important than temperature perturbation in promoting D. angustifolia encroachment upon the nutrient- and species-poor alpine tundra ecosystem in the Changbai

  6. Quercus ilex L. carbon sequestration capability related to shrub size.

    PubMed

    Gratani, Loretta; Catoni, Rosangela; Varone, Laura

    2011-07-01

    CO(2) sequestration capacity of Quercus ilex L., an evergreen species developing in shrub and forest communities widely distributed in the Mediterranean Basin, was analysed. Experiments were carried out in the period of January to December 2009 on 20 shrubs of different size, growing at the Botanical Garden of Rome. At shrub level, the largest differences concern total photosynthetic leaf surface area per shrub and shrub volume. Shrubs structure significantly contribute to reduce total irradiance and air temperature below the canopy. Leaf mass per area is higher in sun leaves than in shade ones (20 ± 1 and 12 ± 2 mg cm( -2), respectively). Sun leaves are also characterised by the highest leaf thickness (78% higher in sun than in shade leaves), the spongy parenchyma thickness (71% higher in sun than in shade leaves) and the highest adaxial cuticle thickness (7.2 ± 1.2 and 4.7 ± 0.5 μm, respectively). Net photosynthetic rates (P (N)) of sun and shade leaves are the highest in spring, and shade leaves contribute 6% to the whole shrub P (N). Q. ilex CO(2) sequestration depends on shrub size. In particular, the CO(2) sequestration per shrub was 0.20 ± 0.02 Kg CO(2) year( -1) in small shrubs, and it was 75% and 98% lower than in medium and large ones. The highest CO(2) sequestration is measured in spring, decreasing 77% during drought. Q. ilex may play a significant role in mitigating carbon dioxide concentration and lowering air and soil temperature in areas around the Mediterranean Basin.

  7. Does browsing reduce shrub survival and vigor following summer fires?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulbright, Timothy E.; Dacy, Emily C.; Drawe, D. Lynn

    2011-01-01

    Periodic fire is widely hypothesized to limit woody plant encroachment in semiarid grasslands. In southern Texas, however, most of the woody plants that have invaded grasslands during the past two centuries are resistant to fire. We hypothesized that browsing by Odocoileus virginianus increases mortality of palatable shrubs and reduces vigor of shrubs following fire. We randomly selected ten pairs of each of three shrub species -Condalia hookeri, Acacia farnesiana, and Celtis ehrenbergiana - in each of three locations before prescribed burns during summer 2001. Following burns, we used a wire fence to protect one shrub of each pair from browsing. We estimated intensity of O. virginianus browsing and number and height of sprouts 4, 12, 20, 30, 38, and 47 weeks post-fire. We determined shrub height, survival, and biomass one year post-fire. Averaged across species, browsing intensity on unfenced shrubs was greater (LS Means, P < 0.05) than on fenced shrubs on all sampling dates except four and 30 weeks post-fire. Mortality of unfenced (11 ± 9%) (mean ± SE) and fenced (12 ± 7%, n = 9) shrubs was similar (P = 0.674) one year post-fire, averaged across shrub species. Number of sprouts, sprout height, total plant height, and biomass of protected and browsed plants were similar (P > 0.05) one year post-burn. Browsing by O. virginianus at the intensity in our study does not increase mortality or reduce vigor of C. hookeri, A. farnesiana, and Condalia ehrenbergiana producing new growth following destruction of aboveground tissues by a single fire compared to shrubs that are not browsed following fire.

  8. The changing role of shrubs in rangeland-based livestock production systems: Can shrubs increase our forage supply?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Projected global increases in ruminant numbers and loss of native grasslands will present a number of challenges for livestock agriculture. Escalated demand for livestock products may stimulate interest in using shrubs on western rangelands. A paradigm shift is needed to change the role of shrubs in...

  9. Alpine 1/Federal: Executive summary final report

    SciTech Connect

    Witcher, J.C.

    1994-04-01

    This summary report overviews a State of Arizona and US Department of Energy funded drilling project to determine if near-term hot dry rock (HDR) geothermal potential exists in the eastern portion of the White Mountains region of Arizona. A 4,505 feet deep slim-hole exploratory well, Alpine1/Federal, was drilled within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest at Alpine Divide near the Alpine Divide camp ground about 5 miles north of Alpine, Arizona in Apache County (Figure 1). A comprehensive technical report, in two parts, details the results of the project. Part 1, Alpin1/Federal, Drilling Report discusses the drilling operations, logging program, permitting and site selection for the hole. Part 2, Temperature Gradients, Geothermal Potential, and Geology, summarizes the temperature gradients, heat flow, geothermal potential, and subsurface geology.

  10. Shrub Expansion Effects on Soil Carbon Dynamics in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, S. R.; Mortero, G.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2015-12-01

    Shrubs are increasing in abundance in the Arctic in response to climate warming, but the consequences of shrub expansion for the vast soil carbon (C) stocks in the Arctic are poorly understood. Increases in productivity and associated increases in soil C inputs may augment soil C stocks. Alternatively, labile C exudates from shrub roots may stimulate decomposition of existing soil C and decrease C stocks. We used two complementary approaches to characterize the potential impacts of shrub expansion on soil C dynamics in the Arctic. First, in graminoid and shrub tundra near Toolik Lake, AK we surveyed thaw depth, measured depth profiles of %C, %N, δ13C, and Δ14C, and inventoried soil C stocks to 1 m. We found that the thaw depth was 42% shallower under shrubs compared to graminoid tundra. In addition, mineral soils from shrub tundra had a significantly higher C content than graminoid tundra. Similarly, mineral soils from shrub tundra had lower (depleted) δ13C values compared to graminoid tundra, indicating that this soil has undergone less microbial processing. We also found that C under shrub tundra was on average older, and shrub tundra had significantly higher C stocks to 1 m than graminoid tundra. Second, we conducted a priming experiment with graminoid soil from Toolik Lake, AK. We incubated organic soil, the top 10 cm of mineral soil, and the lower 10 cm of active layer mineral soil with supplemental sucrose at 7°C and 22°C. We found that the addition of labile C did not increase microbial decomposition of existing C in mineral soils. Taken together, our findings suggest that shrub expansion may augment soil C storage in the Arctic because a greater proportion of soil C is frozen in permafrost, soil C under shrubs turns over more slowly, and existing C in mineral soil does not appear to be vulnerable to loss via priming. The observed impacts of shrub expansion on soil C stocks should be incorporated into earth system models that predict the carbon

  11. Experimental soil warming leads to sustained losses of old C from alpine treeline ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawes, Melissa; Hagedorn, Frank; Rixen, Christian; Streit, Kathrin

    2013-04-01

    The impact of climatic warming on the soil C balance is uncertain because rising temperature increases both C inputs into soils, but also respiratory C losses. 'Cold' ecosystems such as treeline ecotones will respond particularly sensitive to climatic changes because many processes are limited by temperature and soils store particular large amounts of labile soil organic matter. In our study, we investigate responses of carbon fluxes to 6 years of experimental soil warming by 4°C with heating cables on the soil surface. The warming study was conducted in a 9-year CO2 enrichment experiment, in which the added CO2 carried another ˜13C signature than normal air, which allows the tracing of new carbon through the plant and soil system. This provides new insight into carbon cycling at the treeline and it shows which C flux respond most sensitive to climatic changes. Results showed that soil warming increased soil CO2 effluxes instantaneously and persistent for six vegetation periods (+30-50%; +80 to 120 g C m y-1). Annual C uptake of new shoots was not significantly affected by elevated soil temperatures, with a 10 to 20% increase for larch, pine, and dwarf shrubs, respectively, resulting in an overall increase in net C uptake by plants of 20 to 40 g C m-2y-1. The temperature dependency of soil respiration did not change through six years of experimental soil warming, suggesting little impact of warming-induced lower soil moisture (-15% relative decrease) or a depletion in labile soil C. The fraction of recent plant-derived C in soil respired CO2 from warmed soils was smaller than that from control soils (30 vs. 50% of total C respired), which implies that the warming-induced increase in soil CO2 efflux resulted mainly from mineralization of older SOM rather than from stimulated root respiration. Analysis of phospholipid fatty acids indicated an unchanged microbial community on the group level, but significantly smaller fractions of new plant C in the warmed soils. In

  12. Pheno-anomalies of sub-alpine Vaccinium heaths in response to climatic variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puppi, Giovanna; Monti, Alessandra; Bonafede, Fausto; Vignodelli, Michele; Zanotti, Anna Letizia

    2014-05-01

    A phenological survey on Vaccinium heaths was repeated thirty years after the first observations, in the Northern Apennines (Italy). In line with the sampling method adopted in the earliest phases of the study, the phenological monitoring was undertaken in the same sites, located above the tree line between 1600 and 1800 m asl. The phenology of each plant species was recorded in order to single out the flowering patterns of the plant communities and their variations. In the years with average weather conditions, flowerings begin at the end of May, after the melting of the last spring snow, and finish in September, showing a bimodal pattern. The first blooming peak occurs in mid June and the second in mid July, in coincidence with the annual maximum temperatures. The first peak is due to the dwarf shrubs and to other species typical of the Vaccinium heaths, while the second is due to herbs with a wider ecology. Among the years on study, we found that 1984 and 2012 diverged from the aforementioned pattern, in that flowerings showed strong pheno-anomalies and a lower phenological diversity. In 1984, a marked delay of the blooming start (1 month) and of the first peak (3 weeks) were observed, while the second peak and the flowering end were normal: the delay was due to a very cold and snowy spring in 1984. On the contrary, 2012 was characterized by the disappearance of the second flowering peak and by a dramatic advance of the blooming end: it is worth mentioning that summer 2012 was exceptionally dry, with temperatures above the average. In summary, while the very cold spring 1984 led simply to an initial shift and then to a compaction of the blooming rhythms, the xero-thermal stress of the summer 2012 caused a deep variation of the symphenological pattern and a fail of sexual reproduction in several late flowering species. Given that xero-thermal stress occurred often in the last decades, some sensible species, flowering in mid summer, could have undergone a

  13. Long-Term Perspectives of Shrub Expansions and Peat Initiation in Arctic Tundra on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleary, K.; Yu, Z.

    2014-12-01

    The ongoing climate warming in the Arctic has caused rapid terrestrial ecosystem changes, including shrub expansion and permafrost thaw. Here we used results from a peat-accumulating permafrost tundra in upper Imnavait Creek on the Arctic foothills of Alaska (68° 36' N, 149° 18' W) to investigate ecological responses to recent climate warming in the context of the last millennium. Six peat soil cores were collected from Sphagnum mosaics along an elevational gradient from 906 m to 950 m on a hillslope covered by Eriophorum-dominated tussock tundra. Macrofossil analysis documents a consistent development sequence among all cores from a mineral soil to a minerotrophic sedge peat and finally to an ombrotrophic Sphagnum peat. The 14C dating results show the ages of peat initiation range from about 900 to 140 cal BP, but do not follow the elevation gradient, suggesting the dominant control of local factors. The Sphagnum onset begins at 1820 AD near the ridge top, and subsequently propagates downslope to the floodplain at 2008 AD. This transition (ombrotrophication) was likely in response to Arctic warming, and subsequent permafrost thaw and active layer thickening, leading to drying initiating at the ridge top and facilitating Sphagnum colonization. Pollen analysis of the master core UIC13-3 at 916 m elevation (basal age 700 cal BP) shows that the vegetation was dominated by sedges (up to 84%) during the cool Little Ice Age until 1800 AD, followed by increases in shrubs first from dwarf birch (Betula nana) (up to 57%) and then willows (Salix spp.) up to 62% in the 1960s. These results indicate that shrub expansion of willows, due to accelerated warming in recent decades, was preceded by birch expansion over the last two centuries. Our new results provide a long-term perspective on ecological transformations in the Arctic, in particular the history of recent shrub expansions and the process of peatland initiation and expansion across Arctic tundra.

  14. Alpine cloud climatology: regional effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaestner, Martina; Kriebel, Karl T.

    1996-12-01

    The present understanding of moist atmospheric processes and the role of clouds in the hydrologic cycle shows severe gaps of knowledge. Water vapor plays an essential part in atmospheric dynamics. For example, the release of large amounts of latent heat, due to the condensation in convective clouds, plays an important role in the general circulation. Knowledge of the distribution of clouds and its transport is essential to understand atmospheric dynamics. Clouds can have a positive as well as a negative contribution to the greenhouse effect. A cloud cover climatology in a 15 km grid resolution has been retrieved by means of the APOLLO algorithm using the 5 calibrated AVHRR channels. The monthly means of total cloud cover are about 15 percent too high compared to conventional data, the standard deviation is +/- 12 percent. The high resolution cloud cover maps show topometeorological features like 'Fohn' on single days but not in monthly means, because these events are too rare. But increased cloud cover in the luff regions are detected in monthly means as well as some cloud sparse regions like Lake Garda, Ticino or the Swiss Rhone valley. The different annual cycles of cloud cover show the different climatic regions, which are temperate, Alpine, and Mediterranean climate. This is indicated, for example, by the remarkably smaller cloud cover in the Alpine region in winter as compared to the northern and southern forelands.

  15. Seed dormancy in alpine species

    PubMed Central

    Schwienbacher, Erich; Navarro-Cano, Jose Antonio; Neuner, Gilbert; Erschbamer, Brigitta

    2011-01-01

    In alpine species the classification of the various mechanisms underlying seed dormancy has been rather questionable and controversial. Thus, we investigated 28 alpine species to evaluate the prevailing types of dormancy. Embryo type and water impermeability of seed coats gave an indication of the potential seed dormancy class. To ascertain the actual dormancy class and level, we performed germination experiments comparing the behavior of seeds without storage, after cold-dry storage, after cold-wet storage, and scarification. We also tested the light requirement for germination in some species. Germination behavior was characterized using the final germination percentage and the mean germination time. Considering the effects of the pretreatments, a refined classification of the prevailing dormancy types was constructed based on the results of our pretreatments. Only two out of the 28 species that we evaluated had predominantly non-dormant seeds. Physiological dormancy was prevalent in 20 species, with deep physiological dormancy being the most abundant, followed by non-deep and intermediate physiological dormancy. Seeds of four species with underdeveloped embryos were assigned to the morphophysiologial dormancy class. An impermeable seed coat was identified in two species, with no additional physiological germination block. We defined these species as having physical dormancy. Light promoted the germination of seeds without storage in all but one species with physiological dormancy. In species with physical dormancy, light responses were of minor importance. We discuss our new classification in the context of former germination studies and draw implications for the timing of germination in the field. PMID:24415831

  16. The search for brown dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, David J.

    1991-01-01

    The theory of brown dwarfs is summarized and observational findings regarding brown dwarfs are reviewed. The equation of state, the thermal properties, the interior transport properties, the boundary conditions, and the initial conditions are examined. Indirect observations, IR speckle interferometry, IR photometry, and field observations of brown dwarfs are discussed.

  17. Asteroseismology of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Carl J.

    1997-01-01

    The primary purpose of this investigation has been to study various aspects of multimode pulsations in variable white dwarfs. In particular, nonlinear interactions among pulsation modes in white dwarfs (and, to some extent, in other variable stars), analysis of recent observations where such interactions are important, and preliminary work on the effects of crystallization in cool white dwarfs are reported.

  18. Plant and soil surface responses to a combination of shrub removal and grazing in a shrub-encroached woodland.

    PubMed

    Daryanto, Stefani; Eldridge, David J

    2010-12-01

    Shrub encroachment into open woodland is a widespread phenomenon in semi-arid woodlands worldwide. Encroachment or woody thickening, is thought to result from overgrazing, changes in fire regimes and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Eighteen years after one-off shrub removal by ploughing we assessed the effects of four different land management systems resulting from two levels each of grazing (grazed, ungrazed) with and without ploughing, on the cover of landscape units, soil surface condition, diversity of understorey plants and density of shrubs. We recorded 2-7 times more patches under conventional conservation (unploughed-ungrazed) than the others treatments, and plant cover and diversity were greater on the two conservation (ungrazed) plots, irrespective of ploughing. Soils under shrubs and log mounds had greater indices of infiltration, stability and nutrients. Shrub density under the active pastoral (ploughed-grazed) treatment was two and a half times greater than that in other treatments, but results were not significant. The effects of different treatments on shrubs were largely species-specific. Overall, our results suggest that ploughing does not provide long-term control of encroaching shrubs. PMID:20696514

  19. Hydraulic properties of leaves from desert shrubs

    SciTech Connect

    Schulte, P.J. )

    1991-05-01

    Changes in certain tissue hydraulic properties such as elasticity, capacitance, and resistance to water flow were considered as a function of leaf water content. It has been suggested in the literature that variation in such properties may be of significance during changes in leaf hydration. In addition, the author was interested in the potential role of changes in these same tissue properties for maintaining leaf water status during drought. Two shrubs occurring in the Mojave desert, mesquite and live-oak, were studied. Measurements suggest that over the range of leaf water potential from zero to turgor loss, the elastic modulus varies 5-fold, capacitance varies 2-fold, and the resistance to flow between the xylem and storage in the leaf parenchyma tissues 2 to 3-fold. A model for water flow was developed based on these and other tissue properties. This modeling approach is being used as a hypothesis-generating tool for future experimentation. Results of the modeling are discussed in the context of published speculations on the functional role of changes in properties such as elasticity for plants under water stress.

  20. AIS spectra of desert shrub canopies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, R.; Isaacson, D. L.; Schrumpf, B. J.; Ripple, W. J.; Lewis, A. J.

    1986-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) data were collected 30 August 1985 from a desert shrub community in central Oregon. Spectra from artificial targets placed on the test site and from bare soil, big sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata wyomingensis), silver sagebrush (Artemesia cana bolander), and exposed volcanic rocks were studied. Spectral data from grating position 3 (tree mode) were selected from 25 ground positions for analysis by Principal Factor Analysis (PFA). In this grating position, as many as six factors were identified as significant in contributing to spectral structure. Channels 74 through 84 (tree mode) best characterized between-class differences. Other channels were identified as nondiscriminating and as associated with such errors as excessive atmospheric absorption and grating positin changes. The test site was relatively simple with the two species (A. tridentata and A. cana) representing nearly 95% of biomass and with only two mineral backgrounds, a montmorillonitic soil and volcanic rocks. If, as in this study, six factors of spectral structure can be extracted from a single grating position from data acquired over a simple vegetation community, then AIS data must be considered rich in information-gathering potential.

  1. Shrub expansion and climate feedbacks in Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2012-03-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems stand to play a substantial role in both the magnitude and rate of global climate warming over the coming decades and centuries. The exact nature of this role will be determined by the combined effects of currently amplified rates of climate warming in the Arctic (Serreze et al 2000) and a series of related positive climate feedbacks that include mobilization of permafrost carbon (Schuur et al 2008), decreases in surface albedo (Chapin et al 2005) and evapotranspiration (ET) mediated increases in atmospheric water vapor (Swann et al 2010). Conceptually, these feedback mechanisms are intuitive and readily comprehensible: warming-induced permafrost thaw will make new soil carbon pools accessible for microbial respiration, and increased vegetation productivity, expansion of shrubs in particular, will lower surface reflectance and increase ET. However, our current understanding of these feedback mechanisms relies largely on limited and local field studies and, as such, the quantitative estimates of feedback effects on regional and global climate require spatial upscaling and uncertainty estimates derived from models. Moreover, the feedback mechanisms interact and their combined net effect on climate is highly variable and not well characterized. A recent study by Bonfils et al (2012) is among the first to explicitly examine how shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems will impact regional climate. Using an Earth system model, Bonfils et al find that an idealized 20% increase in shrub cover north of 60°N latitude will lead to annual temperature increases of 0.66 °C and 1.84 °C, respectively, when the shrubs are 0.5 m and 2 m tall. The modeled temperature increases arise from atmospheric heating as a combined consequence of decreased albedo and increased ET. The primary difference between the two cases is associated with the fact that tall shrubs protrude above the snow, thus reducing albedo year round, whereas short shrubs are completely

  2. IMPACTS ON FLOODPLAINS BY AN INVASIVE SHRUB, BUDDLEJA DAVIDII

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite its popularity, the ornamental, Buddleja davidii, a woody shrub of Asian origin, is considered problematic because of its ability to rapidly colonize and dominate floodplain and riparian ecosystems. Dominance during early succession may influence community dynamics and ec...

  3. Can shrub cover increase predation risk for a desert rodent?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schooley, R.L.; Sharpe, Peter B.

    1996-01-01

    Previous research indicates that predation risk may influence activity patterns, habitat partitioning, and community structure of nocturnal desert rodents. Shrub microhabitat is typically considered safer than open microhabitat for these small mammals. We investigated predation risk for Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii), which are diurnal desert rodents that detect predators visually and use burrows for refuge. Our results suggested that shrub cover may increase risk for these squirrels by decreasing their ability to escape from predators. Our field experiment indicated that running speeds of juvenile squirrels were lower in shrub (Ceratoides lanata) habitat than in open areas. Shrub cover was also associated with shorter predator-detection distances (mammalian and avian) and fewer refuges (burrow entrances per hectare) than in open areas in one year but not in another. Our study demonstrated that the visual and locomotive obstruction of vegetative cover may increase predation risk for diurnal desert rodents and that elements of habitat-dependent risk may be temporally dynamic.

  4. Origins, Evolution, and Fate of Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Eduardo

    2003-01-01

    Research related to the origins, evolution and fate of brown dwarfs is presented. The topics include: 1) Imaging surveys for brown dwarfs; 2) Companion detection techniques; 3) Measurements of fundamental properties of brown dwarfs; 4) Classification schemes for ultracool dwarfs; 5) Origins and evolution of brown dwarfs; 6) Ultracool atmospheres and interiors; 7) Time variable phenomena in brown dwarfs; 8) Comparisons between brown dwarfs and planets; 9) Substellar mass functions; and 10) Future facilities.

  5. Linking Hydrology, Shrub Habitat, and Novel Wildlife in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tape, K. D.; O'Donnell, J. A.; Christie, K.

    2014-12-01

    Warming during the 20th century changed the Arctic landscape, including aspects of vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, but effects on wildlife have been difficult to detect. We explored linkages between components of the riparian ecosystem in Arctic Alaska since the 1970s, including streamflow timing, temperature, floodplain shrub habitat, and shrub herbivore distributions. Streamflow records showed that the peak spring snowmelt discharge has occurred 3.4 days per decade earlier, and consistent fall temperatures and snow arrival dates over the same period suggest that earlier peak discharge has prolonged the ensuing period of reduced flow in the floodplain. We used empirical correlations between cumulative summer warmth and riparian shrub height to estimate that the longer and warmer growing seasons since the 1970s have stimulated a 63% increase in the height of riparian shrubs. Earlier spring discharge and the estimated increase in riparian shrub height are consistent with the observed riparian shrub expansion in the region. Our measurements showed that snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) require a mean riparian shrub height of at least 1.05 to 1.35 m, a threshold which our hindcasting indicates was met between 1977 and 2002. This generally coincides with observational evidence we present suggesting that snowshoe hares became established in 1977 or 1978. Similar relationships are shown for moose, which colonized the region in the 1940s. We also show that Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) inhabited the region in 1998, probably due in part to increasing availability of snowshoe hares. The novel appearance in the Arctic during the 20th century of terrestrial herbivores such as snowshoe hares and moose in response increased shrub habitat is a contrasting terrestrial counterpart to the decline in marine mammals reliant on decreasing sea ice.

  6. Fencing enhances shrub survival and growth for Mojave desert revegetation

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, R.B.; Romney, E.M.; Wallace, A.

    1980-01-01

    Fourteen species of native shrubs were transplanted to bare areas of the northern Mojave Desert in 1972 and 1973. By 1978 plants surrounded by small fences were larger (0.26 vs 0.11 m/sup 3/ overall average for several species) and survived better (42 percent versus 23 percent) than unfenced plants. These effects are primarily due to reduced grazing of shoots. Loss of shrubs to pocket gophers or other burrowing rodents was not prevented by fencing.

  7. Hunting the Coolest Substellar Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuckerman, Ben; Rodriguez, David; Song, Inseok; Melis, Carl

    2010-06-01

    The few lowest mass substellar objects discovered in previous imaging surveys are found to have large semi-major axes, typically hundreds of AU. We show that at such large separations and toward old stars one has the best chance to detect the coolest brown dwarf companions, with effective temperatures of <500 K (the so-called 'Y dwarfs''). Effective temperatures of 500 K represent a region of temperature space that is only recently being probed for free floating brown dwarfs. The discovery of such cool objects will illuminate their physics and chemistry and will provide observational data to test planetary models. To discover one or more Y dwarfs, we are conducting a survey of white dwarfs with ages >2 Gyr that lie within 35 pc of Earth. As companions to white dwarfs, we will be able to determine the ages of any cool brown dwarfs we find and thus constrain their masses.

  8. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity

    PubMed Central

    Gherardi, Laureano A.; Sala, Osvaldo E.

    2015-01-01

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society. PMID:26417095

  9. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity.

    PubMed

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-10-13

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society. PMID:26417095

  10. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity.

    PubMed

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-10-13

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society.

  11. Erosion by an Alpine glacier.

    PubMed

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Brughelli, Mattia; Lane, Stuart N; Leprince, Sébastien; Adatte, Thierry; Lin, Jiao Y Y; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Cox, Simon C

    2015-10-01

    Assessing the impact of glaciation on Earth's surface requires understanding glacial erosion processes. Developing erosion theories is challenging because of the complex nature of the erosion processes and the difficulty of examining the ice/bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers. We demonstrate that the glacial erosion rate is proportional to the ice-sliding velocity squared, by quantifying spatial variations in ice-sliding velocity and the erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier. The nonlinear behavior implies a high erosion sensitivity to small variations in topographic slope and precipitation. A nonlinear rate law suggests that abrasion may dominate over other erosion processes in fast-flowing glaciers. It may also explain the wide range of observed glacial erosion rates and, in part, the impact of glaciation on mountainous landscapes during the past few million years.

  12. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Brughelli, Mattia; Lane, Stuart N.; Leprince, Sébastien; Adatte, Thierry; Lin, Jiao Y. Y.; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Cox, Simon C.

    2015-10-01

    Assessing the impact of glaciation on Earth’s surface requires understanding glacial erosion processes. Developing erosion theories is challenging because of the complex nature of the erosion processes and the difficulty of examining the ice/bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers. We demonstrate that the glacial erosion rate is proportional to the ice-sliding velocity squared, by quantifying spatial variations in ice-sliding velocity and the erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier. The nonlinear behavior implies a high erosion sensitivity to small variations in topographic slope and precipitation. A nonlinear rate law suggests that abrasion may dominate over other erosion processes in fast-flowing glaciers. It may also explain the wide range of observed glacial erosion rates and, in part, the impact of glaciation on mountainous landscapes during the past few million years.

  13. Dwarf Eye Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Johns Hopkins researchers at the Wilmer Eye Institute have discovered what appears to be the first human gene mutation that causes extreme farsightedness. The researchers report that nanophthalmos, Greek for "dwarf eye," is a rare, potentially blinding disorder caused by an alteration in a gene called MFRP that helps control eye growth and…

  14. Shrubs, streamflow, and the paradox of scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, Bradford P.; Owens, M. Keith; Dugas, William A.; Ueckert, Darrell N.; Hart, Charles R.

    2006-10-01

    In this paper, we examine the linkage between woody plants and the water budget for three important woody plant communities in Texas, USA: saltcedar (Tamarix chinensis, Tamarix ramosissima), Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei Buchholz), and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr. var. glandulosa). In most cases, these species are found in distinct physiographic and soil settings. Saltcedar is restricted to stream channels and floodplains; Ashe juniper is found mostly on karst limestone outcrops with shallow soils; and mesquite is found on deep soils. Because of these differences, changes in woody plant cover in each community will have a different effect on the water budget. For each type, we review the available literature and explicitly report the scale of observation (tree, stand, catchment, or landscape). A simple framework called the shrub-streamflow framework, which recognizes differences in response due to differences in physiographic setting, climate, and potential for deep drainage or subsurface flow, enables us to generalize the results. The fundamental premise of the framework is simple: for shrublands to be hydrologically sensitive to changes in woody plant cover, soil water or groundwater must be accessible to deep-rooting plants but too deep for shallow-rooting ones. Such a situation exists if groundwater is close to the surface (within 3-5 m and/or if deep drainage occurs (because of either high precipitation input or bypass flow in the soil). We argue that on an area basis, conversion of saltcedar stands to herbaceous plants in riparian regions has a much greater potential for increasing water yield than does conversion of woodlands to grasslands in upland regions where deep drainage does not occur. On upland sites where deep drainage does occur, conversion from woody to herbaceous vegetation may result in a savings of 40-80 mm year-1 of water. But such savings have been observed only up to the small-catchment scale, and until further work is done it is

  15. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.

    2014-10-01

    White dwarfs are the evolutionary endpoint for nearly 95% of all stars born in our Galaxy, the final stages of evolution of all low- and intermediate mass stars, i.e., main sequence stars with masses below (8.5± 1.5) M_{odot}, depending on metallicity of the progenitor, mass loss and core overshoot. Massive white dwarfs are intrinsically rare objects, tand produce a gap in the determination of the initial vs. final mass relation at the high mass end (e.g. Weidemann 2000 A&A, 363, 647; Kalirai et al. 2008, ApJ, 676, 594; Williams, Bolte & Koester 2009, ApJ, 693, 355). Main sequences stars with higher masses will explode as SNII (Smartt S. 2009 ARA&A, 47, 63), but the limit does depend on the metallicity of the progenitor. Massive white dwarfs are probably SNIa progenitors through accretion or merger. They are rare, being the final product of massive stars (less common) and have smaller radius (less luminous). Kepler et al. 2007 (MNRAS, 375, 1315), Kleinman et al. 2013 (ApJS, 204, 5) estimate only 1-2% white dwarfs have masses above 1 M_{odot}. The final stages of evolution after helium burning are a race between core growth and loss of the H-rich envelope in a stellar wind. When the burning shell is exposed, the star rapidly cools and burning ceases, leaving a white dwarf. As they cool down, the magnetic field freezes in, ranging from a few kilogauss to a gigagauss. Peculiar type Ia SN 2006gz, SN 2007if, SN 2009dc, SN 2003fg suggest progenitors in the range 2.4-2.8 M_{odot}, and Das U. & Mukhopadhyay B. (2012, Phys. Rev. D, 86, 042001) estimate that the Chandrasekhar limit increases to 2.3-2.6 M_{odot} for extremely high magnetic field stars, but differential rotation induced by accretion could also increase it, according to Hachisu I. et al. 2012 (ApJ, 744, 69). García-Berro et al. 2012, ApJ, 749, 25, for example, proposes double degenerate mergers are the progenitors of high-field magnetic white dwarfs. We propose magnetic fields enhance the line broadening in

  16. The white dwarf luminosity function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Berro, Enrique; Oswalt, Terry D.

    2016-06-01

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for ∼ 10 Gyr. Their observed properties provide information about the history of the Galaxy, its dark matter content and a host of other interesting astrophysical problems. Examples of these include an independent determination of the past history of the local star formation rate, identification of the objects responsible for the reported microlensing events, constraints on the rate of change of the gravitational constant, and upper limits to the mass of weakly interacting massive particles. To carry on these tasks the essential observational tools are the luminosity and mass functions of white dwarfs, whereas the theoretical tools are the evolutionary sequences of white dwarf progenitors, and the corresponding white dwarf cooling sequences. In particular, the observed white dwarf luminosity function is the key manifestation of the white dwarf cooling theory, although other relevant ingredients are needed to compare theory and observations. In this review we summarize the recent attempts to empirically determine the white dwarf luminosity function for the different Galactic populations. We also discuss the biases that may affect its interpretation. Finally, we elaborate on the theoretical ingredients needed to model the white dwarf luminosity function, paying special attention to the remaining uncertainties, and we comment on some applications of the white dwarf cooling theory. Astrophysical problems for which white dwarf stars may provide useful leverage in the near future are also discussed.

  17. Facilitating the afforestation of Mediterranean polluted soils by nurse shrubs.

    PubMed

    Domínguez, María T; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M; Murillo, José M; Marañón, Teodoro

    2015-09-15

    The revegetation of polluted sites and abandoned agricultural soils is critical to reduce soil losses and to control the spread of soil pollution in the Mediterranean region, which is currently exposed to the greatest soil erosion risk in Europe. However, events of massive plant mortality usually occur during the first years after planting, mainly due to the adverse conditions of high irradiance and drought stress. Here, we evaluated the usefulness of considering the positive plant-plant interactions (facilitation effect) in the afforestation of polluted agricultural sites, using pre-existing shrubs as nurse plants. We used nurse shrubs as planting microsites for acorns of Quercus ilex (Holm oak) along a gradient of soil pollution in southwestern Spain, and monitored seedling growth, survival, and chemical composition during three consecutive years. Seedling survival greatly increased (from 20% to more than 50%) when acorns were sown under shrub, in comparison to the open, unprotected matrix. Facilitation of seedling growth by shrubs increased along the gradient of soil pollution, in agreement with the stress gradient hypothesis that predicts higher intensity of the facilitation effects with increasing abiotic stress. Although the accumulation of trace elements in seedling leaves was higher underneath shrub, the shading conditions provided by the shrub canopy allowed seedlings to cope with the toxicity provoked by the concurrence of low pH and high trace element concentrations in the most polluted sites. Our results show that the use of shrubs as nurse plants is a promising tool for the cost-effective afforestation of polluted lands under Mediterranean conditions.

  18. Detection of the White Dwarf Companions of Barium Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, Richard O.; Corbally, C. J.; Griffin, E.; McGahee, C. E.

    2010-01-01

    The Barium dwarfs are chemically peculiar F- and G-type stars that show enhanced abundances of s-process elements such as strontium and barium. They are believed to have derived their chemical peculiarities via mass transfer from a former AGB companion, now a white dwarf. These WD companions should be detectable in the far-ultraviolet if their effective temperatures exceed 10,000K. However, despite dedicated IUE searches, no WD companion has been directly detected. We have observed 4 Ba dwarfs with the GALEX ultraviolet space telescope (2 newly discovered Ba dwarfs have archival observations), and report here on the first unequivocal direct detection of a WD companion of a Ba dwarf, HD 15306, the hottest Ba dwarf known (F4 V). This WD companion is detected through a clear far-ultraviolet excess. Detection of the putative WD companions of the other observed Ba dwarfs is somewhat more problematical, as those stars have cooler effective temperatures and chromospheric activity can significantly affect their FUV fluxes. The disentanglement of WD FUV fluxes from FUV emission due to chromospheric activity requires comparison of the observed Ba dwarfs with F- and G-type dwarfs with archival GALEX photometry. We have selected a set of 68 F- and G-type dwarfs from the NStars program (Gray et al. 2003, 2006) that have good quality archival GALEX photometry and show a wide range of chromospheric activity. A comparison of these stars with the 5 remaining GALEX-observed Ba dwarfs suggests that one and perhaps two of these Ba dwarfs have detectable WD companions.

  19. The Geomorphic Effectiveness of a Woody Shrub

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manners, R.; Schmidt, J. C.; Wheaton, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Vegetation plays a fundamental role in controlling channel form and influencing channel processes. Experimental work has shown that stem density, stem spacing, relative submergence, and stem flexibility are key indicators of the effectiveness of vegetation in altering the flow field. These parameters are likely to be species dependent and change over time as vegetation grows, dies back and is replaced by late successional species. Thus, the role of vegetation is highly variable in both space and time. Capturing this variability is essential in understanding how vegetation controls channel processes. Here, we investigate the spatial and temporal variability of stand characteristics (i.e. stem density and spacing) for the non-native riparian shrub, Tamarix spp. In the Colorado River basin, Tamarix dominates large portions of the riparian corridor. Tamarix is capable of establishing rapidly and in dense stands and as such been implicated in enhancing channel changes observed during the last century. However, questions relating to Tamarix’s role relative to other pervasive environmental changes necessitate a robust way to capture the effectiveness of Tamarix in altering the flow field and inducing deposition. We focus on the stand structure of aging Tamarix stands in order to relate Tamarix life-history to hydrodynamic roughness. High resolution terrestrial laser scans (TLS) were collected for Tamarix patches (10-15 m2) on different geomorphic surfaces (i.e. gravel bar, disconnected floodplain) and ages (5-60 years). Stem frontal area at varying depths was calculated from the scans over the patch and for the patch as a whole. We used Telemac 2D to evaluate how the stem density and spacing influence flow characteristics, such as drag on the stems and Froude number. To do this, the representative stem density and spacing was translated into cylindrical elements on a flat (i.e no topography) mesh. Elevation above the channel influences stand density. For example, a 20

  20. Alpine radar conversion for LAWR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savina, M.; Burlando, P.

    2012-04-01

    The Local Area Weather Radar (LAWR) is a ship-born weather radar system operating in X-band developed by the DHI Group to detect precipitation in urban areas. To date more than thirty units are installed in different settings around the world. A LAWR was also deployed in the Alps, at 3883 m a.s.l. on the Kl. Matterhorn (Valais, Switzerland). This was the highest LAWR of the world and it led to the development of an Alpine LAWR system that, besides featuring important technological improvements needed to withstand the severe Alpine conditions, required the development of a new Alpine Radar COnversion Model (ARCOM), which is the main focus of this contribution. The LAWR system is equipped with the original FURUNO fan-beam slotted antenna and the original logarithmic receiver, which limits the radar observations to the video signal (L) withour providing the reflectivity (Z). The beam is 0.95 deg wide and 20 deg high. It can detect precipitation to a max range of 60 km. In order to account for the limited availability of raw signal and information and the specific mountain set-up, the conversion model had to be developed differently from the state-of-the-art radar conversion technique used for this class of radars. In particular, the ARCOM is based on a model used to simulate a spatial dependent factor, hereafter called ACF, which is in turn function of parameters that take in account climatological conditions, also used in other conversion methods, but additionally accounting for local radar beam features and for orographic forcings such as the effective sampling power (sP), which is modelled by means of antenna pattern, geometric ground clutter and their interaction. The result is a conversion factor formulated to account for a range correction that is based on the increase of the sampling volume, partial beam blocking and local climatological conditions. The importance of the latter in this study is double with respect to the standard conversion technique for this

  1. White dwarf heating and the ultraviolet flux in dwarf novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pringle, J. E.

    1988-01-01

    The heating of the outer layers of the white dwarf which is likely to occur during a dwarf nova outburst is investigated. It is shown that the decline in IUE flux, observed during quiescent intervals in the dwarf novae VW Hydri and WX Hydri, may be due to the outer layers cooling off once the heat source is removed. The calculations here assume uniformity of the heat source over the white dwarf surface. This is unlikely to be realized from disk accretion, and discussion is made of what further calculations are required.

  2. Modeling rates of life form cover change in burned and unburned alpine heathland subject to experimental warming.

    PubMed

    Camac, James S; Williams, Richard J; Wahren, Carl-Henrik; Jarrad, Frith; Hoffmann, Ary A; Vesk, Peter A

    2015-06-01

    Elevated global temperatures are expected to alter vegetation dynamics by interacting with physiological processes, biotic relationships and disturbance regimes. However, few studies have explicitly modeled the effects of these interactions on rates of vegetation change, despite such information being critical to forecasting temporal patterns in vegetation dynamics. In this study, we build and parameterize rate-change models for three dominant alpine life forms using data from a 7-year warming experiment. These models allowed us to examine how the interactions between experimental warming, the abundance of bare ground (a measure of past disturbance) and neighboring life forms (a measure of life form interaction) affect rates of cover change in alpine shrubs, graminoids and forbs. We show that experimental warming altered rates of life form cover change by reducing the negative effects of neighboring life forms and positive effects of bare ground. Furthermore, we show that our models can predict the observed direction and rate of life form cover change at burned and unburned long-term monitoring sites. Model simulations revealed that warming in unburned vegetation is expected to result in increased forb and shrub cover and decreased graminoid cover. In contrast, in burned vegetation, warming is predicted to slow post-fire regeneration in both graminoids and forbs and facilitate rapid expansion in shrub cover. These findings illustrate the applicability of modeling rates of vegetation change using experimental data. Our results also highlight the need to account for both disturbance and the abundance of other life forms when examining and forecasting vegetation dynamics under climatic change. PMID:25694042

  3. Deceleration efficiencies of shrub windbreaks in a wind tunnel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaoxu; Zou, Xueyong; Zhou, Na; Zhang, Chunlai; Shi, Sha

    2015-03-01

    Artemisia and Salix are dominant shrub species for windbreaks in arid areas of China, and they show similar features to shrubs in other arid areas of the world. We compared the mean velocity fields and shelter effects of two shrub windbreaks with different layouts. For a single plant of Artemisia, the higher the free airflow velocity is, the more the wind velocity around two sides of the plant increases. The velocity gradient around a single plant of Salix is smaller than that around an Artemisia plant due to the difference in the plant shapes. Seven new velocity zones in the horizontal direction appear when airflow passes through an Artemisia windbreak, including four deceleration zones and three acceleration zones. The mean velocity field that is affected by a Salix windbreak can be divided into a deceleration zone in the front, an acceleration zone above, a vortex zone behind and a restoration zone downwind of the vortex zone. Shelter effects of the shrub windbreaks vary with the wind velocity and are influenced by the construct of the windbreaks. Shrub windbreaks that have a complex construction have better shelter effects than simple ones. The shelter effects of plant windbreaks are also influenced by the growth features of the plants. Considering the plant characteristics and the shelter effects of Salix and Artemisia windbreaks, it is optimal to plant these two windbreaks together in a sand-control system. This research is intended to be useful for sand movement control in arid areas.

  4. Shrubs and Runoff in Semiarid Landscapes: Whats the Linkage?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, B. P.; Owens, M. K.; Knight, R.; Lyons, R. K.

    2001-12-01

    Here we examine linkage between streamflow and shrub cover in semiarid landscapes with a focus on the extensive Texas rangelands covered by mesquite and juniper. The conclusions drawn are consistent with results from field studies and with our understanding of runoff processes from rangelands. Whether and how shrub control will affect streamflow depends on shrub characteristics, precipitation, soils, and geology. Precipitation is perhaps the most fundamental of these factors: there is little if any real potential for increasing streamflow where annual precipitation is below about 500 mm. For areas in which precipitation is sufficient, an excellent indicator that there is potential for increasing streamflow through shrub control is that base flow is an important component of streamflow. Another key indicator is shallow soils underlain by fractured parent material; under such conditions, increased streamflows are possible mainly because water that would otherwise be lost through interception by the canopy instead moves into the soil and quickly travels beyond the root zone. Conversely, where soils are deep there is little evidence that streamflow can be significantly increased by reducing brush cover. Results from a 10 year small watershed study where juniper was selectively removed in the Edwards plateau region of Texas will be summarized in this presentation. In assessing the potential for shrub control to increase streamflow, the runoff generation process should be explicitly identified. Areas in which Horton overland flow is the primary runoff mechanism offer little potential for increasing streamflow via vegetation management.

  5. [Soil moisture dynamics under artificial Caragana microphylla shrub].

    PubMed

    Alamusa; Jiang, Deming; Fan, Shixiang; Luo, Yongming

    2002-12-01

    Applying the methods of deducing time series from vegetation space alignment, we analyzed the spatial and temporal variation features of soil moisture under artificial Caragana microphylla shrubs built in 1984, 1987, 1995, 1999. The results showed that affected by mechanical composition of mobile sandy dunes, the soil of sandy land was mainly composed of sandy particle, and the particles of > 0.01 mm were accounted for 97%. The withered moisture was 1.55%. The field waterhold capacity was 5.5%, and the available moisture storage was 3.95%. With the increase of the dominance of fix-sand vegetation, the moisture content of soil under artificial Caragana microphylla shrubs was decreased. The soil moisture of vegetation built in 1984 was lower than that built in 1999. The soil moisture conditions of four stages vegetation were continued depressing from April to June in a year, the lowest point presenced in June, and then gradually increased from July to October. The vertical change of soil moisture showed the tendency of increasing with soil depth. The soil moisture decreased by the degrees of early built vegetation (1984, 1987). Especially in 70 cm soil depth, the moisture content of soil decreased obviously. Caragana microphylla shrubs absorbed water and aggravated the shortage of soil moisture content near the root system, which affected the component of vegetation in Caragana microphylla shrubs. The species of herbaceous plants and annual plants increased during the growth of Caragana microphylla shrub.

  6. Collapsing white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baron, E.; Cooperstein, J.; Kahana, S.; Nomoto, K.

    1987-01-01

    The results of the hydrodynamic collapse of an accreting C + O white dwarf are presented. Collapse is induced by electron captures in the iron core behind a conductive deflagration front. The shock wave produced by the hydrodynamic bounce of the iron core stalls at about 115 km, and thus a neutron star formed in such a model would be formed as an optically quiet event.

  7. Local Universe Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carignan, Claude

    2015-08-01

    One of the outstanding problems in cosmology is addressing the "small-scale crisis" and understanding structure formation at the smallest scales. Standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter cosmological simulations of Milky Way-size DM halos predict many more DM sub-halos than the number of dwarf galaxies observed. This is the so-called Missing Satellites Problem. The most popular interpretation of the Missing Satellites Problem is that the smallest dark matter halos in the universe are extremely inefficient at forming stars. The virialized extent of the Milky Way's halo should contain ~500 satellites, while only ˜100 satellites and dwarfs are observed in the whole Local Group. Despite the large amount of theoretical work and new optical observations, the discrepancy, even if reduced, still persists between observations and hierarchical models, regardless of the model parameters. It may be possible to find those isolated ultra-faint missing dwarf galaxies via their neutral gas component, which is one of the goals we are pursuing with the SKA precursor KAT-7 in South Africa, and soon with the SKA pathfinder MeerKAT.

  8. Vascular plant abundance and diversity in an alpine heath under observed and simulated global change

    PubMed Central

    Alatalo, Juha M.; Little, Chelsea J.; Jägerbrand, Annika K.; Molau, Ulf

    2015-01-01

    Global change is predicted to cause shifts in species distributions and biodiversity in arctic tundra. We applied factorial warming and nutrient manipulation to a nutrient and species poor alpine/arctic heath community for seven years. Vascular plant abundance in control plots increased by 31%. There were also notable changes in cover in the nutrient and combined nutrient and warming treatments, with deciduous and evergreen shrubs declining, grasses overgrowing these plots. Sedge abundance initially increased significantly with nutrient amendment and then declined, going below initial values in the combined nutrient and warming treatment. Nutrient addition resulted in a change in dominance hierarchy from deciduous shrubs to grasses. We found significant declines in vascular plant diversity and evenness in the warming treatment and a decline in diversity in the combined warming and nutrient addition treatment, while nutrient addition caused a decline in species richness. The results give some experimental support that species poor plant communities with low diversity may be more vulnerable to loss of species diversity than communities with higher initial diversity. The projected increase in nutrient deposition and warming may therefore have negative impacts on ecosystem processes, functioning and services due to loss of species diversity in an already impoverished environment. PMID:25950370

  9. Vascular plant abundance and diversity in an alpine heath under observed and simulated global change.

    PubMed

    Alatalo, Juha M; Little, Chelsea J; Jägerbrand, Annika K; Molau, Ulf

    2015-05-07

    Global change is predicted to cause shifts in species distributions and biodiversity in arctic tundra. We applied factorial warming and nutrient manipulation to a nutrient and species poor alpine/arctic heath community for seven years. Vascular plant abundance in control plots increased by 31%. There were also notable changes in cover in the nutrient and combined nutrient and warming treatments, with deciduous and evergreen shrubs declining, grasses overgrowing these plots. Sedge abundance initially increased significantly with nutrient amendment and then declined, going below initial values in the combined nutrient and warming treatment. Nutrient addition resulted in a change in dominance hierarchy from deciduous shrubs to grasses. We found significant declines in vascular plant diversity and evenness in the warming treatment and a decline in diversity in the combined warming and nutrient addition treatment, while nutrient addition caused a decline in species richness. The results give some experimental support that species poor plant communities with low diversity may be more vulnerable to loss of species diversity than communities with higher initial diversity. The projected increase in nutrient deposition and warming may therefore have negative impacts on ecosystem processes, functioning and services due to loss of species diversity in an already impoverished environment.

  10. Soil Microbial Activity Provides Insight to Carbon Cycling in Shrub Ecotones of Sub-Arctic Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marek, E.; Kashi, N. N.; Chen, J.; Hobbie, E. A.; Schwan, M. R.; Varner, R. K.

    2015-12-01

    Shrubs are expanding in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions due to rising atmospheric temperatures. Microbial activity increases as growing temperatures cause permafrost warming and subsequent thaw, leading to a greater resource of soil nutrients enabling shrub growth. Increased carbon inputs from shrubs is predicted to result in faster carbon turnover by microbial decomposition. Further understanding of microbial activity underneath shrubs could uncover how microbes and soil processes interact to promote shrub expansion and carbon cycling. To address how higher soil carbon input from shrubs influences decomposition, soil samples were taken across a heath, shrub, and forest ecotone gradient at two sites near Abikso, Sweden. Samples were analyzed for soluble carbon and nitrogen, microbial abundance, and microbial activity of chitinase, glucosidase, and phosphatase to reflect organic matter decomposition and availability of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphate respectively. Chitinase activity positively correlated with shrub cover, suggesting microbial demands for nitrogen increase with higher shrub cover. Glucosidase activity negatively correlated with shrub cover and soluble carbon, suggesting decreased microbial demand for carbon as shrub cover and carbon stores increase. Lower glucosidase activity in areas with high carbon input from shrubs implies that microbes are decomposing carbon less readily than carbon is being put into the soil. Increasing soil carbon stores in shrub covered areas can lead to shrubs becoming a net carbon sink and a negative feedback to changing climate.

  11. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Lane, Stuart; Brughelli, Mattia; Leprince, Sebastien; Brun, Fanny

    2015-04-01

    Most mountain ranges on Earth owe their morphology to the action of glaciers and icecaps over the last few million years. Our current understanding of how glaciers have modified mountainous landforms has mainly been driven through landscape evolution models. These have included an array of erosion laws and mainly progressed through the implementation of various levels of sophistication regarding ice dynamics, subglacial hydrology or thermodynamics of water flow. However, the complex nature of the erosion processes involved and the difficulty of directly examining the ice-bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers has precluded the establishment of a prevailing erosion theory. Here we quantify the spatial variations in ice sliding velocity and erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier in New Zealand during a 5-month period. By combining high resolution 3D measurements of surface velocity from optical satellite imagery with the quantification of both the production and provenance of sediments by the glacier, we show that erosion rates are proportional to sliding velocity raised to a power of about two. This result is consistent with abrasion theory. Given that the ice sliding velocity is a nonlinear function of ice thickness and ice surface slope, the response of glacial erosion to precipitation changes is highly nonlinear. Finally, our ability to constrain the glacial abrasion law present opportunities to further examine the interaction between glaciation and mountain evolution.

  12. 75 FR 74681 - Alpine County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-01

    ... will be held in Alpine County at the Alpine Early Learning Center, 100 Foothill Road, Markleeville, CA... Forest Service Issues of interest to the public (2) Public Comment. The meeting is open to the...

  13. Elevation of house built at 3315 Alpine St., SW for ...

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

    Elevation of house built at 3315 Alpine St., SW for Merrimack Mill workers. Originally a duplex, this structure has been converted into a single family house - 3315 Alpine Street, Southwest (House), Huntsville, Madison County, AL

  14. Holocene Asian monsoon evolution revealed by a pollen record from an alpine lake on the southeastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Enlou; Wang, Yongbo; Sun, Weiwei; Shen, Ji

    2016-02-01

    We present the results of pollen analyses from a 1105 cm long sediment core from Wuxu Lake in southwestern China, which depict the variations of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) during the last 12.3 ka. During the period of 12.3 to 11.3 cal ka BP, the dominance of Betula forest and open alpine shrub and meadow around Wuxu Lake indicates a climate with relatively cold winters and dry summers, corresponding to the Younger Dryas event. Between 11.3 and 10.4 cal ka BP, further expansion of Betula forest and the retreat of alpine shrubs and meadows reflect a greater seasonality with cold winters and gradually increasing summer precipitation. From 10.4 to 4.9 cal ka BP, the dense forest understory, together with the gradual decrease in Betula forest and increase in Tsuga forest, suggest that the winters became warmer and summer precipitation was at a maximum, corresponding to the Holocene climatic optimum. Between 4.9 and 2.6 cal ka BP, Tsuga forest and alpine shrubs and meadows expanded significantly, reflecting relatively warm winters and decreased summer precipitation. Since 2.6 cal ka BP, reforestation around Wuxu Lake indicates a renewed humid period in the late Holocene; however, the vegetation in the catchment may also have been affected by grazing activity during this period. The results of our study are generally consistent with previous findings; however, the timing and duration of the Holocene climatic optimum from different records are inconsistent, reflecting real contrast in local rainfall response to the ISM. Overall, the EAWM is broadly in-phase with the ISM on the orbital timescale, and both monsoons exhibit a trend of decreasing strength from the early to late Holocene, reflecting the interplay of solar insolation receipt between the winter and summer seasons and El Niño-Southern Oscillation strength in the tropical Pacific.

  15. Fog Water Use in Coastal California Shrub Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emery, N.; D'Antonio, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    Fog strongly influences plant communities along the California coast. Chaparral and California Sage Scrub are no exception. This study identified fog water use in five shrub species from the Santa Barbara region. The authors collected fog, rain and groundwater from several field sites for three years (2011-2013) to establish the source water isotopic signatures. Plant stem tissue was collected periodically throughout the summer months and water was extracted for stable isotope analysis. To account for soil evaporative fractionation, the authors collected soil samples from the field and constructed local evaporative correction lines. Preliminary mixing model analysis suggests fog water use in several shrub species while others utilized rain and groundwater during the late summer. This additional water may buffer the effects of summer drought in only some of the species that live in the shrub-dominated communities along the California coast.

  16. Catchment-mediated atmospheric nitrogen deposition drives ecological change in two alpine lakes in SE Tibet.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhujun; Anderson, Nicholas John; Yang, Xiangdong; McGowan, Suzanne

    2014-05-01

    The south-east margin of Tibet is highly sensitive to global environmental change pressures, in particular, high contemporary reactive nitrogen (Nr) deposition rates (ca. 40 kg ha(-1)  yr(-1) ), but the extent and timescale of recent ecological change is not well prescribed. Multiproxy analyses (diatoms, pigments and geochemistry) of (210) Pb-dated sediment cores from two alpine lakes in Sichuan were used to assess whether they have undergone ecological change comparable to those in Europe and North America over the last two centuries. The study lakes have contrasting catchment-to-lake ratios and vegetation cover: Shade Co has a relatively larger catchment and denser alpine shrub than Moon Lake. Both lakes exhibited unambiguous increasing production since the late 19th to early 20th. Principle component analysis was used to summarize the trends of diatom and pigment data after the little ice age (LIA). There was strong linear change in biological proxies at both lakes, which were not consistent with regional temperature, suggesting that climate is not the primary driver of ecological change. The multiproxy analysis indicated an indirect ecological response to Nr deposition at Shade Co mediated through catchment processes since ca. 1930, while ecological change at Moon Lake started earlier (ca. 1880) and was more directly related to Nr deposition (depleted δ(15) N). The only pronounced climate effect was evidenced by changes during the LIA when photoautotrophic groups shifted dramatically at Shade Co (a 4-fold increase in lutein concentration) and planktonic diatom abundance declined at both sites because of longer ice cover. The substantial increases in aquatic production over the last ca. 100 years required a substantial nutrient subsidy and the geochemical data point to a major role for Nr deposition although dust cannot be excluded. The study also highlights the importance of lake and catchment morphology for determining the response of alpine lakes to

  17. View looking down alley behind Alpine St, SW at a ...

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

    View looking down alley behind Alpine St, SW at a typical row of privies. Each section contained a latrine and a shower for the adjacent mill worker housing - 3703 Alpine Street, Southwest (Outbuilding), 3703 Alpine Street, Southwest, Huntsville, Madison County, AL

  18. Environmental Limits of Tall Shrubs in Alaska's Arctic National Parks.

    PubMed

    Swanson, David K

    2015-01-01

    We sampled shrub canopy volume (height times area) and environmental factors (soil wetness, soil depth of thaw, soil pH, mean July air temperature, and typical date of spring snow loss) on 471 plots across five National Park Service units in northern Alaska. Our goal was to determine the environments where tall shrubs thrive and use this information to predict the location of future shrub expansion. The study area covers over 80,000 km2 and has mostly tundra vegetation. Large canopy volumes were uncommon, with volumes over 0.5 m3/m2 present on just 8% of plots. Shrub canopy volumes were highest where mean July temperatures were above 10.5°C and on weakly acid to neutral soils (pH of 6 to 7) with deep summer thaw (>80 cm) and good drainage. On many sites, flooding helped maintain favorable soil conditions for shrub growth. Canopy volumes were highest where the typical snow loss date was near 20 May; these represent sites that are neither strongly wind-scoured in the winter nor late to melt from deep snowdrifts. Individual species varied widely in the canopy volumes they attained and their response to the environmental factors. Betula sp. shrubs were the most common and quite tolerant of soil acidity, cold July temperatures, and shallow thaw depths, but they did not form high-volume canopies under these conditions. Alnus viridis formed the largest canopies and was tolerant of soil acidity down to about pH 5, but required more summer warmth (over 12°C) than the other species. The Salix species varied widely from S. pulchra, tolerant of wet and moderately acid soils, to S. alaxensis, requiring well-drained soils with near neutral pH. Nearly half of the land area in ARCN has mean July temperatures of 10.5 to 12.5°C, where 2°C of warming would bring temperatures into the range needed for all of the potential tall shrub species to form large canopies. However, limitations in the other environmental factors would probably prevent the formation of large shrub canopies

  19. A contribution of groundwater to Mojave Desert shrub transpiration

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, R.B.

    1988-12-31

    Soil moisture was measured to 1-m depths in the northern Mojave Desert on two plots, one of which was denuded of shrubs. The pattern of wetting-drying near the surface and below the depth wet by rainfall suggested roughly 2 mm per month of transpired water was supplied by percolation upward from below the root zone. This deep moisture built up during fall and winter and depleted in spring and summer, which correlates well with local shrub phenology. 10 refs., 3 figs.

  20. Environmental Limits of Tall Shrubs in Alaska's Arctic National Parks.

    PubMed

    Swanson, David K

    2015-01-01

    We sampled shrub canopy volume (height times area) and environmental factors (soil wetness, soil depth of thaw, soil pH, mean July air temperature, and typical date of spring snow loss) on 471 plots across five National Park Service units in northern Alaska. Our goal was to determine the environments where tall shrubs thrive and use this information to predict the location of future shrub expansion. The study area covers over 80,000 km2 and has mostly tundra vegetation. Large canopy volumes were uncommon, with volumes over 0.5 m3/m2 present on just 8% of plots. Shrub canopy volumes were highest where mean July temperatures were above 10.5°C and on weakly acid to neutral soils (pH of 6 to 7) with deep summer thaw (>80 cm) and good drainage. On many sites, flooding helped maintain favorable soil conditions for shrub growth. Canopy volumes were highest where the typical snow loss date was near 20 May; these represent sites that are neither strongly wind-scoured in the winter nor late to melt from deep snowdrifts. Individual species varied widely in the canopy volumes they attained and their response to the environmental factors. Betula sp. shrubs were the most common and quite tolerant of soil acidity, cold July temperatures, and shallow thaw depths, but they did not form high-volume canopies under these conditions. Alnus viridis formed the largest canopies and was tolerant of soil acidity down to about pH 5, but required more summer warmth (over 12°C) than the other species. The Salix species varied widely from S. pulchra, tolerant of wet and moderately acid soils, to S. alaxensis, requiring well-drained soils with near neutral pH. Nearly half of the land area in ARCN has mean July temperatures of 10.5 to 12.5°C, where 2°C of warming would bring temperatures into the range needed for all of the potential tall shrub species to form large canopies. However, limitations in the other environmental factors would probably prevent the formation of large shrub canopies

  1. Satellite dwarf galaxies in a hierarchical universe: the prevalence of dwarf-dwarf major mergers

    SciTech Connect

    Deason, Alis; Wetzel, Andrew; Garrison-Kimmel, Shea

    2014-10-20

    Mergers are a common phenomenon in hierarchical structure formation, especially for massive galaxies and clusters, but their importance for dwarf galaxies in the Local Group remains poorly understood. We investigate the frequency of major mergers between dwarf galaxies in the Local Group using the ELVIS suite of cosmological zoom-in dissipationless simulations of Milky Way- and M31-like host halos. We find that ∼10% of satellite dwarf galaxies with M {sub star} > 10{sup 6} M {sub ☉} that are within the host virial radius experienced a major merger of stellar mass ratio closer than 0.1 since z = 1, with a lower fraction for lower mass dwarf galaxies. Recent merger remnants are biased toward larger radial distance and more recent virial infall times, because most recent mergers occurred shortly before crossing within the virial radius of the host halo. Satellite-satellite mergers also occur within the host halo after virial infall, catalyzed by the large fraction of dwarf galaxies that fell in as part of a group. The merger fraction doubles for dwarf galaxies outside of the host virial radius, so the most distant dwarf galaxies in the Local Group are the most likely to have experienced a recent major merger. We discuss the implications of these results on observable dwarf merger remnants, their star formation histories, the gas content of mergers, and massive black holes in dwarf galaxies.

  2. Climate change and its impacts on vegetation distribution and net primary productivity of the alpine ecosystem in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Gao, Qingzhu; Guo, Yaqi; Xu, Hongmei; Ganjurjav, Hasbagen; Li, Yue; Wan, Yunfan; Qin, Xiaobo; Ma, Xin; Liu, Shuo

    2016-06-01

    Changes in climate have caused impacts on ecosystems on all continents scale, and climate change is also projected to be a stressor on most ecosystems even at the rate of low- to medium-range warming scenarios. Alpine ecosystem in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is vulnerable to climate change. To quantify the climate change impacts on alpine ecosystems, we simulated the vegetation distribution and net primary production in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau for three future periods (2020s, 2050s and 2080s) using climate projection for RCPs (Representative Concentration Pathways) RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. The modified Lund-Potsdam-Jena Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (LPJ model) was parameter and test to make it applicable to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Climate projections that were applied to LPJ model in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau showed trends toward warmer and wetter conditions. Results based on climate projections indicated changes from 1.3°C to 4.2°C in annual temperature and changes from 2% to 5% in annual precipitation. The main impacts on vegetation distribution was increase in the area of forests and shrubs, decrease in alpine meadows which mainly replaced by shrubs which dominated the eastern plateau, and expanding in alpine steppes to the northwest dominated the western and northern plateau. The NPP was projected to increase by 79% and 134% under the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The projected NPP generally increased about 200gC·m(-2)·yr(-1) in most parts of the plateau with a gradual increase from the eastern to the western region of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau at the end of this century.

  3. Climate change and its impacts on vegetation distribution and net primary productivity of the alpine ecosystem in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Gao, Qingzhu; Guo, Yaqi; Xu, Hongmei; Ganjurjav, Hasbagen; Li, Yue; Wan, Yunfan; Qin, Xiaobo; Ma, Xin; Liu, Shuo

    2016-06-01

    Changes in climate have caused impacts on ecosystems on all continents scale, and climate change is also projected to be a stressor on most ecosystems even at the rate of low- to medium-range warming scenarios. Alpine ecosystem in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is vulnerable to climate change. To quantify the climate change impacts on alpine ecosystems, we simulated the vegetation distribution and net primary production in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau for three future periods (2020s, 2050s and 2080s) using climate projection for RCPs (Representative Concentration Pathways) RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. The modified Lund-Potsdam-Jena Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (LPJ model) was parameter and test to make it applicable to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Climate projections that were applied to LPJ model in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau showed trends toward warmer and wetter conditions. Results based on climate projections indicated changes from 1.3°C to 4.2°C in annual temperature and changes from 2% to 5% in annual precipitation. The main impacts on vegetation distribution was increase in the area of forests and shrubs, decrease in alpine meadows which mainly replaced by shrubs which dominated the eastern plateau, and expanding in alpine steppes to the northwest dominated the western and northern plateau. The NPP was projected to increase by 79% and 134% under the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The projected NPP generally increased about 200gC·m(-2)·yr(-1) in most parts of the plateau with a gradual increase from the eastern to the western region of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau at the end of this century. PMID:26950617

  4. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Luyten, W J

    1978-10-01

    An analysis has been made for solar motion for 128 very faint white dwarfs of color class b or a. While about 40% of these stars may be high-velocity objects, it seems definitely indicated that the luminosity of all of them is considerably lower than that for the "normal" white dwarf of the same color. PMID:16592566

  5. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Luyten, W J

    1978-10-01

    An analysis has been made for solar motion for 128 very faint white dwarfs of color class b or a. While about 40% of these stars may be high-velocity objects, it seems definitely indicated that the luminosity of all of them is considerably lower than that for the "normal" white dwarf of the same color.

  6. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs

    PubMed Central

    Luyten, Willem J.

    1978-01-01

    An analysis has been made for solar motion for 128 very faint white dwarfs of color class b or a. While about 40% of these stars may be high-velocity objects, it seems definitely indicated that the luminosity of all of them is considerably lower than that for the “normal” white dwarf of the same color. PMID:16592566

  7. Testing gravity using dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakstein, Jeremy

    2015-12-01

    Generic scalar-tensor theories of gravity predict deviations from Newtonian physics inside astrophysical bodies. In this paper, we point out that low mass stellar objects, red and brown dwarf stars, are excellent probes of these theories. We calculate two important and potentially observable quantities: the radius of brown dwarfs and the minimum mass for hydrogen burning in red dwarfs. The brown dwarf radius can differ significantly from the general relativity prediction, and upcoming surveys that probe the mass-radius relation for stars with masses dwarf stars. This places a new and extremely stringent constraint on the parameters that appear in the effective field theory of dark energy and rules out several well-studied dark energy models.

  8. Brown dwarfs detections through microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranc, C.; Cassan, A.

    2014-12-01

    Gravitational microlensing is known to be a powerful method to hunt for extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. Recently, several brown dwarfs companions to stars have been detected through microlensing, as well as brown dwarfs binaries. We present the discovery of a new ˜ 40 M_{J} brown dwarf orbiting a K-dwarf at ˜ 4 AU, located at ˜ 4 kpc from the Earth. Besides using the standard photometric light curves gathered from different round-the-world observatories, its characterization involved high-resolution adaptative optics measurements from NaCo at VLT which allowed to break the degeneracies between the physical parameters and provide the exact mass and projected separation of the system.

  9. Birch shrub growth in the low Arctic: the relative importance of experimental warming, enhanced nutrient availability, snow depth and caribou exclusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamin, Tara J.; Grogan, Paul

    2012-09-01

    Deciduous shrub growth has increased across the Arctic simultaneously with recent climate warming trends. The reduction in albedo associated with shrub-induced ‘greening’ of the tundra is predicted to cause significant positive feedbacks to regional warming. Enhanced soil fertility arising from climate change is expected to be the primary mechanism driving shrub responses, yet our overall understanding of the relative importance of soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability and the significance of other ecological drivers is constrained by experiments with varying treatments, sites, and durations. We investigated dwarf birch apical stem growth responses to a wide range of ecological factors (enhanced summer temperatures, deepened snow, caribou exclusion, factorial high level nitrogen and phosphorus additions, and low level nitrogen additions) after six years of experimental manipulations in birch hummock tundra. As expected, birch apical stem growth was more strongly enhanced by the substantial increases in nutrient supply than by our changes in any of the other ecological factors. The factorial additions revealed that P availability was at least as important as that of N, and our low N additions demonstrated that growth was unresponsive to moderate increases in soil nitrogen alone. Experimental warming increased apical stem growth 2.5-fold—considerably more than in past studies—probably due to the relatively strong effect of our greenhouses on soil temperature. Together, these results have important implications for our understanding of the biogeochemical functioning of mesic tundra ecosystems as well as predicting their vegetation responses to climate change.

  10. Seeing Baby Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Visible/DSS Click on image for larger version Ultraviolet/GALEX Click on image for larger version Poster Version Click on image for larger version

    The unique ultraviolet vision of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer reveals, for the first time, dwarf galaxies forming out of nothing more than pristine gas likely leftover from the early universe. Dwarf galaxies are relatively small collections of stars that often orbit around larger galaxies like our Milky Way.

    The forming dwarf galaxies shine in the far ultraviolet spectrum, rendered as blue in the call-out on the right hand side of this image. Near ultraviolet light, also obtained by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, is displayed in green, and visible light from the blue part of the spectrum here is represented by red. The clumps (in circles) are distinctively blue, indicating they are primarily detected in far ultraviolet light.

    The faint blue overlay traces the outline of the Leo Ring, a huge cloud of hydrogen and helium that orbits around two massive galaxies in the constellation Leo (left panel). The cloud is thought likely to be a primordial object, an ancient remnant of material that has remained relatively unchanged since the very earliest days of the universe. Identified about 25 years ago by radio waves, the ring cannot be seen in visible light.

    Only a portion of the Leo Ring has been imaged in the ultraviolet, but this section contains the telltale ultraviolet signature of recent massive star formation within this ring of pristine gas. Astronomers have previously only seen dwarf galaxies form out of gas that has already been cycled through a galaxy and enriched with metals elements heavier than helium produced as stars evolve.

    The visible data come from the Digitized Sky Survey of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. The

  11. Siliceous Shrubs in Yellowstone's Hot Springs: Implications for Exobiological Investigations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guidry, S. A.; Chafetz, H. S.

    2003-01-01

    Potential relict hot springs have been identified on Mars and, using the Earth as an analog, Martian hot springs are postulated to be an optimal locality for recognizing preserved evidence of extraterrestrial life. Distinctive organic and inorganic biomarkers are necessary to recognize preserved evidence of life in terrestrial and extraterrestrial hot spring accumulations. Hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A., contain a wealth of information about primitive microbial life and associated biosignatures that may be useful for future exobiological investigations. Numerous siliceous hot springs in Yellowstone contain abundant, centimeter-scale, spinose precipitates of opaline silica (opal-A). Although areally extensive in siliceous hot spring discharge channel facies, these spinose forms have largely escaped attention. These precipitates referred to as shrubs, consist of porous aggregates of spinose opaline silica that superficially resemble miniature woody plants, i.e., the term shrubs. Shrubs in carbonate precipitating systems have received considerable attention, and represent naturally occurring biotically induced precipitates. As such, shrubs have great potential as hot spring environmental indicators and, more importantly, proxies for pre-existing microbial life.

  12. Foliar uptake of fog in coastal California shrub species.

    PubMed

    Emery, Nathan C

    2016-11-01

    Understanding plant water uptake is important in ecosystems that experience periodic drought. In many Mediterranean-type climates like coastal California, plants are subject to significant drought and wildfire disturbance. During the dry summer months, coastal shrub species are often exposed to leaf wetting from overnight fog events. This study sought to determine whether foliar uptake of fog occurs in shrub species and how this uptake affects physiology and fuel condition. In a controlled greenhouse experiment, dominant California shrub species were exposed to isotopically labeled fog water and plant responses were measured. Potted plants were covered at the base to prevent root uptake. The deuterium label was detected in the leaves of four out of five species and in the stems of two of the species. While there was a minimal effect of foliar water uptake on live fuel moisture, several species had lower xylem tension and greater photosynthetic rates after overnight fog treatments, especially Salvia leucophylla. Coastal fog may provide a moisture source for many species during the summer drought, but the utilization of this water source may vary based on foliar morphology, phenology and plant water balance. From this study, it appears that drought-deciduous species (Artemisia californica and Salvia leucophylla) benefit more from overnight fog events than evergreen species (Adenostoma fasciculatum, Baccharis pilularis and Ceanothus megacarpus). This differential response to fog exposure among California shrub species may affect species distributions and physiological tolerances under future climate scenarios. PMID:27568025

  13. Shortwave Radiation Transmission Through Tundra Shrub Canopies During Snowmelt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bewley, D.; Pomeroy, J.; Essery, R.; Sicart, J. E.

    2004-05-01

    Shortwave radiation transmission through a canopy represents a major determinant of pre-melt and melt-period energetics, and has received considerable attention in forested catchments for both closed and open-woodland type canopies. Radiation attenuation within deciduous shrub canopies, of much lower foliage density, continuity and height, has yet to receive such attention and forms the focus of the current study. Incoming shortwave radiation through a discontinuous shrub canopy was measured by an array of 9 solarimeters positioned under alder shrubs of variable architecture, and 1 radiometer placed above the vegetation. Half-hourly averaged data were collected for a period of 17 days, which incorporated both clear-sky and overcast diurnal cycles. Plant area index (PAI) was measured over each radiometer using a Licor LAI2000. At each radiometer, a negative linear relationship between transmissivity and LAI was observed (mean R2 = 0.62). The bulk or areal transmissivity, measured as a simple average of all radiometers, ranged diurnally between 0.55 and 0.63, and showed only a small dependence on cloudiness. Diurnal profiles of transmissivity and shortwave radiation extinction effeciencies were noisy, due to the highly heterogenous nature of individual branch orientations. However, the radiation extinction exhibits some dependence on solar angle, and this relationship offers one approach to the modeling of shortwave transmission through shrub canopies.

  14. The Invasive Shrub, Buddleja davidii (Butterfl y Bush)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Buddleja davidii Franchet (Synonym. Buddleia davidii; common name Butterfly bush) is a perennial, semi-deciduous shrub or small multi-stemmed tree that is resident in gardens and disturbed areas in temperate locations worldwide. Since its introduction to the United Kingdom from c...

  15. Foliar uptake of fog in coastal California shrub species.

    PubMed

    Emery, Nathan C

    2016-11-01

    Understanding plant water uptake is important in ecosystems that experience periodic drought. In many Mediterranean-type climates like coastal California, plants are subject to significant drought and wildfire disturbance. During the dry summer months, coastal shrub species are often exposed to leaf wetting from overnight fog events. This study sought to determine whether foliar uptake of fog occurs in shrub species and how this uptake affects physiology and fuel condition. In a controlled greenhouse experiment, dominant California shrub species were exposed to isotopically labeled fog water and plant responses were measured. Potted plants were covered at the base to prevent root uptake. The deuterium label was detected in the leaves of four out of five species and in the stems of two of the species. While there was a minimal effect of foliar water uptake on live fuel moisture, several species had lower xylem tension and greater photosynthetic rates after overnight fog treatments, especially Salvia leucophylla. Coastal fog may provide a moisture source for many species during the summer drought, but the utilization of this water source may vary based on foliar morphology, phenology and plant water balance. From this study, it appears that drought-deciduous species (Artemisia californica and Salvia leucophylla) benefit more from overnight fog events than evergreen species (Adenostoma fasciculatum, Baccharis pilularis and Ceanothus megacarpus). This differential response to fog exposure among California shrub species may affect species distributions and physiological tolerances under future climate scenarios.

  16. Plant Identification Characteristics for Deciduous Trees & Shrubs. Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burkholder, Kathy

    This manual contains a group of lesson plans designed for use with a slide series (not included here). Its purpose is to introduce students to the basic concepts and terminology used in the identification of deciduous trees and shrubs. The manual is composed of 12 lesson plans. The first lesson is an introduction to plant identification. The…

  17. Catchment nitrogen saturation drives ecological change in an alpine lake in SW China (eastern margin of Tibet)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, N. J.; Hu, Z.; Yang, X.; Zhang, E.

    2011-12-01

    There is substantial evidence for recent (last ca. 120 years) ecological change in remote arctic and alpine lakes (increased productivity, altered biological structure). Initially, these changes were attributed to global warming which has altered the heat budgets of these lakes (stronger stratification, longer ice free periods). The emphasis on temperature, however, ignores that global environmental change is driven by a range of multiple stressors (e.g. altered biogeochemical cycles, land cover change). One of the characteristics of the observed change in remote lakes is the expansion of small species of the planktonic diatom genus Cyclotella. It is increasingly obvious that the recent success of this diatom genus is driven by other factors (nutrients, light, mixing depth) as much as temperature. SE Asia is a major hotspot for the emission of reactive nitrogen as a result of intensive agriculture and fossil fuel combustion. In this study we report recent ecological change in a small, oligotrophic alpine lake (ShadeCo; altitude 4423 m) located in Sichuan Province (SW China), one of many relatively unstudied alpine lakes on the eastern margin of Tibet. The lake is located above the tree-line and there is no cultural land-use; the catchment vegetation is dominated by alpine shrub (predominantly Rhododendron). We used a multi-proxy palaeolimnological approach (diatom, geochemical and stable isotope analyses of a 210-Pb dated core) coupled with regional long-term climate data to understand the pronounced 20th century changes in the diatom record, notably an expansion of Cyclotella spp from around 1920. This initial increase is coincident with warming in SW China but the maximum Cyclotella abundance occurs in in the 1970s and 1980s, a period of regional cooling and major changes in catchment-lake biogeochemistry as indicated by geochemical analyses. The possible drivers of the observed changes (nitrogen deposition, temperature) at this site are discussed in the context

  18. Infrared Colors of Dwarf-Dwarf Galaxy Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liss, Sandra; Stierwalt, Sabrina; Johnson, Kelsey; Patton, Dave; Kallivayalil, Nitya

    2015-10-01

    We request Spitzer Warm Mission IRAC Channel 1 & 2 imaging for a sample of 60 isolated dwarf galaxy pairs as a key component of a larger, multi-wavelength effort to understand the role low-mass mergers play in galaxy evolution. A systematic study of dwarf-dwarf mergers has never been done, and we wish to characterize the impact such interactions have on fueling star formation in the nearby universe. The Spitzer imaging proposed here will allow us to determine the extent to which the 3.6 and 4.5 mum bands are dominated by stellar light and investigate a) the extent to which interacting pairs show IR excess and b) whether the excess is related to the pair separation. Second, we will use this IR photometry to constrain the processes contributing to the observed color excess and scatter in each system. We will take advantage of the wealth of observations available in the Spitzer Heritage Archive for 'normal' non-interacting dwarfs by comparing the stellar populations of those dwarfs with the likely interacting dwarfs in our sample. Ultimately, we can combine the Spitzer imaging proposed here with our current, ongoing efforts to obtain groundbased optical photometry to model the star formation histories of these dwarfs and to help constrain the timescales and impact dwarf-dwarf mergers have on fueling star formation. The sensitivity and resolution offered by Spitzer are necessary to determine the dust properties of these interacting systems, and how these properties vary as a function of pair separation, mass ratio, and gas fraction.

  19. Habitability of planets around red dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Heath, M J; Doyle, L R; Joshi, M M; Haberle, R M

    1999-08-01

    Recent models indicate that relatively moderate climates could exist on Earth-sized planets in synchronous rotation around red dwarf stars. Investigation of the global water cycle, availability of photosynthetically active radiation in red dwarf sunlight, and the biological implications of stellar flares, which can be frequent for red dwarfs, suggests that higher plant habitability of red dwarf planets may be possible.

  20. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, giving astronomers a fresh reading on the age of the universe.

    Located in the globular cluster M4, these small, burned-out stars -- called white dwarfs -- are about 12 to 13 billion years old. By adding the one billion years it took the cluster to form after the Big Bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates that the universe is 13 to 14 billion years old.

    The images, including some taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, are available online at

    http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2002/10/ or

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/wfpc .

    The camera was designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    In the top panel, a ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. The Kitt Peak National Observatory's .9-meter telescope took this picture in March 1995. The box at left indicates the region observed by the Hubble telescope.

    The Hubble telescope studied a small region of the cluster. A section of that region is seen in the picture at bottom left. A sampling of an even smaller region is shown at bottom right. This region is only about one light-year across. In this smaller region, Hubble pinpointed a number of faint white dwarfs. The blue circles indicate the dwarfs. It took nearly eight days of exposure time over a 67-day period to find these extremely faint stars.

    Globular clusters are among the oldest clusters of stars in the universe. The faintest and coolest white dwarfs within globular clusters can yield a globular cluster's age. Earlier Hubble observations showed that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe's birth in the big bang. So, finding the

  1. Soil-vegetation interaction on slopes with shrub encroachment in the central Alps - simple measurements for complex slopes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    In the European Alps many high mountain grasslands which where traditionally used for summer pasturing and haying have been abandoned during the last decades. Abandonment of mown or grazed grasslands causes a shift in vegetation composition, e.g. a change in landscape ecology and geomorphology. From a short term perspective, alpine areas are very fragile ecosystems and are highly sensitive to changing environmental conditions. Land use change can affect runoff and water erosion rates, snow gliding and avalanches as well as mass wasting in high-energy mountain environments. The effect of land use intensification on surface processes is well documented. However, the effect of land abandonment on surface resistance to eroding processes is discussed controversially in literature, particularly in relation to its short term and long-term consequences. Generally, perennial vegetation is considered to improve the mechanical anchoring of loose surface material and the regulation of the soil water budget including the control over the generation of runoff. This study aimed at determining the effect of green alder encroachment in the Unteralpvalley in the Swiss Alps. A range of measurements of the mechanical strength of the soil under green alder stands ranging from 15 to 90 years of age and a control site still used for grazing were conducted. Unlike the literature on the effects of perennial vegetation suggest, the data presented in this study show that soil shear strength is decreasing with along the sampled chronosequence, including compared to the grazed reference site. A possible explanation for this decline in soil stability with shrub encroachment is the loosing effect of the green alder roots on the soil structure, which causes an increase in porosity and thus less friction between soil particles. As a consequence, rates of water erosion may decline with shrub encroachment, but frequency of creeping and sliding may increase.

  2. PROPERTIES OF THE COOLEST DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    SAUMON, DIDIER; LEGGETT, SANDY K.; FREEDMAN, RICHARD S.; GEBALLE, THOMAS R.; GOLIMOWSKI, DAVID A.; LODIEU, NICOLAS; MARLEY, MARK S.; STEPHENS, DENISE; PINFIELD, DAVID J.; WARREN, STEPHEN J.

    2007-01-18

    Eleven years after the discovery of the first T dwarf, we have a population of ultracool L and T dwarfs that is large enough to show a range of atmospheric properties, as well as model atmospheres advanced enough to study these properties in detail. Since the last Cool Stars meeting, there have been observational developments which aid in these studies. they present recent mid-infrared photometry and spectroscopy from the Spitzer Space Telescope which confirms the prevalence of vertical mixing in the atmospheres of L and T dwarfs. Hence, the 700 K to 2200 K L and t dwarf photspheres require a large number of parameters for successful modeling: effective temperature, gravity, metallicity, grain sedimentation and vertical mixing efficiency. They also describe initial results of a search for ultracool dwarfs in the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey, and present the latest T dwarf found to date. They conclude with a discussion of the definition of the later-than-T spectral type, the Y dwarf.

  3. Magnetic Field of Strange Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baghdasaryan, D. S.

    2016-03-01

    The generation of a magnetic field in a strange quark star owing to differential rotation of the superfluid and superconducting quark core relative to the normal electron-nuclear crust of the star is examined. The maximum possible magnetic field on the surface is estimated for various models of strange dwarfs. Depending on the configuration parameters, i.e., the mass M and radius R of the star, a range of 103-105 G is found. These values of the magnetic field may be an additional condition for identification of strange dwarfs among the extensive class of observed white dwarfs.

  4. PHL 5038: a spatially resolved white dwarf + brown dwarf binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, P. R.; Burleigh, M. R.; Farihi, J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Jameson, R. F.; Dobbie, P. D.; Barstow, M. A.

    2009-06-01

    A near-infrared excess is detected at the white dwarf PHL 5038 in UKIDSS photometry, consistent with the presence of a cool, substellar companion. We have obtained H- and K-grism spectra and images of PHL 5038 using NIRI on Gemini North. The target is spatially and spectrally resolved into two components: an 8000 K DA white dwarf, and a likely L8 brown dwarf companion, separated by 0.94 arcsec. The spectral type of the secondary was determined using standard spectral indices for late L and T dwarfs. The projected orbital separation of the binary is 55 AU, so it becomes only the second known wide WD+dL binary to be found after GD 165AB. This object could potentially be used as a benchmark for testing substellar evolutionary models at intermediate to older ages.

  5. Tidal Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duc, P.-A.; Mirabel, I. F.; Brinks, E.

    The life and evolution of galaxies are dramatically affected by environmental effects. Interactions with the intergalactic medium and collisions with companions cause major perturbations in the morphology and contents of galaxies: in particular stars and gas clouds may be gravitationally pulled out from their parent galaxies during tidal encounters, forming rings, tails and bridges. This debris of collisions lies at the origin of a new generation of small galaxies, the so-called "tidal dwarf galaxies" (TDGs). The authors have carried out multi-wavelength observations of some 20 TDGs. These systems are made of two stellar components: young stars, formed from the recent collapse of expelled H I clouds, and an older stellar population, tidally pulled out from the disks of their interacting parent galaxies. In the observed TDGs, the current star formation episode is fuelled by a large reservoir of H I gas and is younger than 10 Myr.

  6. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1998-01-01

    Work on NAG5-3288 ("White Dwarf Pulsars") has been fully integrated with the identically titled project NAG5-4734. The final report below is the same, since the data analysis and interpretative work are integrated, as are the resulting (previous and in-pipeline) publications. The proposal was designed to study pulse and orbital modulations in candidate DQ Herculis stars. Data on 5 stars were obtained. The best results were obtained on YY Draconis, which exhibited a strongly pulsed hard X-ray flux, and even suggested a transition between one-pole and two-pole emission during the course of the observation. This result is being readied for inclusion in a comprehensive study of YY Draconis. A strong pulsation appeared to be present also in H0857-242, but with a period of - 50 minutes, confusion with the first harmonic of the satellite's orbital frequency is possible. So that result is uncertain and is "on ice". A negative result was obtained on 4UO608-49 (V347 Pup), suggesting either that the X-ray identification is incorrect, or that the source is very transient. Finally, data was obtained on V1432 Aql and WZ Sge, respectively the slowest and fastest of these stars. Combined with the ASCA data, the high-energy data demonstrates the latter to contain a white dwarf rotating with P = 27.87 s (Patterson et al. 1998, PASP, 110, 403). Optical photometry contemporaneous with the X-ray data was obtained of V1432 Aql, in order to study the variations in the eclipse waveform. As anticipated, the width and centroid of the eclipse appeared to vary with the 50-day "supercycle".

  7. Climate change: Increasing shrub abundance in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturm, Matthew; Racine, Charles; Tape, Kenneth

    2001-05-01

    The warming of the Alaskan Arctic during the past 150 years has accelerated over the last three decades and is expected to increase vegetation productivity in tundra if shrubs become more abundant; indeed, this transition may already be under way according to local plot studies and remote sensing. Here we present evidence for a widespread increase in shrub abundance over more than 320 km of Arctic landscape during the past 50 years, based on a comparison of historic and modern aerial photographs. This expansion will alter the partitioning of energy in summer and the trapping and distribution of snow in winter, as well as increasing the amount of carbon stored in a region that is believed to be a net source of carbon dioxide.

  8. Shrub Abundance Mapping in Arctic Tundra with Misr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duchesne, R.; Chopping, M. J.; Wang, Z.; Schaaf, C.; Tape, K. D.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last 60 years an increase in shrub abundance has been observed in the Arctic tundra in connection with a rapid surface warming trend. Rapid shrub expansion may have consequences in terms of ecosystem structure and function, albedo, and feedbacks to climate; however, its rate is not yet known. The goal of this research effort is thus to map large scale changes in Arctic tundra vegetation by exploiting the structural signal in moderate resolution satellite remote sensing images from NASA's Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), mapped onto a 250m Albers Conic Equal Area grid. We present here large area shrub mapping supported by reference data collated using extensive field inventory data and high resolution panchromatic imagery. MISR Level 1B2 Terrain radiance scenes from the Terra satellite from 15 June-31 July, 2000 - 2010 were converted to surface bidirectional reflectance factors (BRF) using MISR Toolkit routines and the MISR 1 km LAND product BRFs. The red band data in all available cameras were used to invert the RossThick-LiSparse-Reciprocal BRDF model to retrieve kernel weights, model-fitting RMSE, and Weights of Determination. The reference database was constructed using aerial survey, three field campaigns (field inventory for shrub count, cover, mean radius and height), and high resolution imagery. Tall shrub number, mean crown radius, cover, and mean height estimates were obtained from QuickBird and GeoEye panchromatic image chips using the CANAPI algorithm, and calibrated using field-based estimates, thus extending the database to over eight hundred locations. Tall shrub fractional cover maps for the North Slope of Alaska were constructed using the bootstrap forest machine learning algorithm that exploits the surface information provided by MISR. The reference database was divided into two datasets for training and validation. The model derived used a set of 19 independent variables(the three kernel weights, ratios and interaction terms

  9. Shrub encroachment control by browsing: Targeting the right demographic process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silveira Pontes, Laíse; Magda, Danièle; Jarry, Marc; Gleizes, Benoît; Agreil, Cyril

    2012-11-01

    Exploring key demographic parameters for establishment and growth of shrub populations enables us to identify the life stages or plant organs that browsers need to consume to effectively influence shrub population dynamics. However, there is a lack of concrete knowledge on how browsing can efficiently meet this goal. We therefore tested the impact of different levels of browsing intensity on a key demographic parameter (survival of juveniles) of a major colonizing shrub species (broom, Cytisus scoparius) in order to control population growth, and designed a browsing management strategy focused on this target stage. Three browsing intensities, representing pertinent management practices, were simulated on juveniles (2 years old) in a broom population. Juvenile broom plants were either left untouched (control treatment; n = 126) or had 50% or 90% of their total edible stem biomass removed for "light-intensity browsing" (n = 127) and "high-intensity browsing" (n = 77) treatments, respectively. Survival and fecundity data were collected over 6 years. Standard matrix modeling was used to analyze the impact of browsing on changes in population growth rate (λ), and the results were 6.34 (control), 2.26 (light browsing) and 0.85 (heavy browsing). Therefore, the natural expansion of broom populations may be slowed by light browsing or even reversed by heavy browsing (λ < 1). This multi-year survey confirms that focusing browsing on juveniles is an efficient strategy for controlling broom dominance. Shrub control strategies should therefore target early-growth-stage populations and repeat the browsing strategy at the same intensity over several years to achieve cumulative effects.

  10. Nonlinear responses of desert shrubs to episodic rainfall events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogle, K.; Reynolds, J. F.

    2001-12-01

    The physiological responses of desert shrubs to rapidly varying soil and atmospheric water status are equivocal. While much of the wide variations in observed responses in gas exchange and plant water potential can be readily attributed to nonlinear plant-soil-atmosphere couplings, there is a paucity of data to quantify these behaviors in the field. This motivated us to conduct an integrated field and modeling study on Larrea tridentata, the dominant shrub of North American warm deserts. We monitored photosynthesis, stomatal behavior, and water potential of 16 individual shrubs exposed to natural and simulated rainfall during two growing seasons at a field site in southern New Mexico. We use these field data to develop a new photosynthesis (A) model that explicitly links internal CO2 (Ci) and stomatal conductance (g). A threshold response is assumed for instantaneous g such that stomata operate at their maximum g (gmax) for low vapor pressure deficits (VPD); thereafter, g decreases nonlinearly with increasing VPD. Predawn water potential and growing temperature interact with VPD to affect g and gmax. Ci is a linear function of g and the intercept is the minimum achievable Ci, which varies with temperature and light intensity. This model is able to reproduce Larrea's responses to episodic soil and atmospheric water availability, capturing the large diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in A, g, and Ci. We use this model to show that the many conflicting conclusions regarding desert shrub responses to rainfall are explained by the lack of sufficient field data and by several key nonlinear plant-soil-atmosphere couplings.

  11. Fire tolerance of a resprouting Artemisia (Asteraceae) shrub

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, S.L.; Fuhlendorf, S.D.; Goad, C.L.; Davis, C.A.; Hickman, K.R.; Leslie, David M.

    2011-01-01

    In North America, most Artemisia (Asteraceae) shrub species lack the ability to resprout after disturbances that remove aboveground biomass. We studied the response of one of the few resprouting Artemisia shrubs, Artemisia filifolia (sand sagebrush), to the effects of prescribed fires. We collected data on A. filifolia density and structural characteristics (height, canopy area, and canopy volume) in an A. filifolia shrubland in the southern Great Plains of North America. Our study sites included areas that had not been treated with prescribed fire, areas that had been treated with only one prescribed fire within the previous 5 years, and areas that had been treated with two prescribed fires within the previous 10 years. Our data were collected at time periods ranging from 1/2 to 5 years after the prescribed fires. Density of A. filifolia was not affected by one or two fires. Structural characteristics, although initially altered by prescribed fire, recovered to levels characteristic of unburned areas in 3-4 years after those fires. In contrast to most non-sprouting North American Artemisia shrub species, our research suggested that the resprouting A. filifolia is highly tolerant to the effects of fire. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  12. Shrub clearing adversely affects the abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    PubMed

    Tack, Wesley; Madder, Maxime; Baeten, Lander; Vanhellemont, Margot; Verheyen, Kris

    2013-07-01

    In order to get a better understanding of the importance of vertical forest structure as a component of Ixodes ricinus tick habitat, an experiment was set up in a coniferous forest on sandy soils in northern Belgium. Ticks were sampled in six control and six treatment plots on various sampling occasions in 2008-2010. In the course of the study period, a moderate thinning was carried out in all plots and shrub clearing was performed in the treatment plots. Thinning had no effect on tick abundance, while shrub clearing had an adverse affect on the abundance of all three life stages (larva, nymph, adult) up to 2 years post-clearing. Our findings are especially relevant in the light of the ongoing efforts to improve vertical forest structure in Belgium and many other parts of Europe, which might create suitable habitats for ticks and change the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases. Also, our results indicate that shrub clearing could be applied as a tick control measure in recreational areas where there is a high degree of human-tick contact.

  13. Multi-scale investigation of shrub encroachment in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aplin, Paul; Marston, Christopher; Wilkinson, David; Field, Richard; O'Regan, Hannah

    2016-04-01

    There is growing speculation that savannah environments throughout Africa have been subject to shrub encroachment in recent years, whereby grassland is lost to woody vegetation cover. Changes in the relative proportions of grassland and woodland are important in the context of conservation of savannah systems, with implications for faunal distributions, environmental management and tourism. Here, we focus on southern Kruger National Park, South Africa, and investigate whether or not shrub encroachment has occurred over the last decade and a half. We use a multi-scale approach, examining the complementarity of medium (e.g. Landsat TM and OLI) and fine (e.g. QuickBird and WorldView-2) spatial resolution satellite sensor imagery, supported by intensive field survey in 2002 and 2014. We employ semi-automated land cover classification, involving a hybrid unsupervised clustering approach with manual class grouping and checking, followed by change detection post-classification comparison analysis. The results show that shrub encroachment is indeed occurring, a finding evidenced through three fine resolution replicate images plus medium resolution imagery. The results also demonstrate the complementarity of medium and fine resolution imagery, though some thematic information must be sacrificed to maintain high medium resolution classification accuracy. Finally, the findings have broader implications for issues such as vegetation seasonality, spatial transferability and management practices.

  14. Role of species diversity and secondary compound complementarity on diet selection of Mediterranean shrubs by goats.

    PubMed

    Rogosic, Jozo; Estell, Richard E; Skobic, Dragan; Martinovic, Anita; Maric, Stanislava

    2006-06-01

    Goats foraging on Mediterranean shrubs containing secondary compounds (toxins) may consume a variety of shrubs that contain different phytotoxins, thereby increasing shrub intake and avoiding toxicosis. We conducted eight experiments to examine whether goats offered different mixtures of shrubs containing different phytotoxins (tannins and saponins) would consume more shrub biomass than goats offered one shrub a single phytotoxin (tannin or saponin). In the first three experiments, goats fed a mixture of three tannin-rich shrubs (Quercus ilex, Arbutus unedo, and Pistacia lentiscus) ate more foliage than goats offered only one shrub (23.2 vs. 10.7 g/kg BW; 25.2 vs. 13.4 g/kg BW, and 27.9 vs. 7.9 g/kg BW), regardless of tannin concentration in individual shrub species. Goats also consumed more foliage when offered the same three tannin-rich shrubs than when offered the saponin-rich shrub Hedera helix (25.4 vs. 8.0 g/kg BW). However, goats offered a mixture of the same three tannin-rich shrubs consumed less foliage than goats offered a mixture of two shrubs containing tannins and saponins: Quercus and Hedera (21.6 vs. 27.1 g/kg BW), Arbutus and Hedera (21.8 vs. 27.1 g/kg BW), and Pistacia and Hedera (19.7 vs. 22.0 g/kg BW). Comparison of intake of shrubs containing only tannins or saponins to intake of shrubs containing both tannins and saponins indicated that goats consumed more total biomass when fed with shrubs with both classes of compounds than with either tannins or saponins alone. Our results suggest that goats can increase intake of Mediterranean shrubs high in secondary compounds by selecting those with different classes of phytotoxins. Simultaneous ingestion of shrubs containing tannins and saponins may promote chemical interactions that inhibit toxic effects of these phytotoxins in the intestinal tract. In addition to complementary interactions between tannins and saponins, biological diversity within Mediterranean maquis vegetation also plays a positive

  15. Contexts for change in alpine tundra

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Malanson, George P.; Rose, Jonathan P.; Schroeder, P. Jason; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2011-01-01

    Because alpine tundra is responding to climate change, a need exists to understand the meaning of observed changes. To provide context for such interpretation, the relevance of niche and neutral theories of biogeography and the continuum and classification approaches to biogeographic description are assessed. Two extensive studies of alpine tundra, from the Indian Peaks area, Colorado and Glacier National Park, Montana, are combined. The data are ordinated to describe relations. The pattern that emerges is one of a continuum of vegetation, but with the distinctions one might expect from distant sites. The relationships of the similarity of vegetation on all possible pairs of sites to the environmental differences and geographic distances are analyzed using Mantel correlations. Because distance and environmental differences in climate between the two sites are correlated, partial correlations are weak but still significant. More advanced analyses are suggested for this environment prior to interpretation of monitoring efforts such as GLORIA.

  16. Recent climate extremes alter alpine lake ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Brian R.; Vinebrooke, Rolf D.; Schindler, David W.

    2008-01-01

    Here, we show that alpine lake ecosystems are responsive to interannual variation in climate, based on long-term limnological and meteorological data from the Canadian Rockies. In the 2000s, in years with colder winter temperatures, higher winter snowfall, later snowmelt, shorter ice-free seasons, and dryer summers, relative to the 1990s, alpine lakes became clearer, warmer, and mixed to deeper depths. Further, lakes became more dilute and nutrient-poor, the latter leading to significant declines in total phytoplankton biomass. However, increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon in lake water stimulated the appearance of small mixotrophic algal species, partially offsetting the decline in autotrophic phytoplankton biomass and increasing algal species richness. The climate regime in the 2000s altered the physical, chemical, and biological character and the function of high-elevation aquatic ecosystems. Forecasts of increased climatic variability in the future pose serious ramifications for both the biodiversity and ecosystem function of high-elevation lakes. PMID:18725641

  17. Origin and migration of the Alpine Iceman.

    PubMed

    Müller, Wolfgang; Fricke, Henry; Halliday, Alex N; McCulloch, Malcolm T; Wartho, Jo-Anne

    2003-10-31

    The Alpine Iceman provides a unique window into the Neolithic-Copper Age of Europe. We compared the radiogenic (strontium and lead) and stable (oxygen and carbon) isotope composition of the Iceman's teeth and bones, as well as 40Ar/39Ar mica ages from his intestine, to local geology and hydrology, and we inferred his habitat and range from childhood to adult life. The Iceman's origin can be restricted to a few valleys within approximately 60 kilometers south(east) of the discovery site. His migration during adulthood is indicated by contrasting isotopic compositions of enamel, bones, and intestinal content. This demonstrates that the Alpine valleys of central Europe were permanently inhabited during the terminal Neolithic.

  18. ALPINE LAKES WILDERNESS STUDY AREA, WASHINGTON.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gualtieri, J.L.; Thurber, H.K.

    1984-01-01

    The Alpine Lakes Wilderness study area, located in the central part of the Cascade Mountains of Washington was examined for its mineral-resource potential. On the basis of that study the area was found to contain deposits of copper, other base metals, and gold and silver. Probable or substantiated mineral-resource potential exists for these commodities in the southwest-central, northwest, and southeast-central parts of the area. The geologic terrane precludes the occurrence of fossil fuel resources.

  19. The Influence of an Invasive Shrub, Buddleja Davidii on a Native Shrub, Griselinia Littoralis Transplanted into a New Zealand Floodplain Chronosequence

    EPA Science Inventory

    Griselinia littoralis, a native New Zealand shrub, was planted into a chronosequence (0 to 8 yrs since flooding) dominated by the non-indigenous shrub, Buddleja davidii in three New Zealand floodplains to determine to what extent facilitation and competitive inhibition may influe...

  20. Working toward integrated models of alpine plant distribution

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Bradley Z.; Randin, Christophe F.; Boulangeat, Isabelle; Lavergne, Sébastien; Thuiller, Wilfried; Choler, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) have been frequently employed to forecast the response of alpine plants to global changes. Efforts to model alpine plant distribution have thus far been primarily based on a correlative approach, in which ecological processes are implicitly addressed through a statistical relationship between observed species occurrences and environmental predictors. Recent evidence, however, highlights the shortcomings of correlative SDMs, especially in alpine landscapes where plant species tend to be decoupled from atmospheric conditions in micro-topographic habitats and are particularly exposed to geomorphic disturbances. While alpine plants respond to the same limiting factors as plants found at lower elevations, alpine environments impose a particular set of scale-dependent and hierarchical drivers that shape the realized niche of species and that require explicit consideration in a modelling context. Several recent studies in the European Alps have successfully integrated both correlative and process-based elements into distribution models of alpine plants, but for the time being a single integrative modelling framework that includes all key drivers remains elusive. As a first step in working toward a comprehensive integrated model applicable to alpine plant communities, we propose a conceptual framework that structures the primary mechanisms affecting alpine plant distributions. We group processes into four categories, including multi-scalar abiotic drivers, gradient dependent species interactions, dispersal and spatial–temporal plant responses to disturbance. Finally, we propose a methodological framework aimed at developing an integrated model to better predict alpine plant distribution. PMID:24790594

  1. Shifts in Aboveground Biomass Allocation Patterns of Dominant Shrub Species across a Strong Environmental Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Kumordzi, Bright B.; Gundale, Michael J.; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Most plant biomass allocation studies have focused on allocation to shoots versus roots, and little is known about drivers of allocation for aboveground plant organs. We explored the drivers of within-and between-species variation of aboveground biomass allocation across a strong environmental resource gradient, i.e., a long-term chronosequence of 30 forested islands in northern Sweden across which soil fertility and plant productivity declines while light availability increases. For each of the three coexisting dominant understory dwarf shrub species on each island, we estimated the fraction of the total aboveground biomass produced year of sampling that was allocated to sexual reproduction (i.e., fruits), leaves and stems for each of two growing seasons, to determine how biomass allocation responded to the chronosequence at both the within-species and whole community levels. Against expectations, within-species allocation to fruits was least on less fertile islands, and allocation to leaves at the whole community level was greatest on intermediate islands. Consistent with expectations, different coexisting species showed contrasting allocation patterns, with the species that was best adapted for more fertile conditions allocating the most to vegetative organs, and with its allocation pattern showing the strongest response to the gradient. Our study suggests that co-existing dominant plant species can display highly contrasting biomass allocations to different aboveground organs within and across species in response to limiting environmental resources within the same plant community. Such knowledge is important for understanding how community assembly, trait spectra, and ecological processes driven by the plant community vary across environmental gradients and among contrasting ecosystems. PMID:27270445

  2. Shifts in Aboveground Biomass Allocation Patterns of Dominant Shrub Species across a Strong Environmental Gradient.

    PubMed

    Kumordzi, Bright B; Gundale, Michael J; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A

    2016-01-01

    Most plant biomass allocation studies have focused on allocation to shoots versus roots, and little is known about drivers of allocation for aboveground plant organs. We explored the drivers of within-and between-species variation of aboveground biomass allocation across a strong environmental resource gradient, i.e., a long-term chronosequence of 30 forested islands in northern Sweden across which soil fertility and plant productivity declines while light availability increases. For each of the three coexisting dominant understory dwarf shrub species on each island, we estimated the fraction of the total aboveground biomass produced year of sampling that was allocated to sexual reproduction (i.e., fruits), leaves and stems for each of two growing seasons, to determine how biomass allocation responded to the chronosequence at both the within-species and whole community levels. Against expectations, within-species allocation to fruits was least on less fertile islands, and allocation to leaves at the whole community level was greatest on intermediate islands. Consistent with expectations, different coexisting species showed contrasting allocation patterns, with the species that was best adapted for more fertile conditions allocating the most to vegetative organs, and with its allocation pattern showing the strongest response to the gradient. Our study suggests that co-existing dominant plant species can display highly contrasting biomass allocations to different aboveground organs within and across species in response to limiting environmental resources within the same plant community. Such knowledge is important for understanding how community assembly, trait spectra, and ecological processes driven by the plant community vary across environmental gradients and among contrasting ecosystems. PMID:27270445

  3. Soil Fauna Affects Dissolved Carbon and Nitrogen in Foliar Litter in Alpine Forest and Alpine Meadow

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Shu; Yang, Wanqin; Tan, Yu; Peng, Yan; Li, Jun; Tan, Bo; Wu, Fuzhong

    2015-01-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) are generally considered important active biogeochemical pools of total carbon and nitrogen. Many studies have documented the contributions of soil fauna to litter decomposition, but the effects of the soil fauna on labile substances (i.e., DOC and TDN) in litter during early decomposition are not completely clear. Therefore, a field litterbag experiment was carried out from 13th November 2013 to 23rd October 2014 in an alpine forest and an alpine meadow located on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Litterbags with different mesh sizes were used to provide access to or prohibit the access of the soil fauna, and the concentrations of DOC and TDN in the foliar litter were measured during the winter (the onset of freezing, deep freezing and thawing stage) and the growing season (early and late). After one year of field incubation, the concentration of DOC in the litter significantly decreased, whereas the TDN concentration in the litter increased. Similar dynamic patterns were detected under the effects of the soil fauna on both DOC and TDN in the litter between the alpine forest and the alpine meadow. The soil fauna showed greater positive effects on decreasing DOC concentration in the litter in the winter than in the growing season. In contrast, the dynamics of TND in the litter were related to seasonal changes in environmental factors, rather than the soil fauna. In addition, the soil fauna promoted a decrease in litter DOC/TDN ratio in both the alpine forest and the alpine meadow throughout the first year of decomposition, except for in the late growing season. These results suggest that the soil fauna can promote decreases in DOC and TDN concentrations in litter, contributing to early litter decomposition in these cold biomes. PMID:26406249

  4. Do shrubs reduce the adverse effects of grazing on soil properties?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eldridge, David J.; Beecham, Genevieve; Grace, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Increases in the density of woody plants are a global phenomenon in drylands, and large aggregations of shrubs, in particular, are regarded as being indicative of dysfunctional ecosystems. There is increasing evidence that overgrazing by livestock reduces ecosystem functions in shrublands, but that shrubs may buffer the negative effects of increasing grazing. We examined changes in water infiltration and nutrient concentrations in soils under shrubs and in their interspaces in shrublands in eastern Australia that varied in the intensity of livestock grazing. We used structural equation modelling to test whether shrubs might reduce the negative effects of overgrazing on infiltration and soil carbon and nitrogen (henceforth ‘soil nutrients’). Soils under shrubs and subject to low levels of grazing were more stable and had greater levels of soil nutrients. Shrubs had a direct positive effect on soil nutrients; but, grazing negatively affected nutrients by increasing soil bulk density. Structural equation modelling showed that shrubs had a direct positive effect on water flow under ponded conditions but also enhanced water flow, indirectly, through increased litter cover. Any positive effects of shrubs on water flow under low levels of grazing waned at high levels of grazing. Our results indicate that shrubs may reduce the adverse effects of grazing on soil properties. Specifically, shrubs could restrict access to livestock and therefore protect soils and plants beneath their canopies. Low levels of grazing are likely to ensure the retention of soil water and soil carbon and nitrogen in shrubland soils.

  5. Plant community responses to 5 years of simulated climate change in meadow and heath ecosystems at a subarctic-alpine site.

    PubMed

    Jägerbrand, Annika K; Alatalo, Juha M; Chrimes, Dillon; Molau, Ulf

    2009-09-01

    Climate change was simulated by increasing temperature and nutrient availability in an alpine landscape. We conducted a field experiment of BACI-design (before/after control/impact) running for five seasons in two alpine communities (heath and meadow) with the factors temperature (increase of ca. 1.5-3.0 degrees C) and nutrients (5 g N, 5 g P per m(2)) in a fully factorial design in northern Swedish Lapland. The response variables were abundances of plant species and functional types. Plant community responses to the experimental perturbations were investigated, and the responses of plant functional types were examined in comparison to responses at the species level. Nutrient addition, exclusively and in combination with enhanced temperature increase, exerted the most pronounced responses at the species-specific and community levels. The main responses to nutrient addition were increases in graminoids and forbs, whereas deciduous shrubs, evergreen shrubs, bryophytes, and lichens decreased. The two plant communities of heath or meadow showed different vegetation responses to the environmental treatments despite the fact that both communities were located on the same subarctic-alpine site. Furthermore, we showed that the abundance of forbs increased in response to the combined treatment of temperature and nutrient addition in the meadow plant community. Within a single-plant functional type, most species responded similarly to the enhanced treatments although there were exceptions, particularly in the moss and lichen functional types. Plant community structure showed BACI responses in that vegetation dominance relationships in the existing plant functional types changed to varying degrees in all plots, including control plots. Betula nana and lichens increased in the temperature-increased enhancements and in control plots in the heath plant community during the treatment period. The increases in control plots were probably a response to the observed warming during

  6. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1999-01-01

    This proposal was designed to study pulse and orbital modulations in candidate DQ Herculis stars. Data on 5 stars were obtained. The best results were obtained on YY Draconis, which exhibited a strongly pulsed hard X-ray flux, and even suggested a transition between one-pole and two-pole emission during the course of the observation. This result is being readied for inclusion in a comprehensive study of YY Draconis. A strong pulsation appeared to be present also in H0857-242, but with a period of about 50 minutes, confusion with the first harmonic of the satellite's orbital frequency is possible. So that result is uncertain. A negative result was obtained on 4UO608-49 (V347 Pup), suggesting either that the X-ray identification is incorrect, or that the source is very transient. Finally, data was obtained on V1432 Aql and WZ Sge, respectively the slowest and fastest of these stars. Combined with the Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA) data, the high-energy data demonstrates the latter to contain a white dwarf rotating with P = 27.87 s. Optical photometry contemporaneous with the X-ray data was obtained of V1432 Aql, in order to study the variations in the eclipse waveform. As anticipated, the width and centroid of the eclipse appeared to vary with the 50-day "supercycle". A paper reporting this study is now in preparation.

  7. Brown dwarfs as close companions to white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stringfellow, Guy S.; Bodenheimer, Peter; Black, David C.

    1990-01-01

    The influence of the radiation flux emitted by a white dwarf primary on the evolution of a closely orbiting brown dwarf (BD) companion is investigated. Full stellar evolutionary calculations are presented for both isolated and thermal bath cases, including effects of large variations in the atmospheric grain opacities. High grain opacities significantly increase the radii of the BDs, but the thermal bath does not. The major influence of the thermal bath is to increase substantially the surface temperature and luminosity of the BD at a given age. These results are compared with the observational properties of the possible BD companion of the white dwarf G29-38. Inclusion of both physical effects, high grain opacities and thermal bath, increases the mass range (0.034-0.063 solar masses) of viable models significantly, yet the final determination of whether the object is indeed a BD requires improvements in the observations of the system's properties.

  8. Star formation in dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Shawfeng

    In this thesis, we examine the star formation history and stellar feedback effects of dwarf galaxies under the influence of extragalactic ultraviolet radiation, as well as the evolution of residual gas within tidally-limited dwarf galaxies and globular clusters. Previous work has indicated that the background UV flux can easily ionize the gas within typical dwarf galaxies, delaying or even preventing cooling and star formation within them. Many dwarf galaxies within the Local Group are, however, observed to contain multiple generations of stars, the oldest of which formed in the early epochs of cosmic evolution, when the background UV flux was intense. In order to address this paradox, we consider the dynamical evolution of gas in dwarf galaxies using a one-dimensional, spherically symmetric, Lagrangian numerical scheme which also computes the effects of radiative transfer and photoionization. We include in the scheme a physically-motivated star formation recipe and consider the effects of feedback. This scheme allows us to follow the history of the gas and of star formation within dwarf galaxies, as influenced by both external and internal UV radiation. Our results indicate that star formation in the severe environment of dwarf galaxies is a difficult and inefficient process. In potentials with total mass less than a few 106 M⊙ , and velocity dispersion less than a few km s-1 , residual gas is efficiently photoionized by cosmic background UV radiation. For intermediate mass systems, such as the dSphs around the Galaxy, star formation can proceed within early cosmic epochs despite the intense background UV flux. Triggering processes such as merger events, collisions, and tidal disturbance can lead to density enhancements, reducing the recombination timescale, allowing gas to cool and star formation to proceed. However, the star formation and gas retention efficiency may vary widely in galaxies with similar dark matter potentials, because they depend on many

  9. [Responses of plant functional traits and soil factors to slope aspect in alpine meadow of South Gansu, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Min-Xi, Liu; Jian-Zu, Ma

    2012-12-01

    This paper studied the plant functional traits, soil factors, and their relationships at different slope aspects in the alpine meadow of South Gansu. On the sunny slope, grasses were the dominant functional groups; while on the shady slope, forbs and shrubs dominated. The plant community biomass was significantly higher on shady slope than on sunny slope, while the leaf N/P ratio was in adverse. The leaf phosphorus content, specific leaf area, and plant average height at different slope aspects were in the order of shady slope > partial shady slope > sunny slope, whereas the leaf nitrogen content on different slopes had less difference. The survival strategies of the vegetations on sunny and shady slopes had great changes, reflecting in the differences in the plant leaf traits and dominant functional groups. Soil temperature was in the order of sunny slope > partial shady slope > shady slope, while soil water content was in the order of shady slope > partial shady slope > sunny slope. Soil total phosphorus content increased from the sunny slope to the shady slope, while the other soil nutrients contents showed the sequence of shady slope > sunny slope > partial shady slope. The specific leaf area and plant average height were significantly positively correlated to the soil organic carbon, total phosphorous, and water contents, and significantly negatively correlated to soil pH. Soil water content and soil pH co-affected the distribution patterns of plant functional traits and soil nutrients at different slope aspects of alpine meadow.

  10. The late-M dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Bessell, M.S. )

    1991-02-01

    Far-red spectra and VRIJHK photometry have been obtained for a sample of late-M dwarfs selected on the basis of large reduced red magnitudes from the LHS Catalog. Half of the stars in the three faintest 1 mag bins are late-M stars, the other red stars are metallic-hydride subdwarfs. Relations between various colors for the late-M dwarfs are investigated. Of all the colors I - K most reliably correlates with spectral type. FeH bands near 9900 A are clearly seen in the spectra of all dwarf stars later than M5. Two stars cooler than VB10, and similar in temperature to LHS2924 have been identified; both have H-alpha in emission and appear variable in magnitude and R - I color; one is a flare star. The other stars are of earlier spectral type and resemble W359 and VB8. The observed MI, I - K main sequence is in good agreement with the IG theoretical main sequence of Stringfellow, and the faintest stars could be about 0.09 solar mass red dwarfs or lower mass brown dwarfs. 65 refs.

  11. Ecosystem Carbon Storage in Alpine Grassland on the Qinghai Plateau.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuli; Zhang, Fawei; Du, Yangong; Guo, Xiaowei; Lin, Li; Li, Yikang; Li, Qian; Cao, Guangmin

    2016-01-01

    The alpine grassland ecosystem can sequester a large quantity of carbon, yet its significance remains controversial owing to large uncertainties in the relative contributions of climate factors and grazing intensity. In this study we surveyed 115 sites to measure ecosystem carbon storage (both biomass and soil) in alpine grassland over the Qinghai Plateau during the peak growing season in 2011 and 2012. Our results revealed three key findings. (1) Total biomass carbon density ranged from 0.04 for alpine steppe to 2.80 kg C m-2 for alpine meadow. Median soil organic carbon (SOC) density was estimated to be 16.43 kg C m-2 in alpine grassland. Total ecosystem carbon density varied across sites and grassland types, from 1.95 to 28.56 kg C m-2. (2) Based on the median estimate, the total carbon storage of alpine grassland on the Qinghai Plateau was 5.14 Pg, of which 94% (4.85 Pg) was soil organic carbon. (3) Overall, we found that ecosystem carbon density was affected by both climate and grazing, but to different extents. Temperature and precipitation interaction significantly affected AGB carbon density in winter pasture, BGB carbon density in alpine meadow, and SOC density in alpine steppe. On the other hand, grazing intensity affected AGB carbon density in summer pasture, SOC density in alpine meadow and ecosystem carbon density in alpine grassland. Our results indicate that grazing intensity was the primary contributing factor controlling carbon storage at the sites tested and should be the primary consideration when accurately estimating the carbon storage in alpine grassland. PMID:27494253

  12. Ecosystem Carbon Storage in Alpine Grassland on the Qinghai Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shuli; Zhang, Fawei; Du, Yangong; Guo, Xiaowei; Lin, Li; Li, Yikang; Li, Qian; Cao, Guangmin

    2016-01-01

    The alpine grassland ecosystem can sequester a large quantity of carbon, yet its significance remains controversial owing to large uncertainties in the relative contributions of climate factors and grazing intensity. In this study we surveyed 115 sites to measure ecosystem carbon storage (both biomass and soil) in alpine grassland over the Qinghai Plateau during the peak growing season in 2011 and 2012. Our results revealed three key findings. (1) Total biomass carbon density ranged from 0.04 for alpine steppe to 2.80 kg C m-2 for alpine meadow. Median soil organic carbon (SOC) density was estimated to be 16.43 kg C m-2 in alpine grassland. Total ecosystem carbon density varied across sites and grassland types, from 1.95 to 28.56 kg C m-2. (2) Based on the median estimate, the total carbon storage of alpine grassland on the Qinghai Plateau was 5.14 Pg, of which 94% (4.85 Pg) was soil organic carbon. (3) Overall, we found that ecosystem carbon density was affected by both climate and grazing, but to different extents. Temperature and precipitation interaction significantly affected AGB carbon density in winter pasture, BGB carbon density in alpine meadow, and SOC density in alpine steppe. On the other hand, grazing intensity affected AGB carbon density in summer pasture, SOC density in alpine meadow and ecosystem carbon density in alpine grassland. Our results indicate that grazing intensity was the primary contributing factor controlling carbon storage at the sites tested and should be the primary consideration when accurately estimating the carbon storage in alpine grassland. PMID:27494253

  13. [Quality level assessment of lowly efficient Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta].

    PubMed

    Xia, Jiang-Bao; Liu, Yu-Ting; Zhu, Jin-Fang; Xu, Jing-Wei; Lu, Zhao-Hua; Liu, Jing-Tao; Liu, Qing

    2013-06-01

    Taking the Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta as test objects, and by using synthetic factor method, this paper studied the main factors causing the lowly efficiency of T. chinensis secondary shrubs as well as the main parameters for the classification of lowly efficient T. chinensis secondary shrubs. A total of 24 indices including shrubs growth and soil physical and chemical properties were selected to determine the main affecting factors and parameters in evaluating and classifying the lowly efficient shrubs. There were no obvious correlations between the indices reflecting the shrubs growth and soil quality, and thus, only using shrub growth index to reflect the lowly efficiency level of T. chinensis was not enough, and it would be necessary to combine with soil quality factors to make a comprehensive evaluation. The principal factors reflecting the quality level of lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs included soil salt content and moisture content, stand age, single tree's aboveground stem, leaf biomass, and basal diameter, followed by soil density, porosity, and soil nutrient status. The lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs in the Bay could be classified into five types, namely, shrub with growth potential, slightly low quality shrub, moderately lowly efficient shrub, moderately low quality and lowly efficient shrub, and seriously low quality and lowly efficient shrub. The main features, low efficiency causes, and management measures of these shrubs were discussed based on the mean cluster value. PMID:24066539

  14. [Quality level assessment of lowly efficient Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta].

    PubMed

    Xia, Jiang-Bao; Liu, Yu-Ting; Zhu, Jin-Fang; Xu, Jing-Wei; Lu, Zhao-Hua; Liu, Jing-Tao; Liu, Qing

    2013-06-01

    Taking the Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta as test objects, and by using synthetic factor method, this paper studied the main factors causing the lowly efficiency of T. chinensis secondary shrubs as well as the main parameters for the classification of lowly efficient T. chinensis secondary shrubs. A total of 24 indices including shrubs growth and soil physical and chemical properties were selected to determine the main affecting factors and parameters in evaluating and classifying the lowly efficient shrubs. There were no obvious correlations between the indices reflecting the shrubs growth and soil quality, and thus, only using shrub growth index to reflect the lowly efficiency level of T. chinensis was not enough, and it would be necessary to combine with soil quality factors to make a comprehensive evaluation. The principal factors reflecting the quality level of lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs included soil salt content and moisture content, stand age, single tree's aboveground stem, leaf biomass, and basal diameter, followed by soil density, porosity, and soil nutrient status. The lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs in the Bay could be classified into five types, namely, shrub with growth potential, slightly low quality shrub, moderately lowly efficient shrub, moderately low quality and lowly efficient shrub, and seriously low quality and lowly efficient shrub. The main features, low efficiency causes, and management measures of these shrubs were discussed based on the mean cluster value.

  15. Secondary Airflow Structure around Clustered Shrubs and Its Significance for Vegetated Dune Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Wanyin; Dong, Zhibao; Qian, Guangqiang; Lu, Junfeng

    2016-04-01

    Shrubs have an important significance in aeolian processes due to their disturbance of the local airflow. In the formation of vegetated dunes, there is an iterative interaction between shrub geometry, the structure of the secondary airflow, and the interaction between neighboring shrubs. Understanding the dynamics of vegetated dunes thus requires an insight into the airflow fields around shrubs. Based on aerodynamic and aeolian sand physics theory, this project measured the complex secondary flow field and aeolian sand deposition pattern around single and cluster shrubs with varied densities (i.e., 0.05, 0.08, 0.15, 0.20) and gap ratios (the ratio of the gap spacing between the shrub models to the center-to-center distance for the shrub models, ranged from 1.1 to 1.8 with side-by-side arrangement and 1.2 to 4.3 with tandem arrangement) using the particle image velocimetry system through wind tunnle simulation. The relationship between the secondary airflow structure and the shrub's porosity and arrangement was analyzed quantitatively. Research results revealed that porosity (density) is the key parameter to affect the flow patterns around single shrub. Compared to solid obstacles, bleed flow through the shrubs has great influence on the secondary airflow patterns around itself. Under cluster modes, the distance between two adjacent shrubs has great influence on flow field structures around them. The flow patterns around two side-by-side arranged shrubs can be classified into three kinds of modes, that is: single-bluff-body, biased flow pattern and parallel vortex streets. The flow patterns around two tandem arranged shrubs can be classified into three regimes, that is: the extended body regime, reattachment regime and co-shedding regime. The "shadow zone" with low velocity in the lee of shrubs is the optimal position for sand deposition, but its form, size and orientation would varied with the shrub porosity and gap ratio between them. With the increase of the gap

  16. Climate change effects on vegetation in Northeastern Siberian tundra - How does shrub growth relate to local climate and what are potential effects of shrub expansion on permafrost thawing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blok, Daan; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Heijmans, Monique; Sass-Klaassen, Ute; Bartholomeus, Harm; Knyazikhin, Yuri; Berendse, Frank

    2010-05-01

    The Siberian tundra is one of the key permafrost regions in the Arctic because of its large spatial extent and carbon-rich yedoma soils. Changes in permafrost thaw and concomitant carbon losses to the atmosphere can have large impacts on the global climate. Permafrost thaw is believed to strongly increase this century as a result of predicted increasing air temperature. At the same time, Arctic vegetation growth and composition is predicted to respond to future climate change. Deciduous shrubs are expected to benefit most from climate warming by increasing growth and expanding their range to higher latitudes. Evidence for recent increases in deciduous shrub cover in the Arctic region is limited thus far to small areas in Alaska. We examined if deciduous shrubs at our research site in the Indigirka lowlands, Northeastern Siberia, show a growth response to the main climate variables, temperature and precipitation. We constructed tree-ring width chronologies for two key Arctic deciduous shrub species, Betula nana and Salix pulchra, dating back roughly 60 years. The ring widths records are compared to summer-warmth index and summer-precipitation data from the closest climate station, approximately 30 km from our site in order to detect the climate factor that mainly determines shrub growth. On a larger scale, recent increases in Arctic productivity, measured as Arctic greenness (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI), suggest that shrubs may have expanded during the 80ies and 90ies of the last century. Spectral reflectance data of varying vegetation composition measured at the tundra site were reduced to NDVI to link up with long-term NDVI data. We used a multiple regression analysis to estimate how variation in NDVI is explained by plant fractional cover of different plant functional types (graminoids, deciduous shrubs, evergreen shrubs, forbs, mosses and lichens). Deciduous shrub cover was the only significant explanatory parameter in the model after parameter

  17. Mediterranean shrub vegetation: soil protection vs. water availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Estringana, Pablo; Nieves Alonso-Blázquez, M.; Alegre, Alegre; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    Soil Erosion and Land Degradation are closely related to the changes in the vegetation cover (Zhao et al., 2013). Although other factors such as rainfall intensiy or slope (Ziadat and Taimeh, 2013) the plant covers is the main factor that controls the soil erosion (Haregeweyn, 2013). Plant cover is the main factor of soil erosion processes as the vegetation control the infiltration and runoff generation (Cerdà, 1998a; Kargar Chigani et al., 2012). Vegetation cover acts in a complex way in influencing on the one hand on runoff and soil loss and on the other hand on the amount and the way that rainfall reaches the soil surface. In arid and semiarid regions, where erosion is one of the main degradation processes and water is a scant resource, a minimum percentage of vegetation coverage is necessary to protect the soil from erosion, but without compromising the availability of water (Belmonte Serrato and Romero Diaz, 1998). This is mainly controlled by the vegetation distribution (Cerdà, 1997a; Cammeraat et al., 2010; Kakembo et al., 2012). Land abandonment is common in Mediterranean region under extensive land use (Cerdà, 1997b; García-Ruiz, 2010). Abandoned lands typically have a rolling landscape with steep slopes, and are dominated by herbaceous communities that grow on pasture land interspersed by shrubs. Land abandonment use to trigger an increase in soil erosion, but the vegetation recovery reduces the impact of the vegetation. The goal of this work is to assess the effects of different Mediterranean shrub species (Dorycnium pentaphyllum Scop., Medicago strasseri, Colutea arborescens L., Retama sphaerocarpa, L., Pistacia Lentiscus L. and Quercus coccifera L.) on soil protection (runoff and soil losses) and on rainfall reaching soil surface (rainfall partitioning fluxes). To characterize the effects of shrub vegetation and to evaluate their effects on soil protection, two field experiments were carried out. The presence of shrub vegetation reduced runoff by

  18. Effects of human trampling on abundance and diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens in alpine heath vegetation, Northern Sweden.

    PubMed

    Jägerbrand, Annika K; Alatalo, Juha M

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of human trampling on cover, diversity and species richness in an alpine heath ecosystem in northern Sweden. We tested the hypothesis that proximity to trails decreases plant cover, diversity and species richness of the canopy and the understory. We found a significant decrease in plant cover with proximity to the trail for the understory, but not for the canopy level, and significant decreases in the abundance of deciduous shrubs in the canopy layer and lichens in the understory. Proximity also had a significant negative impact on species richness of lichens. However, there were no significant changes in species richness, diversity or evenness of distribution in the canopy or understory with proximity to the trail. While not significant, liverworts, acrocarpous and pleurocarpous bryophytes tended to have contrasting abundance patterns with differing proximity to the trail, indicating that trampling may cause shifts in dominance hierarchies of different groups of bryophytes. Due to the decrease in understory cover, the abundance of litter, rock and soil increased with proximity to the trail. These results demonstrate that low-frequency human trampling in alpine heaths over long periods can have major negative impacts on lichen abundance and species richness. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that trampling can decrease species richness of lichens. It emphasises the importance of including species-level data on non-vascular plants when conducting studies in alpine or tundra ecosystems, since they often make up the majority of species and play a significant role in ecosystem functioning and response in many of these extreme environments.

  19. Effects of human trampling on abundance and diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens in alpine heath vegetation, Northern Sweden.

    PubMed

    Jägerbrand, Annika K; Alatalo, Juha M

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of human trampling on cover, diversity and species richness in an alpine heath ecosystem in northern Sweden. We tested the hypothesis that proximity to trails decreases plant cover, diversity and species richness of the canopy and the understory. We found a significant decrease in plant cover with proximity to the trail for the understory, but not for the canopy level, and significant decreases in the abundance of deciduous shrubs in the canopy layer and lichens in the understory. Proximity also had a significant negative impact on species richness of lichens. However, there were no significant changes in species richness, diversity or evenness of distribution in the canopy or understory with proximity to the trail. While not significant, liverworts, acrocarpous and pleurocarpous bryophytes tended to have contrasting abundance patterns with differing proximity to the trail, indicating that trampling may cause shifts in dominance hierarchies of different groups of bryophytes. Due to the decrease in understory cover, the abundance of litter, rock and soil increased with proximity to the trail. These results demonstrate that low-frequency human trampling in alpine heaths over long periods can have major negative impacts on lichen abundance and species richness. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that trampling can decrease species richness of lichens. It emphasises the importance of including species-level data on non-vascular plants when conducting studies in alpine or tundra ecosystems, since they often make up the majority of species and play a significant role in ecosystem functioning and response in many of these extreme environments. PMID:25774335

  20. Differential physiological responses to environmental change promote woody shrub expansion

    PubMed Central

    Heskel, Mary; Greaves, Heather; Kornfeld, Ari; Gough, Laura; Atkin, Owen K; Turnbull, Matthew H; Shaver, Gaius; Griffin, Kevin L

    2013-01-01

    Direct and indirect effects of warming are increasingly modifying the carbon-rich vegetation and soils of the Arctic tundra, with important implications for the terrestrial carbon cycle. Understanding the biological and environmental influences on the processes that regulate foliar carbon cycling in tundra species is essential for predicting the future terrestrial carbon balance in this region. To determine the effect of climate change impacts on gas exchange in tundra, we quantified foliar photosynthesis (Anet), respiration in the dark and light (RD and RL, determined using the Kok method), photorespiration (PR), carbon gain efficiency (CGE, the ratio of photosynthetic CO2 uptake to total CO2 exchange of photosynthesis, PR, and respiration), and leaf traits of three dominant species – Betula nana, a woody shrub; Eriophorum vaginatum, a graminoid; and Rubus chamaemorus, a forb – grown under long-term warming and fertilization treatments since 1989 at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Under warming, B. nana exhibited the highest rates of Anet and strongest light inhibition of respiration, increasing CGE nearly 50% compared with leaves grown in ambient conditions, which corresponded to a 52% increase in relative abundance. Gas exchange did not shift under fertilization in B. nana despite increases in leaf N and P and near-complete dominance at the community scale, suggesting a morphological rather than physiological response. Rubus chamaemorus, exhibited minimal shifts in foliar gas exchange, and responded similarly to B. nana under treatment conditions. By contrast, E. vaginatum, did not significantly alter its gas exchange physiology under treatments and exhibited dramatic decreases in relative cover (warming: −19.7%; fertilization: −79.7%; warming with fertilization: −91.1%). Our findings suggest a foliar physiological advantage in the woody shrub B. nana that is further mediated by warming and increased soil nutrient availability, which may facilitate shrub

  1. How, Now, Brown Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecher, Kenneth

    2009-01-01

    The vocabulary of astronomy is riddled with colorful names for stars, from red giants to blue stragglers. Objects with masses between roughly .01 and .1 solar masses are called "brown dwarfs". Do they - could they - ever actually appear brown? Color is not a one-dimensional physical parameter like wavelength. It is a complex, psychophysical phenomenon involving not only three degrees of freedom - hue (often incorrectly equated with "color"), saturation and brightness - but also observational context. The perceptual nature of color has been known since Newton wrote in his "Opticks” in 1704: "For the Rays to speak properly are not coloured. In them there is nothing else than a certain Power and disposition to stir up a Sensation of this or that Colour.” To most observers, the 2000 or so naked eye stars observable from the northern hemisphere all appear white, with the half dozen exceptions which look reddish/orange like Betelgeuse, Arcturus and Antares. But what color would Betelgeuse (effective temperature 3600 K) appear at a distance of, say, 100 times the Earth-Sun separation? Not red. In fact, it has a temperature about 40% higher than that of an ordinary incandescent light bulb. It would appear white (or yellowish)! Can a very cool radiating (emissive) object ever appear brown? What is brown anyway? It is not a primary or even secondary color. In this presentation, we will explore the nature and meaning of "brown” by the use of several physical and computer demonstrations developed as part of "Project LITE- Light Inquiry Through Experiments", an educational materials development project. These demonstrations show that an isolated thermally radiating object will never appear brown. Hence the term "Brown Dwarf” is as nonsensical as the phrase "How, Now, Brown Cow?". Project LITE is supported by the NSF through DUE Grant # 0715975.

  2. Pluto: Dwarf planet 134340

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, L. V.

    2016-01-01

    In recent decades, investigations of Pluto with up-to-date astronomical instruments yielded results that have been generally confirmed by the New Horizons mission. In 2006, in Prague, the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified Pluto as a member of the dwarf planet category according to the criteria defined by the IAU for the term "planet". At the same time, interest in studies of Pluto was increasing, while the space investigations of Pluto were delayed. In 2006, the New Horizons Pluto spacecraft started its journey to Pluto. On July 14, 2015, the spacecraft, being in fly-by mode, made its closest approach to Pluto. The heterogeneities and properties of the surface and rarified atmosphere were investigated thoroughly. Due to the extreme remoteness of the spacecraft and the energy limitations, it will take 18 months to transmit the whole data volume. Along with the preliminary results of the New Horizons Pluto mission, this paper reviews the basics on Pluto and its moons acquired from the ground-based observations and with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). There are only a few meteorite craters on the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, which distinctly marks them apart from such satellites of the giant planets as Ganymede and Callisto. The explanation is that the surface of Pluto is young: its age is estimated at less than 100 Myr. Ice glaciers of apparently a nitrogen nature were found. Nitrogen is also the main component of the atmosphere of Pluto. The planet demonstrates the signs of strong geologic activity, though the energy sources of these processes are unknown.

  3. Trees, more than shrubs, protect against soil erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-05-01

    Soil erosion and saltation—the transport of ground particles by wind—are significant producers of dust and can damage crops or lead to nutrient-poor soil in semiarid regions. These regions are particularly vulnerable to climate warming and increased human activity, which can exacerbate erosion and induce dust bowl-like conditions. Previous research and observations have shown that vegetation such as shrubs and trees can reduce soil erosion, but existing models do not account for variations in wind direction or strength.

  4. Four new triterpenes from the endemic relict shrub Tetraena mongolica.

    PubMed

    Tang, Sheng-An; Ding, Lin-Lin; Zhai, Hui-Yuan; Qin, Nan; Duan, Hong-Quan

    2012-01-01

    A chemical investigation of the endemic relict shrub Tetraena mongolica led to the isolation of four new triterpenes: 11α,12α:13β,28-diepoxyoleanane-3β-yl trans-caffeate (1), 3β-hydroxy-11α,12α-epoxyoleanane-28-al (2), olean-11-en-28-al-3β-yl trans-caffeate (3), and 28-acetoxy-olean-12-en-3β-yl trans-caffeate (4). Their structures were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic methods. PMID:22873370

  5. Alpine and pre-Alpine magmatism in the root-zone of the western Central Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romer, R. L.; Schärer, U.; Steck, Albrecht

    1996-03-01

    The highest grade of metamorphism and associated structural elements in orogenic belts may be inherited from earlier orogenic events. We illustrate this point using magmatic and metamorphic rocks from the southern steep belt of the Lepontine Gneiss Dome (Central Alps). The U-Pb zircon ages from an anatectic granite at Verampio and migmatites at Corcapolo and Lavertezzo yield 280 290 Ma, i.e., Hercynian ages. These ages indicate that the highest grade of metamorphism in several crystalline nappes of the Lepontine Gneiss Dome is pre-Alpine. Alpine metamorphism reached sufficiently high grade to reset the Rb-Sr and K-Ar systematics of mica and amphibole, but generally did not result in crustal melting, except in the steep belt to the north of the Insubric Line, where numerous 29 to 26 Ma old pegmatites and aplites had intruded syn- and post-kinematically into gneisses of the ductile Simplon Shear Zone. The emplacement age of these pegmatites gives a minimum estimate for the age of the Alpine metamorphic peak in the Monte Rosa nappe. The U-Pb titanite ages of 33 to 31 Ma from felsic porphyritic veins represent a minimum-age estimate for Alpine metamorphism in the Sesia Zone. A porphyric vein emplaced at 448±5 Ma (U-Pb monazite) demonstrates that there existed a consolidated Caledonian basement in the Sesia Zone.

  6. 75 FR 16069 - Alpine County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-31

    ... Alpine County at the Alpine Early Learning Center, 100 Foothill Road, Markleeville, CA 96120. FOR FURTHER... District, 1536 S. Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701 (775) 352-1240; E-MAIL mbonesteel@fs.fed.us.... Genny E. Wilson, Designated Federal Officer. BILLING CODE 3410-11-M...

  7. Water resources: Research network to track alpine water

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The water cycle in alpine environments worldwide supplies fresh water to vast downstream areas inhabited by more than half of humanity. The International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology (INARCH) was launched this year by the Global Energy and Water Exchanges project of the World Clim...

  8. 75 FR 30366 - Alpine County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-01

    ... Alpine County at the Alpine Early Learning Center, 100 Foothill Road, Markleeville, CA 96120. FOR FURTHER... meeting is open to the public. Public input opportunity will be provided and individuals will have the opportunity to address the Committee at that time. Dated: May 21, 2010. Genny E. Wilson, Designated...

  9. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Tape, Ken D.

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators. PMID:27074023

  10. Influence of shrub encroachment on the soil microbial community composition of remnant hill prairies.

    PubMed

    Yannarell, Anthony C; Menning, Sarah E; Beck, Alyssa M

    2014-05-01

    Hill prairies are remnant grasslands perched on the bluffs of major river valleys, and because their steep slopes make them unsuitable for traditional row crop agriculture, they have some of the lowest levels of anthropogenic disturbance of any prairie ecosystems in the Midwestern USA. However, many decades of fire suppression have allowed for shrub encroachment from the surrounding forests. While shrub encroachment of grasslands can modify soil respiration rates and nutrient storage, it is not known whether shrubs also alter the community composition of soil microorganisms. We conducted transect sampling of nine different hill prairie remnants showing varying degrees of shrub encroachment, and we used DNA-based community profiling (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis) to characterize the composition of bacterial and fungal communities in the open prairie habitat, the shrub-encroached border, and the surrounding forest. While both bacterial and fungal communities showed statistically significant variation across these habitats, their predominant patterns were different. Bacterial communities of forest soils were distinct from those of the open prairie and the shrub-encroached areas, while fungal communities of the open prairie were distinct from those of the forest and the shrub-encroached border. Shrub encroachment significantly altered the community composition of soil fungal communities. Furthermore, fungal communities of heavily encroached prairie remnants more closely resembled those of the surrounding forest than those of lightly encroached prairies. Thus, shrub encroachment can cause soil fungi to shift from a "grassland" community to a "woody" community, with potential consequences for soil processes and plant-microbe interactions.

  11. Hydraulic lift through transpiration suppression in shrubs from two arid ecosystems: patterns and control mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Prieto, Iván; Martínez-Tillería, Karina; Martínez-Manchego, Luis; Montecinos, Sonia; Pugnaire, Francisco I; Squeo, Francisco A

    2010-08-01

    Hydraulic lift (HL) is the passive movement of water through the roots from deep wet to dry shallow soil layers when stomata are closed. HL has been shown in different ecosystems and species, and it depends on plant physiology and soil properties. In this study we explored HL patterns in several arid land shrubs, and developed a simple model to simulate the temporal evolution and magnitude of HL during a soil drying cycle under relatively stable climatic conditions. This model was then used to evaluate the influence of soil texture on the quantity of water lifted by shrubs in different soil types. We conducted transpiration suppression experiments during spring 2005 in Chile and spring 2008 in Spain on five shrub species that performed HL, Flourensia thurifera, Senna cumingii and Pleocarphus revolutus (Chile), Retama sphaerocarpa and Artemisia barrelieri (Spain). Shrubs were covered with a black, opaque plastic fabric for a period of 48-72 h, and soil water potential was recorded at different depths under the shrubs. While the shrubs remained covered, water potential continuously increased in shallow soil layers until the cover was removed. The model output indicated that the amount of water lifted by shrubs is heavily dependent on soil texture, as shrubs growing in loamy soils redistributed up to 3.6 times more water than shrubs growing on sandy soils. This could be an important consideration for species growing in soils with different textures, as their ability to perform HL would be context dependent. PMID:20364271

  12. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming.

  13. Disentangling the effects of shrubs and herbivores on tree regeneration in a dry Chaco forest (Argentina).

    PubMed

    Tálamo, Andrés; Barchuk, Alicia H; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Trucco, Carlos E; Cardozo, Silvana; Mohr, Federico

    2015-07-01

    Successful persistence of dry forests depends on tree regeneration, which depends on a balance of complex biotic interactions. In particular, the relative importance and interactive effects of shrubs and herbivores on tree regeneration are unclear. In a manipulative study, we investigated if thornless shrubs have a direct net effect, an indirect positive effect mediated by livestock, and/or an indirect negative effect mediated by small vertebrates on tree regeneration of two key species of Chaco forest (Argentina). In a spatial association study, we also explored the existence of net positive interactions from thorny and thornless shrubs. The number of Schinopsis lorentzii seedlings was highest under artificial shade with native herbivores and livestock excluded. Even excluding livestock, no seedlings were found with natural conditions (native herbivores present with natural shade or direct sunlight) at the end of the experiment. Surprisingly, seedling recruitment was not enhanced under thornless shrubs, because there was a complementary positive effect of shade and interference. Moreover, thornless shrubs had neither positive nor negative effects on regeneration of S. lorentzii. Regeneration of Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco was minimal in all treatments. In agreement with the experiment, spatial distributions of saplings of both tree species were independent of thornless shrubs, but positively associated with thorny shrubs. Our results suggest that in general thornless shrubs may have a negligible effect and thorny shrubs a net positive effect on tree regeneration in dry forests. These findings provide a conceptual framework for testing the impact of biotic interactions on seedling recruitment in other dry forests.

  14. Shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivore abundance and species richness in semiarid rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaum, Niels; Rossmanith, Eva; Popp, Alexander; Jeltsch, Florian

    2007-01-01

    Shrub encroachment due to overgrazing has led to dramatic changes of savanna landscapes and is considered to be one of the most threatening forms of rangeland degradation e.g. via habitat fragmentation. Mammalian carnivores are particularly vulnerable to local extinction in fragmented landscapes. However, our understanding of how shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivores is poor. Here we investigated the relative sensitivities of ten native carnivores to different levels of shrub cover ranging from low (<5%) to high shrub cover (>25%) in 20 southern Kalahari rangeland sites. Relative abundance of carnivores was monitored along 40 sand transects (5 m × 250 m) for each site. Our results show that increasing shrub cover affects carnivore species differently. African wild cats, striped polecats, cape foxes and suricates were negatively affected, whereas we found hump-shaped responses for yellow mongooses, bat-eared foxes and small-spotted genets with maximum abundance at shrub covers between 10 and 18%. In contrast, black-backed jackals, slender mongooses and small spotted cats were not significantly affected by increasing shrub cover. However, a negative impact of high shrub cover above 18% was congruent for all species. We conclude that intermediate shrub cover (10-18%) in savanna landscapes sustain viable populations of small carnivores.

  15. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Gustine, David D; Ruess, Roger W; Adams, Layne G; Clark, Jason A

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators.

  16. Seed and vegetative production of shrubs and growth of understory conifer regeneration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  17. Flower and fruit production of understory shrubs in western Washington and Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J. C.

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  18. Demise of spiny hopsage shrubs following summer wildfire: an authentic record

    SciTech Connect

    Rickard, W.H.; McShane, M.C.

    1984-01-01

    Spiny hopsage, Grayia spinosa, shrubs growing in a plant community dominated by greasewood, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, shrubs were destroyed by a summer wildfire. In the first season after the burn, greasewood shrubs sprouted, and by April of the second spring season, greasewood had restored about one-half of its preburn canopy cover. Spiny hopsage shrubs did not sprout and their demise is attributed to stressed growing conditions imposed by an alkaline-sodic rooting substrate. The demise of spiny hopsage would likely have gone unnoticed were it not for the existence of a permanently marked study plot. 11 references, 1 table.

  19. Greater effect of increasing shrub height on winter versus summer soil temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paradis, Mélissa; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2016-08-01

    Shrub expansion is increasingly observed in arctic and subarctic environments. The development of shrub structure may significantly impact the abiotic environment at the local scale. Our objective was to reconstruct the development of the vertical structure of Betula glandulosa Michx. and to evaluate its effects on winter and summer soil temperature and on snow depth. Stratified sampling of the shrub revealed that shrub biomass distribution followed a similar pattern in stands of contrasting heights. Woody biomass was maximal in the lower stratum and relatively stable in the intermediate strata, while the foliar biomass tracked the vertical development of the shrub structure. Dendrochronological analysis revealed that shrub stands are relatively young; most of the dominant stems started their development after 1990. Shrub height was positively associated with both the dominant stem age and its vertical growth rate. Temperature differences among sites were greater during winter (ca 10 °C) than during summer (ca 2 °C), while the sum of freezing degree-days varied from 680 °C to 2125 °C. Shrub height was the most plausible variable explaining snow depth, winter ground level temperature and the sum of freezing degree-days. However, woody biomass in the 30–40 cm strata best explained summer ground level temperature. Our results suggest that the development of a shrub structure will have far-reaching consequences on the abiotic environment of subarctic ecosystems.

  20. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Gustine, David D; Ruess, Roger W; Adams, Layne G; Clark, Jason A

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators. PMID:27074023

  1. Greater effect of increasing shrub height on winter versus summer soil temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paradis, Mélissa; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2016-08-01

    Shrub expansion is increasingly observed in arctic and subarctic environments. The development of shrub structure may significantly impact the abiotic environment at the local scale. Our objective was to reconstruct the development of the vertical structure of Betula glandulosa Michx. and to evaluate its effects on winter and summer soil temperature and on snow depth. Stratified sampling of the shrub revealed that shrub biomass distribution followed a similar pattern in stands of contrasting heights. Woody biomass was maximal in the lower stratum and relatively stable in the intermediate strata, while the foliar biomass tracked the vertical development of the shrub structure. Dendrochronological analysis revealed that shrub stands are relatively young; most of the dominant stems started their development after 1990. Shrub height was positively associated with both the dominant stem age and its vertical growth rate. Temperature differences among sites were greater during winter (ca 10 °C) than during summer (ca 2 °C), while the sum of freezing degree-days varied from 680 °C to 2125 °C. Shrub height was the most plausible variable explaining snow depth, winter ground level temperature and the sum of freezing degree-days. However, woody biomass in the 30-40 cm strata best explained summer ground level temperature. Our results suggest that the development of a shrub structure will have far-reaching consequences on the abiotic environment of subarctic ecosystems.

  2. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming. PMID:25967156

  3. Characterizing streamflow generation in Alpine catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiogna, Gabriele; Cano Paoli, Karina; Bellin, Alberto

    2016-04-01

    Developing effective hydrological models for streamflow generation in Alpine catchments is challenging due to the inherent complexity of the intertwined processes controlling water transfer from hillslopes to streams and along the river network. With water discharge as the sole observational variable it is impossible to differentiate between different streamflow sources, and modelling activity is often limited to simplified phenomenological rainfall-runoff models. This study focuses on quantifying streamflow sources at different temporal scales and the associated uncertainty by using natural tracer data (electrical conductivity, oxygen and hydrogen stable isotopes ratios) as observational variables supplementing streamflow measurements. We determine the spatial and temporal hydrological behavior and the mean residence time of water in the Vermigliana catchment, North-Eastern Italy and we separate contributions to streamflow originating from Presena and Presanella glaciers, both exerting a strong control on the hydrologic budget of the study site. Furthermore, we identify a seasonal control on the effect of storm events. The catchment responded rapidly to precipitation events in early autumn, it was unaffected by precipitation events in early spring, while runoff generation was enhanced by snow melting in late autumn. Air temperature is identified as the main controlling parameter, in addition to precipitation. Two-component mixing analysis showed that the relative contribution of new water, which can contribute up to 75% of total streamflow, is very rapid. Only two hours time-lag was observed between the beginning of the precipitation event and the emergence of a significant contribution of new water. These results evidence the relevance of mixing between pre-event and event water in the Vermigliana catchment, and in similar high elevation Alpine catchments. This study provides new insights on the dynamics of streamflow generation in Alpine catchments and a

  4. 3D cartography of the Alpine Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vouillamoz, N.; Sue, C.; Champagnac, J. D.; Calcagno, P.

    2012-04-01

    We present a 3D cartography of the alpine arc, a highly non-cylindrical mountain belt, built using the 3D GeoModeller of the BRGM (French geological survey). The model allows to handle the large-scale 3D structure of seventeen major crustal units of the belt (from the lower crust to the sedimentary cover nappes), and two main discontinuities (the Insubric line and the Crustal Penninic Front). It provides a unique document to better understand their structural relationships and to produce new sections. The study area comprises the western alpine arc, from the Jura to the Northwest, up to the Bergell granite intrusion and the Lepontine Dome to the East, and is limited to the South by the Ligurian basin. The model is limited vertically 10 km above sea level at the top, and the moho interface at the bottom. We discarded the structural relationships between the Alps sensus stricto and the surrounding geodynamic systems such as the Rhine graben or the connection with the Apennines. The 3D-model is based on the global integration of various data such as the DEM of the Alps, the moho isobaths, the simplified geological and tectonic maps of the belt, the crustal cross-sections ECORS-CROP and NFP-20, and complementary cross-sections specifically built to precise local complexities. The database has first been integrated in a GIS-project to prepare their implementation in the GeoModeller, by homogenizing the different spatial referencing systems. The global model is finally interpolated from all these data, using the potential field method. The final document is a new tri-dimentional cartography that would be used as input for further alpine studies.

  5. Evidence and Implications of Frequent Fires in Ancient Shrub Tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Higuera, P E; Brubaker, L B; Anderson, P M; Brown, T A; Kennedy, A T; Hu, F S

    2008-03-06

    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birchdominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleo-fires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21st century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere.

  6. FORMATION OF DWARF SPHEROIDAL GALAXIES VIA MERGERS OF DISKY DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Kazantzidis, Stelios; Lokas, Ewa L.; Klimentowski, Jaroslaw; Mayer, Lucio; Knebe, Alexander

    2011-10-10

    We perform collisionless N-body simulations to investigate whether binary mergers between rotationally supported dwarfs can lead to the formation of dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs). Our simulation campaign is based on a hybrid approach combining cosmological simulations and controlled numerical experiments. We select merger events from a Constrained Local Universe simulation of the Local Group (LG) and record the properties of the interacting dwarf-sized halos. This information is subsequently used to seed controlled experiments of binary encounters between dwarf galaxies consisting of exponential stellar disks embedded in cosmologically motivated dark matter halos. These simulations are designed to reproduce eight cosmological merger events, with initial masses of the interacting systems in the range {approx}(5-60) x 10{sup 7} M{sub sun}, occurring quite early in the history of the LG, more than 10 Gyr ago. We compute the properties of the merger remnants as a distant observer would and demonstrate that at least three of the simulated encounters produce systems with kinematic and structural properties akin to those of the classic dSphs in the LG. Tracing the history of the remnants in the cosmological simulation to z = 0, we find that two dSph-like objects remain isolated at distances {approx}> 800 kpc from either the Milky Way or M31. These systems constitute plausible counterparts of the remote dSphs Cetus and Tucana which reside in the LG outskirts, far from the tidal influence of the primary galaxies. We conclude that merging of rotationally supported dwarfs represents a viable mechanism for the formation of dSphs in the LG and similar environments.

  7. Landscape heterogeneity controls growth variability of alder, willow, and birch shrubs in response to observed increases in temperature and snow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tape, K. D.; Hallinger, M.; Buras, A.; Wilmking, M.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last decade, evidence has emerged for a circumarctic trend of increasing shrub cover in tundra regions. On the Alaskan tundra, repeat photography has shown spatial differences in shrub patch dynamics: since 1950, most patches expanded while some remained stable. In this study we explore the underpinnings of this landscape heterogeneity by sampling the three dominant shrubs of the Alaskan tundra--alder, willow and birch--and creating shrub ring width chronologies to determine the influence of climate variability on shrub growth. Shrubs of expanding patches of all three species grew at higher rates than shrubs of stable patches. Alder and willow shrubs in expanding patches exhibited mainly positive growth trends, while their counterparts in stable patches exhibited mainly negative growth trends. Birch shrub growth declined in expanding and stable patches. Alder and willow shrub growth rates and responses to climate were controlled more by soil characteristics than by their genus; expanding alder and willow shrubs showed significant positive correlations with spring and summer temperatures, whereas alder and willow shrubs of stable patches were negatively influenced by winter precipitation. The widely-scattered stable shrub patches sampled here are considered ';moist tussock tundra,' which covers 13.4% of the low arctic landscape. In moist tussock tundra, and presumably also wet tussock tundra, the negative influence of deeper snow on shrubs outweighed the positive influence of deeper snow on ground temperature and nutrient stocks articulated by the snow-shrub-microbe hypothesis. Thus, while shrubs of expanding patches have generally profited from warmer summers, shrubs of stable patches have suffered from increased soil moisture resulting from increased snowmelt water. These results underscore the spatial and temporal complexity in shrub-climate dynamics, which will require considerable finesse to appropriately integrate into modeling efforts.

  8. Brown dwarfs as dark galactic halos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Fred C.; Walker, Terry P.

    1990-01-01

    The possibility that the dark matter in galactic halos can consist of brown dwarf stars is considered. The radiative signature for such halos consisting solely of brown dwarfs is calculated, and the allowed range of brown dwarf masses, the initial mass function (IMF), the stellar properties, and the density distribution of the galactic halo are discussed. The prediction emission from the halo is compared with existing observations. It is found that, for any IMF of brown dwarfs below the deuterium burning limit, brown dwarf halos are consistent with observations. Brown dwarf halos cannot, however, explain the recently observed near-IR background. It is shown that future satellite missions will either detect brown dwarf halos or place tight constraints on the allowed range of the IMF.

  9. Microlensing, brown dwarfs and Gaia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, N. W.

    The GAIA satellite can precisely measure the masses of nearby brown dwarfs and lower main sequence stars by the microlensing effect. The scientific yield is maximised if the microlensing event is also followed with ground-based telesecopes to provide densely sampled photometry. There are two possible strategies. First, ongoing events can be triggered by photometric or astrometric alerts by GAIA. Second, events can be predicted using known high proper motion stars as lenses. This is much easier, as the location and time of an event can be forecast. Using the GAIA source density, we estimate that the sample size of high proper motion (>300 mas yr-1) brown dwarfs needed to provide predictable events during the 5 year mission lifetime is surprisingly small, only of the order of tens. This is comparable to the number of high proper motion brown dwarfs already known from the work of the UKIDSS Large Area Survey and the all-sky WISE satellite. Provided the relative parallax of the lens and the angular Einstein radius can be recovered from astrometric data, then the mass of the lens can be found. Microlensing provides the only way of measuring the masses of individual objects irrespective of their luminosity. So, microlensing with GAIA is the best way to carry out an inventory of masses in the solar neighbourhood in the brown dwarf regime.

  10. White dwarfs in cataclysmic variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2016-07-01

    Cataclysmic variables (CVs) provide excellent laboratories to study the effect that the accretion of matter, energy and angular momentum has on the structure of white dwarfs, with important implications on the evolution of these compact binaries, the ignition of thermonuclear surface burning, and potentially their explosion as SNIa. I will provide an overview of our current understanding of CV white dwarfs, with a particular emphasis on the results of a recent large HST program. I will review our knowledge regarding the mass distribution of CV white dwarfs, as well as the secular mean accretion rates that can be inferred from their effective temperatures, and compare those statistics with predictions from CV population models. I will also discuss a sub-set of CVs which underwent thermal-time scale mass transfer, one of the channels that is often discussed as a pathway to SN Ia, and I will illustrate how the study of these "failed SNIa" can contribute to the discussion of SNIa progenitors. Finally, I will discuss the occurrence of non-radial pulsations in white dwarfs, both in CVs and their detached progenitors.

  11. The Physics of White Dwarfs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Horn, Hugh M.

    1979-01-01

    Describes the current understanding of the structure and evolution of the white dwarf stars that was gained as a result of the increasingly sensitive and detailed astronomical observations coupled with calculations of the properties of matter under extreme conditions. (Author/GA)

  12. Pulsating Helium Atmosphere White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, Judith; Montgomery, Michael H.; Bischoff-Kim, Agnes; Shipman, Harry; Nitta, Atsuko; Whole Earth Telescope Collaboration

    2015-08-01

    The overwhelming majority of all stars currently on the main sequence as well as those from earlier generations will or have ended their stellar lives as white dwarf stars. White dwarfs are rich forensic laboratories linking the history and future evolution of our Galaxy. Their structure and atmospheric composition provide evidence of how the progenitors lived, how they evolved, and how they died. This information reveals details of processes governing the behavior of contemporary main sequence stars. Combined with their distribution in luminosity/temperature, white dwarfs strongly constrain models of galactic and cosmological evolution.GD358 is among the brightest (mv =13.7) and best studied of the pulsating white dwarfs. This helium atmoshere pulsator (DBV) has an extensive photometric database spanning 30 years, including nine multisite Whole Earth Telescope campaigns. GD358 exhibits a range of behaviors, from drastic changes in excited pulsation modes to variable multiplet splittings. We use GD358 as a template for an examination of the DBV class, combining photometric results with recent COS spectroscopy. The results present new questions concerning DB formation and evolution.

  13. THREE NEW ECLIPSING WHITE-DWARF-M-DWARF BINARIES DISCOVERED IN A SEARCH FOR TRANSITING PLANETS AROUND M-DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Law, Nicholas M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Street, Rachel; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi; Lister, Tim; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Baranec, Christoph; Bui, Khanh; Davis, Jack T. C.; Dekany, Richard G.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Ofek, Eran O.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Burse, Mahesh P.; Das, H. K.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Nugent, Peter; and others

    2012-10-01

    We present three new eclipsing white-dwarf/M-dwarf binary systems discovered during a search for transiting planets around M-dwarfs. Unlike most known eclipsing systems of this type, the optical and infrared emission is dominated by the M-dwarf components, and the systems have optical colors and discovery light curves consistent with being Jupiter-radius transiting planets around early M-dwarfs. We detail the PTF/M-dwarf transiting planet survey, part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). We present a graphics processing unit (GPU)-based box-least-squares search for transits that runs approximately 8 Multiplication-Sign faster than similar algorithms implemented on general purpose systems. For the discovered systems, we decompose low-resolution spectra of the systems into white-dwarf and M-dwarf components, and use radial velocity measurements and cooling models to estimate masses and radii for the white dwarfs. The systems are compact, with periods between 0.35 and 0.45 days and semimajor axes of approximately 2 R{sub Sun} (0.01 AU). The M-dwarfs have masses of approximately 0.35 M{sub Sun }, and the white dwarfs have hydrogen-rich atmospheres with temperatures of around 8000 K and have masses of approximately 0.5 M{sub Sun }. We use the Robo-AO laser guide star adaptive optics system to tentatively identify one of the objects as a triple system. We also use high-cadence photometry to put an upper limit on the white-dwarf radius of 0.025 R{sub Sun} (95% confidence) in one of the systems. Accounting for our detection efficiency and geometric factors, we estimate that 0.08%{sub -0.05%}{sup +0.10%} (90% confidence) of M-dwarfs are in these short-period, post-common-envelope white-dwarf/M-dwarf binaries where the optical light is dominated by the M-dwarf. The lack of detections at shorter periods, despite near-100% detection efficiency for such systems, suggests that binaries including these relatively low-temperature white dwarfs are preferentially found at

  14. Metabolic Profiling of Alpine and Ecuadorian Lichens.

    PubMed

    Mittermeier, Verena K; Schmitt, Nicola; Volk, Lukas P M; Suárez, Juan Pablo; Beck, Andreas; Eisenreich, Wolfgang

    2015-10-01

    Non-targeted ¹H-NMR methods were used to determine metabolite profiles from crude extracts of Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens collected from their natural habitats. In control experiments, the robustness of metabolite detection and quantification was estimated using replicate measurements of Stereocaulon alpinum extracts. The deviations in the overall metabolite fingerprints were low when analyzing S. alpinum collections from different locations or during different annual and seasonal periods. In contrast, metabolite profiles observed from extracts of different Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens clearly revealed genus- and species-specific profiles. The discriminating functions determining cluster formation in principle component analysis (PCA) were due to differences in the amounts of genus-specific compounds such as sticticin from the Sticta species, but also in the amounts of ubiquitous metabolites, such as sugar alcohols or trehalose. However, varying concentrations of these metabolites from the same lichen species e.g., due to different environmental conditions appeared of minor relevance for the overall cluster formation in PCA. The metabolic clusters matched phylogenetic analyses using nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of lichen mycobionts, as exemplified for the genus Sticta. It can be concluded that NMR-based non-targeted metabolic profiling is a useful tool in the chemo-taxonomy of lichens. The same approach could also facilitate the discovery of novel lichen metabolites on a rapid and systematical basis.

  15. Faint dwarfs in nearby groups

    SciTech Connect

    Speller, Ryan; Taylor, James E. E-mail: taylor@uwaterloo.ca

    2014-06-20

    The number and distribution of dwarf satellite galaxies remain a critical test of cold dark matter-dominated structure formation on small scales. Until recently, observational information about galaxy formation on these scales has been limited mainly to the Local Group. We have searched for faint analogues of Local Group dwarfs around nearby bright galaxies, using a spatial clustering analysis of the photometric catalog of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 8. Several other recent searches of SDSS have detected clustered satellite populations down to Δm{sub r} ≡ (m{sub r,} {sub sat} – m{sub r,} {sub main}) ∼ 6-8, using photometric redshifts to reduce background contamination. SDSS photometric redshifts are relatively imprecise, however, for faint and nearby galaxies. Instead, we use angular size to select potential nearby dwarfs and consider only the nearest isolated bright galaxies as primaries. As a result, we are able to detect an excess clustering signal from companions down to Δm{sub r} = 12, 4 mag fainter than most recent studies. We detect an overdensity of objects at separations <400 kpc, corresponding to about 4.6 ± 0.5 satellites per central galaxy, consistent with the satellite abundance expected from the Local Group, given our selection function. Although the sample of satellites detected is incomplete by construction, since it excludes the least and most compact dwarfs, this detection provides a lower bound on the average satellite luminosity function, down to luminosities corresponding to the faintest ''classical'' dwarfs of the Local Group.

  16. Ellis-van Creveld Syndrome in Grey Alpine Cattle: Morphologic, Immunophenotypic, and Molecular Characterization.

    PubMed

    Muscatello, L V; Benazzi, C; Dittmer, K E; Thompson, K G; Murgiano, L; Drögemüller, C; Avallone, G; Gentile, A; Edwards, J F; Piffer, C; Bolcato, M; Brunetti, B

    2015-09-01

    Ellis-van Creveld (EvC) syndrome is a human autosomal recessive disorder caused by a mutation in either the EVC or EVC2 gene, and presents with short limbs, polydactyly, and ectodermal and heart defects. The aim of this study was to understand the pathologic basis by which deletions in the EVC2 gene lead to chondrodysplastic dwarfism and to describe the morphologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular hallmarks of EvC syndrome in cattle. Five Grey Alpine calves, with a known mutation in the EVC2 gene, were autopsied. Immunohistochemistry was performed on bone using antibodies to collagen II, collagen X, sonic hedgehog, fibroblast growth factor 2, and Ki67. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was performed to analyze EVC1 and EVC2 gene expression. Autopsy revealed long bones that were severely reduced in length, as well as genital and heart defects. Collagen II was detected in control calves in the resting, proliferative, and hypertrophic zones and in the primary and secondary spongiosa, with a loss of labeling in the resting zone of 2 dwarfs. Collagen X was expressed in hypertrophic zone in the controls but was absent in the EvC cases. In affected calves and controls, sonic hedgehog labeled hypertrophic chondrocytes and primary and secondary spongiosa similarly. FGF2 was expressed in chondrocytes of all growth plate zones in the control calves but was lost in most EvC cases. The Ki67 index was lower in cases compared with controls. EVC and EVC2 transcripts were detected. Our data suggest that EvC syndrome of Grey Alpine cattle is a disorder of chondrocyte differentiation, with accelerated differentiation and premature hypertrophy of chondrocytes, and could be a spontaneous model for the equivalent human disease.

  17. RESOLVED SPECTROSCOPY OF A BROWN DWARF BINARY AT THE T DWARF/Y DWARF TRANSITION

    SciTech Connect

    Burgasser, Adam J.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Cushing, Michael C.

    2012-01-20

    We report resolved near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic observations of the T8.5 binary WISEP J045853.90+643452.6AB obtained with Keck/NIRC2, Keck/OSIRIS, and the Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system. These data confirm common proper and radial motion for the two components, and we see the first indications of orbital motion (mostly radial) for this system. H-band spectroscopy identifies both components as very late type brown dwarfs with strong H{sub 2}O and CH{sub 4} absorption. The spectrum of WISE J0458+6434B also exhibits a compelling signature of NH{sub 3} absorption over 1.52-1.54 {mu}m when compared to the T9 dwarf UGPS J072227.51-054031.2. Comparison to T8-Y0 spectral standards and H-band spectral indices indicate classifications of T8.5 and T9.5 for these two components, approaching the boundary between the T dwarf and Y dwarf spectral classes.

  18. Role of native shrubs of the Sahel in mitigating water and nutrient stresses of agricultural crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayala, R.; Ghezzehei, T. A.; Bogie, N. A.; Diedhiou, I.; Dick, R.

    2015-12-01

    In the semi arid zone of the Sahel native woody shrubs are present in many farmers' fields. The native density of these shrubs is fairly low at around 200 to 300 individuals per hectare. An ongoing study in the Peanut Basin, Senegal has shown a vast improvement in crop yields when annual food crops are planted with the shrub Guiera senegalensis, especially in years of low or irregular precipitation. Shrubs in field plots established in 2003 where a rotation of peanuts and millet are grown are planted at a much higher density of 1500-1830 individuals per hectare. In order to increase the density of shrubs on the landscape, the shrubs must be cultivated. We monitored soil moisture, soil temperature, and growth of recently transplanted individuals at a field station in Thies, Senegal.This study seeks to determine the growth characteristics and water use of young shrubs in order to inform possible future plantations of the shrubs in a more intensely managed agroecosystem. If this technique of intercropping is to be expanded we must not exceed the carrying capacity of the landscape. In vulnerable ecosystems where natural resources are scarce and farming inputs are low, we must work to determine ways of exploiting the adaptation of local agroecosystems to increase the sustainability of agriculture in the region.

  19. [Water balance of different density artificial Caragana microphylla shrubs in Horqin sand land].

    PubMed

    Lamusa, A; Longjun, C I; Yang, Xiaohui; Jiang, Deming

    2006-01-01

    Employing water balance equation, this paper estimated the evapotranspiration of different density Caragana microphylla shrubs during their growing season. The results showed that during this season, the soil water content under artificial C. microphylla shrubs decreased with their increasing planting density. The average soil water content of 0.5 m x 1 m and 1 m x 2 m density artificial C. microphylla shrubs was below wilting humidity (1.55%), while that of 2 m x 2 m density and natural shrubs was kept above 1.60% which could meet the demand of shrubs growth. The evapotranspiration increased with increasing planting densities, being the highest (297.81 mm) in 0.5 m x 1 m density artificial C. microphylla shrubs, which accounted for 97.90% of the total rainfall during growing season, and the lowest (279.71 mm) in 2 m x 2 m density shrubs. By the end of growth phase, soil water content had a surplus of 24.49 mm. According to the soil water status and water balance theory, the appropriate planting density of C. microphylla shrubs in Horqin sand land should be 2 m x 2 m.

  20. Arctic Shrub Growth Response to Climate Variation and Infrastructure Development on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackerman, D.; Finlay, J. C.; Griffin, D.

    2015-12-01

    Woody shrub growth in the arctic tundra is increasing on a circumpolar scale. Shrub expansion alters land-atmosphere carbon fluxes, nutrient cycling, and habitat structure. Despite these ecosystem effects, the drivers of shrub expansion have not been precisely established at the landscape scale. This project examined two proposed anthropogenic drivers: global climate change and local infrastructure development, a press disturbance that generates high levels of dust deposition. Effects of global change were studied using dendrochronology to establish a relationship between climate and annual growth in Betula and Salix shrubs growing in the Alaskan low Arctic. To understand the spatial heterogeneity of shrub expansion, this analysis was replicated in shrub populations across levels of landscape properties including soil moisture and substrate age. Effects of dust deposition on normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and photosynthetic rate were measured on transects up to 625 meters from the Dalton Highway. Dust deposition rates decreased exponentially with distance from road, matching previous models of road dust deposition. NDVI tracked deposition rates closely, but photosynthetic rates were not strongly affected by deposition. These results suggest that dust deposition may locally bias remote sensing measurements such as NDVI, without altering internal physiological processes such as photosynthesis in arctic shrubs. Distinguishing between the effects of landscape properties, climate, and disturbance will improve our predictions of the biogeochemical feedbacks of arctic shrub expansion, with potential application in climate change modeling.

  1. Numerical modeling evapotranspiration flux components in shrub-encroached grassland in Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Pei; Li, Xiao-Yan; Huang, Jie-Yu; Yang, Wen-Xin; Wang, Qi-Dan; Xu, Kun; Zheng, Xiao-Ran

    2016-04-01

    Shrub encroachment into arid grasslands occurs around the world. However, few works on shrub encroachment has been conducted in China. Moreover, its hydrological implications remain poorly investigated in arid and semiarid regions. This study combined a two-source energy balanced model and Newton-Raphson iteration scheme to simulate the evapotranspiration (ET) and their components of shrub-encroached(with 15.4% shrub coverage) grassland in Inner Mongolia. Good agreements of ET flux between modelled and measured by Bowen ratio method with relatively insensitive to uncertainties/errors in the assigned models parameters or in measured input variables for its components illustrated that our model was feasible for simulating evapotranspiration flux components in shrub-encroached grassland. The transpiration fraction(T /ET)account for 58±17%during the growing season. With the designed shrub encroachment extreme scenarios (maximum and minimum coverage),the contribution of shrub to local plant transpiration (Tshrub/T) was 20.06±7%during the growing season. Canopy conductance was the main controlling factor of T /ET. In diurnal scale short wave solar radiation was the direct influential factor while in seasonal scale leaf area index (LAI) and soil water content were the direct influential factors. We find that the seasonal variation of Tshrub/T has a good relationship with ratio of LAIshrub/LAI, and rainfall characteristics widened the difference of contribution of shrub and herbs to ecosystem evapotranspiration.

  2. Atlas of United States Trees, Volume 2: Alaska Trees and Common Shrubs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viereck, Leslie A.; Little, Elbert L., Jr.

    This volume is the second in a series of atlases describing the natural distribution or range of native tree species in the United States. The 82 species maps include 32 of trees in Alaska, 6 of shrubs rarely reaching tree size, and 44 more of common shrubs. More than 20 additional maps summarize environmental factors and furnish general…

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. RADIAL VELOCITY VARIABILITY OF FIELD BROWN DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Prato, L.; Mace, G. N.; Rice, E. L.; McLean, I. S.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Burgasser, A. J.; Kim, Sungsoo S.

    2015-07-20

    We present paper six of the NIRSPEC Brown Dwarf Spectroscopic Survey, an analysis of multi-epoch, high-resolution (R ∼ 20,000) spectra of 25 field dwarf systems (3 late-type M dwarfs, 16 L dwarfs, and 6 T dwarfs) taken with the NIRSPEC infrared spectrograph at the W. M. Keck Observatory. With a radial velocity (RV) precision of ∼2 km s{sup −1}, we are sensitive to brown dwarf companions in orbits with periods of a few years or less given a mass ratio of 0.5 or greater. We do not detect any spectroscopic binary brown dwarfs in the sample. Given our target properties, and the frequency and cadence of observations, we use a Monte Carlo simulation to determine the detection probability of our sample. Even with a null detection result, our 1σ upper limit for very low mass binary frequency is 18%. Our targets included seven known, wide brown dwarf binary systems. No significant RV variability was measured in our multi-epoch observations of these systems, even for those pairs for which our data spanned a significant fraction of the orbital period. Specialized techniques are required to reach the high precisions sensitive to motion in orbits of very low-mass systems. For eight objects, including six T dwarfs, we present the first published high-resolution spectra, many with high signal to noise, that will provide valuable comparison data for models of brown dwarf atmospheres.

  5. Effects of shrub expansion on the hydrology of the western Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marsh, P.; Endrizzi, S.; Lantz, T. C.; Marsh, C.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    The expansion of tall (or upright) shrubs into tundra areas of the North American arctic has been documented in a few areas, and it has been suggested that this is occurring over a broad area of the arctic and will have an important impact on snow accumulation, surface energy balance, and runoff of these areas. However, there are still considerable unknowns about the details of these effects and our ability to predict future changes in hydrology. In order to help answer these questions, a detailed measurement program has been carried out at the Trail Valley Creek (TVC) research basin located approximately 50 km NE of Inuvik, NWT, Canada. This area is characterized by rolling upland tundra underlain by continuous permafrost, with a mix of tundra, shrub tundra, and forest patches. Field observations aimed at developing an improved understanding of the effect of a transition from tundra to shrub tundra has been carried out over the last 4 years. Observations at both shrub and tundra sites in the TVC basin include: meteorological observations at 3 stations; extensive end of winter snow surveys; eddy covariance observations; changes in LAI at a shrub site during the melt period; aerial photos and satellite images at frequent intervals over the melt season; winter observations of snow depth and soil temperature; aerial photo observations of changes in shrub cover; and high resolution LIDAR based measurements of elevation and vegetation height. In combination with these observations, the GEOtop hydrologic model was used to consider the interacting processes controlling snow accumulation and melt at shrub and tundra sites. Preliminary analysis demonstrates that the shrub cover has increased in the study basin over the last 32 years. At a shrub site, the shrubs were bent over and buried by snow during the winter, with increased snow depth at the shrub site compared to a tundra site. As a result, the soil temperature was higher at the shrub site both during the winter, and

  6. High precipitation and seeded species competition reduce seeded shrub establishment during dryland restoration.

    PubMed

    Rinella, Matthew J; Hammond, Darcy H; Bryant, Ana-Elisa M; Kozar, Brian J

    2015-06-01

    Drylands comprise 40% of Earth's land mass and are critical to food security, carbon sequestration, and threatened and endangered wildlife. Exotic weed invasions, overgrazing, energy extraction, and other factors have degraded many drylands, and this has placed an increased emphasis on dryland restoration. The increased restoration focus has generated a wealth of experience, innovations and empirical data, yet the goal of restoring diverse, native, dryland plant assemblages composed of grasses, forbs, and shrubs has generally proven beyond reach. Of particular concern are shrubs, which often fail to establish or establish at trivially low densities. We used data from two Great Plains, USA coal mines to explore factors regulating shrub establishment. Our predictor data related to weather and restoration (e.g., seed rates, rock cover) variables, and our response data described shrub abundances on fields of the mines. We found that seeded non-shrubs, especially grasses, formed an important competitive barrier to shrub establishment: With every one standard deviation increase in non-shrub seed rate, the probability shrubs were present decreased ~0.1 and shrub cover decreased ~35%. Since new fields were seeded almost every year for > 20 years, the data also provided a unique opportunity to explore effects of stochastic drivers (i.e., precipitation, year effects). With every one standard deviation increase in precipitation the first growing season following seeding, the probability shrubs were present decreased ~0.07 and shrub cover decreased ~47%. High precipitation appeared to harm shrubs by increasing grass growth/competition. Also, weak evidence suggested shrub establishment was better in rockier fields where grass abundance/competition was lower. Multiple lines of evidence suggest reducing grass seed rates below levels typically used in Great Plains restoration would benefit shrubs without substantially impacting grass stand development over the long term. We used

  7. Assessing the Relationship Between Spectral Vegetation Indices and Shrub Cover in the Jornada Basin, New Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, Jeff; Stow, D.; Franklin, J.; Hope, A.

    1993-01-01

    We assessed the statistical relations between Spectral Vegetation Indices (SVI's) derived from SPOT multi-spectral data and semi-arid shrub cover at the Jornada LTER site in New Mexico. Despite a limited range of shrub cover in the sample the analyses resulted in r(sup 2) values as high as 0 central dot 77. Greenness SVI's (e.g., Simple Ratio, NDVI, SAVI, PVI and an orthogonal Greenness index) were shown to be more sensitive to shrub type and phenology than brightness SVis (e.g., green, red and near-infrared reflectances and a Brightness index). The results varied substantially with small-scale changes in plot size (60m by 60m to 100m by 100m) as a consequence of landscape heterogeneity. The results also indicated the potential for the spectral differentiation of shrub types, and shrubs from grass, using multi-temporal, multi-spectral analysis.

  8. Does fire severity influence shrub resprouting after spring prescribed burning?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Cristina; Vega, José A.; Fonturbel, Teresa

    2013-04-01

    Prescribed burning is commonly used to reduce the risk of severe wildfire. However, further information about the associated environmental effects is required to help forest managers select the most appropriate treatment. To address this question, we evaluated if fire severity during spring prescribed burning significantly affects the resprouting ability of two common shrub species in shrubland under a Mediterranean climate in NW Spain. Fire behaviour and temperatures were recorded in tagged individuals of Erica australis and Pterospartum tridentatum during prescribed burning. The number and length of resprouted shoots were measured three times (6, 12 and 18 months) after the prescribed burning. The influence of a series of fire severity indicators on some plant resprouting vigour parameters was tested by canonical correlation analysis. Six months and one year after prescribed burning, soil burn severity (measured by the absolute reduction in depth of the organic soil layer, maximum temperatures in the organic soil layer and the mineral soil surface during burning and the post-fire depth of the organic soil layer) reduced the resprouting vigour of E. australis and P. tridentatum. In contrast, direct measurements of fire effects on plants (minimum branch diameter, duration of temperatures above 300 °C in the shrub crown and fireline intensity) did not affect the post-fire plant vigour. Soil burn severity during spring prescribed burning significantly affected the short-term resprouting vigour in a mixed heathland in Galicia. The lack of effects eighteen months after prescribed burning indicates the high resilience of these species and illustrates the need to conciliate fire prevention and conservation goals.

  9. Manipulation of subalpine and alpine microclimate in the Alpine Treeline Warming Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kueppers, L. M.; Moyes, A. B.; Ferrenberg, S. M.; Christianson, D. S.; Castanha, C.; Germino, M. J.

    2011-12-01

    To experimentally test model projections of subalpine tree species' uphill migration with climate change, we have established the Alpine Treeline Warming Experiment at Niwot Ridge, CO. Common gardens subject to full factorial warming and watering experiments are replicated across three sites: near the lower limit of subalpine forest, within the alpine-treeline ecotone, and in the alpine tundra, beyond the current elevation ranges of the species. In 2010, differences in ambient climate among the three sites included 5.1° C greater growing-season air temperature and 0.5 kPa greater vapor pressure deficit in the lowest compared to the upper two sites. The lower subalpine site also experienced lower soil moisture compared to the upper two sites. Snowmelt date varied substantially between sites, with the longest snow-free period in the lower subalpine site and the shortest in the treeline site. In all sites, we observed advances in the timing of snowmelt in heated relative to control plots. The warming treatment also raised 5 cm soil temperatures by 3° C at the lower subalpine site, and by 1° C in the upper two sites, averaged over the growing season. More substantial wind in the alpine diminished the heating effect through sensible heat loss. Seasonal average volumetric soil moisture at 5-10 cm did not vary strongly among treatments even though seedling survival and gas exchange data suggest that water additions alleviated drought stress in some plots. These preliminary findings for identical warming and watering treatments across our three high mountain sites suggest that microclimate responses vary with radiation environment, patterns of snow accumulation, and wind speed. Some of these differences are realistic for a future warmer world, while others are artifacts of the experimental approach. Microclimate differences in 2011 reflect modified heating methods and a different spring hydroclimate (later snow accumulation and melt), highlighting the importance of

  10. Vacant niche in alpine habitat: the case of an introduced population of the butterfly Erebia epiphron in the Krkonoše Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cizek, Oldrich; Bakesová, Andrea; Kuras, Tomas; Benes, Jiri; Konvicka, Martin

    2003-04-01

    A vacant niche in alpine habitats of the Krkonoše Mts. (Western Sudetes, Czech Republic) was colonised by a non-native butterfly Erebia epiphron (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, Satyrinae) as a result of artificial introduction of 50 females in 1932 and 1933. The species established a large population occupying an entire area above the timberline on one of parallel ridges (East) of the mountains, but it has not yet colonised the parallel Western ridge, which is almost identical in area, altitude and vegetation. We compared altitudinal distribution and adult habitats of the alien species and of its native congener, E. euryale. Distribution of both species was significantly affected by altitude, but habitat type predicted butterfly numbers better than altitude in regression models. The introduced species was sympatric with the native one near the timberline, but its altitudinal optimum was higher, within tundra grasslands, where the native E. euryale did not occur. Peak adult emergence of E. euryale was later than in E. epiphron and followed identical pattern in allopatry. The failure of E. epiphron to colonise the Western ridge is attributable to its incapability to disperse across wooded areas. The Krkonoše alpine communities are unsaturated with species, which is striking in comparison with native butterfly fauna of lower Hrubý Jeseník Mts. We interpret this by a past encroachment of alpine grasslands in the Krkonoše Mts. by the dwarf pine Pinus mugo.

  11. A Search for Close Red Dwarf-White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, Mark R.; Henry, Todd J.; Subasavage, John P.

    2011-08-01

    We propose to observe 59 objects suspected to be red dwarf-white dwarf (RD-WD) binaries with separations < 3 arcsec using the CTIO 1.0m. Our goals are to use images of these objects to both resolve the systems and to obtain accurate BVRI photometry. The systems have been selected based on positions in three different color-color plots using SuperCOSMOS BRI plate photometry and 2MASS JHK photometry in accordance with the positions of known RD-WD binaries. This effort will identify candidates for detailed observations as part of the RECONS astrometric program on the CTIO 0.9m to yield accurate parallaxes and photocentric orbits. The parallaxes will then be used to determine the ages of the systems from WD cooling curves, and the orbits will eventually be used to measure dynamical masses. Ultimately, we aim to increase significantly the number of dynamical masses for white dwarfs because currently only three have been determined to 5% accuracy. The first observational step outlined here will allow us to identify appropriate systems for long-term work. This 1.0m project is likely to become the undergraduate senior thesis work of the PI.

  12. Effects of arctic shrub expansion on biophysical vs. biogeochemical drivers of litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    DeMarco, Jennie; Mack, Michelle C; Bret-Harte, M Syndonia

    2014-07-01

    Climate warming in arctic tundra may shift dominant vegetation from graminoids to deciduous shrubs, whose functional traits could, in turn, alter biotic and abiotic controls over biogeochemical cycling of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). We investigated whether shrub-induced changes in microclimate have stronger effects on litter decomposition and nutrient release than changes in litter quality and quantity. In arctic tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, USA, we incubated a common substrate in a snow-addition experiment to test whether snow accumulation around arctic deciduous shrubs altered the environment enough to increase litter decomposition rates. We compared the influence of litter quality on the rate of litter and N loss by decomposing litter from four different plant functional types in a common site. We used aboveground net primary production values and estimated decay constant (k) values from our decomposition experiments to calculate community-weighted mass loss for each site. Snow addition had no effect on decomposition of the common substrate, and the site with the highest abundance of shrubs had the lowest decomposition rates. Species varied in their decomposition rates, with species from the same functional type not always following similar patterns. Community-weighted mass loss was 1.5 times greater in the high shrub site, and only slightly decreased when adjusted for soil environment, suggesting that litter quality and quantity are the primary drivers of community decomposition. Our findings suggest that on a short time scale, the changes in soil environment associated with snow trapping by shrubs are unlikely to influence litter nutrient turnover enough to drive positive snow-shrub feedbacks. The mechanisms driving shrub expansion are more likely to do with shrub-litter feedbacks, where the higher growth rates and N uptake by shrubs allows them to produce more leaves, resulting in a larger litter N pool and faster internal cycling of nutrients. PMID

  13. Effects of arctic shrub expansion on biophysical vs. biogeochemical drivers of litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    DeMarco, Jennie; Mack, Michelle C; Bret-Harte, M Syndonia

    2014-07-01

    Climate warming in arctic tundra may shift dominant vegetation from graminoids to deciduous shrubs, whose functional traits could, in turn, alter biotic and abiotic controls over biogeochemical cycling of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). We investigated whether shrub-induced changes in microclimate have stronger effects on litter decomposition and nutrient release than changes in litter quality and quantity. In arctic tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, USA, we incubated a common substrate in a snow-addition experiment to test whether snow accumulation around arctic deciduous shrubs altered the environment enough to increase litter decomposition rates. We compared the influence of litter quality on the rate of litter and N loss by decomposing litter from four different plant functional types in a common site. We used aboveground net primary production values and estimated decay constant (k) values from our decomposition experiments to calculate community-weighted mass loss for each site. Snow addition had no effect on decomposition of the common substrate, and the site with the highest abundance of shrubs had the lowest decomposition rates. Species varied in their decomposition rates, with species from the same functional type not always following similar patterns. Community-weighted mass loss was 1.5 times greater in the high shrub site, and only slightly decreased when adjusted for soil environment, suggesting that litter quality and quantity are the primary drivers of community decomposition. Our findings suggest that on a short time scale, the changes in soil environment associated with snow trapping by shrubs are unlikely to influence litter nutrient turnover enough to drive positive snow-shrub feedbacks. The mechanisms driving shrub expansion are more likely to do with shrub-litter feedbacks, where the higher growth rates and N uptake by shrubs allows them to produce more leaves, resulting in a larger litter N pool and faster internal cycling of nutrients.

  14. Throughfall and its spatial variability beneath xerophytic shrub canopies within water-limited arid desert ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ya-feng; Wang, Xin-ping; Hu, Rui; Pan, Yan-xia

    2016-08-01

    Throughfall is known to be a critical component of the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles of forested ecosystems with inherently temporal and spatial variability. Yet little is understood concerning the throughfall variability of shrubs and the associated controlling factors in arid desert ecosystems. Here we systematically investigated the variability of throughfall of two morphological distinct xerophytic shrubs (Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica) within a re-vegetated arid desert ecosystem, and evaluated the effects of shrub structure and rainfall characteristics on throughfall based on heavily gauged throughfall measurements at the event scale. We found that morphological differences were not sufficient to generate significant difference (P < 0.05) in throughfall between two studied shrub species under the same rainfall and meteorological conditions in our study area, with a throughfall percentage of 69.7% for C. korshinskii and 64.3% for A. ordosica. We also observed a highly variable patchy pattern of throughfall beneath individual shrub canopies, but the spatial patterns appeared to be stable among rainfall events based on time stability analysis. Throughfall linearly increased with the increasing distance from the shrub base for both shrubs, and radial direction beneath shrub canopies had a pronounced impact on throughfall. Throughfall variability, expressed as the coefficient of variation (CV) of throughfall, tended to decline with the increase in rainfall amount, intensity and duration, and stabilized passing a certain threshold. Our findings highlight the great variability of throughfall beneath the canopies of xerophytic shrubs and the time stability of throughfall pattern among rainfall events. The spatially heterogeneous and temporally stable throughfall is expected to generate a dynamic patchy distribution of soil moisture beneath shrub canopies within arid desert ecosystems.

  15. Discovery of an Ultracool White Dwarf Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2004-08-01

    The discovery of a low-luminosity common proper-motion companion to the white dwarf GD 392 at a wide separation of 46" is reported. BVRI photometry suggests a low temperature (Teff~4000 K), while JHK data strongly indicate suppressed flux at all near-infrared wavelengths. Thus, GD 392B is one of the few white dwarfs to show significant collision-induced absorption due to the presence of photospheric H2 and the first ultracool white dwarf detected as a companion to another star. Models fail to explain GD 392B as a normal-mass white dwarf. If correct, the cool companion may be explained as a low-mass white dwarf or unresolved double degenerate. The similarities of GD 392B to known ultracool degenerates are discussed, including some possible implications for the faint end of the white dwarf luminosity function.

  16. Mass Modelling of dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimentowski, Jarosław; Łokas, Ewa L.; Kazantzidis, Stelios; Prada, Francisco; Mayer, Lucio; Mamon, Gary A.

    2008-05-01

    We study the origin and properties of unbound stars in the kinematic samples of dwarf spheroidal galaxies. For this purpose we have run a high resolution N-body simulation of a two-component dwarf galaxy orbiting in a Milky Way potential. We create mock kinematic data sets by observing the dwarf in different directions. When the dwarf is observed along the tidal tails the kinematic samples are strongly contaminated by unbound stars from the tails. However, most of the unbound stars can be removed by the method of interloper rejection proposed by den Hartog & Katgert. We model the velocity dispersion profiles of the cleaned-up kinematic samples using solutions of the Jeans equation. We show that even for such a strongly stripped dwarf the Jeans analysis, when applied to cleaned samples, allows us to reproduce the mass and mass-to-light ratio of the dwarf with accuracy typically better than 25%.

  17. [The study of M dwarf spectral classification].

    PubMed

    Yi, Zhen-Ping; Pan, Jing-Chang; Luo, A-Li

    2013-08-01

    As the most common stars in the galaxy, M dwarfs can be used to trace the structure and evolution of the Milky Way. Besides, investigating M dwarfs is important for searching for habitability of extrasolar planets orbiting M dwarfs. Spectral classification of M dwarfs is a fundamental work. The authors used DR7 M dwarf sample of SLOAN to extract important features from the range of 600-900 nm by random forest method. Compared to the features used in Hammer Code, the authors added three new indices. Our test showed that the improved Hammer with new indices is more accurate. Our method has been applied to classify M dwarf spectra of LAMOST. PMID:24159887

  18. The Alpine ?Iceman? and Holocene Climatic Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baroni, Carlo; Orombelli, Giuseppe

    1996-07-01

    The finding of a prehistoric mummified corpse at the upper edge of the accumulation area of an alpine glacier, together with its unique set of artifacts, provided new information on glacier dimensions during the little-known phases of major glacier shrinkage that characterized the warmest parts of the Holocene. The sudden burial of the corpse in a permanent snow cover occurred 5300-5050 cal yr B.P., indicating a significant climatic change that induced glacier expansion at the beginning of Neoglaciation. New geomorphologic data and two AMS 14C ages from buried soils suggest that the present glacier size, following over 100 yr of shrinkage, is comparable to that immediately preceding Neoglaciation. Therefore, we can deduce that the current global climatic warming may have interrupted the environmental conditions prevailing in the Alps during Neoglacial time, restoring characteristics similar to those prevailing during the climatic optimumthat were never achieved during the second half of the Holocene.

  19. Spatial energy budgets in alpine tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenland, D.

    1993-12-01

    Modelling and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology are employed in order to extend spatially, estimated and observed growing season values of the components of the surface heat energy budget for an area of alpine tundra in the Colorado Front Range. A surface equilibrium temperature model is calibrated for one sub-class of vegetation surface and is used to model surface heat energy budget component values for other sub-classes of vegetation. The model values compare favorably with values independently estimated or observed. The data are spatially displayed using the Idrisi GIS. At the microclimatic scale the presence of different sub-classes of vegetation plays a large role in controlling the actual values of the surface heat budget components. This is in contrast to the larger scale at which climatic variables such as air temperature control the overall vegetation type found in the area.

  20. Diffusion Coefficients in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saumon, D.; Starrett, C. E.; Daligault, J.

    2015-06-01

    Models of diffusion in white dwarfs universally rely on the coefficients calculated by Paquette et al. (1986). We present new calculations of diffusion coefficients based on an advanced microscopic theory of dense plasmas and a numerical simulation approach that intrinsically accounts for multiple collisions. Our method is validated against a state-of-the-art method and we present results for the diffusion of carbon ions in a helium plasma.

  1. Sustainable use of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate (SUSALPS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zistl-Schlingmann, Marcus; Beck, Robert; Brandhuber, Robert; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Garcia Franco, Noelia; von Gillhaußen, Phillip; Jentsch, Anke; Kiese, Ralf; Krämer, Alexander; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Köllner, Thomas; Poppenborg, Patrick; Schloter, Michael; Schulz, Stefanie; Wiesmeier, Martin; Wolf, Benjamin; Dannenmann, Michael

    2016-04-01

    The development of ecologically as well as economically sustainable management options for the carbon- and nitrogen rich alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate poses a grand scientific and socio- economical challenge. The transdisciplinary SUSALPS project starting in 2016 aims to essentially improve the knowledge on the functionality of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils using both natural-scientific/ technical and socio economical approaches. The project is building on existing infrastructure of German grassland-ecosystem-research like the pre-alpine TERENO (Terrestrial ecosystem observation network observatory) observatory sites, the EVENT and SIGNAL sites as well as long term LfL (Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft) sites, plus a new additional high elevation (1400m a.s.l) site in the Bavarian Alps. The site setup along the elevational gradient on the edge of the Alps (1400 m to 300 m) is used for space-for-time climate change experiments which are combined with extensive and intensive management treatments. A key focus of SUSALPS will be the characterization of combined climate change/management effects on carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry. Hence, we will evaluate the influence of different management options and current and future climate changes on the soil microbiome and associated biogeochemical processes in the plant-soil-system, on nitrogen use efficiency, on biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases as well as on leaching of environmentally relevant compounds. For this purpose, we simulate the predicted climate change in the region by translocation of large lysimeters (1m2, 1.4m depth; TERENO lysimeters, translocated in 2011) for measurements of biosphere-atmosphere hydrosphere exchange of environmentally relevant C and N compounds as well as by newly transferred smaller plant-soil-mesocosms used for destructive biogeochemical process studies. By closely linking this experimental work with biogeochemical and

  2. The Kinematics of Dwarf Carbon Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plant, Kathryn A.; Margon, Bruce H.; Guhathakurta, Puragra; Rockosi, Constance M.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of molecular carbon absorption bands in the spectra of main sequence dwarfs is remarkable, as these stars have not yet evolved through the helium-burning and dredge-up phases that deposit carbon in a stellar photosphere. Dwarf carbon stars are thus generally considered members of post-mass transfer binaries, with the main sequence star polluted by an evolved, often now invisible, companion. For decades only a handful were known. Now it is recognized that carbon dwarfs likely outnumber the better-understood giant carbon stars. Green (2013) has identified more than 700 carbon dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This large sample- distributed nearly evenly throughout the SDSS footprint- makes a study of stellar kinematics possible for dwarf carbon stars as a class.We examine the proper motions and radial velocities of ~700 carbon dwarfs and compare to a sample of 2×104 non-carbon main sequence stars from the SDSS archive. The spectra of carbon dwarfs and giants can appear indistinguishable, and so the relatively faint carbon dwarfs are recognized only if they have a sufficiently large proper motion to exclude the possibility of their being distant giants. We build our non-carbon control sample by the same proper motion criteria and additionally require that the control stars match the carbon dwarf selection with respect to properties such as photometric colors. In order to examine the kinematics of a sample spread across a large portion of sky, we compare each carbon dwarf with a group of control stars separated from it by less than three degrees. Preliminary results suggest that carbon dwarfs' kinematics are similar to the distributions of their neighboring control stars. We will present the results of detailed tests, including an investigation of several carbon dwarfs with atypical radial velocities.

  3. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies and resonant orbital coupling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhn, J. R.; Miller, R. H.

    1989-01-01

    The structural properties of the dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies of the Milky Way may be strongly affected by their time-dependent interactions with the 'tidal' field of the Milky Way. A low Q resonance of the tidal driving force with collective oscillation modes of the dwarf system can produce many of the observed properties of the Local Group dwarf spheroidal galaxies, including large velocity dispersions that would normally be interpreted as indicating large dynamical masses.

  4. Mediterranean shrub vegetation: soil protection vs. water availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Estringana, Pablo; Nieves Alonso-Blázquez, M.; Alegre, Alegre; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    Soil Erosion and Land Degradation are closely related to the changes in the vegetation cover (Zhao et al., 2013). Although other factors such as rainfall intensiy or slope (Ziadat and Taimeh, 2013) the plant covers is the main factor that controls the soil erosion (Haregeweyn, 2013). Plant cover is the main factor of soil erosion processes as the vegetation control the infiltration and runoff generation (Cerdà, 1998a; Kargar Chigani et al., 2012). Vegetation cover acts in a complex way in influencing on the one hand on runoff and soil loss and on the other hand on the amount and the way that rainfall reaches the soil surface. In arid and semiarid regions, where erosion is one of the main degradation processes and water is a scant resource, a minimum percentage of vegetation coverage is necessary to protect the soil from erosion, but without compromising the availability of water (Belmonte Serrato and Romero Diaz, 1998). This is mainly controlled by the vegetation distribution (Cerdà, 1997a; Cammeraat et al., 2010; Kakembo et al., 2012). Land abandonment is common in Mediterranean region under extensive land use (Cerdà, 1997b; García-Ruiz, 2010). Abandoned lands typically have a rolling landscape with steep slopes, and are dominated by herbaceous communities that grow on pasture land interspersed by shrubs. Land abandonment use to trigger an increase in soil erosion, but the vegetation recovery reduces the impact of the vegetation. The goal of this work is to assess the effects of different Mediterranean shrub species (Dorycnium pentaphyllum Scop., Medicago strasseri, Colutea arborescens L., Retama sphaerocarpa, L., Pistacia Lentiscus L. and Quercus coccifera L.) on soil protection (runoff and soil losses) and on rainfall reaching soil surface (rainfall partitioning fluxes). To characterize the effects of shrub vegetation and to evaluate their effects on soil protection, two field experiments were carried out. The presence of shrub vegetation reduced runoff by

  5. Physical and economic vulnerability considering alpine hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Totschnig, Reinhold; Keiler, Margreth; Glade, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    The obvious increase in natural disasters in the last decades, evoked by different circumstances, emphasises the necessity of dealing with these natural hazards and correlated risks. Independent of the scientific discipline, vulnerability assessment is thereby seen as a central part within risk assessment. However, the ways in which vulnerability is understood, are manifold. Based on a theoretical framework developed within the MOVE-project (Methods for the Improvement of Vulnerability Assessment in Europe), vulnerability comprises of three factors: exposure, susceptibility or fragility, and lack of resilience. To follow a multidisciplinary approach, different dimensions of susceptibility and fragility such as the physical, the social and the ecological dimensions (among others) should be considered in vulnerability assessment. Comprehensive methods and corresponding indicators (qualitative as well as quantitative) have not yet been fully developed. The aim of the MOVE-project is to close this gap, dealing with a wide range of natural hazards. The individual partner institutions within this project work in different scientific fields, dealing with different natural hazards and different vulnerability factors. The present study has its focus on alpine hazards, using data from several test sites in South Tyrol, Italy. Alpine hazards such as avalanches, landslides as well as permafrost hazards are covered. Different methods and indicators related to exposure and the physical and economic dimensions of susceptibility were studied and enhanced. Applied GIS data were improved through field studies and tools such as simulation models and data mining methods. The aim of this study was to develop vulnerability curves on a local scale and vulnerability maps on a regional scale with a high utility value for possible end users. First results, methods and indicators as well as their application will critically be discussed.

  6. Seismic monitoring of an Alpine mountain river

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz, J.; Ruíz, M.; Crescentini, L.; Amoruso, A.; Gallart, J.

    2014-04-01

    The Canfranc underground laboratory (LSC), excavated under the Central Pyrenees, is mainly devoted to the study of phenomena which needs "cosmic silence." It also hosts a geodynamical facility, named Geodyn, which holds an accelerometer, a broadband seismometer, and two high-resolution laser strainmeters. During the routine processing of the seismic data, we detected an unusual spectral signature in the 2-10 Hz frequency band, which does not correspond to the typical sources of seismic noise and which can also be recognized in the strain records. After checking against meteorological and hydrological data, we can relate those signals to variations in the discharge by the Aragon River, an Alpine-style river in the southern Pyrenees, located about 400 m from the LSC Geodyn facility. Four main episodes have been identified since early 2011, each lasting 1-2 to 6-8 days. Additionally, a limited number of shorter episodes have also been detected. Three types of river-generated seismic events have been identified, related respectively to moderate rainfall, snowmelt, and flooding events associated to severe storms. Each of those types has distinctive characteristics which allow monitoring the hydrological events from the analysis of seismic and deformation data. A few previous studies have already described the seismic noise close to rivers with larger discharge or in small-scale experimental settings, and we are showing here that the so-called "fluvial seismology" can be useful to study the hydrological evolution of Alpine style streams and may have a potential interest for the civil authorities in charge of the management of hydrological basins.

  7. Changes in epiphyte communities as the shrub, Acer circinatum, develops and ages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruchty, A.M.; Rosso, A.L.

    2001-01-01

    The Pacific Northwest tall shrub Acer circinatum (vine maple) can host diverse and abundant epiphyte communities. A chronosequence approach revealed that these communities gradually shift in composition as the shrub progresses through its life cycle. Different epiphytic life forms occupy different spatial and temporal niches on shrub stems. These life forms generally shift upwards along the shrub stem as the stem ages and develops, in accordance with the similar gradient hypothesis. We postulate the following sequence of events. An initial wave of colonization occurs as new substrate is laid down. Over time, superior competitors gradually engulf and overgrow competitively inferior primary colonizers. Concurrently, shrub stem microclimate changes as shrub stems grow, age, and layer, causing the processes of competition and colonization to shift in favor of different epiphytic life forms during different life stages of the shrub stem. We define four separate shrub stem life stages: life classes 1a??4 describe, respectively, young upright a??whipsa??; vigorous, upright, mature stems; declining stems beginning to bend towards the forest floor; and horizontal, decadent stems. As space on the shrub stem is filled through growth and colonization, interspecific competition intensifies. Successful competitors persist and spread, while poor competitors are increasingly restricted to the stem tips, where interspecific competition is less intense. In these forests, Usnea, green-algal foliose lichens, and moss tufts excel as the primary colonizers and become common on the outer portions of shrub stems over time, as long as the overstory is not too dense. Moss mats are also good primary colonizers, but excel as secondary colonizers, often coming to dominate decadent shrub stems. Although all life forms can be primary colonizers, the remaining forms (cyanolichens, liverworts, and Antitrichia curtipendula) are effective secondary colonizers. Liverworts are also effective

  8. Shrubs as landscape modulators in semiarid shrubland - long-term studies in Park Shaked LTER, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boeken, Bertrand; Shachak, Moshe; Zaady, Eli; Brand, Sol

    2010-05-01

    Small shrubs (Atractylis serratuloides and Noaea mucronata) in semiarid shrublands of the northern Negev of Israel (at 150 to 200 mm of rainfall per year) form shrub patches in the soil crust matrix by multiple changes in their immediate environment. The changes include structural modification by creation of a soil mound and water flow redistribution, which produce enriched soil moisture patches. These changes have far-reaching effects on water regime, soil erosion and biological productivity and diversity in watersheds. Landscape modulation by the shrub patches results from: 1) interactions of the growing shrubs with flows of water, sediment and organic matter by wind and runoff, 2) accumulation of material deposited under the shrub canopy, 3) changes in the topography and structure of the surface and substrate near and under the shrubs, 4) successional replacement of shrub species, and 5) colonization by a herbaceous understory. The patch formation processes are linked, resulting in positive feedback relationships between the growing shrub, the properties of the mound underneath, the interception of resource flows, and the density of the herbaceous understory vegetation. Since the shrub patches intercept resource flows, and form patterns of patches on the slopes, they have larger-scale effects on the functioning of the ecosystem by controlling the retention and leakage of resources in the watershed. At the slope scale this gives rise to positive and negative feedbacks. Accumulation of material causes mound expansion, increasing deposition (positive feedback 1), while increased resource retention enhances shrub and herbaceous growth, also causing more accumulation and retention (positive feedback 2). On the other hand, when mounds increase, soil crust cover that generates runoff decreases, halting the process of shrub patch expansion (negative feedback). We present a conceptual model of a growing shrub patch with its direct and large-scale effects on the

  9. Arctic and Alpine Vegetations: Similarities, Differences, and Susceptibility to Disturbance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Billings, W. D.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses environmental and biological aspects of arctic and alpine vegetations in the New World between the equator and the Arctic Ocean, considering their similarities, differences, and susceptibility to disturbance by man. (JR)

  10. Characterizing Accreting White Dwarf Pulsators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szkody, Paula; Mukadam, Anjum

    2014-02-01

    Understanding the population, mass distribution, and evolution of accreting white dwarfs impacts the entire realm of binary interaction, including the creation of Type Ia supernovae. We are concentrating on accreting white dwarf pulsators, as the pulsation properties allow us a view of how the accretion affects the interior of the star. Our ground- based photometry on 11 accreting pulsators with corresponding temperatures from HST UV spectra suggest a broad instability strip in the range of 10500 to 16000K. Additionally, tracking a post-outburst heated white dwarf as it cools and crosses the blue edge and resumes pulsation provides an independent method to locate the empirical instability strip. Determining a post-outburst cooling curve yields an estimate of the amount of heating and the accreted mass during the outburst. We request additional photometry of 2 objects that present unique properties: GW Lib which has not yet returned to its pre-outburst pulsation spectrum after 6 yrs, and EQ Lyn which returned to its pre- outburst pulsation after 3 yrs but is now turning on and off without ongoing outbursts. Following the pulsation spectrum changes over stretches of several nights in a row will provide specific knowledge of the stability of the observed modes.

  11. Uncovering Blue Diffuse Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Bethan; Koposov, Sergey; Stark, Daniel; Belokurov, Vasily; Pettini, Max; Olszewski, Edward W.

    2015-01-01

    Extremely metal-poor galaxies (XMPs) and the star-formation within their chemically pristine environments are fundamental to our understanding of the galaxy formation process at early times. However, traditional emission-line surveys detect only the brightest metal-poor galaxies where star-formation occurs in compact, starbursting environments, and thereby give us only a partial view of the dwarf galaxy population. To avoid such biases, we have developed a new search algorithm based on the morphological, rather then spectral, properties of XMPs and have applied to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey database of images. Using this novel approach, we have discovered ~100 previously undetected, faint blue galaxies, each with isolated HII regions embedded in a diffuse continuum. In this talk I will present the first results from follow-up optical spectroscopy of this sample, which reveals these blue diffuse dwarfs (BDDs) to be young, very metal-poor and actively forming stars despite their intrinsically low luminosities. I will present evidence showing that BDDs appear to bridge the gap between quiescent dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies and blue compact galaxies (BCDs) and as such offer an ideal opportunity to assess how star-formation occurs in more `normal' metal-poor systems.

  12. Response of dominant grass and shrub species to water manipulation: an ecophysiological basis for shrub invasion in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland.

    PubMed

    Throop, Heather L; Reichmann, Lara G; Sala, Osvaldo E; Archer, Steven R

    2012-06-01

    Increases in woody vegetation and declines in grasses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems have occurred globally since the 1800s, but the mechanisms driving this major land-cover change remain uncertain and controversial. Working in a shrub-encroached grassland in the northern Chihuahuan Desert where grasses and shrubs typically differ in leaf-level nitrogen allocation, photosynthetic pathway, and root distribution, we asked if differences in leaf-level ecophysiology could help explain shrub proliferation. We predicted that the relative performance of grasses and shrubs would vary with soil moisture due to the different morphological and physiological characteristics of the two life-forms. In a 2-year experiment with ambient, reduced, and enhanced precipitation during the monsoon season, respectively, the encroaching C(3) shrub (honey mesquite Prosopis glandulosa) consistently and substantially outperformed the historically dominant C(4) grass (black grama Bouteloua eriopoda) in terms of photosynthetic rates while also maintaining a more favorable leaf water status. These differences persisted across a wide range of soil moisture conditions, across which mesquite photosynthesis was decoupled from leaf water status and moisture in the upper 50 cm of the soil profile. Mesquite's ability to maintain physiologically active leaves for a greater fraction of the growing season than black grama potentially amplifies and extends the importance of physiological differences. These physiological and phenological differences may help account for grass displacement by shrubs in drylands. Furthermore, the greater sensitivity of the grass to low soil moisture suggests that grasslands may be increasingly susceptible to shrub encroachment in the face of the predicted increases in drought intensity and frequency in the desert of the southwestern USA.

  13. Arid oil-field restoration: native perennial grasses suppress weeds and erosion, but also suppress native shrubs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Long-lived, drought-tolerant shrubs are dominant components of many arid ecosystems, and shrubs provide multiple ecosystem services (e.g., soil stabilization, herbaceous plant facilitation, carbon storage and wildlife habitat). On denuded sites, shrub restoration is hindered by abiotic (erosion ...

  14. Protection from livestock fails to deter shrub proliferation in a desert landscape with a history of heavy grazing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Desertification is often characterized by the replacement of mesophytic grasses with xerophytic shrubs. Livestock grazing is considered a key driver of shrub encroachment, although most evidence is anecdotal or confounded by other factors. Mapping of velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) shrubs in and...

  15. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    PubMed

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-15

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G^{3} type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs. PMID:27127952

  16. Brown dwarfs in young stellar clusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stringfellow, Guy S.

    1991-01-01

    The present calculations of the early evolution of brown dwarfs and very low mass stars (LMSs) yield isochrones spanning 0.01-0.2 solar masses for ages in the 1 to 300 million year range. Since the brown dwarfs remain sharply segregated in T(eff) from LMSs for ages of less than 100 million years, it follows that for coeval populations of known age, a domain exists in the H-R diagram in which only brown dwarfs exist. These theoretical results are compared with recent observations of the Pleiades brown dwarf candidates, using two new sets of color-T(eff) transformations. Both sets yield consistent interpretations.

  17. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-01

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G3 type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs.

  18. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    PubMed

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-15

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G^{3} type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs.

  19. The onset of alpine pastoral systems in the Eastern Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oeggl, Klaus; Festi, Daniela; Putzer, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Since the discovery of the Neolithic glacier mummy "Ötzi" in the nival belt of the main Alpine ridge, the onset of alpine pasture is matter of a highly controversial debate both in archaeology and in palaeo-ecology of the Eastern Alps. The implication is that his sojourn in the high-altitudes of the Alps is considered to be connected with pastoral nomadism. Regrettably any archaeological evidence for the existence of such Neolithic alpine pastoral systems is missing up to now and the assumption is based on palynological data only. However, also the palynological record is ambiguous, because pasture indicators in the alpine regions react positive on grazing as well as on fertilization induced by a higher runoff of precipitation. Thus alpine pasture indicators reflect both grazing pressure and climatic change. Anyhow, alpine pastoral systems are a common practice in Alpine animal husbandry, but from an economic point of view such a seasonal vertical transhumance is costly. There are three main reasons for its practice: i) climatic, ii) economic (mainly in connection with population pressure or mining activities), and iii) cultural ideology. In this study we tested the above mentioned reasons in an interdisciplinary study on the beginning of pastoral activities in high altitudes in the central part of the Eastern Alps. This is conducted by palynological analyses of peat deposits situated in the vicinity of the timberline (1600 - 2400 m a.s.l.) combined with archaeological surveys. The investigated sites are located in traditional Alpine transhumance regions and aligned on a transect through the central part of the Eastern Alps. The studies reveal that grazing pressure is reflected since the Bronze Age, which is corroborated by archaeological findings in the vicinity of the investigated sites.

  20. Sensitivity of Alpine Snow and Streamflow Regimes to Climate Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasouli, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Marks, D. G.; Bernhardt, M.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of hydrological processes to climate change in alpine areas with snow dominated regimes is of paramount importance as alpine basins show both high runoff efficiency associated with the melt of the seasonal snowpack and great sensitivity of snow processes to temperature change. In this study, meteorological data measured in a selection of alpine headwaters basins including Reynolds Mountain East, Idaho, USA, Wolf Creek, Yukon in Canada, and Zugspitze Mountain, Germany with climates ranging from arctic to continental temperate were used to study the snow and streamflow sensitivity to climate change. All research sites have detailed multi-decadal meteorological and snow measurements. The Cold Regions Hydrological Modelling platform (CRHM) was used to create a model representing a typical alpine headwater basin discretized into hydrological response units with physically based representations of snow redistribution by wind, complex terrain snowmelt energetics and runoff processes in alpine tundra. The sensitivity of snow hydrology to climate change was investigated by changing air temperature and precipitation using weather generating methods based on the change factors obtained from different climate model projections for future and current periods. The basin mean and spatial variability of peak snow water equivalent, sublimation loss, duration of snow season, snowmelt rates, streamflow peak, and basin discharge were assessed under varying climate scenarios and the most sensitive hydrological mechanisms to the changes in the different alpine climates were detected. The results show that snow hydrology in colder alpine climates is more resilient to warming than that in warmer climates, but that compensatory factors to warming such as reduced blowing snow sublimation loss and reduced melt rate should also be assessed when considering climate change impacts on alpine hydrology.

  1. AIRSAR studies of woody shrub density in semiarid rangeland: Jornada del Muerto, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Musick, H.B.; Schaber, G.S.; Breed, C.S.

    1998-01-01

    This study evaluates the use of polarimetric Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) data to assess woody shrub density in a semiarid site where the vegetation consists primarily of varied mixtures of herbaceous vegetation and shrubs. AIRSAR data and field observations of vegetation cover and growth form-composition were obtained for 59 sites in the Jornada del Muerto plain in southern New Mexico. Radar signature measures examined were C-, L- and P-band backscattering coefficients (??0) for HH, HV and W polarizations, ratios of ??0HH and ??0HV to ??0VV, and the HH-VV polarization phase difference and correlation coefficient. The most effective measure for estimation of shrub density was L-band ??0HV, which distinguished among shrub density classes with no misclassification. Sensitivity of this measure to small amounts of shrub cover was indicated by successful separation of sites with <1% shrub cover from sites with 1-5% cover. Separability of shrub density classes was generally least for C-band signature measures. A distinctive radar signature was exhibited by dense stands of Yucca elata, a semitreelike plant with uniformly thick ???10 cm diameter) fibrous stems. Yucca sites were distinguished from others by their high P-band ??0HV relative to L-band ??0HV. The results are largely explained by the greater sensitivity of lounger wavelengths to larger canopy structural elements. L-band ??0HV and other measures responsive to canopy volume scattering were more strongly related to shrub than to herbaceous plant cover because woody shrub canopies have numerous stems of the intermediate size to which L-band is most sensitive, whereas stems of this size are mostly lacking in herbaceous canopies. The uniform-diameter stems of yucca have larger dimensions to which P-band is more sensitive than L-band.This study evaluates the use of polarimetric Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) data to assess woody shrub density in a semiarid site where the vegetation consists

  2. Mapping the ecological dimensions and potential distributions of endangered relic shrubs in western Ordos biodiversity center.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Geng-Ping; Li, Hui-Qi; Zhao, Li; Man, Liang; Liu, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Potential distributions of endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos were poorly mapped, which hindered our implementation of proper conservation. Here we investigated the applicability of ecological niche modeling for endangered relic shrubs to detect areas of priority for biodiversity conservation and analyze differences in ecological niche spaces used by relic shrubs. We applied ordination and niche modeling techniques to assess main environmental drivers of five endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos, namely, Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, Amygdalus mongolica, Helianthemum songaricum, Potaninia mongolica, and Tetraena mongolica. We calculated niche overlap metrics in gridded environmental spaces and compared geographical projections of ecological niches to determine similarities and differences of niches occupied by relic shrubs. All studied taxa presented different responses to environmental factors, which resulted in a unique combination of niche conditions. Precipitation availability and soil quality characteristics play important roles in the distributions of most shrubs. Each relic shrub is constrained by a unique set of environmental conditions, the distribution of one species cannot be implied by the distribution of another, highlighting the inadequacy of one-fits-all type of conservation measure. Our stacked habitat suitability maps revealed regions around Yellow River, which are highly suitable for most species, thereby providing high conservation value. PMID:27199260

  3. The influence of shrub canopies on soil temperatures across northern Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, Isla; Lévesque, Esther; Grogan, Paul; Lantz, Trevor

    2013-04-01

    Shrub species are the largest plant life form in tundra ecosystems; therefore, changes in the abundance of shrubs will likely create feedbacks to influence biodiversity, ecosystem function and climate. Shrub canopies have been hypothesized to influence ground temperatures by trapping snow in winter and shading soils in summer. However, generalizable relationships have yet to be identified among species, soil types and regions. We present data from seven shrub tundra sites in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Northern Quebec. Summer soil temperatures were often cooler under shrub canopies; however, there was no clear relationship with canopy height. In contrast, we found a significant positive relationship between canopy height and winter soil temperatures. The difference in the minimum winter soil temperatures at 5 cm depth under shrub versus open tundra was ~1°C greater for every additional 10cm of canopy height, despite differences in air temperatures, snow pack, soil characteristics and species composition between sites. Our results highlight the important influence of canopy cover on soil temperatures. By combining data in this manner across regions, we will be able to better estimate the relative magnitude of positive and negative feedbacks of shrub increases to climate warming and thus will improve estimates of future vegetation change and permafrost stability.

  4. [Spatial distribution of aboveground biomass of shrubs in Tianlaochi catchment of the Qilian Mountains].

    PubMed

    Liang, Bei; Di, Li; Zhao, Chuan-Yan; Peng, Shou-Zhang; Peng, Huan-Hua; Wang, Chao

    2014-02-01

    This study estimated the spatial distribution of the aboveground biomass of shrubs in the Tianlaochi catchment of Qilian Mountains based on the field survey and remote sensing data. A relationship model of the aboveground biomass and its feasibly measured factors (i. e. , canopy perimeter and plant height) was built. The land use was classified by object-oriented technique with the high resolution image (GeoEye-1) of the study area, and the distribution of shrub coverage was extracted. Then the total aboveground biomass of shrubs in the study area was estimated by the relationship model with the distribution of shrub coverage. The results showed that the aboveground biomass of shrubs in the study area was 1.8 x 10(3) t and the aboveground biomass per unit area was 1598.45 kg x m(-2). The distribution of shrubs mainly was at altitudes of 3000-3700 m, and the aboveground biomass of shrubs on the sunny slope (1.15 x 10(3) t) was higher than that on the shady slope (0.65 x 10(3) t).

  5. Mapping the ecological dimensions and potential distributions of endangered relic shrubs in western Ordos biodiversity center

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Geng-Ping; Li, Hui-Qi; Zhao, Li; Man, Liang; Liu, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Potential distributions of endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos were poorly mapped, which hindered our implementation of proper conservation. Here we investigated the applicability of ecological niche modeling for endangered relic shrubs to detect areas of priority for biodiversity conservation and analyze differences in ecological niche spaces used by relic shrubs. We applied ordination and niche modeling techniques to assess main environmental drivers of five endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos, namely, Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, Amygdalus mongolica, Helianthemum songaricum, Potaninia mongolica, and Tetraena mongolica. We calculated niche overlap metrics in gridded environmental spaces and compared geographical projections of ecological niches to determine similarities and differences of niches occupied by relic shrubs. All studied taxa presented different responses to environmental factors, which resulted in a unique combination of niche conditions. Precipitation availability and soil quality characteristics play important roles in the distributions of most shrubs. Each relic shrub is constrained by a unique set of environmental conditions, the distribution of one species cannot be implied by the distribution of another, highlighting the inadequacy of one-fits-all type of conservation measure. Our stacked habitat suitability maps revealed regions around Yellow River, which are highly suitable for most species, thereby providing high conservation value. PMID:27199260

  6. Trends in soil erosion and woody shrub encroachment in Ngqushwa district, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Manjoro, Munyaradzi; Kakembo, Vincent; Rowntree, Kate M

    2012-03-01

    Woody shrub encroachment severely impacts on the hydrological and erosion response of rangelands and abandoned cultivated lands. These processes have been widely investigated at various spatial scales, using mostly field experimentation. The present study used remote sensing to investigate spatial and temporal patterns of soil erosion and encroachment by a woody shrub species, Pteronia incana, in a catchment in Ngqushwa district, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa between 1998 and 2008. The extreme categories of soil erosion and shrub encroachment were mapped with higher accuracy than the intermediate ones, particularly where lower spatial resolution data were used. The results showed that soil erosion in the worst category increased simultaneously with dense woody shrub encroachment on the hill slopes. This trend is related to the spatial patterning of woody shrub vegetation that increases bare soil patches--leading to runoff connectivity and concentration of overland flow. The major changes in soil erosion and shrub encroachment analysed during the 10-year period took place in the 5-9° slope category and on the concave slope form. Multi-temporal analyses, based on remote sensing, can extend our understanding of the dynamics of soil erosion and woody shrub encroachment. They may help benchmark the processes and assist in upscaling field studies.

  7. Stemflow and its significant to the fertilizer islands in desert shrub area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinping; Wang, Zhengning; Pan, Yanxia; Zhang, Yafeng

    2010-05-01

    Stemflow is a spatially localized point input of precipitation and fine particles of airborne dust from vegetation canopy at the plant stem and is of hydrological and ecological significance in desert shrub ecosystems, where precipitation is the sole source of water replenishment to sustaining the desert ecosystem. In the present study, stemflow production and the fine particles associated with the stemflow of the two main xerophytic shrubs was quantified by aluminum foil collar method at the desert shrub area of Shapotou Desert Experimental Research Station, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The results indicated that stemflow yield and the thresholds for stemflow occurrence varied within shrub species. The relationship between funnelling ratios and gross precipitation indicated that a certain value of precipitation was required for the shrubs. There was a large variability of funnelling ratio for the rainfall events with intensity of less than 4 mm h-1, and the variability tended to decease when rainfall intensity was greater than 4 mm h-1. Significant positive linear relationships were found between stemflow production and precipitation for the shrubs, statistical analysis showed that stemflow and fine particle yield varies as a function of meteorological conditions, canopy size and structure. An accurate modeling of stemflow water and nutrient inputs into desert soils may result in the understanding of the formation mechanism of fertilizer islands. Keywords: Desert ecosystem; Hydrology; Stemflow; Xerophytic shrub

  8. Season and light affect constitutive defenses of understory shrub species against folivorous insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karolewski, Piotr; Giertych, Marian J.; Żmuda, Michał; Jagodziński, Andrzej M.; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2013-11-01

    Understory shrubs contribute to overall species diversity, providing habitat and forage for animals, influence soil chemistry and forest microclimate. However, very little is known about the chemical defense of various shrub species against folivorous insects. Using six shrub species, we tested how seasonal changes and light conditions affect their constitutive defense to insect damage. We monitored leaf perforation, concentrations of total phenols, condensed tannins, nitrogen (N), and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC). Leaf damage caused by insects was low in Sambucus nigra, Cornus sanguinea, and Frangula alnus, intermediate in Corylus avellana and Prunus serotina, and high in Prunus padus. Leaves of all the species, when growing in high light conditions, had high concentrations of defense metabolites. Except for C. avellana, leaves of the other shrub species growing in full sun were less injured than those in shade. This may be due to higher concentrations of defense metabolites and lower concentrations of nitrogen. Similar patterns of the effects of light on metabolites studied and N were observed for leaves with varying location within the crown of individual shrubs (from the top of the south direction to the bottom of the north), as for leaves from shrubs growing in full sun and shrubs in the shade of canopy trees. A probable cause of the greater damage of more sunlit leaves of C. avellana was the fact that they were herbivorized mostly by Altica brevicollis, a specialist insect that prefers plant tissues with a high TNC level and is not very sensitive to a high level of phenolic compounds.

  9. Influence of shrub encroachment on the soil microbial community composition of remnant hill prairies.

    PubMed

    Yannarell, Anthony C; Menning, Sarah E; Beck, Alyssa M

    2014-05-01

    Hill prairies are remnant grasslands perched on the bluffs of major river valleys, and because their steep slopes make them unsuitable for traditional row crop agriculture, they have some of the lowest levels of anthropogenic disturbance of any prairie ecosystems in the Midwestern USA. However, many decades of fire suppression have allowed for shrub encroachment from the surrounding forests. While shrub encroachment of grasslands can modify soil respiration rates and nutrient storage, it is not known whether shrubs also alter the community composition of soil microorganisms. We conducted transect sampling of nine different hill prairie remnants showing varying degrees of shrub encroachment, and we used DNA-based community profiling (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis) to characterize the composition of bacterial and fungal communities in the open prairie habitat, the shrub-encroached border, and the surrounding forest. While both bacterial and fungal communities showed statistically significant variation across these habitats, their predominant patterns were different. Bacterial communities of forest soils were distinct from those of the open prairie and the shrub-encroached areas, while fungal communities of the open prairie were distinct from those of the forest and the shrub-encroached border. Shrub encroachment significantly altered the community composition of soil fungal communities. Furthermore, fungal communities of heavily encroached prairie remnants more closely resembled those of the surrounding forest than those of lightly encroached prairies. Thus, shrub encroachment can cause soil fungi to shift from a "grassland" community to a "woody" community, with potential consequences for soil processes and plant-microbe interactions. PMID:24493462

  10. Range expansion of moose in arctic Alaska linked to warming and increased shrub habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tape, Ken D.; Gustine, David D.; Reuss, Roger W.; Adams, Layne G.; Clark, Jason A.

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators.

  11. Greater deciduous shrub abundance extends tundra peak season and increases modeled net CO2 uptake.

    PubMed

    Sweet, Shannan K; Griffin, Kevin L; Steltzer, Heidi; Gough, Laura; Boelman, Natalie T

    2015-06-01

    Satellite studies of the terrestrial Arctic report increased summer greening and longer overall growing and peak seasons since the 1980s, which increases productivity and the period of carbon uptake. These trends are attributed to increasing air temperatures and reduced snow cover duration in spring and fall. Concurrently, deciduous shrubs are becoming increasingly abundant in tundra landscapes, which may also impact canopy phenology and productivity. Our aim was to determine the influence of greater deciduous shrub abundance on tundra canopy phenology and subsequent impacts on net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) during the growing and peak seasons in the arctic foothills region of Alaska. We compared deciduous shrub-dominated and evergreen/graminoid-dominated community-level canopy phenology throughout the growing season using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). We used a tundra plant-community-specific leaf area index (LAI) model to estimate LAI throughout the green season and a tundra-specific NEE model to estimate the impact of greater deciduous shrub abundance and associated shifts in both leaf area and canopy phenology on tundra carbon flux. We found that deciduous shrub canopies reached the onset of peak greenness 13 days earlier and the onset of senescence 3 days earlier compared to evergreen/graminoid canopies, resulting in a 10-day extension of the peak season. The combined effect of the longer peak season and greater leaf area of deciduous shrub canopies almost tripled the modeled net carbon uptake of deciduous shrub communities compared to evergreen/graminoid communities, while the longer peak season alone resulted in 84% greater carbon uptake in deciduous shrub communities. These results suggest that greater deciduous shrub abundance increases carbon uptake not only due to greater leaf area, but also due to an extension of the period of peak greenness, which extends the period of maximum carbon uptake.

  12. How will Shrub Expansion Impact Soil Carbon Sequestration in Arctic Tundra?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czimczik, C. I.; Holden, S. R.; He, Y.; Randerson, J. T.

    2015-12-01

    Multiple lines of evidence suggest that plant productivity, and especially shrub abundance, is increasing in the Arctic in response to climate change. This greening is substantiated by increases in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, repeat photography and field observations. The implications of a greener Arctic on carbon sequestration by tundra ecosystems remain poorly understood. Here, we explore existing datasets of plant productivity and soil carbon stocks to quantify how greening, and in particular an expansion of woody shrubs, may translate to the sequestration of carbon in arctic soils. As an estimate of carbon storage in arctic tundra soils, we used the Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database v2. As estimates of tundra type and productivity, we used the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation map as well as the MODIS and Landsat Vegetation Continuous Fields, and MODIS GPP/NPP (MOD17) products. Preliminary findings suggest that in graminoid tundra and erect-shrub tundra higher shrub abundance is associated with greater soil carbon stocks. However, this relationship between shrub abundance and soil carbon is not apparent in prostrate-shrub tundra, or when comparing across graminoid tundra, erect-shrub tundra and prostrate-shrub tundra. Uncertainties originate from the extreme spatial (vertical and horizontal) heterogeneity of organic matter distribution in cryoturbated soils, the fact that (some) permafrost carbon stocks, e.g. yedoma, reflect previous rather than current vegetative cover, and small sample sizes, esp. in the High Arctic. Using Vegetation Continuous Fields and MODIS GPP/NPP (MOD17), we develop quantitative trajectories of soil carbon storage as a function of shrub cover and plant productivity in the Arctic (>60°N). We then compare our greening-derived carbon sequestration estimates to projected losses of carbon from thawing permafrost. Our findings will reduce uncertainties in the magnitude and timing of the carbon-climate feedback from the

  13. An unsuccessful search for brown dwarf companions to white dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry L.

    1986-01-01

    The results of a survey to detect excess infrared emission from white dwarf stars which would be attributable to a low mass companion are reviewed. Neither a simple comparison of spectroscopically identified white dwarf stars with the IRAS Point Source Catalog nor the coadding of IRAS survey data resulted in a detection of a brown dwarf. The seven nearest stars where the most stringent limits to the presence of a brown dwarf were obtained are listed, and an effort to detect brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood is discussed.

  14. THE FORNAX DWARF GALAXY AS A REMNANT OF RECENT DWARF-DWARF MERGING IN THE LOCAL GROUP

    SciTech Connect

    Yozin, C.; Bekki, K.

    2012-09-01

    We present results from the first numerical analysis to support the hypothesis, first proposed in Coleman et al., that the Fornax dwarf galaxy was formed from the minor merging of two dwarfs about 2 Gyr ago. Using orbits for the Fornax dwarf that are consistent with the latest proper motion measurements, our dynamical evolution models show that the observed asymmetric shell-like substructures can be formed from the remnant of a smaller dwarf during minor merging. These models also predict the formation of diffuse stellar streams. We discuss how these stellar substructures depend on model parameters of dwarf-dwarf merging, and how the intermediate-age subpopulations found in the vicinity of these substructures may be formed from gas accretion in past merger events. We also suggest that one of Fornax's globular clusters originates from a merged dwarf companion, and demonstrate where as yet undetected tidal streams or H I gas formed from the dwarf merging may be found in the outer halo of the Galaxy.

  15. Contribution of sunflecks is minimal in expanding shrub thickets compared to temperate forest.

    PubMed

    Brantley, Steven T; Young, Donald R

    2009-04-01

    Ecological consequences of shrub encroachment are emerging as a key issue in the study of global change. In mesic grasslands, shrub encroachment can result in a fivefold increase in ecosystem leaf area index (LAI) and a concurrent reduction in understory light and herbaceous diversity. LAI and light attenuation are often higher for shrub thickets than for forest communities in the same region, yet little is known about the contribution of sunflecks in shrub-dominated systems. Our objective was to compare fine-scale spatial and temporal dynamics of understory light in shrub thickets to the light environment in typical forest communities. We used an array of quantum sensors to examine variation in diffuse and direct light and determined the relative contribution of sunflecks during midday in Morella cerifera shrub thickets, a 30-yr-old abandoned Pinus taeda plantation, and a mature, second-growth, deciduous forest. Instantaneous photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) was measured at 1-s intervals at five sites in each community during midday. In summer, understory light during midday in shrub thickets was approximately 0.8% of above-canopy light, compared to 1.9% and 5.4% in pine and deciduous forests, respectively. During summer, PPFD was uncorrelated between sensors as close as 0.075 m in shrub thickets compared to 0.175 m and 0.900 m in pine and deciduous forests, respectively, indicating that sunflecks in shrub thickets were generally small compared to sunflecks in the two forests. Sunflecks in shrub thickets were generally short (all <30 s) and relatively low in intensity (<150 micromol photons x m(-2) x s(-1)) and contributed only 5% of understory light during midday. Sunflecks were longer (up to 6 minutes) and more intense (up to 350 micromol photons x m(-2) x s(-1)) in the two forest communities and Contributed 31% and 22% of understory light during midday in pine and deciduous forest, respectively. The combination of high LAI and relatively short

  16. Browse evaluation of tall shrubs based on direct measurement of a management objective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keigley, R.B.; Frisina, M.R.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Monaco, Thomas A.; Vernon, Jason

    2008-01-01

    The monitoring of Geyer willow was based on the following management objective: Browsing will prevent fewer than 50 percent of Geyer willow shrubs from growing taller than 3 m . Three questions were addressed: (1) Is browsing a potential factor? (2) If so, can young plants grow taller than 3 meters? (3) If not, is browsing the dominant factor? All shrubs were intensely browsed. With a post-browsing growth rate of 5.0 cm per yr, no shrub could grow 3 m tall. Analyses of stem growth rate excluded dominant roles for climate and plant vigor. Browsing and stem age were the dominant factors that limited growth to 3 m tall.

  17. `Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  18. Firewood crops: shrub and tree species for energy production

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-01-01

    In the face of global concern over the dwindling supply of fuelwood, the rate of forest decimation to provide basic human necessities in developing countries is alarming. We must look upon woody plants as renewable resources that, if effectively managed, could alleviate the problem not only for the present,but for posterity. This report suggests potential significant fuelwood species for introduction to suitable environments, although it does not suggest a solution for the fuelwood crisis. The emphasis is on species suitable for individual crops, but species suited to plantation cultivation for fueling small industrial factories, electric generators, and crop driers are also considered. Most of the plants are little known in traditional forest production. Some are woody shrubs rather than trees, but all are aggressive and quick growing. They should be introduced with care in areas where the climate and soil conditions are not harsh. The substitution of well-designed stoves, kilns, or boilers could improve fuel efficiency. Each species is illustrated with photographs and diagrams. (Refs. 420).

  19. Mutual positive effects between shrubs in an arid ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Tirado, Reyes; Bråthen, Kari Anne; Pugnaire, Francisco I.

    2015-01-01

    One-way facilitation in plants has been found in many harsh environments and their role as structural forces governing species composition in plant communities is now well established. However, reciprocal positive effects benefiting two interacting species have seldom been reported and, in recent reviews, conceptually considered merely as facilitation when in fact there is room for adaptive strategies and evolutionary responses. We tested the existence of such reciprocal positive effects in an arid environment in SE Spain using spatial pattern analysis, a species removal experiment, and a natural experiment. We found that the spatial association between Maytenus senegalensis and Whitania frutescens, two shrub species of roughly similar size intimately interacting in our community, resulted in mutual benefit for both species. Benefits included improved water relations and nutritional status and protection against browsing, and did occur despite simultaneous competition for resources. Our data suggest two-way facilitation or, rather, a facultative mutualism among higher plant species, a process often overlooked which could be a main driver of plant community dynamics allowing for evolutionary processes. PMID:26419958

  20. Vegetation trends in a 31-year-old ponderosa pine plantation: Effect of different shrub densities. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    McDonald, P.M.; Abbott, C.S.

    1997-04-01

    On a poor site in northern California, a brushfield community was treated in various ways which left initial densities of no shrubs, light, medium, and heavy shrubs. Density and development (height, foliar cover, crown volume) for three shrub species (alone and combined), one grass, and planted ponderosa pine in these categories were quantified from 1966 to 1992. Successional trends (ascendance and decline) are presented for these species and for forbs from 1962 (the date pines were planted) through 1992. Regression equations that model density and development are presented for the shrubs and pine. In general, greenleaf manzanita prospered during the study; snowbrush initially developed well, but then declined; Sierra plum endured, but was relegated to the understory; needlegrass invaded rapdily, peaked early, and was mostly gone by the end of the study. Only a trace of forb species remained by study end. Needlegrass displayed strong environmental preference, becoming dense and developing well in shrub-free areas, but was scarcely present in heavy shrubs. Ponderosa pine grew well in no-shrub plots, farily well in light-shrub plots, and poorly in medium- and heavy-shrub plots. Extensive testing showed that shrub foliar cover and crown volume per acre explained more variation in several pine parameters than shrub height or density.

  1. Local Group dwarf galaxies: nature and nurture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawala, Till; Scannapieco, Cecilia; White, Simon

    2012-02-01

    We investigate the formation and evolution of dwarf galaxies in a high-resolution, hydrodynamical cosmological simulation of a Milky Way sized halo and its environment. Our simulation includes gas cooling, star formation, supernova feedback, metal enrichment and ultraviolet heating. In total, 90 satellites and more than 400 isolated dwarf galaxies are formed in the simulation, allowing a systematic study of the internal and environmental processes that determine their evolution. We find that 95 per cent of satellite galaxies are gas free at z= 0, and identify three mechanisms for gas loss: supernova feedback, tidal stripping and photoevaporation due to re-ionization. Gas-rich satellite galaxies are only found with total masses above ˜5 × 109 M⊙. In contrast, for isolated dwarf galaxies, a total mass of ˜109 M⊙ constitutes a sharp transition; less massive galaxies are predominantly gas free at z= 0, more massive, isolated dwarf galaxies are often able to retain their gas. In general, we find that the total mass of a dwarf galaxy is the main factor which determines its star formation, metal enrichment and its gas content, but that stripping may explain the observed difference in gas content between field dwarf galaxies and satellites with total masses close to 109 M⊙. We also find that a morphological transformation via tidal stripping of infalling, luminous dwarf galaxies whose dark matter is less concentrated than their stars cannot explain the high total mass-to-light ratios of the faint dwarf spheroidal galaxies.

  2. Magnetised winds in dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubois, Y.; Teyssier, R.

    2010-11-01

    Context. The generation and the amplification of magnetic fields in the current cosmological paradigm are still open questions. The standard theory is based on an early field generation by Biermann battery effects, possibly at the epoch of reionisation, followed by a long period of field amplification by galactic dynamos. The origin and the magnitude of the inter-galactic magnetic field is of primordial importance in this global picture, as it is considered to be the missing link between galactic magnetic fields and cluster magnetic fields on much larger scales. Aims: We are testing whether dwarf galaxies are good candidates to explain the enrichment of the Inter-Galactic Medium (IGM): after their discs form and trigger galactic dynamos, supernova feedback will launch strong winds, expelling magnetic field lines in the IGM. Methods: We have performed magneto-hydrodynamics simulations of an isolated dwarf galaxy, which forms self-consistently inside a cooling halo. Using the RAMSES code, we simulated for the first time the formation of a magnetised supernova-driven galactic outflow. This simulation is an important step towards a more realistic modelling using fully cosmological simulations. Results: Our simulations reproduce well the observed properties of magnetic fields in spiral galaxies. The formation and the evolution of our simulated disc leads to a strong magnetic field amplification: the magnetic field in the final wind bubble is one order of magnitude larger than the initial value. The magnetic field in the disc, essentially toroidal, is growing linearly with time as a consequence of differential rotation. Conclusions: We discuss the consequence of this simple mechanism on the cosmic evolution of the magnetic field: we propose a new scenario for the evolution of the magnetic field, with dwarf galaxies playing a key role in amplifying and ejecting magnetic energy in the IGM, resulting in what we call a “cosmic dynamo” that could contribute to the very

  3. Equilibrium figures of dwarf planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rambaux, Nicolas; Chambat, Frederic; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Baguet, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Dwarf planets including transneptunian objects (TNO) and Ceres are >500 km large and display a spheroidal shape. These protoplanets are left over from the formation of the solar System about 4.6 billion years ago and their study could improve our knowledge of the early solar system. They could be formed in-situ or migrated to their current positions as a consequence of large-scale solar system dynamical evolution. Quantifying their internal composition would bring constraints on their accretion environment and migration history. That information may be inferred from studying their global shapes from stellar occultations or thermal infrared imaging. Here we model the equilibrium shapes of isolated dwarf planets under the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium that forms the basis for interpreting shape data in terms of interior structure. Deviations from hydrostaticity can shed light on the thermal and geophysical history of the bodies. The dwarf planets are generally fast rotators spinning in few hours, so their shape modeling requires numerically integration with Clairaut's equations of rotational equilibrium expanded up to third order in a small parameter m, the geodetic parameter, to reach an accuracy better than a few kilometers depending on the spin velocity and mean density. We also show that the difference between a 500-km radius homogeneous model described by a MacLaurin ellipsoid and a stratified model assuming silicate and ice layers can reach several kilometers in the long and short axes, which could be measurable. This type of modeling will be instrumental in assessing hydrostaticity and thus detecting large non-hydrostatic contributions in the observed shapes.

  4. [Effects of snow cover on water soluble and organic solvent soluble components during foliar litter decomposition in an alpine forest].

    PubMed

    Xu, Li-Ya; Yang, Wan-Qin; Li, Han; Ni, Xiang-Yin; He, Jie; Wu, Fu-Zhong

    2014-11-01

    Seasonal snow cover may change the characteristics of freezing, leaching and freeze-thaw cycles in the scenario of climate change, and then play important roles in the dynamics of water soluble and organic solvent soluble components during foliar litter decomposition in the alpine forest. Therefore, a field litterbag experiment was conducted in an alpine forest in western Sichuan, China. The foliar litterbags of typical tree species (birch, cypress, larch and fir) and shrub species (willow and azalea) were placed on the forest floor under different snow cover thickness (deep snow, medium snow, thin snow and no snow). The litterbags were sampled at snow formation stage, snow cover stage and snow melting stage in winter. The results showed that the content of water soluble components from six foliar litters decreased at snow formation stage and snow melting stage, but increased at snow cover stage as litter decomposition proceeded in the winter. Besides the content of organic solvent soluble components from azalea foliar litter increased at snow cover stage, the content of organic solvent soluble components from the other five foliar litters kept a continue decreasing tendency in the winter. Compared with the content of organic solvent soluble components, the content of water soluble components was affected more strongly by snow cover thickness, especially at snow formation stage and snow cover stage. Compared with the thicker snow covers, the thin snow cover promoted the decrease of water soluble component contents from willow and azalea foliar litter and restrain the decrease of water soluble component content from cypress foliar litter. Few changes in the content of water soluble components from birch, fir and larch foliar litter were observed under the different thicknesses of snow cover. The results suggested that the effects of snow cover on the contents of water soluble and organic solvent soluble components during litter decomposition would be controlled by

  5. Late Pleistocene climate change and landscape dynamics in the Eastern Alps: the inner-alpine Unterangerberg record (Austria).

    PubMed

    Starnberger, Reinhard; Drescher-Schneider, Ruth; Reitner, Jürgen M; Rodnight, Helena; Reimer, Paula J; Spötl, Christoph

    2013-05-15

    Drill cores from the inner-alpine valley terrace of Unterangerberg, located in the Eastern Alps of Austria, offer first insights into a Pleistocene sedimentary record that was not accessible so far. The succession comprises diamict, gravel, sand, lignite and thick, fine grained sediments. Additionally, cataclastic deposits originating from two paleo-landslide events are present. Multi-proxy analyses including sedimentological and palynological investigations as well as radiocarbon and luminescence data record the onset of the last glacial period (Würmian) at Unterangerberg at ∼120-110 ka. This first time period, correlated to the MIS 5d, was characterised by strong fluvial aggradation under cold climatic conditions, with only sparse vegetation cover. Furthermore, two large and quasi-synchronous landslide events occurred during this time interval. No record of the first Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5c) is preserved. During the second Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5a), the local vegetation was characterised by a boreal forest dominated by Picea, with few thermophilous elements. The subsequent collapse of the vegetation is recorded by sediments dated to ∼70-60 ka (i.e. MIS 4), with very low pollen concentrations and the potential presence of permafrost. Climatic conditions improved again between ∼55 and 45 ka (MIS 3) and cold-adapted trees re-appeared during interstadials, forming an open forest vegetation. MIS 3 stadials were shorter and less severe than the MIS 4 at Unterangerberg, and vegetation during these cold phases was mainly composed of shrubs, herbs and grasses, similar to what is known from today's alpine timberline. The Unterangerberg record ended at ∼45 ka and/or was truncated by ice during the Last Glacial Maximum.

  6. [Effects of snow cover on water soluble and organic solvent soluble components during foliar litter decomposition in an alpine forest].

    PubMed

    Xu, Li-Ya; Yang, Wan-Qin; Li, Han; Ni, Xiang-Yin; He, Jie; Wu, Fu-Zhong

    2014-11-01

    Seasonal snow cover may change the characteristics of freezing, leaching and freeze-thaw cycles in the scenario of climate change, and then play important roles in the dynamics of water soluble and organic solvent soluble components during foliar litter decomposition in the alpine forest. Therefore, a field litterbag experiment was conducted in an alpine forest in western Sichuan, China. The foliar litterbags of typical tree species (birch, cypress, larch and fir) and shrub species (willow and azalea) were placed on the forest floor under different snow cover thickness (deep snow, medium snow, thin snow and no snow). The litterbags were sampled at snow formation stage, snow cover stage and snow melting stage in winter. The results showed that the content of water soluble components from six foliar litters decreased at snow formation stage and snow melting stage, but increased at snow cover stage as litter decomposition proceeded in the winter. Besides the content of organic solvent soluble components from azalea foliar litter increased at snow cover stage, the content of organic solvent soluble components from the other five foliar litters kept a continue decreasing tendency in the winter. Compared with the content of organic solvent soluble components, the content of water soluble components was affected more strongly by snow cover thickness, especially at snow formation stage and snow cover stage. Compared with the thicker snow covers, the thin snow cover promoted the decrease of water soluble component contents from willow and azalea foliar litter and restrain the decrease of water soluble component content from cypress foliar litter. Few changes in the content of water soluble components from birch, fir and larch foliar litter were observed under the different thicknesses of snow cover. The results suggested that the effects of snow cover on the contents of water soluble and organic solvent soluble components during litter decomposition would be controlled by

  7. Late Pleistocene climate change and landscape dynamics in the Eastern Alps: the inner-alpine Unterangerberg record (Austria)

    PubMed Central

    Starnberger, Reinhard; Drescher-Schneider, Ruth; Reitner, Jürgen M.; Rodnight, Helena; Reimer, Paula J.; Spötl, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Drill cores from the inner-alpine valley terrace of Unterangerberg, located in the Eastern Alps of Austria, offer first insights into a Pleistocene sedimentary record that was not accessible so far. The succession comprises diamict, gravel, sand, lignite and thick, fine grained sediments. Additionally, cataclastic deposits originating from two paleo-landslide events are present. Multi-proxy analyses including sedimentological and palynological investigations as well as radiocarbon and luminescence data record the onset of the last glacial period (Würmian) at Unterangerberg at ∼120–110 ka. This first time period, correlated to the MIS 5d, was characterised by strong fluvial aggradation under cold climatic conditions, with only sparse vegetation cover. Furthermore, two large and quasi-synchronous landslide events occurred during this time interval. No record of the first Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5c) is preserved. During the second Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5a), the local vegetation was characterised by a boreal forest dominated by Picea, with few thermophilous elements. The subsequent collapse of the vegetation is recorded by sediments dated to ∼70–60 ka (i.e. MIS 4), with very low pollen concentrations and the potential presence of permafrost. Climatic conditions improved again between ∼55 and 45 ka (MIS 3) and cold-adapted trees re-appeared during interstadials, forming an open forest vegetation. MIS 3 stadials were shorter and less severe than the MIS 4 at Unterangerberg, and vegetation during these cold phases was mainly composed of shrubs, herbs and grasses, similar to what is known from today's alpine timberline. The Unterangerberg record ended at ∼45 ka and/or was truncated by ice during the Last Glacial Maximum. PMID:23805019

  8. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kepler, S O; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs. PMID:27034367

  9. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs.

  10. Modelling Clouds in Brown Dwarfs and Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marley, Mark

    2007-05-01

    A method of modelling cloud opacity is required to characterize the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and giant planets. In my talk I will review the variety of approaches that have been used to study condensates in L dwarf atmospheres, focusing on the first and second generation models developed by Andy Ackerman and myself. I'll discuss the key physical inputs to the models and describe their application to near and mid-infrared spectra of both normal and atypical L dwarfs. Comparisons of the models to data help to illuminate the role of clouds in the L to T dwarf transition and suggest a possible new mechanism for the transition. One lesson from the study of clouds in L and T dwarfs is certainly that clouds will be a first order uncertainty in characterizing the atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets. Some of the challenges and signatures of clouds in EGPs will be considered.

  11. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kepler, S O; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs.

  12. Double White Dwarf Merger Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toonen, Silvia; Nelemans, Gijs; Portegies Zwart, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are very successfully used as standard candles on cosmological distance scales, but so far the nature of the progenitor(s) is unclear. A possible scenario for SNe Ia are merging carbon/oxygen white dwarfs with a combined mass exceeding the Chandrasekhar mass. We determine the theoretical rates and delay time distribution of these mergers for two different common envelope prescriptions and metallicities. The shape of the delay time distributions is rather insensitive to the assumptions. The normalization is a factor ~3-13 too low compared to observations.

  13. Theories of white dwarf oscillations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanhorn, H. M.

    1980-01-01

    The current status of theoretical understanding of the oscillations observed in the ZZ Ceti stars and cataclysmic variables is briefly reviewed. Nonradial g-mode oscillations appear to provide a satisfactory explanation for the low amplitude variables such as R548, with periods in the range of approximately 200 to 300 seconds, but for the longer period (800 to 1000 seconds) oscillators, the situation is still unclear. Rotation may play an important role in this problem, and the effects of both slow and fast rotation upon the mode structure are discussed. In the cataclysmic variables, both accretion and thermonuclear burning may act to excite oscillations of the white dwarf.

  14. Watch Out for Your Neighbor: Climbing onto Shrubs Is Related to Risk of Cannibalism in the Scorpion Buthus cf. occitanus

    PubMed Central

    Urbano-Tenorio, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The distribution and behavior of foraging animals usually imply a balance between resource availability and predation risk. In some predators such as scorpions, cannibalism constitutes an important mortality factor determining their ecology and behavior. Climbing on vegetation by scorpions has been related both to prey availability and to predation (cannibalism) risk. We tested different hypotheses proposed to explain climbing on vegetation by scorpions. We analyzed shrub climbing in Buthus cf. occitanus with regard to the following: a) better suitability of prey size for scorpions foraging on shrubs than on the ground, b) selection of shrub species with higher prey load, c) seasonal variations in prey availability on shrubs, and d) whether or not cannibalism risk on the ground increases the frequency of shrub climbing. Prey availability on shrubs was compared by estimating prey abundance in sticky traps placed in shrubs. A prey sample from shrubs was measured to compare prey size. Scorpions were sampled in six plots (50 m x 10 m) to estimate the proportion of individuals climbing on shrubs. Size difference and distance between individuals and their closest scorpion neighbor were measured to assess cannibalism risk. The results showed that mean prey size was two-fold larger on the ground. Selection of particular shrub species was not related to prey availability. Seasonal variations in the number of scorpions on shrubs were related to the number of active scorpions, but not with fluctuations in prey availability. Size differences between a scorpion and its nearest neighbor were positively related with a higher probability for a scorpion to climb onto a shrub when at a disadvantage, but distance was not significantly related. These results do not support hypotheses explaining shrub climbing based on resource availability. By contrast, our results provide evidence that shrub climbing is related to cannibalism risk. PMID:27655347

  15. Hydraulic integration and shrub growth form linked across continental aridity gradients

    PubMed Central

    Schenk, H. Jochen; Espino, Susana; Goedhart, Christine M.; Nordenstahl, Marisa; Cabrera, Hugo I. Martinez; Jones, Cynthia S.

    2008-01-01

    Both engineered hydraulic systems and plant hydraulic systems are protected against failure by resistance, reparability, and redundancy. A basic rule of reliability engineering is that the level of independent redundancy should increase with increasing risk of fatal system failure. Here we show that hydraulic systems of plants function as predicted by this engineering rule. Hydraulic systems of shrubs sampled along two transcontinental aridity gradients changed with increasing aridity from highly integrated to independently redundant modular designs. Shrubs in humid environments tend to be hydraulically integrated, with single, round basal stems, whereas dryland shrubs typically have modular hydraulic systems and multiple, segmented basal stems. Modularity is achieved anatomically at the vessel-network scale or developmentally at the whole-plant scale through asymmetric secondary growth, which results in a semiclonal or clonal shrub growth form that appears to be ubiquitous in global deserts. PMID:18678893

  16. [Assemblage effect of ground arthropod community in desert steppe shrubs with different ages].

    PubMed

    Liu, Ren-Tao; Zhu, Fan; Chai, Yong-Qing

    2014-01-01

    Taking the 6-, 15-, 24- and 36-year-old Caragana intermedia shrubs in desert steppe as a subject, an investigation on soil properties and ground arthropod community was carried out under the shrub and in the open to probe into the assemblage effect of ground arthropod community in desert steppe shrubs with different ages. The results were as follows: 1) In the 6-year-old shrubland, significant differences were only found in soil physical properties (soil texture, soil moisture and electrical conductivity) between the microhabitats under shrub and in the open. Beginning from the 15-year-old shrubland, however, soil organic matter and nutrition (N, P) increased significantly. 2) A total of 27 groups were captured in the studied sites which dominated by Carabidae, Tenebrionidae and Formicidae. From 6- to 15-year-old shrubland, the number of dominant groups decreased while that of common groups increased for the ground arthropod community under the shrub. From 15- to 24- and 36-year-old shrubland, the difference between the microhabitats under the shrub and in the open decreased firstly, and then increased. Some special groups appeared under the shrub in the 36-year-old shrubland, and dung beetles became dominant. 3) In the 6- and 24-year-old shrublands, there were no significant differences in group richness, abundance, and diversity index between the microhabitats under the shrub and in the open. As for the 15- and 36-year-old shrublands, however, significant differences were observed. 4) The shrub age had a stronger effect on the distribution of ground arthropods living under the shrubs compared to that in the open. The changes in soil texture, pH and electrical conductivity could significantly influence on the distribution of ground arthropods under the shrub, also in the open to some degree. It was suggested that the development of shrubland had strong impact on assemblage effect of ground arthropods, which was closely correlated with the stand age and would

  17. The luminosities of the coldest brown dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Tinney, C. G.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Cushing, Mike; Morley, Caroline V.; Wright, Edward L.

    2014-11-20

    In recent years, brown dwarfs have been extended to a new Y-dwarf class with effective temperatures colder than 500 K and masses in the range of 5-30 Jupiter masses. They fill a crucial gap in observable atmospheric properties between the much colder gas-giant planets of our own solar system (at around 130 K) and both hotter T-type brown dwarfs and the hotter planets that can be imaged orbiting young nearby stars (both with effective temperatures in the range of 1500-1000 K). Distance measurements for these objects deliver absolute magnitudes that make critical tests of our understanding of very cool atmospheres. Here we report new distances for nine Y dwarfs and seven very late T dwarfs. These reveal that Y dwarfs do indeed represent a continuation of the T-dwarf sequence to both fainter luminosities and cooler temperatures. They also show that the coolest objects display a large range in absolute magnitude for a given photometric color. The latest atmospheric models show good agreement with the majority of these Y-dwarf absolute magnitudes. This is also the case for WISE0855-0714, the coldest and closest brown dwarf to the Sun, which shows evidence for water ice clouds. However, there are also some outstanding exceptions, which suggest either binarity or the presence of condensate clouds. The former is readily testable with current adaptive optics facilities. The latter would mean that the range of cloudiness in Y dwarfs is substantial with most hosting almost no clouds—while others have dense clouds, making them prime targets for future variability observations to study cloud dynamics.

  18. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; Wingfield, John; Goetz, Scott; Asmus, Ashley; Chmura, Helen E; Krause, Jesse S; Perez, Jonathan H; Sweet, Shannan K; Guay, Kevin C

    2015-04-01

    Climate warming is affecting the Arctic in multiple ways, including via increased dominance of deciduous shrubs. Although many studies have focused on how this vegetation shift is altering nutrient cycling and energy balance, few have explicitly considered effects on tundra fauna, such as the millions of migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions every year. To understand how increasing deciduous shrub dominance may alter breeding songbird habitat, we quantified vegetation and arthropod community characteristics in both graminoid and shrub dominated tundra. We combined measurements of preferred nest site characteristics for Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) and Gambel's White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) with modeled predictions for the distribution of plant community types in the Alaskan arctic foothills region for the year 2050. Lapland longspur nests were found in sedge-dominated tussock tundra where shrub height does not exceed 20 cm, whereas White-crowned sparrows nested only under shrubs between 20 cm and 1 m in height, with no preference for shrub species. Shrub canopies had higher canopy-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. small flies and spiders) but lower ground-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. large spiders and beetles). Since flies are the birds' preferred prey, increasing shrubs may result in a net enhancement in preferred prey availability. Acknowledging the coarse resolution of existing tundra vegetation models, we predict that by 2050 there will be a northward shift in current White-crowned sparrow habitat range and a 20-60% increase in their preferred habitat extent, while Lapland longspur habitat extent will be equivalently reduced. Our findings can be used to make first approximations of future habitat change for species with similar nesting requirements. However, we contend that as exemplified by this study's findings, existing tundra modeling tools cannot yet simulate the fine-scale habitat

  19. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; Wingfield, John; Goetz, Scott; Asmus, Ashley; Chmura, Helen E; Krause, Jesse S; Perez, Jonathan H; Sweet, Shannan K; Guay, Kevin C

    2015-04-01

    Climate warming is affecting the Arctic in multiple ways, including via increased dominance of deciduous shrubs. Although many studies have focused on how this vegetation shift is altering nutrient cycling and energy balance, few have explicitly considered effects on tundra fauna, such as the millions of migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions every year. To understand how increasing deciduous shrub dominance may alter breeding songbird habitat, we quantified vegetation and arthropod community characteristics in both graminoid and shrub dominated tundra. We combined measurements of preferred nest site characteristics for Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) and Gambel's White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) with modeled predictions for the distribution of plant community types in the Alaskan arctic foothills region for the year 2050. Lapland longspur nests were found in sedge-dominated tussock tundra where shrub height does not exceed 20 cm, whereas White-crowned sparrows nested only under shrubs between 20 cm and 1 m in height, with no preference for shrub species. Shrub canopies had higher canopy-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. small flies and spiders) but lower ground-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. large spiders and beetles). Since flies are the birds' preferred prey, increasing shrubs may result in a net enhancement in preferred prey availability. Acknowledging the coarse resolution of existing tundra vegetation models, we predict that by 2050 there will be a northward shift in current White-crowned sparrow habitat range and a 20-60% increase in their preferred habitat extent, while Lapland longspur habitat extent will be equivalently reduced. Our findings can be used to make first approximations of future habitat change for species with similar nesting requirements. However, we contend that as exemplified by this study's findings, existing tundra modeling tools cannot yet simulate the fine-scale habitat

  20. AmeriFlux US-Whs Walnut Gulch Lucky Hills Shrub

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, Russ

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Whs Walnut Gulch Lucky Hills Shrub. Site Description - A semiarid Chihuahuan Desert shrubland located in the USDA-ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW) surrounding the town of Tombstone, AZ. The site vegetation is comprised of a diverse stand of mainly Chihuahuan desert shrub species like acacia constricta, larrea tridentata, and florensia cernua.

  1. Native shrub reestablishment in exotic annual grasslands: do ecosystem processes recover?

    PubMed

    Yelenik, S G; Levine, J M

    2010-04-01

    The impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystem processes are well established, motivating numerous efforts to facilitate native-species recovery. Nonetheless, how the return of native species influences ecosystem processes and how these changes feed back to influence the recovery process are poorly understood. We examined these questions in exotic annual grasslands on Santa Cruz Island, California, USA, where the removal of nonnative herbivores has led to the recovery of the native shrubs Artemisia californica and Eriogonum arborescens. To examine the influence of shrub colonization on nutrient cycling, and the mechanisms by which these changes arise, we measured available nitrogen and phosphorus, and quantified nitrogen mineralization and litterfall rates under shrubs and grasses in the field and in experimental monoculture plots. Both native shrubs altered nitrogen cycling as they colonized the grassland, but they did so in opposite directions. Eriogonum depressed nitrogen pools and mineralization rates via large inputs of nitrogen-poor litter. In contrast Artemisia increased nitrogen and phosphorus pools and nitrogen mineralization rates. Last, to determine if shrub effects on soils favor shrubs or grasses, we conducted a nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization experiment in the field. Only the exotic grass was significantly limited by nitrogen. Thus the depressed nitrogen availability associated with Eriogonum colonization is more harmful to exotic grasses than to the native shrub. By contrast, the elevated nitrogen associated with recovering Artemisia favors grasses over the shrub, possibly hindering recovery of the native. Mechanistic studies of the ecosystem ,impacts of native-plant recovery are useful for managers wishing to predict which native species return ecosystem function, and whether such changes feed back to influence native recovery. PMID:20437958

  2. Scrub-shrub bird habitat associations at multiple spatial scales in beaver meadows in Massachusetts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chandler, R.B.; King, D.I.; DeStefano, S.

    2009-01-01

    Most scrub-shrub bird species are declining in the northeastern United States, and these declines are largely attributed to regional declines in habitat availability. American Beaver (Castor canadensis; hereafter "beaver") populations have been increasing in the Northeast in recent decades, and beavers create scrub-shrub habitat through their dam-building and foraging activities. Few systematic studies have been conducted on the value of beaver-modified habitats for scrub-shrub birds, and these data are important for understanding habitat selection of scrub-shrub birds as well as for assessing regional habitat availability for these species. We conducted surveys in 37 beaver meadows in a 2,800-km2 study area in western Massachusetts during 2005 and 2006 to determine the extent to which these beaver-modified habitats are used by scrub-shrub birds, as well as the characteristics of beaver meadows most closely related to bird use. We modeled bird abundance in relation to microhabitat-, patch-, and landscape-context variables while adjusting for survey-specific covariates affecting detectability using N-mixture models. We found that scrub-shrub birds of regional conservation concern occupied these sites and that birds responded differently to microhabitat, patch, and landscape characteristics of beaver meadows. Generally, scrub-shrub birds increased in abundance along a gradient of increasing vegetation complexity, and three species were positively related to patch size. We conclude that these habitats can potentially play an important role in regional conservation of scrub-shrub birds and recommend that conservation priority be given to larger beaver meadows with diverse vegetation structure and composition. ?? 2009 by The American Ornithologists' Union. All rights reserved.

  3. Fungal Biodiversity in the Alpine Tarfala Valley

    PubMed Central

    Coleine, Claudia; Selbmann, Laura; Ventura, Stefano; D’Acqui, Luigi Paolo; Onofri, Silvano; Zucconi, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are distributed worldwide in all semiarid and arid lands, where they play a determinant role in element cycling and soil development. Although much work has concentrated on BSC microbial communities, free-living fungi have been hitherto largely overlooked. The aim of this study was to examine the fungal biodiversity, by cultural-dependent and cultural-independent approaches, in thirteen samples of Arctic BSCs collected at different sites in the Alpine Tarfala Valley, located on the slopes of Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in northern Scandinavia. Isolated fungi were identified by both microscopic observation and molecular approaches. Data revealed that the fungal assemblage composition was homogeneous among the BSCs analyzed, with low biodiversity and the presence of a few dominant species; the majority of fungi isolated belonged to the Ascomycota, and Cryptococcus gilvescens and Pezoloma ericae were the most frequently-recorded species. Ecological considerations for the species involved and the implication of our findings for future fungal research in BSCs are put forward. PMID:27682108

  4. Fungal Biodiversity in the Alpine Tarfala Valley

    PubMed Central

    Coleine, Claudia; Selbmann, Laura; Ventura, Stefano; D’Acqui, Luigi Paolo; Onofri, Silvano; Zucconi, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are distributed worldwide in all semiarid and arid lands, where they play a determinant role in element cycling and soil development. Although much work has concentrated on BSC microbial communities, free-living fungi have been hitherto largely overlooked. The aim of this study was to examine the fungal biodiversity, by cultural-dependent and cultural-independent approaches, in thirteen samples of Arctic BSCs collected at different sites in the Alpine Tarfala Valley, located on the slopes of Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in northern Scandinavia. Isolated fungi were identified by both microscopic observation and molecular approaches. Data revealed that the fungal assemblage composition was homogeneous among the BSCs analyzed, with low biodiversity and the presence of a few dominant species; the majority of fungi isolated belonged to the Ascomycota, and Cryptococcus gilvescens and Pezoloma ericae were the most frequently-recorded species. Ecological considerations for the species involved and the implication of our findings for future fungal research in BSCs are put forward.

  5. Environmental controls on alpine cirque size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delmas, Magali; Gunnell, Yanni; Calvet, Marc

    2014-02-01

    Pleistocene alpine cirques are emblematic landforms of mountain scenery, yet their deceptively simple template conceals complex controlling variables. This comparative study presents a new database of 1071 cirques, the largest of its kind, located in the French eastern Pyrenees. It is embedded in a review of previous work on cirque morphometry and thus provides a perspective on a global scale. First-order cirque attributes of length, width, and amplitude were measured; and their power as predictors of climatic and lithological variables and as proxies for the duration of glacier activity was tested using ANOVA, simple and multiple linear regression, and their various post-hoc tests. Conventional variables such as cirque aspect, floor elevation, and exposure with respect to regional precipitation-bearing weather systems are shown to present some consistency in spatial patterns determined by solar radiation, the morning-afternoon effect, and wind-blown snow accumulation in the lee of ridgetops. This confirms in greater detail the previously encountered links between landforms and climate. A special focus on the influence of bedrock lithology, a previously neglected nonclimatic variable, highlights the potential for spurious relations in the use of cirque size as a proxy of past environmental conditions. Cirques are showcased as complex landforms resulting from the combination of many climatic and nonclimatic variables that remain difficult to rank by order of importance. Apart from a few statistically weak trends, several combinations of different factors in different proportions are shown to produce similar morphometric outcomes, suggesting a case of equifinality in landform development.

  6. Annual variability of ozone along alpine hillsides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Putz, Erich; Kosmus, Walter

    1994-01-01

    Over a period of more than two years (March 1989 till June 1991) ozone and nitrogen dioxide have been monitored along twelve alpine hillsides in the Austrian alps. The profiles had a height-resolution of 100 m and cover a range between 400 m and 1800 m asl, that is 100 m to 1100 m above the bottom of the valleys. They were situated in remote rural areas as well as in the vicinity of polluted urban and industrial areas. Both trace gases were monitored by means of integral chemical (SAM-surface active monitor) methods with a measuring cycle of two weeks. The concentration of ozone exhibits a substantial annual variation over the entire height range. In summer, highest ozone levels are observed near the ground and at the top of the mountains, whereas in winter the maxima are found mainly in the crest regions. The overall ozone burden shows a relative maximum near the temperature inversion layer in the valleys and an absolute maximum at the crest.

  7. PREFACE: 16th European White Dwarfs Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarita; Isern, Jordi; Torres, Santiago

    2009-07-01

    The 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs was held in Barcelona, Spain, from 30 June to 4 July 2008 at the premises of the UPC. Almost 120 participants from Europe (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and several others), America (USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile), and other continents (Australia, South Africa, . . . ) attended the workshop. Among these participants were the most relevant specialists in the field. The topics covered by the conference were: White dwarf structure and evolution Progenitors and Planetary Nebulae White dwarfs in binaries: cataclysmic variables, double degenerates and other binaries White dwarfs, dust disks and planetary systems Atmospheres, chemical composition, magnetic fields Variable white dwarfs White dwarfs in stellar clusters and the halo White Dwarfs as SNIa progenitors The programme included 54 talks, and 45 posters. The oral presentations were distributed into the following sessions: Luminosity function, mass function and populations White dwarf structure and evolution White dwarf ages White dwarf catalogs and surveys Central stars of planetary nebulae Supernovae progenitors White dwarfs in novae and CVs Physical processes in white dwarfs and magnetic white dwarfs Disks, dust and planets around white dwarfs Pulsating white dwarfs Additionally we had a special open session about Spitzer and white dwarfs. The Proceedings of the 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs are representative of the current state-of-the-art of the research field and include new and exciting results. We acknowledge the very positive attitude of the attendants to the workshop, which stimulated very fruitful discussions that took place in all the sessions and after the official schedule. Also, the meeting allowed new collaborations tp start that will undoubtedly result in significant advances in the research field. We also acknowledge the willingness of the participants to deliver their contributions before the final deadline. We sincerely

  8. Abscission Is Regulated by the ESCRT-III Protein Shrub in Drosophila Germline Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Matias, Neuza Reis; Mathieu, Juliette; Huynh, Jean-René

    2015-01-01

    Abscission is the final event of cytokinesis that leads to the physical separation of the two daughter cells. Recent technical advances have allowed a better understanding of the cellular and molecular events leading to abscission in isolated yeast or mammalian cells. However, how abscission is regulated in different cell types or in a developing organism remains poorly understood. Here, we characterized the function of the ESCRT-III protein Shrub during cytokinesis in germ cells undergoing a series of complete and incomplete divisions. We found that Shrub is required for complete abscission, and that levels of Shrub are critical for proper timing of abscission. Loss or gain of Shrub delays abscission in germline stem cells (GSCs), and leads to the formation of stem-cysts, where daughter cells share the same cytoplasm as the mother stem cell and cannot differentiate. In addition, our results indicate a negative regulation of Shrub by the Aurora B kinase during GSC abscission. Finally, we found that Lethal giant discs (lgd), known to be required for Shrub function in the endosomal pathway, also regulates the duration of abscission in GSCs. PMID:25647097

  9. Warming-Induced Shrub Expansion and Lichen Decline Across the Tuktoyaktuk Coastal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraser, R.; Lantz, T. C.; Olthof, I.; Kokelj, S. V.; Sims, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    Recent field and remote sensing studies show that shrub expansion has been widespread in low-Arctic ecosystems. However, there are still uncertainties regarding the extent of these changes, the plant functional groups involved, and the relative importance of climate and disturbance as causes of observed changes. Some authors have suggested that shrub expansion may have caused declines in lichens important for caribou forage, but these changes have not been examined at regional scales. Our research on the Tuktoyaktuk Coastal Plain using 30m resolution Landsat satellite imagery from 1985-2011 and high resolution (1:2000) vertical aerial photographs from 1980 and 2013 shows that shrub expansion has been associated with widespread lichen decline . Our analysis shows that the most likely driver of shrub expansion is a 4°C winter temperature increase over the past 30 years, leading to warmer soils and enhanced supply of growth-limiting nutrients. Natural and human-caused disturbances also stimulated increases in shrub cover, but these effects were limited spatially. Our observations are consistent with plot-scale warming experiments showing reductions in lichen cover from shrub growth, and modeling studies predicting large-scale vegetation shifts in the low-Arctic from climate change. These vegetation changes have implications for caribou forage, wildfire regimes, and permafrost conditions.

  10. Photosynthate allocations patterns and mode of postfire reproduction in two shrub species from the California chaparral

    SciTech Connect

    Sparks, S.R.

    1989-01-01

    Age-specific patterns of photosynthate allocation in leaves were investigated for two chaparral shrubs, Adenostoma fasciculatum and Ceanothus greggii, in five stands of various ages. Branches of shrubs were labeled with {sup 14}CO{sub 2}, and seasonal allocation of {sup 14}C-labeled photosynthate to storage, defense, metabolic, and structural compounds was followed. Age-specific allocation patterns were found only in the spring, when older shrubs showed a reduced allocation of photosynthate within leaves to storage compounds. Older shrubs may be less able than younger shrubs to allocate photosynthate to storage compounds when demands on photosynthate for growth are high. The influence of senescence on postfire sprouting was investigated by quantifying the proportion of standing dead biomass in A. fasciculatum, as well as other shrub structural characteristics, before an experimental burn. After the burn, sprout production during the first postfire season was determined and correlated with prefire structural characteristics. Photosynthate allocation to shoots and roots was investigated for seedlings of both species.

  11. Immune responses to Mycoplasma conjunctivae in alpine ibex, alpine chamois, and domestic sheep in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Degiorgis, M P; Abdo, E M; Nicolet, J; Frey, J; Mayer, D; Giacometti, M

    2000-04-01

    The humoral immune response of three alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra), two alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex) and three domestic sheep naturally affected with infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC), and four ibex and two sheep experimentally infected with Mycoplasma conjunctivae was analysed. In addition, the local immune response to M. conjunctivae was analysed using conjunctival washes from chamois and sheep. Immunoblot analysis of sera using whole cell antigens of M. conjunctivae revealed the major immunogenic proteins which had molecular masses of 175, 83, 68, 60, 50, 42, 36, and 33 kDa. Major antigens were found at 83, 68, 60, and 42 kDa in both sera and conjunctival washes from naturally infected animals of all three Caprinae species. In experimentally infected animals, antibodies to the 68 and 60 kDa antigens were dominant. Naturally infected animals showed much stronger immune reactions than those experimentally infected, and specific antibodies appeared 2 to 4 wk after experimental infection. To evaluate possible cross-reactions, whole cell antigen of M. conjunctivae was analysed by immunoblot against hyperimmune sera of closely related Mycoplasma spp. Antibodies to the 175, 73, 68, 60, and 33 kDa antigens appeared to be specific to M. conjunctivae. Cross-reactions mainly with 83, 50, and 42 kDa antigens were detected, in particular with M. ovipneumoniae and M. bovoculi hyperimmune sera, but also with antisera against M. capricolum capricolum and M. putrefaciens.

  12. [Impacts of Ochotona pallasi disturbance on alpine grassland community characteristics].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guo-qin; Li, Guang-yong; Ma, Wen-hu; Zhao, Dian-zhi; Li, Xiao-yan

    2013-08-01

    Plateau pika is the main fossorial mammal in the alpine grassland in Qinghai Lake Watershed of Northwest China. Based on the field investigation data from 18 alpine grassland quadrats in the Watershed, and by using redundancy analysis (RDA) and the surface fitting offered by 'R-Vegan' , the disturbance intensity of plateau pika (Ochotona pallasi) was classified as four levels. In order to explore the impacts of plateau pika disturbance on the alpine grassland ecosystem and its grazing quality, the community characteristics under different disturbance intensities by plateau pika were analyzed, and a conceptual model about the alpine grassland community succession was proposed. The results showed that with the increase of the disturbance intensity, the dominant species changed from Juncus roemerianus to Poa pratensis and Laux maritima. When the disturbance was small, the community had high quantitative values of coverage, aboveground biomass, biodiversity, and species richness, but the proportion of weeds was also high. When the disturbance was large, the quantitative values were the lowest, while the proportion of weeds was the highest. When the disturbance was moderate, the community had relatively high quantitative values, and the proportion of grasses and sedges was the highest. It was concluded that the community' s characteristic values under low plateau pika disturbance intensity were high but the grazing quality was low, while high disturbance intensity resulted in the grassland degradation. Therefore, the disturbance intensity in the threshold could maintain the stability of alpine grassland ecosystem and improve its grazing quality.

  13. Brown dwarf disks with ALMA

    SciTech Connect

    Ricci, L.; Isella, A.; Testi, L.; De Gregorio-Monsalvo, I.; Natta, A.; Scholz, A.

    2014-08-10

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array continuum and spectral line data at 0.89 mm and 3.2 mm for three disks surrounding young brown dwarfs and very low mass stars in the Taurus star forming region. Dust thermal emission is detected and spatially resolved for all the three disks, while CO(J = 3-2) emission is seen in two disks. We analyze the continuum visibilities and constrain the disks' physical structure in dust. The results of our analysis show that the disks are relatively large; the smallest one has an outer radius of about 70 AU. The inferred disk radii, radial profiles of the dust surface density, and disk to central object mass ratios lie within the ranges found for disks around more massive young stars. We derive from our observations the wavelength dependence of the millimeter dust opacity. In all the three disks, data are consistent with the presence of grains with at least millimeter sizes, as also found for disks around young stars, and confirm that the early stages of the solid growth toward planetesimals occur also around very low-mass objects. We discuss the implications of our findings on models of solids evolution in protoplanetary disks, the main mechanisms proposed for the formation of brown dwarfs and very low-mass stars, as well as the potential of finding rocky and giant planets around very low-mass objects.

  14. Male-biased hermaphrodites in a gynodioecious shrub, Daphne jezoensis.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, J P; Kameyama, Y; Shibata, A; Kudo, G

    2016-09-01

    Gynodioecy, a state where female and hermaphrodite plants coexist in populations, has been widely proposed an intermediate stage in the evolutionary pathway from hermaphroditism to dioecy. In the gynodioecy-dioecy pathway, hermaphrodites may gain most of their fitness through male function once females invade populations. To test this prediction, comprehensive studies on sex ratio variation across populations and reproductive characteristics of hermaphrodite and female phenotypes are necessary. This study examined the variation in sex ratio, sex expression, flower and fruit production and sexual dimorphism of morphological traits in a gynodioecious shrub, Daphne jezoensis, over multiple populations and years. Population sex ratio (hermaphrodite:female) was close to 1:1 or slightly hermaphrodite-biased. Sex type of individual plants was largely fixed, but 15% of plants changed their sex during a 6-year census. Hermaphrodite plants produced larger flowers and invested 2.5 times more resources in flower production than female plants, but they exhibited remarkably low fruit set (proportion of flowers setting fruits). Female plants produced six times more fruits than hermaphrodite plants. Low fruiting ability of hermaphrodite plants was retained even when hand-pollination was performed. Fruit production of female plants was restricted by pollen limitation under natural conditions, irrespective of high potential fecundity, and this minimised the difference in resources allocated to reproduction between the sexes. Negative effects of previous flower and fruit production on current reproduction were not apparent in both sexes. This study suggests that gynodioecy in this species is functionally close to a dioecious mating system: smaller flower production with larger fruiting ability in female plants, and larger flower production with little fruiting ability in hermaphrodite plants.

  15. Phenological observations on shrubs to predict weed emergence in turf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masin, Roberta; Zuin, Maria Clara; Zanin, Giuseppe

    2005-09-01

    Phenology is the study of periodic biological events. If we can find easily recognizable events in common plants that precede or coincide with weed emergences, these plants could be used as indicators. Weed seedlings are usually difficult to detect in turf, so the use of phenological indicators may provide an alternative approach to predict the time when a weed appears and consequently guide management decisions. A study was undertaken to determine whether the phenological phases of some plants could serve as reliable indicators of time of weed emergence in turf. The phenology of six shrubs (Crataegus monogyna Jacq., Forsythia viridissima Lindl., Sambucus nigra L., Syringa vulgaris L., Rosa multiflora Thunb., Ziziphus jujuba Miller) and a perennial herbaceous plant [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] was observed and the emergence dynamics of four annual weed species [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop., Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertner, Setaria glauca (L.) Beauv., Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv.] were studied from 1999 to 2004 in northern Italy. A correlation between certain events and weed emergence was verified. S. vulgaris and F. viridissima appear to be the best indicators: there is a quite close correspondence between the appearance of D. sanguinalis and lilac flowering and between the beginning of emergence of E. indica and the end of lilac flowering; emergences of S. glauca and S. viridis were predicted well in relation to the end of forsythia flowering. Base temperatures and starting dates required to calculate the heat unit sums to reach and complete the flowering phase of the indicators were calculated using two different methods and the resultant cumulative growing degree days were compared.

  16. THE METALLICITY OF VOID DWARF GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Kreckel, K.; Groves, B.; Croxall, K.; Pogge, R. W.; Van de Weygaert, R.

    2015-01-01

    The current ΛCDM cosmological model predicts that galaxy evolution proceeds more slowly in lower density environments, suggesting that voids are a prime location to search for relatively pristine galaxies that are representative of the building blocks of early massive galaxies. To test the assumption that void galaxies are more pristine, we compare the evolutionary properties of a sample of dwarf galaxies selected specifically to lie in voids with a sample of similar isolated dwarf galaxies in average density environments. We measure gas-phase oxygen abundances and gas fractions for eight dwarf galaxies (M{sub r} > –16.2), carefully selected to reside within the lowest density environments of seven voids, and apply the same calibrations to existing samples of isolated dwarf galaxies. We find no significant difference between these void dwarf galaxies and the isolated dwarf galaxies, suggesting that dwarf galaxy chemical evolution proceeds independent of the large-scale environment. While this sample is too small to draw strong conclusions, it suggests that external gas accretion is playing a limited role in the chemical evolution of these systems, and that this evolution is instead dominated mainly by the internal secular processes that are linking the simultaneous growth and enrichment of these galaxies.

  17. SDSS DR7 WHITE DWARF CATALOG

    SciTech Connect

    Kleinman, S. J.; Nitta, A.; Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Pecanha, Viviane; Costa, J. E. S.; Koester, D.; Krzesinski, J.; Dufour, P.; Lachapelle, F.-R.; Bergeron, P.; Yip, Ching-Wa; Harris, Hugh C.; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Althaus, L.; Corsico, A.

    2013-01-15

    We present a new catalog of spectroscopically confirmed white dwarf stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 spectroscopic catalog. We find 20,407 white dwarf spectra, representing 19,712 stars, and provide atmospheric model fits to 14,120 DA and 1011 DB white dwarf spectra from 12,843 and 923 stars, respectively. These numbers represent more than a factor of two increase in the total number of white dwarf stars from the previous SDSS white dwarf catalogs based on DR4 data. Our distribution of subtypes varies from previous catalogs due to our more conservative, manual classifications of each star in our catalog, supplementing our automatic fits. In particular, we find a large number of magnetic white dwarf stars whose small Zeeman splittings mimic increased Stark broadening that would otherwise result in an overestimated log g if fit as a non-magnetic white dwarf. We calculate mean DA and DB masses for our clean, non-magnetic sample and find the DB mean mass is statistically larger than that for the DAs.

  18. HI in Local Group Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grcevich, Jana; Putman, M. E.; Peek, J. E. G.

    2007-12-01

    The HI content of the newly discovered satellites of the Milky Way has not been previously studied. We use HIPASS (HI Parkes All Sky Survey), LAB (Leiden/Argentine/Bonn), and GALFA (Galactic Arecibo L-band Feed Array) survey data to explore HI in the environment of the newly discovered dwarf galaxies and add this information to what was previously known about HI in the dwarf spheroidal and lower mass dwarf irregular galaxies of the Local Group. All of the new satellites discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data have limits on their HI masses which range from < 13 M⊙ to 3 x 104 M⊙ except for Leo T, which has an HI mass of approximately 105 M⊙. We find that galaxies within 300 kpc of the Milky Way or Andromeda are all undetected in HI to low limits, or have ambiguous detections, while those further than 300 kpc are predominantly detected with masses > 105 M⊙. The most favored explanation for the lack of HI in dwarf galaxies at small galactocentric distances is ram pressure stripping of the gas in the dwarf galaxy by the larger galaxy's hot halo gas. The HI content will also be discussed in terms of the fuel it provides to the Milky Way and the star formation history of the dwarfs. Finally, we discuss the discovery in the GALFA data of discrete HI clouds with dynamical characteristics similar to known dwarf galaxies.

  19. The origin of low-mass white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Schreiber, M. R.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Girven, J.; Gomez-Moran, A. Nebot

    2010-11-23

    We present white dwarf mass distributions of a large sample of post common-envelope binaries and wide white dwarf main sequence binaries and demonstrate that these distributions are statistically independent. While the former contains a much larger fraction of low-mass white dwarfs, the latter is similar to single white dwarf mass distributions. Taking into account observational biases we also show that the majority of low-mass white dwarfs are formed in close binaries.

  20. The Gobbling Dwarf that Exploded

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-07-01

    A unique set of observations, obtained with ESO's VLT, has allowed astronomers to find direct evidence for the material that surrounded a star before it exploded as a Type Ia supernova. This strongly supports the scenario in which the explosion occurred in a system where a white dwarf is fed by a red giant. ESO PR Photo 31a/07 ESO PR Photo 31a/07 Evolution of SN 2006X Spectrum Because Type Ia supernovae are extremely luminous and quite similar to one another, these exploding events have been used extensively as cosmological reference beacons to trace the expansion of the Universe. However, despite significant recent progress, the nature of the stars that explode and the physics that governs these powerful explosions have remained very poorly understood. In the most widely accepted models of Type Ia supernovae the pre-explosion white dwarf star orbits another star. Due to the close interaction and the strong attraction produced by the very compact object, the companion star continuously loses mass, 'feeding' the white dwarf. When the mass of the white dwarf exceeds a critical value, it explodes. The team of astronomers studied in great detail SN 2006X, a Type Ia supernova that exploded 70 million light-years away from us, in the splendid spiral Galaxy Messier 100 (see ESO 08/06). Their observations led them to discover the signatures of matter lost by the normal star, some of which is transferred to the white dwarf. The observations were made with the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES), mounted at ESO's 8.2-m Very Large Telescope, on four different occasions, over a time span of four months. A fifth observation at a different time was secured with the Keck telescope in Hawaii. The astronomers also made use of radio data obtained with NRAO's Very Large Array as well as images extracted from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope archive. ESO PR Photo 31b/07 ESO PR Photo 31b/07 SN 2006X, before and after the Type Ia Supernova explosion "No Type Ia

  1. Local Area Weather Radar in Alpine Setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savina, M.

    2012-04-01

    Space-time variability of precipitation in orographically complex regions is a challenging research topic. The difficult accessibility of remote regions and the high elevations make difficult the operation of conventional raingauges and reduce the visibility of large scale radars. A solution to this limitation might be the use of a number of cost-effective short-range X-band radars as complement to raingauges and conventional, large and expensive weather radars. This paper presents the results of a pilot experiment, which aimed at i) developing and assessing the performance of a cost-effective X-band Local Area Weather Radar (LAWR) located in the orographically complex Alpine region and ii) testing whether it could lead to better understanding of the nature of the precipitation process, e.g. identifying any possible dependence between precipitation and topography. The LAWR was deployed between August 2007 and October 2011 on the summit of the Kl. Matterhorn, located in the Swiss Alps at 3883 m a.s.l. (Valais, Switzerland). This was the first time that a cost-effective X-band radar was installed at such elevation and could be tested in operation-like conditions. Beside the technological improvements that were necessary for a reliable functioning of the LAWR hardware, much effort went into the development of a set of radar corrections and into the design of a new Alpine Radar COnversion Model (ARCOM), which includes the algorithms necessary to convert radar received echoes into precipitation rates, specifically accounting for the presence of the pronounced topography. The ARCOM was developed and tested on the basis of a set of precipitation events for which precipitation was measured also by 43 automatic raingauges located within 60 km range from the radar antenna. Conversely to the state-of-the-art conversion models, ARCOM accounts not only for the seasonal climatological condition but also of geometric and orographic forcings such as partial beam filling and beam

  2. Gaia limits for brown dwarf studies.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarro, L. M.; Barrado, D.; Carrión, C.; Caballero, J. A.

    In this work we present a study of the expected properties of the Gaia sample of ultracool dwarfs (UCDs). This is defined preliminary (at a stage where we do not have real Gaia data yet) by analysing the detectability by Gaia of known UCDs in the Dwarf Archive. We complement the observations listed in the Dwarf Archive (J-, H-, and K- band magnitudes) with SDSS magnitudes and compare them with the BT-Settl model library in order to assess detectability. We also discuss the fraction of UCDs that will have accompanying RVS spectra in the Calcium triplet wavelength region.

  3. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies: Keystones of galaxy evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallagher, John S., III; Wyse, Rosemary F. G.

    1994-01-01

    Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are the most insignificant extragalactic stellar systems in terms of their visibility, but potentially very significant in terms of their role in the formation and evolution of much more luminous galaxies. We discuss the present observational data and their implications for theories of the formation and evolution of both dwarf and giant galaxies. The putative dark-matter content of these low-surface-brightness systems is of particular interest, as is their chemical evolution. Surveys for new dwarf spheroidals hidden behind the stars of our Galaxy and those which are not bound to giant galaxies may give new clues as to the origins of this unique class of galaxy.

  4. Morphology and Structures of Nearby Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Mira; Ann, H. B.

    2016-08-01

    We applied GALFIT and STARLIGHT to the r-band images and spectra, respectively, of ~1,100 dwarf galaxies to analyze the structural properties and stellar populations. In most cases, single component with n = 1 ~ 1.5 well describes the luminosity distribution of dwarf galaxies. However, a large fraction of dS0, dE bc , and dE blue galaxies show sub-structures such as spiral arms and rings. There is a bimodal distributions of stellar ages in dS0 galaxies. But other sub-types of dwarf galaxies show a single peak in the stellar distributions.

  5. Alkali content of alpine ultramafic rocks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hamilton, W.; Mountjoy, W.

    1965-01-01

    The lower limit of abundance of sodium and potassium in ultramafic rocks is less than the threshold amount detectable by conventional analytical methods. By a dilutionaddition modification of the flame-spectrophotometric method, sodium and potassium have been determined in 40 specimens of alpine ultramafic rocks. Samples represent six regions in the United States and one in Australia, and include dunite, peridotite, pyroxenite, and their variably serpentinized and metamorphosed derivatives. The median value found for Na2O is 0.004 per cent, and the range of Na2O is 0.001-0.19. The median value for K2O is 0.0034 per cent and the range is 0.001-0.031 per cent. Alkali concentrations are below 0.01 per cent Na2O in 28 samples and below 0.01 per cent K2O in 35. Derivation of basalt magma from upper-mantle material similar to such ultramafic rocks, as has been postulated, is precluded by the relative amounts of sodium and potassium, which are from 200 to 600 times more abundant in basalt than in the ultramafic rocks. Similar factors apply to a number of other elements. No reasonable process could produce such concentrations in, for example, tens of thousands of cubic miles of uniform tholeiitic basalt. The ultramafic rocks might have originated either as magmatic crystal precipitates or as mantle residues left after fusion and removal of basaltic magma. Injection of ultramafic rocks to exposed positions is tectonic rather than magmatic. ?? 1965.

  6. Horn growth patterns in Alpine chamois.

    PubMed

    Corlatti, Luca; Gugiatti, Alessandro; Imperio, Simona

    2015-06-01

    The analysis of horn growth may provide important information about the allocation of metabolic resources to secondary sexual traits. Depending on the selective advantages offered by horn size during intra- and inter-specific interactions, ungulates may show different investment in horn development, and growth variations within species may be influenced by several parameters, such as sex, age, or resource availability. We investigated the horn growth patterns in two hunted populations of Alpine chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra) in the Central Italian Alps. We tested the role of individual heterogeneity on the growth pattern and explored the variation in annulus length as a function of different factors (sex, age, hunting location, cohort). We then investigated the mechanisms underlying horn growth trajectories to test for the occurrence of compensatory or recovery growth and their potential differences between sexes and populations. Annulus length varied as a function of sex, age of individuals and, marginally, hunting location; no effect of cohort or individual heterogeneity was detected. Male and female chamois showed compensatory horn growth within the first 5½ years of life, though the partial convergence of horn trajectories in chamois suggests that this mechanisms would best be described as 'recovery growth'. Compensation rates were greater in males than in females, while only compensatory growth rates up to 2½ years of age were different in the two populations. Besides confirming the sex- and age-dependent pattern of horn development, our study suggests that the mechanism of recovery growth supports the hypothesis of horn size as a weakly selected sexual trait in male and female chamois. Furthermore, the greater compensation rates in horn growth shown by male chamois possibly suggest selective effects of hunting on age at first reproduction, while different compensation rates between populations may suggest the occurrence of some plasticity in resource

  7. Tagliamento, the king of Alpine rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imbriani, Nadia

    2016-04-01

    The Tagliamento river is usually described as the king of the Alpine rivers because it is an extraordinary example of braided gravel-bed river in Europe. It flows in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a region in north-eastern Italy. It has preserved its original ecosystem which has never been changed significantly by irresponsible human interference. Therefore, vegetated islands and braid bars, due to the typical network of channels the river creates, have always been an uncontaminated natural habitat for a wide variety of species of flora and fauna. The Pinzano Bridge, near San Daniele del Friuli, collapsed on 4th November 1966 because of an overflow of water from Tagliamento. From that time, lowlands territorial authorities would like to build retention basins to prevent the river from floodings. A study about the bio-geological survey carried out from a Manzini High School project, chiefly aims to study this ecosystem, which combines the dynamic nature of the Tagliamento with the biodiversity of the whole area where it flows. In the previous years, some classes were involved in this school project. After visiting the river area and taking several photographs of it, the students had the opportunity to reflect upon the devastating environmental impact which the construction of retention basins would cause. They illustrated and analyzed both the solutions offered by some local governors and the objections raised by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). In the near future, other students will continue studying the Tagliamento river so as to be able to appreciate one of the local rarities nature offers, in the hope that the unique geomorphological features of this site of undoubted scientific interest could be kept intact for a very long time.

  8. WHITE DWARF/M DWARF BINARIES AS SINGLE DEGENERATE PROGENITORS OF TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-20

    Limits on the companions of white dwarfs in the single-degenerate scenario for the origin of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have gotten increasingly tight, yet igniting a nearly Chandrasekhar mass C/O white dwarf from a condition of near hydrostatic equilibrium provides compelling agreement with observed spectral evolution. The only type of non-degenerate stars that survive the tight limits, M{sub V} {approx}> 8.4 on the SN Ia in SNR 0509-67.5 and M{sub V} {approx}> 9.5 in the remnant of SN 1572, are M dwarfs. While M dwarfs are observed in cataclysmic variables, they have special properties that have not been considered in most work on the progenitors of SNe Ia: they have small but finite magnetic fields and they flare frequently. These properties are explored in the context of SN Ia progenitors. White dwarf/M dwarf pairs may be sufficiently plentiful to provide, in principle, an adequate rate of explosions even with slow orbital evolution due to magnetic braking or gravitational radiation. Even modest magnetic fields on the white dwarf and M dwarf will yield adequate torques to lock the two stars together, resulting in a slowly rotating white dwarf, with the magnetic poles pointing at one another in the orbital plane. The mass loss will be channeled by a 'magnetic bottle' connecting the two stars, landing on a concentrated polar area on the white dwarf. This enhances the effective rate of accretion compared to spherical accretion. Luminosity from accretion and hydrogen burning on the surface of the white dwarf may induce self-excited mass transfer. The combined effects of self-excited mass loss, polar accretion, and magnetic inhibition of mixing of accretion layers give possible means to beat the 'nova limit' and grow the white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar mass even at rather moderate mass accretion rates.

  9. White Dwarf/M Dwarf Binaries as Single Degenerate Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-01

    Limits on the companions of white dwarfs in the single-degenerate scenario for the origin of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have gotten increasingly tight, yet igniting a nearly Chandrasekhar mass C/O white dwarf from a condition of near hydrostatic equilibrium provides compelling agreement with observed spectral evolution. The only type of non-degenerate stars that survive the tight limits, MV >~ 8.4 on the SN Ia in SNR 0509-67.5 and MV >~ 9.5 in the remnant of SN 1572, are M dwarfs. While M dwarfs are observed in cataclysmic variables, they have special properties that have not been considered in most work on the progenitors of SNe Ia: they have small but finite magnetic fields and they flare frequently. These properties are explored in the context of SN Ia progenitors. White dwarf/M dwarf pairs may be sufficiently plentiful to provide, in principle, an adequate rate of explosions even with slow orbital evolution due to magnetic braking or gravitational radiation. Even modest magnetic fields on the white dwarf and M dwarf will yield adequate torques to lock the two stars together, resulting in a slowly rotating white dwarf, with the magnetic poles pointing at one another in the orbital plane. The mass loss will be channeled by a "magnetic bottle" connecting the two stars, landing on a concentrated polar area on the white dwarf. This enhances the effective rate of accretion compared to spherical accretion. Luminosity from accretion and hydrogen burning on the surface of the white dwarf may induce self-excited mass transfer. The combined effects of self-excited mass loss, polar accretion, and magnetic inhibition of mixing of accretion layers give possible means to beat the "nova limit" and grow the white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar mass even at rather moderate mass accretion rates.

  10. Mechanisms of shrub encroachment into Northern Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and impacts of climate change investigated using a cellular automata model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, Domenico; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Noto, Leonardo Valerio; Collins, Scott L.

    2016-05-01

    Arid and semiarid grasslands of southwestern North America have changed dramatically over the last 150 years as a result of woody plant encroachment. Overgrazing, reduced fire frequency, and climate change are known drivers of woody plant encroachment into grasslands. In this study, relatively simple algorithms for encroachment factors (i.e., grazing, grassland fires, and seed dispersal by grazers) are proposed and implemented in the ecohydrological Cellular-Automata Tree Grass Shrub Simulator (CATGraSS). CATGraSS is used in a 7.3 km2 rectangular domain located in central New Mexico along a zone of grassland to shrubland transition, where shrub encroachment is currently active. CATGraSS is calibrated and used to investigate the relative contributions of grazing, fire frequency, seed dispersal by herbivores and climate change on shrub abundance over a 150-year period of historical shrub encroachment. The impact of future climate change is examined using a model output that realistically represents current vegetation cover as initial condition, in a series of stochastic CATGraSS future climate simulations. Model simulations are found to be highly sensitive to the initial distribution of shrub cover. Encroachment factors more actively lead to shrub propagation within the domain when the model starts with randomly distributed individual shrubs. However, when shrubs are naturally evolved into clusters, the model response to encroachment factors is muted unless the effect of seed dispersal by herbivores is amplified. The relative contribution of different drivers on modeled shrub encroachment varied based on the initial shrub cover condition used in the model. When historical weather data is used, CATGraSS predicted loss of shrub and grass cover during the 1950 s drought. While future climate change is found to amplify shrub encroachment (∼13% more shrub cover by 2100), grazing remains the dominant factor promoting shrub encroachment. When we modeled future climate

  11. The role of vegetation-microclimate feedback in promoting shrub encroachment in the northern Chihuahuan desert.

    PubMed

    He, Yufei; D'Odorico, Paolo; De Wekker, Stephan F J

    2015-06-01

    Many arid and semi-arid landscapes around the world are affected by a shift from grassland to shrubland vegetation, presumably induced by climate warming, increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changing land use. This major change in vegetation cover is likely sustained by positive feedbacks with the physical environment. Recent research has focused on a feedback with microclimate, whereby cold intolerant shrubs increase the minimum nocturnal temperatures in their surroundings. Despite the rich literature on the impact of land cover change on local climate conditions, changes in microclimate resulting from shrub expansion into desert grasslands have remained poorly investigated. It is unclear to what extent such a feedback can affect the maximum extent of shrub expansion and the configuration of a stable encroachment front. Here, we focus on the case of the northern Chihuahuan desert, where creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) has been replacing grasslands over the past 100-150 years. We use a process-based coupled atmosphere-vegetation model to investigate the role of this feedback in sustaining shrub encroachment in the region. Simulations indicate that the feedback allows juvenile shrubs to establish in the grassland during average years and, once established, reduce their vulnerability to freeze-induced mortality by creating a warmer microclimate. Such a feedback is crucial in extreme cold winters as it may reduce shrub mortality. We identify the existence of a critical zone in the surroundings of the encroachment front, in which vegetation dynamics are bistable: in this zone, vegetation can be stable both as grassland and as shrubland. The existence of these alternative stable states explains why in most cases the shift from grass to shrub cover is found to be abrupt and often difficult to revert. PMID:25581578

  12. The role of vegetation-microclimate feedback in promoting shrub encroachment in the northern Chihuahuan desert.

    PubMed

    He, Yufei; D'Odorico, Paolo; De Wekker, Stephan F J

    2015-06-01

    Many arid and semi-arid landscapes around the world are affected by a shift from grassland to shrubland vegetation, presumably induced by climate warming, increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changing land use. This major change in vegetation cover is likely sustained by positive feedbacks with the physical environment. Recent research has focused on a feedback with microclimate, whereby cold intolerant shrubs increase the minimum nocturnal temperatures in their surroundings. Despite the rich literature on the impact of land cover change on local climate conditions, changes in microclimate resulting from shrub expansion into desert grasslands have remained poorly investigated. It is unclear to what extent such a feedback can affect the maximum extent of shrub expansion and the configuration of a stable encroachment front. Here, we focus on the case of the northern Chihuahuan desert, where creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) has been replacing grasslands over the past 100-150 years. We use a process-based coupled atmosphere-vegetation model to investigate the role of this feedback in sustaining shrub encroachment in the region. Simulations indicate that the feedback allows juvenile shrubs to establish in the grassland during average years and, once established, reduce their vulnerability to freeze-induced mortality by creating a warmer microclimate. Such a feedback is crucial in extreme cold winters as it may reduce shrub mortality. We identify the existence of a critical zone in the surroundings of the encroachment front, in which vegetation dynamics are bistable: in this zone, vegetation can be stable both as grassland and as shrubland. The existence of these alternative stable states explains why in most cases the shift from grass to shrub cover is found to be abrupt and often difficult to revert.

  13. Patterns of shrub expansion in Alaskan arctic river corridors suggest phase transition

    PubMed Central

    Naito, Adam T; Cairns, David M

    2015-01-01

    Recent increases in deciduous shrub cover are a primary focus of terrestrial Arctic research. This study examined the historic spatial patterns of shrub expansion on the North Slope of Alaska to determine the potential for a phase transition from tundra to shrubland. We examined the historic variability of landscape-scale tall shrub expansion patterns on nine sites within river valleys in the Brooks Range and North Slope uplands (BRNS) between the 1950s and circa 2010 by calculating percent cover (PCTCOV), patch density (PADENS), patch size variability (CVSIZE), mean nearest neighbor distance (MEDIST) and the multi-scale information fractal dimension (dI) to assess spatial homogeneity for shrub cover. We also devised conceptual models for trends in these metrics before, during, and after a phase transition, and compared these to our results. By developing a regression equation between PCTCOV and dI and using universal critical dI values, we derived the PCTCOV required for a phase transition to occur. All nine sites exhibited increases in PCTCOV. Five of the nine sites exhibited an increase in PADENS, seven exhibited an increase in CVSIZE, and five exhibited a decrease in MEDIST. The dI values for each site exceeded the requirements necessary for a phase transition. Although fine-scale heterogeneity is still present, landscape-scale patterns suggest our study areas are either currently in a state of phase transition from tundra to shrubland or are progressing towards spatial homogeneity for shrubland. Our results indicate that the shrub tundra in the river valleys of the north slope of Alaska has reached a tipping point. If climate trends observed in recent decades continue, the shrub tundra will continue towards homogeneity with regard to the cover of tall shrubs. PMID:25628866

  14. FORMATION OF ULTRA-COMPACT BLUE DWARF GALAXIES AND THEIR EVOLUTION INTO NUCLEATED DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Bekki, Kenji

    2015-10-10

    We propose that there is an evolutionary link between ultra-compact blue dwarf galaxies (UCBDs) with active star formation and nucleated dwarfs based on the results of numerical simulations of dwarf–dwarf merging. We consider the observational fact that low-mass dwarfs can be very gas-rich, and thereby investigate the dynamical and chemical evolution of very gas-rich, dissipative dwarf–dwarf mergers. We find that the remnants of dwarf–dwarf mergers can be dominated by new stellar populations formed from the triggered starbursts and consequently can have blue colors and higher metallicities (Z ∼ [0.2–1]Z{sub ⊙}). We also find that the remnants of these mergers can have rather high mass densities (10{sup 4} M{sub ⊙} pc{sup −3}) within the central 10 pc and small half-light radii (40−100 pc). The radial stellar structures of some merger remnants are similar to those of nucleated dwarfs. Star formation can continue in nuclear gas disks (R < 100 pc) surrounding stellar galactic nuclei (SGNs) so that the SGNs can finally have multiple stellar populations with different ages and metallicities. These very compact blue remnants can be identified as UCBDs soon after merging and as nucleated dwarfs after the young stars fade. We discuss these results in the context of the origins of metal-rich ultra-compact dwarfs and SGNs.

  15. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Araújo, M. S. T.

    2010-09-01

    In August 2006 during the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), taken place in Prague, Czech Republic, new parameters to define a planet were established. According to this new definition Pluto will be no more the ninth planet of the Solar System but it will be changed to be a "dwarf planet". This reclassification of Pluto by the academic community clearly illustrates how dynamic science is and how knowledge of different areas can be changed and evolves through the time, allowing to perceive Science as a human construction in a constant transformation, subject to political, social and historical contexts. These epistemological characteristics of Science and, in this case, of Astronomy, constitute important elements to be discussed in the lessons, so that this work contributes to enable Science and Physics teachers who perform a basic education to be always up to date on this important astronomical fact and, thereby, carry useful information to their teaching.

  16. Magnetars and white dwarf pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobato, Ronaldo V.; Malheiro, Manuel; Coelho, Jaziel G.

    2016-07-01

    The anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) are a class of pulsars understood as neutron stars (NSs) with super strong surface magnetic fields, namely B ≳ 1014G, and for that reason are known as magnetars. However, in the last years, some SGRs/AXPs with low surface magnetic fields B ˜ (1012-1013)G have been detected, challenging the magnetar description. Moreover, some fast and very magnetic white dwarfs (WDs) have also been observed, and at least one showed X-ray energy emission as an ordinary pulsar. Following this fact, an alternative model based on WDs pulsars has been proposed to explain this special class of pulsars. In this model, AXPs and SGRs as dense and magnetized WDs can have surface magnetic field B ˜ 107-1010 G and rotate very fast with frequencies Ω ˜ 1rad/s, consistent with the observed rotation periods P ˜ (2-12)s.

  17. White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szekeres, P.

    1977-01-01

    The three possible fates of burned-out stars: white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, are described in elementary terms. Characteristics of these celestial bodies, as provided by Einstein's work, are described. (CP)

  18. White Dwarf Model for PAMELA Positron Excess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashiyama, Kazumi; Ioka, Kunihito

    2010-10-01

    We suggest that white dwarf pulsars can compete with neutron star pulsars for producing the excesses of cosmic ray positrons and electrons (e+/-) observed by the PAMELA, ATIC/PPB-BETS, Fermi and HESS experiments. A double degenerate white dwarf binary mergers into a white dwarf pulsar with rotational energy (~1050 erg) comparable to a neutron star pulsar. The birth rate (~1/100 yr) is also similar, providing the right energy budget. Applying the neutron star theory, we show that the white dwarf pulsars can produce e+/-, up to ~10 TeV for high magnetic fields (>108 G). In contrast to the neutron star case, the adiabatic energy losses of e+/- are negligible since their injection continues after the nebula expansion. The long activity also enhances the nearby sources, potentially dominating the quickly cooled e+/- above TeV energy, detectable by the future CALET experiment.

  19. Merging white dwarfs and thermonuclear supernovae.

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk, M H

    2013-06-13

    Thermonuclear supernovae result when interaction with a companion reignites nuclear fusion in a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, causing a thermonuclear runaway, a catastrophic gain in pressure and the disintegration of the whole white dwarf. It is usually thought that fusion is reignited in near-pycnonuclear conditions when the white dwarf approaches the Chandrasekhar mass. I briefly describe two long-standing problems faced by this scenario, and the suggestion that these supernovae instead result from mergers of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, including those that produce sub-Chandrasekhar-mass remnants. I then turn to possible observational tests, in particular, those that test the absence or presence of electron captures during the burning. PMID:23630372

  20. White Dwarfs in Local Star Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchs, Burkhard; Dettbarn, Christian

    2011-01-01

    We have studied the fine structure of the phase space distribution of white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood. White dwarfs have kinematics that are typical for the stellar population of the old thin disk of the Milky Way. Using a projection of the space velocities of stars onto vertical angular momentum components and eccentricities of the stellar orbits we demonstrate that stellar streams can be identified in the phase space distribution of the white dwarfs. These correspond to the well-known Sirius, Pleiades, and Hercules star streams. Membership of white dwarfs, which represent the oldest population in the Galaxy, in these streams lends support to the interpretation that the streams owe their existence to dynamical resonance effects of the stars with Galactic spiral arms or the Galactic bar, because these indiscriminately affect all stellar populations.

  1. Merging white dwarfs and thermonuclear supernovae.

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk, M H

    2013-06-13

    Thermonuclear supernovae result when interaction with a companion reignites nuclear fusion in a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, causing a thermonuclear runaway, a catastrophic gain in pressure and the disintegration of the whole white dwarf. It is usually thought that fusion is reignited in near-pycnonuclear conditions when the white dwarf approaches the Chandrasekhar mass. I briefly describe two long-standing problems faced by this scenario, and the suggestion that these supernovae instead result from mergers of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, including those that produce sub-Chandrasekhar-mass remnants. I then turn to possible observational tests, in particular, those that test the absence or presence of electron captures during the burning.

  2. Neutral Hydrogen in Local Group Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grcevich, Jana

    The gas content of the faintest and lowest mass dwarf galaxies provide means to study the evolution of these unique objects. The evolutionary histories of low mass dwarf galaxies are interesting in their own right, but may also provide insight into fundamental cosmological problems. These include the nature of dark matter, the disagreement between the number of observed Local Group dwarf galaxies and that predicted by lambda cold dark matter models, and the discrepancy between the observed census of baryonic matter in the Milky Way's environment and theoretical predictions. This thesis explores these questions by studying the neutral hydrogen (HI) component of dwarf galaxies. First, limits on the HI mass of the ultra-faint dwarfs are presented, and the HI content of all Local Group dwarf galaxies is examined from an environmental standpoint. We find that those Local Group dwarfs within 270 kpc of a massive host galaxy are deficient in HI as compared to those at larger galactocentric distances. Ram-pressure arguments are invoked, which suggest halo densities greater than 2-3 x 10-4 cm-3 out to distances of at least 70 kpc, values which are consistent with theoretical models and suggest the halo may harbor a large fraction of the host galaxy's baryons. We also find that accounting for the incompleteness of the dwarf galaxy count, known dwarf galaxies whose gas has been removed could have provided at most 2.1 x 108 M⊙ of HI gas to the Milky Way. Second, we examine the possibility of discovering unknown gas-rich ultra-faint galaxies in the Local Group using HI. The GALFA-HI Survey catalog is searched for compact, isolated HI clouds which are most similar to the expected HI characteristics of low mass dwarf galaxies. Fifty-one Local Group dwarf galaxy candidates are identified through column density, brightness temperature, and kinematic selection criteria, and their properties are explored. Third, we present hydrodynamic simulations of dwarf galaxies experiencing a

  3. Relative roles of different-sized herbivores and plant-plant interactions in tall shrub tundra vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravolainen, Virve; Ims, Rolf; Bårdsen, Bård-Jørgen; Stien, Audun; Kollstrøm, Julie; Lægreid, Eiliv; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2013-04-01

    Tall shrubs play important roles in the ecology of Arctic tundra ecosystems, including support of high shrub-associated biodiversity and regulation of a range of ecosystem processes. Tall shrub patches and herbaceous vegetation surrounding them often form a two-state vegetation mosaic. Such tall shrub tundra vegetation is an important locus for current vegetation changes in the Arctic. Both abiotic and biotic drivers are known to influence the shrub component. However, although expansion of the shrub state has received much focus lately, relative strengths of the multiple drivers of vegetation state are currently not fully understood. We investigated the role of herbivory relative to temperature and relative to plant-plant interactions, conducting a field survey and experimental studies at large spatial scales in riparian tall shrub tundra in Norway. We found both summer temperatures and summer grazing by reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) to affect tall shrub distribution and expansion potential. Furthermore, we found strong and rapid shrub growth change in response to abundance of key arctic herbivores; small rodents. Finally, we quantified the relative importance of neighboring plants and both herbivore types to recruiting tall shrubs. The previously unforeseen rate at which tall shrub tundra responded to altered herbivore pressures further exemplifies its central role in the tundra ecosystems, promoting tall shrub tundra as a bell-whether of change with respect to both abiotic and biotic drivers. While many of the results clearly relate to herbivory, neighboring plants or climate as drivers, some variation remains unexplained warranting future research focus on this highly dynamic part of the tundra ecosystem. Our results suggest that spatially variable biotic interactions are likely to modify forcing by climate, calling for an ecosystem approach when studying change in tundra ecosystems.

  4. The Metamorphosis of Tidally Stirred Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, Lucio; Governato, Fabio; Colpi, Monica; Moore, Ben; Quinn, Thomas; Wadsley, James; Stadel, Joachim; Lake, George

    2001-10-01

    We present results from high-resolution N-body/SPH (smoothed particle hydrodynamic) simulations of rotationally supported dwarf irregular galaxies moving on bound orbits in the massive dark matter halo of the Milky Way. The dwarf models span a range in disk surface density and the masses and sizes of their dark halos are consistent with the predictions of cold dark matter cosmogonies. We show that the strong tidal field of the Milky Way determines severe mass loss in their halos and disks and induces bar and bending instabilities that transform low surface brightness dwarfs (LSBs) into dwarf spheroidals (dSphs) and high surface brightness dwarfs (HSBs) into dwarf ellipticals (dEs) in less than 10 Gyr. The final central velocity dispersions of the remnants are in the range 8-30 km s-1 and their final v/σ falls to values less than 0.5, matching well the kinematics of early-type dwarfs. The transformation requires the orbital time of the dwarf to be <~3-4 Gyr, which implies a halo as massive and extended as predicted by hierarchical models of galaxy formation to explain the origin of even the farthest dSph satellites of the Milky Way, Leo I, and Leo II. We show that only dwarfs with central dark matter densities as high as those of Draco and Ursa Minor can survive for 10 Gyr in the proximity of the Milky Way. A correlation between the central density and the distance of the dwarfs from the primary galaxy is indeed expected in hierarchical models, in which the densest objects should have small orbital times because of their early formation epochs. Part of the gas is stripped and part is funneled to the center because of the bar, generating one strong burst of star formation in HSBs and smaller, multiple bursts in LSBs. Therefore, the large variety of star formation histories observed in Local Group dSphs arises because different types of dIrr progenitors respond differently to the external perturbation of the Milky Way. Our evolutionary model naturally explains the

  5. L' AND M' Photometry Of Ultracool Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, M. S.; Tsvetanov, Z. I.; Vrba, F. J.; Henden, A. A.; Luginbuhl, C. B.

    2004-01-01

    We have compiled L' (3.4-4.1 microns) and M' (4.6- 4.8 microns) photometry of 63 single and binary M, L, and T dwarfs obtained at the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope using the Mauna Kea Observatory filter set. This compilation includes new L' measurements of eight L dwarfs and 13 T dwarfs and new M' measurements of seven L dwarfs, five T dwarfs, and the M1 dwarf Gl 229A. These new data increase by factors of 0. 6 and 1.6, respectively, the numbers of ultracool dwarfs T (sub eff) dwarfs whose flux-calibrated JHK spectra, L' photometry, and trigonometric parallaxes are available, and we estimate these quantities for nine other dwarfs whose parallaxes and flux-calibrated spectra have been obtained. BC(SUB K) is a well-behaved function of near-infrared spectral type with a dispersion of approx. 0.1 mag for types M6-T5 it is significantly more scattered for types T5-T9. T (sub eff) declines steeply and monotonically for types M6-L7 and T4-T9, but it is nearly constant at approx. 1450 K for types L7-T4 with assumed ages of approx. 3 Gyr. This constant T(sub eff) is evidenced by nearly unchanging values of L'-M' between types L6 and T3. It also supports recent models that attribute the changing near-infrared luminosities and spectral features across the L-T transition to the rapid migration, disruption, and/or thinning of condensate clouds over a narrow range of T(sub eff). The L' and M' luminosities of early-T dwarfs do not exhibit the pronounced humps or inflections previously noted in l through K bands, but insufficient data exist for types L6-T5 to assert that M(Sub L') and M(sub M') are strictly monotonic within this range of typew. We compare the observed K, L', and M' luminosities of L and T dwarfs in our sample with those predicted by precipitation-cloud-free models for varying surface gravities and sedimentation efficiencies.

  6. Accretion Flows in Magnetic White Dwarf Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, James N.

    2005-01-01

    We received Type A and B funding under the NASA Astrophysics Data Program for the analysis and interpretation of hard x-ray data obtained by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and other NASA sponsored missions for Intermediate Polars (IPS) and Polars. For some targets, optical data was available. We reduced and analyzed the X-ray spectra and the X-ray and optical (obtained at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory) timing data using detailed shock models (which we constructed) to place constraints on the properties of the accreting white dwarfs, the high energy emission mechanisms of white dwarfs, and the large-scale accretion flows of Polars and IPS. IPS and Polars are white dwarf mass-transfer binaries, members of the larger class of cata,clysmic variables. They differ from the bulk of the cataclysmic variables in that they contain strongly magnetic white dwarfs; the white dwarfs in Polars have B, = 7 to 230 MG and those in IPS have B, less than 10 MG. The IPS and Polars are both examples of funneled accretion flows in strong magnetic field systems. The IPS are similar to x-ray pulsars in that accretion disks form in the systems which are disrupted by the strong stellar magnetic fields of the white dwarfs near the stellar surface from where the plasma is funneled to the surface of the white dwarf. The localized hot spots formed at the footpoints of the funnels coupled with the rotation of the white dwarf leads to coherent pulsed x-ray emission. The Polars offer an example of a different accretion topology; the magnetic field of the white dwarf controls the accretion flow from near the inner Lagrangian point of the system directly to the stellar surface. Accretion disks do not form. The strong magnetic coupling generally leads to synchronous orbital/rotational motion in the Polars. The physical system in this sense resembles the Io/Jupiter system. In both IPS and Polars, pulsed emission from the infrared to x-rays is produced as the funneled flows merge onto the

  7. Deciduous shrub growth and the greening of the Arctic in West Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, B. C.; Macias Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Kumpula, T.

    2010-12-01

    Salix lanata and Alnus fruticosa are common and widespread shrub species in the low arctic tundra zone of West Siberia. They often occur in similar local habitats with the live portions of genets up to 100 years old. We have recently established that growth rings of S. lanata provide an excellent proxy for summer temperature. In that study our data were derived from shrubs growing on organic soils near the arctic coast of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO), west of the Ural Mountains. East of the Urals, in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO), climate is more continental and sandy soils provide a relatively nutrient-poor substrate for plant growth. By sampling two different species side by side on the Yamal Peninsula, we shed light on the relationship between deciduous shrubs and growing season temperatures in the last half century or so, a period of pronounced regional warming. We discern differences in the climate signal within a single species (S. lanata) as well as between it and a neighboring species with a strongly overlapping ecological amplitude (A. fruticosa). July is the main month for temperature correlation in Alnus, whereas Salix responds to June-July-August temperatures in both regions. The high correlations of shrub growth with summer temperature (r > 0.7 over the period 1956-2004) strongly suggest a link between increased shrub growth and recent decadal warming in both regions (~2°C). Both species showed significant correlation with the regional Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), although it was somewhat lower in YNAO compared to NAO, probably due to the relative land cover (10% vs. 20%, respectively) of erect shrubs in both areas, which affects their overall contribution to the NDVI. In both regions Salix lanata biomass peaks in the second half of July. Hand-held leaf area index data from Yamal indicate a significant difference between loamy/clayey and sandy sites. We hypothesized that this same variation would be evident at the

  8. Beneficial Hydrologic Relations Between Evergreen Woody Shrubs and Food Crops In the Peanut Basin, Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogie, N. A.; Bayala, R.; McCants, T.; Bethel, D.; Diedhiou, I.; Dick, R.; Ghezzehei, T. A.

    2012-12-01

    The soils of the Sahel and surrounding regions are threatened by soil degradation and desertification that can lead to significant reduction in food supply. In Senegal, millet and peanut crops are grown in rotation in fields, where to varying degrees, two native shrubs Piliostigma reticulatum, and Guiera senegalensis are allowed to exist. Previous work established that the presence of shrubs increased moisture content, organic matter, crop yield, and ground water recharge beneath shrub canopies. However, relatively little is known about the mechanism controlling nutrient and water relations between the rhizospheres of the crops and shrubs. Therefore, the objective of this ongoing research is to provide mechanistic explanation for why and how the shrubs aid the crop productivity. This research involves field measurements of: crop yield and physiological responses to water stress, water balance, and meteorological data at two sites in the Peanut Basin of Senegal -- a northern site in Kuer Matar (with annual rainfall of 400-500 mm) for G. senegalensis and a southern site in Nioro du Rip (with 600-800 mm annual rainfall) for P. reticulatum. Although a water balance was performed once in the past, it is important to track water dynamics due to large fluctuations in precipitation and rainfall intensity. Interpretation of current observations is aided by numerical simulations using the HYDRUS 1D model calibrated against field data. Preliminary observations from Nioro du Rip show no significant difference between treatments in leaf area index or leaf water potential throughout the daily cycle (predawn, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and evening) 30 days after sowing (DAS) and during a period of ample rainfall for crop establishment. There were, however, increases of 12.4mm and 13.0mm in profile moisture storage between sole crop and crop and shrub treatments from 20cm to 250cm depth at Keur Matar and Nioro du Rip, respectively. These profile moisture values come from the

  9. ANS ultraviolet observations of dwarf Cepheids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturch, C. R.; Wu, C.-C.

    1983-01-01

    Ultraviolet observations of three dwarf Cepheids (VZ Cnc, SX Phe, and AI Vel) are presented. The UV light curves are consistent with those in the visual region. When compared to standard stars, all three dwarf Cepheids exhibit flux deficiencies at the shortest observed wavelengths. The most extreme deficiencies appear for SX Phe; these may be related to the other properties previously noted for this star, including low metallicity, high space motion, and low luminosity.

  10. Formation of Brown Dwarfs LTSA 2001

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oliversen, Ronald J. (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    The goals of the work funded by this grant are: 1) The measurement of the mass function and minimum mass of free-floating brown dwarfs down to the mass of Jupiter. 2) The measurement of the frequency of wide brown dwarf and planetary companions down to the mass of Jupiter as function of primary mass (0.02-2 Msun), age (1-10 Myr), and environment (clusters vs. dispersed regions).

  11. Effects of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon in global grasslands.

    PubMed

    Li, He; Shen, Haihua; Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Taoyu; Hu, Huifeng; Zhao, Xia; Zhou, Luhong; Zhang, Pujin; Fang, Jingyun

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) content at broad scales and its controls. We conducted a meta-analysis using paired control data of shrub-encroached grassland (SEG) vs. non-SEG collected from 142 studies worldwide. SOC contents (0-50 cm) were altered by shrub encroachment, with changes ranging from -50% to + 300%, with an effect size of 0.15 (p < 0.01). The SOC contents increased in semi-arid and humid regions, and showed a greater rate of increase in grassland encroached by leguminous shrubs than by non-legumes. The SOC content decreased in silty and clay soils but increased in sand, sandy loam and sandy clay loam. The SOC content increment was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and temperature as well as with soil bulk density but significantly negatively correlated with soil total nitrogen. We conclude the main effects of shrub encroachment would be to increase topsoil organic carbon content. As structural equation model revealed, soils properties seem to be the primary factors responsible for the extent of the changes, coarse textured soils having a greater capacity than fine textured soils to increase the SOC content. This increased effect appears to be secondarily enhanced by climate and plant elements. PMID:27388145

  12. Effects of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon in global grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Li, He; Shen, Haihua; Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Taoyu; Hu, Huifeng; Zhao, Xia; Zhou, Luhong; Zhang, Pujin; Fang, Jingyun

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) content at broad scales and its controls. We conducted a meta-analysis using paired control data of shrub-encroached grassland (SEG) vs. non-SEG collected from 142 studies worldwide. SOC contents (0–50 cm) were altered by shrub encroachment, with changes ranging from −50% to + 300%, with an effect size of 0.15 (p < 0.01). The SOC contents increased in semi-arid and humid regions, and showed a greater rate of increase in grassland encroached by leguminous shrubs than by non-legumes. The SOC content decreased in silty and clay soils but increased in sand, sandy loam and sandy clay loam. The SOC content increment was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and temperature as well as with soil bulk density but significantly negatively correlated with soil total nitrogen. We conclude the main effects of shrub encroachment would be to increase topsoil organic carbon content. As structural equation model revealed, soils properties seem to be the primary factors responsible for the extent of the changes, coarse textured soils having a greater capacity than fine textured soils to increase the SOC content. This increased effect appears to be secondarily enhanced by climate and plant elements. PMID:27388145

  13. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert.

    PubMed

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-01

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions. PMID:26818575

  14. Modelling the shrub encroachment in a grassland with a Cellular Automata Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, D.; Noto, L. V.; Istanbulluoglu, E.

    2014-09-01

    Arid and semi-arid grasslands of southwestern North America have changed dramatically over the last 150 years as a result of shrub encroachment, i.e. the increase in density, cover and biomass of indigenous shrubby plants in grasslands. Numerous studies have documented the expansion of shrublands in the southwestern American grasslands; in particular shrub encroachment has occurred strongly in part of the northern Chihuahuan desert since 1860. This encroachment has been simulated using an ecohydrological Cellular Automata model, CATGraSS. It is a spatially distributed model driven by spatially explicit irradiance and runs on a fine-resolution gridded domain. Plant competition is modelled by keeping track of mortality and establishment of plants; both are calculated probabilistically based on soil moisture stress. For this study CATGraSS has been improved with a stochastic fire module and a grazing function. The model has been implemented in a small area in Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR), characterized by two vegetation types (grass savanna and creosote bush shrub), considering as encroachment causes the fire return period increase, the grazing increase, the seed dispersal caused by animals, the role of wind direction and plant type competition. The model is able to reproduce the encroachment that has occurred in SNWR, simulating an increase of the shrub from 2% in 1860 to the current shrub percentage, 42%, and highlighting among the most influential factors the reduced fire frequency and the increased grazing intensity.

  15. Effects of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon in global grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, He; Shen, Haihua; Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Taoyu; Hu, Huifeng; Zhao, Xia; Zhou, Luhong; Zhang, Pujin; Fang, Jingyun

    2016-07-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) content at broad scales and its controls. We conducted a meta-analysis using paired control data of shrub-encroached grassland (SEG) vs. non-SEG collected from 142 studies worldwide. SOC contents (0–50 cm) were altered by shrub encroachment, with changes ranging from ‑50% to + 300%, with an effect size of 0.15 (p < 0.01). The SOC contents increased in semi-arid and humid regions, and showed a greater rate of increase in grassland encroached by leguminous shrubs than by non-legumes. The SOC content decreased in silty and clay soils but increased in sand, sandy loam and sandy clay loam. The SOC content increment was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and temperature as well as with soil bulk density but significantly negatively correlated with soil total nitrogen. We conclude the main effects of shrub encroachment would be to increase topsoil organic carbon content. As structural equation model revealed, soils properties seem to be the primary factors responsible for the extent of the changes, coarse textured soils having a greater capacity than fine textured soils to increase the SOC content. This increased effect appears to be secondarily enhanced by climate and plant elements.

  16. Rapid revegetation by sowing seed mixtures of shrub and herbaceous species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, J. J.; Zhang, C. L.; Zhao, T. N.

    2015-01-01

    Fast revegetation by means of sowing seed mixture of shrub and herbaceous species is a measure to prevent bare soils from wind and water erosion. Field experiment was used to test the effect of species selection and the ratio of shrub to herbaceous species on vegetation formation and shrub growth. Results showed that herbaceous species hastened cover formation and maintained a high coverage for longer period. However, the growth of shrubs was hindered. In North China Plain or where the soil and climate are similar, the ratio of shrub to herbaceous seeds is proposed to be 6:4-7:3 (weight ratio). Among the herbaceous species tested, Festuca arundinacea Schreb. grows relatively slow so it should be mixed with other fast-growing species in the practice of rapid revegetation, and a seeding density lower than 6 g m-2 is proposed when applied; Orychophragmus violaceus O. E. Schulz. wilts when the seeds are ripe, leading to a significant decrease of coverage, so other species with different phenology should be involved when it is applied; Viola philippica Car. is a good ground cover plant, which grows fast and maintains a stable coverage form July to October, and a seeding density of 1.5 g m-2 is proposed for rapid revegetation.

  17. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert.

    PubMed

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-28

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions.

  18. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-01

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions.

  19. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert

    PubMed Central

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-01

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions. PMID:26818575

  20. Electrostatic Interactions between Elongated Monomers Drive Filamentation of Drosophila Shrub, a Metazoan ESCRT-III Protein.

    PubMed

    McMillan, Brian J; Tibbe, Christine; Jeon, Hyesung; Drabek, Andrew A; Klein, Thomas; Blacklow, Stephen C

    2016-08-01

    The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) is a conserved protein complex that facilitates budding and fission of membranes. It executes a key step in many cellular events, including cytokinesis and multi-vesicular body formation. The ESCRT-III protein Shrub in flies, or its homologs in yeast (Snf7) or humans (CHMP4B), is a critical polymerizing component of ESCRT-III needed to effect membrane fission. We report the structural basis for polymerization of Shrub and define a minimal region required for filament formation. The X-ray structure of the Shrub core shows that individual monomers in the lattice interact in a staggered arrangement using complementary electrostatic surfaces. Mutations that disrupt interface salt bridges interfere with Shrub polymerization and function. Despite substantial sequence divergence and differences in packing interactions, the arrangement of Shrub subunits in the polymer resembles that of Snf7 and other family homologs, suggesting that this intermolecular packing mechanism is shared among ESCRT-III proteins. PMID:27452459

  1. Impacts of shrub encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning: towards a global synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Eldridge, David J.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Roger, Erin; Reynolds, James F.; Whitford, Walter G.

    2013-01-01

    Encroachment of woody plants into grasslands has generated considerable interest among ecologists. Syntheses of encroachment effects on ecosystem processes have been limited in extent and confined largely to pastoral land uses or particular geographical regions. We used univariate analyses, meta-analysis and structural equation modeling to test the propositions that 1) shrub encroachment does not necessarily lead to declines in ecosystem functions, and 2) shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Analyses of 43 ecosystem attributes from 244 case studies worldwide showed that some attributes consistently increased with encroachment (e.g. soil C, N), and others declined (e.g. grass cover, pH), but most exhibited variable responses. Traits of shrubs were associated with significant, though weak, structural and functional outcomes of encroachment. Our review revealed that encroachment had mixed effects on ecosystem structure and functioning at global scales, and that shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Thus, a simple designation of encroachment as a process leading to functionally, structurally or contextually degraded ecosystems is not supported by a critical analysis of existing literature. Our results highlight that the commonly established link between shrub encroachment and degradation is not universal. PMID:21592276

  2. NLTT 5306: the shortest period detached white dwarf+brown dwarf binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, P. R.; Saglia, R. P.; Burleigh, M. R.; Marsh, T. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Lawrie, K.; Cappetta, M.; Girven, J.; Napiwotzki, R.

    2013-03-01

    We have spectroscopically confirmed a brown dwarf mass companion to the hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf NLTT 5306. The white dwarf's atmospheric parameters were measured using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and X-shooter spectroscopy as Teff = 7756 ± 35 K and log(g) = 7.68 ± 0.08, giving a mass for the primary of MWD = 0.44 ± 0.04 M⊙ at a distance of 71 ± 4 pc with a cooling age of 710 ± 50 Myr. The existence of the brown dwarf secondary was confirmed through the near-infrared arm of the X-shooter data and a spectral type of dL4-dL7 was estimated using standard spectral indices. Combined radial velocity measurements from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, X-shooter and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope's High Resolution Spectrograph of the white dwarf give a minimum mass of 56 ± 3 MJup for the secondary, confirming the substellar nature. The period of the binary was measured as 101.88 ± 0.02 min using both the radial velocity data and i'-band variability detected with the Isaac Newton Telescope. This variability indicates `day' side heating of the brown dwarf companion. We also observe Hα emission in our higher resolution data in phase with the white dwarf radial velocity, indicating that this system is in a low level of accretion, most likely via a stellar wind. This system represents the shortest period white dwarf+brown dwarf binary and the secondary has survived a stage of common envelope evolution, much like its longer period counterpart, WD 0137-349. Both systems likely represent bona fide progenitors of cataclysmic variables with a low-mass white dwarf and a brown dwarf donor.

  3. Spectroscopy of Hyades L dwarf candidates★

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lodieu, N.; Boudreault, S.; Béjar, V. J. S.

    2014-12-01

    We present the results of photometric, astrometric, and spectroscopic follow-up of L dwarf candidates identified in the Hyades cluster by Hogan et al. We obtained low-resolution optical spectroscopy with the Optical System for Imaging and low-intermediate Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy spectrograph on the Gran Telescopio de Canarias for all 12 L dwarf candidates as well as new J-band imaging for a subsample of 8 to confirm their proper motion. We also present mid-infrared photometry from the Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer for the Hyades L and T dwarf candidates and estimate their spectroscopic distances, effective temperatures, and masses. We confirm the cool nature of several L dwarf candidates and confirm astrometrically their membership, bridging the gap between the coolest M dwarfs and the two T dwarfs previously reported in the Hyades cluster. These members represent valuable spectral templates at an age of 625 Myr and slightly supersolar metallicity (Fe/H = +0.13). We update the Hyades mass function across the hydrogen-burning limit and in the substellar regime. We confirm a small number numbers of very low mass members below ˜0.1 M⊙ belonging to the Hyades cluster.

  4. MICROLENSING BINARIES WITH CANDIDATE BROWN DWARF COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, I.-G.; Han, C.; Gould, A.; Skowron, J.; Udalski, A.; Szymanski, M. K.; Kubiak, M.; Soszynski, I.; Pietrzynski, G.; Poleski, R.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Kozlowski, S.; Wyrzykowski, L.; Sumi, T.; Dominik, M.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Tsapras, Y.; Bozza, V.; Abe, F.; Collaboration: OGLE Collaboration; MOA Collaboration; muFUN Collaboration; and others

    2012-12-01

    Brown dwarfs are important objects because they may provide a missing link between stars and planets, two populations that have dramatically different formation histories. In this paper, we present the candidate binaries with brown dwarf companions that are found by analyzing binary microlensing events discovered during the 2004-2011 observation seasons. Based on the low mass ratio criterion of q < 0.2, we found seven candidate events: OGLE-2004-BLG-035, OGLE-2004-BLG-039, OGLE-2007-BLG-006, OGLE-2007-BLG-399/MOA-2007-BLG-334, MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172, MOA-2011-BLG-149, and MOA-201-BLG-278/OGLE-2011-BLG-012N. Among them, we are able to confirm that the companions of the lenses of MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149 are brown dwarfs by determining the mass of the lens based on the simultaneous measurement of the Einstein radius and the lens parallax. The measured masses of the brown dwarf companions are 0.02 {+-} 0.01 M {sub Sun} and 0.019 {+-} 0.002 M {sub Sun} for MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149, respectively, and both companions are orbiting low-mass M dwarf host stars. More microlensing brown dwarfs are expected to be detected as the number of lensing events with well-covered light curves increases with new-generation searches.

  5. Nonlinear Analysis of Pulsating White Dwarf Lightcurves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, J. L.; Montgomery, M. H.; Shipman, H.; WET TEam

    2015-06-01

    Convection remains one of the largest sources of theoretical uncertainty in our understanding of stellar physics. For example, Bergeron (1995) show that basic parameters such as flux, line profiles, energy distribution, color indices, and equivalent widths are extremely sensitive to the assumed convective parameterization. This is compelling, since we use our knowledge of these basic parameters to calibrate white dwarf cooling sequences, provide detailed estimates for the ages of individual white dwarfs, and determine the age of the Galactic disk. The Whole Earth Telescope (WET) is engaged in a long term project to empirically calibrate the physical properties of convection in pulsating white dwarfs by combining asteroseismology and analysis of nonlinear light curves. Nonsinusoidal distortions, in the form of narrow peaks and wider valleys, are observed in many pulsating white dwarf light curves. These are a reflection of the local depth of the convection zone, a value which varies during a pulsation cycle. Applying asteroseismology and convective light curve fitting to a wide sample of pulsating white dwarfs provides an empirical map of how the convective response time (the convection zone “depth”) varies as a function of effective temperature, and this can be compared with theoretical models, both MLT and hydrodynamic. This project has resulted in a large database of white dwarf lightcurves and pulsation frequencies. We present current results for DA and DB pulsators, and provide a few examples of interesting pulsation behavior seen along the way.

  6. ON THE EVOLUTION OF MAGNETIC WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Freytag, B.; Steiner, O.; Ludwig, H.-G.; Steffen, M.; Wedemeyer, S.

    2015-10-10

    We present the first radiation magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the atmosphere of white dwarf stars. We demonstrate that convective energy transfer is seriously impeded by magnetic fields when the plasma-β parameter, the thermal-to-magnetic-pressure ratio, becomes smaller than unity. The critical field strength that inhibits convection in the photosphere of white dwarfs is in the range B = 1–50 kG, which is much smaller than the typical 1–1000 MG field strengths observed in magnetic white dwarfs, implying that these objects have radiative atmospheres. We have employed evolutionary models to study the cooling process of high-field magnetic white dwarfs, where convection is entirely suppressed during the full evolution (B ≳ 10 MG). We find that the inhibition of convection has no effect on cooling rates until the effective temperature (T{sub eff}) reaches a value of around 5500 K. In this regime, the standard convective sequences start to deviate from the ones without convection due to the convective coupling between the outer layers and the degenerate reservoir of thermal energy. Since no magnetic white dwarfs are currently known at the low temperatures where this coupling significantly changes the evolution, the effects of magnetism on cooling rates are not expected to be observed. This result contrasts with a recent suggestion that magnetic white dwarfs with T{sub eff} ≲ 10,000 K cool significantly slower than non-magnetic degenerates.

  7. HI in Local Group Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grcevich, Jana; Putman, Mary; Peek, Joshua E. G.

    2008-08-01

    The HI content of the newly discovered satellites of the Milky Way has not been previously studied. We use HIPASS (HI Parkes All Sky Survey), LAB (Leiden/Argentine/Bonn), and GALFA (Galactic Arecibo L-band Feed Array) survey data to explore HI in the environment of the newly discovered dwarf galaxies and add this information to what was previously known about HI in the dwarf spheroidal and lower mass dwarf irregular galaxies of the Local Group. All of the new satellites discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data have limits on their HI masses which range from <13 Msolar to 3×104 Msolar except for Leo T, which has and HI mass of approximately 105 Msolar. We find that galaxies within 300 kpc of the Milky Way or Andromeda are all undetected in HI to low limits, or have ambiguous detections, while those further than 300 kpc are predominantly detected with masses >105 Msolar. The most favored explanation for the lack of HI in dwarf galaxies at small galactocentric distances is ram pressure stripping of the gas in the dwarf galaxy by the larger galaxy's hot halo gas. Finally, we discuss the discovery in the GALFA data of discrete HI clouds with characteristics similar to known dwarf galaxies.

  8. Inverse distributed hydrological modelling of alpine catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunstmann, H.; Krause, J.; Mayr, S.

    2005-12-01

    Even in physically based distributed hydrological models, various remaining parameters must be estimated for each sub-catchment. This can involve tremendous effort, especially when the number of sub-catchments is large and the applied hydrological model is computationally expensive. Automatic parameter estimation tools can significantly facilitate the calibration process. Hence, we combined the nonlinear parameter estimation tool PEST with the distributed hydrological model WaSiM. PEST is based on the Gauss-Marquardt-Levenberg method, a gradient-based nonlinear parameter estimation algorithm. WaSiM is a fully distributed hydrological model using physically based algorithms for most of the process descriptions. WaSiM was applied to the alpine/prealpine Ammer River catchment (southern Germany, 710 km2) in a 100×100 m2 horizontal resolution. The catchment is heterogeneous in terms of geology, pedology and land use and shows a complex orography (the difference of elevation is around 1600 m). Using the developed PEST-WaSiM interface, the hydrological model was calibrated by comparing simulated and observed runoff at eight gauges for the hydrologic year 1997 and validated for the hydrologic year 1993. For each sub-catchment four parameters had to be calibrated: the recession constants of direct runoff and interflow, the drainage density, and the hydraulic conductivity of the uppermost aquifer. Additionally, five snowmelt specific parameters were adjusted for the entire catchment. Altogether, 37 parameters had to be calibrated. Additional a priori information (e.g. from flood hydrograph analysis) narrowed the parameter space of the solutions and improved the non-uniqueness of the fitted values. A reasonable quality of fit was achieved. Discrepancies between modelled and observed runoff were also due to the small number of meteorological stations and corresponding interpolation artefacts in the orographically complex terrain. A detailed covariance analysis was performed

  9. Inverse distributed hydrological modelling of Alpine catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunstmann, H.; Krause, J.; Mayr, S.

    2006-06-01

    Even in physically based distributed hydrological models, various remaining parameters must be estimated for each sub-catchment. This can involve tremendous effort, especially when the number of sub-catchments is large and the applied hydrological model is computationally expensive. Automatic parameter estimation tools can significantly facilitate the calibration process. Hence, we combined the nonlinear parameter estimation tool PEST with the distributed hydrological model WaSiM. PEST is based on the Gauss-Marquardt-Levenberg method, a gradient-based nonlinear parameter estimation algorithm. WaSiM is a fully distributed hydrological model using physically based algorithms for most of the process descriptions. WaSiM was applied to the alpine/prealpine Ammer River catchment (southern Germany, 710 km2 in a 100×100 m2 horizontal resolution. The catchment is heterogeneous in terms of geology, pedology and land use and shows a complex orography (the difference of elevation is around 1600 m). Using the developed PEST-WaSiM interface, the hydrological model was calibrated by comparing simulated and observed runoff at eight gauges for the hydrologic year 1997 and validated for the hydrologic year 1993. For each sub-catchment four parameters had to be calibrated: the recession constants of direct runoff and interflow, the drainage density, and the hydraulic conductivity of the uppermost aquifer. Additionally, five snowmelt specific parameters were adjusted for the entire catchment. Altogether, 37 parameters had to be calibrated. Additional a priori information (e.g. from flood hydrograph analysis) narrowed the parameter space of the solutions and improved the non-uniqueness of the fitted values. A reasonable quality of fit was achieved. Discrepancies between modelled and observed runoff were also due to the small number of meteorological stations and corresponding interpolation artefacts in the orographically complex terrain. Application of a 2-dimensional numerical

  10. Permafrost aggradation in recently deglaciated alpine environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leopold, Matthias; Dusik, Jana; Stocker-Waldhuber, Martin; Völkel, Jörg; Becht, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Permafrost degradation is of major interest in the present discussion about alpine climate change and natural hazard prevention. Glacial retreat since the Little Ice Age (LIA) is followed by destabilisation of the surrounding mountains due to melting permafrost in bedrock and sediments. Glacial retreat also exposes huge areas of lateral and ground moraines. Areas of formerly temperate glaciers experience colder temperatures only since their ice cover has melted and basal meltwater no longer heats the ground. With a huge pore volume in the sediment body, water supply during the melt season and large daily temperature variations in high mountains, distinct freeze and thaw processes start and generate periglacial forms like patterned ground in the direct glacier forefield. Those geomorphic features are precursors for possible permafrost aggradation in proglacial areas. The work presented is part of the joint project PROSA (High-resolution measurements of morphodynamics in rapidly changing PROglacial Systems of the Alps) that aims in the quantification of a sediment budget for the upper Kaunertal valley, Austrian Central Alps. In this sense and to find out about erosion causing prerequisites and processes, permafrost and ground ice occurrence, as well as sediment thickness is measured by i.a. application of geophysical measurements, multitemporal airborne and terrestrial LiDAR, as well as aerial photographs. In this case study we examine the spatial and temporal settings for permafrost aggradation in a recently deglaciated cirque, belonging to the catchment area of the Gepatschferner glacier using electric resistivity tomography (ERT) and basal temperature of the winterly snowcover (BTS) measurements to detect the state of the permafrost, multitemporal aerial photographs dating back to 1953 to reproduce recent deglaciation of the cirque and multitemporal airborne LiDAR data to gain information about surface elevation changes. The northeast facing cirque is situated in

  11. The Hunt for Dwarf Galaxies' Ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Dwarf galaxies are typically very faint, and are therefore hard to find. Given that, what are our chances of finding their distant ancestors, located billions of light-years away? A recent study aims to find out.Ancient CounterpartsDwarf galaxies are a hot topic right now, especially as we discover more and more of them nearby. Besides being great places to investigate a variety of astrophysical processes, local group dwarf galaxies are also representative of the most common type of galaxy in the universe. For many of these dwarf galaxies, their low masses and typically old stellar populations suggest that most of their stars were formed early in the universes history, and further star formation was suppressed when the universe was reionized at redshifts of z ~ 610. If this is true, most dwarf galaxies are essentially fossils: theyve evolved little since that point.To test this theory, wed like to find counterparts to our local group dwarf galaxies at these higher redshifts of z = 6 or 7. But dwarf galaxies, since they dont exhibit lots of active star formation, have very low surface brightnesses making them very difficult to detect. What are the chances that current or future telescope sensitivities will allow us to detect these? Thats the question Anna Patej and Abraham Loeb, two theorists at Harvard University, have addressed in a recent study.Entering a New RegimeThe surface brightness vs. size for 73 local dwarf galaxies scaled back to redshifts of z=6 (top) and z=7 (bottom). So far weve been able to observe high-redshift galaxies within the boxed region of the parameter space. JWST will open the shaded region of the parameter space, which includes some of the dwarf galaxies. [Patej Loeb 2015]Starting from observational data for 87 Local-Group dwarf galaxies, Patej and Loeb used a stellar population synthesis code to evolve the galaxies backward in time to redshifts of z = 6 and 7. Next, they narrowed this sample to only those dwarfs for which most star

  12. The Hunt for Missing Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-11-01

    Theories of galaxy formation and evolution predict that there should be significantly more dwarf galaxies than have been observed. Are our theories wrong? Or are dwarf galaxies just difficult to detect? Recent results from a survey of a galaxy cluster 62 million light-years away suggest there may be lots of undiscovered dwarf galaxies hiding throughout the universe!Hiding in FaintnessThe missing dwarf problem has had hints of a resolution with the recent discovery of Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies (UDGs) in the Coma and Virgo galaxy clusters. UDGs have low masses and large radii, resulting in a very low surface brightness that makes them extremely difficult to detect. If many dwarfs are UDGs, this could well explain why weve been missing them!But the Coma and Virgo galaxy clusters are similar in that theyre both very massive. Are there UDGs in other galaxy clusters as well? To answer this question, an international team of scientists is running the Next Generation Fornax Survey (NGFS), a survey searching for faint dwarf galaxies in the central 30 square degrees of the Fornax galaxy cluster.The NGFS uses near-UV and optical observations from the Dark Energy Camera mounted on the 4m Blanco Telescope in Chile. The survey is still underway, but in a recent publication led by Roberto P. Muoz (Institute of Astrophysics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile), the team has released an overview of the first results from only the central 3 square degrees of the NGFS field.Surprising DetectionGalaxy radii vs. their absolute i-band magnitudes, for the dwarfs found in NGFS as well as other stellar systems in the nearby universe. The NGFS dwarfs are similar to the ultra-diffuse dwarfs found in the Virgo and Coma clusters, but are several orders of magnitude fainter. [Muoz et al. 2015]In just this small central field, the team has found an astounding 284 low-surface-brightness dwarf galaxy candidates 158 of them previously undetected. At the bright end of this sample are dwarf

  13. Alpine Skiing: Special Olympics Sports Skills Instructional Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, Washington, DC.

    The first of five guides in the Sports Skills Instructional Program focuses on teaching alpine skiing to mentally retarded students. Each unit contains the following elements: overview, long-term goal, short-term objectives, modifications and adaptations, sports skill assessment, teaching skill, skill sequence, task analysis, teaching suggestions,…

  14. Identification of odorant receptors from the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota).

    PubMed

    Matarazzo, V; Tirard, A; Renucci, M; Botto, J M; Bel, M C; Claverie, J M; Belaïch, A; Clement, J L

    2000-11-01

    Alpine Marmots (Marmota marmota) are a good model to study intraspecific chemical communication among mammals. This species has been subjected to several behavioural and biochemical studies regarding both their scent-marking behaviour by cheek-rubbing, and the chemical composition of their glandular secretions. However, no molecular study has been undertaken until today on proteins from the olfactory epithelium possibly implicated in chemical perception. In this study, we identified, to our knowledge for the first time, some olfatory receptors from this wild rodent. Starting with olfactory epithelium of an Alpine Marmot, and by mean of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction technique (RT-PCR), we isolated fourteen partial sequences that exhibited a high degree of homology (45-92%) with olfactory receptors from other vertebrates. Conserved identities and structural features clearly defined these Alpine Marmot sequences as members of the seven transmembrane domain olfactory receptors. All sequences were observed as belonging to known olfactory receptor families and were classified into ten subfamilies of the tetrapods OR class. Finally, Northern blot analysis revealed specific expression of these sequences in the Alpine Marmot olfactory epithelium tissue.

  15. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge.

    PubMed

    Chamberlain, Dan E; Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds). For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  16. Stable isotopes in alpine precipitation as tracers of atmospheric deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasiuta, V. L.; Lafreniere, M. J.; Kyser, T. K.; Norman, A. L.; Mayer, B.; Wieser, M.

    2010-12-01

    Alpine ecosystems, which are generally nutrient poor and exist under extreme climatic conditions, are particularly sensitive to environmental and climatic stressors. Studies in the USA Rocky Mountains and European Alps have shown that alpine terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are particularly sensitive to enhanced deposition of reactive nitrogen and can show ecologically destructive responses at relatively low levels of nitrogen deposition. However, there is no base line for atmospheric deposition of natural and anthropogenic contaminants in the Canadian alpine. Preliminary results of isotopic and chemical analyses of precipitation from an elevational transect on a glaciated alpine site in the Canadian Rockies are presented. Precipitation accumulating from early autumn through to spring (2008/2009 and 2009/2010) was sampled by means of seasonal snow cover on alpine glaciers. Summer precipitation was sampled through July and August 2010 using bulk collectors installed at the sites of winter sampling. The isotope ratios of dissolved sulphate (δ34S, δ18O), nitrogen (δ15N, δ18O), as well as precipitation (δ2H, δ18O) are utilized in addition to major ion concentrations and trace metal concentrations. Results from 2008/2009 snowpack samples indicate a strong seasonal trend in sulphate (SO42-) and nitrogen (NO3-) deposition which is consistent across the altitudinal transect. Snow horizons representing early autumn and spring precipitation show higher SO42- and NO3- concentrations in contrast to lower concentrations in winter horizons. The aforementioned suite of isotopic and chemical analyses are used to investigate the variability in dominant geographic source regions for atmospheric SO42- and NO3- (local, regional, or long range transported contaminants), as well as to identify contributions from the major biogeochemical source types (e.g. hydrocarbon combustion, lithogenic dust, agricultural emissions).

  17. Cold Brown Dwarfs with WISE: Y Dwarfs and the Field Mass Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, J. Davy

    2012-01-01

    Why study Brown Dwarf stars? They re the lowest mass byproducts of star formation.. They provide time capsules across the age of the Galaxy.. They show what low-T(sub eff) atmospheres look like.. They may be some of our closest neighbors in space..WISE is a 40cm Earth-orbiting telescope. There are 211 stars and only 33 brown dwarfs in this volume.. This means that stars outnumber brown dwarfs by a factor of 6:1 currently.. The number of brown dwarfs will continue to increase if:: (a) more nearby Y dwarf candidates are confirmed, or (b) our distances to known Y s are overestimated, or (c) there are colder BDs invisible to WISE..

  18. Modeling the shrub encroachment in the Northern Chihuahuan desert Grasslands using a Cellular Automata model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, Domenico; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Noto, Leonardo V.

    2014-05-01

    Arid grasslands of southwestern North America have changed dramatically over the last 150 years as a result of the shrub encroachment, i.e. the increase in density and biomass of indigenous shrubby plants in grasslands. Numerous studies have documented the expansion of shrublands in the southwestern America Grasslands; in particular the encroachment of shrubs in american deserts has strongly occurred in the Chihuahuan deserts from 1860. The Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR), located in the northern Chihuahuan desert shows a dramatic encroachment front of creosote bush (i.e., shrub) into native desert grassland. This encroachment has been here simulated using an Ecohydrological Cellular Automata Model, CATGraSS. CATGraSS is a spatially distributed model driven by spatially explicit irradiance and runs on a fine-resolution gridded domain. In the model, each cell can hold a single plant type or can represent bare soil. Plant competition is modeled by keeping track of mortality and establishment of plants, both calculated probabilistically based on soil moisture stress. For this study, the model is improved with a stochastic fire and a grazing function, and its plant establishment algorithm is modified. CATGraSS is implemented in a small area (7.3 km2) in SNWR, characterized by two vegetation types: grass savanna and creosote bush. The causes that have been considered for the encroachment in this case study are: the fire return period increase, the grazing increase, the seed dispersal caused by animals, the role of wind direction and the shrub-grass inhibition effect. The model is able to reproduce the encroachment occurred in the SNWR basin, simulating an increasing of the shrub from 2% in 1860 to 42% (i.e., current shrub percentage) in 2010 highlighting as more influent factors the reduced fire frequency and the increased grazing intensity. For the future management and encroachment control, the reduction of the fire return period and the grazing removal

  19. Spatial variation in hydraulic redistribution by the desert shrub, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, at multiple scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, J. H.; Donovan, L. A.

    2012-12-01

    Passive water movement through roots from moist to dry soils, i.e. hydraulic redistribution, can be important for plant water status, vegetation water use, nutrient acquisition and cycling, and competition/facilitation among plant species. Although hydraulic redistribution is known from many species and habitats, little is known about how it varies at multiple spatial scales across species ranges. In the Mono Basin, California ecosystem we documented variation in hydraulic redistribution by the desert halophytic shrub, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, at three spatial scales: landscape, shrub-island versus interspace, and depth. Hydraulic redistribution varied among sites across the landscape. It was most prevalent at a low salinity site with deep groundwater (9.4 m), but of lower magnitude at more saline sites with shallower groundwater. At the low salinity site, infiltration from snowmelt, the predominant precipitation input, was confined to interspaces between shrub islands. Shrub-island soils remained very dry after snowmelt, even in a year with high total snow accumulation. Shrub-island soils, however, had substantial net increases in Ψsoil during week- to month-long periods in the early part of the growing season, concomitant with self-irrigated root growth into these dry soils, as documented with mini-rhizotrons. The source of this root-system-transported water was both moist interspace soils and moist deep soil layers. Wetting up of otherwise dry shrub-island soils is likely essential for nutrient mineralization and acquisition from trapped litter, making hydraulic redistribution an important driver of landscape-scale biogeochemical cycles in these saline basins. In addition, hydraulic redistribution buffered spatial variation in water availability among sites, depths, depth to groundwater, and for plants with different root distributions, such that plant Ψpredawn and Ψmidday differed little across the landscape. Multi-scale variation in hydraulic redistribution

  20. Rapid revegetation by sowing seed mixtures of shrub and herbaceous species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, J.; Zhang, C.; Zhao, T.; Zhang, Q.

    2015-05-01

    Fast revegetation by means of sowing seed mixtures of shrub and herbaceous species is a measure to prevent bare soils from wind and water erosion. A field experiment was used to test the effect of species selection and the ratio of shrub to herbaceous species on vegetation formation and shrub growth. Results showed that herbaceous species hastened cover formation and maintained a high coverage for a longer period. However, the growth of shrubs was hindered. In the North China Plain or where the soil and climate are similar, the ratio of shrub to herbaceous seeds is proposed to be 6 : 4-7 : 3 (weight ratio). Among the herbaceous species tested, Festuca arundinacea Schreb. grows relatively slow, so it should be mixed with other fast-growing species in the practice of rapid revegetation, and a seeding density lower than 6 g m-2 is proposed when applied; Orychophragmus violaceus O. E. Schulz. wilts when the seeds are ripe, leading to a significant decrease of coverage, so other species with different phenology should be involved when it is applied; Viola philippica Car. is a good ground cover plant which grows fast and maintains a stable coverage from July to October, and a seeding density of 1.5 g m-2 is proposed for rapid revegetation. Herbaceous species have different traits. Three different types of herbs were found in our experiment: slow-growing stable species (F. arundinacea), fast-growing unstable species (O. violaceus) and fast-growing stable species (V. philippica). Shrubs, slow-growing stable species and fast-growing unstable species should not be used alone because they cannot cover the ground fast or they cannot maintain a long period of good coverage. A small seeding rate of fast-growing stable species should be used to ensure a fair coverage against erosion. Because natural environmental conditions are heterogeneous and stochastic, more species should be added to enhance the stability of plant community.

  1. Building an Unusual White-Dwarf Duo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-09-01

    A new study has examined how the puzzling wide binary system HS 2220+2146 which consists of two white dwarfs orbiting each other might have formed. This system may be an example of a new evolutionary pathway for wide white-dwarf binaries.Evolution of a BinaryMore than 100 stellar systems have been discovered consisting of two white dwarfs in a wide orbit around each other. How do these binaries form? In the traditional picture, the system begins as a binary consisting of two main-sequence stars. Due to the large separation between the stars, the stars evolve independently, each passing through the main-sequence and giant branches and ending their lives as white dwarfs.An illustration of a hierarchical triple star system, in which two stars orbit each other, and a third star orbits the pair. [NASA/JPL-Caltech]Because more massive stars evolve more quickly, the most massive of the two stars in a binary pair should be the first to evolve into a white dwarf. Consequently, when we observe a double-white-dwarf binary, its usually a safe bet that the more massive of the two white dwarfs will also be the older and cooler of the pair, since it should have formed first.But in the case of the double-white-dwarf binary HS 2220+2146, the opposite is true: the more massive of the two white dwarfs appears to be the younger and hotter of the pair. If it wasnt created in the traditional way, then how did this system form?Two From Three?Led by Jeff Andrews (Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Greece and Columbia University), a team of scientists recently examined this system more carefully, analyzing its spectra to confirm our understanding of the white dwarfs temperatures and masses.Based on their observations, Andrews and collaborators determined that there are no hidden additional companions that could have caused the unusual evolution of this system. Instead, the team proposed that this unusual binary might be an example of an evolutionary channel that involves three

  2. Role of nurse shrubs for restoration planting of two conifers in southeast of Mu Us Sandland, China.

    PubMed

    Tian, Li; Wang, Xiaoan

    2015-01-01

    Two-year-old pine seedlings, Pinus tabulaeformis and Pinus sylvestris were planted under the canopies of three shrub species and in open areas to test for facilitation during seedling establishment in southeast of Mu Us Sandland in northern part of Shaanxi, China. Pine seedlings establishment were assessed three times within three consecutive growing seasons. Height, area and volume of shrubs were measured. Microclimate conditions (light intensity, air temperature and soil temperature and moisture) were recorded in four microhabitats. Near surface light intensity, air temperature and soil temperature were lower under shrubs, which led to higher soil moisture and pine seedlings under the canopy of shrub species. Pine seedlings survival was remarkably higher when planted under the canopy of shrub species (65.7% for P. tabulaeformis and 60.6% for P. sylvestris) as compared with open areas (22.4% for P. tabulaeformis and 38% for P. sylvestris). P. tabulaeformis with shade-tolerance trait expressed high survival of seedlings as compared to that of P. sylvestris seedlings under the canopy of shrub species (Tukey test, P < 0.05). Leguminous shrub (Caragana korshinskii and Amorpha fruticosa) showed continuously facilitation during moderate drought stress (summer 2012, 2013 and 2014), but dense and small shrub (Caragana korshinskii) reduced the establishment of seedlings possibly for light competition. Salix cheilophila showed a facilitation effect in growing seasons, but the effect of allelopathy led to high mortality of seedlings under their canopy. in addition, two pine growths were not inhibited when planted under three shrubs. In conclusions, nurse-shrub facilitation can be used as an effective restoration strategy in this sandland. However, use of shrubs as nurse plants depends on their canopy structure and ecological impacts; the selection of target species depends on their shade tolerance traits. PMID:26536812

  3. RE 0044+09: A new K dwarf rapid rotator with a white dwarf companion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kellett, Barry J.; Bromage, Gordon E.; Brown, Alexander; Jeffries, Robin D.; James, David J.; Kilkenny, David; Robb, Russell M.; Wonnacott, David; Lloyd, Christopher; Clayton, C.

    1995-01-01

    We report the discovery of a new K dwarf rapid rotator with a potential white dwarf companion. The white dwarf accounts for over 90% of the observed extreme ultraviolet flux detected from this system. Analysis of ROSAT Wide Field Camera (WFC) and IUE data both suggest a white dwarf temperature of approximately 28,700 K. Optical photometry and the IUE long wavelength prime (LWP) spectrum (with the white dwarf contribution removed) imply that the late-type star has a spectral type of K1-3 V, and a distance of 55 +/- 5 pc. Using this distance, the observed IUE SWP flux, and the best-fit temperature results in a white dwarf radius of 0.0088 solar radius. The estimated white dwarf mass is then approximately 0.91 solar mass; somewhat over-massive compared to field white dwarfs. Optical photometry of the K star reveals a 'spot' modulation period of approximately 10 hr (now observed over 3 yr). However, radial velocity observations have revealed no significant variations. Spectroscopic observations place a low limit on the lithium abundance, but do show rapid rotation with a v sin i of 90 +/- 10 km/s. The K star was detected as a radio source at 3.6 cm (on two occasions) and 6 cm by the Very Large Array (VLA). The most likely evolutionary scenario is that the K star and hot white dwarf from either a wide binary or common proper motion pair with an age of 0.1-0.1 Gyr-consistent with the evolutionary timescale of the white dwarf and the rapid rotation of the K star. However, from the proper motion of the K star, this system does not seem to be associated with any of the known young stellar groups.

  4. On the influence of the height of expanding shrub vegetation on boreal climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonfils, C.; Phillips, T. J.; Riley, W. J.; Post, W. M.; Cameron-Smith, P. J.; Torn, M. S.

    2010-12-01

    Rapid changes in arctic vegetation are in progress in response to many factors including global warming, changing permafrost and snow and nutrient regimes. These land-cover changes include a redistribution of local vegetation types as well as northward migration of lower-latitude species and a greater cover of plants. Among others, multiple lines of evidence show that the abundance of arctic shrubs has already increased, and a northward shift of shrub-dominated tundra (as predicted using global dynamical vegetation models) may contribute further to future warming. As participants in the U.S. Department of Energy IMPACTS Project, we are investigating the potential for abrupt arctic climatic change resulting from such variations in vegetation, among other mechanisms. In a previous study, we estimated the relative magnitudes of effects to be expected from an extension of arctic shrub vegetation, in conducting several numerical experiments with the Community Climate System Model (CCSM). These experiments included 1) A “present-day-climate” control experiment with current atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations and with “standard” CLM plant functional types (PFTs) specified, and 2) An “expanded-shrub-type" run, in which bare ground is replaced by CLM arctic shrubs northward of their current locations. These runs allowed us to investigate the possibility of strong positive feedbacks through increased transpiration and decreased albedo, but also highlighted the possibility of the importance of height of shrubs in the strengths of those feedbacks. For this study, we performed an additional experiment, in which bare ground is replaced, this time by higher shrubs. This should allow us to confirm the importance of shrub height. These runs should help to justify the augmentation of CCSM "standard" PFTs by additional, more realistic circumarctic PFTs, which is a main aspect of this IMPACTs Project. We will report on the atmospheric climate and land-surface feedbacks

  5. Lichens and mosses on shrub-steppe soils in Southeastern Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Link, Steven O.; Ryan, Bruce D.; Downs, Janelle L. ); Cadwell, Larry L. ); Soll, Jonathan A.; Hawke, Mary Ann; Ponzetti, Jeanne

    2001-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify the lichens and mosses found on soils of the shrub-steppe at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington. Thirteen sites primarily at low elevation were intensively sampled. Twenty nine lichens and six moss species were identified. Three lichens were considered undescribed species. Based on comparison with other studies and herbarium records, we conclude the soil lichen flora of the Hanford Site is substantially different than that of the Great Basin or of the shrub-steppe in Idaho.

  6. Environmental Limits of Tall Shrubs in Alaska’s Arctic National Parks

    PubMed Central

    Swanson, David K.

    2015-01-01

    We sampled shrub canopy volume (height times area) and environmental factors (soil wetness, soil depth of thaw, soil pH, mean July air temperature, and typical date of spring snow loss) on 471 plots across five National Park Service units in northern Alaska. Our goal was to determine the environments where tall shrubs thrive and use this information to predict the location of future shrub expansion. The study area covers over 80,000 km2 and has mostly tundra vegetation. Large canopy volumes were uncommon, with volumes over 0.5 m3/m2 present on just 8% of plots. Shrub canopy volumes were highest where mean July temperatures were above 10.5°C and on weakly acid to neutral soils (pH of 6 to 7) with deep summer thaw (>80 cm) and good drainage. On many sites, flooding helped maintain favorable soil conditions for shrub growth. Canopy volumes were highest where the typical snow loss date was near 20 May; these represent sites that are neither strongly wind-scoured in the winter nor late to melt from deep snowdrifts. Individual species varied widely in the canopy volumes they attained and their response to the environmental factors. Betula sp. shrubs were the most common and quite tolerant of soil acidity, cold July temperatures, and shallow thaw depths, but they did not form high-volume canopies under these conditions. Alnus viridis formed the largest canopies and was tolerant of soil acidity down to about pH 5, but required more summer warmth (over 12°C) than the other species. The Salix species varied widely from S. pulchra, tolerant of wet and moderately acid soils, to S. alaxensis, requiring well-drained soils with near neutral pH. Nearly half of the land area in ARCN has mean July temperatures of 10.5 to 12.5°C, where 2°C of warming would bring temperatures into the range needed for all of the potential tall shrub species to form large canopies. However, limitations in the other environmental factors would probably prevent the formation of large shrub canopies

  7. Soil moisture redistribution as a mechanism of facilitation in savanna tree-shrub clusters.

    PubMed

    Zou, C B; Barnes, P W; Archer, S; McMurtry, C R

    2005-08-01

    Plant-soil water relations were examined in the context of a selective removal study conducted in tree-shrub communities occupying different but contiguous soil types (small discrete clusters on shallow, duplex soils versus larger, extensive groves on deep, sandy soils) in a subtropical savanna parkland. We (1) tested for the occurrence of soil moisture redistribution by hydraulic lift (HL), (2) determined the influence of edaphic factors on HL, and (3) evaluated the significance of HL for overstory tree-understory shrub interactions. Diel cycling and nocturnal increases in soil water potential (Psisoil), characteristic signatures of HL, occurred intermittently throughout an annual growth cycle in both communities over a range of moisture levels (Psisoil=-0.5 to -6.0 MPa) but only when soils were distinctly stratified with depth (dry surface/wet deep soil layers). The magnitude of mean (+/-SE) diel fluctuations in Psisoil (0.19+/-0.01 MPa) did not differ on the two community types, though HL occurred more frequently in groves (deep soils) than clusters (shallow soils). Selective removal of either Prosopis glandulosa overstory or mixed-species shrub understory reduced the frequency of HL, indicating that Prosopis and at least one other woody species was conducting HL. For Zanthoxylum fagara, a shallow-rooted understory shrub, Prosopis removal from clusters decreased leaf water potential (Psileaf) and net CO2 exchange (A) during periods of HL. In contrast, overstory removal had neutral to positive effects on more deeply-rooted shrub species (Berberis trifoliolata and Condalia hookeri). Removal of the shrub understory in groves increased A in the overstory Prosopis. Results indicate the following: (a) HL is common but temporally dynamic in these savanna tree-shrub communities; (b) edaphic factors influencing the degree of overstory/understory development, rooting patterns and soil moisture distribution influence HL; (c) net interactions between overstory and

  8. Soil development as limiting factor for shrub expansion in southwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caviezel, Chatrina; Hunziker, Matthias; Zoller, Oliver; Wüthrich, Christoph; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2014-05-01

    Southern Greenland currently experiences an increase in summer temperatures and a prolonged growing season (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2012), resulting in an increased shrub cover at the boreal - tundra border ecotone (Normand et al. 2013). These findings suggest the beginning of a greener Greenland in which tundra vegetation is transformed to a boreal woody flora. However, vegetation at borderline ecotones is influenced by further ecologic factors than just temperature. In this study, the ecologic conditions at a selection of sites along an elevation gradient near Igaliku in southern Greenland were examined to identify potential factors limiting the expansion of woody vegetation apart from temperature. The sites differ in elevation, topography, shrub density and soil parent material. The three study sites comprise i) well established birch shrubs growing between 50 and 180 m a.s.l., where the parent material origins from the Julianehab granite (Brooks 2012); ii) extended shrub patches at about 250 m a.s.l., where the parent material consists of Gardar Sandstones and Lavas (Brooks 2012) and iii) restricted shrub patches at an elevation of 250 m a.s.l., where the soil parent material originates from the Gardar intrusions (Brooks 2012). The extent of the shrub areas, topography and soil moisture were mapped, additionally soil samples were analyzed for C-and N-content, texture including coarse fraction and pH and used as soil development indicators. Our results show that the topographic setting regulates the existence or absence of soil while the soil parent material is an important limiting factor for soil moisture. According to these findings, we suggest that a high proportion of areas where temperature increase would allow the increase of shrub cover is not suitable for a woody flora. Brooks, Kent. 2012. "A Tale of Two Intrusions—where Familiar Rock Names No Longer Suffice." Geology Today 28 (1): 13-19. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2451.2012.00815.x. Masson-Delmotte, V., D

  9. Northwest Arid Lands : an introduction to the Columbia Basin shrub-steppe

    SciTech Connect

    O'Connor, Georganne P. ); Wieda, Karen J. )

    2001-04-15

    This book explores the rich variety of life in shrub-steppe lands of the Columbia River Basin. It describes, for a non-technical audience, the flora, fauna, and geology of the lower Columbia Basin in and around the Tri-Cities, Washington. Features include color photos and maps of shrub-steppe plants and animals; lists and illustration of common plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, and species of conservation concern; tips on places to see wildflowers and wildlife; geological travel logs from the Tri-Cities to Seattle and Spokane; and a comprehensive bibliography and definition of ecological terms.

  10. Water clouds in Y dwarfs and exoplanets

    SciTech Connect

    Morley, Caroline V.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Marley, Mark S.; Lupu, Roxana; Greene, Tom; Saumon, Didier; Lodders, Katharina

    2014-05-20

    The formation of clouds affects brown dwarf and planetary atmospheres of nearly all effective temperatures. Iron and silicate condense in L dwarf atmospheres and dissipate at the L/T transition. Minor species such as sulfides and salts condense in mid- to late T dwarfs. For brown dwarfs below T {sub eff} ∼ 450 K, water condenses in the upper atmosphere to form ice clouds. Currently, over a dozen objects in this temperature range have been discovered, and few previous theoretical studies have addressed the effect of water clouds on brown dwarf or exoplanetary spectra. Here we present a new grid of models that include the effect of water cloud opacity. We find that they become optically thick in objects below T {sub eff} ∼ 350-375 K. Unlike refractory cloud materials, water-ice particles are significantly nongray absorbers; they predominantly scatter at optical wavelengths through the J band and absorb in the infrared with prominent features, the strongest of which is at 2.8 μm. H{sub 2}O, NH{sub 3}, CH{sub 4}, and H{sub 2} CIA are dominant opacity sources; less abundant species may also be detectable, including the alkalis, H{sub 2}S, and PH{sub 3}. PH{sub 3}, which has been detected in Jupiter, is expected to have a strong signature in the mid-infrared at 4.3 μm in Y dwarfs around T {sub eff} = 450 K; if disequilibrium chemistry increases the abundance of PH{sub 3}, it may be detectable over a wider effective temperature range than models predict. We show results incorporating disequilibrium nitrogen and carbon chemistry and predict signatures of low gravity in planetary mass objects. Finally, we make predictions for the observability of Y dwarfs and planets with existing and future instruments, including the James Webb Space Telescope and Gemini Planet Imager.

  11. Ultracompact dwarfs around NGC 3268

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caso, Juan Pablo; Bassino, Lilia P.; Richtler, Tom; Calderón, Juan Pablo; Smith Castelli, Analía V.

    2014-07-01

    We present radial velocities (from Gemini/GMOS) of the second sample of ultracompact dwarfs (UCDs) and bright globular clusters (GCs) in the Antlia cluster. 23 objects are located around the giant elliptical NGC 3268, and one is close to the fainter lenticular NGC 3273. Together with previously found UCDs around NGC 3258, a total of 35 UCDs and bright GCs has been now identified in the Antlia cluster. Their colours and magnitudes are compared with those of the nuclei of dE,N galaxies already confirmed as Antlia members. For a subsample that lie on ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys) images and are brighter than MV = -9 mag, the effective radii (Reff) have been measured, the maximum radius being approximately 10 pc. In addition to the radial velocity sample, we find 10 objects in the magnitude range corresponding to GCs but with 10 < Reff < 17 pc, resembling the so-called extended clusters. By number and magnitude, the new UCDs fit to the GC luminosity function, supporting their interpretation as bright GCs. Additionally, we use a tracer mass estimator to calculate the mass enclosed up to ≈47 kpc from NGC 3268, which results in 2.7 × 1012 M⊙.

  12. Shrub encroachment in North American grasslands: Shifts in growth form dominance rapidly alters control of ecosystem carbon inputs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shrub encroachment into grass-dominated biomes is occurring globally due to a variety of anthropogenic activities, but the consequences for carbon (C) inputs, storage and cycling remain unclear. We studied eight North American graminoid-dominated ecosystems invaded by shrubs, from arctic tundra to ...

  13. Discovery of a cool brown dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakajima, T.; Oppenheimer, B. R.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Golimowski, D. A.; Matthews, K.; Durrance, S. T.

    1995-11-01

    BROWN dwarfs are starlike objects with masses less than 0.08 times that of the Sun, which are unable to sustain hydrogen fusion in their interiors1-4. They are very hard to detect, as most of the energy of gravitational contraction is radiated away within ~108 yr, leaving only a very low residual luminosity. Accordingly, almost all searches for brown dwarfs have been directed towards clusters of young stars-a strategy that has recently proved successful5,6. But there are only modest observable differences between young brown dwarfs and very lowmass stars, making it difficult to identify the former without appealing to sophisticated models7. Older brown dwarfs should have a more distinctive appearance, and if they are companions to nearby stars, their luminosity can be determined unambiguously. Here we report the discovery of a probable companion to the nearby star G1229, with no more than onetenth the luminosity of the least luminous hydro-gen-burning star. We conclude that the companion, G1229B, is a brown dwarf with a temperature of less than 1,200 K, and a mass ~20-50 times that of Jupiter.

  14. White Dwarfs in the GALEX Survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawka, Adela; Vennes, Stephane

    2007-01-01

    We have cross-correlated the 2dF QSO Redshift Survey (2QZ) white dwarf catalog with the GALEX 2nd Data Release and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data release 5 to obtain ultraviolet photometry (FUV, NUV) for approximately 700 objects and optical photometry (ugriz) for approximately 800 objects. We have compared the optical-ultraviolet colors to synthetic white dwarf colors to obtain temperature estimates for approximately 250 of these objects. These white dwarfs have effective temperatures ranging from 10 000 K (cooling age of about 1Gyr) up to about 40000 K (cooling age of about 3 Myrs), with a few that have even higher temperatures. We found that to distinguish white dwarfs from other stellar luminosity classes both optical and ultraviolet colors are necessary, in particular for the hotter objects where there is contamination from B and 0 main-sequence stars. Using this sample we build a luminosity function for the DA white dwarfs with Mv < 12 mag.

  15. White dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Dufour, P; Liebert, J; Fontaine, G; Behara, N

    2007-11-22

    White dwarfs represent the endpoint of stellar evolution for stars with initial masses between approximately 0.07 and 8-10, where is the mass of the Sun (more massive stars end their life as either black holes or neutron stars). The theory of stellar evolution predicts that the majority of white dwarfs have a core made of carbon and oxygen, which itself is surrounded by a helium layer and, for approximately 80 per cent of known white dwarfs, by an additional hydrogen layer. All white dwarfs therefore have been traditionally found to belong to one of two categories: those with a hydrogen-rich atmosphere (the DA spectral type) and those with a helium-rich atmosphere (the non-DAs). Here we report the discovery of several white dwarfs with atmospheres primarily composed of carbon, with little or no trace of hydrogen or helium. Our analysis shows that the atmospheric parameters found for these stars do not fit satisfactorily in any of the currently known theories of post-asymptotic giant branch evolution, although these objects might be the cooler counterpart of the unique and extensively studied PG 1159 star H1504+65 (refs 4-7). These stars, together with H1504+65, might accordingly form a new evolutionary sequence that follows the asymptotic giant branch. PMID:18033290

  16. Untangling Physical Parameters of Warm Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, Kelle L.; Douglas, Stephanie; Bdnyc

    2015-01-01

    Warm brown dwarfs offer insights into exoplanetary atmospheres because they have temperatures similar to those of hot gas giant exoplanets. However, fitting synthetic spectra to low-resolution data often produces unreasonable physical parameters (effective temperature, surface gravity, cloud parameters, etc) for brown dwarfs. Given that low- and moderate-resolution NIR data are widely available for M and L dwarfs, and that JSWT will provide moderate-resolution spectra of hot jupiters, it is important to know how well low- and medium-resolution data can constrain physical parameters given current models. We compare low- and moderate-resolution SpeX spectra (R=120-2000) for M and L dwarfs to synthetic spectra from several atmospheric models, including the Gaia-Dusty, BT-Settl, and Marley models. We employ Markov-Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods to robustly fit the models to data. MCMC provides the full posterior probability distribution, illustrating any multi-modality or correlations between parameters. We present results showing how this method provides more realistic uncertainties on effective temperature, surface gravity, and cloud parameters of M and L dwarfs at low- and moderate- resolution. We also show the extent of model-to-model differences in these paramter estimates. Finally, we present an open-source code for fitting grids of synthetic spectra to data - we invite others to use it for their own studies, and we welcome conversations about and involvement in future development.

  17. Keck Imaging of Binary L Dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Koerner; Kirkpatrick; McElwain; Bonaventura

    1999-11-20

    We present Keck near-infrared imaging of three binary L dwarf systems, all of which are likely to be substellar. Two are lithium dwarfs, and a third exhibits an L7 spectral type, making it the coolest binary known to date. All have component flux ratios near 1 and projected physical separations between 5 and 10 AU, assuming distances of 18-26 pc from recent measurements of trigonometric parallax. These surprisingly similar binaries represent the sole detections of companions in 10 L dwarf systems that were analyzed in the preliminary phase of a much larger dual-epoch imaging survey. The detection rate prompts us to speculate that binary companions to L dwarfs are common, that similar-mass systems predominate, and that their distribution peaks at radial distances in accord both with M dwarf binaries and with the radial location of Jovian planets in our own solar system. To fully establish these conjectures against doubts raised by biases inherent in this small preliminary survey, however, will require quantitative analysis of a larger volume-limited sample that has been observed with high resolution and dynamic range. PMID:10534453

  18. THE MASSES OF POPULATION II WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Kalirai, Jason S.; Davis, D. Saul; Richer, Harvey B.; Bergeron, P.; Catelan, Marcio; Hansen, Brad M. S.; Michael Rich, R. E-mail: sdavis@astro.ubc.c E-mail: bergeron@astro.umontreal.c E-mail: hansen@astro.ucla.ed

    2009-11-01

    Globular star clusters are among the first stellar populations to have formed in the Milky Way, and thus only a small sliver of their initial spectrum of stellar types are still burning hydrogen on the main sequence today. Almost all of the stars born with more mass than 0.8 M{sub sun} have evolved to form the white dwarf cooling sequence of these systems, and the distribution and properties of these remnants uniquely holds clues related to the nature of the now evolved progenitor stars. With ultra-deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging observations, rich white dwarf populations of four nearby Milky Way globular clusters have recently been uncovered, and are found to extend impressive 5-8 mag in the faint-blue region of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. In this paper, we characterize the properties of these population II remnants by presenting the first direct mass measurements of individual white dwarfs near the tip of the cooling sequence in the nearest of the Milky Way globulars, M4. Based on Gemini/GMOS and Keck/LRIS multiobject spectroscopic observations, our results indicate that 0.8 M{sub sun} population II main-sequence stars evolving today form 0.53 +- 0.01 M{sub sun} white dwarfs. We discuss the implications of this result as it relates to our understanding of stellar structure and evolution of population II stars and for the age of the Galactic halo, as measured with white dwarf cooling theory.

  19. White dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Dufour, P; Liebert, J; Fontaine, G; Behara, N

    2007-11-22

    White dwarfs represent the endpoint of stellar evolution for stars with initial masses between approximately 0.07 and 8-10, where is the mass of the Sun (more massive stars end their life as either black holes or neutron stars). The theory of stellar evolution predicts that the majority of white dwarfs have a core made of carbon and oxygen, which itself is surrounded by a helium layer and, for approximately 80 per cent of known white dwarfs, by an additional hydrogen layer. All white dwarfs therefore have been traditionally found to belong to one of two categories: those with a hydrogen-rich atmosphere (the DA spectral type) and those with a helium-rich atmosphere (the non-DAs). Here we report the discovery of several white dwarfs with atmospheres primarily composed of carbon, with little or no trace of hydrogen or helium. Our analysis shows that the atmospheric parameters found for these stars do not fit satisfactorily in any of the currently known theories of post-asymptotic giant branch evolution, although these objects might be the cooler counterpart of the unique and extensively studied PG 1159 star H1504+65 (refs 4-7). These stars, together with H1504+65, might accordingly form a new evolutionary sequence that follows the asymptotic giant branch.

  20. Gravitational Interactions of White Dwarf Double Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKeough, James; Robinson, Chloe; Ortiz, Bridget; Hira, Ajit

    2016-03-01

    In the light of the possible role of White Dwarf stars as progenitors of Type Ia supernovas, we present computational simulations of some astrophysical phenomena associated with a study of gravitationally-bound binary stars, composed of at least one white dwarf star. Of particular interest to astrophysicists are the conditions inside a white dwarf star in the time frame leading up to its explosive end as a Type Ia supernova, for an understanding of the massive stellar explosions. In addition, the studies of the evolution of white dwarfs could serve as promising probes of theories of gravitation. We developed FORTRAN computer programs to implement our models for white dwarfs and other stars. These codes allow for different sizes and masses of stars. Simulations were done in the mass interval from 0.1 to 2.5 solar masses. Our goal was to obtain both atmospheric and orbital parameters. The computational results thus obtained are compared with relevant observational data. The data are further analyzed to identify trends in terms of sizes and masses of stars. We will extend our computational studies to blue giant and red giant stars in the future. Funding from National Science Foundation.

  1. Observing Dwarf Galaxies in the Local Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Joshua

    2016-03-01

    Dwarf galaxies in the Local Group are key probes of both dark matter and galaxy formation. They are the smallest, oldest, most dark matter-dominated, and least chemically enriched stellar systems currently known. However, despite two decades of major computational, theoretical, and observational advances in this field, we are still working toward a complete understanding of star and galaxy formation at the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function. In the last year, large sky surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey and Pan-STARRS have made an unprecedented series of discoveries, nearly doubling the population of Milky Way satellite galaxies that was known at the start of 2015. This increase in the number of nearby dwarfs may significantly improve the sensitivity of searches for dark matter annihilation radiation. Many of these new dwarfs are likely to have originated as satellites of the Magellanic Clouds, providing a unique opportunity to study the effect of galactic environment on the formation of the faintest dwarfs. I will provide an overview of recent discoveries and how they fit in to the previously known population of nearby dwarf galaxies, highlighting a few of the most interesting objects from the perspective of dark matter and stellar nucleosynthesis.

  2. Dynamics and seismotectonics of the West-Alpine arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giglia, G.; Capponi, G.; Crispini, L.; Piazza, M.

    1996-12-01

    In this paper we present a comparative review of structural, seismic and focal mechanism data from the West-Alpine arc. In the Western Alps, seismic activity is concentrated along an external belt, corresponding to the Penninic front, and an internal belt, corresponding to the Austro-Alpine front and its southern extension. These seismic belts are connected in the NE by a seismic lineament, corresponding to the Simplon and Centovalli Line and in the south by the E-W-trending seismic Stura "couloir", located between the Argentera and Dora Maira massifs. The SimplondashCentovalli-Tonale system and the Stura "couloir" are dextral and sinistral strike-slip systems respectively; this implies a westward translation of the West-Alpine arc and the Po Plain. Based on these observations, a seismotectonic model is proposed in which the frontal Penninic thrust and the basal surface of the accretionary wedge corresponding to the Penninic sole thrust are reactivated. Activity along the frontal thrust increases the arcuate shape of the Western Alps and disengages them from the Central and the Ligurian Alps along the tear faults of the SimplondashCentovalli-Tonale system and the Stura "couloir" respectively. In the wider framework of northern Italy, the sector of the eastern Alps north of the Gailtal Line, is moving in an orogendashparallel direction towards the east. Areas with lateral escape in opposite directions, towards the west for the Po Plain and towards the east for the Eastern Alps, north of the Gailtal Line, are separated by the South Alpine Atesine indenter. A model postulating a double lateral escape and a central indenter matches most of the features of the models of "poinçonnement". The seismic features of northern Italy agree with the seismicity of the stable sector of northern Europe up to the North Sea. This area is fragmented into blocks bounded by seismic bands, some of which probably reactivate pre-existing structures. The overall stress field of Cratonic

  3. A Search for Fine Wines: Discovering Close Red Dwarf-White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, Mark; Finch, C. T.; Hambly, N. C.; Henry, T. J.; Jao, W.; Riedel, A. R.; Subasavage, J. P.; Winters, J. G.; RECONS

    2012-01-01

    Like fine wines, stars come in both red and white varieties. Here we present initial results of the Fine Wines Project that targets red dwarf-white dwarf pairs. The two scientific goals of Fine Wines are (1) to develop methods to estimate ages for red dwarfs based on the cooling ages of the white dwarfs, and (2) to identify suitable pairs for dynamical mass determinations of white dwarfs to probe their interior structures. Here we focus on the search for Fine Wines, including sample selection, elimination of false positives, and initial reconnaissance. The sample was extracted via color-color plots from a pool of more than 30,000 proper motion systems examined during the SuperCOSMOS-RECONS (SCR) and UCAC3 Proper Motion (UPM) surveys. The initial sample of 75 best candidates is being observed for BVRI photometry and 3500-9500 A spectroscopy to confirm whether or not the systems are red dwarf-white dwarf pairs. Early results indicate that roughly 50% of the candidates selected are indeed Fine Wine systems. This effort is supported by the NSF through grant AST 09-08402 and via observations made possible by the SMARTS Consortium.

  4. The White Dwarf Binary Pathways Survey I: A sample of FGK stars with white dwarf companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, S. G.; Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Schreiber, M. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Zorotovic, M.; Ren, J. J.

    2016-08-01

    The number of spatially unresolved white dwarf plus main-sequence star binaries has increased rapidly in the last decade, jumping from only ˜30 in 2003 to over 3000. However, in the majority of known systems the companion to the white dwarf is a low mass M dwarf, since these are relatively easy to identify from optical colours and spectra. White dwarfs with more massive FGK type companions have remained elusive due to the large difference in optical brightness between the two stars. In this paper we identify 934 main-sequence FGK stars from the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) survey in the southern hemisphere and the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) survey in the northern hemisphere, that show excess flux at ultraviolet wavelengths which we interpret as the likely presence of a white dwarf companion. We obtained Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet spectra for nine systems which confirmed that the excess is indeed caused, in all cases, by a hot compact companion, eight being white dwarfs and one a hot subdwarf or pre-helium white dwarf, demonstrating that this sample is very clean. We also address the potential of this sample to test binary evolution models and type Ia supernovae formation channels.

  5. THE LINK BETWEEN PLANETARY SYSTEMS, DUSTY WHITE DWARFS, AND METAL-POLLUTED WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Debes, John H.; Walsh, Kevin J.; Stark, Christopher

    2012-03-10

    It has long been suspected that metal-polluted white dwarfs (types DAZ, DBZ, and DZ) and white dwarfs with dusty disks possess planetary systems, but a specific physical mechanism by which planetesimals are perturbed close to a white dwarf has not yet been fully posited. In this paper, we demonstrate that mass loss from a central star during post-main-sequence evolution can sweep planetesimals into interior mean motion resonances with a single giant planet. These planetesimals are slowly removed through chaotic excursions of eccentricity that in time create radial orbits capable of tidally disrupting the planetesimal. Numerical N-body simulations of the solar system show that a sufficient number of planetesimals are perturbed to explain white dwarfs with both dust and metal pollution, provided other white dwarfs have more massive relic asteroid belts. Our scenario requires only one Jupiter-sized planet and a sufficient number of asteroids near its 2:1 interior mean motion resonance. Finally, we show that once a planetesimal is perturbed into a tidal crossing orbit, it will become disrupted after the first pass of the white dwarf, where a highly eccentric stream of debris forms the main reservoir for dust-producing collisions. These simulations, in concert with observations of white dwarfs, place interesting limits on the frequency of planetary systems around main-sequence stars, the frequency of planetesimal belts, and the probability that dust may obscure future terrestrial planet finding missions.

  6. HAWAII QUASAR AND T DWARF SURVEY. I. METHOD AND DISCOVERY OF FAINT FIELD ULTRACOOL DWARFS ,

    SciTech Connect

    Kakazu, Yuko; Capak, Peter L.; Hu, Esther M.; Liu, Michael C.; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Wang Weihao

    2010-11-01

    The Hawaii Quasar and T dwarf survey (HQT Survey) is a wide-field, red optical survey carried out with the Suprime-Cam mosaic CCD camera on the 8.2 m Subaru telescope. The HQT survey is designed to search for low-luminosity (M{sub AB1450} < -23) quasars at high redshift (z>5.7) as well as T dwarfs, both of which are selected by their very red I - z' colors. We use an optical narrowband filter NB816 to break a well-known I - z' color degeneracy between high-z quasars and foreground M and L dwarfs, which are more numerous than quasars. This paper is the first in a series of papers from the HQT survey and we report on the discovery of six faint (19 {<=} J {<=} 20) ultracool dwarfs found over a {approx}9.3 deg{sup 2} area with a limiting magnitude of z'{sub AB} {<=} 23.3. These dwarfs were confirmed by near-IR imaging and/or spectroscopy conducted at various facilities on Mauna Kea. With estimated distances of 60-170 pc, these are among the most distant spectroscopically confirmed field brown dwarfs to date. Limits on the proper motions of these ultracool dwarfs suggest that they are old members of the Galactic disk, though future follow-up observations are necessary to minimize errors. Our finding rate of ultracool dwarfs is within model predictions of Liu et al. However, the large brightening amplitude ({approx}1 mag) previously reported for the L/T transition objects appears to overpredict the numbers. We also examine how the survey field latitude affects the survey sensitivity to the vertical scale height of ultracool dwarfs.

  7. Prospecting in ultracool dwarfs: measuring the metallicities of mid- and late-M dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, Andrew W.; Deacon, Niall R.; Gaidos, Eric; Ansdell, Megan; Liu, Michael C.; Magnier, Eugene A.; Aller, Kimberly M.; Brewer, John M.

    2014-06-01

    Metallicity is a fundamental parameter that contributes to the physical characteristics of a star. The low temperatures and complex molecules present in M dwarf atmospheres make it difficult to measure their metallicities using techniques that have been commonly used for Sun-like stars. Although there has been significant progress in developing empirical methods to measure M dwarf metallicities over the last few years, these techniques have been developed primarily for early- to mid-M dwarfs. We present a method to measure the metallicity of mid- to late-M dwarfs from moderate resolution (R ∼ 2000) K-band (≅ 2.2 μm) spectra. We calibrate our formula using 44 wide binaries containing an F, G, K, or early-M primary of known metallicity and a mid- to late-M dwarf companion. We show that similar features and techniques used for early-M dwarfs are still effective for late-M dwarfs. Our revised calibration is accurate to ∼0.07 dex for M4.5-M9.5 dwarfs with –0.58 < [Fe/H] < +0.56 and shows no systematic trends with spectral type, metallicity, or the method used to determine the primary star metallicity. We show that our method gives consistent metallicities for the components of M+M wide binaries. We verify that our new formula works for unresolved binaries by combining spectra of single stars. Lastly, we show that our calibration gives consistent metallicities with the Mann et al. study for overlapping (M4-M5) stars, establishing that the two calibrations can be used in combination to determine metallicities across the entire M dwarf sequence.

  8. A synthetic review of feedbacks and drivers of shrub encroachment in arid grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many arid grasslands around the world are affected by woody plant encroachment and the replacement of a relatively continuous grass cover with shrub patches bordered by bare soil. This shift in plant community composition is often abrupt in space and time, suggesting that it is likely sustained by p...

  9. Delineating native and invasive plant functional groups in shrub-steppe vegetation using bidirectional reflectance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naupari, Javier A.; Vierling, Lee A.; Eitel, Jan U. H.

    2013-01-01

    Delineating invasive and native plant types using remote sensing is important for managing rangelands. Remote characterization of rangeland vegetation often utilizes only the nadir view, which can be complicated by background soil reflectance. We therefore collected bidirectional radiometric measurements on a shrub-steppe vegetated landscape throughout the mid- to late-growing season to: (1) quantify the BRFs of four rangeland vegetation functional groups (native shrub, native grasses, invasive annual grasses, and forbs), and (2) examine ways in which bidirectional reflectance values may help delineate native and invasive vegetation types. We found that the invasive grass medusahead rye (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) could be discriminated from other vegetation types at nadir and across four forward-viewing zenith angles because this species exhibited structural changes when leaf orientation changed from erectophile to planophile during and after the filling of seedheads. We also confirmed that native shrubs exhibited the highest anisotropy in all wavebands, as the relatively complex structure of the shrub canopy and concomitant shadowing greatly affected values of normalized difference vegetation index across all view angles. In order to delineate rangeland vegetation types at coarser scales, further study is needed to quantify the spectral angular signatures of these plant groups using satellite-based images.

  10. Insects and Related Pests of Trees, Shrubs, and Lawns. MP-25R.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spackman, Everett W.; Lawson, Fred A.

    This document discusses identification and control of the pests of trees and shrubs. The insects are grouped according to feeding habits and the type of damage caused to plants. Categories include the sucking insects and mites, leaf eating insects, pests attacking trunks and branches, and gall causing insects. (CS)

  11. Modeling shrub population dynamics in response to overgrazing and climate change in the southwestern US desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stabert, E. C.; Furbish, D. J.

    2010-12-01

    The environmental health and well-being of semi-arid southwestern US deserts strongly depend on the state of the region’s vegetation. Desertification has resulted in the degradation of semi-arid lands and thus these deserts exhibit less vegetated, arid-like conditions whereby soil and associated vital nutrients are vulnerable to aeolian and hydrologic erosion. This process of desertification has been exacerbated by overgrazing and possibly climate change, and there is the possibility that such disturbances can lead to an irreversible shift from semi-arid to arid-like conditions with low relative biomass and loss of land productivity. We expand on the work of Worman (2010), who developed a probabilistic model of shrub population dynamics in response to variations in precipitation and associated soil moisture conditions, distinguishing the effects of summer versus winter precipitation on seedling recruitment and shrub mortality. Specifically, we have modified the model to mimic effects of grazing on the likelihood of shrub mortality, and we have incorporated stochastic descriptions of variations in the timing and magnitude of precipitation that are likely to occur over decadal to century timescales. By evaluating the response of shrub populations (focusing on rabbitbrush and broom snakeweed), the model provides insights regarding the likelihood of land productivity loss.

  12. Shrub recovery after fuel reduction treatments in a gorse shrubland in northern Spain.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Cristina; Vega, José A

    2016-01-15

    Land managers need information about the environmental effects of fuel reduction techniques to select the most appropriate treatments in terms of conservation of ecosystem diversity and function. In this study, shrub cover recovery was monitored during the first four years after prescribed burning, clearing and mastication in a gorse shrubland dominated by Ulex gallii Planch. in northern Spain. Twelve experimental plots were installed just before treatments where plant cover was measured. All plant species present were identified, their frequency recorded and alpha diversity, richness and evenness determined. No differences between fuel treatments were observed for total shrub cover during the duration of the study. However, at the end of the study period, cover by Ericaceae shrubs and grasses was almost two times higher than the pre-treatment values, for all treatments. The treatments did not have different effects on gamma diversity or evenness during the four year interval, although higher species richness was measured in the burned plots than in the masticated or cleared ones throughout the study period. However, a redundancy analysis showed that the variation in species frequency during the study period was not related to the type of treatment applied. Fuel treatments significantly affected the shrubland under study in the short and medium term. The increase in Ericaceae shrubs and grasses cover may shift the long-term community composition. Long-term studies are required to establish whether the observed response lasts in time. PMID:26513319

  13. Hydraulic redistribution by two semi-arid shrub species: Implications for Sahelianagro-ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydraulic redistribution is the process of passive water movement from deeper moist soil to shallower dry soil layers using plant roots as conduits. Results from this study indicate that this phenomenon exists among two shrub species (Guiera senegalensis and Piliostigma reticulat...

  14. Runoff responses to long-term rainfall variability in a shrub-dominated catchment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study we investigate how rainfall has changed between two nine year periods (1977e1985 and 2003e2011), and evaluate the effects of changes in rainfall on runoff from a shrub-dominated catchment in the southwestern USA. Analysis of rainfall characteristics shows that between these two periods...

  15. Shrub encroachment across North America: A multi-site synthesis of patterns, mechanisms, and consequences

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In North America, the expansion of shrubs within ecosystems previously dominated by herbaceous species has been documented in barrier islands off the Virginia coast, mesic grasslands of the Great Plains, sub-tropical savannas of Texas, desert grasslands of the Southwest, across the Intermountain Wes...

  16. Dynamics of two multi-stemmed understory shrubs in two temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xuejiao; Brenes-Arguedas, Tania; Ye, Ji; Wang, Xugao; Lin, Fei; Yuan, Zuoqiang; Shi, Shuai; Xing, Dingliang; Hao, Zhanqing

    2014-01-01

    A multi-stemmed growth form may be an important trait enabling the persistence of individual shrubs in the forest understory. With the aim of evaluating the role of multiple stems, neighbor competition and soil nutrients in shrub performance, we study the dynamics of two temperate multi-stemmed shrub species. We modeled stem growth and survival of Corylus mandshurica and Acer barbinerve in two temperate forests with differing structure in northeastern China. One forest was an old growth broad-leaved Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) mixed forest; the other was a secondary poplar-birch forest. Growth of the two species and survival of C. mandshurica increased with stem number in the old growth forest, but not the secondary forest, suggesting the benefits of a multi-stemmed growth form are facultative. C. mandshurica also suffered more from overstory neighbor competition in the old growth forest, which may suggest that this species is less shade-tolerant than A. barbinerve. Moreover, the performance of the two species were clearly influenced by understory neighbors and soil variables in the old growth forest relative to the secondary forest, which may be due to different forest structure. We conclude that multiple stems are not always important for the persistence of shrub species. Even within the same species, the multi-stemmed benefits might be facultative, differing among forests and neighborhood compositions.

  17. Global Survey of Anthropogenic Neighborhood Threats to Conservation of Grass-Shrub and Forest Vegetation

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecological functions of natural vegetation are threatened when it is subsumed in anthropogenic landscapes. We report the first comparative global survey of anthropogenic landscape threats to forest and grass-shrub vegetation. Using a global land-cover map derived from remote...

  18. Dynamics of Two Multi-Stemmed Understory Shrubs in Two Temperate Forests

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Xuejiao; Brenes-Arguedas, Tania; Ye, Ji; Wang, Xugao; Lin, Fei; Yuan, Zuoqiang; Shi, Shuai; Xing, Dingliang; Hao, Zhanqing

    2014-01-01

    A multi-stemmed growth form may be an important trait enabling the persistence of individual shrubs in the forest understory. With the aim of evaluating the role of multiple stems, neighbor competition and soil nutrients in shrub performance, we study the dynamics of two temperate multi-stemmed shrub species. We modeled stem growth and survival of Corylus mandshurica and Acer barbinerve in two temperate forests with differing structure in northeastern China. One forest was an old growth broad-leaved Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) mixed forest; the other was a secondary poplar-birch forest. Growth of the two species and survival of C. mandshurica increased with stem number in the old growth forest, but not the secondary forest, suggesting the benefits of a multi-stemmed growth form are facultative. C. mandshurica also suffered more from overstory neighbor competition in the old growth forest, which may suggest that this species is less shade-tolerant than A. barbinerve. Moreover, the performance of the two species were clearly influenced by understory neighbors and soil variables in the old growth forest relative to the secondary forest, which may be due to different forest structure. We conclude that multiple stems are not always important for the persistence of shrub species. Even within the same species, the multi-stemmed benefits might be facultative, differing among forests and neighborhood compositions. PMID:24887513

  19. Hydroponic screening of shrub willow (Salix spp.) for arsenic tolerance and uptake.

    PubMed

    Purdy, Jason J; Smart, Lawrence B

    2008-01-01

    Shrub willows have demonstrated potential in many types of phytoremediation applications. Hydroponic culture was used to assess arsenic (As) tolerance and uptake by four shrub willow clones and to determine the effects of phosphate on As accumulation. After 4 weeks of growth in the absence of As, plants received one of four treatments: 0.25X Hoagland's minus P (-P), 0.25X Hoagland's minus P plus 100 microM arsenate (As100(-P)), 0.25X Hoagland's minus P plus 250 microM arsenate (As250(-P)), and 0.25X Hoagland's plus 250 IM arsenate (As250(+P)). Except for treatment As250(+P), phosphate was excluded due to its tendency to interfere with As uptake. After 3 weeks of treatment, plants were separated into root, leaf, and stem tissues. Biomass production and transpiration were used to quantify As tolerance. There was wide variation among clones in As tolerance and uptake. The presence of phosphate in solution alleviated the negative impacts of As on biomass and transpiration and also increased above ground As accumulation, suggesting that phosphate may play a role in reducing toxicity and enhancing As uptake by willow shrubs. These findings offer insight into As tolerance and uptake in Salix spp. and add to the growing body of evidence supporting the use of shrub willow for phytoremediation.

  20. Relationship between shrubs and foods in mountain plover habitat in Park County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schneider, S.C.; Wunder, Michael B.; Knopf, F.L.

    2006-01-01

    We explored habitat use in terms of vegetation structure and potential forage availability for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) in Park County, Colorado. We quantified the percentage cover of bare ground, percentage cover of shrubs (Chrysothamnus visadiflorus), linear distance to nearest shrub, arthropod biomass, and grasshopper density for 102 plots of 1,963 m2, 51 of which were occupied by plovers and 51 of which were selected randomly within previously-classified potential habitat. We modeled the probability of habitat use by plovers based on these measurements. We further subdivided the occupied plots to model probability of habitat use by adults with broods as compared with use by pre-nesting and post-nesting adults. Percentage of bare ground and probability of habitat use for adults with broods were related inversely, but not so for adults without broods. Grasshopper density was positively related to probability of habitat use by adults without broods, whereas proximity to nearest shrub was negatively related. We propose that habitat use by plovers in South Park is influenced by the amount of available shrub-grassland edge habitat and the availability of forage.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. Postfire shrub-cover dynamics: a 70-year fire history in big sagebrush communities.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Land managers use prescribed fire to meet rangeland management objectives. This study was conducted to quantify, from present conditions, the effect of time since last burn (TSLB) on shrub cover over 70 yr of fire history. We sampled mountain big sagebrush communities at the USDA, ARS, U.S. Sheep ...

  3. Postfire shrub cover dynamics: a 70-year fire history in mountain big sagebrush communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fire is a natural process in sagebrush (Artemisia L.) communities. Land managers use fire to meet rangeland management objectives. This study was conducted to quantify, from present conditions, the effect of time since last burn (TSLB) on shrub cover over 70 yr of fire history. We sampled mountain...

  4. Demographic effects on fruit set in the dioecious shrub Canada buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis)

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Kate M.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of pollen limitation on reproductive success in plants have been well-documented using pollen supplementation experiments. However, the role of local demographics in determining pollen limitation, particularly in terms of the additive and interactive effects of pollen availability and competition are not well known. We measured fruit set in the dioecious shrub Canada buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis) in Central Alberta, Canada to evaluate whether local demographics measured at three spatial scales (25, 50, and 100 m2) affect fruit set in buffaloberry. We test whether density-dependence (population density), pollen donor (measured as male density, distance to nearest male plant and size of nearest male plant), female competitor (measured as female density and distance to nearest female plant), or the combined pollen donor and competitor hypotheses best explain natural variations in fruit set for a population of Canada buffaloberry. Support was highest for the combined pollen donor and competitor hypothesis at an intermediate spatial scale of 50 m2. Proportion fruit set increased with male shrub density (pollen donors) and decreased with female shrub density (pollen competitors), but was more affected by the presence of males than females. This illustrates that access to male shrubs within a 3.99 m radius affects pollen availability, while nearby females compete intra-specifically for pollen. PMID:25165635

  5. Quantification of Stemflow in Three Shrub Species in an Urban Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rakestraw, E.; Montalto, F. A.

    2015-12-01

    As precipitation falls on vegetated areas, it is partitioned into throughfall, stemflow and vapor. Stemflow has often been neglected in hydrologic budgeting of both trees and shrubs due to the small volume, and limited number of quantitative studies conducted. Studies of stemflow in shrub species are especially rare, and this study intends to decrease uncertainty of its occurrence. Six shrubs of species Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken', Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice' , and Itea virginica 'Little Henry' were studied in an urban environment in Philadelphia, PA. During the 2015 growing season, total incident rainfall and measured stemflow were recorded. Stemflow was collected using aluminum collars attached to four stems of each individual. Vinyl tubing