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Sample records for alpine dwarf shrub

  1. The evolution of dwarf shrubs in alpine environments: a case study of Alchemilla in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Gehrke, Berit; Kandziora, Martha; Pirie, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Alpine and arctic environments worldwide, including high mountains, are dominated by short-stature woody plants (dwarf shrubs). This conspicuous life form asserts considerable influence on local environmental conditions above the treeline, creating its own microhabitat. This study reconstructs the evolution of dwarf shrubs in Alchemilla in the African tropical alpine environment, where they represent one of the largest clades and are among the most common and abundant plants. Methods Different phylogenetic inference methods were used with plastid and nuclear DNA sequence markers, molecular dating (BEAST and RelTime), analyses of diversification rate shifts (MEDUSA and BAMM) and ancestral character and area reconstructions (Mesquite). Key Results It is inferred that African Alchemilla species originated following long-distance dispersal to tropical East Africa, but that the evolution of dwarf shrubs occurred in Ethiopia and in tropical East Africa independently. Establishing a timeframe is challenging given inconsistencies in age estimates, but it seems likely that they originated in the Pleistocene, or at the earliest in the late Miocene. The adaptation to alpine-like environments in the form of dwarf shrubs has apparently not led to enhanced diversification rates. Ancestral reconstructions indicate reversals in Alchemilla from plants with a woody base to entirely herbaceous forms, a transition that is rarely reported in angiosperms. Conclusions Alchemilla is a clear example of in situ tropical alpine speciation. The dwarf shrub life form typical of African Alchemilla has evolved twice independently, further indicating its selective advantage in these harsh environments. However, it has not influenced diversification, which, although recent, was not rapid. PMID:26520565

  2. 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.

  3. Growth and Phenology of Three Dwarf Shrub Species in a Six-Year Soil Warming Experiment at the Alpine Treeline

    PubMed Central

    Anadon-Rosell, Alba; Rixen, Christian; Cherubini, Paolo; Wipf, Sonja; Hagedorn, Frank; Dawes, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    Global warming can have substantial impacts on the phenological and growth patterns of alpine and Arctic species, resulting in shifts in plant community composition and ecosystem dynamics. We evaluated the effects of a six-year experimental soil warming treatment (+4°C, 2007–2012) on the phenology and growth of three co-dominant dwarf shrub species growing in the understory of Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata at treeline in the Swiss Alps. We monitored vegetative and reproductive phenology of Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium gaultherioides and Empetrum hermaphroditum throughout the early growing season of 2012 and, following a major harvest at peak season, we measured the biomass of above-ground ramet fractions. For all six years of soil warming we measured annual shoot growth of the three species and analyzed ramet age and xylem ring width of V. myrtillus. Our results show that phenology of the three species was more influenced by snowmelt timing, and also by plot tree species (Larix or Pinus) in the case of V. myrtillus, than by soil warming. However, the warming treatment led to increased V. myrtillus total above-ground ramet biomass (+36% in 2012), especially new shoot biomass (+63% in 2012), as well as increased new shoot increment length and xylem ring width (+22% and +41%, respectively; average for 2007–2012). These results indicate enhanced overall growth of V. myrtillus under soil warming that was sustained over six years and was not caused by an extended growing period in early summer. In contrast, E. hermaphroditum only showed a positive shoot growth response to warming in 2011 (+21%), and V. gaultherioides showed no significant growth response. Our results indicate that V. myrtillus might have a competitive advantage over the less responsive co-occurring dwarf shrub species under future global warming. PMID:24956273

  4. Growth and phenology of three dwarf shrub species in a six-year soil warming experiment at the alpine treeline.

    PubMed

    Anadon-Rosell, Alba; Rixen, Christian; Cherubini, Paolo; Wipf, Sonja; Hagedorn, Frank; Dawes, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Global warming can have substantial impacts on the phenological and growth patterns of alpine and Arctic species, resulting in shifts in plant community composition and ecosystem dynamics. We evaluated the effects of a six-year experimental soil warming treatment (+4°C, 2007-2012) on the phenology and growth of three co-dominant dwarf shrub species growing in the understory of Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata at treeline in the Swiss Alps. We monitored vegetative and reproductive phenology of Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium gaultherioides and Empetrum hermaphroditum throughout the early growing season of 2012 and, following a major harvest at peak season, we measured the biomass of above-ground ramet fractions. For all six years of soil warming we measured annual shoot growth of the three species and analyzed ramet age and xylem ring width of V. myrtillus. Our results show that phenology of the three species was more influenced by snowmelt timing, and also by plot tree species (Larix or Pinus) in the case of V. myrtillus, than by soil warming. However, the warming treatment led to increased V. myrtillus total above-ground ramet biomass (+36% in 2012), especially new shoot biomass (+63% in 2012), as well as increased new shoot increment length and xylem ring width (+22% and +41%, respectively; average for 2007-2012). These results indicate enhanced overall growth of V. myrtillus under soil warming that was sustained over six years and was not caused by an extended growing period in early summer. In contrast, E. hermaphroditum only showed a positive shoot growth response to warming in 2011 (+21%), and V. gaultherioides showed no significant growth response. Our results indicate that V. myrtillus might have a competitive advantage over the less responsive co-occurring dwarf shrub species under future global warming.

  5. 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

  6. Long-term experimental warming, shading and nutrient addition affect the concentration of phenolic compounds in arctic-alpine deciduous and evergreen dwarf shrubs.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Anja H; Jonasson, Sven; Michelsen, Anders; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta

    2006-02-01

    Environmental changes are likely to alter the chemical composition of plant tissues, including content and concentrations of secondary compounds, and thereby affect the food sources of herbivores. After 10 years of experimental increase of temperature, nutrient levels and light attenuation in a sub-arctic, alpine ecosystem, we investigated the effects on carbon based secondary compounds (CBSC) and nitrogen in one dominant deciduous dwarf shrub, Salix herbacea x polaris and two dominant evergreen dwarf shrubs, Cassiope tetragona and Vaccinium vitis-idaea throughout one growing season. The main aims were to compare the seasonal course and treatment effects on CBSC among the species, life forms and leaf cohorts and to examine whether the responses in different CBSC were consistent across compounds. The changes in leaf chemistry both during the season and in response to the treatments were higher in S. herbacea x polaris than in the corresponding current year's leaf cohort of the evergreen C. tetragona. The changes were also much higher than in the 1-year-old leaves of the two evergreens probably due to differences in dilution and turnover of CBSC in growing and mature leaves paired with different rates of allocation. Most low molecular weight phenolics in the current year's leaves decreased in all treatments. Condensed tannins and the tannin-to-N ratio, however, either increased or decreased, and the strength and even direction of the responses varied among the species and leaf cohorts, supporting views of influential factors additional to resource-based or developmental controls, as e.g. species specific or genetic controls of CBSC. The results indicate that there is no common response to environmental changes across species and substances. However, the pronounced treatment responses imply that the quality of the herbivore forage is likely to be strongly affected in a changing arctic environment, although both the direction and strength of the responses will be

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24619183

  11. [Characteristics of stemflow for typical alpine shrubs in Qilian Mountain].

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhang-wen; Chen, Ren-sheng; Song, Yao-xuan

    2011-08-01

    Taking the typical alpine shrubs Potentilla fruticosa, Salix cupularis, Hippophae rhamnoides, and Caragana jubata in Qilian Mountain as test objects, a field investigation from June 1 to October 31, 2010 was conducted on the variation characteristics of the shrub stemflow, and analyzed the affecting effects of rainfall intensity and canopy structure morphology. The stemflow generated when the rainfall in early period was 2.1 mm, with an average of 3.4%, 3.2%, 8.0%, and 4.2% of the gross rainfall for P. fruticosa, S. cupularis, H. rhamnoides, and C. jubata, respectively. There was a significant positive linear correlation between the stemflow and rainfall intensity. With increasing rainfall, the stemflow percentage showed a trend of increase-decrease-increase. Stemflow played an important role in supplying water to the shrub rhizosphere, and the average funneling ratio was 59, 30, 110, and 49 for P. fruticosa, S. cupularis, H. rhamnoides, and C. jubata, respectively. The stemflow percentage had a significant exponential relationship with the maximum rain intensity in 10 minutes (I10). When the I10 was more than 6.0 mm x h(-1), the stemflow of H. rhamnoides and C. jubata showed a persistently increasing trend, while that of P. fruticosa and S. cupularis tended to be stable. Canopy structure morphology had complicated effects on the stemflow. In the same rainfall intensities, the height and crown projection area of the shrubs were the important factors affecting the generation of stemflow.

  12. 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.

  13. Shrub line advance in Arctic and alpine tundra of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, I. H.; Hik, D.

    2010-12-01

    a direct response of shrub growth to early summer temperatures suggests that shrub line expansion will continue, possibly at a faster rate, with projected warming in Arctic and alpine ecosystems in the Yukon Territory.

  14. 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

  15. How have the alpine dwarf plants in Yakushima been miniaturized? A comparative study of two alpine dwarf species in Yakushima, Blechnum niponicum (Blechnaceae) and Lysimachia japonica (Primulaceae).

    PubMed

    Shinohara, Wataru; Murakami, Noriaki

    2006-11-01

    Many plant species are miniaturized in the alpine region in Yakushima, Japan. To examine how these alpine dwarf plants are different from their related lowland ones of the same species, we analyzed two phylogenetically distinct species cytologically, genetically and morphologically: one is a fern species, Blechnum niponicum, and the other is an angiosperm species, Lysimachia japonica. The analysis shows that the alpine dwarf and the lowland plants in each of these species do not differ in chromosome number or genetic constitution. The organ-level comparison between the alpine dwarf and lowland plants of B. niponicum shows that the fertile leaf size correlates closely with the sterile one. By contrast, the flower size does not correlate with the leaf size in L. japonica. At the cell level, the leaf size of the alpine dwarf plants of B. niponicum consists of a smaller number of epidermal cells than that of the lowland plants of this species. On the other hand, the smaller leaf size of the alpine dwarf plants of L. japonica depends on both the smaller number and the smaller size of the epidermal cells. We conclude that plant dwarfism in Yakushima shows variation at both the organ and cell levels.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-24

    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.

  20. Realities and myths of the Teresken Syndrome--an evaluation of the exploitation of dwarf shrub resources in the Eastern Pamirs of Tajikistan.

    PubMed

    Kraudzun, Tobias; Vanselow, Kim André; Samimi, Cyrus

    2014-01-01

    In the Eastern Pamirs extensive livestock herding is the predominant land use option and dwarf shrubs - teresken (Krascheninnikovia ceratoides) and to a lesser extent wormwood (Artemisia spp.) - are an important source of thermal energy and are crucial forage plants, particularly in winter. For the post-Soviet period, many papers and reports suggest rapidly increasing exploitation rates with sometimes alarming figures for degradation. Conventional knowledge about the Pamirs pinpoints the frightening and irreversible extraction of teresken as a dwindling resource causing land degradation - termed the 'Teresken Syndrome'. However, these publications are based on limited empirical evidence. This paper discusses the socio-economic role of dwarf shrubs as fuel and forage - today and in the past - and provides an overview of the extent of dwarf shrub distribution and degraded areas. Although our observations confirm extensive dwarf shrub exploitation, general assumptions of severe desertification as a result of dwarf shrub extraction do not yield reliable scenarios. The effects of harvesting on the vegetation cover vary widely depending on extraction practices and yields of different dwarf shrub-dominated formations. Furthermore, considerable and increasing shares of energy needs are satisfied by animal manure and imported coal. On the other hand, for low-income households harvesting dwarf shrubs is an important and reliable option to ensure both their own household energy supply and an income source. We argue that the term 'Teresken Syndrome', which was introduced after the emergency replacement of Soviet coal supplies by dwarf shrubs in the 1990s, is not appropriate anymore to describe the current use of natural resources in the Eastern Pamirs. However, under the current economic circumstances the nexus remains that the Pamir people are caught in the dilemma of using dwarf shrubs as energy and as forage resource. However, the observed negotiation practices concerning

  1. Photosynthetic benefits of ultraviolet-A to Pimelea ligustrina, a woody shrub of sub-alpine Australia.

    PubMed

    Turnbull, Tarryn L; Barlow, Alexandra M; Adams, Mark A

    2013-10-01

    The definition of photosynthetically active radiation (Q) as the visible waveband (λ 400-700 nm) is a core assumption of much of modern plant biology and global models of carbon and water fluxes. On the other hand, much research has focused on potential mutation and damage to leaves caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation (280-400 nm), and anatomical and physiological adaptations that help avoid such damage. Even so, plant responses to UV-A are poorly described and, until now, photosynthetic utilization of UV-A has not been elucidated under full light conditions in the field. We found that the UV-A content of sunlight increased photosynthetic rates in situ by 12% in Pimelea ligustrina Labill., a common and indigenous woody shrub of alpine ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere. Compared to companion shrubs, UV-A-induced photosynthesis in P. ligustrina resulted from reduced physical and chemical capacities to screen UV-A at the leaf surface (illustrated by a lack of cuticle and reduced phenol index) and the resulting ability of UV-A to excite chlorophyll (Chl) a directly, and via energy provided by the carotenoid lutein. A screening of 55 additional sub-alpine species showed that 47% of the plant taxa also display Chl a fluorescence under UV-A. If Chl a fluorescence indicates potential for photosynthetic gain, continued exclusion of UV-A from definitions of Q in this ecosystem could result in underestimates of measured and modeled rates of photosynthesis and miscalculation of potential for carbon sequestration. We suggest that carbon gain for alpine environs across the globe could be similarly underestimated given that UV-A radiation increases with altitude and that the frequently dominant herb and grass life-forms often transmit UV-A through the epidermis.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Dwarf shrub hydraulics: two Vaccinium species (Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium vitis-idaea) of the European Alps compared.

    PubMed

    Ganthaler, Andrea; Mayr, Stefan

    2015-12-01

    Vaccinium myrtillus and Vaccinium vitis-idaea are two dwarf shrubs widespread in the European Alps. We studied the hydraulics of these species hypothesizing that (1) the hydraulic architecture of dwarf shrubs differs from trees, (2) hydraulic properties reflect the species' ecological amplitude and (3) hydraulic properties vary spatially and seasonally. Key hydraulic parameters (osmotic potential, turgor loss point, xylem hydraulic conductivity, vulnerability to drought-induced embolism, stomata closure, drought-induced cell damage and embolism repair) and related wood anatomical traits (conduit diameter and conduit wall reinforcement) were analyzed at four sites in Tyrol, Austria. Both species exhibited low hydraulic safety as well as low hydraulic efficiency. Fifty percentage embolism accumulated at -2.08 (V. myrtillus) and -1.97 MPa (V. vitis-idaea), 88% stomata closure was at -2.19 and -2.35 MPa, respectively. After drought, both species showed embolism repair on re-watering. Site-specific variation within species was low, while seasonal changes in embolism resistance and turgor loss point were observed. Results indicate that studied Vaccinium species have a high risk for embolism formation. This is balanced by refilling capacities, which are probably based on the small growth height of dwarf shrubs. V. vitis-idaea, which occurs on drier sites, showed more efficient repair and a lower turgor loss point than V. myrtillus.

  5. Impact of early and late winter icing events on sub-arctic dwarf shrubs.

    PubMed

    Preece, C; Phoenix, G K

    2014-01-01

    Polar regions are predicted to undergo large increases in winter temperature and an increased frequency of freeze-thaw cycles, which can cause ice layers in the snow pack and ice encasement of vegetation. Early or late winter timing of ice encasement could, however, modify the extent of damage caused to plants. To determine impacts of the date of ice encasement, a novel field experiment was established in sub-arctic Sweden, with icing events simulated in January and March 2008 and 2009. In the subsequent summers, reproduction, phenology, growth and mortality, as well as physiological indicators of leaf damage were measured in the three dominant dwarf shrubs: Vaccinium uliginosum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea and Empetrum nigrum. It was hypothesised that January icing would be more damaging compared to March icing due to the longer duration of ice encasement. Following 2 years of icing, E. nigrum berry production was 83% lower in January-iced plots compared to controls, and V. vitis-idaea electrolyte leakage was increased by 69%. Conversely, electrolyte leakage of E. nigrum was 25% lower and leaf emergence of V. vitis-idaea commenced 11 days earlier in March-iced plots compared to control plots in 2009. There was no effect of icing on any of the other parameters measured, indicating that overall these study species have moderate to high tolerance to ice encasement. Even much longer exposure under the January icing treatment does not clearly increase damage.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Potential toxic effect on aquatic fauna by the dwarf shrub Empetrum hermaphroditum.

    PubMed

    Brännäs, Eva; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Nilsson, Linda; Gallet, Christiane; Brännäs, Kurt; Berglind, Rune; Eriksson, Lars-Ove; Leffler, Per-Erik; Zackrisson, Olle

    2004-01-01

    The common evergreen dwarf shrub Empetrum hermaphroditum has influence on the functioning of boreal terrestrial ecosystems in northern Sweden. The negative effects of E. hermaphroditum are partly attributed to the production of the dihydrostilbene, batatasin-III, which is released from leaves and litter by rain and snowmelt. In this study, we investigated whether batatasin-III is carried by runoff into streams and lakes during the snowmelt period and whether it is also potentially hazardous to aquatic fauna. Sampling of water from streams and a lake for which the surrounding terrestrial vegetation is dominated by E. hermaphroditum was done during the snowmelt period in May 1993 and in 1998, and analyzed for batatasin-III. Using 24- and 48-hr standard toxicity tests, we analyzed toxicity to brown trout (Salmo trutta) alevins and juvenile water fleas (Daphnia magna). Toxicity (proportion of dead individuals) to trout was tested at pH 6.5 and compared with that of a phenol within a range of concentrations. In the toxicity (proportion of immobilized individuals) test on D. magna, the interactive effect of pH (pH 5.5-7.0) was included. Concentration of batatasin-III was generally higher in 1998 than in 1993 and showed peak levels during snowmelt. Concentration in ephemeral runnels > the lake > streams running through clear-cuts dominated by E. hermaphroditum > control streams lacking adjacent E. hermaphroditum vegetation. The maximum concentration of batatasin-III found was 1.06 mg l(-1). The proportion of dead yolk sac alevins increased significantly (P < 0.001) with increasing concentrations of batatasin-III and time of exposure. After 24 hr, EC50 was 10 mg l(-1). It was 2 mg l(-1) after 48 hr. The effect of phenol was negligible, indicating a specific phytotoxic effect of the bibenzyl structure of batatasin-III. The proportion of mobile D. magna became significantly smaller (P < 0.001) with increasing concentrations of batatasin-III, with decreasing pH, and with

  9. Reciprocal carbon and nitrogen transfer between an ericaceous dwarf shrub and fungi isolated from Piceirhiza bicolorata ectomycorrhizas.

    PubMed

    Grelet, Gwen-Aëlle; Johnson, David; Paterson, Eric; Anderson, Ian C; Alexander, Ian J

    2009-01-01

    The overstorey coniferous trees and understorey ericaceous dwarf shrubs of northern temperate and boreal forests have previously been considered to form mycorrhizas with taxonomically and functionally distinct groups of fungi. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Meliniomyces variabilis and Meliniomyces bicolor, isolated from Piceirhiza bicolorata ectomycorrhizas of pine, can function as ericoid mycorrhizal symbionts with Vaccinium vitis-idaea. We used split-compartment microcosms to measure the reciprocal exchange of (13)C and (15)N between V. vitis-idaea and three fungal isolates in the Hymenoscyphus ericae aggregate isolated from Scots pine ectomycorrhizas (M. variabilis and M. bicolor) or Vaccinium roots (M. variabilis). The extramatrical fungal mycelium of labelled mycorrhizal plants was significantly enriched in (13)C, and the leaves were significantly enriched in (15)N, compared with nonmycorrhizal and nonlabelled controls. * These findings show for the first time that fungi in the H. ericae aggregate, isolated from pine ectomycorrhizas, can transfer C and N and can thus form functional ericoid mycorrhizas in an understorey ericaceous shrub.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. On the measurement of alpine subscale erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konz, N.; Schaub, M.; Prasuhn, V.; Alewell, C.

    2009-04-01

    Institute of Environmental Geosciences, University of Basel, Switzerland Data on quantification of sheet erosion rates in alpine grasslands and their dependency on land use remain scarce but are urgently needed to estimate soil degradation and soil conservation strategies. We determined soil erosion rates based on the Cs-137 method with in-situ measurements and with sediment traps. The Cs-137 method integrates the erosion over the last 22 years (time after the Chernobyl accident), whereas sediment traps provide information on erosion rates over single weeks and months during the vegetation period. Sediment traps can not be applied during winter time in alpine regions because snow amounts flatten and destroy the sediment traps. Three different land use types were investigated: hayfields, pasture with dwarf shrubs and pasture without dwarf shrubs. Our test plots are situated in the Urseren Valley (Central Switzerland) with a mean slope steepness of 37°. Monthly erosion rates measured with sediment traps during the vegetation periods 2007 and 2008 are about 0.01 t ha-1 for hayfields, 0.005 t ha-1 for pastures with dwarf shrubs and 0.05 t ha-1 for pastures without dwarf shrubs. Mean annual soil erosion rates determined with Cs-137 of the investigated sites ranged between 4.7 t ha-1 a-1 for pastures with dwarf shrubs to >15 t ha-1 a-1 at hayfields and pastures without dwarf shrubs and are thus exceedingly high compared to measurements with sediment traps. Cs-137 measurements integrated over the last 22 years, including extreme rainfall events as well as winter processes; whereas sediment traps provide erosion rates based on summer time rainfall events. Our results lead to the assumption that the triggering processes of alpine erosion are due to snow gliding processes during winter time whereas erosion rates due to overland flow and splash effects play a minor role on the entire erosion amount. These different amounts on erosion rates for the vegetation periods in

  13. 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.

  14. Impacts of winter icing events on the growth, phenology and physiology of sub-arctic dwarf shrubs.

    PubMed

    Preece, Catherine; Callaghan, Terry V; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic is experiencing the greatest climate change in winter, including increases in freeze-thaw cycles that can result in ice encasement of vegetation. Ice encasement can expose plants to hypoxia and greater temperature extremes, but currently the impacts of icing on plants in the field remain little understood. With this in mind, a unique field manipulation experiment was established in heathland in northern Sweden with ice encasement simulated in early March 2008, 2009 and 2010 until natural thaw each spring. In the following summers we assessed the impacts on flowering, bud phenology, shoot growth and mortality and leaf damage (measured by chlorophyll fluorescence and electrolyte leakage) of the three dominant dwarf shrub species Empetrum nigrum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea (both evergreen) and Vaccinium myrtillus (deciduous). Two consecutive winters of icing decreased V. vitis-idaea flowering by 57%, while flowering of V. myrtillus and E. nigrum remained unaffected. Vaccinium myrtillus showed earlier budburst but shoot growth for all species was unchanged. Shoot mortality of V. myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea increased after the first year (by 70 and 165%, respectively) and again for V. myrtillus following the third year (by 67%), while E. nigrum shoot mortality remained unaffected, as were chlorophyll fluorescence and electrolyte leakage in all species. Overall, the sub-arctic heathland was relatively tolerant to icing, but the considerable shoot mortality of V. myrtillus contrasting with the general tolerance of E. nigrum suggests plant community structure in the longer term could change if winters continue to see a greater frequency of icing events.

  15. 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.

  16. The influence of spruce on acidity and nutrient content in soils of Northern Taiga dwarf shrub-green moss spruce forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orlova, M. A.; Lukina, N. V.; Smirnov, V. E.; Artemkina, N. A.

    2016-11-01

    Presently, among the works considering the influence of forest trees on soil properties, the idea that spruce ( Picea abies) promotes the acidification of soils predominates. The aim of this work is to assess the effects of spruce trees of different ages and Kraft classes on the acidity and content of available nutrient compounds in the soils under boreal dwarf shrub-green moss spruce forests by the example of forest soils in the Kola Peninsula. The soils are typical iron-illuvial podzols (Albic Rustic Podzols (Arenic)). Three probable ways of developing soils under spruce forests with the moss-dwarf shrub ground cover are considered. The soils under windfall-soil complexes of flat mesodepressions present the initial status. The acidity of organic soil horizons from the initial stage of mesodepression overgrowth to the formation of adult trees changed nonlinearly: the soil acidity reached its maximum under the 30-40-year-old trees and decreased under the trees older than 100 years. The contents of nitrogen and available nutrients increased. The acidity of the mineral soil horizons under the trees at the ages of 110-135 and 190-220 years was comparable, but higher than that under the 30-40-year-old trees. The differences in the strength and trends of the trees' effect on the soils are explained by the age of spruce trees and their belonging to different Kraft classes.

  17. Response of Polygonum viviparum species and community level to long-term livestock grazing in alpine shrub meadow in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zhi-Hong; Lundholm, Jeremy; Li, Yingnian; Wang, Xiaoan

    2008-06-01

    Grazing by domestic herbivores is generally recognized as a major ecological factor and an important evolutionary force in grasslands. Grazing has both extensive and profound effects on individual plants and communities. We investigated the response patterns of Polygonum viviparum species and the species diversity of an alpine shrub meadow in response to long-term livestock grazing by a field manipulative experiment controlling livestock numbers on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Here, we hypothesize that within a range of grazing pressure, grazing can alter relative allocation to different plant parts without changing total biomass for some plant species if there is life history trade-offs between plant traits. The same type of communities exposed to different grazing pressures may only alter relative species' abundances or species composition and not vary species diversity because plant species differ in resistant capability to herbivory. The results show that plant height and biomass of different organs differed among grazing treatments but total biomass remained constant. Biomass allocation and absolute investments to both reproduction and growth decreased and to belowground storage increased with increased grazing pressure, indicating the increasing in storage function was attained at a cost of reducing reproduction of bulbils and represented an optimal allocation and an adaptive response of the species to long-term aboveground damage. Moreover, our results showed multiform response types for either species groups or single species along the gradient of grazing intensity. Heavy grazing caused a 13.2% increase in species richness. There was difference in species composition of about 18%-20% among grazing treatment. Shannon-Wiener (H') diversity index and species evenness (E) index did not differ among grazing treatments. These results support our hypothesis.

  18. Dwarf

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa dwarf occurs rarely in alfalfa fields. Dwarf has been identified only in California, where it is found at a low frequency. Plants with symptoms of dwarf were reported in the 1950s in Mississippi, Georgia, and Rhode Island, but experimental confirmation of the disease in those States was no...

  19. 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

  20. Ericaceous dwarf shrubs affect ectomycorrhizal fungal community of the invasive Pinus strobus and native Pinus sylvestris in a pot experiment.

    PubMed

    Kohout, Petr; Sýkorová, Zuzana; Bahram, Mohammad; Hadincová, Věroslava; Albrechtová, Jana; Tedersoo, Leho; Vohník, Martin

    2011-07-01

    This study aimed to elucidate the relationship between ericaceous understorey shrubs and the diversity and abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi (EcMF) associated with the invasive Pinus strobus and native Pinus sylvestris. Seedlings of both pines were grown in mesocosms and subjected to three treatments simulating different forest microhabitats: (a) grown in isolation and grown with (b) Vaccinium myrtillus or (c) Vaccinium vitis-idaea. Ericaceous plants did not act as a species pool of pine mycobionts and inhibited the ability of the potentially shared species Meliniomyces bicolor to form ectomycorrhizae. Similarly, Ericaceae significantly reduced the formation of Thelephora terrestris ectomycorrhizae in P. sylvestris. EcMF species composition in the mesocosms was strongly affected by both the host species and the presence of an ericaceous neighbour. When grown in isolation, P. strobus root tips were predominantly colonised by Wilcoxina mikolae, whereas those of P. sylvestris were more commonly colonised by Suillus and Rhizopogon spp. Interestingly, these differences were less evident (Suillus + Rhizopogon spp.) or absent (W. mikolae) when the pines were grown with Ericaceae. P. strobus exclusively associated with Rhizopogon salebrosus s.l., suggesting the presence of host specificity at the intrageneric level. Ericaceous plants had a positive effect on colonisation of P. strobus root tips by R. salebrosus s.l. This study demonstrates that the interaction of selective factors such as host species and presence of ericaceous plants may affect the realised niche of the ectomycorrhizal fungi.

  1. 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.

  2. A richer, greener and smaller alpine world: review and projection of warming-induced plant cover change in the Swedish Scandes.

    PubMed

    Kullman, Leif

    2010-03-01

    Alpine plant life is proliferating, biodiversity is on the rise and the mountain world appears more productive and inviting than ever. Upper range margin rise of trees and low-altitude (boreal) plant species, expansion of alpine grasslands and dwarf-shrub heaths are the modal biotic adjustments during the past few decades, after a century of substantial climate warming in the Swedish Scandes. This course of biotic landscape evolution has reached historical dimensions and broken a multi-millennial trend of plant cover retrogression, alpine tundra expansion, floristic and faunal impoverishment, all imposed by progressive and deterministic neoglacial climate cooling. Continued modest warming over the present century will likely be beneficial to alpine biodiversity, geoecological stability, resilience, sustainable reindeer husbandry and aesthetic landscape qualities. These aspects are highlighted by an integrative review of results from long-term monitoring of subalpine/alpine vegetation in the Swedish Scandes. This forms the basis for some tentative projections of landscape transformations in a potentially warmer future. Notably, these results and projections are not necessarily valid in other regions and differ in some respects from model predictions. Continued monitoring is mandatory as a basis for generation of more realistic vegetation and ecosystem models.

  3. 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').

  4. High diversity of root associated fungi in both alpine and arctic Dryas octopetala

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Dryas octopetala is a widespread dwarf shrub in alpine and arctic regions that forms ectomycorrhizal (ECM) symbiotic relationships with fungi. In this study we investigated the fungal communities associated with roots of D. octopetala in alpine sites in Norway and in the High Arctic on Svalbard, where we aimed to reveal whether the fungal diversity and species composition varied across the Alpine and Arctic regions. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA was used to identify the fungal communities from bulk root samples obtained from 24 plants. Results A total of 137 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were detected (using 97% similarity cut off during sequence clustering) and well-known ECM genera such as Cenococcum, Cortinarius, Hebeloma, Inocybe and Tomentella occurred frequently. There was no decrease in fungal diversity with increasing latitude. The overall spatial heterogeneity was high, but a weak geographical structuring of the composition of OTUs in the root systems was observed. Calculated species accumulation curves did not level off. Conclusions This study indicates that the diversity of fungi associated with D. octopetala does not decrease in high latitude arctic regions, which contrasts observations made in a wide spectrum of other organism groups. A high degree of patchiness was observed across root systems, but the fungal communities were nevertheless weakly spatially structured. Non-asymptotical species accumulation curves and the occurrence of a high number of singletons indicated that only a small fraction of the fungal diversity was detected. PMID:21070665

  5. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Beck, Pieter S. A.; Wilmking, Martin; Hallinger, Martin; Blok, Daan; Tape, Ken D.; Rayback, Shelly A.; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Forbes, Bruce C.; Speed, James D. M.; Boulanger-Lapointe, Noémie; Rixen, Christian; Lévesque, Esther; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Baittinger, Claudia; Trant, Andrew J.; Hermanutz, Luise; Collier, Laura Siegwart; Dawes, Melissa A.; Lantz, Trevor C.; Weijers, Stef; Jørgensen, Rasmus Halfdan; Buchwal, Agata; Buras, Allan; Naito, Adam T.; Ravolainen, Virve; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Wheeler, Julia A.; Wipf, Sonja; Guay, Kevin C.; Hik, David S.; Vellend, Mark

    2015-09-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting of multi-decadal time series of annual shrub growth provide an underused resource to explore climate-growth relationships. Here, we analyse circumpolar data from 37 Arctic and alpine sites in 9 countries, including 25 species, and ~42,000 annual growth records from 1,821 individuals. Our analyses demonstrate that the sensitivity of shrub growth to climate was: (1) heterogeneous, with European sites showing greater summer temperature sensitivity than North American sites, and (2) higher at sites with greater soil moisture and for taller shrubs (for example, alders and willows) growing at their northern or upper elevational range edges. Across latitude, climate sensitivity of growth was greatest at the boundary between the Low and High Arctic, where permafrost is thawing and most of the global permafrost soil carbon pool is stored. The observed variation in climate-shrub growth relationships should be incorporated into Earth system models to improve future projections of climate change impacts across the tundra biome.

  6. Palatability of selected alpine plant litters for the decomposer Lumbricus rubellus (Lumbricidae).

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Nie, Xiuqing; 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Bottom-up effects of nutrient availability on flower production, pollinator visitation, and seed output in a high-Andean shrub.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Celedon-Neghme, Constanza; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2005-03-01

    Soil nutrient availability directly enhances vegetative growth, flowering, and fruiting in alpine ecosystems. However, the impacts of nutrient addition on pollinator visitation, which could affect seed output indirectly, are unknown. In a nutrient addition experiment, we tested the hypothesis that seed output in the insect-pollinated, self-incompatible shrub, Chuquiraga oppositifolia (Asteraceae) of the Andes of central Chile, is enhanced by soil nitrogen (N) availability. We aimed to monitor total shrub floral display, size of flower heads (capitula), pollinator visitation patterns, and seed output during three growing seasons on control and N addition shrubs. N addition did not augment floral display, size of capitula, pollinator visitation, or seed output during the first growing season. Seed mass and viability were 25-40% lower in fertilised shrubs. During the second growing season only 33% of the N addition shrubs flowered compared to 71% of controls, and a significant (50%) enhancement in vegetative growth occurred in fertilised shrubs. During the third growing season, floral display in N addition shrubs was more than double that of controls, received more than twice the number of insect pollinator visits, and seed output was three- to four-fold higher compared to controls. A significant (50%) enhancement in vegetative growth again occurred in N addition shrubs. Results of this study strongly suggest that soil N availability produces strong positive bottom-up effects on the reproductive output of the alpine shrub C. oppositifolia. Despite taking considerably longer to be manifest in comparison to the previously reported top-down indirect negative effects of lizard predators in the same study system, our results suggest that both bottom-up and top-down forces are important in controlling the reproductive output of an alpine shrub.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Surface Pollen Distribution from Alpine Vegetation in Eastern Tibet, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yun; Kong, Zhaochen; Yang, Zhenjing; Wang, Li; Duan, Xiaohong

    2017-04-03

    We explore the relationship between modern pollen spectra and vegetation patterns in the Eastern Tibet, China in order to provide information on the representation of pollen taxa and improve the general knowledge of vertical pollen transport. Forty-two modern pollen samples collected in surface soil along two altitudinal transects allowed conclusions on vertical pollen dispersal from the alpine region of Dingqing County, Changdu district in Tibet. Discriminant analyses and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) of 24 pollen taxa were used to further discuss the difference of modern pollen spectra in these alpine vegetation zones. The surface pollen assemblage is divided into three pollen zones, such as subalpine shrub meadow, montane coniferous forest and shrub steppe with sparse trees. Altitude and precipitation are two primary factors contributing to changes in surface pollen assemblage from alpine vegetation in the eastern Tibet. Large amounts of spruce pollen at higher elevations above the timberline might be introduced from lower elevations by upslope winds. Therefore, the interpretation of spruce pollen in the fossil record must take into account long distance upward wind transport. Moreover, the destruction of coniferous forest in the study area is well illustrated in the modern pollen rain.

  19. Coping with shrub secondary metabolites by ruminants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rangelands throughout the world contain varying but often substantial proportions of shrubs. Shrubs are generally heavily chemically defended, and herbivores must either contend with their plant secondary metabolites (PSM) or avoid a significant component of the available forage. Browsing ruminants ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Stable carbon isotopic evidence of methane consumption and production in three alpine ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kato, Tomomichi; Yamada, Keita; Tang, Yanhong; Yoshida, Naohiro; Wada, Eitaro

    2013-10-01

    To understand the mechanisms of soil CH4 consumption and production in alpine ecosystems, we for the first time examined the stable carbon isotope ratio of CH4 (δ13C-CH4) at three major grassland vegetation types, alpine meadow, alpine shrub, and alpine wetland, on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The alpine meadow and shrub showed net CH4 absorption in their vertical profiles of CH4 concentration in summer, but a difference in their processes. Whereas the alpine shrub was dominated by CH4 consumption in its soil profile, CH4 production in the alpine meadow could slightly cancel consumed CH4 in shallow soil from -0.3 to -0.1 m. This potential CH4 production can be attributed to the relatively wet soil type of that ecosystem, which might allow methanogenesis to act in moist soil lumps in the shallow layer. The alpine wetland differed in methane production, consumption, and transport pathways between hummock and hollow plots. In summer, both plots were enriched in 13C-CH4 in dissolved CH4 in soil pore water, suggesting that CH4 production was conducted mainly by acetate fermentation. In autumn, CH4 production was shifted toward CO2/H2 reduction. Furthermore, in hummocks, plant-mediated transport of CH4 by vascular plants appeared to perform passive CH4 flow from deep soil to atmosphere, which allowed the produced CH4 to bypass the oxidation zone in shallow soil. In hollows, however, CH4 produced in shallow soil was subject to simultaneous oxidation. The fractional oxidation rate on gross CH4 production in hollows was estimated by simple mass balance model at 7-17% in summer and 35-36% in autumn.

  6. 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

  7. A story of the permafrost small-scale collapse at the deciduous shrub patches in the northeast Siberian tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique; Sass-Klaassen, Ute; Berendse, Frank

    2014-05-01

    The recent climate change is believed to accelerate the permafrost degradation in the arctic tundra. It also, meanwhile, drove the greening of the arctic (the expansion of the deciduous shrubs). The switch of the vegetation type might largely affect the local permafrost dynamics. Previous research indicated that the cover of deciduous shrubs mitigates the local permafrost degradation. From our observations, the active layer of permafrost at the deciduous shrub patch is normally the thinnest during the growing season. However, at our northeast Siberian tundra research site we also observed the drowning of shrubs due to small-scale permafrost collapse which happened in the shrub patches. This phenomenon is still far from understood. In this study we tried to explore the reasons that triggered these events. We hypothesized that the shrub cover can no longer protect the permafrost if dying of the oldest deciduous shrubs starts. Without sufficient shrub protection, the small-scale collapse of permafrost happens. Thus, we expected that the oldest deciduous shrub (in our study is dwarf birch Betula nana) individuals existed at small-scale permafrost collapse sites and the more younger stems appeared at the margin, compared with those at the center of the patches. The lack of long-term monitoring record increased the difficulties of the study. To achieve this target, a dendrochoronolgical method was implemented in this study, helping us measuring the shrub ages precisely. From the results of the study, we concluded that the dynamics of these patches were more complicated than our original hypotheses. Although there were some evidence supporting our expectation, the other results were against that. The vegetation dynamics of the B. nana patch probably was not the main reason of the local small-scale permafrost collapse. It was further implied that the local permafrost dynamics probably play a vital role on the patch dynamics in turn.

  8. New White Dwarf-Brown Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casewell, S. L.; Geier, S.; Lodieu, N.

    2017-03-01

    We present follow-up spectroscopy to 12 candidate white dwarf-brown dwarf binaries. We have confirmed that 8 objects do indeed have a white dwarf primary (7 DA, 1 DB) and two are hot subdwarfs. We have determined the Teff and log g for the white dwarfs and subdwarfs, and when combining these values with a model spectrum and the photometry, we have 3 probable white dwarf-substellar binaries with spectral types between M6 and L6.

  9. 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

  10. Recent expansion of erect shrubs in the Low Arctic: evidence from Eastern Nunavik

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, Benoît; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2012-09-01

    In order to characterize shrub response near the treeline in Eastern Nunavik (Québec), a region under extensive warming since the 1990s, we compared two series (1964 and 2003) of vertical aerial photos from the vicinity of Kangiqsualujjuaq. Our study revealed a widespread increase in erect woody vegetation cover. During the 40 years spanning the two photo series, erect shrub and tree cover increased markedly on more than half of the land surface available for new colonization or infilling. Within the 7.2 km2 analysed, areas with dense shrub and tree cover (>90%) increased from 34% to 44% whereas areas with low cover (<10%) shrank from 45% to 29%. This increase in cover of trees and shrubs occurred throughout the landscape regardless of altitude, slope angle and exposure, although to varying extents. The main shrub species involved in this increase was Betula glandulosa Michx. (dwarf birch), which was present in 98% and dominant in 85% of the 345 plots. In addition, numerous seedlings and saplings of Larix laricina (Du Roi) K Koch (eastern larch) were found above the treeline (25% of the plots), suggesting that the altitudinal treeline might shift upslope in the near future. Sites that remained devoid of erect woody vegetation in 2003 were either characterized by the absence of a suitable seedbed or by harsh local microclimatic conditions (wind exposure or excessive drainage). Our results indicate dramatic increases in shrub and tree cover at a Low Arctic site in Eastern Nunavik, contributing to a growing number of observations of woody vegetation change from various areas around the North.

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. Comparative Measurements of Condensation and Evaporation In The Alpine Regions of Thegiant Mountains, Poland and The Dischma, E. Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jong, C.; Mundelius, M.; Migala, K.

    During the summers of 1998, 1999 and 2001, two basins were instrumented for detailed comparative measurements of evaporation, transpiration and condensation. The catchments of the Reifträger, situated in the Giant Mountains of Poland and the Dischma, situated in the Kanton Graubünden in Eastern Switzerland range in altitude between 850 - 1410 m and 1600 - 3100 m respectively. All hydrological and meteorological measurements were carried out above the treeline. Both regions consist mainly of dwarf shrubs with dwarf pines, ferns, and moors dominating in the Reifträger and alpine pasture and dwarf shrubs in the Dischma. Automatic we ighing lysimeters and evaporation pans recorded evaporation, transpiration, condensation and rainfall data at 10 minute intervals over different slope profiles. On the Reifträger, condensation occurs between 05:00-07:00 and is followed by the onset of evaporation. Evaporation stagnates nearly entirely between 11:00-12:00 but it is subsequently reinitiated due to rapidly increasing wind speeds, reaching a maximum at 14:00. Evaporation continues until 18:00, followed by some nighttime evaporation in the early morning hours. Unlike the Reifträger, the Dischma has two daily maxima for evaporation and transpiration, again preceded in the morning hours by intensive condensation. In the Dischma, evaporation and transpiration is variable according to valley side but the first maximum usually occurs at 15:00 followed by a second maximum between 18:00-19:00 after sunset. The differences in the timing and pattern of evaporation and transpiration of the two catchments can be explained by influence of fog on the Reifträger compared to the regular exchange of moist and dry air from the glacier in the Dischma. In both cases, evaporation is delayed relative to radiation so that there is an evaporation lag of approximately 30 - 50 minutes on the Reifträger and up to 2 hours in the Dischma. Evaporation should therefore be modelled through a function

  14. Relation between extinction and assisted colonization of plants in the arctic-alpine and boreal regions.

    PubMed

    Pykälä, Juha

    2016-09-28

    Assisted colonization of vascular plants is considered by many ecologists an important tool to preserve biodiversity threatened by climate change. I argue that assisted colonization may have negative consequences in arctic-alpine and boreal regions. The observed slow movement of plants toward the north has been an argument for assisted colonization. However, these range shifts may be slow because for many plants microclimatic warming (ignored by advocates of assisted colonization) has been smaller than macroclimatic warming. Arctic-alpine and boreal plants may have limited possibilities to disperse farther north or to higher elevations. I suggest that arctic-alpine species are more likely to be driven to extinction because of competitive exclusion by southern species than by increasing temperatures. If so, the future existence of arctic-alpine and boreal flora may depend on delaying or preventing the migration of plants toward the north to allow northern species to evolve to survive in a warmer climate. In the arctic-alpine region, preventing the dispersal of trees and shrubs may be the most important method to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. The purported conservation benefits of assisted colonization should not be used to promote the migration of invasive species by forestry.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Negative impacts of a vertebrate predator on insect pollinator visitation and seed output in Chuquiraga oppositifolia, a high Andean shrub.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2004-01-01

    Studies on plant-pollinator interactions have largely neglected the potential negative effects of the predators of pollinators on seed output, even though anti-predatory behaviour of pollinators may affect visitation patterns, pollen transfer, and therefore potentially, plant reproductive output. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of lizards and insectivorous birds, by reducing pollinator visitation, can have significant negative effects on seed output in the insect-pollinated, genetically self-incompatible lower alpine Andean shrub, Chuquiraga oppositifolia (Asteraceae). The lower alpine belt supports a high density of territorial Liolaemus (Tropiduridae) lizards and low shrubs interspersed among rocks of varying sizes, the latter inhabited by lizards and commonly used by flycatchers Muscisaxicola (Tyrannidae) as perching sites. In a 2x2 factorial predator-exclusion experiment, visitation rates of the most frequent pollinators of C. oppositifolia (the satyrid butterfly Cosmosatyrus chilensis and the syrphid fly Scaeva melanostoma), the duration of pollinator visits, and seed output, were 2-4 times greater when lizards were excluded, while birds had no effect. In a natural experiment, visits by S. melanostoma were 9 times shorter, and pollinator visitation rates of C. chilensis and S. melanostoma, and C. oppositifolia seed output were 2-3 times lower on shrubs growing adjacent to lizard-occupied rocks compared to those growing distant from rocks. Our results, verified for additional Andean sites, suggest that lizard predators can alter the behaviour of pollinators and elicit strong top-down indirect negative effects on seed output. Such effects may be especially important in high alpine plant communities, where pollinator activity can be low and erratic, and pollen limitation has been reported.

  18. 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.

  19. Investigating Dwarf Spiral Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weerasooriya, Sachithra; Dunn, Jacqueline M.

    2017-01-01

    Several studies have proposed that dwarf elliptical / spheroidal galaxies form through the transformation of dwarf irregular galaxies. Early and late type dwarfs resemble each other in terms of their observed colors and light distributions (each can often be represented by exponential disks), providing reason to propose an evolutionary link between the two types. The existence of dwarf spirals has been largely debated. However, more and more recent studies are using the designation of dwarf spiral to describe their targets of interest. This project seeks to explore where dwarf spirals fit into the above mentioned evolutionary sequence, if at all. Optical colors will be compared between a sample of dwarf irregular, dwarf elliptical, and dwarf spiral galaxies. The dwarf irregular and dwarf elliptical samples have previously been found to overlap in both optical color and surface brightness profile shape when limiting the samples to their fainter members. A preliminary comparison including the dwarf spiral sample will be presented here, along with a comparison of available ultraviolet and near-infrared data. Initial results indicate a potential evolutionary link that merits further investigation.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Myers-Smith, Isla H; Hik, David S

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24198933

  2. 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.

  3. Alpine skiing injuries.

    PubMed Central

    Sahlin, Y

    1989-01-01

    Alpine skiing accidents admitted to the Trondheim Regional and University Hospital during one year were recorded. Of the 339 injured, 67 per cent were male and 33 per cent were female. Eighty-seven per cent were outpatients, and 13 per cent were hospitalized. Falling accidents (67 per cent), followed by collision accidents (17 per cent), were the most common cause of injury. The injuries in the lower extremities were caused by falling and the head injuries were mostly caused by collisions. Knee ligament strains were the most common injuries, and 17 per cent of these were hospitalized and required operative treatment. Of the minor knee strains, all 44 per cent were not fully recovered after two and a half years. Seventeen patients sustained tibial fractures, eleven of them spiral fractures and six transverse fractures. The patients with spiral fractures were younger than the patients with transverse fractures. Head injuries were the most severe injuries, with eleven concussions and two epidural haematomas. PMID:2630001

  4. Exploring Dwarf Galaxy Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, Jacqueline M.

    2017-01-01

    Dwarf galaxies are the most numerous galaxies in the universe, yet little is definitively understood about their formation and evolution. An evolutionary link has been proposed between dwarf irregular and dwarf elliptical galaxies by previous studies. The nature and existence of so-called dwarf spiral galaxies is still heavily debated. This project explores the properties of dwarf galaxies spanning a range in morphological type, luminosity, physical size, and surrounding environment (i.e. group / field galaxies). The goal of this project is to determine the range of exhibited properties for each type of dwarf galaxy using available ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared imaging and spectra. Similarities in visible, broadband colors support the proposed evolutionary link dwarf irregular and dwarf elliptical galaxies when the range of brightness of the samples is constrained to the fainter galaxies. Here, comparisons amongst a sub-sample of 59 dwarf irregulars, 12 dwarf ellipticals, and 29 dwarf spirals will be presented using archival ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared imaging. The effect of constraining the comparisons to the fainter sample members will be explored, as well as the effect of constraining the comparisons to the brighter sample members.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. Alpine pasture soils accumulate a large fraction of labile carbon due to combined effects of low temperature, low pH, and poor litter quality on decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budge, Karen; Leifeld, Jens; Hiltbrunner, Erika; Fuhrer, Jürg

    2010-05-01

    Alpine soils are expected to contain large amounts of labile carbon (C) which may result in a further increase in atmospheric CO2 levels in response to global warming. However, there is little data available on these soils and limited understanding of the influence environmental factors have on soil organic matter (SOM) turnover. We extracted 30 cm deep soil cores from 5 sites along an elevation gradient of an alpine pasture in the central Swiss Alps. Soil fractions obtained by size and density fractionation revealed a high proportion of labile particulate organic carbon (POC), particularly in the uppermost soil layers. POC values in the top 20 cm across the gradient of 2285-2653 m above sea level (a.s.l.) ranged from 39.6-57.6 % in comparison to 7.2-29.6 reported in lower elevation soils of 810-1960 m a.s.l. in previous studies. While soil at all elevations was found to be relatively acidic, C mean residence times (MRTs) were considerably shorter and phytomass was slightly higher at the single site found to have a comparatively less acidic soil pH, although SOC content did not vary from those sites of similar root/litter and stone contents. At all elevations, MRTs increased between fractions of increasing stability from free POM (fPOM) → occluded POM (oPOM) → mineral-associated material (mOM); e.g. at 2653 m MRTs increased in years from 90 in fPOM → 117 in oPOM → 534 in mOM. Depending on elevation and pH, plant community data indicated considerable variation in the source of litter input. The lowest site was dominated by sedges whereas the highest site by lichens and dwarf shrubs, this variation in litter source may be reflected in the dynamics of soil C. While temperature is likely to be a major influence in the low turnover rate observed, other factors such as litter quality and soil pH as well as the combination of these factors are likely to play an important role on the response of SOM in the event of soil warming and require consideration in model

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Tolerance of an expanding subarctic shrub, Betula glandulosa, to simulated caribou browsing.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Response of rhizosphere soil microbial to Deyeuxia angustifolia encroaching in two different vegetation communities in alpine tundra.

    PubMed

    Li, Lin; Xing, Ming; Lv, Jiangwei; Wang, Xiaolong; Chen, Xia

    2017-02-21

    Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L Chang is an herb species originating from the birch forests in the Changbai Mountain. Recently, this species has been found encroaching into large areas in the western slopes of the alpine tundra in the Changbai Mountain, threatening the tundra ecosystem. In this study, we systematically assessed the response of the rhizosphere soil microbial to D. angustifolia encroaching in alpine tundra by conducting experiments for two vegetation types (shrubs and herbs) by real-time PCR and Illumina Miseq sequencing methods. The treatments consisted of D. angustifolia sites (DA), native sites (NS, NH) and encroaching sites (ES, EH). Our results show that (1) Rhizosphere soil properties of the alpine tundra were significantly impacted by D. angustifolia encroaching; microbial nutrient cycling and soil bacterial communities were shaped to be suitable for D. angustifolia growth; (2) The two vegetation community rhizosphere soils responded differently to D. angustifolia encroaching; (3) By encroaching into both vegetation communities, D. angustifolia could effectively replace the native species by establishing positive plant-soil feedback. The strong adaptation and assimilative capacity contributed to D. angustifolia encroaching in the alpine tundra. Our research indicates that D. angustifolia significantly impacts the rhizosphere soil microbial of the alpine tundra.

  14. Response of rhizosphere soil microbial to Deyeuxia angustifolia encroaching in two different vegetation communities in alpine tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Lin; Xing, Ming; Lv, Jiangwei; Wang, Xiaolong; Chen, Xia

    2017-02-01

    Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L Chang is an herb species originating from the birch forests in the Changbai Mountain. Recently, this species has been found encroaching into large areas in the western slopes of the alpine tundra in the Changbai Mountain, threatening the tundra ecosystem. In this study, we systematically assessed the response of the rhizosphere soil microbial to D. angustifolia encroaching in alpine tundra by conducting experiments for two vegetation types (shrubs and herbs) by real-time PCR and Illumina Miseq sequencing methods. The treatments consisted of D. angustifolia sites (DA), native sites (NS, NH) and encroaching sites (ES, EH). Our results show that (1) Rhizosphere soil properties of the alpine tundra were significantly impacted by D. angustifolia encroaching; microbial nutrient cycling and soil bacterial communities were shaped to be suitable for D. angustifolia growth; (2) The two vegetation community rhizosphere soils responded differently to D. angustifolia encroaching; (3) By encroaching into both vegetation communities, D. angustifolia could effectively replace the native species by establishing positive plant-soil feedback. The strong adaptation and assimilative capacity contributed to D. angustifolia encroaching in the alpine tundra. Our research indicates that D. angustifolia significantly impacts the rhizosphere soil microbial of the alpine tundra.

  15. Response of rhizosphere soil microbial to Deyeuxia angustifolia encroaching in two different vegetation communities in alpine tundra

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lin; Xing, Ming; Lv, Jiangwei; Wang, Xiaolong; Chen, Xia

    2017-01-01

    Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L Chang is an herb species originating from the birch forests in the Changbai Mountain. Recently, this species has been found encroaching into large areas in the western slopes of the alpine tundra in the Changbai Mountain, threatening the tundra ecosystem. In this study, we systematically assessed the response of the rhizosphere soil microbial to D. angustifolia encroaching in alpine tundra by conducting experiments for two vegetation types (shrubs and herbs) by real-time PCR and Illumina Miseq sequencing methods. The treatments consisted of D. angustifolia sites (DA), native sites (NS, NH) and encroaching sites (ES, EH). Our results show that (1) Rhizosphere soil properties of the alpine tundra were significantly impacted by D. angustifolia encroaching; microbial nutrient cycling and soil bacterial communities were shaped to be suitable for D. angustifolia growth; (2) The two vegetation community rhizosphere soils responded differently to D. angustifolia encroaching; (3) By encroaching into both vegetation communities, D. angustifolia could effectively replace the native species by establishing positive plant-soil feedback. The strong adaptation and assimilative capacity contributed to D. angustifolia encroaching in the alpine tundra. Our research indicates that D. angustifolia significantly impacts the rhizosphere soil microbial of the alpine tundra. PMID:28220873

  16. Diverging shrub and tree growth from the Polar to the Mediterranean biomes across the European continent.

    PubMed

    Pellizzari, Elena; Camarero, Jesus Julio; Gazol, Antonio; Granda, Elena; Shetti, Rohan; Wilmking, Martin; Moiseev, Pavel; Pividori, Mario; Carrer, Marco

    2016-11-25

    Climate warming is expected to enhance productivity and growth of woody plants, particularly in temperature-limited environments at the northernmost or uppermost limits of their distribution. However, this warming is spatially uneven and temporally variable, and the rise in temperatures differently affects biomes and growth forms. Here, applying a dendroecological approach with generalized additive mixed models, we analysed how the growth of shrubby junipers and coexisting trees (larch and pine species) responds to rising temperatures along a 5000-km latitudinal range including sites from the Polar, Alpine to the Mediterranean biomes. We hypothesize that, being more coupled to ground microclimate, junipers will be less influenced by atmospheric conditions and will less respond to the post-1950 climate warming than coexisting standing trees. Unexpectedly, shrub and tree growth forms revealed divergent growth trends in all the three biomes, with juniper performing better than trees at Mediterranean than at Polar and Alpine sites. The post-1980s decline of tree growth in Mediterranean sites might be induced by drought stress amplified by climate warming and did not affect junipers. We conclude that different but coexisting long-living growth forms can respond differently to the same climate factor and that, even in temperature-limited area, other drivers like the duration of snow cover might locally play a fundamental role on woody plants growth across Europe.

  17. T Dwarf Explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazio, Giovanni; Hora, Joseph; Luhman, Kevin; Marengo, Massimo; Patten, Brian; Sonnett, Sarah; Stauffer, John

    2007-05-01

    With the basic colors and photometry for M, L, and T dwarfs in the IRAC bandpasses established (Patten et al. 2006), we wish to shift our focus to the differences seen among objects with similar T_eff and, in particular, to expand on the exploration of the T dwarfs. While some of the observed dispersion of T dwarf colors and magnitudes in the near- and mid-IR for objects of the same sub-type can be explained by differences in metallicity and gravity, some of this scatter may also be due to binarity and intrinsic variability (i.e., 'brown dwarf weather'). We are curious as to whether or not the observed scatter with color in the infrared, which appears to be largest in the mid-T dwarfs, really tapers off and grows smaller in the late-T dwarfs, or if we are simply not seeing the whole picture due to small number statistics. On the warmer end of the T sequence, recent results suggest that the transition from the late-L to early-T types in brown dwarf temperature progresses very quickly in an evolutionary sense. Therefore, objects with early T types should be relatively rare. Many of the early-T brown dwarfs used in the in the Patten et al. 2006 study (and others) have turned out to be very close binaries (e.g. Burgasser et al. 2006), which has resulted in a deficit of true, single early-T brown dwarfs with well-determined mid-infrared colors and photometry. We are proposing to acquire IRAC photometry for an additional ~23 T-type dwarfs in order to allow us to better characterize trending with color and spectral type for the T dwarfs. These new T dwarf data will be combined with the existing T dwarf data previously acquired by IRAC to produce the color-color and color-magnitude diagrams necessary to compare observation to theory for the coolest sub-stellar mass objects known. These data will prove invaluable in constraining searches in color and magnitude space for brown dwarf companions to nearby stars as well as for free-floating brown dwarfs in the field.

  18. Spectral vegetation indices for estimating shrub cover, green phytomass and leaf turnover in a sedge-shrub tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kushida, K.; Kim, Y.; Tsuyuzaki, S.; Fukuda, M.

    2008-12-01

    Using field observations, we determined the relationships between spectral indices and the shrub ratio, green phytomass and leaf turnover of a sedge-shrub tundra community in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, USA. We established a 50-m ~ 50-m plot (69.73°N 143.62°W) located on a floodplain of the refuge. The willow shrub (Salix lanata) and sedge (Carex bigelowii) dominated the plot vegetation. In July to August 2007, we established ten 0.5-m ~ 0.5-m quadrats on both shrub- covered ground (shrub quadrats) and on ground with no shrubs (sedge quadrats). All the shrubs within the shrub quadrats were harvested, and the photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic parts were weighed. Subsequently, the remaining green phytomass was also harvested and weighed. The shrub quadrats were measured spectrally before and after harvesting the shrubs. The sedge quadrats were also measured spectrally. The shrub ratio was more strongly correlated with the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, R2 of 0.57) than the normalized difference infrared index (NDII), the soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI) or the enhanced vegetation index (EVI). On the other hand, for both green phytomass and leaf turnover, the strongest correlation was with NDII (R2 of 0.63 and 0.79, respectively).

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Astrometric Binaries: White Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliversen, Nancy A.

    We propose to observe a selection of astrometric or spectroscopicastrometric binaries nearer than about 20 pc with unseen low mass companions. Systems of this type are important for determining the luminosity function of low mass stars (white dwarfs and very late main sequence M stars), and their contribution to the total mass of the galaxy. Systems of this type are also important because the low mass, invisible companions are potential candidates in the search for planets. Our target list is selected primarily from the list of 31 astrometric binaries near the sun by Lippincott (1978, Space Sci. Rev., 22, 153), with additional candidates from recent observations by Kamper. The elimination of stars with previous IUE observations, red companions resolved by infrared speckle interferometry, or primaries later than M1 (because if white dwarf companions are present they should have been detected in the visible region) reduces the list to 5 targets which need further information. IUE SWP low dispersion observations of these targets will show clearly whether the remaining unseen companions are white dwarfs, thus eliminating very cool main sequence stars or planets. This is also important in providing complete statistical information about the nearest stars. The discovery of a white dwarf in such a nearby system would provide important additional information about the masses of white dwarfs. Recent results by Greenstein (1986, A. J., 92, 859) from binary systems containing white dwarfs imply that 80% of such systems are as yet undetected. The preference of binaries for companions of approximately equal mass makes the Lippincott-Kamper list of A through K primaries with unseen companions a good one to use to search for white dwarfs. The mass and light dominance of the current primary over the white dwarf in the visible makes ultraviolet observations essential to obtain an accurate census of white dwarf binaries.

  3. 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.

  4. Spectroscopy of Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebolo, R.

    Recent searches for brown dwarfs have succeeded in finding these elusive objects. Massive brown dwarfs (40-70 Jupiter masses) have been found in the Pleiades, orbiting around a nearby star and, very recently, in the field. A review is given of their observed photometric and spectroscopic properties in the optical and near-infrared. The diagnosis of substellar nature based on lithium lines and methane bands is discussed in detail. While lithium has proved useful to test brown dwarfs with effective temperatures hotter than ~1600 K, methane is a substellar indicator at lower temperatures.

  5. 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.

  6. Shrub encroachment is linked to extirpation of an apex predator.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Christopher E; Eldridge, David J; Ripple, William J; Crowther, Mathew S; Moore, Ben D; Letnic, Mike

    2017-01-01

    The abundance of shrubs has increased throughout Earth's arid lands. This 'shrub encroachment' has been linked to livestock grazing, fire-suppression and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations facilitating shrub recruitment. Apex predators initiate trophic cascades which can influence the abundance of many species across multiple trophic levels within ecosystems. Extirpation of apex predators is linked inextricably to pastoralism, but has not been considered as a factor contributing to shrub encroachment. Here, we ask if trophic cascades triggered by the extirpation of Australia's largest terrestrial predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), could be a driver of shrub encroachment in the Strzelecki Desert, Australia. We use aerial photographs spanning a 51-year period to compare shrub cover between areas where dingoes are historically rare and common. We then quantify contemporary patterns of shrub, shrub seedling and mammal abundances, and use structural equation modelling to compare competing trophic cascade hypotheses to explain how dingoes could influence shrub recruitment. Finally, we track the fate of seedlings of an encroaching shrub, hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa angustissima), during a period optimal for seedling recruitment, and quantify removal rates of hopbush seeds by rodents from enriched seed patches. Shrub cover was 26-48% greater in areas where dingoes were rare than common. Our structural equation modelling supported the hypothesis that dingo removal facilitates shrub encroachment by triggering a four level trophic cascade. According to this model, increased mesopredator abundance in the absence of dingoes results in suppressed abundance of consumers of shrub seeds and seedlings, rodents and rabbits respectively. In turn, suppressed abundances of rodents and rabbits in the absence of dingoes relaxed a recruitment bottleneck for shrubs. The results of our SEM were supported by results showing that rates of hopbush seedling survival and seed removal were 1

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Photometric Variability of Y Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trucks, Jesica; Cushing, M.; Hardegree-Ullman, K.; Gelino, C. R.; Kirkpatrick, J. D.; Mace, G. N.; Gizis, J.; Marley, M. S.; Morley, C.; Fortney, J. J.

    2014-01-01

    Condensate clouds are present in brown dwarf atmospheres due to their low surface temperatures. As the coolest (Teff < 600 K) class of brown dwarfs currently known, Y dwarfs allow us to study the unique atmospheric physics that occur at these temperatures including the formation of sulfide, chloride, and water clouds. Dynamic inhomogeneities in cloud cover should manifest as photometric variabilities in the observed light curves of brown dwarfs. This phenomenon was originally documented in two brown-dwarfs by Morales-Calderón et al. (2006) at 4.5 microns, and in one brown dwarf by Heinze et al. (2013) at 3.6 microns. We describe our ongoing program to monitor fourteen Y dwarfs for photometric variability at 3.6 and 4.5 microns with the Spitzer Space Telescope and present initial results including the first detection of Y dwarf variability.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2015-10-09

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Episodic death across species of desert shrubs.

    PubMed

    Miriti, Maria N; Rodríguez-Buriticá, Susana; Wright, S Joseph; Howe, Henry F

    2007-01-01

    Extreme events shape population and community trajectories. We report episodic mortality across common species of thousands of long-lived perennials individually tagged and monitored for 20 years in the Colorado Desert of California following severe regional drought. Demographic records from 1984 to 2004 show 15 years of virtual stasis in populations of adult shrubs and cacti, punctuated by a 55-100% die-off of six of the seven most common perennial species. In this episode, adults that experienced reduced growth in a lesser drought during 1984-1989 failed to survive the drought of 2002. The significance of this event is potentially profound because population dynamics of long-lived plants can be far more strongly affected by deaths of adults, which in deserts potentially live for centuries, than by seedling births or deaths. Differential mortality and rates of recovery during and after extreme climatic events quite likely determine the species composition of plant and associated animal communities for at least decades. The die-off recorded in this closely monitored community provides a unique window into the mechanics of this process of species decline and replacement.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Dwarf Dark Matter Halos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colín, P.; Klypin, A.; Valenzuela, O.; Gottlöber, Stefan

    2004-09-01

    We study properties of dark matter halos at high redshifts z=2-10 for a vast range of masses with the emphasis on dwarf halos with masses of 107-109 h-1 Msolar. We find that the density profiles of relaxed dwarf halos are well fitted by the Navarro, Frenk, & White (NFW) profile and do not have cores. We compute the halo mass function and the halo spin parameter distribution and find that the former is very well reproduced by the Sheth & Tormen model, while the latter is well fitted by a lognormal distribution with λ0=0.042 and σλ=0.63. We estimate the distribution of concentrations for halos in a mass range that covers 6 orders of magnitude, from 107 to 1013 h-1 Msolar, and find that the data are well reproduced by the model of Bullock et al. The extrapolation of our results to z=0 predicts that present-day isolated dwarf halos should have a very large median concentration of ~35. We measure the subhalo circular velocity functions for halos with masses that range from 4.6×109 to 1013 h-1 Msolar and find that they are similar when normalized to the circular velocity of the parent halo. Dwarf halos studied in this paper are many orders of magnitude smaller than well-studied cluster- and Milky Way-sized halos. Yet, in all respects the dwarfs are just downscaled versions of the large halos. They are cuspy and, as expected, more concentrated. They have the same spin parameter distribution and follow the same mass function that was measured for large halos.

  15. 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.

  16. Willow Shrub Expansion Following Tundra Fires in Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racine, C.

    2010-12-01

    Climate warming in the Arctic is predicted to result in the expansion of woody shrubs and increased frequency and size of tundra fires. How will fire influence this shrub expansion? Over a period of 32 years, following a 1977 tundra fire in the central Seward Peninsula, we sampled seven times the post-fire vegetation at eight permanently marked sites on a long (2 Km) hillslope (Nimrod Hill). We had previously sampled vegetation here in 1973 prior to the fire. By 2001, 24 years post-fire conspicuous willow shrubs (mostly Salix pulchra) had increased in numbers, size and cover over the entire slope in moist tussock-shrub tundra, well-drained heath, and wet meadow. Prior to fire, willow on this slope was largely restricted to small drainages or watertracks. Willows here have originated from both seed and vegetative resprouting - the latter mostly in moist tussock-shrub tundra from willows resprouting within one to three years post-fire. With fire-induced removal of vascular plant competition and Spagnum moss cover and litter in tussock-shrub tundra, both seedling and resprouting willows have grown rapidly to overtop tussocks by 30-40 cm. Similar rapid post-fire resprouting of willows has been observed in tussock-shrub tundra after the 2007 Anaktuvuk River tundra fire and after the 1977 tundra fires in the Noatak River basin. On Nimrod Hill the most striking willow expansion has occurred on the severely burned and well-drained backslope where willow establishment from seed 5-10 years after fire has resulted in up to 40% cover of rapidly growing willows of both upright and spreading growth form. At several sites along the slope there is evidence of continuing willow expansion from seedlings 24 to 32 years post-fire, when we might expect the effects of fire on seedbeds would have ceased. We conclude that tundra fire may promote shrub expansion in the Arctic.

  17. A multifaceted view on the impacts of shrub encroachment.

    PubMed

    Maestre, Fernando T; Eldridge, David J; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-07-01

    Shrub encroachment, a global phenomenon with management implications, is examined in two papers in the current issue of Applied Vegetation Science. Barbosa da Silva et al. show that encroachment simplifies herbaceous community, and Pittarello et al. illustrate how pastoral practices can restore encroached grasslands. While detrimental effects of shrub encroachment on grassland vegetation are often reported, we argue for a more holistic view when assessing this land cover change.

  18. A multifaceted view on the impacts of shrub encroachment

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David J.; Soliveres, Santiago

    2017-01-01

    Shrub encroachment, a global phenomenon with management implications, is examined in two papers in the current issue of Applied Vegetation Science. Barbosa da Silva et al. show that encroachment simplifies herbaceous community, and Pittarello et al. illustrate how pastoral practices can restore encroached grasslands. While detrimental effects of shrub encroachment on grassland vegetation are often reported, we argue for a more holistic view when assessing this land cover change. PMID:28239276

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. M Dwarf Mysteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, Todd J.; Jao, Wei-Chun; Irwin, Jonathan; Dieterich, Sergio; Finch, Charlie T.; Riedel, Adric R.; Subasavage, John P.; Winters, Jennifer; RECONS Team

    2017-01-01

    During RECONS' 17-year (so far) astrometry/photometry program at the CTIO/SMARTS 0.9m, we have observed thousands of the ubiquitous red dwarfs in the solar neighborhood. During this reconnaissance, a few mysterious characters have emerged ...The Case of the Mercurial Stars: One M dwarf has been fading steadily for more than a decade, at last measure 6% fainter than when it was first observed. Another has grown brighter by 7% over 15 years. Are these brightness changes part of extremely long stellar cycles, or something else entirely?The Case of Identical Stellar Twins that Aren't: Two M dwarfs seem at first to be identical siblings traveling together through the Galaxy. They have virtually identical spectra at optical wavelengths and identical colors throughout the VRIJHK bands. Long-term astrometry indicates that they are, indeed, at the same distance via parallax measurements, and their proper motions match precisely. Yet, one of the twins is FOUR times brighter than the other. Followup work has revealed that the brighter component is a very close spectroscopic double, but no other stars are seen. So, the mystery may be half solved, but why do the close stars remain twice as bright as their widely-separated twin?The Case of the Great Kaboom!: After more than 1000 nights of observing on the reliable 0.9m telescope, with generally routine frames reading out upon the screen, one stellar system comprised of five red dwarfs flared in stunning fashion. Of the two distinct sources, the fainter one (an unresolved double) surpassed the brightness of the brighter one (an unresolved triple), increasing by more than three full magnitudes in the V filter. Which component actually flared? Is this magnificent outburst an unusual event, or in fact typical for this system and other M dwarfs?At the AAS meeting, we hope to probe the cognoscenti who study the Sun's smaller cousins to solve these intriguing M Dwarf Mysteries.This effort has been supported by the NSF through grants

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Modelling photochemistry in alpine valleys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brulfert, G.; Chemel, C.; Chaxel, E.; Chollet, J. P.

    2005-03-01

    Road traffic is a serious problem in the Chamonix Valley, France: traffic, noise and above all air pollution worry the inhabitants. The big fire in the Mont-Blanc tunnel made it possible, in the framework of the POVA project (POllution in Alpine Valleys), to undertake measurement campaigns with and without heavy-vehicle traffic through the valley, towards Italy (before and after the tunnel re-opening). Modelling in POVA should make it possible to explain the processes leading to episodes of atmospheric pollution, both in summer and in winter. Atmospheric prediction model ARPS 4.5.2 (Advanced Regional Prediction System), developed at the CAPS (Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms) of the University of Oklahoma, enables to resolve the dynamics above a complex terrain. This model is coupled to the TAPOM 1.5.2 atmospheric chemistry (Transport and Air POllution Model) code developed at the Air and Soil Pollution Laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The numerical codes MM5 and CHIMERE are used to compute large scale boundary forcing. Using 300-m grid cells to calculate the dynamics and the reactive chemistry makes possible to accurately represent the dynamics in the valley (slope and valley winds) and to process chemistry at fine scale. Validation of campaign days allows to study chemistry indicators in the valley. NOy according to O3 reduction demonstrates a VOC controlled regime, different from the NOx controlled regime expected and observed in the nearby city of Grenoble.

  7. Do changes in grazing pressure and the degree of shrub encroachment alter the effects of individual shrubs on understorey plant communities and soil function?

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Eldridge, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Shrub canopies in semi-arid environments often produce positive effects on soil fertility, and on the richness and biomass of understorey plant communities. However, both positive and negative effects of shrub encroachment on plant and soil attributes have been reported at the landscape-level. The contrasting results between patch- and landscape-level effects in shrublands could be caused by differences in the degree of shrub encroachment or grazing pressure, both of which are likely to reduce the ability of individual shrubs to ameliorate their understorey environment. We examined how grazing and shrub encroachment (measured as landscape-level shrub cover) influence patch-level effects of shrubs on plant density, biomass and similarity in species composition between shrub understories and open areas, and on soil stability, nutrient cycling, and infiltration in two semi-arid Australian woodlands. Individual shrubs had consistently positive effects on all plant and soil variables (average increase of 23% for all variables). These positive patch-level effects persisted with increasing shrub cover up to our maximum of 50% cover. Heavy grazing negatively affected most of the variables studied (average decline of 11%). It also altered, for some variables, how individual shrubs affected their sub-canopy environment with increasing shrub cover. Thus for species density, biomass and soil infiltration, the positive effect of individual shrubs with increasing shrub cover diminished under heavy grazing. Synthesis Our study refines predictions of the effects of woody encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning by showing that heavy grazing, rather than differences in shrub cover, explains the contrasting effects on ecosystem structure and function between individual shrubs and those in dense aggregations. We also discuss how species-specific traits of the encroaching species, such as their height or its ability to fix N, might influence the relationship between

  8. The effect of topography on arctic-alpine aboveground biomass and NDVI patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riihimäki, Henri; Heiskanen, Janne; Luoto, Miska

    2017-04-01

    Topography is a key factor affecting numerous environmental phenomena, including Arctic and alpine aboveground biomass (AGB) distribution. Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is a source of topographic information which can be linked to local growing conditions. Here, we investigated the effect of DEM derived variables, namely elevation, topographic position, radiation and wetness on AGB and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in a Fennoscandian forest-alpine tundra ecotone. Boosted regression trees were used to derive non-parametric response curves and relative influences of the explanatory variables. Elevation and potential incoming solar radiation were the most important explanatory variables for both AGB and NDVI. In the NDVI models, the response curves were smooth compared with AGB models. This might be caused by large contribution of field and shrub layer to NDVI, especially at the treeline. Furthermore, radiation and elevation had a significant interaction, showing that the highest NDVI and biomass values are found from low-elevation, high-radiation sites, typically on the south-southwest facing valley slopes. Topographic wetness had minor influence on AGB and NDVI. Topographic position had generally weak effects on AGB and NDVI, although protected topographic position seemed to be more favorable below the treeline. The explanatory power of the topographic variables, particularly elevation and radiation demonstrates that DEM-derived land surface parameters can be used for exploring biomass distribution resulting from landform control on local growing conditions.

  9. White Dwarf Mass Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Koester, D.; Romero, A. D.; Ourique, G.; Pelisoli, I.

    2017-03-01

    We present the mass distribution for all S/N ≥ 15 DA white dwarfs detected in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey up to Data Release 12 in 2015, fitted with Koester models for ML2/α=0.8 (Teff≥ 10000 K), and for DBs with S/N ≥ 10, fitted with ML2/α=1.25, for Teff >16 000 K. These mass distributions are for logg≥6.5 stars, i.e., excluding the Extremely Low Mass white dwarfs. We also present the mass distributions corrected by volume with the 1/Vmax approach, for stars brighter than g=19. Both distributions have a maximum at M=0.624 M ⊙ but very distinct shapes.

  10. Solidification of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatzman, E.

    1982-01-01

    The internal structure of white dwarfs is discussed. Highly correlated plasmas are reviewed. Implications for phase separation in the core of cooling white dwarfs are considered. The consequences for evolution of white dwarfs are addressed.

  11. 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.

  12. Water storage capacity, stemflow and water funneling in Mediterranean shrubs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Estringana, P.; Alonso-Blázquez, N.; Alegre, J.

    2010-08-01

    SummaryTo predict water losses and other hydrological and ecological features of a given vegetation, its water storage capacity and stemflow need to be accurately determined. Vast areas of the Mediterranean region are occupied by shrublands yet there is scarce data available on their rainwater interception capacity. In this study, simulated rainfall tests were conducted in controlled conditions on nine Mediterranean shrubs of varying anatomic and morphological features to determine water storage capacity, stemflow and the funneling ratio. After assessing correlations between these hydrological variables and the biometric characteristics of the shrubs, we compared two methods of determining storage capacity: rainfall simulation and immersion. Mean water storage capacity was 1.02 mm (0.35-3.24 mm), stemflow was 16% (3.8-26.4%) and the funneling ratio was 104 (30-260). Per unit biomass, mean storage capacity was 0.66 ml g -1 and ranged from 0.23 ml g -1 for Cistus ladanifer to 2.26 ml g -1 for Lavandula latifolia. Despite their small size, shrubs may generate high water losses to the atmosphere when they form dense communities and this can have a significant impact in regions where water is scarce. When considered the whole shrubs in absolute terms (ml per plant), water storage capacity and stemflow were correlated to biomass and the dendrometric characteristics of the shrubs, yet in relative terms (expressed per surface area unit or as %), anatomic features such as pubescence, branch rigidity or leaf insertion angle emerged as determining factors. The use of a simple procedure to assess storage capacity was inefficient. The immersion method underestimated storage capacity to a different extent for each species. Some shrubs returned high stemflow values typical of their adaptation to the semiarid climate. In contrast, other shrubs seem to have structures that promote stemflow yet have developed other drought-adaptation mechanisms. In this report, we discuss the

  13. 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.

  14. Convection in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, Judith L.; Shipman, H.; Dalessio, J.; M, M.

    2012-01-01

    Convection is one of the largest sources of theoretical uncertainty in our understanding of stellar physics. Current studies of convective energy transport are based on the mixing length theory. Originally intended to depict turbulent flows in engineering situations, MLT enjoys moderate success in describing stellar convection. However, problems arising from MLT's incompleteness are apparent in studies ranging from determinations of the ages of massive stars, to understanding the structure F and early A stars, to predicting the pulsation periods of solar stars, to understanding the atmosphere of Titan. As an example for white dwarfs, Bergeron et al. (1995) show that model parameters such as flux, line profiles, energy distribution, color indices, and equivalent widths are extremely sensitive to the assumed MLT parameterization. The authors find systematic uncertainties ranging from 25% for effective temperatures to 11% for mass and radius. The WET is engaged in a long term project to empirically determine the physical properties of convection in the atmospheres of pulsating white dwarfs. The technique, outlined by Montgomery et al. (2010), uses information from nonlinear (non-sinusoidal) pulse shapes of the target star to empirically probe the physical properties of its convection zone. Approximately two thirds of all white dwarfs show nonlinear characteristics in their light curves. We present current results from WET targets in 2008-2011.

  15. Permafrost response to increasing Arctic shrub abundance depends on the relative influence of shrubs on local soil cooling versus large-scale climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, David M.; Swenson, Sean C.

    2011-10-01

    Deciduous shrub abundance is increasing across the Arctic in response to climatic warming. In a recent field manipulation experiment in which shrubs were removed from a plot and compared to a control plot with shrubs, Blok et al (2010 Glob. Change Biol. 16 1296-305) found that shrubs protect the ground through shading, resulting in a ~ 9% shallower active layer thickness (ALT) under shrubs compared to grassy-tundra, which led them to argue that continued Arctic shrub expansion could mitigate future permafrost thaw. We utilize the Community Land Model (CLM4) coupled to the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM4) to evaluate this hypothesis. CLM4 simulates shallower ALT (~- 11 cm) under shrubs, consistent with the field manipulation study. However, in an idealized pan-Arctic + 20% shrub area experiment, atmospheric heating, driven mainly by surface albedo changes related to protrusion of shrub stems above the spring snowpack, leads to soil warming and deeper ALT (~+ 10 cm). Therefore, if climate feedbacks are considered, shrub expansion may actually increase rather than decrease permafrost vulnerability. When we account for blowing-snow redistribution from grassy-tundra to shrubs, shifts in snowpack distribution in low versus high shrub area simulations counter the climate warming impact, resulting in a grid cell mean ALT that is unchanged. These results reinforce the need to consider vegetation dynamics and blowing-snow processes in the permafrost thaw model projections.

  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. 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

  18. Encroaching forests decouple alpine butterfly population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Roland, Jens; Matter, Stephen F

    2007-08-21

    Over the past 50 years, the rising tree line along Jumpingpound Ridge in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada, has reduced the area of alpine meadows and isolated populations that reside within them. By analyzing an 11-year data set of butterfly population sizes for 17 subpopulations along the ridge, we show that forest habitat separating alpine meadows decouples the dynamics of populations of the alpine butterfly Parnassius smintheus. Although the distance between populations is often negatively correlated with synchrony of dynamics, here we show that distance through forest, not Euclidean distance, determines the degree of synchrony. This effect is consistent with previous results demonstrating that encroaching forest reduces dispersal among populations and reduces gene flow. Decoupling dynamics produces more smaller independent populations, each with greater risk of local extinction, but decoupling may produce a lower risk of regional extinction in this capricious environment.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. Modelling photochemistry in alpine valleys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brulfert, G.; Chemel, C.; Chaxel, E.; Chollet, J. P.

    2005-09-01

    Road traffic is a serious problem in the Chamonix Valley, France: traffic, noise and above all air pollution worry the inhabitants. The big fire in the Mont-Blanc tunnel made it possible, in the framework of the POVA project (POllution in Alpine Valleys), to undertake measurement campaigns with and without heavy-vehicle traffic through the Chamonix and Maurienne valleys, towards Italy (before and after the tunnel re-opening). Modelling is one of the aspects of POVA and should make it possible to explain the processes leading to episodes of atmospheric pollution, both in summer and in winter. Atmospheric prediction model ARPS 4.5.2 (Advanced Regional Prediction System), developed at the CAPS (Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms) of the University of Oklahoma, enables to resolve the dynamics above a complex terrain. This model is coupled to the TAPOM 1.5.2 atmospheric chemistry (Transport and Air POllution Model) code developed at the Air and Soil Pollution Laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The numerical codes MM5 and CHIMERE are used to compute large scale boundary forcing.

    This paper focuses on modelling Chamonix valley using 300-m grid cells to calculate the dynamics and the reactive chemistry which makes possible to accurately represent the dynamics in the Chamonix valley (slope and valley winds) and to process chemistry at fine scale. The summer 2003 intensive campaign was used to validate the model and to study chemistry. NOy according to O3 reduction demonstrates a VOC controlled regime, different from the NOx controlled regime expected and observed in the nearby city of Grenoble.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Tidal Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houck, James R.; Higdon, Sarah

    2004-09-01

    Tidal Dwarf Galaxies (TDG's) are formed from material stripped from the disks of spiral galaxies, which are undergoing tidal interactions with a nearby companion. These galaxies provide important clues to our understanding of galaxy formation, evolution and cosmic recycling. Using the IRS we will measure the star formation activity in 6 TDG candidates. We will measure the ionization state ( [NeII] 12.8 um, [NeIII] 15.6 um and [NeV] 14.3um and [OIV] 25.9 um), the density in the ionized gas ([SIII] 18.7um/33.5um), the PAH fractions at 5.5-9um and 11-12.2um and possibly (optimistic here!) molecular hydrogen emission form PDRs at H2 (S0) 28um and H2 (S1) at 17um. In addition to the IRS observations we will map both the Guitar and Stephan's Quintet with IRAC. This will enable us to compare the PAH fraction in the dwarf galaxy to that of its parent. Similarly we will compare our observation of the proposed TDG at the southern tip of NGC 4038 with the GT observations of the central region of the Antennae. This program compliments two existing GT programmes: 1) the high-Z program - these observations enable us to observe in fine detail the nearby/present day analogs of galaxy formation in the early universe. 2) Blue Compact Dwarf programme - On first inpsection BCD's and TDG's appear the same: BCDs are similar in size to TDG's, but TDG's may not have a large dark matter halo component (affecting the long term stability of an object) and BCD's typically have a much lower metallicity. We will be able to compare the star formation activity in terms of the ionization state and PAH fraction in the two galaxy types.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Dwarfs in Coma Cluster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for larger poster version

    This false-color mosaic of the central region of the Coma cluster combines infrared and visible-light images to reveal thousands of faint objects (green). Follow-up observations showed that many of these objects, which appear here as faint green smudges, are dwarf galaxies belonging to the cluster. Two large elliptical galaxies, NGC 4889 and NGC 4874, dominate the cluster's center. The mosaic combines visible-light data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (color coded blue) with long- and short-wavelength infrared views (red and green, respectively) from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

  11. White Dwarf Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colina, Luis

    1994-01-01

    As a result of last November calibration workshop, all parties agreed that the HST should be switched to the WD basis for absolute fluxes. This proposal implements that decision. A measurement of the absolute sensitivity of the FOS detectors will be performed using theoretical pure hydrogen model atmosphere calculations for three white dwarfs. The high resolution gratings will be used in the 1 arcsec aperture. A four stage peakup of the standard star provides centering in the aperture. Observations are requested for fall 94 with repeated observations about two months after.

  12. Outdoor Education Project Report, Camp Alpine.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palmer, N. J.

    A report is given of Project Alpine, two summer pilot programs in outdoor education sponsored by the Mesa Public Schools of Arizona. The report outlines the duties of camp personnel and includes an instruction sheet used by camp counselors. Various activities held for the campers (boys and girls from both upper elementary and secondary grades) are…

  13. Monitoring Alpine Transportation Infrastructures Using Space Techniues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strozzi, Tazio; Caduff, Rafael; Wegmuller, Urs; Brandstaetter, Michael; Kuhtreiber, Norbert

    2013-12-01

    Integration of satellite SAR interferometry, terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS is considered for the monitoring of ground motion along Alpine transportation infrastructures. We present results related to large-scale surveys in Switzerland along the Gotthard railway with satellite SAR interferometry and to a local monitoring of an active rockfall above the Pyhrn motorway in Austria using terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS.

  14. [Effect of degradation succession process on the temperature sensitivity of ecosystem respiration in alpine Potentilla fruticosa scrub meadow].

    PubMed

    Li, Dong; Luo, Xu-Peng; Cao, Guang-Min; Wu, Qin; Hu, Qi-Wu; Zhuo, Ma-Cuo; Li, Hui-Mei

    2015-03-01

    Grazing is one of the main artificial driving forces for the degradation succession process of alpine meadow. In order to quantitatively study the temperature sensitivity of alpine meadow ecosystem respiration in different degradation stages, we conducted the research in Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station, CAS from July 2003 to July 2004. The static chamber-chromatography methodology was used to observe the seasonal changes of alpine scrub ecosystem respiration flux during different degradation stages. The results showed that: (1) The seasonal changes of ecosystem respiration flux in different degradation stages of alpine shrub presented a unimodal curve. The maximum appeared in August and the minimum appeared during the period from October to next April. The degradation succession process significantly decreased the ecosystem respiratory CO2 release rate. The respiratory rate ranges of alpine Potentilla fruticosa scrub (GG), Kobresia capillifolia meadow (GC) and bare land (GL) were 34.21-1 168.23, 2.30-1 112.38 and 20.40-509.72 mg (m2 x h)(-1), respectively. The average respiration rate of GG was 1.29 and 2.56 times of that of GC and GL, respectively; (2) Temperature was the main factor that affected the ecosystem respiration rate, and contributed 25% - 79% of the variation of the ecosystem respiration. The degradation succession process significantly changed the correlation between ecosystem respiration rate and temperature. The correlation (R2) between ecosystem respiration rate and each temperature indicator (T(s), T(d) and T(a)) was reduced by 47.23%, 46.95% and 55.28%, respectively when the ground vegetation disappeared and the scrub was degraded into secondary bare land; (3) The difference of Q10 between warm and cool seasons was significant (P < 0.05), and the value of cold season was larger than that of warm season. Degradation succession process apparently changed the temperature sensitivity of ecosystem respiration. The Q10 values of GG, GC

  15. Variability in leaf morphology and photosynthetic responses of arctic woody shrubs to warming and shifts in snow induced thermal insulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flower, C. E.; Pereyra, G.; Welker, J. M.; Trumbore, S.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2013-12-01

    Permafrost warming in the climate sensitive Arctic tundra has been linked to shifts in vegetation, from tussock dominated to tussock/shrub systems. This vegetation shift has the potential to not only impact the abiotic conditions, but also the energy balance and biogeochemical cycling of these systems; as plant assimilation, respiration, C allocation, and rooting depth may differ between plant functional groups. We assessed leaf morphology and constructed light response curves at ambient (400 ppm) and elevated (800 ppm) CO2 concentrations to assess photosynthetic responses of dwarf birch and diamond-leaf willow to a natural and induced simulated warming experiment at the Toolik Field Station in Alaska. Results indicate a positive correlation between summer soil thaw depth and leaf surface area indicating hydrological responses of both species. Additionally, leaf area was higher in warmed plots relative to non warmed plots in both the snow addition and the control treatments. Furthermore, we found that diamond-leaf willow exhibits elevated assimilation rates relative to dwarf birch. Both species exhibited similar photosynthetic responses to elevated CO2 increasing assimilation by ~34%. These responses highlight the forcing imposed by woody vegetation in arctic regions with the potential to increase net primary production in addition to positive feedbacks on winter snow depth, soil temperature, and moisture.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Four years of experimental warming do not modify the interaction between subalpine shrub species.

    PubMed

    Anadon-Rosell, Alba; Ninot, Josep M; Palacio, Sara; Grau, Oriol; Nogués, Salvador; Navarro, Enrique; Sancho, M Carmen; Carrillo, Empar

    2017-04-01

    Climate warming can lead to changes in alpine plant species interactions through modifications in environmental conditions, which may ultimately cause drastic changes in plant communities. We explored the effects of 4 years of experimental warming with open-top chambers (OTC) on Vaccinium myrtillus performance and its interaction with neighbouring shrubs at the Pyrenean treeline ecotone. We examined the effects of warming on height, above-ground (AG) and below-ground (BG) biomass and the C and N concentration and isotope composition of V. myrtillus growing in pure stands or in stands mixed with Vaccinium uliginosum or Rhododendron ferrugineum. We also analysed variations in soil N concentrations, rhizosphere C/N ratios and the functional diversity of the microbial community, and evaluated whether warming altered the biomass, C and N concentration and isotope composition of V. uliginosum in mixed plots. Our results showed that warming induced positive changes in the AG growth of V. myrtillus but not BG, while V. uliginosum did not respond to warming. Vaccinium myrtillus performance did not differ between stand types under increased temperatures, suggesting that warming did not induce shifts in the interaction between V. myrtillus and its neighbouring species. These findings contrast with previous studies in which species interactions changed when temperature was modified. Our results show that species interactions can be less responsive to warming in natural plant communities than in removal experiments, highlighting the need for studies involving the natural assembly of plant species and communities when exploring the effect of environmental changes on plant-plant interactions.

  3. The brown dwarf kinematics project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faherty, Jackie K.

    2010-10-01

    Brown dwarfs are a recent addition to the plethora of objects studied in Astronomy. With theoretical masses between 13 and 75 MJupiter , they lack sustained stable Hydrogen burning so they never join the stellar main sequence. They have physical properties similar to both planets and low-mass stars so studies of their population inform on both. The distances and kinematics of brown dwarfs provide key statistical constraints on their ages, moving group membership, absolute brightnesses, evolutionary trends, and multiplicity. Yet, until my thesis, fundamental measurements of parallax and proper motion were made for only a relatively small fraction of the known population. To address this deficiency, I initiated the Brown Dwarf Kinematics (BDKP). Over the past four years I have re-imaged the majority of spectroscopically confirmed field brown dwarfs (or ultracool dwarfs---UCDs) and created the largest proper motion catalog for ultracool dwarfs to date. Using new astrometric information I examined population characteristics such as ages calculated from velocity dispersions and correlations between kinematics and colors. Using proper motions, I identified several new wide co-moving companions and investigated binding energy (and hence formation) limitations as well as the frequency of hierarchical companions. Concurrently over the past four years I have been conducting a parallax survey of 84 UCDs including those showing spectral signatures of youth, metal-poor brown dwarfs, and those within 20 pc of the Sun. Using absolute magnitude relations in J,H, and K, I identified overluminous binary candidates and investigated known flux-reversal binaries. Using current evolutionary models, I compared the MK vs J-K color magnitude diagram to model predictions and found that the low-surface gravity dwarfs are significantly red-ward and underluminous of predictions and a handful of late-type T dwarfs may require thicker clouds to account for their scatter.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The potential for retreating alpine glaciers to alter alpine ecosystems in the Colorado Front Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, E.; Baron, J.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are retreating at an unprecedented rate. In mid-latitude alpine ecosystems the presence of glaciers and rock glaciers govern rates and ecology of alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems. Changes in the thermal environment due to the loss of isothermal habitat and inputs from glacier melt chemistry are altering alpine ecosystems in unpredictable ways. In particular, glacier may be a source of nitrogen that is altering alpine ecosystem dynamics. Loch Vale Watershed (LVWS) located within Rocky Mountain National Park. LVWS contains a surface glacier (Andrew's glacier) and a rock glacier (Taylor's glacier) at the headwater of each of the two drainages within the watershed. We collected precipitation from a National Atmospheric Deposition Site and surface water from multiple alpine lakes and streams during a particularly high and low snow year in the Colorado Front Range. We also sampled stream and lake sediments at each site to analyze the associated microbial community. Concentrations of nitrate and ammonium, relative abundance of amoA (the gene responsible for a key step in the microbial nitrification pathway), and the dual isotope signal to nitrate all point to snow melt as a key deliverer of nitrogen to ecosystems along the Colorado Front Range. However, late summer surface water chemistry is isotopically similar to the chemistry of glacial ice. This suggests that retreating glacier may be an additional source of N to alpine ecosystems and have the potential to alter microbial community composition, biogeochemical rate processes, and ecosystem function. These dynamics are most likely not unique to the Colorado Front Range and should be globally distributed as glaciers continue to retreat in high altitude ecosystems around the world.

  7. Spatial patterns of grasses and shrubs in an arid grassland environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico and New Mexico, shrub invasion is a common problem, and once-abundant grassland ecosystems are being replaced by shrub-dominated habitat. The spatial arrangement of grasses and shrubs in these arid grasslands can provide better insight into community dynamics and c...

  8. Shrubs as ecosystem engineers across an environmental gradient: effects on species richness and exotic plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Magnoli, Susan M; Cushman, J Hall

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystem-engineering plants modify the physical environment and can increase species diversity and exotic species invasion. At the individual level, the effects of ecosystem engineers on other plants often become more positive in stressful environments. In this study, we investigated whether the community-level effects of ecosystem engineers also become stronger in more stressful environments. Using comparative and experimental approaches, we assessed the ability of a native shrub (Ericameria ericoides) to act as an ecosystem engineer across a stress gradient in a coastal dune in northern California, USA. We found increased coarse organic matter and lower wind speeds within shrub patches. Growth of a dominant invasive grass (Bromus diandrus) was facilitated both by aboveground shrub biomass and by growing in soil taken from shrub patches. Experimental removal of shrubs negatively affected species most associated with shrubs and positively affected species most often found outside of shrubs. Counter to the stress-gradient hypothesis, the effects of shrubs on the physical environment and individual plant growth did not increase across the established stress gradient at this site. At the community level, shrub patches increased beta diversity, and contained greater rarified richness and exotic plant cover than shrub-free patches. Shrub effects on rarified richness increased with environmental stress, but effects on exotic cover and beta diversity did not. Our study provides evidence for the community-level effects of shrubs as ecosystem engineers in this system, but shows that these effects do not necessarily become stronger in more stressful environments.

  9. Rotation Velocities of White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karl, C.; Napiwotzki, R.; Heber, U.; Dreizler, S.; Koester, D.; Reid, I. N.

    White dwarfs are the compact remnants of low and intermediate mass stars (M < 8Msolar). Due to the conservation of angular momentum white dwarfs should be very fast rotators, if a significant fraction of the angular momentum of the progenitor stars were preserved. The existence of sharp NLTE cores of the hydrogen Hα line in high resolution spectra (obtained at the Keck observatory) of DA white dwarfs allowed us to determine (projected) rotational velocities v sin i for white dwarfs. Among those of our targets lying close to the ZZ Ceti instability many show evidence for extra broadening similar to rotation, whereas stars at higher temperatures (and therefore younger ones) rotate more slowly or not at all. Our result based on a large sample is in accordance with previous results presented by Koester et al. (1998). We discuss possible explanations for this astonishing result.

  10. White Dwarfs in Astrometric Binaries?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliversen, N. A.; Evans, N. R.; Feibelman, W. A.; Kamper, K. W.

    1993-12-01

    Lippincott (1978, Space Sci Rev, 22, 153) compiled a list of astrometric binaries with unseen companions typically within 20 pc of the sun. Red companions have been observed in a number of these systems (e.g. McCarthy, D. W. 1983, IAU Coll. # 76, p. 107). Unseen, low mass companions could also be white dwarfs. We have obtained IUE observations of stars on the list which have primaries with spectral types M1 or earlier (white dwarf companions of cooler primaries could be detected from the ground), and are brighter than 10 mag, which do not have known red companions. Preliminary reductions (comparison with standard stars of appropriate spectral types) indicate that there are no white dwarfs in the sample. Further processing is being done to determine limits on possible white dwarf temperatures.

  11. Shrub morpho-types as indicator for the water flow energy - Tivoli travertine case (Central Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erthal, Marcelle Marques; Capezzuoli, Enrico; Mancini, Alessandro; Claes, Hannes; Soete, Jeroen; Swennen, Rudy

    2017-01-01

    Travertines from Tivoli area (Central Italy) possess abundant shrub-like fabrics that are laterally continuous over hundreds of square meters. They occur dominantly in horizontal layers with aggradational and progradational stacking patterns. Their fabrics and morphologies are remarkably similar to the shrubs lithotypes reported in literature for the Pre-Salt reservoirs, offshore Brazil and Angola, with huge oil accumulations. Petrographic and micro-computer tomography analyses allowed the identification of six shrub morpho-types (i.e., narrow dendriform, wide dendriform, fili dendriform, arborescent, arbustiform and pustular). Dendriform shrubs are the most common lithotype in Tivoli area, and three different subtypes could be distinguished according to the arrangement of their branches. The shrubs consist largely of peloidal micritic aggregates engulfed in spar calcite, ranging in average from 1 to 3 cm in height. The shrubs are interpreted to have developed in very shallow extensive waterlogged slightly inclined flat areas, changing laterally into a slope system with crusts as the main lithotype. Changes in the hydrodynamic conditions with episodes of stagnancy influenced the shrub morpho-types making them very variegated. Shrub morphologies likely reflect specific (micro-) environments that are controlled by water flow rates, evaporation and microbial activity. The latter processes influenced shrub fabric and morphology. Under high flow conditions, CO2 degassing is the main process leading to carbonate precipitation. Consequently, denser and tightly packed morphologies will precipitate, composing mainly the crust lithotype. In this scenario microbes are less dominant. Dendriform shrubs, with narrow, wide and fili morphologies are interpreted to occur in moderate to low energy water flows. Narrow dendriform shrubs reflect faster flowing conditions, with decreasing impact of flow on the morphological aspects from wide dendriform shrubs to fili dendriform shrubs

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Alpine Microbial Community Responses to Summer Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, B. B.; Baron, J.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2011-12-01

    Remote alpine ecosystems of the western US are vulnerable to anthropogenic drivers of change. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition and a changing climate introduce nutrients, alter hydrological processes, and expose soils to novel temperature regimes. We asked whether terrestrial microbes, specifically nitrifiers that may contribute to already high lake and stream NO3- concentrations, may be responding to changes in important controls of community development and activity associated with a changing climate, namely temperature and moisture. In August 2010 we sampled three soils from the Loch Vale Watershed in Rocky Mountain National Park which fell along a gradient of succession commonly represented in deglaciated alpine catchments. These included well-developed meadow soils, poorly vegetated talus substrate, and newly-exposed glacial outwash. Outwash, talus, and meadow samples were all N-rich and contained NH4-N concentrations ~7 times higher than NO3-N. Soils were incubated for 45 days at 2.5, 10, and 25oC and three moisture levels based on initial field conditions. Nitrifier concentrations were greatest in outwash, intermediate in talus, and lowest in meadow samples. Bacterial nitrifier abundance greatly surpassed archaeal nitrifier levels. Net nitrification was also greatest in outwash, followed by meadow and talus respectively. Moisture, rather than temperature, was a dominant control over both nitrifier abundance and activity. Linking the influence of temperature and moisture on alpine microbial communities will provide insight into control thresholds, optima, and synergistic interactions. This research is part of a larger study of controls on headwater stream and lake NO3-. Characterizing microbial NO3- production in the alpine will help us evaluate the importance of biological, as opposed to physical, sources of stream NO3-. It will also inform our ability to forecast and mitigate consequences of anthropogenic drivers of change on these systems.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Shrub communities as inhibitors of plant succession in southern Quebec

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meilleur, Alain; Véronneau, Hélène; Bouchard, André

    1994-11-01

    The purpose of our research was to identify shrub species growing in southern Quebec that inhibit ecological succession in power-line corridors. Results are presented in three parts. First, clonal characteristics that allowed the establishment of stable communities were identified. Second, successional vector analysis identified those species that have the potential to inhibit succession. In poorly drained sites those species were Cornus stolonifera, C. obliqua, Salix petiolaris, and Spiraea alba. In well-drained sites, those species were Zanthoxylum americanum, Rubus idaeus, Spiraea alba, Rhus typhina, and Thuja occidentalis. Third, analysis of variance showed that there is a significantly larger number of tree seedlings found in adjacent herbaceous communities than found under the dense cover of Cornus stolonifera, C. obliqua, Salix petiolaris, Spiraea alba, Rhus typhina, Rubus idaeus, Thuya occidentalis, and Zanthoxylum americanum. These results indicate that the planting of selected shrub species could, through biological control, delay reforestation.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. OH zoning in alpine quartz from Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertweck, B.; Niedermayr, G.; Beran, A.

    2003-04-01

    Rock crystals from various alpine clefts in Austria were investigated in terms of morphology, domain structure, and OH defects. Since the formation of alpine clefts is a long lasting and multiphase process, the crystal growth of alpine quartz is dominated by different morphologies and various OH defects. 140 samples were investigated by FTIR spectroscopy and optical methods to reveal complementary information on morphology, twining, hydrogen incorporation, and zoning of the OH defects. IR spectroscopic measurements of colourless and smoky quartz samples revealed six characteristic absorption bands in the range of the OH stretching frequencies at 3315, 3380, 3430, 3480, 3510 and 3595 cm-1. The quantitative analysis of the water content revealed an amount of 0.5-20 ppm H_2O. With a maximum of frequency in the 1-2 ppm range the amount of water incorporation is comparably lower than known from non-alpine deposits. The spectra can be divided in four types characterised by the number and/or the relative band intensities. Among the Austrian samples one type, showing clearly all the six bands, is abundant and has not been found in the spectra from non-alpine sites. A significant relation between spectra type, crystal morphology, mineral deposit (within Austria), and OH content cannot be deduced. Microspectroscopic measurements of profiles through crystals cut perpendicular to the c-axis revealed that the spectra types rarely change within one sample. However, a variation of the water content is commonly related to a change of the relative intensity of the 3480 cm-1 absorption band. Regarding the hydrogen incorporation all samples show a distinct zoning. In addition, the OH zoning as well as the crystal growth appear regularly, leading to different hydrogen amounts in core and mantle zone of the crystals. The average zoning is given by factor 1.2, whereas strong variations were measured up to factor 2.5. The formation of Brazil twin domains often coincides with a distinct

  2. Soil microbial diversity in the vicinity of desert shrubs.

    PubMed

    Saul-Tcherkas, Vered; Unc, Adrian; Steinberger, Yosef

    2013-04-01

    Water and nutrient availability are the major limiting factors of biological activity in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Therefore, perennial plants have developed different ecophysiological adaptations to cope with harsh conditions. The chemical profile of the root exudates varies among plant species and this can induce variability in associated microbial populations. We examined the influence of two shrubs species, Artemisia sieberi and Noaea mucronata, on soil microbial diversity. Soil samples were collected monthly, from December 2006 to November 2007, near canopies of both shrubs (0-10-cm depth). Samples were used for abiotic tests and determination of soil bacterial diversity. No significant differences were found in the abiotic variables (soil moisture, total organic matter, and total soluble nitrogen (TSN)) between soil samples collected from under the two shrubs during the study period. No obvious differences in the Shannon-Weaver index, evenness values, or total phylogenetic distances were found for the soil microbial communities. However, detailed denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) clustering as well as taxonomic diversity analyses indicated clear shifts in the soil microbial community composition. These shifts were governed by seasonal variability in water availability and, significantly, by plant species type.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Dwarf elliptical galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferguson, Henry C.; Binggeli, Bruno

    1994-01-01

    Dwarf elliptical (dE) galaxies, with blue absolute magnitudes typically fainter than M(sub B) = -16, are the most numerous type of galaxy in the nearby universe. Tremendous advances have been made over the past several years in delineating the properties of both Local Group satellite dE's and the large dE populations of nearby clusters. We review some of these advances, with particular attention to how well currently availiable data can constrain (a) models for the formation of dE's, (b) the physical and evolutionary connections between different types of galaxies that overlap in the same portion of the mass-spectrum of galaxies, (c) the contribution of dE's to the galaxy luminosity functions in clusters and the field, (d) the star-forming histories of dE's and their possible contribution to faint galaxy counts, and (e) the clustering properties of dE's. In addressing these issues, we highlight the extent to which selection effects temper these constraints, and outline areas where new data would be particularly valuable.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. The late-M dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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... District, 1536 S. Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701 (775) 884-8140; E-Mail danielmorris@fs.fed.us... opportunity to address the Committee at that time. Dated: May 21, 2010. Genny E. Wilson, Designated...

  15. 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, Carson Ranger District, 1536 S. Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701 (775) 884-8140; E-MAIL... Committee at that time. Dated: November 22, 2010. Genny E. Wilson, Designated Federal Officer. BILLING...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. The Dusty Accretion of Polluted White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonsor, A.; Farihi, J.; Wyatt, M. C.; van Lieshout, R.

    2017-03-01

    Infrared observations of polluted white dwarfs provide key insights into the accretion processes in action. The standard model for the observed infrared excesses is a flat, opaque, dust disc. The infrared observations are inconsistent with the presence of such a disc around all polluted white dwarfs. We discuss potential explanations for the absence of an infrared excess for many polluted white dwarfs.

  19. Evaluating the Importance of Plant Functional Traits: the Subalpine and Alpine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, A.; Smith, W. K.

    2011-12-01

    Over the past several decades, researchers have attempted to characterize plant groups according to traits that are considered functional, i.e. contributing significantly to fitness. Due to the complexity of measuring fitness, the capability for photosynthetic carbon gain is often used as a proxy. Thus, this approach correlates structural differences to photosynthetic performance, especially those differences that are known to be associated with photosynthesis, are easily measured and inexpensive. At the often sharp boundary between the subalpine forest and alpine community (treeline ecotone), plant structural traits change dramatically, i.e. tall evergreen trees give way abruptly to low-stature shrubs, grasses, forbs, and herbs. Yet, the differences in functional traits, so abundant in the literature for a variety of species and communities, have not been compared contiguous communities such as the subalpine forest and alpine. Can differences in functional traits already identified in the literature also be used to characterize species of these two contrasting communities? Or are there other traits that are most functional and/or, possibly, unique to each community and not the most popular traits reported so far in the literature. Also, does the community structure itself help determine functional traits? For example, the top ten most frequently studied traits (145 total papers from approximately 63 different refereed journals) considered functional include the following (% of the 145 publications): specific leaf area or mass (SLA or SLM 39%), plant height (36%), leaf nitrogen content (34%), leaf size (19%), leaf area (16%), leaf photosynthetic performance (15%), leaf dry matter content (LDMC 15%), leaf mass per unit leaf area (LMA 15%), leaf thickness (15%), and seed mass (14%). In addition, another 120 traits were mentioned as functional, although all fell below a 14% citation rate. Particular focus was placed on this group due to the possibility that they might

  20. Nitrogen and carbon storage in alpine plants.

    PubMed

    Monson, Russell K; Rosenstiel, Todd N; Forbis, Tara A; Lipson, David A; Jaeger, Charles H

    2006-02-01

    Alpine plants offer unique opportunities to study the processes and economics of nutrient storage. The short alpine growing season forces rapid completion of plant growth cycles, which in turn causes competition between vegetative and reproductive growth sinks during the early part of the growing season. Mobilization of stored nitrogen and carbon reserves facilitates competing sinks and permits successful completion of reproduction before the onset of winter stress. We discuss the theoretical framework for assessing the costs and benefits of nutrient storage in alpine plants in order to lay the foundation for interpretation of observations. A principal point that has emerged from past theoretical treatments is the distinction between reserve storage, defined as storage that occurs with a cost to growth, and resource accumulation, defined as storage that occurs when resource supply exceeds demand, and thus when there is no cost to growth. We then discuss two case studies, one already published and one not yet published, pertaining to the storage and utilization of nitrogen and carbon compounds in alpine plants from Niwot Ridge, Colorado. In the first case, we tested the hypothesis that the seasonal accumulation of amino acids in the rhizome of N-fertilized plants of Bistorta bistortoides provides an advantage to the plant by not imposing a cost to growth at the time of accumulation, but providing a benefit to growth when the accumulated N is remobilized. We show that, as predicted, there is no cost during N accumulation but, not as predicted, there is no benefit to future growth. In the presence of N accumulation, reliance on stored N for growth increases, but reliance on current-season, soil-derived N decreases; thus the utilization of available N in this species is a 'zero sum' process. Inherent meristematic constraints to growth cause negative feedback that limits the utilization of accumulated N and precludes long-term advantages to this form of storage. In the

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. [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.

  6. Is leg compression beneficial for alpine skiers?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background This study examined the effects of different levels of compression (0, 20 and 40 mmHg) produced by leg garments on selected psycho-physiological measures of performance while exposed to passive vibration (60 Hz, amplitude 4-6 mm) and performing 3-min of alpine skiing tuck position. Methods Prior to, during and following the experiment the electromygraphic (EMG) activity of different muscles, cardio-respiratory data, changes in total hemoglobin, tissue oxygenation and oscillatory movement of m. vastus lateralis, blood lactate and perceptual data of 12 highly trained alpine skiers were recorded. Maximal isometric knee extension and flexion strength, balance, and jumping performance were assessed before and after the experiment. Results The knee angle (−10°) and oscillatory movement (−20-25.5%) were lower with compression (P < 0.05 in all cases). The EMG activities of the tibialis anterior (20.2-28.9%), gastrocnemius medialis (4.9-15.1%), rectus femoris (9.6-23.5%), and vastus medialis (13.1-13.7%) muscles were all elevated by compression (P < 0.05 in all cases). Total hemoglobin was maintained during the 3-min period of simulated skiing with 20 or 40 mmHg compression, but the tissue saturation index was lower (P < 0.05) than with no compression. No differences in respiratory parameters, heart rate or blood lactate concentration were observed with or maximal isometric knee extension and flexion strength, balance, and jumping performance following simulated skiing for 3 min in the downhill tuck position were the same as in the absence of compression. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that with leg compression, alpine skiers could maintain a deeper tuck position with less perceived exertion and greater deoxygenation of the vastus lateralis muscle, with no differences in whole-body oxygen consumption or blood lactate concentration. These changes occurred without compromising maximal leg strength, jumping performance or balance

  7. 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

  8. Shrub encroachment can reverse desertification in semi-arid Mediterranean grasslands.

    PubMed

    Maestre, Fernando T; Bowker, Matthew A; Puche, María D; Belén Hinojosa, M; Martínez, Isabel; García-Palacios, Pablo; Castillo, Andrea P; Soliveres, Santiago; Luzuriaga, Arántzazu L; Sánchez, Ana M; Carreira, José A; Gallardo, Antonio; Escudero, Adrián

    2009-09-01

    The worldwide phenomenon of shrub encroachment in grass-dominated dryland ecosystems is commonly associated with desertification. Studies of the purported desertification effects associated with shrub encroachment are often restricted to relatively few study areas, and document a narrow range of possible impacts upon biota and ecosystem processes. We conducted a study in degraded Mediterranean grasslands dominated by Stipa tenacissima to simultaneously evaluate the effects of shrub encroachment on the structure and composition of multiple biotic community components, and on various indicators of ecosystem function. Shrub encroachment enhanced vascular plant richness, biomass of fungi, actinomycetes and other bacteria, and was linked with greater soil fertility and N mineralization rates. While shrub encroachment may be a widespread phenomenon in drylands, an interpretation that this is an expression of desertification is not universal. Our results suggest that shrub establishment may be an important step in the reversal of desertification processes in the Mediterranean region.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Irregular Dwarf Galaxy IC 1613

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Ultraviolet image (left) and visual image (right) of the irregular dwarf galaxy IC 1613. Low surface brightness galaxies, such as IC 1613, are more easily detected in the ultraviolet because of the low background levels compared to visual wavelengths.

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. Three New Eclipsing White-dwarf-M-dwarf Binaries Discovered in a Search for Transiting Planets around M-dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, Nicholas M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Street, Rachel; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Shporer, Avi; Lister, Tim; Baranec, Christoph; Bloom, Joshua S.; Bui, Khanh; Burse, Mahesh P.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Das, H. K.; Davis, Jack. T. C.; Dekany, Richard G.; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Nugent, Peter; Ofek, Eran O.; Poznanski, Dovi; Quimby, Robert M.; Ramaprakash, A. N.; Riddle, Reed; Silverman, Jeffrey M.; Sivanandam, Suresh; Tendulkar, Shriharsh P.

    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 × 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 ⊙ (0.01 AU). The M-dwarfs have masses of approximately 0.35 M ⊙, and the white dwarfs have hydrogen-rich atmospheres with temperatures of around 8000 K and have masses of approximately 0.5 M ⊙. 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 ⊙ (95% confidence) in one of the systems. Accounting for our detection efficiency and geometric factors, we estimate that 0.08%^{+0.10%}_{-0.05%} (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 relatively large orbital radii. Similar eclipsing

  7. Effects of harvesting flowers from shrubs on the persistence and abundance of wild shrub populations at multiple spatial extents.

    PubMed

    Cabral, Juliano Sarmento; Bond, William J; Midgley, Guy F; Rebelo, Anthony G; Thuiller, Wilfried; Schurr, Frank M

    2011-02-01

    Wildflower harvesting is an economically important activity of which the ecological effects are poorly understood. We assessed how harvesting of flowers affects shrub persistence and abundance at multiple spatial extents. To this end, we built a process-based model to examine the mean persistence and abundance of wild shrubs whose flowers are subject to harvest (serotinous Proteaceae in the South African Cape Floristic Region). First, we conducted a general sensitivity analysis of how harvesting affects persistence and abundance at nested spatial extents. For most spatial extents and combinations of demographic parameters, persistence and abundance of flowering shrubs decreased abruptly once harvesting rate exceeded a certain threshold. At larger extents, metapopulations supported higher harvesting rates before their persistence and abundance decreased, but persistence and abundance also decreased more abruptly due to harvesting than at smaller extents. This threshold rate of harvest varied with species' dispersal ability, maximum reproductive rate, adult mortality, probability of extirpation or local extinction, strength of Allee effects, and carrying capacity. Moreover, spatial extent interacted with Allee effects and probability of extirpation because both these demographic properties affected the response of local populations to harvesting more strongly than they affected the response of metapopulations. Subsequently, we simulated the effects of harvesting on three Cape Floristic Region Proteaceae species and found that these species reacted differently to harvesting, but their persistence and abundance decreased at low rates of harvest. Our estimates of harvesting rates at maximum sustainable yield differed from those of previous investigations, perhaps because researchers used different estimates of demographic parameters, models of population dynamics, and spatial extent than we did. Good demographic knowledge and careful identification of the spatial extent

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Remnant resource islands in a burned shrub-steppe site

    SciTech Connect

    Halvorson, J.J.; Bolton, H. Jr.; Smith, J.L.

    1995-06-01

    Artemisia tridentata is a prominent shrub of cool deserts that affects the soil in which it grows. We sampled adjacent burned and unburned sites to see if resource islands persisted in locations where shrubs had been removed by fire. The concentrations of soil variables near the location of burned Artemisia tridentata were smaller than under live Artemisia tridentata and did not vary as much with distance away from the plant axis. However, the patterns of soil variables in these remnant resource islands were still substantial. Significantly higher concentrations of total N and soil microbial C, and significantly higher electrical conductivity were observed at the location of a burned Artemisia tridentata stem than at distances further away. The differences between burned and unburned soil were greatest in samples collected near the plant. In contrast, samples of burned or unburned soil were not distinguishable from each other at locations greater than about 50 cm away from a live Artemisia tridentata axis or a burned stump indicating that the resource island effect was most affected by removal of the plant and not by the fire.

  12. Desert shrub stemflow and its significance in soil moisture replenishment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.-P.; Wang, Z.-N.; Berndtsson, R.; Zhang, Y.-F.; Pan, Y.-X.

    2011-02-01

    Stemflow of xerophytic shrubs represents a significant component of water replenishment to the soil-root system influencing water utilization of plant roots at the stand scale, especially in water scarce desert ecosystems. In this study, stemflow of Caragana korshinskii was quantified by an aluminum foil collar collection method on re-vegetated sand dunes of the Shapotou restored desert ecosystem in northwestern China. Time domain reflectometry probes were inserted horizontally at 20 different soil profile depths under the C. korshinskii shrub to monitor soil moisture variation at hourly intervals. Results indicated that 2.2 mm precipitation was necessary for the generation of stemflow for C. korshinskii. Stemflow averaged 8% of the gross precipitation and the average funnelling ratio was as high as 90. The soil moisture in the uppermost soil profile was strongly correlated with individual rainfall and the stemflow strengthened this relationship. Therefore, it is favourable for the infiltrated water redistribution in the deeper soil profile of the root zone. Consequently, stemflow contributes significantly to a positive soil moisture balance in the root zone and the replenishment of soil moisture at deeper soil layers. This plays an important role in plant survival and the general ecology of arid desert environments.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. [Soil properties under shrubs in arid area of oasis-desert transition belt].

    PubMed

    Xu, Wenqiang; Luo, Geping; Chen, Xi

    2006-04-01

    In arid and semi-arid areas with sparse vegetation cover, the spatial pattern of surface soil had a definite effect on soil salinity and nutrient flow, which is of highly importance for understanding the processes of land cover change. In this paper, a total of 3 shrub types and 2 soil sampling depths (0-20 and 20-40 cm) in the arid area of oasis-desert transition belt were selected to assess the spatial heterogeneity of soil resources under shrubs. The results showed that different types of shrub had no significant effect on the particle size distribution of soil which was mainly composed of sand and silt, but significant cluster effect was observed under Tamarix ramosissima + bare land shrub. Soils under shrub canopy had significantly higher contents of organic matter, total N and available K, compared to those in open spaces, and presented obvious "fertile island" phenomenon. Shrub types had significant effects on soil salinity, and different cluster effect existed in soils under different shrubs. The heterogeneity of soil resources resulted from a large number of factors, including climate, soil environment, height and extent of shrub canopy, stemflow, existance of other ground cover plants, and so on, many of which were mutually interactive.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Effects of grass and shrub cover on the critical unit stream power in overland flow

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improved knowledge of the effect of grass and shrub cover in overland flow can provide valuable information for soil and water conservation programs. Laboratory simulated rainfall studies were conducted to determine the effect of grasses and shrubs on runoff and soil loss and to ascertain the relati...

  3. 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.

  4. Errors in LiDAR-derived shrub height and crown area on sloped terrain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study developed and tested four methodologies for determining shrub height measurements with LiDAR data in a semiarid shrub-steppe in southwestern Idaho, USA. Unique to this study was the focus of sagebrush height measurements on sloped terrain. The study also developed one of the first metho...

  5. [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.

  6. 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)

  7. Palinspastic reconstruction of the Alpine thrust belt at the Alpine-Carpathian transition - A geological Sudoku

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beidinger, A.; Decker, K.; Zamolyi, A.; Hölzel, M.; Hoprich, M.; Strauss, P.

    2009-04-01

    The palinspastic reconstruction of the Austroalpine thrust belt is part of the project Karpatian Tectonics, which is funded by OMV Austria. The objective is to reconstruct the evolution of the thrust belt through the Early to Middle Miocene in order to obtain information on the palaeogeographic position of the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) in the region of the present Vienna Basin. A particular goal of the study is to constrain the position of reservoir rocks within the Rhenodanubic Flysch units and the NCA with respect to the autochthonous Malmian source rocks overlying the European basement below the Alpine-Carpathian thrust wedge, and to constrain the burial history of these source rocks. Reconstruction uses regional 2D seismic lines crossing from the European foreland into the fold-thrust belt, 3D seismic data covering the external thrust sheets, and lithostratigraphic data from a total of 51 selected wells, which were drilled and provided by OMV Austria. The main criterion, whether a well was suitable for palinspastic reconstruction or not, was its penetration of Alpine thrust sheets down to the Autochthonous Molasse of the foreland. Additional wells, which do not penetrate the entire Alpine thrust complex but include the Allochthonous Molasse or the external Alpine-Carpathian nappes (Waschberg and Roseldorf thrust unit, Rhenodanubic Flysch nappes) in their well path, were also taken into account. The well data in particular comprise stratigraphic information on the youngest overthrust sediments of the different thrust units and the underlying Autochthonous foreland Molasse. These data allow constraining the timing of thrust events in the allochthonous thrust units and overthrusting of the Autochthonous Molasse. In the particular case of overthrust Autochthonous Molasse, additionally to the timing of overthrusting, which can be derived from the youngest overthrust sediments, the palaeogeographic position of the Alpine Carpathian thrust front could directly be

  8. 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%.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. The physics of white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isern, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarida; Mochkovitch, Robert

    1998-12-01

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for 0953-8984/10/49/015/img6 and allows one to obtain information about the age of the Galaxy as well as about the past stellar formation rate in the solar neighbourhood. Therefore, it is important to identify all of the relevant sources of energy as well as the mechanisms that control its flow to the space. We show in this paper that the inclusion of a detailed treatment of phase transitions in Coulomb plasmas made up of a mixture of different chemical species is crucial, since their redistribution can keep the white dwarf warm for 0.5 to 9 Ga depending on the chemical composition and physical assumptions adopted.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Deciduous shrubs for ozone bioindication: Hibiscus syriacus as an example.

    PubMed

    Paoletti, Elena; Ferrara, Anna Maria; Calatayud, Vicent; Cerveró, Júlia; Giannetti, Fabio; Sanz, María José; Manning, William J

    2009-03-01

    Ozone-like visible injury was detected on Hibiscus syriacus plants used as ornamental hedges. Weekly spray of the antiozonant ethylenediurea (EDU, 300ppm) confirmed that the injury was induced by ambient ozone. EDU induced a 75% reduction in visible injury. Injury was more severe on the western than on the eastern exposure of the hedge. This factor of variability should be considered in ozone biomonitoring programmes. Seeds were collected and seedlings were artificially exposed to ozone in filtered vs. not-filtered (+30ppb) Open-Top Chambers. The level of exposure inducing visible injury in the OTC seedlings was lower than that in the ambient-grown hedge. The occurrence of visible injury in the OTC confirmed that the ozone sensitivity was heritable and suggested that symptomatic plants of this deciduous shrub population can be successfully used as ozone bioindicators. EDU is recommended as a simple tool for diagnosing ambient ozone visible injury on field vegetation.

  16. Microsatellite primers for the rare shrub Acacia adinophylla (Fabaceae)1

    PubMed Central

    Nevill, Paul G.; Wardell-Johnson, Grant

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Microsatellite primers were developed for the rare shrub Acacia adinophylla (Fabaceae) to assess genetic diversity and its spatial structuring. Methods and Results: Shotgun sequencing on an Illumina MiSeq produced 6,372,575 reads. Using the QDD pipeline, we designed 60 primer pairs, which were screened using PCR. Seventeen loci were developed, of which 12 loci were identified that were polymorphic, amplified reliably, and could be consistently scored. These loci were then screened for variation in individuals from three populations. The number of alleles observed for these 12 loci ranged from three to 18 and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.13 to 0.85. Conclusions: These markers will enable the quantification of genetic impact of proposed mining activities on the short-range endemic Acacia adinophylla. PMID:27843728

  17. 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.

  18. Are All Magnetic White Dwarf Stars Massive?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitta, A.; Kepler, S. O.; Kulebi, B.; Koester, D.; Kleinman, S. J.; Winget, D. E.; Castanheira, B. G.; Corsico, A. H.

    2017-03-01

    We obtained follow-up spectra on 25 white dwarf stars identified in our white dwarf catalog of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) as massive or magnetic. We identified over 300 magnetic white dwarf stars from SDSS with some uncertainties due to the low S/N of the spectra. With much higher S/N Gemini data, our sample should be able to help us confirm accuracy of our determinations. We present here our results so far from the follow up observations.

  19. 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.

  20. Local biotic adaptation of trees and shrubs to plant neighbors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grady, Kevin C.; Wood, Troy E.; Kolb, Thomas E.; Hersch-Green, Erika; Shuster, Stephen M.; Gehring, Catherine A.; Hart, Stephen C.; Allan, Gerard J.; Whitham, Thomas G.

    2017-01-01

    Natural selection as a result of plant–plant interactions can lead to local biotic adaptation. This may occur where species frequently interact and compete intensely for resources limiting growth, survival, and reproduction. Selection is demonstrated by comparing a genotype interacting with con- or hetero-specific sympatric neighbor genotypes with a shared site-level history (derived from the same source location), to the same genotype interacting with foreign neighbor genotypes (from different sources). Better genotype performance in sympatric than allopatric neighborhoods provides evidence of local biotic adaptation. This pattern might be explained by selection to avoid competition by shifting resource niches (differentiation) or by interactions benefitting one or more members (facilitation). We tested for local biotic adaptation among two riparian trees, Populus fremontii and Salix gooddingii, and the shrub Salix exigua by transplanting replicated genotypes from multiple source locations to a 17 000 tree common garden with sympatric and allopatric treatments along the Colorado River in California. Three major patterns were observed: 1) across species, 62 of 88 genotypes grew faster with sympatric neighbors than allopatric neighbors; 2) these growth rates, on an individual tree basis, were 44, 15 and 33% higher in sympatric than allopatric treatments for P. fremontii, S. exigua and S. gooddingii, respectively, and; 3) survivorship was higher in sympatric treatments for P. fremontiiand S. exigua. These results support the view that fitness of foundation species supporting diverse communities and dominating ecosystem processes is determined by adaptive interactions among multiple plant species with the outcome that performance depends on the genetic identity of plant neighbors. The occurrence of evolution in a plant-community context for trees and shrubs builds on ecological evolutionary research that has demonstrated co-evolution among herbaceous taxa, and

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Alpine crustal shear zones and pre-Alpine basement terranes in the Romanian Carpathians and Apuseni Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panã, Dinu; Erdmer, Phillippe

    1994-09-01

    The Carpathian orocline formed by complex suturing of small continental fragments to the East European (and Moesian) plate. Remnants of continental fragments belong to three pre-Alpine lithotectonic assemblages: a "greenstone-granite" association and two gneissic assem blages. During Alpine collision, pieces of crust were repeatedly fragmented and welded to accommodate heterogeneous strain along the irregular East European plate boundary. Shallow structural levels of Alpine tectonic discontinuities in which the locus of most intense strain migrated over time are now exposed as wide retrograde greenschist grade belts. Repeated, mainly transpressive deformation resulted in early ductile fabrics being overprinted by local brittle shear strain. Igneous intrusion accompanied different phases of tectonic activity. The age of shearing initiation is probably late Paleozoic, and the configuration of the zones and their Alpine internal structures are consistent with the geometry of the Carpathian arc.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Dynamical Masses of Accreting White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pala, A. F.; Gänsckie, B. T.

    2017-03-01

    The mass retention efficiency is a key question in both the theoretical and observational study of accreting white dwarfs in interacting binaries, with important implications for their potential as progenitors for type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Canonical wisdom is that classical nova eruptions erode the white dwarf mass, and consequently, cataclysmic variables (CVs) have been excluded from the SN Ia progenitor discussion. However the average mass of white dwarfs in CVs is substantially higher (≃ 0.83 M⊙) than that of single white dwarfs (≃ 0.64 M ⊙), in stark contrast to expectations based on current classical nova models. This finding is based on a sample of ≃ 30 CV white dwarfs with accurate mass measurements, most of them in eclipsing systems. Given the fundamental importance of the mass evolution of accreting white dwarfs, it is necessary to enlarge this sample and to diversify the methods used for measuring masses. We have begun a systematic study of 27 CVs to almost double the number of CV white dwarfs with an accurate mass measurement. Using VLT/X-shooter phase-resolved observations, we can measure the white dwarf masses to a few percent, and will be able to answer the question whether accreting CV white dwarfs grow in mass.

  7. `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

    2017-02-01

    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.

  8. `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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

    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.

  10. Above treeline shrub-chronologies on the eastern Sierra Nevada crest, Mono Co., California, USA contain records of precipitation and large-scale ocean and atmospheric conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, R. S.

    2010-12-01

    Herb- or shrub- chronology, a technique adapted from dendrochronology, is the study of the annual growth rings in roots of certain perennial dicotyledonous plants. The presence of annual growth increments in high-elevation plants is significant as it highlights the importance of herbchronology for climatic, ecological and geomorphologic applications in alpine and extra-arboreal regions. For an above-treeline site on the eastern crest of the Sierra Nevada range at the Barney Lake Rock Glacier (37.56466N, 118.96554W), I will discuss the dendrochronological potential of several species colonizing this rock glacier with a focus on the ring-width chronology and climate response of the species Linanthus pungens (Torr.) J.M. Porter & L.A. Johnson. Commonly known as Granite Gilia, this species is a low-branching shrub (10 - 20 cm H) native to California and is found throughout the arid mountainous western US and British Columbia at elevations ranging from 1500 - 3700 m. The Barney Lake Rock Glacier (BLRG) chronology is 112 years in length with sufficient sample replication (EPS>0.85) from 1952 through 2008. In an exploration of the BLRG chronology, I will 1) discuss the preferential presence of these plants on specific periglacial landforms; 2) present an analysis of correlations with PRISM climate data, SNOTEL April snow water equivalent (SWE), Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and local climate station temperature and precipitation records; and 3) discuss the change in response of the BLRG chronology to these variables that occurs across the 1975/1976 shift from a “cool regime” to a “warm regime” of the California Current, related to the PDO.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Post-Eocene evolution of the North Alpine Foreland Basin and its response to Alpine tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhlemann, Joachim; Kempf, Oliver

    2002-09-01

    The post-flysch (Oligocene-Miocene) palaeogeographic evolution of the entire North Alpine Foreland Basin (NAFB) between Savoy (France) and Lower Austria is presented in eight sketch maps. The compilation considers the palinspastic evolution of the Alps. It includes intramontane deposits, which represent a continuous marginal facies of the NAFB during Rupelian to Early Burdigalian times. The facies distribution in the NAFB was driven by two major types of processes, which are related to the tectonic evolution of the Alpine orogen. The first type, representing tectonic processes at the thrust front of the Alps, directly influenced the facies distribution of the narrowing NAFB. The second type represents an indirect impact of Alpine uplift and tectonics to the NAFB, transformed by varying sediment discharge. A strong increase in sediment discharge due to uplift of the Alps is the major reason for the generally regressive coarsening- and shallowing-upward cycle from the Lower Marine to the Lower Freshwater Molasse (UMM, USM) between 33 and 21 Ma. The development of the "Burdigalian Seaway" at ˜20 Ma was coeval with a reduction of thrust advance rates in the western and central part of the NAFB. Shallow marine conditions (Upper Marine Molasse, OMM) prevailed for ˜3 million years. In the Eastern Alps, reduction of relief due to lateral (east-west-oriented) extension caused a strong reduction in sediment discharge. Closure of the "Burdigalian Seaway" around 17 Ma occurred during a phase of tectonic reorganisation in the Alpine orogen and is coeval with a short-term increase in sediment discharge. Between 17 and 12 Ma, the NAFB was constantly overfilled (Upper Freshwater Molasse, OSM), despite strongly decreasing sediment discharge. Termination of sedimentation in the (unfolded) NAFB occurred diachronously in an undramatic process. It started in the western NAFB in the course of uplift of the Swiss Jura Mountains after 11 Ma and reached Lower Austria around 6-5 Ma

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. [Soil moisture dynamics of artificial Caragana microphylla shrubs at different topographical sites in Horqin sandy land].

    PubMed

    Huang, Gang; Zhao, Xue-yong; Huang, Ying-xin; Su, Yan-gui

    2009-03-01

    Based on the investigation data of vegetation and soil moisture regime of Caragana microphylla shrubs widely distributed in Horqin sandy land, the spatiotemporal variations of soil moisture regime and soil water storage of artificial sand-fixing C. microphylla shrubs at different topographical sites in the sandy land were studied, and the evapotranspiration was measured by water balance method. The results showed that the soil moisture content of the shrubs was the highest in the lowland of dunes, followed by in the middle, and in the crest of the dunes, and increased with increasing depth. No water stress occurred during the growth season of the shrubs. Soil moisture content of the shrubs was highly related to precipitation event, and the relationship of soil moisture content with precipitation was higher in deep soil layer (50-180 cm) than in shallow soil layer (0-50 cm). The variation coefficient of soil moisture content was also higher in deep layer than in shallow layer. Soil water storage was increasing in the whole growth season of the shrubs, which meant that the accumulation of soil water occurred in this area. The evapotranspiriation of the shrubs occupied above 64% of the precipitation.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Seed distribution of four co-occurring grasses around Artemisia halodendron shrubs in a sandy habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Feng-Rui; Zhao, Wen-Zhi; Kang, Ling-Fen; Liu, Ji-Liang; Huang, Zhi-Gang; Wang, Qi

    2009-05-01

    In a natural population of the perennial semi-shrub Artemisia halodendron in a shifting sandy habitat in the Horqin Desert of eastern Inner Mongolia, six isolated adult A. halodendron individuals of similar canopy size were chosen as target plants. The density of seeds in the top 5 cm soil depth around shrubs was measured using transects aligned to the four main wind directions and at different distances from the shrub base on both the windward and leeward sides. The effects of shrub presence on seed distribution of four co-occurring grasses were examined by linking seed distribution to seed traits. Of the four species, Setaris viridis and Eragrostis pilosa had small but similar seed mass, while Chloris virgata and Aristida adscensionis had large but similar seed mass. The species were grouped into two cohorts: small-seeded vs. large-seeded cohorts, and shrub presence effects on seed distribution of both cohorts were examined. We found marked difference in the seed distribution pattern among species, especially between the small-seeded and large-seeded cohorts. The small-seeded cohort had significantly higher seed accumulation on the windward than the leeward sides in the most and least prevailing wind directions and much higher seed accumulation on the leeward than the windward sides in the second and third most prevailing wind directions, while opposite patterns occurred in the large-seeded cohort. Four species also showed marked variation in the seed distribution pattern among transects and between windward and leeward sides of each transect. This study provided further evidence that shrubs embedded in a matrix of herbaceous plants is a key cause of spatial heterogeneity in seed availability of herbaceous species. However, seed distribution responses to the presence of shrubs will vary with species as well as with wind direction, sampling position (windward vs. leeward sides of the shrub) and distance from the shrub.

  5. 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.

  6. Increased Precipitation and Nitrogen Alter Shrub Architecture in a Desert Shrubland: Implications for Primary Production

    PubMed Central

    She, Weiwei; Zhang, Yuqing; Qin, Shugao; Wu, Bin; Bai, Yuxuan

    2016-01-01

    Shrublands are one of the major types of ecosystems in the desert regions of northern China, which is expected to be substantially more sensitive to global environmental changes, such as widespread nitrogen enrichment and precipitation changes, than other ecosystem types. However, the interactive effects of nitrogen and precipitation on them remain poorly understood. We conducted a fully factorial field experiment simulating three levels of precipitation (ambient, +20%, +40%) and with two levels of nitrogen deposition (ambient, 60 kg N ha-1 yr-1) in a desert shrubland in the Mu Us Desert of northern China. We used plant architectural traits (plant cover, volume, twig size and number) as proxies to predict aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) of the dominant shrub (Artemisia ordosica Krasch), and assessed the responses of plant productivity and architectural traits to water and nitrogen addition. We found significant differences in twig size and number of A. ordosica under water and nitrogen treatments but not in shrub cover/volume, which suggest that twig size and number of the shrub species were more sensitive to environmental changes. The productivity of the overall community was sensitive to increased precipitation and nitrogen, and shrubs played a more important role than herbaceous plants in driving productivity in this ecosystem. Precipitation- and nitrogen-induced increases in vegetation production were positively associated with increases in twig size and number of the dominant shrub. Water addition enhanced the twig length of A. ordosica, while nitrogen addition resulted in increased twig density (the number of twigs per square meter). Water and nitrogen interacted to affect twig length, but not twig number and shrub ANPP. The trade-off, defined as negative covariance between twig size and number, was likely the mechanism underlying the responses of twig length and shrub ANPP to water and nitrogen interactions. Our results highlight the sensitivity

  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. 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.

  9. [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

  10. Magnetic White Dwarfs with Heavy Elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardy, F.; Dufour, P.; Jordan, S.

    2017-03-01

    Using our newly developed model atmosphere code appropriate for magnetic white dwarfs with metal lines in the Paschen-Back regime, we study various magnetic white dwarfs and explore the effects of various parameters such as the field geometry and the convective efficiency.

  11. AR Sco: A Precessing White Dwarf Synchronar?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, J. I.

    2017-02-01

    The emission of the white dwarf–M dwarf binary AR Sco is driven by the rapid synchronization of its white dwarf, rather than by accretion. Synchronization requires a magnetic field ∼100 Gauss at the M dwarf and ∼ {10}8 Gauss at the white dwarf, larger than the fields of most intermediate polars but within the range of fields of known magnetic white dwarfs. The spindown power is dissipated in the atmosphere of the M dwarf, within the near zone of the rotating white dwarf’s field, by magnetic reconnection, accelerating particles that produce the observed synchrotron radiation. The displacement of the optical maximum from conjunction may be explained either by dissipation in a bow wave as the white dwarf’s magnetic field sweeps past the M dwarf or by a misaligned white dwarf rotation axis and oblique magnetic moment. In the latter case the rotation axis precesses with a period of decades, predicting a drift in the orbital phase of the optical maximum. Binaries whose emission is powered by synchronization may be termed synchronars, in analogy to magnetars.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Dust in Cluster Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Looze, I.; Baes, M.; Fritz, J.; Verstappen, J.; Bendo, G. J.; Bianchi, S.; Bomans, D. J.; Boselli, A.; Clemens, M.; Corbelli, E.; Cortese, L.; Dariush, A.; Davies, J. I.; di Serego Alighieri, S.; Fadda, D.; Garcia-Appadoo, D. A.; Gavazzi, G.; Giovanardi, C.; Grossi, M.; Hughes, T. M.; Hunt, L. K.; Jones, A. P.; Madden, S.; Magrini, L.; Pierini, D.; Pohlen, M.; Sabatini, S.; Smith, M. W. L.; Vlahakis, C.; Xilouris, E. M.; Zibetti, S.

    Based on single cross-scan data of the Herschel Virgo Cluster Survey, we report the first detections of dust in cluster early-type dwarf galaxies: VCC 209, VCC 781 and VCC 951. All three galaxies have dust masses M d ≈ 105 - 106 M⊙ and average dust temperatures ≈ 16-20 K. Since these three early-type dwarfs reside in densely crowded regions close to the center of the Virgo cluster, and several H I-detected dwarfs in the outskirts of Virgo were not detected by Herschel(implying a dust content < 104 M⊙), this might imply that dust in dwarfs is more closely related to the molecular gas, which is more centrally peaked in a galaxy's potential well and therefore, not easily removed by any stripping mechanism. We conclude that the removal of interstellar dust from these early-type dwarfs appears to be less efficient than the removal of the H I gas.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Central Dark Matter Distribution In Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Se-Heon; Brook, C.; Governato, F.; Brinks, E.; Mayer, L.; de Blok, E.; Brooks, A.; Walter, F.

    2012-01-01

    Central dark matter distribution in dwarf galaxies Se-Heon Oh, Chris Brook, Fabio Governato, Elias Brinks, Lucio Mayer, W.J.G. de Blok, Alyson Brooks and Fabian Walter We present high-resolution mass models of 7 nearby dwarf galaxies from "The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey” (THINGS) and compare these with those from hydrodynamic simulations of dwarf galaxies assuming a ΛCDM cosmology. The simulations include the effect of baryonic feedback processes, such as gas cooling, star formation, cosmic UV background heating and most importantly, physically motivated gas outflows driven by supernovae (SNe). For the THINGS dwarf galaxies, we derive the mass models for the dark matter component by subtracting the contribution from baryons, derived from our HI observations and using the "Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey” (SINGS) 3.6μm data, from the total kinematics, leaving only the contribution by the Dark Matter halo. In parallel, we perform dark matter mass modeling of the simulated dwarf galaxies in exactly the same way as the observed THINGS dwarf galaxies. From a direct comparison between the observations and simulations, we find that the dark matter rotation curves of the simulated dwarf galaxies rise less steeply in the inner regions than those of dark-matter-only simulations based on the ΛCDM paradigm, and are more consistent with those of the THINGS dwarf galaxies. In addition, the mean value of the logarithmic inner dark matter density slopes, α, of the simulated galaxies is approximately -0.4 ± 0.1, which is in good agreement with α = -0.29 ± -0.07 of the THINGS dwarf galaxies. This shows that the baryonic feedback processes in the simulations are efficient in flattening the initial cusps with α = -1.0 to -1.5 predicted from dark-matter-only simulations, and render the dark matter halo mass distribution more similar to that observed in nearby dwarf galaxies.

  3. 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.

  4. Physiological aspects and injury in elite Alpine skiers.

    PubMed

    White, A T; Johnson, S C

    1993-03-01

    Alpine skiing requires aerobic and anaerobic power, muscular strength, and a variety of complex motor abilities including quickness, agility, balance and coordination. There is evidence of variability in physical characteristics between skiers of different events. Generally, successful alpine competitors are taller and heavier than in the past. Greater size, specifically lean mass, may be related to technique changes because of the advent of breakaway poles. Aerobic power, although important, does not discriminate competitors of varying ability categories. Aerobic power is more likely to be a result of conditioning for alpine skiing rather than a profound requirement of the sport. Anaerobic power is important for skiing and both laboratory and field power tests correlate well with performance. Tests that measure explosive and sustained anaerobic power such as the Wingate, vertical jump, 60-second repeated jump, and Margaria-Kalamen stair run are valuable in assessing skiers. On-snow lactate and oxygen consumption measurements further substantiate the need for high anaerobic power. Alpine skiers have very high leg strength compared with other athletes. Isokinetic testing has been used to evaluate dynamic leg strength in skiers, but little is known about high speed dynamic or eccentric strength capabilities. A new mechanism of knee injury that is associated with tibial acceleration has been identified in competitive alpine skiers. A release binding that is sensitive to physiological factors in addition to release forces should be developed. Strength profiling of skiers may also be valuable in evaluating injury risk.

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. Photosynthetic Acclimation to Temperature in the Desert Shrub, Larrea divaricata

    PubMed Central

    Armond, Paul A.; Schreiber, Ulrich; Björkman, Olle

    1978-01-01

    The response of photosynthetic electron transport and light-harvesting efficiency to high temperatures was studied in the desert shrub Larrea divaricata Cav. Plants were grown at day/night temperatures of 20/15, 32/25, or 45/33 C in rough approximation of natural seasonal temperature variations. The process of acclimation to high temperatures involves an enhancement of the stability of the interactions between the light-harvesting pigments and the photosystem reaction centers. As temperature is increased, the heat-induced dissociation of these complexes results in a decrease in the quantum yield of electron transport at limiting light intensity, followed by a loss of electron transport activity at rate-saturating light intensity. The decreased quantum yield can be attributed to a block of excitation energy transfer from chlorophyll b to chlorophyll a, and changes in the distribution of the excitation energy between photosystems II and I. The block of excitation energy transfer is characterized by a loss of the effectiveness of 480 nm light (absorbed primarily by chlorophyll b) to drive protochemical processes, as well as fluorescence emission by chlorophyll b. PMID:16660304

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Keck Telescope Observations of Externally-Polluted White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuckerman, Ben M.; NASA, Research was Supported in Part by

    2013-01-01

    Beginning in the late 1990s the Keck telescope and HIRES echelle spectrometer have contributed mightily to investigations of white dwarf photospheres that contain elements heavier than helium that have been accreted from surrounding planetary systems. Today we report new Keck measurements of helium atmosphere (DB and DZ) white dwarfs, of Hyades white dwarfs, and of white dwarfs in binary systems.

  11. 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.

  12. Angular Momentum of Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, Kirsty M.; Obreschkow, Danail; Oh, Se-Heon

    2017-01-01

    We present measurements of baryonic mass {M}{{b}} and specific angular momentum (sAM) {j}{{b}} in 14 rotating dwarf Irregular (dIrr) galaxies from the LITTLE THINGS sample. These measurements, based on 21 cm kinematic data from the Very Large Array and stellar mass maps from the Spitzer Space Telescope, extend previous AM measurements by more than two orders of magnitude in {M}{{b}}. The dwarf galaxies show systematically higher {j}{{b}} values than expected from the {j}{{b}}\\propto {M}{{b}}2/3 scaling of spiral galaxies, representative of a scale-free galaxy formation scenario. This offset can be explained by decreasing baryon mass fractions {f}{{M}}={M}{{b}}/{M}{dyn} (where {M}{dyn} is the dynamical mass) with decreasing {M}{{b}} (for {M}{{b}}< {10}11 {M}ȯ ). We find that the sAM of neutral atomic hydrogen (H i) alone is about 2.5 times higher than that of the stars. The M–j relation of H i is significantly steeper than that of the stars, as a direct consequence of the systematic variation of the H i fraction with {M}{{b}}.

  13. Polarization of Young Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manjavacas, Elena; Miles-Páez, Paulo A.; Zapatero-Osorio, Maria Rosa; Goldman, Bertrand; Buenzli, Esther; Henning, Thomas; Pallé, Enric

    2016-08-01

    Linear polarization due to scattering processes can be used as a probe of the existence of atmospheric condensates in ultracool dwarfs. Models predict that the observed linear polarization increases with the degree of oblateness, which is inverse to the surface gravity.We aimed to measure optical linear polarization from a sample of six young brown dwarfs, with spectral types between M6 to L2, and cataloged previously as objects with low gravity using spectroscopy. These targets are believed to have dusty atmospheres as a consequence of their low gravity, therefore linearly polarized light is expected from these objects.Linear polarimetric data were collected in I and R-band using CAFOS at the 2.2m telescope in Calar Alto Observatory.We obtained results of linear polarization in the I-band compatible with non polarization for all the objects, and similar results for the polarization degree in the R-band for all objects with the exception of 2M0422. For this object we find a linear polarization degree of 0.81+-0.18%. 2M0422 is 10 deg to the south of the Taurus star-forming region, thus, we suspect that its polarization is caused by the dust in the cloud in which 2M0422 might be embedded.

  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. [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

  16. Inclusion of Tithonia diversifolia in multinutrient blocks for WestAfrican dwarf goats fed Brachiaria straw.

    PubMed

    Tendonkeng, Fernand; Fogang Zogang, Bienvenu; Sawa, Camara; Boukila, Benoît; Pamo, Etienne Tedonkeng

    2014-08-01

    Recent investigations suggest that the development of multinutrient feed blocks with inclusion of tree and shrub leaves could improve the nutritive value and digestibility of straw. In order to test these possibilities, three types of multinutrient blocks (MNB) namely: MNB0 (wheat bran = 100%; Tithonia diversifolia leaf = 0%), MNB50 (wheat bran = 50%; T. diversifolia leaf = 50%) and MNB100 (wheat bran = 0%; T. diversifolia leaf = 100%) were fed for 15 days in a 3 × 3 Latin square arrangement to West African dwarf goats consuming Brachiaria ruziziensis straw. The blocks presented a good cohesion and a good hardness. The inclusion of T. diversifolia improved levels of crude protein, mineral, feed unit for milk production (UFL) and feed unit for meat production (UFV), but decreased palatability. The effects on the digestibility of B. ruziziensis straw were evaluated in nine West African dwarf goats fed individually with MNB0 + straw, MNB50 + straw and MNB100 + straw. The dry matter, organic matter and crude fibre digestibility of B. ruziziensis straw increased slightly with increasing level of inclusion of T. diversifolia. The apparent digestibility of nitrogen was comparable for all diets independent of the level of inclusion of T. diversifolia. This study showed that the inclusion of T. diversifolia leaves in the MNBs can be recommended to improve the feeding of goats during periods of drought.

  17. 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.

  18. How Spatial Heterogeneity of Cover Affects Patterns of Shrub Encroachment into Mesic Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Montané, Francesc; Casals, Pere; Dale, Mark R. T.

    2011-01-01

    We used a multi-method approach to analyze the spatial patterns of shrubs and cover types (plant species, litter or bare soil) in grassland-shrubland ecotones. This approach allows us to assess how fine-scale spatial heterogeneity of cover types affects the patterns of Cytisus balansae shrub encroachment into mesic mountain grasslands (Catalan Pyrenees, Spain). Spatial patterns and the spatial associations between juvenile shrubs and different cover types were assessed in mesic grasslands dominated by species with different palatabilities (palatable grass Festuca nigrescens and unpalatable grass Festuca eskia). A new index, called RISES (“Relative Index of Shrub Encroachment Susceptibility”), was proposed to calculate the chances of shrub encroachment into a given grassland, combining the magnitude of the spatial associations and the surface area for each cover type. Overall, juveniles showed positive associations with palatable F. nigrescens and negative associations with unpalatable F. eskia, although these associations shifted with shrub development stage. In F. eskia grasslands, bare soil showed a low scale of pattern and positive associations with juveniles. Although the highest RISES values were found in F. nigrescens plots, the number of juvenile Cytisus was similar in both types of grasslands. However, F. nigrescens grasslands showed the greatest number of juveniles in early development stage (i.e. height<10 cm) whereas F. eskia grasslands showed the greatest number of juveniles in late development stages (i.e. height>30 cm). We concluded that in F. eskia grasslands, where establishment may be constrained by the dominant cover type, the low scale of pattern on bare soil may result in higher chances of shrub establishment and survival. In contrast, although grasslands dominated by the palatable F. nigrescens may be more susceptible to shrub establishment; current grazing rates may reduce juvenile survival. PMID:22174858

  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. 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.

  1. Impacts of leguminous shrub encroachment on neighboring grasses include transfer of fixed nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hai-Yang; Yu, Qiang; Lü, Xiao-Tao; Trumbore, Susan E; Yang, Jun-Jie; Han, Xing-Guo

    2016-04-01

    Shrub encroachment induced by global change and human disturbance strongly affects ecosystem structure and function. In this study, we explore the degree to which invading leguminous shrubs affected neighboring grasses, including via the transfer of fixed nitrogen (N). We measured N concentrations and natural abundance (15)N of shoot tissues from three dominant grasses from different plant functional groups across seven distances along a local transect (up to 500 cm) to the leguminous shrub, Caragana microphylla. C. microphylla did transfer fixed N to neighboring grasses, but the amount and distance of N transferred were strongly species-specific. Shoot N concentrations decreased significantly with distance from C. microphylla, for a rhizomatous grass, Leymus chinensis, and a bunchgrass, Achnatherum sibiricum. However, N concentrations of another bunchgrass, Stipa grandis, were higher only directly underneath the shrub canopy. Shoot δ(15)N values of L. chinensis were enriched up to 500 cm from the shrub, but for S. grandis were enriched only below the shrub canopy. In contrast, δ(15)N of A. sibiricum did not change along the 500-cm transect. Our results indicated the rhizomatous grass transferred fixed N over long distances while bunchgrasses did not. The presence of C. microphylla increased the shoot biomass of L. chinensis but decreased that of S. grandis and A. sibiricum. These findings highlight the potential role of nutrient-acquisition strategies of neighboring grasses in moderating the interspecific variation of fixed N transfer from the leguminous shrub. Overall, leguminous shrubs have either positive or negative effects on the neighboring grasses and dramatically affect plant community composition and structure.

  2. Heterogeneity of soil surface temperature induced by xerophytic shrub in a revegetated desert ecosystem, northwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ya-Feng; Wang, Xin-Ping; Pan, Yan-Xia; Hu, Rui; Zhang, Hao

    2013-06-01

    Variation characteristics of the soil surface temperature induced by shrub canopy greatly affects the near-surface biological and biochemical processes in desert ecosystems. However, information regarding the effects of shrub upon the heterogeneity of soil surface temperature is scarce. Here we aimed to characterize the effects of shrub ( Caragana korshinskii) canopy on the soil surface temperature heterogeneity at areas under shrub canopy and the neighbouring bare ground. Diurnal variations of soil surface temperature were measured at areas adjacent to the shrub base (ASB), beneath the midcanopy (BMC), and in the bare intershrub spaces (BIS) at the eastern, southern, western and northern aspects of shrub, respectively. Results indicated that diurnal mean soil surface temperature under the C. korshinskii canopy (ASB and BMC) was significantly lower than in the BIS, with the highest in the BIS, followed by the BMC and ASB. The diurnal maximum and diurnal variations of soil surface temperatures under canopy vary strongly with different aspects of shrub with the diurnal variation in solar altitude, which could be used as cues to detect safe sites for under-canopy biota. A significant empirical linear relationship was found between soil surface temperature and solar altitude, suggesting an empirical predicator that solar altitude can serve for soil surface temperature. Lower soil surface temperatures under the canopy than in the bare intershrub spaces imply that shrubs canopy play a role of `cool islands' in the daytime in terms of soil surface temperature during hot summer months in the desert ecosystems characterized by a mosaic of sparse vegetation and bare ground.

  3. How spatial heterogeneity of cover affects patterns of shrub encroachment into mesic grasslands.

    PubMed

    Montané, Francesc; Casals, Pere; Dale, Mark R T

    2011-01-01

    We used a multi-method approach to analyze the spatial patterns of shrubs and cover types (plant species, litter or bare soil) in grassland-shrubland ecotones. This approach allows us to assess how fine-scale spatial heterogeneity of cover types affects the patterns of Cytisus balansae shrub encroachment into mesic mountain grasslands (Catalan Pyrenees, Spain). Spatial patterns and the spatial associations between juvenile shrubs and different cover types were assessed in mesic grasslands dominated by species with different palatabilities (palatable grass Festuca nigrescens and unpalatable grass Festuca eskia). A new index, called RISES ("Relative Index of Shrub Encroachment Susceptibility"), was proposed to calculate the chances of shrub encroachment into a given grassland, combining the magnitude of the spatial associations and the surface area for each cover type. Overall, juveniles showed positive associations with palatable F. nigrescens and negative associations with unpalatable F. eskia, although these associations shifted with shrub development stage. In F. eskia grasslands, bare soil showed a low scale of pattern and positive associations with juveniles. Although the highest RISES values were found in F. nigrescens plots, the number of juvenile Cytisus was similar in both types of grasslands. However, F. nigrescens grasslands showed the greatest number of juveniles in early development stage (i.e. height<10 cm) whereas F. eskia grasslands showed the greatest number of juveniles in late development stages (i.e. height>30 cm). We concluded that in F. eskia grasslands, where establishment may be constrained by the dominant cover type, the low scale of pattern on bare soil may result in higher chances of shrub establishment and survival. In contrast, although grasslands dominated by the palatable F. nigrescens may be more susceptible to shrub establishment; current grazing rates may reduce juvenile survival.

  4. Alpine ski bindings and injuries. Current findings.

    PubMed

    Natri, A; Beynnon, B D; Ettlinger, C F; Johnson, R J; Shealy, J E

    1999-07-01

    In spite of the fact that the overall incidence of alpine ski injuries has decreased during the last 25 years, the incidence of serious knee sprains usually involving the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has risen dramatically since the late 1970s. This trend runs counter to a dramatic reduction in lower leg injuries that began in the early 1970s and to date has lowered the risk of injury below the knee by almost 90%. One of the primary design objectives of modern ski boots and bindings has been to protect the skier from tibia and ankle fractures. So, in that sense, they have done an excellent job. However, despite advances in equipment design, modern ski bindings have not protected the knee from serious ligament trauma. At the present time, we are unaware of any binding design, settings or function that can protect both the knee and lower extremities from serious ligament sprains. No innovative change in binding design appears to be on the horizon that has the potential to reduce the risk of these severe knee injuries. Indeed, only 1 study has demonstrated a means to help reduce this risk of serious knee sprains, and this study involved education of skiers, not ski equipment. Despite the inability of bindings to reduce the risk of severe knee injuries there can be no doubt that improvement in ski bindings has been the most important factor in the marked reduction in incidence of lower leg and ankle injuries during the last 25 years. The authors strongly endorse the application of present International Standards Organisation (ISO) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards concerning mounting, setting and maintaining modern 'state of the art' bindings.

  5. Alpine ski injuries and their prevention.

    PubMed

    Koehle, Michael S; Lloyd-Smith, Rob; Taunton, Jack E

    2002-01-01

    Alpine skiing is a popular sport with significant risk of injury. Since the 1970s, injury rates have dropped from approximately 5 to 8 per 1000 skier-days to about 2 to 3 per 1000 skier-days. The nature of the injuries has also been transformed over the same period. Lower leg injuries are becoming less common while the incidence of knee sprains and upper extremity injuries is becoming more common. Much of this change can be attributed to advancements in binding technology, which effectively reduces lower leg injury, but does not adequately address the issue of knee sprains. Along with design, binding adjustment and maintenance are important preventative factors. Poorly adjusted bindings have been correlated with increased injury rates. Upper extremity injuries constitute approximately one-third of skiing injuries, with ulnar collateral ligament sprains and shoulder injuries being the most common. Strategies to prevent these include proper poling technique and avoidance of non-detachable ski pole retention devices. Spinal injuries in skiers have been traditionally much less common than in snowboarders, but this disparity is likely to diminish with the recent trend of incorporating snowboarding moves into skiing. Strategies to help reduce these injuries include promoting the development of terrain parks and focussing on proper technique during such moves. Head injuries have been increasing in incidence over recent decades and account for more than half of skiing-related deaths. The issue of ski helmets remains controversial while evidence for their efficacy remains under debate. There is no evidence to demonstrate that traditional ski instruction reduces injury frequency. More specific programmes focussed on injury prevention techniques are effective. The question of pre-season conditioning to prevent injuries needs further research to demonstrate efficacy.

  6. Traumatic dental injuries and Alpine skiing.

    PubMed

    Gassner, R; Vàsquez Garcia, J; Leja, W; Stainer, M

    2000-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the occurrence and type of traumatic dental injuries after maxillofacial injuries as a result of Alpine skiing. During an 8-year period (from January 1991 to December 1998) 7600 patients with facial injuries were registered at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Innsbruck, Austria. Of 784 patients with skiing-related facial injuries (524 males, 260 females) 326 (41.6%) sustained injuries to 639 teeth. The age groups predominantly affected were between 7 and 32 years. Luxation injuries occurred in 338 (53%) teeth, fractures accounted for 270 tooth injuries (42%), and only 35 (5%) were lost at the place of the accident. Of skiers with traumatic dental injuries 58% had concomitant soft tissue injuries, while 23.3% had associated facial bone fractures. The most common causes of injury were falls in 42% (329 patients) and collisions with other persons in 24.1% (189 patients). Being hit by one's own sports equipment (11%) was the third most common cause. Collisions with obstacles accounted for 9% and lift accidents for 5.6% of injuries. The probability of suffering dentoalveolar trauma during skiing varied depending on the injury mechanism. There was a 2-fold risk for dentoalveolar trauma when colliding with objects, a 3.5-fold risk when hit by one's own equipment and a 8.5-fold risk during lift accidents. Dental injuries occurred in about 2% of all injured skiers. Dental health professionals should be aware of the high incidence and the distribution of dental trauma and facial injuries caused by skiing.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. An overview of white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Charpinet, S.; Randall, S. K.; Van Grootel, V.

    2013-03-01

    We present a brief summary of what is currently known about white dwarf stars, with an emphasis on their evolutionary and internal properties. As is well known, white dwarfs represent the end products of stellar evolution for the vast majority of stars and, as such, bear the signatures of past events (such as mass loss, mixing phases, loss and redistribution of angular momentum, and thermonuclear burning) that are of essential importance in the evolution of stars in general. In addition, white dwarf stars represent ideal testbeds for our understanding of matter under extreme conditions, and work on their constitutive physics (neutrino production rates, conductive and radiative opacities, interior liquid/solid equations of state, partially ionized and partially degenerate envelope equations of state, diffusion coefficients, line broadening mechanisms) is still being actively pursued. Given a set of constitutive physics, cooling white dwarfs can be used advantageously as cosmochronometers. Moreover, the field has been blessed by the existence of four distinct families of pulsating white dwarfs, each mapping a different evolutionary phase, and this allows the application of the asteroseismological method to probe and test their internal structure and evolutionary state. We set the stage for the reviews that follow on cooling white dwarfs as cosmochronometers and physics laboratories, as well as on the properties of pulsating white dwarfs and the asteroseismological results that can be inferred.

  13. Evaluating shrub-associated spatial patterns of soil properties in a shrub-steppe ecosystem using multiple-variable geostatistics

    SciTech Connect

    Halvorson, J.J.; Smith, J.L. |; Bolton, H. Jr.; Rossi, R.E.

    1995-09-01

    Geostatistics are often calculated for a single variable at a time, even though many natural phenomena are functions of several variables. The objective of this work was to demonstrate a nonparametric approach for assessing the spatial characteristics of multiple-variable phenomena. Specifically, we analyzed the spatial characteristics of resource islands in the soil under big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentala Nutt.), a dominant shrub in the intermountain western USA. For our example, we defined resource islands as a function of six soil variables representing concentrations of soil resources, populations of microorganisms, and soil microbial physiological variables. By collectively evaluating the indicator transformations of these individual variables, we created a new data set, termed a multiple-variable indicator transform or MVIT. Alternate MVITs were obtained by varying the selection criteria. Each MVIT was analyzed with variography to characterize spatial continuity, and with indicator kriging to predict the combined probability of their occurrence at unsampled locations in the landscape. Simple graphical analysis and variography demonstrated spatial dependence for all individual soil variables. Maps derived from ordinary kriging of MVITs suggested that the combined probabilities for encountering zones of above-median resources were greatest near big sagebrush. 51 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  14. 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.

  15. Abscission is regulated by the ESCRT-III protein shrub in Drosophila germline stem cells.

    PubMed

    Matias, Neuza Reis; Mathieu, Juliette; Huynh, Jean-René

    2015-02-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Are white dwarfs born with a `KICK'?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Saul; Richer, H. B.; Coffey, J.; Anderson, J.; Brewer, J.; Fahlman, G. G.; Hansen, B. M.; Hurley, J.; Kalirai, J. S.; King, I. R.; Reitzel, D.; Rich, R. M.; Rich, M. R.; Shara, M. M.

    2006-12-01

    The unusually large kinetic energies possessed by some pulsars, as inferred from their observed velocities in excess of the escape speed of the Galaxy, imply that the violent explosions in which they are born impart some fraction of their energy into the motion of the pulsar. Does a similar, but less energetic process occur during the birth of a white dwarf? Two major Hubble Space Telescope imaging campaigns of the two nearest globular star clusters, NGC 6397 and Messier 4, yield the radial distribution of both white dwarfs and main-sequences. Because globular clusters are relaxed populations, the velocity dispersion, and hence radial distribution, for stars of a particular mass is directly dependent on that mass. To first approximation, all white dwarf s have a mass of 0.55 M⊙. If white dwarfs are not born with a kick, we expect white dwarf s of an age younger than a relaxation time to have a radial distribution similar to main-sequence stars of 0.8 M⊙, i.e. the mass of their progenitor. Conversely, if white dwarf s are born with a kick, the radial distribution of white dwarfs younger than the relaxation time should mimic that of main-sequence stars of lesser mass. By comparing the radial distributions of white dwarfs of various ages with those of main-sequence stars of various masses in these two globular clusters, we find that the radial distributions of young white dwarfs are most similar to that of main-sequence stars of 0.2 M⊙, implying a natal kick of >1.6 km/s.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Principal Component Analysis of Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleary, Colleen; Rodriguez, David

    2017-01-01

    Principal component analysis is a technique for reducing variables and emphasizing patterns in a data set. In this study, the data set consisted of the attributes of 174 brown dwarfs. The PCA was performed on several photometric measurements in near-infrared wavelengths and colors in order to determine if these variables showed a correlation with the physical parameters. This research resulted in two separate models that predict luminosity and temperature. The application of principal component analysis on the near-infrared photometric measurements and colors of brown dwarfs, along with models, provides alternate methods for predicting the luminosity and temperature of brown dwarfs using only photometric measurements.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Post-fire Wind Erosion in a Semiarid Shrub Steppe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glenn, N.; Sankey, J.; Germino, M.

    2007-12-01

    The objective of this project is to determine and describe the effects of fire on the potential for soil erosion by wind in a semiarid shrub steppe in southeastern Idaho. We apply a previously developed method for determining the threshold wind speed (critical threshold) required to initiate saltation of soil particles at several sampling locations within wildfires that burned in summers 2006 and 2007. Sampling locations have data collection stations with anemometers, a piezoelectric sensor mounted at 5 cm above the ground surface that records impacts from saltating soil particles, temperature and relative humidity sensors mounted at ground level, soil moisture sensors, and soil erosion bridges. Analysis is intended to identify key controlling variables of post- wildfire eolian transport with the intention of continued monitoring over longer time periods with the incorporation of LiDAR data for surface characterization. Initial field results indicate substantial differences in wind erosion potential between burned and unburned sites. Saltation activity is greater and more frequently detected at the burned sites in comparison to the unburned sites. Comparison between the burned sites indicates periods of similar saltation activity and threshold wind speeds. Comparison also shows periods when saltation is detected at one burned site but not the other, and periods when greater wind speeds are required at one burned site to initiate saltation. This suggests that within-burn variability exists in wind erosion potential and requires more complete characterization to accurately model and predict post-fire eolian transport. In parallel to the field-based research, we are developing remote sensing techniques to characterize the soil surface and vegetation communities at a scale appropriate for wind erosion modeling. These techniques include hyperspectral and LiDAR analysis of the soil surface and structural information of the vegetation. Soil and vegetation surface

  4. Magnetic fields in Local Group dwarf irregulars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chyży, K. T.; Weżgowiec, M.; Beck, R.; Bomans, D. J.

    2011-05-01

    Aims: We wish to clarify whether strong magnetic fields can be effectively generated in typically low-mass dwarf galaxies and to assess the role of dwarf galaxies in the magnetization of the Universe. Methods: We performed a search for radio emission and magnetic fields in an unbiased sample of 12 Local Group (LG) irregular and dwarf irregular galaxies with the 100-m Effelsberg telescope at 2.64 GHz. Three galaxies were detected. A higher frequency (4.85 GHz) was used to search for polarized emission in five dwarfs that are the most luminous ones in the infrared domain, of which three were detected. Results: Magnetic fields in LG dwarfs are weak, with a mean value of the total field strength of <4.2 ± 1.8 μG, three times lower than in the normal spirals. The strongest field among all LG dwarfs of 10 μG (at 2.64 GHz) is observed in the starburst dwarf IC 10. The production of total magnetic fields in dwarf systems appears to be regulated mainly by the star-formation surface density (with the power-law exponent of 0.30 ± 0.04) or by the gas surface density (with the exponent 0.47 ± 0.09). In addition, we find systematically stronger fields in objects of higher global star-formation rate. The dwarf galaxies follow a similar far-infrared relationship (with a slope of 0.91 ± 0.08) to that determined for high surface brightness spiral galaxies. The magnetic field strength in dwarf galaxies does not correlate with their maximum rotational velocity, indicating that a small-scale rather than a large-scale dynamo process is responsible for producting magnetic fields in dwarfs. If magnetization of the Universe by galactic outflows is coeval with its metal enrichment, we show that more massive objects (such as Lyman break galaxies) can efficiently magnetize the intergalactic medium with a magnetic field strength of about 0.8 nG out to a distance of 160-530 kpc at redshifts 5-3, respectively. Magnetic fields that are several times weaker and shorter magnetization

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. Building Magnetic Fields in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-03-01

    White dwarfs, the compact remnants left over at the end of low- and medium-mass stars lifetimes, are often found to have magnetic fields with strengths ranging from thousands to billions of times that of Earth. But how do these fields form?MultiplePossibilitiesAround 1020% of white dwarfs have been observed to have measurable magnetic fields with a wide range of strengths. There are several theories as to how these fields might be generated:The fields are fossil.The original weak magnetic fields of the progenitor stars were amplified as the stars cores evolved into white dwarfs.The fields are caused by binary interactions.White dwarfs that formed in the merger of a binary pair might have had a magnetic field amplified as a result of a dynamo that was generated during the merger.The fields were produced by some other internal physical mechanism during the cooling of the white dwarf itself.In a recent publication, a team of authors led by Jordi Isern (Institute of Space Sciences, CSIC, and Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, Spain) explored this third possibility.Dynamos from CrystallizationThe inner and outer boundaries of the convective mantle of carbon/oxygen white dwarfs of two different masses (top vs. bottom panel) as a function of luminosity. As the white dwarf cools (toward the right), the mantle grows thinner due to the crystallization and settling of material. [Isern et al. 2017]As white dwarfs have no nuclear fusion at their centers, they simply radiate heat and gradually cool over time. The structure of the white dwarf undergoes an interesting change as it cools, however: though the object begins as a fluid composed primarily of an ionized mixture of carbon and oxygen (and a few minor species like nickel and iron), it gradually crystallizes as its temperature drops.The crystallized phase of the white dwarf is oxygen-rich which is denser than the liquid, so the crystallized material sinks to the center of the dwarf as it solidifies. As a result, the

  11. 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.

  12. Tidal Effects in Inspiraling Double White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willems, B.; Kalogera, Vicky; Vecchio, A.; Ivanova, N.; Deloye, C.; Hansen, B.

    2006-12-01

    Despite the overwhelming abundance of double white dwarfs in the LISA gravitational wave frequency band, modeling of their waveforms has remained limited to the point-mass approximation in which gravitational radiation is the only source of systemic orbital angular momentum loss. As a significant fraction of these systems spirals in to periods as short as 5-10 minutes, tidal effects can, however, play an important role in modifying the gravitational wave frequency evolution. The strength of the tidal effects depends strongly on the energy dissipation mechanism damping the tides, which, for white dwarfs, is highly uncertain. In this poster, we present the first results of a systematic study of tidal dissipation in white dwarfs, and the impact of tides on the gravitational wave signal of close double white dwarfs.

  13. Transit probabilities for debris around white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, John Arban; Johnson, John A.

    2017-01-01

    The discovery of WD 1145+017 (Vanderburg et al. 2015), a metal-polluted white dwarf with an infrared-excess and transits confirmed the long held theory that at least some metal-polluted white dwarfs are actively accreting material from crushed up planetesimals. A statistical understanding of WD 1145-like systems would inform us on the various pathways for metal-pollution and the end states of planetary systems around medium- to high-mass stars. However, we only have one example and there are presently no published studies of transit detection/discovery probabilities for white dwarfs within this interesting regime. We present a preliminary look at the transit probabilities for metal-polluted white dwarfs and their projected space density in the Solar Neighborhood, which will inform future searches for analogs to WD 1145+017.

  14. Pulsating White Dwarf Stars and Precision Asteroseismology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winget, D. E.; Kepler, S. O.

    2008-09-01

    Galactic history is written in the white dwarf stars. Their surface properties hint at interiors composed of matter under extreme conditions. In the forty years since their discovery, pulsating white dwarf stars have moved from side-show curiosities to center stage as important tools for unraveling the deep mysteries of the Universe. Innovative observational techniques and theoretical modeling tools have breathed life into precision asteroseismology. We are just learning to use this powerful tool, confronting theoretical models with observed frequencies and their time rate-of-change. With this tool, we calibrate white dwarf cosmochronology; we explore equations of state; we measure stellar masses, rotation rates, and nuclear reaction rates; we explore the physics of interior crystallization; we study the structure of the progenitors of Type Ia supernovae, and we test models of dark matter. The white dwarf pulsations are at once the heartbeat of galactic history and a window into unexplored and exotic physics.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. A wave model for dwarf novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sparks, W. M.; Kutter, G. S.

    1980-01-01

    The rapid coherent oscillation during a dwarf nova outburst is attributed to an accretion-driven wave going around the white dwarf component of the binary system. The increase and decrease in the period of this oscillation is due to the change in the velocity of the wave as it is first being driven and then damped. Qualitatively, a large number of observations can be explained with such a model. The beginnings of a mathematical representation of this model are developed.

  18. 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).

  19. ANS ultraviolet observations of dwarf Cepheids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturch, C. R.; Wu, C.-C.

    1983-03-01

    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.

  20. Hydrological significance of soil frost for pre-alpine areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stähli, Manfred

    2017-03-01

    Soil frost can have a substantial impact on water flows at the soil surface and-potentially-alter the dynamics of catchment runoff. While these findings are mainly based on studies from alpine and Northern-latitude areas (including permafrost areas), little is known about the significance of soil frost for hydrology in pre-alpine areas, i.e. the region at the transition from central European lowlands to high-alpine areas. Here I synthesize soil temperature data and soil frost observations from ten sites in Switzerland to assess the occurrence of soil frost and to determine its impact on catchment runoff. In addition, a well-established numerical model was used to reconstruct the presence of soil frost in two first-order catchments for single runoff events and winters. The data clearly demonstrates that shallow soil frost has formed regularly in this altitudinal range over the past decade. The presence of a frozen soil surface was found to be highly variable among the sites under study and did not significantly correlate with altitude or forest density. For the first-order catchments, it was not possible to relate important flood peaks or increased runoff coefficients to winter situations with substantial soil frost. Thus, the present analysis suggests that although soil frost is widespread and regularly occurring at this altitudinal range, it has no significant impact on winter runoff in pre-alpine watersheds.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Red Deer as Maintenance Host for Bovine Tuberculosis, Alpine Region

    PubMed Central

    Schleicher, Corina; Gonano, Monika; Prodinger, Wolfgang M.; Pacciarini, Maria; Glawischnig, Walter; Ryser-Degiorgis, Marie-Pierre; Walzer, Chris; Stalder, Gabrielle L.; Lombardo, Dorotea; Schobesberger, Hermann; Winter, Petra; Büttner, Mathias

    2015-01-01

    To estimate the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis in the Alpine region, we studied the epidemiology of Mycobacterium caprae in wildlife during the 2009–2012 hunting seasons. Free-ranging red deer (Cervus elaphus) were a maintenance host in a hot-spot area, mainly located in Austria. PMID:25695273

  4. 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.

  5. Patterns of shrub expansion in Alaskan arctic river corridors suggest phase transition.

    PubMed

    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 (d I ) 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 d I and using universal critical d I 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 d I 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.

  6. 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

  7. Air-Pollution-Mediated Changes in Alpine Ecosystems and Ecotones.

    PubMed

    Rusek, Josef

    1993-08-01

    Soil biological parameters (e.g., Collembola), soil types, soil chemical parameters (pH, humus substances), and plant communities were studied in different ecosystems and ecotones in alpine, subalpine, and spruce forest zones in the Tatra National Park, Slovak Republic. The preliminary, selected data, based on a long-term research program, showed a high sensitivity of some alpine ecotones and ecosystems to long-distance transported acid deposits. The changes in different ecosystem parameters since 1977 were more extensive in alpine grasslands on limestone than on granite. The greatest soil pH decrease was in the plant communities Festucetum versicoloris (-1.5 pH), Geranio-Alchemilletum crinitae (-1.32 pH), and Saxifragetum perdurantis (-1.25 pH), which are restricted to places with snow accumulation and water runoff gullies. In these ecosystems the greatest changes occurred in the leaching of humus substances. Some formerly less abundant and rare soil animals restricted to acid bedrock became dominant in some ecosystems on limestone as well as on granite; other formerly dominant species disappeared from the entire study area (e.g., Folsomia alpina). The aerial extent of some ecosystems changed substantially since 1977, and their surrounding ecotones moved into the space formerly occupied by one of the adjacent ecosystems. These changes are detectable by remote-sensing methods. In Central European mountains, strongly affected by global and regional industrial air pollution (e.g., Krusne Hory, Krkonose, Beskydy), spruce forests started to die back from higher to lower mountain elevations. The effects of air pollution on alpine and subalpine vegetation were not studied there. Strong alterations in alpine ecosystems and ecotones were detected by the author during long-term studies in the High Tatra Mountains, and I suggest that subalpine and mountain forest belts will be affected here in the near future as they were in the more polluted Central European mountains. The

  8. Morphology and Structures of Nearby Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Mira; Ann, HongBae

    2015-08-01

    We performed an analysis of the structure of nearby dwarf galaxies based on a 2-dimensional decomposition of galaxy images using GALFIT. The present sample consists of ~1,100 dwarf galaxies with redshift less than z = 0.01, which is is derived from the morphology catalog of the Visually classified galaxies in the local universe (Ann, Seo, and Ha 2015). In this catalog, dwarf galaxies are divided into 5 subtypes: dS0, dE, dSph, dEbc, dEblue with distinction of the presence of nucleation in dE, dSph, and dS0. We found that dSph and dEblue galaxies are fainter than other subtypes of dwarf galaxies. In most cases, single component, represented by the Sersic profile with n=1~1.5, well describes the luminosity distribution of dwarf galaxies in the present sample. However, a significant fraction of dS0, dEbc, and dEbue galaxies show sub-structures such as spiral arms and rings. We will discuss the morphology dependent evolutionary history of the local dwarf galaxies.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The Dwarf Novae UZ Serpentis and SS Aurigae During Quiescence: Exposed White Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lake, J.; Sion, E. M.

    2000-12-01

    UZ Serpentis and SS Aurigae are both U Geminorum-type dwarf novae with similar orbital periods, outburst amplitudes, and outburst recurrence times. Since dwarf novae above the period gap have higher accretion rates, their accretion disks may remain optically thick even during quiescence. Hence the detection of the white dwarf is more difficult. UZ Ser and SS Aur offer the possiblity of extending the range of systems for which the underlying white dwarf accreter has been analyzed with model atmospheres. We have applied the Massa-Fitzpatrick (2000) flux calibration correction to the archival IUE NEWSIPS SWP spectra of these two systems, obtained during dwarf nova quiescence. We have carried out high gravity model atmosphere using the codes TLUSTY195, SYNSPEC42, ROTIN and accretion disk synthetic spectra from the grid of Wade and Hubeny (1998). We have determined the physical properties of the white dwarf accreters, including temperature, gravity chemical abundances estimates, and the accretion rate during quiescence. We discuss our results in the context of the overall picture of accretion physics in dwarf novae and the effects of accretion on the white dwarf. This research was supported in part by NSF grant AST 99-01955, NASA ADP grant NAG5-8388 and by summer research funding from the NASA- Delaware Space Grant Colleges Consortium.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2016-08-02

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Valuation of ecosystem services of commercial shrub willow (Salix spp.) woody biomass crops.

    PubMed

    Bressler, Alison; Vidon, Philippe; Hirsch, Paul; Volk, Timothy

    2017-04-01

    The development of shrub willow as a bioenergy feedstock contributes to renewable energy portfolios in many countries with temperate climates and marginal croplands due to excessive moisture. However, to fully understand the potential of shrub willow as an alternative crop on marginal cropland, more research is needed to understand the potential of shrub willow for providing a variety of ecosystem services. At the same time, there is much need for research developing strategies to value ecosystem services beyond conventional valuation systems (e.g., monetary, intrinsic). In this context, this project investigates the ecosystem services of shrub willow woody biomass from an environmental science perspective, and proposes a new avenue to assess ecosystem services for management purposes based on the relative value of key ecosystem services under various land management strategies (i.e., willow vs. corn vs. hay). On marginal cropland in the US Northeast, shrub willow may be used to replace crops like corn or hay. Transitioning from conventional corn or hay to willow tends to reduce nutrient loss and erosion, improve biodiversity and adaptability to climate change, and increase access to recreational activities. However, it is unlikely to change soil carbon pools or greenhouse gas emissions at the soil-atmosphere interface. By encouraging decision makers to weigh the pros and cons of each management decision (i.e., willow vs. corn vs. hay) based on the situation, the ecosystems services valuation method used here provides a clear framework for decision making in a watershed management context.

  2. a Simple Probabilistic, Biologically Informed Model of the Population Dynamics of Desert Shrubs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worman, S.; Furbish, D. J.; Clarke, J. H.; Roberts, A. S.

    2010-12-01

    In arid environments, spatiotemporal variations in the processes of erosion and deposition are strongly coupled with the structure and dynamics of plant communities as well as the specific life behavior of individual plants. Understanding how physical transport processes affect the evolution of the land surface on geomorphic time-scales therefore requires considering how long-term changes in plant dynamics may in turn impact such processes. The development of this desert shrub population dynamics model is therefore motivated by the need to link rain-splash induced mound building at the shrub-scale with the unfolding ‘biological play’ occurring on a hillslope. Using the Master Equation to conserve shrub age, probabilistic and biologically informed statements for recruitment and mortality are formulated to function as source and sink terms respectively. This simple accounting framework, by tracking the number of individuals entering and leaving a population, captures the changes in shrub count that can be expected in time as the key variables driving the dynamics of these plant communities (i.e. precipitation) also change in time. The result is a tool through which it is possible to statistically describe the aggregate spatiotemporal behavior of different shrub populations, with their own characteristic life-cycles and physical dimensions, under different external forcing scenarios. This model features inputs that have a solid biophysical basis and insofar as it has the capacity to mimic key features of real processes, leads to outputs which appear consistent with findings reported in the literature.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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..

  7. Biomass Partitioning and Its Relationship with the Environmental Factors at the Alpine Steppe in Northern Tibet

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jianbo; Hong, Jiangtao; Wang, Xiaodan; Sun, Jian; Lu, Xuyang; Fan, Jihui; Cai, Yanjiang

    2013-01-01

    Alpine steppe is considered to be the largest grassland type on the Tibetan Plateau. This grassland contributes to the global carbon cycle and is sensitive to climate changes. The allocation of biomass in an ecosystem affects plant growth and the overall functioning of the ecosystem. However, the mechanism by which plant biomass is allocated on the alpine steppe remains unclear. In this study, biomass allocation and its relationship to environmental factors on the alpine grassland were studied by a meta-analysis of 32 field sites across the alpine steppe of the northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that there is less above-ground biomass (MA) and below-ground biomass (MB) in the alpine steppe than there is in alpine meadows and temperate grasslands. By contrast, the root-to-shoot ratio (R:S) in the alpine steppe is higher than it is in alpine meadows and temperate grasslands. Although temperature maintained the biomass in the alpine steppe, precipitation was found to considerably influence MA, MB, and R:S, as shown by ordination space partitioning. After standardized major axis (SMA) analysis, we found that allocation of biomass on the alpine steppe is supported by the allometric biomass partitioning hypothesis rather than the isometric allocation hypothesis. Based on these results, we believe that MA and MB will decrease as a result of the increased aridity expected to occur in the future, which will reduce the landscape’s capacity for carbon storage. PMID:24349170

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Tracking star formation in dwarf cluster galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rude, Cody Millard

    The evolution of galaxies in dense environments can be affected by close encounters with neighboring galaxies and interactions with the intracluster medium (ICM). Dwarf galaxies may be especially susceptible to these effects due to their low mass. The goal of my dissertation research is to look for signs of star formation in cluster dwarf galaxies by measuring and comparing the r- and u-band luminosity functions of 15 low redshift Abell galaxy clusters using archival data from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). Luminosity functions, dwarf-to-giant ratios, and blue fractions are measured in four cluster-centric annuli from stacked cluster data. To account for differences in cluster optical richness, each cluster is scaled according to r200, where r200 is the radius of a sphere, centered on the cluster, whose average density is 200 times the critical density of the universe. The outer region of the cluster sample shows an increase in the faint-end slope of the u-band luminosity function relative to the r-band, indicating star formation in dwarf galaxies. The blue fraction for dwarf galaxies steadily rises with increasing cluster-centric radii. The change in the blue fraction of giant galaxies also increases, but at a lower rate. Additionally, the inner regions of clusters ranging from 0.185 < z < 0.7 from the "Cluster Lensing and Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH)" are used to generate blue- and red-band luminosity functions, dwarf-to-giant ratios, and blue fractions. Comparisons of the inner region of the CLASH and CFHT clusters show an increase in the blue fraction of dwarf galaxies with redshift that is not present in giant galaxies.

  11. 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.

  12. Methane Opacities in T Dwarf Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homeier, D.; Hauschildt, P. H.; Allard, F.

    2003-01-01

    We present the current status of PHOENIX model atmospheres for dwarfs of spectral type T, typical for older field brown dwarfs and low-mass brown dwarfs. In comparison to warmer L dwarf atmosphers, the spectral features of these objects can largely be reproduced by treating the influence of dust in the limiting case of complete settling, i. e. neglecting the dust opacity (Cond models). One major challenge in modelling cool brown dwarf atmospheres is the correct treatment of the molecular lines of H2O and CH4. These are the dominant opacity sources in the IR and responsible for the very blue colours of T dwarfs in the near infrared. Reliable opacity data for these absorbers are thus mandatory for a correct determination of the temperature structure as well as for detailed modelling of the characteristic absorption features in the H and K bands, which are the defining criteria of spectral class T. Line lists extracted from low temperature atmospheric databases such as HITRAN and GEISA are generally strongly limited to lower-state energies. To overcome these limits, a new list of line-by-line predictions for the methane opacities from the four lowest vibrational states has been computed with the Spherical Top Database System (STDS). Improvements of these line lists have been achieved thanks to recent successes in the experimental calibration of the molecular parameter describing the vibrational and rotational bands in the spherical top model. This allowed extrapolations to higher rotational states than previously possible. As a result our opacity sampling models now allow a much more complete reproduction of the strong features occuring in the temperature regimes of brown dwarf atmospheres. A more diffuse background opacity remains due to the extremely high line density from higher vibrational states, which at this time can be described only partly by statistical models.

  13. Metallic Winds in Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robles-Valdez, F.; Rodríguez-González, A.; Hernández-Martínez, L.; Esquivel, A.

    2017-02-01

    We present results from models of galactic winds driven by energy injected from nuclear (at the galactic center) and non-nuclear starbursts. The total energy of the starburst is provided by very massive young stellar clusters, which can push the galactic interstellar medium and produce an important outflow. Such outflow can be a well or partially mixed wind, or a highly metallic wind. We have performed adiabatic 3D N-Body/Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics simulations of galactic winds using the gadget-2 code. The numerical models cover a wide range of parameters, varying the galaxy concentration index, gas fraction of the galactic disk, and radial distance of the starburst. We show that an off-center starburst in dwarf galaxies is the most effective mechanism to produce a significant loss of metals (material from the starburst itself). At the same time, a non-nuclear starburst produces a high efficiency of metal loss, in spite of having a moderate to low mass loss rate.

  14. Energy biomass from large rangeland shrubs of the intermountain United States

    SciTech Connect

    Van Epps, G.A.; Barker, J.R.; Makell, C.M.

    1982-01-01

    Large individual plants within a few species of rangeland shrubs were studied in several Intermountain States for their potential use in establishing biomass fuel energy plantations. Their locations were based on reports in the literature, suggestions from various range researchers, and personal knowledge. Biomass and other shrub physical characteristics plus site data were recorded for big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), big saltbush (A. lentiformis), greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus), rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), and spreading rabbitbrush (C. linifolius) in 34 locations. Samples of current year's growth and woody tissue were analyzed for burning qualities (heat of combustion, sulfur, moisture, and ash content). Greatest biomass per plant of the individuals sampled was found in greasewood with fourwing saltbush, rubber rabbitbrush, and sagebrush following in decreasing order. Burning qualities varied among the species analyzed. The heat of combustion of the woody material from all shrubs was approximately 4500 Kcal/kg, but current year's growth varied considerably among species. (Refs. 15).

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. The growth of shrubs on high Arctic tundra at Bylot Island: impact on snow physical properties and permafrost thermal regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domine, Florent; Barrere, Mathieu; Morin, Samuel

    2016-12-01

    With climate warming, shrubs have been observed to grow on Arctic tundra. Their presence is known to increase snow height and is expected to increase the thermal insulating effect of the snowpack. An important consequence would be the warming of the ground, which will accelerate permafrost thaw, providing an important positive feedback to warming. At Bylot Island (73° N, 80° W) in the Canadian high Arctic where bushes of willows (Salix richardsonii Hook) are growing, we have observed the snow stratigraphy and measured the vertical profiles of snow density, thermal conductivity and specific surface area (SSA) in over 20 sites of high Arctic tundra and in willow bushes 20 to 40 cm high. We find that shrubs increase snow height, but only up to their own height. In shrubs, snow density, thermal conductivity and SSA are all significantly lower than on herb tundra. In shrubs, depth hoar which has a low thermal conductivity was observed to grow up to shrub height, while on herb tundra, depth hoar only developed to 5 to 10 cm high. The thermal resistance of the snowpack was in general higher in shrubs than on herb tundra. More signs of melting were observed in shrubs, presumably because stems absorb radiation and provide hotspots that initiate melting. When melting was extensive, thermal conductivity was increased and thermal resistance was reduced, counteracting the observed effect of shrubs in the absence of melting. Simulations of the effect of shrubs on snow properties and on the ground thermal regime were made with the Crocus snow physics model and the ISBA (Interactions between Soil-Biosphere-Atmosphere) land surface scheme, driven by in situ and reanalysis meteorological data. These simulations did not take into account the summer impact of shrubs. They predict that the ground at 5 cm depth at Bylot Island during the 2014-2015 winter would be up to 13 °C warmer in the presence of shrubs. Such warming may however be mitigated by summer effects.

  19. 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.

  20. Identification of Nearby Dwarf Carbon Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowrance, P. J.; Kirkpatrick, J. D.; Reid, I. N.

    2004-12-01

    The comparison of optical and 2MASS near-infrared photometry for large samples of cataloged proper motion stars has the potential to discover previously unrecognized nearby objects of rare type. We have obtained classification spectra for carbon dwarf candidates which lie in a sparsely populated part of optical/near-IR color-color space within a cross-reference of the New Luytens Two-Tenths (NLTT) catalogue and 2MASS 2nd Release. We present the discovery of nine of the coolest and nearest carbon dwarfs, whose optical spectra, exhibiting absorptions by C2 and/or CN is displayed. The only known discriminator between carbon giants and dwarfs is luminosity, which can be gained through distance or inferred from proper motion. Therefore, we have also observed most known dwarfs and giants to fully explore spectroscopic diagnostics that can be used to differentiate between carbon dwarfs and giants including many published in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey papers. We also plan to continue to merge the NLTT with the 2MASS ALL-Sky Release and obtain classification spectra for candidates for the rest of the sky not covered in the first merge.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Clouds in the Coldest Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Tinney, Christopher G.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Skemer, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The NASA WISE satellite has been extremely effective at discovering and characterizing the coldest brown dwarfs. Among the objects in the "300 K or below club" are our best analogs to Jupiter (~125 K). Since 2011 our team has been using the Magellan FourStar infrared imager to measure parallaxes of a subset of the current collection of Y dwarfs. We have also used the VLT ISAAC infrared imager to record J, H and/or K band magnitudes. In this contribution, we will report new parallax and photometric measurements for a subset of the population and examine atmospheric implications from model comparisons of color magnitude diagrams. While warmer T dwarfs are often regarded as cloudless, we find that clouds return as temperatures cool and sulfide clouds help explain the diversity in absolute magnitudes of Y dwarfs. In the case of the coldest brown dwarf known (W0855; Luhman 2014) there are indications that water and sulfide ice clouds are present in the atmosphere.

  5. The Potential of White Dwarf Cosmochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Bergeron, P.

    2001-04-01

    In the light of recent significant progress on both the observational and theoretical fronts, we review the status of white dwarf stars as cosmochronometers. These objects represent the end products of stellar evolution for the vast majority of stars and, as such, can be used to constrain the ages of various populations of evolved stars in the Galaxy. For example, the oldest white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood (the remnants of the very first generation of intermediate-mass stars in the Galactic disk) are still visible and can be used, in conjunction with cooling theory, to estimate the age of the disk. More recent observations suggest the tantalizing possibility that a population of very old white dwarfs inhabits the Galactic halo. Such a population may contribute significantly to baryonic ``dark'' matter in the Milky Way and may be used to obtain an independent estimate of the age of the halo. In addition, white dwarf cosmochronology is likely to play a very significant role in the coming era of giant 8-10 m telescopes when faint white dwarf populations should be routinely discovered and studied in open and globular clusters. Based, in part, on the C. S. Beals Lecture presented by G. Fontaine at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Astronomical Society held in Vancouver (2000 May).

  6. White Dwarf Stars: A Brief Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Charpinet, S.; Randall, S. K.; Van Grootel, V.

    2013-12-01

    We present a brief summary of what is currently known about white dwarf stars, with an emphasis on their evolutionary and internal properties. As is well known, white dwarfs represent the end products of stellar evolution for the vast majority of stars and, as such, bear the signatures of past events (such as mass-loss, mixing phases, loss and redistribution of angular momentum, and thermonuclear burning) that are of essential importance in the evolution of stars in general. In addition, white dwarf stars represent ideal testbeds for our understanding of matter under extreme conditions, and work on their constitutive physics (neutrino production rates, conductive and radiative opacities, interior liquid and solid equations of state, partially ionized and partially degenerate envelope equations of state, diffusion coefficients, line broadening mechanisms) is still being actively pursued. Given a set of constitutive physics, cooling white dwarfs can be used advantageously as cosmochronometers. Moreover, the field has been blessed by the existence of four distinct families of pulsating white dwarfs, each mapping a different evolutionary phase, and this allows the application of the asteroseismological method to probe and test their internal structure and evolutionary state.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. A simple technique for measuring rainfall interception by small shrub: interception flow collection box

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmonte Serrato, F.; Romero Diaz, A.

    1998-03-01

    In this paper a simple technique for field measurement of rain water loss arising from interception and water flows associated with species of small Mediterranean shrub is described: the interception flow collection box. This technique solves the problem of installing devices to control stemflow in species with a multiple trunk and demonstrates its efficiency through the results obtained from the data observed for three species of semi-arid Mediterranean shrub: Juniperus oxycedrus, Rosmarinus officinalis and Thymus vulgaris. Finally, the empirical equations for the prediction of throughfall, stemflow and rain water loss through interception are presented for the three selected species and the validity of the technique employed is established.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. An infrared spectral sequence into the brown dwarf regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, H. R. A.

    2000-05-01

    A spectral sequence from mid-type M dwarfs into the brown dwarf regime is presented. These spectra cover the wavelength range 0.8 to 2.4 microns and measure the peak of the spectral energy distribution for these extremely red objects. The spectra were taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and represent an infrared spectra of M dwarfs and brown dwarfs which are free from the problems of correcting for the terrestial atmospheric absorption.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

    2016-12-01

    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 survey in the Southern hemisphere and the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A New GLORIA (Global Research Initiative in Alpine Environments Site in Southwestern Montana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apple, M. E.; Warden, J. E.; Apple, C. J.; Pullman, T. Y.; Gallagher, J. H.

    2008-12-01

    Global climate change is predicted to have a major impact on the alpine environments and plants of western North America. Alpine plant species and treelines may migrate upwards due to warmer temperatures. Species composition, vegetation cover, and the phenology of photosynthesis, flowering, pollination, and seed dispersal may change. The Global Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) is a network of alpine sites established with the goal of understanding the interactions between climate change and alpine plants. The Continental Divide traverses Southwestern Montana, where the flora contains representative species from both sides of the divide. In the summer of 2008, we established a GLORIA site in southwestern Montana east of the Continental Divide with the objective of determining whether the temperature changes at the site, and if so, how temperature changes influence alpine plants. We are monitoring soil temperature along with species composition and percent cover of alpine plants at four sub-summits along an ascending altitudinal gradient. We placed the treeline, lower alpine, and upper alpine sites on Mt. Fleecer (45°49'36.06"N, 112°48'08.18"W, 2886.2 m (9469 ft)) and the highest sub-summit on Keokirk Mountain, (45°35'37.94"N, 112°57'03.89"W, 2987.3 m (9801 ft)) in the Pioneer Range. Interesting species on these mountains include Lewisia pygmaea, the Pygmy Bitterroot, Silene acaulis, the Moss Campion, Eritrichium nanum, the Alpine Forget-Me-Not, Lloydia serotina, the Alpine Lily, and Pinus albicaulis, the Whitebark Pine. This new site will remain in place indefinitely. Baseline and subsequent data from this site will be linked with the global network of GLORIA sites with which we will assess changes in alpine flora.

  18. The benefit of amateur observations for research in dwarf novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    La Dous, Constanze

    1992-01-01

    Contributions of amateur astronomers to research on dwarf novae, which are based on carefully monitoring the outburst behavior of these objects, are reviewed. These contributions range from scheduling of observations to the observational basis for research on the dwarf nova outburst mechanism. It is suggested, that, with better equipment, observations of orbital light variations in dwarf novae might be performed by amateur astronomers.

  19. Glucose homeostasis and cardiovascular disease biomarkers in older alpine skiers.

    PubMed

    Dela, F; Niederseer, D; Patsch, W; Pirich, C; Müller, E; Niebauer, J

    2011-08-01

    Alpine skiing and ski training involves elements of static and dynamic training, and may therefore improve insulin sensitivity. Healthy men and women who where beginners/intermediate level of alpine skiing, were studied before (Pre) and immediately after (Post) 12 weeks of alpine ski training. After an additional 8 weeks a third test (retention study, Ret) was performed. The subjects were randomized into an intervention group (IG, n=22, age=66.6 ± 0.4 years) or a control group (CG, n=20, age=67.0 ± 1.0 years). Plasma glucose decreased (P<0.05) in CG, but increased (P<0.05) again at Ret, while a continued decrease was seen in IG (Ret vs Post, P<0.05). Plasma insulin decreased (P<0.05) with training in IG, while no effect was seen in CG. HOMA2 index for insulin resistance decreased (P<0.05) from 0.80 ± 0.08 to 0.71 ± 0.09 in IG. The value at Ret (0.57 ± 0.08) tended (P=0.067) to be different from Post. In CG the corresponding values were 0.84 ± 0.09, 0.81 ± 0.12 and 0.70 ± 0.09, respectively. Total cholesterol and LDL decreased in both IC and CG, a result, interpreted as seasonal variation. Biomarkers for endothelial function and low-grade inflammation were not elevated and similar in IG and CG, and did not change. Alpine ski training improves glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in healthy, elderly individuals.

  20. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26966659

  1. A Nearby Survey of M-Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Amy Elaine

    2017-01-01

    We present the results of a survey of 913 M-dwarf stars from the Lepine and Shara Proper Motion(LSPM) catalog within 25 parsecs of the Sun. Data for these targets was collected with the Robo-AO camera on the Palomar 60-in telescope. Separation and position angles were measured and compared for two epochs of the images, separated by two years, containing multiple stars to look for changes. We analyzed these positional data, combined with available 2MASS photometric data, to try to determine which stars are in gravitationally bound systems. This research was conducted measure the statistics of multiple M-dwarf systems within 25pc. Identifying and confirming higher ordered systems at both wide and small separations will help improve understanding of M-dwarf formation by comparing these results to star formation models.

  2. GROWTH OF GRAINS IN BROWN DWARF DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Meru, Farzana; Galvagni, Marina; Olczak, Christoph

    2013-09-01

    We perform coagulation and fragmentation simulations using the new physically motivated model by Garaud et al. to determine growth locally in brown dwarf disks. We show that large grains can grow and that if brown dwarf disks are scaled-down versions of T Tauri disks (in terms of stellar mass, disk mass, and disk radius) growth at an equivalent location with respect to the disk truncation radius can occur to the same size in both disks. We show that similar growth occurs because the collisional timescales in the two disks are comparable. Our model may therefore potentially explain the recent observations of grain growth to millimeter sizes in brown dwarf disks, as seen in T Tauri disks.

  3. Be stars with white dwarf companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orio, Marina; Luna, Gerardo; Zemko, Polina; Kotulla, Ralf; Gallagher, Jay; Harbeck, Daniel

    2016-07-01

    A handful of supersoft X-ray sources in the Magellanic Clouds that could not be identified with transient nova outbursts turned out to be mainly massive close binaries. Recently, we have clearly identified a Be binary in M31, and are currently collecting data for another candidate in that galaxy. Work is in progress to assess whether the compact object companion really is a hydrogen burning white dwarf (the alternative being a massive stellar-mass black hole). If we can prove that Be+white dwarf interacting close binaries are common, and that hydrogen is often ignited on the white dwarf in these systems, we have discovered a new promising channel towards the explosion of supernovae of type Ia in star forming regions, without invoking double degenerate systems

  4. White dwarfs, the Galaxy and Dirac's cosmology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, R.

    1976-01-01

    The additive and multiplicative versions of Dirac's cosmological hypothesis relating the gravitational constant variation with elapsed time and number of particles populating the universe is invoked to account for the deficiency or absence of white dwarfs fainter than about 0.0001 solar luminosity. An estimate is made of white dwarf luminosity in accordance with the two evolutionary models, and it is conjectured that some old white dwarfs with high space velocities may be on the verge of gravitational collapse. Lack of a special mechanism to produce the vast numbers of black holes or other dead stars accounting for 'missing matter' in the vicinity of the sun and in the galactic halo is noted in Dirac's multiplicative model. Results indicate that either Dirac's theory is untenable, or that radiation and heating are of some unknown nature, or that the process of creation of new matter requires a corresponding input of energy.

  5. Heterosis in normal versus dwarf laying hens.

    PubMed

    Merat, P; Minvielle, F; Bordas, A; Coquerelle, G

    1994-01-01

    The effect of genotype at the sex-linked dwarf locus on heterosis in crosses between a White Leghorn and a brown egg line for body weight, egg production, and related traits was studied. Heterozygous Dw/dw males were used to produce normal and dwarf pullets in each of the pure lines and their reciprocal crosses (eight genotype-line combinations). There were 54 pullets per combination. Line differences were significant for shank length, body weights at 8, 17, and 52 wk, age at first egg, egg number, clutch length, rate of lay, and egg weight. Heterosis was observed for all of these traits. Body weight as a covariate was not important in analyses of egg number, clutch length, and egg weight. The egg production reduction associated with the dw gene in pure lines was smaller in F1 hens. This discovery may be adequate to warrant use of dwarf crossbred hens for egg production.

  6. Recombination energy in double white dwarf formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandez, J. L. A.; Ivanova, N.; Lombardi, J. C.

    2015-06-01

    In this Letter, we investigate the role of recombination energy during a common envelope event. We confirm that taking this energy into account helps to avoid the formation of the circumbinary envelope commonly found in previous studies. For the first time, we can model a complete common envelope event, with a clean compact double white dwarf binary system formed at the end. The resulting binary orbit is almost perfectly circular. In addition to considering recombination energy, we also show that between 1/4 and 1/2 of the released orbital energy is taken away by the ejected material. We apply this new method to the case of the double white dwarf system WD 1101+364, and we find that the progenitor system at the start of the common envelope event consisted of an ˜1.5 M⊙ red giant star in an ˜30 d orbit with a white dwarf companion.

  7. Mystery of a Dimming White Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

    In the wake of the recent media attention over an enigmatic, dimming star, another intriguing object has been discovered: J1529+2928, a white dwarf that periodically dims. This mystery, however, may have a simple solution with interesting consequences for future surveys of white dwarfs.Unexpected VariabilityJ1529+2928 is an isolated white dwarf that appears to have a mass of slightly more than the Sun. But rather than radiating steadily, J1529+2928 dims once every 38 minutes almost as though it were being eclipsed.The team that discovered these variations, led by Mukremin Kilic (University of Oklahoma), used telescopes at the Apache Point Observatory and the McDonald Observatory to obtain follow-up photometric data of J1529+2928 spread across 66 days. The team also took spectra of the white dwarf with the Gemini North telescope.Kilic and collaborators then began, one by one, to rule out possible causes of this objects variability.Eliminating OptionsThe period of the variability is too long for J1529+2928 to be a pulsating white dwarf with luminosity variation caused by gravity-wave pulsations.The variability cant be due to an eclipse by a stellar or brown-dwarf companion, because there isnt any variation in J1529+2928s radial velocity.Its not due to the orbit of a solid-body planetary object; such a transit would be too short to explain observations.It cant be due to the orbit of a disintegrated planet; this wouldnt explain the light curves observed in different filters plus the light curve doesnt change over the 66-day span.Spotty SurfaceTop and middle two panels: light curves from three different nights observing J1529+2928s periodic dimming. Bottom panel: The Fourier transform shows a peak at 37.7 cycles/day (and another, smaller peak at its first harmonic). [Kilic et al. 2015]So what explanation is left? The authors suggest that J1529+2928s variability is likely caused by a starspot on the white dwarfs surface that rotates into and out of our view. Estimates

  8. Dwarf Discoveries from Serendipitous Field Star Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Wayne

    2016-05-01

    For the past two years, The University of Colorado, in collaboration with Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGTN) has been taking Sloans r' and i' images of approximately 200 galaxies during each new moon period to provide ground data in support of the approximately 1100 hours of warm Spitzer time awarded to Dr. Mansi Kasliwal's Caltech SPIRITS program. Currently there are over 6,000 images in this archive. Small telescope scientists routinely image the same fields, building similar archives brimming with science potential. This paper reports the technique to develop serendipitous observations of dwarf field stars. Answers to questions surrounding the dwarf's early life in proximity to non-hierarchal multiple star groups, about how dwarfs not only survive but are so numerous are well within the capabilities of small telescope scientists. The role of the small telescope scientist is of vital importance in these (re)discovery, confirmation, monitoring and reporting tasks.

  9. Youth Indicators of Late-M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, Daniel; Cruz, K.; Lépine, S.; Alpert, N.

    2011-01-01

    We present a study in which we searched for a correlation between weak Na absorption doublet (8183Å, 8194Å) and strong H-Alpha emission (6563Å) in late-M dwarf stars (M6-M9), as both are indicative of youth. Our sample consists of late-M Dwarfs from the LSPM Survey (Lépine and Shara, 2005), which contain stars with measured proper motions of mu > 40 mas/yr. Measurements for emission and absorption strength were made using spectral indices. Our preliminary results are presented; future work will include a similar analysis of early type M Dwarfs, as well as kinematics. This work was funded by the CUNY Summer Undergraduate Research Program, as well as the CUNY Macaulay Honors College, and we acknowledge the hospitality of the American Museum of Natural History.

  10. Stellar feedback in dwarf galaxy formation.

    PubMed

    Mashchenko, Sergey; Wadsley, James; Couchman, H M P

    2008-01-11

    Dwarf galaxies pose substantial challenges for cosmological models. In particular, current models predict a dark-matter density that is divergent at the center, which is in sharp contrast with observations that indicate a core of roughly constant density. Energy feedback, from supernova explosions and stellar winds, has been proposed as a major factor shaping the evolution of dwarf galaxies. We present detailed cosmological simulations with sufficient resolution both to model the relevant physical processes and to directly assess the impact of stellar feedback on observable properties of dwarf galaxies. We show that feedback drives large-scale, bulk motions of the interstellar gas, resulting in substantial gravitational potential fluctuations and a consequent reduction in the central matter density, bringing the theoretical predictions in agreement with observations.

  11. Dwarf Galaxies with Active Massive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, Amy E.; Greene, J. E.; Geha, M. C.

    2014-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (BHs) live at the heart of essentially all massive galaxies with bulges, power AGN, and are thought to be important agents in the evolution of their hosts. However, the birth and growth of the first supermassive BH "seeds" is far from understood. While direct observations of these distant BHs in the infant Universe are unobtainable with current capabilities, massive BHs in present-day dwarf galaxies can place valuable constraints on the masses, formation path, and hosts of supermassive BH seeds. Using optical spectroscopy from the SDSS, we have systematically assembled the largest sample of dwarf galaxies hosting active massive BHs to date. These dwarf galaxies have stellar masses comparable to the Magellanic Clouds and contain some of the least-massive supermassive BHs known.

  12. White Dwarfs in Gaia Data Release 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, S.

    2017-03-01

    On September 14, the Gaia archives opened for access to the Gaia DR1. The catalogue with more than one billion star positions and more than two million parallaxes and proper motions will have enormous influence on many topics in astronomy. However, due to their extremely blue colour, parallaxes and proper motions of only six white dwarfs were directly measured. Tremblay et al. used these data and those for 46 white dwarfs in binaries in order to construct an empirical mass-radius relation. As it was the case for Hipparcos, the precision of the data does not allow for the characterisation of hydrogen envelope masses. With Gaia DR2 coming in late 2017 the prospects for white dwarf research are much better.

  13. Does shrub invasion indirectly limit grass establishment via seedling herbivory? A test at grassland-shrubland ecotones

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Does shrub invasion at ecotones indirectly limit grass establishment by increasing mammalian seedling herbivory, Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico? We tested the hypothesis that herbivore-related mortality of seedlings of the dominant perennial grass Bouteloua eriopoda would be highest in shrub-dominate...

  14. 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 co