Science.gov

Sample records for brazilian semi-arid region

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  3. Draft Genome Sequence of Haloferax sp. Strain ATB1, Isolated from a Semi-Arid Region in the Brazilian Caatinga.

    PubMed

    Castro, Wendel de Oliveira; Torres-Ballesteros, Adriana Maria; Nakayama, Cristina Rossi; Melo, Itamar Soares; Pellizari, Vivian Helena; Silva, Artur; Ramos, Rommel Thiago Jucá

    2014-08-14

    Organisms in the Haloferax genus are extreme halophiles that grow in environments with pH values between 4 and 12, and temperatures between 0°C and 60°C. In the present study, a draft of the first Haloferax sp. strain ATB1 genome isolated from the region of Cariri (in Paraíba State, Brazil) is presented.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid regions

    SciTech Connect

    Felker, P.

    1980-01-01

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

  6. Estimation of evapotranspiration for different land covers in a Brazilian semi-arid region: A case study of the Brígida River basin, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, Celso Augusto Guimarães; Silva, Richarde Marques da; Silva, Alexandro Medeiros; Brasil Neto, Reginaldo Moura

    2017-03-01

    In this study, the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL) was used to compute the surface albedo, vegetation indices (NDVI, SAVI and LAI), surface temperature, soil heat flux and evapotranspiration (ET) over two contrasting years (dry and wet) in the Brígida River basin, a semi-arid region of north-eastern Brazil. The actual ET was computed during satellite overpass and was integrated for 24 h on a pixel-by-pixel basis for the daily ET distribution. Due to the topographic effects, an attempt was also made to incorporate DEM information to estimate the net radiation. The land cover types identified in the watershed are cropland, bare land, dense canopy, grassland, and caatinga vegetation. In order to study the variation among the biophysical parameters and ET, two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used. The ET calculated by SEBAL ranged between 2.46 and 6.87 mm/day for the dry year (1990) and 1.31 and 6.84 mm/day for the wet year (2009) for the river basin. The results showed that a reduction in vegetation cover is evident in the temporal and spatial analysis over the studied periods in the region and that these facts influence the values of the energy balance and ET. The results showed significant differences in the variables of land cover type and year at the probability level of 0.05 for all land cover types.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Barnhart, Kevin Scott

    2013-10-01

    We proposed to customize emerging in situ geophysical monitoring technology to generate time-series data during sporadic rain events in a semi-arid region. Electrodes were to be connected to wireless \

  9. Groundwater safe yield in semi-arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portoghese, I.; Giuliano, G.; Vurro, M.

    2003-04-01

    In many places around the world groundwater resources represent the only way to overcome the water scarcity during dry years. Even when water demand relies on well designed interconnected reservoir systems, extended and long-lasting meteorological droughts are likely to take place causing heavy socio-economic losses. In the semi-arid regions of the Mediterranean, the strong inter/intra-annual variability of rainfall together with a water demanding cropping policy has led to a massive groundwater exploitation. The unpredictability of climate variables at the (space-time) management scale and the high non-linearity of hydrological processes controlling the natural recharge make the evaluation of sound groundwater exploitation plans a warning challenge for the years to come. Using a simplified numerical model for the soil water balance calculation (with a distributed approach), able to yield month-by-month estimation of crop water irrigation requirements (dry months), runoff yield and groundwater recharge rates (wet months), we simulated the dynamic interaction which links climate variability, irrigation demands, groundwater withdrawals and natural recharge for a meaningful period. The study area located in Southern Italy (hydrogeological unit of Tavoliere, 4737 Km2, Northern Apulia Region) is almost completely cropped and the irrigation plants are well developed thanks to a valuable system of artificial lake reservoirs. Under the hypothesis of a complete satisfaction of the irrigation demand by the surface water supply in the average hydrologic year, we selected, from the rainfall record, a set of years composed by a period of deficit and a subsequent of surplus with the condition that the cumulative rainfall deficit is at last recovered. The deficit between irrigation requirement and reservoir net yield was considered to be supplied by groundwater withdrawals throughout the modelled period and, therefore, the difference between annual natural recharge and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. Zooplankton assemblages in eutrophic reservoirs of the Brazilian semi-arid.

    PubMed

    Eskinazi-Sant'Anna, E M; Menezes, R; Costa, I S; Araújo, M; Panosso, R; Attayde, J L

    2013-02-01

    Species composition, density, and temporal dynamics of zooplankton were studied in six reservoirs in a semi-arid region in tropical northeastern Brazil (Rio Grande do Norte state). All the reservoirs are highly eutrophic, with high contents of total nitrogen (minimum of 1200 µg.L(-1)) and total phosphorus (minimum of 10 µg.L(-1)), and extremely high algal biomass was registered (surpassing 20 µg Chl a.L(-1)). All the reservoirs showed an enduring condition of high turbidity and phytoplankton assemblages dominated by cyanobacteria. Zooplankton also showed quantitative patterns suggestive of eutrophic conditions, expressed by high densities, mainly in Passagem das Traíras and Sabugi reservoirs. A spatial differentiation in the composition of the zooplankton community was registered. Rotifers (especially Keratella tropica, Brachionus havanensis, and Keratella americana) were the dominant forms in the zooplankton community of Itans, Passagem das Traíras, and Sabugi reservoirs, while calanoid copepods (mainly Notodiaptomus cearensis) dominated in the Armando Ribeiro, Gargalheiras, and Parelhas systems. The existence of novel relationships in zooplankton community composition in eutrophic reservoirs in this tropical semi-arid region must be considered in designating zooplankton indicators of eutrophic conditions.

  14. Amanita lippiae: a new species from the semi-arid caatinga region of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Wartchow, Felipe; Tulloss, Rodham E; Cavalcanti, Maria A Q

    2009-01-01

    Amanita lippiae is described as a new species from a semi-arid (caatinga) region of northeastern Brazil. It possesses clampless basidia and elongate to nearly cylindrical inamyloid basidiospores, bears irregular remains of universal veil on the stipe bulb and is a gemmatoid species assignable to Amanita sect. Amanita.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. [Effects of environmental factors on litter decomposition in arid and semi-arid regions: A review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin-Yuan; Zhao, Xue-Yong; Li, Yu-Lin; Lian, Jie; Qu, Hao; Yue, Xiang-Fei

    2013-11-01

    Litter decomposition is one of the important biochemical processes in arid and semi-arid regions, and a key component of regional nutrient turnover and carbon cycling, which is mainly affected by climate, litter quality, and decomposer community. In order to deeply understand the relationships between litter decomposition and environmental factors in arid and semi-arid regions, this paper summarized the research progress in the effects of abiotic factors (soil temperature, precipitation, and ultraviolet-B radiation) and biotic factors (litter quality, soil microbial and animal composition and community structure) on the litter decomposition in these regions. Among the factors, precipitation and ultraviolet-B radiation are considered to be the main limiting factors of litter decomposition. In arid and semi-arid regions, precipitation can significantly increase the litter decomposition rate in a short term, while the photo-degradation induced by ultraviolet-B radiation, due to the strong and long-term radiation, can increase the decomposition rate of terrestrial litter. Litter quality, soil microbial and animal composition and community structure are mainly affected by the type of ecosystems in a long term. However, the affecting mechanisms of these environmental factors on litter decomposition are still not very clear. It was suggested that the future litter ecological research should be paid more attention to the interaction of environmental factors under climate change, the variations of litter decomposition at different spatial scales, and the establishment of litter decomposition models in relation to the synergistic interactions of multiple factors.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasage, Ralph

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Duarte, Tácio; Lecci, Lucas Silveira

    2016-02-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadaei, Hadi; Suzuki, Rikie

    2012-11-01

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

  3. Development of a Remotely-sensed Soil Heat Flux Parameterization for Natural Landscapes in Semi-arid Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, J.; Scott, R.; Hogue, T.

    2007-12-01

    Due to the difficulties in directly measuring soil heat flux (G), research on empirical estimation has moved toward use of a strong association between soil heat flux and net radiation (Rnet). The majority of these studies are concentrated on the estimation of soil heat flux from mature agricultural areas in semi-arid regions due to the high demand for irrigation water. However, natural land surfaces, the largest fraction of semi-arid and arid regions, have not been well studied with regards to soil heat flux estimation. Therefore, application of the previously developed empirical equations to natural land surfaces results in large uncertainty in soil heat flux estimates. This study explores development of an empirical relationship that is well-suited for natural landscapes within semi-arid areas in order to provide a more thorough assessment of regional evaporation (i.e. water consumption) in water-limited regions. Particularly, we seek to develop an empirical relationship between soil heat flux and net radiation when observations from the mid-day polar orbiting satellites (i.e. Terra/Aqua) are available. MODIS-derived components such as vegetation indices, albedo and surface temperature are being used to characterize this relationship over a set of flux tower sites in southern Arizona. Evaluation of existing soil heat flux schemes as well as results from validation of a new formulation suitable for use in natural landscapes within semi-arid regions will be presented.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. Ground swelling and shrinking in a semi-arid region induced by weather and climate changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dafalla, Muawia

    2013-04-01

    This research study presents a close up view of the engineering behaviour of surface and subsurface soils as associated to weather conditions in a semi-arid region. The expansive clay shale and salty shale soils in the region of Tabuk in Saudi Arabia is linked to serious damage to light structures including buildings, roads and various light structures. The expansive soils expand when moisture increase is introduced and shrink when drying or losing moisture. The scale of damage is highlighted through various examples from the region. The objective of this work is to provide a guide to construction industry on the most appropriate construction times based on the environmental trends and engineering properties of soils in the area. A comprehensive study including testing and survey of the literature data were put together to predict the expansion and shrinkage behaviour of Tabuk near surface soil formation. The swell and compressibility tests were performed for a series of samples. Average compressibility and swell index were obtained. Soil water characteristic information for typical clay is presented. Ten years of environmental and metrological records were gathered and analysed for frequency and intensity of rainfall, humidity and temperature. Periods of significant variations and impact on the soil volume behaviour were grouped and compared over the whole ten years period. The construction on a pre-wetted ground and on entirely dry formation was discussed. The approach followed for selecting appropriate construction times is given. Keywords: swelling; shrinkage; shale; temperature; precipitation and humidity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Predictability and prediction of summer rainfall in the arid and semi-arid regions of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xing, Wen; Wang, Bin

    2016-09-01

    Northwest China (NWC) is an arid and semi-arid region where climate variability and environmental changes are sensitive to precipitation. The present study explores sources and limits of predictability of summer precipitation over NWC using the predictable mode analysis (PMA) of percentage of rainfall anomaly data. Two major modes of NWC summer rainfall variability are identified which are tied to Eurasian continental scale precipitation variations. The first mode features wet northern China corresponding to dry central Siberia and wet Mongolia, which is mainly driven by tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA). The second mode features wet western China reflecting wet Central Asia and dry Ural-western Siberia, which strongly links to Indian Ocean SSTA. Anomalous land warming over Eurasia also provides important precursors for the two modes. The cross-validated hindcast results demonstrate these modes can be predicted with significant correlation skills, suggesting that they may be considered as predictable modes. The domain averaged temporal correlation coefficient (TCC) skill during 1979 to 2015 using 0-month (1-month) lead models is 0.39 (0.35), which is considerably higher than dynamical models' multi-model ensemble mean skill (-0.02). Maximum potential attainable prediction skills are also estimated and discussed. The result illustrates advantage of PMA in predicting rainfall over dry land areas and large room for dynamical model improvement. However, secular changes of predictors need to be detected continuously in order to make practical useful prediction.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asouti, Eleni; Kabukcu, Ceren

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. Genesis and Clay Mineralogical Investigation of Highly Calcareous Soils in Semi-Arid Regions of Southern Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emadi, Mostafa; Baghernejad, Majid; Memarian, Hamidreza; Saffari, Mahboub; Fathi, Hamed

    This study outlines principal characteristics of soils occurred in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Iran. An outstanding characteristic of these soils is a prominent horizon of calcium carbonate accumulation at or near the depths of rainfall penetration. Objectives of this study were to discuss the genesis, morphological and physico-chemical properties of calcic horizons and mineralogy and classification of soils in semi-arid region. Five representative profiles were selected and soil samples were collected to determine the chemical and physical properties. Carbonate accumulation and clay eluviation-illuviation are the dominant processes in these soils. Calcium carbonate in the studied soils varied from continuous coatings with weakly cemented matrix which appears as few to common carbonate nodules (stage II) and to plugged horizon (stage III). Palygorskite, chlorite, illite, smectite and vermiculite minerals were observed in soil samples. Illite and chlorite are largely inherited from parent materials. Inheritance, transformation and neoformation from other minerals are the main pathways for the occurrence of smectite and palygorskite in the studied soils. Presence of kaolinite only in deeper calcic horizons suggested that these horizons developed in a tropical climate that shifted gradually towards semi-arid conditions. The soils of study site were classified as Typic Calcixerepts, Petrocalcic Calcixerepts and Calcic Haploxeralfs, respectively.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guyennon, Nicolas; Romano, Emanuele; Portoghese, Ivan

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yongping, Yuan

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  18. Reconstruction of paleohydrology in semi-arid regions for water resources management: Opportunities and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elshorbagy, Amin; Wagener, Thorsten; Razavi, Saman; Sauchyn, David

    2016-04-01

    Tree-ring based reconstruction of paleohydrology can be a valuable and important means to extend the available hydrological records for several centuries. Such record extension, when properly done, can improve water resources management and planning by making available realistic long records that reflect past short- and long-term hydrometeorological variabilities. This research highlights some of the important, and perhaps unresolved, issues in tree-ring based reconstruction of paleohydrology, especially in semi-arid regions. The relationships between tree growth, as represented by tree-ring chronologies (TRCs), runoff (Q), precipitation (P), and evapotranspiration (ET) are discussed within both statistical and hydrological contexts. The Oldman River Basin (OMRB), Alberta, Canada, is presented as a case study, with TRCs and hydrometeorological data used to demonstrate the relevant issues. Runoff and precipitation data were available through measurements, and actual evapotranspiration was estimated using a lumped conceptual hydrological model developed in this study for the OMRB. Correlation analysis was conducted to explore the relationships between TRCs and each of Q, P, and ET over the entire historical record (globally) as well as locally within the wet and dry subperiods. Global and local correlation strengths and linear relationships appear to be significantly different, particularly affecting tree-ring based inferences about the hydrology and wet and dry episodes from reconstructions made using regression models. This finding is not typically highlighted in the available literature. Reconstruction of paleoQ may also not be as credible as paleoP and paleoET. This is discussed within the context of the watershed storage and release functions. It was also found that a moving average window, of more than one year, of P and ET time series might be necessary for reconstruction of these variables using tree-ring chronologies. This study improves our understanding of

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  1. Comparing approaches for modeling spatially distributed direct recharge in a semi-arid region (Okanagan Basin, Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liggett, Jessica E.; Allen, Diana M.

    2010-03-01

    Spatially distributed recharge is compared at two different scales using three different modeling approaches within the semi-arid Okanagan Basin, British Columbia, Canada. Regional recharge was modeled by mapping results for one-dimensional soil columns from the water-balance code HELP (Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance, V3.80D). The regional model was then compared to two, independently derived, local-scale models to ensure local trends were captured in the regional model, and to compare modeling methods. Average annual recharge, predicted by the regional model, varied from no recharge to 186 mm/yr. For the north Okanagan (Vernon area), regional estimates were compared to Richards’ equation-based MIKE-SHE (V2007) estimates, which showed a significant difference in average annual recharge: 7 mm/yr (MIKE-SHE) and 109 mm/yr (HELP). In the south Okanagan (Oliver area), regional estimates were compared to high-resolution, local HELP estimates. Similar values of average annual recharge were obtained: 34 mm/yr (local) and 42 mm/yr (regional). A comparison with measured actual evapotranspiration data in the north Okanagan, showed HELP over-predicted recharge compared to MIKE-SHE by under-predicting evapotranspiration during summer months. Thus, the use of HELP in semi-arid areas may be limited if accurate estimates of recharge are needed. However, results may give satisfactory groundwater model calibrations results because of high uncertainty in hydraulic properties.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klüser, L.; Holzer-Popp, T.

    2012-04-01

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

  5. Climate-Vegetation Interactions over Arid and Semi-Arid Regions: A Multi-Scale Causality Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molini, A.; Casagrande, E.

    2014-12-01

    This talk explores the mechanisms underlying global-scale feedbacks of vegetation on climate, with a special focus on arid and transitional (semi-arid) regions and cross-scale interactions. Whether precipitation and temperature are known to be two of the major drivers of ecosystem dynamics, the inference of the forcing of vegetation on climate from observed data still leads to extremely contradictory results. This is mainly due to the intrinsic complex and nonlinear nature of climate-vegetation interactions, which is exerted over a wide range of space, temporal and frequency scales. Beside, traditional statistical tools applied to these feedbacks rely on linear correlation measures that can hardly distinguish the different components of these interactions. We analyze monthly and sub-monthly globally gridded data of precipitation, temperature and NDVI (from both MODIS and AVHRR) by using an ensemble of different directional coupling statistics, and spectral metrics able to resolve cross-scale interactions. Based on the concept of Granger causality, we assess the bi-directional causal influences between precipitation, temperature and NDVI. In particular, we focus on spectral causality measures, in order to infer sub-processes acting across different time and frequency scales. Several examples from arid and semi-arid regions are introduced and examined. During the discussion of the result, we highlight the strength and weakness of the approach, also in the occurrence of nonlinear couplings.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Assessment of desertification risk in semi-arid Mediterranean environments: the case study of Apulia region (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladisa, Gaetano; Todorovic, Mladen; Trisorio Liuzzi, Giuliana

    2010-05-01

    This work focuses on the risk assessment of the areas threatened with desertification in the semi-arid Mediterranean environments. The presented approach uses as a reference the ESAs model (Environmental Sensitive Areas to Desertification; Kosmas et al., 1999) which is modified through a set of new indicators which take into account the region-specific environmental characteristics as well as identifiable parameters relevant for planning control measures. These supplementary indicators, comprehending socio-economic and environmental factors, are integrated in the ESAs model and, by using a GIS, applied to Apulia region (Southern Italy). This area represents a typical Mediterranean landscape affected by land degradation and desertification risks. The analyses include the elaboration of the whole set of indices on both the regional and the administrative scales which constitute the principal territorial units for the management of natural resources. The results have demonstrated that the introduction of the new indices has improved substantially the overall evaluation of the desertification risk in the Apulia region. The proposed approach permits not only the identification and refinement of different degrees of sensibility of an area to land degradation, but also the analyses of the factors affecting desertification and their evaluation in terms of spatial and temporal distribution. Moreover, the presented method is conceptually very simple and easy to implement from local to regional and national scale, and can be proposed as a methodology for the definition of priorities in adoption of strategies to mitigate desertification in the semi-arid Mediterranean environments. Key words: desertification risk, sensitivity areas, Apulia region, Mediterranean environment.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Monoterpene emissions from Pinus halepensis forests in a semi-arid region (Israel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seco, R.; Karl, T.; Turnipseed, A. A.; Greenberg, J.; Guenther, A. B.; Llusia, J.; Penuelas, J.; Kim, S.; Dicken, U.; Rotenberg, E.; Rohatyn, S.; Preisler, Y.; Yakir, D.

    2013-12-01

    Atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have key environmental and biological roles, and can affect atmospheric chemisty, secondary aerosol formation, and as a consequence also climate. At the same time, global changes in climate arising from human activities can modify the VOC emissions of vegetation in the coming years. Monoterpene emission fluxes were measured during April 2013 at two forests in the semi-arid climate of Israel. Both forests were dominated by the same pine species, Pinus halepensis, but differed in the amount of annual average precipitation received (280 and 800 mm at Yatir and Birya, respectively). Measurements performed included leaf-level sampling as well as canopy-level flux calculations. Leaf level monoterpene emissions were sampled from leaf cuvettes with adsorbent cartridges and later analyzed by GC-MS. Canopy scale fluxes were calculated with the Disjunct Eddy Covariance technique by means of a Quadrupole PTRMS. We report the differences observed between the two forests in terms of photosynthetic activity and monoterpene emissions, aiming to see the effect of the different precipitation regimes at each location.

  10. Characterization of Pseudomonas species isolated from the rhizosphere of plants grown in serozem soil, semi arid region of Uzbekistan.

    PubMed

    Egamberdiyeva, Dilfuza

    2005-07-08

    Collections of native Pseudomonas spp. are kept at the NCAM of Uzbekistan. Some of those organisms were isolated from the rhizosphere of cotton, wheat, corn, melon, alfalfa, and tomato grown in field locations within a semi-arid region of Uzbekistan. Strains used for this study were Pseudomonas alcaligenes, P. aurantiaca, P. aureofaciens, P. denitrificans, P. mendocina, P. rathonis, and P. stutzeri. Some of the pseudomonads have been characterized in this report. These strains produced enzymes, phytohormone auxin (IAA), and were antagonist against plant pathogenic fungi in in vitro experiments. Most of the strains were salt tolerant and temperature resistant. Some of the Pseudomonas spp. isolated in this study have been found to increase the growth of wheat, corn, and tomato in pot experiments.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Il-Moon; Kim, Nam Won

    2016-04-01

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

  14. An analysis of global climate-vegetation interactions over arid and semi-arid regions via causal statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eibedingil, Iyasu; Casagrande, Erik; Molini, Annalisa

    2014-05-01

    Precipitation and Temperature are two of the major drivers of ecosystem dynamics. Their control is the result of complex dynamical interactions, often non-linear, and is exerted over a wide range of space and temporal scales. Rainfall intermittency, as an example, is known to be among the main drivers of plants production, with a consequent influence on carbon and nitrogen cycles. However, a clear understanding of the complete pathway of such a forcing remains still unclear. Traditional time series analysis bases the study of these inter-connections on linear correlation statistics. However, the possible presence of causal dynamical connections, as well as non-linear couplings and non-stationarity can affect the performance of these tools. Additionally, dynamical drivers can act simultaneously over different space and time scales. Given this premise, this talk explores different approaches to the estimation of global causal relationships between two main climatic variables (temperature and precipitation) and vegetation over arid and transitional (semi-arid) regions. By using monthly globally gridded precipitation and temperature data (University of Delaware, NOAA/ESRL/PSD) and remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies-GIMMS) as a proxy of vegetation dynamics we explore possible direct and conditional causal relationships between climate and vegetation. Pairwise Granger causality (GC) test is applied in order to assess bi-directional causal influences between each couple of variables due to their direct interaction and instantaneous causality deriving from exogenous variables. In addition to this, conditional Granger causality tests were performed on the three variables system. Conditional GC has the ability to resolve whether the interaction between two variables is direct or is mediated by a third variable, and whether the causal influence is simply due to differential time delays in their

  15. Remote sensing-based vegetation indices for monitoring vegetation change in the semi-arid region of Sudan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    R. A., Majdaldin; Osunmadewa, B. A.; Csaplovics, E.; Aralova, D.

    2016-10-01

    Land degradation, a phenomenon referring to (drought) in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions as a result of climatic variations and anthropogenic activities most especially in the semi-arid lands of Sudan, where vast majority of the rural population depend solely on agriculture and pasture for their daily livelihood, the ecological pattern had been greatly influenced thereby leading to loss of vegetation cover coupled with climatic variability and replacement of the natural tree composition with invasive mesquite species. The principal aim of this study is to quantitatively examine the vigour of vegetation in Sudan through different vegetation indices. The assessment was done based on indicators such as soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI). Cloud free multi-spectral remotely sensed data from LANDSAT imagery for the dry season periods of 1984 and 2009 were used in this study. Results of this study shows conversion of vegetation to other land use type. In general, an increase in area covered by vegetation was observed from the NDVI results of 2009 which is a contrast of that of 1984. The results of the vegetation indices for NDVI in 1984 (vegetated area) showed that about 21% was covered by vegetation while 49% of the area were covered with vegetation in 2009. Similar increase in vegetated area were observed from the result of SAVI. The decrease in vegetation observed in 1984 is as a result of extensive drought period which affects vegetation productivity thereby accelerating expansion of bare surfaces and sand accumulation. Although, increase in vegetated area were observed from the result of this study, this increase has a negative impact as the natural vegetation are degraded due to human induced activities which gradually led to the replacement of the natural vegetation with invasive tree species. The results of the study shows that NDVI perform better than by SAVI.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-02-01

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

  19. Development of a Semi-Arid, Site-Specific Flash Flood Forecasting System for the Western Region: Results, Insights and Way Forward

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yatheendradas, S.; Gupta, H.; Wagener, T.; Unkrich, C.; Goodrich, D.; Schaffner, M.

    2006-12-01

    An increasingly drier and more variable climate trend has significantly increased the incidence of intense (extreme) precipitation events during the 20th century. This has led to a continuous growth of extreme-flood- event losses, despite the widespread problem of water scarcity. In semi-arid regions, the extremely localized and intense summertime convective storm systems cause 'short-fused' flash floods, often result in significant risk to life and property. These arid/semi-arid regions have significant coverage, currently spanning approximately one-third of the earth's surface, and possibly spanning more in the future, for example due to current global warming. The short spatial and temporal extents of flash-floods and the highly complex nature of semi-arid hydrology make the subsequent predictions extremely difficult. Current NWS flash-flood predictions and warnings are based either on usually lumped humid region hydrology models, or on areal rain averages translated to experience-based guidelines. To improve the flash-flood predictive capability to be more `site-specific', an established event-based semi-arid rainfall-runoff model KINEROS2 was modified to allow for the continuous simulation of the basin response driven by high-resolution radar precipitation measurements in an uncertainty framework. The model contains process descriptions required to represent semi-arid and arid regions, including a dynamic infiltration algorithm and the ability to account for channel transmission losses. This forecasting system has been made operational at the Tucson NWS office. This talk focuses on the results from the sophisticated multi-objective distributed model calibration framework developed and used on the operational forecast points which are also burn recovery basins, along with the lessons learned, and the possible future directions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Mingxia; Huang, Jianping

    2016-04-01

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

  2. [Irrigated perimeters as a geopolitical strategy for the development of the semi-arid region and its implications for health, labor and the environment].

    PubMed

    Pontes, Andrezza Graziella Veríssimo; Gadelha, Diego; Freitas, Bernadete Maria Coêlho; Rigotto, Raquel Maria; Ferreira, Marcelo José Monteiro

    2013-11-01

    An analysis was made of irrigated perimeters as a geopolitical strategy for expanding Brazilian agricultural frontiers and the "development" of the northeastern semi-arid region with respect to social determinants in health in rural communities. Research was conducted in the Chapada do Apodi in the states of Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte between 2007 and 2011. Various research techniques and tools were adopted, such as research-action, ethnographic studies, questionnaires and laboratory exams, water contamination analyses, social cartography and focal groups. In the context of agribusiness expansion, it was revealed that public policies of irrigation have had consequences for health, labor and the environment with the implementation of the Jaguaribe-Apodi Irrigated Perimeter in Ceará. The social and environmental conflict and resistance in the phase prior to the installation of the Santa Cruz do Apodi Irrigated Perimeter in Rio Grande do Norte was significant as it had consequences for the health-disease process on rural communities. It is important for the evaluation of public irrigation policies to consider the impacts of the perimeters on the lifestyle, labor, health and the environment of the affected territories.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Development and Validation of a MODIS-based Actual Evapotranspiration for Ecosystems in Semi-arid Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogue, T. S.; Kim, J.

    2009-12-01

    Although remote sensing shows promise for estimating global or regional evapotranspiration (ET), direct measurement from satellite systems is still challenging due to the numerous variables required for many of the existing ET algorithms and models. However, remote sensing does provide reasonable estimates of the evaporative fraction (EF), which is defined as the ratio of ET to available energy. In the current study, spatially distributed estimates of actual evapotranspiration are pursued through estimation of EF using a simple remote sensing technique based on an Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and diurnal changes in land surface temperature (LST) obtained from the MODIS AQUA platform. Combining the diurnal change in surface temperature with an interpretation of the triangular-shaped space (temperature-EVI) allows for a direct approximation of the evaporative fraction. A mean daytime potential evapotranspiration (PET) is estimated using a previously developed procedure based on the Priestley-Taylor’s equation and MODIS data products. Finally, regional estimates of actual evapotranspiration are made by combining the derived evaporative fraction and the MODIS-based PET estimates. Both estimated PET and actual ET are validated against flux tower observations in southern Arizona for 2004. Initial results show good approximation of ET in riparian zones using the satellite-based algorithms, but more uncertainty is observed in rangeland (upland) areas. Ongoing work includes improvement in the EF/ET estimation and investigating the factors controlling ET in the diverse landscapes in semi-arid regions.

  5. Exploring the Consequences of Changing Land Surface Phenology on Regional Hydrometeorology in the Eurasian Semi-Arid Grain Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capehart, W. J.; Henebry, G. M.; de Beurs, K. M.

    2007-12-01

    Have the changes in land surface phenology following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union affected the regional hydrometeorology of the semi-arid grain belt that extends from northern Kazakhstan westward across southern Russia into eastern Ukraine? We modified MM5 running as a regional climate model with the NOAH land surface scheme to accept an updated fractional vegetation cover (FVC) layer every ten days. This new FVC time series was generated from the PAL NDVI dataset using the recent Scaled Vegetation Index algorithm (Jiang et al. 2006 RSE 101:366-378). The seasonal study period ran from March through September. We focused on years before and after the disintegration of the Soviet Union that were selected considering that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has been shown to affect conditions in at least part of the study area. We present results for 1985 (neutral NAO), 1989 (high NAO), 1996 (low NAO), and 1997 (neutral NAO). We focus on two response fields: monthly total precipitation and monthly specific humidity at 850 hPa. There are substantial spatially coherent differences between predictions from the default MM5 FVC series and the new FVC series as measured by RMSE and bias. Use of the new FVC image time series enables MM5/NOAH to respond to a more realistic representation of the tempo and spatial heterogeneity of land surface phenology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  7. Appraisal of salinity and fluoride in a semi-arid region of India using statistical and multivariate techniques.

    PubMed

    Mor, Suman; Singh, Surender; Yadav, Poonam; Rani, Versha; Rani, Pushpa; Sheoran, Monika; Singh, Gurmeet; Ravindra, Khaiwal

    2009-12-01

    Various physico-chemical parameters, including fluoride (F(-)), were analyzed to understand the hydro-geochemistry of an aquifer in a semi-arid region of India. Furthermore, the quality of the shallow and deep aquifer (using tube well and hand pumps) was also investigated for their best ecological use including drinking, domestic, agricultural and other activities. Different multivariate techniques were applied to understand the groundwater chemistry of the aquifer. Findings of the correlation matrix were strengthened by the factor analysis, and this shows that salinity is mainly caused by magnesium salts as compared to calcium salts in the aquifer. The problem of salinization seems mainly compounded by the contamination of the shallow aquifers by the recharging water. High factor loading of total alkalinity and bicarbonates indicates that total alkalinity was mainly due to carbonates and bicarbonates of sodium. The concentration of F(-) was found more in the deep aquifer than the shallow aquifer. Further, only a few groundwater samples lie below the permissible limit of F(-), and this indicates a risk of dental caries in the populace of the study area. The present study indicates that regular monitoring of groundwater is an important step to avoid human health risks and to assess its quality for various ecological purposes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. How Habitat Change and Rainfall Affect Dung Beetle Diversity in Caatinga, a Brazilian Semi-Arid Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Liberal, Carolina Nunes; de Farias, Ângela Maria Isidro; Meiado, Marcos Vinicius; Filgueiras, Bruno K. C.; Iannuzzi, Luciana

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate how dung beetle communities respond to both environment and rainfall in the Caatinga, a semi-arid ecosystem in northeastern Brazil. The communities were sampled monthly from May 2006 to April 2007 using pitfall traps baited with human feces in two environments denominated “land use area” and “undisturbed area.” Abundance and species richness were compared between the two environments and two seasons (dry and wet season) using a generalized linear model with a Poisson error distribution. Diversity was compared between the two environments (land use area and undisturbed area) and seasons (dry and wet) using the Two-Way ANOVA test. Non-metric multidimensional scaling was performed on the resemblance matrix of Bray-Curtis distances (with 1000 random restarts) to determine whether disturbance affected the abundance and species composition of the dung beetle communities. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to determine whether rainfall was correlated with abundance and species richness. A total of 1097 specimens belonging to 13 species were collected. The most abundant and frequent species was Dichotomius geminatus Arrow (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The environment exerted an influence over abundance. Abundance and diversity were affected by season, with an increase in abundance at the beginning of the wet season. The correlation coefficient values were high and significant for abundance and species richness, which were both correlated to rainfall. In conclusion, the restriction of species to some environments demonstrates the need to preserve these areas in order to avoid possible local extinction. Therefore, in extremely seasonable environments, such as the Caatinga, seasonal variation strongly affects dung beetle communities. PMID:22224924

  10. How habitat change and rainfall affect dung beetle diversity in Caatinga, a Brazilian semi-arid ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Liberal, Carolina Nunes; de Farias, Ângela Maria Isidro; Meiado, Marcos Vinicius; Filgueiras, Bruno K C; Iannuzzi, Luciana

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate how dung beetle communities respond to both environment and rainfall in the Caatinga, a semi-arid ecosystem in northeastern Brazil. The communities were sampled monthly from May 2006 to April 2007 using pitfall traps baited with human feces in two environments denominated "land use area" and "undisturbed area." Abundance and species richness were compared between the two environments and two seasons (dry and wet season) using a generalized linear model with a Poisson error distribution. Diversity was compared between the two environments (land use area and undisturbed area) and seasons (dry and wet) using the Two-Way ANOVA test. Non-metric multidimensional scaling was performed on the resemblance matrix of Bray-Curtis distances (with 1000 random restarts) to determine whether disturbance affected the abundance and species composition of the dung beetle communities. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to determine whether rainfall was correlated with abundance and species richness. A total of 1097 specimens belonging to 13 species were collected. The most abundant and frequent species was Dichotomius geminatus Arrow (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The environment exerted an influence over abundance. Abundance and diversity were affected by season, with an increase in abundance at the beginning of the wet season. The correlation coefficient values were high and significant for abundance and species richness, which were both correlated to rainfall. In conclusion, the restriction of species to some environments demonstrates the need to preserve these areas in order to avoid possible local extinction. Therefore, in extremely seasonable environments, such as the Caatinga, seasonal variation strongly affects dung beetle communities.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1977-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Hydrologic cycle and dynamics of aquatic macrophytes in two intermittent rivers of the semi-arid region of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pedro, F; Maltchik, L; Bianchini, I

    2006-05-01

    The dynamics of aquatic macrophytes in intermittent rivers is generally related to the characteristics of the resistance and resilience of plants to hydrologic disturbances of flood and drought. In the semi-arid region of Brazil, intermittent rivers and streams are affected by disturbances with variable intensity, frequency, and duration throughout their hydrologic cycles. The aim of the present study is to determine the occurrence and variation of biomass of aquatic macrophyte species in two intermittent rivers of distinct hydrologic regimes. Their dynamics were determined with respect to resistance and resilience responses of macrophytes to flood and drought events by estimating the variation of biomass and productivity throughout two hydrologic cycles. Twenty-one visits were undertaken in the rewetting, drying, and drought phases in a permanent puddle in the Avelós stream and two temporary puddles in the Taperoá river, state of Paraíba, Northeast Brazil. The sampling was carried out by using the square method. Floods of different magnitudes occurred during the present study in the river and in the stream. The results showed that floods and droughts are determining factors in the occurrence of macrophytes and in the structure of their aquatic communities. The species richness of the aquatic macrophyte communities was lower in the puddles of the river and stream subject to flood events, when compared to areas where the run-off water is retained. At the beginning of the recolonization process, the intensity of the floods was decisive in the productivity and biomass of the aquatic macrophytes in the Taperoá river and the Avelós stream. In intermediate levels of disturbance, the largest values of productivity and biomass and the shortest time for starting the recolonization process occurred.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yang, Qidong; Zuo, Hongchao; Li, Weidong

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Effects of harbor activities on sediment quality in a semi-arid region in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Lucas B; Castro, Ítalo B; Hortellani, Marcos A; Sasaki, Silvio T; Taniguchi, Satie; Petti, Mônica A V; Fillmann, Gilberto; Sarkis, Jorge E S; Bícego, Márcia C; Costa-Lotufo, Leticia V; Abessa, Denis M S

    2017-01-01

    Tropical marine environments are rich in biodiversity and the presence of harbor activities in these areas can harm the coastal ecosystems. In this study, we assessed sediment quality of two harbors from a tropical region in Brazil by applying multiple lines-of-evidence approach. This approach included the integration of results on: (1) grain size, organic matter, organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, trace metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, linear alkylbenzenes, and tributyltin; (2) acute toxicity of whole sediments and chronic toxicity of liquid phases; and (3) benthic community descriptors. Our results revealed that the main contaminants detected in sediments from Mucuripe and Pecém Harbors were chromium, copper, nitrogen, zinc, and tributyltin. These toxicants arise from typical harbor activities. However, the changes in benthic composition and structure appear to depend on a combination of physical impacts, such as the deposition of fine sediments and the toxic potential of contaminants, especially in Mucuripe. Thus, apart from toxicants physical processes are important in describing risks. This information may assist in management and conservation of marine coastal areas.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toch, S. L.

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Temporal and spectral characteristics of aerosol optical depths in a semi-arid region of southern India.

    PubMed

    Kumar, K Raghavendra; Narasimhulu, K; Reddy, R R; Gopal, K Rama; Reddy, L Siva Sankara; Balakrishnaiah, G; Moorthy, K Krishna; Babu, S Suresh

    2009-04-01

    The spectral and temporal variations of aerosol optical depths (AOD) observed over Anantapur (a semi-arid region) located in the Southern part of India are investigated by analyzing the data obtained from a Multiwavelength Solar Radiometer (MWR) during January 2005-December 2006 (a total of 404 clear-sky observations) using the Langley technique. In this paper, we highlighted the studies on monthly, seasonal and spectral variations of aerosol optical depth and their implications. The results showed seasonal variation with higher values during pre-monsoon (March-May) and lower in the monsoon (June-November) season at all wavelengths. The pre-monsoon increase is found to be due to the high wind speed producing larger amounts of wind-driven dust particles. The post-monsoon (December-February) AOD values decrease more at higher wavelengths, indicating a general reduction in the number of bigger particles. Also during the post-monsoon, direction of winds in association with high or low pressure weather systems and the air brings more aerosol content to the region which is surrounded by a number of cement plants, lime kilns, slab polishing and brick making units. The quantity of AOD values in pre-monsoon is higher (low during post-monsoon) for wavelength, such as shortwave infrared (SWIR) or near infrared (NIR), which shows that coarse particles contribute more compare with the sub-micron particles. The composite aerosols near the surface follow suit with the share of the accumulation mode to the total mass concentration decreasing from approximately 70% to 30% from post-monsoon to pre-monsoon. Coarse mode particle loading observed to be high during pre-monsoon and accumulation mode particles observed to be high during post-monsoon. The backward trajectories at three representative altitudes with source point at the observing site indicate a possible transport from the outflow regions into Bay of Bengal, southern peninsular India and Arabian Sea. The temporal variations

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rahmati, Omid; Melesse, Assefa M

    2016-10-15

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

  15. Physical and chemical degradation of grassland soils in semi-arid regions: A case from Central Anatolia, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaşar Korkanç, Selma; Korkanç, Mustafa

    2016-12-01

    The aim of this study is to determine some hydro-physical and chemical characteristics of soils on the grassland areas under semi-arid conditions in terms of soil degradation processes. Three sampling plots of 20 × 20 m size were selected from the Emen Plain as Locations-I, II and III basing on the area covered with vegetation and visual soil properties; and total 108 soil samples from 2 points and 3 depth levels (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm, 40-60 cm) of each sampling plot. Soils of the research area are in degradation process in terms of some physical and chemical characteristics. It was observed that soil properties (i.e. bulk density, total porosity, organic matter, pH, electrical conductivity and saturated hydraulic conductivity) in Location-II and Location-III changed negatively in comparison to Location-I almost at all depths. In the Location-III grassland, bulk density, pH, electrical conductivity and Na + values are higher than those in Location-I, whereas the organic matter, total porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity values are low. Grassland area is vulnerable to erosion. High Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP) values in Locations-II and III indicates the sodicity problem in these areas.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  17. Sedum-dominated green-roofs in a semi-arid region increase CO2 concentrations during the dry season.

    PubMed

    Agra, Har'el; Klein, Tamir; Vasl, Amiel; Shalom, Hadar; Kadas, Gyongyver; Blaustein, Leon

    2017-04-15

    Green roofs are expected to absorb and store carbon in plants and soils and thereby reduce the high CO2 concentration levels in big cities. Sedum species, which are succulent perennials, are commonly used in extensive green roofs due to their shallow root system and ability to withstand long water deficiencies. Here we examined CO2 fixation and emission rates for Mediterranean Sedum sediforme on green-roof experimental plots. During late winter to early spring, we monitored CO2 concentrations inside transparent tents placed over 1m(2) plots and followed gas exchange at the leaf level using a portable gas-exchange system. We found high rates of CO2 emission at daytime, which is when CO2 concentration in the city is the highest. Both plot- and leaf-scale measurements showed that these CO2 emissions were not fully compensated by the nighttime uptake. We conclude that although carbon sequestration may only be a secondary benefit of green roofs, for improving this ecosystem service, other plant species than Sedum should also be considered for use in green roofs, especially in Mediterranean and other semi-arid climates.

  18. Do invasive riparian Tamarix alter hydrology of riparian areas of arid and semi-arid regions under climate change scenarios?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattarai, M. P.; Acharya, K.; Chen, L.

    2012-12-01

    Competitiveness of riparian invasive species, Tamarix, in arid and semi-arid riparian areas of the southwestern United States under climate change scenario (SRES A2) was investigated. Tamarix has been replacing native vegetation along the riparian corridors of these areas for the past several decades and is thought to alter water balance. Changes in depth to groundwater, soil moisture distribution and flood frequency are critical in survival and growth of a facultative phreatophyte such as Tamarix. In this study, a fully coupled 2d surface flow and 3d subsurface flow hydrologic model, HydroGeoSphere, was used to simulate surface-subsurface hydrology of the lower Virgin River basin (4500 sq. km), located in Nevada, Utah and Arizona. The hydrologic model results, depth to groundwater and soil saturation, were then applied to the species distribution model, Maxent, along with other bioclimatic parameters to asses future Tamarix distribution probability. Simulations were made for the climate scenarios of the end of 21st centry conditions. Depth to groundwater is found to be the most important predictor variable to the Maxent model. Future Tamarix distribution range is not uniform across the basin. It is likely to decrease at lower elevations and increase in some higher elevation areas.

  19. The use of natural tracers as indicators of soil-water movement in a temperate semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allison, G. B.; Hughes, M. W.

    1983-01-01

    In a semi-arid area of southern Australia a change in land use from Eucalyptus scrub to cropping with wheat is shown to have caused considerable change in the mechanism of the movement of soil water and the amount of deep drainage. Chloride concentrations of soil water have been used to show the mean annual amount of deep drainage increases from less than 0.1 to ˜ 3 mm yr. -1 following clearing of the native vegetation. The concentration of environmental tritium in soil water beneath the native vegetation is consistent with the hypothesis that some relatively recent water (post 1960) has penetrated to depths of at least 12m along channels occupied by living roots. Where the native vegetation has been cleared, no water which fell as rain since 1960 was found at depths greater than 2.5 m. 18O and deuterium concentrations suggest that some water movement to the roots of the native vegetation is in the vapour phase.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. [A comparative study on water use characteristics and eco-adaptability of Hippophae rhamnoides and Caragana korshinskii in semi-arid loess hilly-gully region].

    PubMed

    Xu, Bingcheng; Shan, Lun

    2004-11-01

    This study compared the seasonal dynamics of soil water content, biomass productivity, and leaf photosynthetic physiology and water potential between about ten years old Hippophae rhamnoides and Caragana korshinskii planted on the hilly slope land of semi-arid loess hilly-gully region. The results showed that there existed dry soil layer in the stands. The seasonal compensation depth of soil water in Hippophae rhamnoides stand was deeper and its water use capability was better than those of C. korshinskii. The yearly productivity of Hippophae rhamnoides was about 2.56 times of C. korshinskii. Hippophae rhamnoides leaf had an increased water use efficiency under improved soil water condition. C. korshinskii had higher photosynthetic and transpiration rates, but its leaf WUE was smaller than Hippophae rhamnoides. These two forests all had drought resistance and tolerance characteristics, but Hippophae rhamnoides was more active than C. korshinskii adapting to drought.

  2. Trends and variations of pH and hardness in a typical semi-arid river in a monsoon climate region during 1985-2009.

    PubMed

    Hao, Shaonan; Li, Xuyong; Jiang, Yan; Zhao, Hongtao; Yang, Lei

    2016-09-01

    The rapid growth of urbanization and industrialization, along with dramatic climate change, has strongly influenced hydrochemical characteristics in recent decades in China and thus could cause the variation of pH and general total hardness of a river. To explore such variations and their potential influencing factors in a river of the monsoon climate region, we analyzed a long-term monitoring dataset of pH, SO4 (2-), NOx, general total hardness (GH), Mg(2+), Ca(2+), and Cl(-) in surface water and groundwater in the Luan River basin from 1985 to 2009. The nonparametric Seasonal Kendall trend test was used to test the long-term trends of pH and GH. Relationship between the affecting factors, pH and GH were discussed. Results showed that pH showed a decreasing trend and that GH had an increasing trend in the long-term. Seasonal variation of pH and GH was mainly due to the typical monsoon climate. Results of correlation analysis showed that the unit area usage amounts of chemical fertilizer, NO3 (-), and SO4 (2-) were negatively correlated with pH in groundwater. In addition, mining activity affected GH spatial variation. Acid deposition, drought, and increasing the use of chemical fertilizers would contribute to the acidification trend, and mining activities would affect the spatial variation of GH. Variations of precipitation and runoff in semi-arid monsoon climate areas had significant influences on the pH and GH. Our findings implied that human activities played a critical role in river acidification in the semi-arid monsoon climate region of northern China.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Evaluation of Satellite Based Estimates of Surface Albedo with Ground and Aircraft Observations in a Semi-Arid Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kassabova, T. D.; Pinker, R. T.; Keefer, T.; Goodrich, D.; Huete, A.; Privette, J.

    2002-05-01

    Surface albedo is an important climate parameter needed for applications that deal with the disposition of radiant energy in the atmosphere and at the surface. Global or large-scale observations of surface albedo are not available, and therefore, it is being monitored from space born instruments. There are trade-offs in the capabilities of the different observational systems. Most satellite sensors are narrow-band and of low temporal resolution, while at a wide range of spatial resolutions. In this study we attempt to derive the surface albedo from two operational satellites, namely a geostationary (GOES-8), and a polar orbiter (NOAA-14), and compare the results with ground-based measurements, as well as with aircraft surveys. Models of atmospheric radiative transfer provide the tools for simulating the broadband and the narrow-band radiances at the top of the atmosphere, and for performing atmospheric corrections. Derived will be angularly and seasonally-dependant relationships between narrowband reflectance and broadband albedo, and the methodology will be tested at the semi-arid USDA-ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed in Arizona, which serves as a validation site for many space missions, such as ADEOS-II and MODLAND. Specifically, the angularly dependent MODTRAN 3.7 model is used for the simulations. The simulations are performed for 10 solar zenith angles, 6 zenith and 8 azimuth angles, using 5 climatological profiles for temperature, water vapor and ozone for each season derived form the TIGR profiles modified by the Forecast System Laboratory (FSL) rawiosonde information. In the simulations, a spectral surface reference albedo model for open shrub-land is used for each season. It is planned to expand the simulations to additional satellite sensors, such as the GLI on ADEOS II, to facilitate comparison from this mission with operational sensors.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owusu, Alex B.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Özcan, Zeynep; Kentel, Elçin; Alp, Emre

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Net CO2 and water exchanges of trees and grasses in a semi-arid region (Gourma, Mali)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Dantec, Valérie; Kergoat, Laurent; Timouk, Franck; Hiernaux, Pierre; Mougin, Eric

    2010-05-01

    An improved understanding of plant and soil processes is critical to predict land surface-atmosphere water exchanges, especially in semi-arid environments, where knowledge is still severely lacking. Within the frame of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Project (AMMA), eddy covariance and sapflow stations have been installed to document the intensity, the temporal variability and the main drivers of net CO2 fluxes, water fluxes and contribution of the trees to these fluxes in a pastoral Sahelian landscape. Indeed, although the importance of vegetation in the West African monsoon system has long been postulated, extremely few data were available sofar to test and develop land surface models. In particular, data documenting seasonal and inter-annual dynamics of vegetation/atmosphere exchanges did not exist at 15° N in West Africa before AMMA. The site is located in the Gourma, Mali. Vegetation in this area is sparse and mainly composed of annual grasses and forbs, and trees. Vegetation is organized according to soil type and lateral water redistribution, with bare soil with scattered trees on shallow soils and rocky outcrops (35% of the area), annual grasses and scattered trees on sandy soils (65% of the area), and more dense canopies of grasses and trees growing in valley bottoms over clay soil. To quantify tree transpiration in the overall evapotranspiration flux, sapflow measurements, associated to soil moisture measurements, have been conducted on the main tree species (Acacia senegal, A. seyal, A. raddiana, Combretum glutinosum, Balanites aegyptiaca) in a grassland site and in an open forest site, where eddy covariance fluxes measured the total flux. Using this dataset, we have studied the effects of plant diversity on carbon and water fluxes at the foot-print scale and seasonal dynamics of fluxes due to plant phenology and variations of soil water content (SWC). Carbon fluxes were documented as well, over two years. NEE was close to 0 during the dry season

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilz, Tobias; Francke, Till; Bronstert, Axel

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  11. Topological and geometrical analysis of a low-dimensional chaotic model obtained for the dynamics of cereal crops cycles observed from satellite in semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangiarotti, Sylvain

    2014-05-01

    A low-dimensional chaotic model was recently obtained for the dynamics of cereal crops cycles in semi-arid region [1]. This model was obtained from one single time series of vegetation index measured from space. The global modeling approach [2] was used based on powerful algorithms recently developed for this purpose [3]. The resulting model could be validated by comparing its predictability (a data assimilation scheme was used for this purpose) with a statistical prediction approach based on the search of analogous states in the phase space [4]. The cereal crops model exhibits a weakly dissipative chaos (DKY = 2.68) and a toroidal-like structure. At present, quite few cases of such chaos are known and these are exclusively theoretical. The first case was introduced by Lorenz in 1984 to model the global circulation dynamics [5], which attractor's structure is remained poorly understood. Indeed, one very powerful way to characterize low-dimensional chaos is based on the topological analysis of the attractors' flow [6]. Unfortunately, such approach does not apply to weakly dissipative chaos. In this work, a color tracer method is introduced and used to perform a complete topological analysis of both the Lorenz-84 system and the cereal crops model. The usual stretching and squeezing mechanisms are easily detected in the attractors' structure. A stretching taking place in the globally contracting direction of the flow is also found in both attractors. Such stretching is unexpected and was not reported previously. The analysis also confirms the toroidal type of chaos and allows producing both the skeleton and algebraic descriptions of the two attractors. Their comparison shows that the cereal crops attractor is a new attractor. References [1] Mangiarotti S., Drapreau L., Letellier C., 2014. Two chaotic global models for cereal crops cycles observed from satellite in Northern Morocco. revision submitted. [2] Letellier C., Aguirre L.A., Freitas U.S., 2009. Frequently

  12. [Simulation on the restoration effect of soil moisture in alfalfa (Medicago sativa)-grain rotation system in semi-arid and drought-prone regions of Loess Plateau].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xue-Chun; Li, Jun; Fang, Xin-Yu; Sun, Jian; Tahir, Muhammad Naveed

    2011-01-01

    With the combination of field survey and EPIC modeling, this paper simulated the restoration effect of soil moisture in different alfalfa (Medicago sativa)-grain rotation systems in semi-arid and drought-prone regions of Loess Plateau. In perennial alfalfa field and in grain crop field after alfalfa, the correlation coefficients between the simulated and observed values of soil moisture content in 0-10 m layer were larger than 0.9 (P < 0.01), and their relative root mean square errors were between 0.05 and 0.16, with the relative errors less than 10%. The dynamic changes of the simulated soil moisture contents in different soil layers were consistent with those of the observed values. In the study regions, it was difficult for the restoration of soil moisture in the deep soil layers of alfalfa field. During the cultivation of alfalfa, the soil moisture content in the layers at 8-10 m depth should not be less than 5.7%. Considering the sustainable development of agricultural production, the appropriate cultivation duration of alfalfa should be 4-6 years and no more than 8 years. For the restoration of soil moisture after alfalfa cultivation in the study regions, the rotation system potato (Solanum tuberosum) --> potato --> spring wheat (Triticum aestivum) could be adopted, and alfalfa could be cultivated again after 32-33 years.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Analysis of the vertical structure and size distribution of dust aerosols over the semi-arid region of the Loess Plateau in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, B.; Zhang, L.; Cao, X.; Li, X.; Huang, J.; Shi, J.; Bi, J.

    2012-02-01

    Using measurements of dual-wavelength polarisation lidar, particle sizer, and nephelometer from the Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University (SACOL), the properties of dust aerosol extinction coefficient, optical depth, depolarisation ratio, colour ratio, size distribution, and concentration over the semi-arid region of the Loess Plateau in north-western China are analysed in a case study of dust storms from 16-18 March 2010. The results show that dust aerosols are distributed mostly within the lower layer (below 3.0 km), with the dust aerosol extinction coefficient ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 km-1. The average optical depth and depolarisation ratio are near 0.6 and 0.3, respectively, while the colour ratio ranges from 0.8 to 1.0. The mass size distribution of dust aerosols has two peaks at 0.7 μm and 5.0 μm, respectively, while the number size distribution of dust aerosols is log-normal with a maximum near 0.8 μm. Particles in the fine mode (r ≤ 2.5 μm) are predominant in the dust storm. Their number concentration decreases while those of particles in the moderate (2.5 μm < r ≤ 10.0 μm) and coarse (10.0 μm < r ≤ 20.0 μm) modes increase. Based on Mie theory and the number size distribution of the aerosol, the dust aerosol scattering coefficient and its variation with particle size are calculated and analysed. A fairly close correlation is found with that measured by the nephelometer, for which the correlation coefficients are 0.89 and 0.94, respectively, at 520 and 700 nm. It shows a Gaussian distribution of dust aerosol scattering coefficient against effective diameter, with a fitting coefficient of 0.96 and centre diameter of 5.5 μm. The contribution percentages of aerosol within fine, moderate, and coarse modes to dust aerosol scattering coefficient are 20.95%, 62.93%, and 16.12%, respectively, meaning that PM10 is a dominant factor in the dust aerosol scattering properties.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  16. Using remote sensing to create indicators of ecosystem variability for a semi-arid savanna watershed in the Kavango-Zambezi region of Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pricope, Narcisa Gabriela

    This dissertation addresses changes in land and resource availability occurring as a result of climate, water variability and changes in fire regimes in a semi-arid savanna region in Southern Africa. The research combines geospatial analyses of climatological and hydrologic data and various remotely-sensed datasets to create measures of ecosystem variability and adaptability to natural and anthropogenic changes in sensitive ecosystems. The study area is the Chobe River Basin (CRB), a watershed shared between Botswana and Namibia situated at the heart of one of the world.s largest transfrontier conservation areas, where different land-use management strategies and economic policies affect both the ecosystem and the livelihoods support system differentially. The southern African savanna is a highly variable environment and people have adapted to its harshness through the generations. However, in light of past and ongoing environmental changes, their ability to adapt may become threatened. By mapping and then analyzing the spatial and temporal variability of two important factors, namely flooding and fires, in conjunction with indices of vegetation health and productivity, the findings of this research can ultimately contribute to enhancing our understanding of local adaptation mechanisms to future environmental change. This is the first reconstruction of the spatial and temporal patterns of inundation for the last 25 years in the CRB, a transboundary basin with an unusual hydrologic regime and an important water resource for both human and wildlife populations. In the context of increasing temperatures, decreasing precipitation trends and increasing frequencies and intensities of El Nino episodes in southern Africa (Boko et al., 2007), I also investigated changes in fire incidences and marked shifts in fire seasonality both within and outside of protected areas of central Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA). These changes are likely to have a

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yatagai, Akiyo

    2003-10-01

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

  20. Interspecific variation in vessel size, growth and drought tolerance of broad-leaved trees in semi-arid regions of Kenya.

    PubMed

    Kondoh, Shoko; Yahata, Hisashi; Nakashizuka, Tohru; Kondoh, Michio

    2006-07-01

    In semi-arid regions, trees often wither during the dry season. Withering is sometimes manifest as die-back, whereby whithering results in shoot death, which progresses downward from the uppermost part of the crown. In this study, we measured the relationships between height growth and diameter at breast height, die-back frequency and severity, vessel size and specific hydraulic conductivity of four evergreen (Senna siamea (Lamk) H.S. Irwin & Barneby, Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Don, Azadirachta indica A.H.L. Juss and Acacia gerrardii Benth.) and one deciduous (Melia volkensii Gürke) plantation tree species in Kenya, which has a conspicuous dry season. Die-back occurred readily in some species, but not in others. Senna siamea showed the highest specific hydraulic conductivity and the highest growth rate among the five species and was quite susceptible to die-back. Among species, height growth and specific hydraulic conductivity were positively correlated with vessel size and negatively correlated with die-back frequency, suggesting a trade-off between growth rate and drought tolerance. This implies that an adaptation to rapid growth under humid conditions leads to low drought tolerance. However, the deciduous tree Melia volkensii showed high specific hydraulic conductivity and growth, with no symptoms of die-back, implying that a mechanism associated with the deciduous habit results in drought avoidance by reducing the requirement for water during the dry season.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  3. Denitrification potential and its correlation to physico-chemical and biological characteristics of saline wetland soils in semi-arid regions.

    PubMed

    Yu, Huibin; Song, Yonghui; Xi, Beidou; Du, Erdeng; He, Xiaosong; Tu, Xiang

    2012-11-01

    Denitrification is an important pathway of NO(3)(-) removal depending on wetland soil characteristics. Most studies on denitrification have been conducted in the freshwater wetlands and coastal marshes, but little information is available on how soil and environmental factors affect denitrification of saline wetlands in semi-arid regions. We conducted a correlative study on denitrification potential in relation to the physico-chemical and biological characteristics. Composite soil samples of different depths were collected from different halophyte communities along a saline-impact gradient around Wuliangsuhai Lake, i.e. Comm. Salicornia europaea (CSE), Comm. Suaeda glauca (CSG), Comm. Kalidium foliatum (CKF) and Comm. Sophora alopecuroides (CSA). The CSA soil profile showed the fastest denitrification kinetics and tended to yield the largest amount of N(2)O, followed by the CKF, CSG and CSE. The mean of potential denitrification rates was the highest across all depths of the CSA soil profile, followed by the CKF, CSG, and CSE. Principal component analysis indicated that exchangeable sodium percentage was a key factor to denitrification potential, apart from organic carbon, nitrate and denitrifying bacteria. The results could have significant implication in integrated assessment and management of salined wetlands for treating nutrient-rich return water from farmland, industrial wastewater and domestic sewage in the diverted trunk drain used for the lakeshore restoration.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asfahani, Jamal

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hoffman, M Timm; Rohde, Richard Frederick

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. The status of selected minerals in soil, forage and beef cattle tissues in a semi-arid region of Zimbabwe.

    PubMed

    Ndebele, N; Mtimuni, J P; Mpofu, I D T; Makuza, S; Mumba, P

    2005-07-01

    Five districts in the Matabeleland region, an arid western area of Zimbabwe, were investigated for the status of Ca, P, Na, Cu and Zn in soil, forage and cattle during the wet and dry seasons over a period of one year. The cattle came from the natural grazing lands and were not supplemented at the time of sampling. Some deficiencies in soil Zn and P were found in the districts of Lupane and Bulilimamangwe, respectively. Dry season soil Ca, Cu and P concentrations were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than rainy season values owing to leaching in all five districts. Most forage samples had mineral concentrations below the critical levels known to be adequate for animal requirements. Forage levels of Ca, Na. Cu and Zn significantly increased (p < 0.05) with advancing maturity, while P significantly decreased (p < 0.05) in almost all the districts. Marked deficiencies of minerals were found in cattle tissues and these levels followed the seasonal trend seen in the forage. These results indicate that cattle in Matebeleland are deficient in P, Ca, Cu and Zn and that grazing areas in the region cannot provide adequate levels of the five minerals studied.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Alpine vegetation phenology dynamic over 16years and its covariation with climate in a semi-arid region of China.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jihua; Cai, Wentao; Qin, Yue; Lai, Liming; Guan, Tianyu; Zhang, Xiaolong; Jiang, Lianhe; Du, Hui; Yang, Dawen; Cong, Zhentao; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2016-12-01

    Vegetation phenology is a sensitive indicator of ecosystem response to climate change, and plays an important role in the terrestrial biosphere. Improving our understanding of alpine vegetation phenology dynamics and the correlation with climate and grazing is crucial for high mountains in arid areas subject to climatic warming. Using a time series of SPOT Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data from 1998 to 2013, the start of the growing season (SOS), end of the growing season (EOS), growing season length (GSL), and maximum NDVI (MNDVI) were extracted using a threshold-based method for six vegetation groups in the Heihe River headwaters. Spatial and temporal patterns of SOS, EOS, GSL, MNDVI, and correlations with climatic factors and livestock production were analyzed. The MNDVI increased significantly in 58% of the study region, whereas SOS, EOS, and GSL changed significantly in <5% of the region. The MNDVI in five vegetation groups increased significantly by a range from 0.045 to 0.075. No significant correlation between SOS and EOS was observed in any vegetation group. The SOS and GSL were highly correlated with temperature in May and April-May, whereas MNDVI was correlated with temperature in August and July-August. The EOS of different vegetation groups was correlated with different climatic variables. Maximum and minimum temperature, accumulated temperature, and effective accumulated temperature showed stronger correlations with phenological metrics compared with those of mean temperature, and should receive greater attention in phenology modeling in the future. Meat and milk production were significantly correlated with the MNDVI of scrub, steppe, and meadow. Although the MNDVI increased in recent years, ongoing monitoring for rangeland degradation is recommended.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  15. The role of economic analysis in groundwater management in semi-arid regions: the case of Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acharya, Gayatri

    The aim of this paper is to use an economic framework to derive decision making rules for river basin management with a focus on groundwater resources. Using an example from northern Nigeria, the paper provides an example of how decision making for sustainable water resources management may be facilitated by comparing net benefits and costs across a river basin. It is argued that economic tools can be used to assess the value of water resources in different uses, identify and analyze management scenarios, and provide decision rules for the sustainable use and management of surface and ground water resources in the region. L'objet de cet article est l'utilisation d'un cadre économique pour établir des règles de prise de décision pour la gestion d'un bassin versant prenant en compte les ressources en eau souterraine. À partir d'un exemple du Nigéria septentrional, cet article explique comment une prise de décision pour la gestion durable de ressources en eau peut être facilitée en comparant les bénéfices nets et les coûts sur tout le bassin versant. Il est montré que les outils économiques peuvent être utilisés pour établir la valeur des ressources en eau dans les différents usages, pour identifier et analyser des scénarios de gestion et pour fournir des règles de décision pour un usage et une gestion durables des ressources en eaux de surface et souterraines dans la région. El objetivo de este artículo es utilizar un enfoque económico para deducir reglas de toma de decisión en la gestión de cuencas, haciendo énfasis en los recursos subterráneos. Por medio de un ejemplo del Norte de Nigeria, se ilustra cómo la toma de decisiones orientadas a la gestión sustentable de los recursos hídricos puede ser facilitada si se compara los beneficios netos y los costes en toda la cuenca. Se argumenta que las herramientas económicas pueden servir para establecer el valor de los recursos hídricos destinados a usos diferentes, para identificar y

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amer, Reda Mohammed

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machiwal, Deepesh; Jha, Madan Kumar

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Feifei; Nieswiadomy, Michael; Qian, Shuan

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Potential of remote sensing data for improving water resources management in semi-arid regions: a case study in Burkina Faso

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papa, M. N.; Ciervo, F.; Koussoube, y.; Di Martino, G.; Iodice, A.; Natale, A.; Riccio, D.; Ruello, G.; Zinno, I.

    2012-04-01

    In this work we present the rationale and the first results of a Cosmo-SkyMed AO project devoted to use high resolution synthetic aperture radar data for water resource management in semi-arid regions. A case study was developed in Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries of the world, where almost 80% of the population lives in rural areas depending from agriculture and livestock. It is characterized by the alternation of a rainy (3 months) and a dry (9 months) season, with extreme climate conditions (drought and floods). The project was approved by the Italian Space Agency, that provided Cosmo SkyMed Stripmap (3m resolution) and Spotligth (1m resolution) SAR images. The study area is in the northern part of Burkina Faso around the village of Bidi. A first study is related on the identification of eroded areas, which are indicative of desertification processes. Eroded soils are no more able to absorb and drain water, so that their humidity and, as a consequence, their dielectric constant and conductivity are almost independent by the precipitation. By comparing SAR images acquired during the rainy and the dry seasons, the eroded soils do not change their reflectivity and they can be identified by change detection techniques. In this work we employ innovative fractal change detection techniques, based on the image spectrum evaluation and the comparison of the fractal dimension. As the precipitations occur only during three months, it is crucial to collect water in the rainy season, by the means of artificial basins, in order to irrigate the fields in the dry season. The construction of little artificial basins is usually carried out under the initiative of small associations of farmers. The location, design and management of the basins sometimes is not rational, for the lack of all the information needed for the design. The best location for the construction of a new artificial basin depends on the total volume of surface water that may be collected in one year

  3. Application of a statistical model for the assessment of environmental quality in neotropical semi-arid reservoirs.

    PubMed

    de Lira Azevêdo, Evaldo; de Lucena Barbosa, José Etham; Viana, Leandro Gomes; Anacleto, Maria José Pinheiro; Callisto, Marcos; Molozzi, Joseline

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a statistical model to assess the environmental quality of reservoirs located in semi-arid region using metrics of anthropogenic disturbance, water quality variables, and benthic macroinvertebrate communities as indicators. The proposed model was applied to 60 sites located in three reservoirs in the Paraíba river basin, Brazilian semi-arid region. Collections were made in December 2011. In each site, we collected one sample of benthic macroinvertebrates and one water sample for the determination of physical and chemical parameters. Characterization of the landscape was made through application of 10 physical habitat protocols on each site for the collected information on disturbance and subsequent calculation of disturbance metrics. The results showed the formation of two groups: group 1, consisting of 16 minimally altered sites, and group 2, with 44 severely altered sites. The proposed statistical model was sensitive enough to detect changes. In the minimally altered group, the Chironomids Aedokritus and Fissimentum were dominant, indicating a higher environmental quality, while Coelotanypus and Chironomus were abundant in severely altered sites with lower environmental quality. The conservation and management of reservoirs in semi-arid regions should be intensified in view of the need to maintain the environmental quality of these ecosystems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WU, X.

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Influence of groundwater on the degradation of irrigated soils in a semi-arid region, the inner delta of the Niger River, Mali

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valenza, A.; Grillot, J. C.; Dazy, J.

    2000-08-01

    The problem of soil degradation through alkalinization/salinization in an irrigated area with a semi-arid climate was examined in the inner delta of the Niger River, Mali, by the study of groundwater hydraulics and hydrochemistry in an area recharged by irrigation water. On the basis of data analysis on various scales, it is concluded that the current extent of the surface saline soils is due to a combination of three factors: (1) the existence of ancient saline soils (solonchaks) resulting from the creation of a broad sabkha west of the former course of the Niger River, now called the Fala of Molodo. These saline crusts were gradually deposited during the eastward tilting of the tectonic block that supports the Niger River; (2) the irrigation processes during the recent reflooding of the Fala of Molodo (river diversion in 1950). These used very poorly mineralized surface water but reintroduced into the alluvial groundwater system - generally of a low permeability (K=10-6 m s-1) - salts derived from the ancient solonchaks; and (3) the redeposition of the dissolved salts on the surface due to the intense evapotranspiration linked to the present Sahelian climate. In this context, only efficient artificial draining of subsurface alluvial groundwater can eliminate most of the highly mineralized flow and thus reduce the current saline deposits.

  6. [Border effect and physiological characteristics of broomcorn millet under film mulching on ridge-furrow for harvesting rainwater model in the semi-arid region of Northern Shaanxi, China].

    PubMed

    Qu, Yang; Su, Wang; Li, Cui; Gao, Jin-Feng; Gao, Xiao-Li; Wang, Peng-Ke; Feng, Bai-Li; Chai, Yan

    2014-03-01

    To explore the border effect and physiological characteristic of broomcorn millet growing under different film mulching on ridge-furrow for harvesting rainwater models in the semi-arid region of Northern Shaanxi, China, a three-year field experiment was conducted with four different widths of ridge and furrow, and the bare land flat sowing as the control (NM). The width of ridge and furrow varied as ridge: furrow = 40 cm: 40 cm (P40), 60 cm: 60 cm (P60), 80 cm: 80 cm (P80), and 100 cm:100 cm (P100). The results showed that the wider the width of furrow and ridge was, the stronger the border advantage and the border effect index of the yield were. With the increase in width of furrow and ridge, the yield increasing effect of side rows increased with the maximum of 207.7%, and the yield increasing effect of middle rows decreased with the minimum of 10.3%. P60 reached the highest yield within three years. The yield contribution rate of side rows was higher than that of middle rows (P < 0.05). The chlorophyll contents, Ch1 a/Ch1 b, and photosynthetic rate of side rows were higher than those of middle rows among the different harvesting rainwater models. The wider the width of furrow and ridge was, the stronger the photosynthetic capacity of side rows was, and the weaker the photosynthetic capacity of middle rows was. The optimal type of ridge and furrow was P60 in the semi-arid region of Northern Shaanxi.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doummar, Joanna; Aoun, Michel; Andari, Fouad

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Evaluating the influence of geo-environmental factors on gully erosion in a semi-arid region of Iran: An integrated framework.

    PubMed

    Rahmati, Omid; Tahmasebipour, Naser; Haghizadeh, Ali; Pourghasemi, Hamid Reza; Feizizadeh, Bakhtiar

    2017-02-01

    Despite the importance of soil erosion in sustainable development goals in arid and semi-arid areas, the study of the geo-environmental conditions and factors influencing gully erosion occurrence is rarely undertaken. As effort to this challenge, the main objective of this study is to apply an integrated approach of Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA) together with high-spatial resolution imagery (SPOT-5) for detecting gully erosion features at the Kashkan-Poldokhtar watershed, Iran. We also aimed to apply a Conditional Probability (CP) model for establishing the spatial relationship between gullies and the Geo-Environmental Factors (GEFs). The gully erosion inventory map prepared using GEOBIA and field surveying was randomly partitioned into two subsets: (1) part 1 that contains 70% was used in the training phase of the CP model; (2) part 2 is a validation dataset (30%) for validation of the model and to confirm its accuracy. Prediction performances of the GEOBIA and CP model were checked by overall accuracy and Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve methods, respectively. In addition, the influence of all GEFs on gully erosion was evaluated by performing a sensitivity analysis model. The validation findings illustrated that overall accuracy for GEOBIA approach and the area under the ROC curve for the CP model were 92.4% and 89.9%, respectively. Also, based on sensitivity analysis, soil texture, drainage density, and lithology represent significantly effects on the gully erosion occurrence. This study has shown that the integrated framework can be successfully used for modeling gully erosion occurrence in a data-poor environment.

  9. The cactus effect: an alternative to the lupin effect for increasing ovulation rate in sheep reared in semi-arid regions?

    PubMed

    Rekik, M; Gonzalez-Bulnes, A; Lassoued, N; Ben Salem, H; Tounsi, A; Ben Salem, I

    2012-04-01

    The present study evaluated the effects of supplementation with cactus cladodes on follicular dynamics and ovulatory response of sheep reared in semi-arid areas. A total of 76 ewes were distributed into two equal groups supplemented with either concentrated feed or cactus cladodes. After 30 days of supplementation, no differences were found between feeding regimens on the final live weight (LW; 41.5 ± 0.6 and 42.1 ± 0.7 kg in the Concentrate and Cactus groups respectively) and body condition score (BCS; 1.8 ± 0.3 and 1.8 ± 0.4 for Concentrate and Cactus group respectively). Moreover, no differences were found between the initial and the final values of both LW and BCS; thus, there were no effects of supplementation on any of both parameters. Analysis of follicular population showed that, during the follicular phase induced by ram effect, the number of follicles reaching ovulatory size increased in both groups. However, the number was always higher in Cactus ewes and, at oestrus, Cactus ewes had 1.6 ± 0.2 and Concentrate sheep had 1.2 ± 0.2 large follicles (p < 0.05). Thereafter, ovulation rate was affected by duration of supplementation; being higher in sheep fed with cactus for 6-10 days (1.7 ± 0.1) than in ewes supplied with cactus for more than 11 days (1.3 ± 0.1; p < 0.05), in sheep fed with concentrate for 6-10 days (1.2 ± 0.1; p < 0.01) and even than in individuals subjected to classical flushing with concentrate (1.3 ± 0.1; p < 0.05).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-01-01

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

  13. [Changes of China agricultural climate resources under the background of climate change. VII. Change characteristics of agricultural climate resources in arid and semi-arid region of Tibet Plateau].

    PubMed

    Xu, Hua-jun; Yang, Xiao-guang; Wang, Wen-feng; Xu, Chao

    2011-07-01

    Based on the 1961-2007 ground observation data from 55 meteorological stations in arid and semi-arid region of Tibetan Plateau, and by using 5-day moving average method and ArcGIS-IDW module, this paper analyzed the spatiotemporal change characteristics and climatic trend rates of agricultural climate resources in the region in 1961-1980 (period I) and 1981-2007 (period II). In 1961-2007, the sunshine duration during the growth season of chimonophilous crops in the study region changed less, while that during the growth season of thermophilic crops increased but with little spatial change. Comparing with those in period I, the average value of accumulated temperature in period II showed an increasing trend, and the area with > or = 1500 degrees C x d during the growth season of thermophilic crops increased by 33.9%. The precipitation decreased gradually from southeast to northwest. During the growth season of chimonophilous crops, the precipitation in the southeast in the two periods reached 800 mm, but the climatic trend in other areas was positive or negative, and the change rate was small. The area with precipitation > or = 400 mm during the growth season of thermophilic crops in period II expanded by 40%, as compared in period I. The reference crop evapotranspiration (ET0) generally increased slightly, and shared the similar spatial distribution pattern with sunshine duration and accumulated temperature. During the growth season of thermophilic crops, the area with ET0 > or = 400 mm in period II expanded by 35.7%, compared with that in period I. In the study period, the heat and precipitation resources during crop growth seasons in Tibet Plateau increased in a certain degree, which was very beneficial to the agriculture-stock production. However, the increase of reference crop evapotranspitation indicated the increase of potential evaporation. Thereby, the researches about the possible effects of climate change on agriculture-stock production should be further

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Use and management of mimosa species in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, a tropical semi-arid region in Mexico (Fabaceae-Mimosoideae).

    PubMed

    Camargo-Ricalde, S L; Dhillion, S S

    2004-12-01

    We report on the use of 15 Mimosa species within the Tehucán-Cuicatlán Valley, south-central Mexico. Seven of these species are endemic to Mexico, and four species and one variety are endemic to the Valley. We reviewed historical, ethnobotanical and floristic manuscripts, and conducted field studies. Several herbaria were consulted, as well as the BADEPLAM data base. Field work in the Valley has been done from 1994 to date. Most of the Mimosa species occur in the arid tropical scrub and the tropical deciduous forest, which are considered the most endangered vegetation types of the Valley. Our findings show that Mimosa species are used as fodder (45%), fuel (31%), living fences (14%) and construction material (7%). Only one species is used as medicine. Mimosa species are "multipurpose" shrubs/trees of the agrosilvopastoral system of this region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Sagarika

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

  1. Water use and physiology of the riparian tree species Eucalyptus victrix in the semi-arid Pilbara region of Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfautsch, S.; Keitel, C.; Adams, M. A.; Turnbull, T.

    2009-04-01

    We examined the water use and physiology of trees growing in a riparian community within the seasonally arid Pilbara region of north-western Australia. This region is arid during the winter months, but monsoonal during summer (November to April). Maximum monthly mean temperatures in summer exceed 40 °C and are c. 25 °C during the winter months. The Millstream study site is located on a section of the Fortescue River system along the base of the Chichester Range c. 100km south of Karratha. This system creates a unique landscape in the Pilbara as it forms several large permanent pools. These pools are maintained by springs from an aquifer beneath the alluvial plain. The groundwater from this aquifer is used as a public water supply for towns in the west Pilbara but industrial development and a growing population will place greater demand on this aquifer. Changes to the local hydrology may have dramatic effects on the local plant community, dominated variously by stands of Eucalyptus victrix (Coolibah) and Eucalyptus camaldulensis (River red gum). This study seeks to understand the dependence of the Millstream riparian ecosystem on the height of the aquifer and to characterise the water use and physiology of Eucalyptus victrix. We used a number of techniques to determine the hydraulic and photosynthetic status of the tree canopy, including isotope, sap flow, water-potential and gas exchange measurements. Initial results from this study show: a) Soil water d18O and d2H is strongly enriched towards the surface, which coincides with a strong increase in salinity. The water source accessed by these trees has been identified by d18O and d2H analysis of xylem water. d18O and d2H were additionally analysed in atmospheric and leaf water pools. b) Sap flow in Coolibah trees shows a unique pattern of sharp early morning rise to a plateau maintained throughout the hottest part of the day, followed by a sharp decline in flow late in the afternoon. c) Leaf water potential

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, Marco; Seidel, Jochen; Trachte, Katja

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Seasonal variation in pans in relation to limno-chemistry, size, hydroperiod, and river connectivity in a semi-arid subtropical region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nhiwatiwa, Tamuka; Dalu, Tatenda

    2017-02-01

    Seasonal pans are hydrologically dynamic, with significant changes in water volume and depth in response to high evaporation, infiltration rates and inundation events. Intra-seasonal and inter-seasonal changes in endorheic and floodplain pans in relation to limnology, size, hydroperiod, and river connectivity were studied over two rainfall seasons across 36 pans at the Save Valley Conservancy. In the study region, floodplain pans were identified as pans that had connectivity with the Save River, while the endorheic pans (large and small) were hydrologically isolated basins. Seasonal trends for physico-chemical variables were initial low and gradual increased for both rainfall seasons. Significant inter-seasonal differences for several physico-chemical variables were observed. No significant differences in physico-chemical variables were observed between large and small endorheic pans, with the except for vegetation cover, which was higher in large pans. Floodplain pans differed from the endorheic systems in pH, conductivity, nutrients and suspended solids. Connectivity was found to be insignificant, as connections between these systems were probably too infrequent. Seasonal pans were uniquely distinguished by their morphometric, physico-chemical and hydrological characteristics. Inevitably, they are vulnerable to climate change with the extent of their resilience currently unknown.

  5. Quantifying macropore recharge: Examples from a semi-arid area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, W.W.; Rainwater, K.A.; Thompson, D.B.

    1997-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the significantly increased resolution of determining macropore recharge by combining physical, chemical, and isotopic methods of analysis. Techniques for quantifying macropore recharge were developed for both small-scale (1 to 10 km2) and regional-scale areas in and semi-arid areas. The Southern High Plains region of Texas and New Mexico was used as a representative field site to test these methods. Macropore recharge in small-scale areas is considered to be the difference between total recharge through floors of topographically dosed basins and interstitial recharge through the same area. On the regional scale, macropore recharge was considered to be the difference between regional average annual recharge and interstitial recharge measured in the unsaturated zone. Stable isotopic composition of ground water and precipitation was used us an independent estimate of macropore recharge on the regional scale. Results of this analysis suggest that in the Southern High Plains recharge flux through macropores is between 60 and 80 percent of the total 11 mm/y. Between 15 and 35 percent of the recharge occurs by interstitial recharge through the basin floors. Approximately 5 percent of the total recharge occurs as either interstitial or matrix recharge between the basin floors, representing approximately 95 percent of the area. The approach is applicable to other arid and semi-arid areas that focus rainfall into depressions or valleys.The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the significantly increased resolution of determining macropore recharge by combining physical, chemical, and isotopic methods of analysis. Techniques for quantifying macropore recharge were developed for both small-scale (1 to 10 km2) and regional-scale areas in arid and semi-arid areas. The Southern High Plains region of Texas and New Mexico was used as a representative field site to test these methods. Macropore recharge in small-scale areas is considered

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  13. Intensifying a semi-arid dryland crop rotation by replacing fallow with pea

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing dryland cropping system intensity in the semi-arid central Great Plains by reducing frequency of fallow can add diversity to cropping systems and decrease erosion potential. However elimination of the periodic fallow phase has been shown to reduce yields of subsequent crops in this region...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Nebkha patterns in semi-arid environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-12-31

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Funk, Christopher C.; Brown, Molly E.

    2006-01-01

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

  18. Using NDVI to measure precipitation in semi-arid landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Birtwhistle, Amy N.; Laituri, Melinda; Bledsoe, Brian; Friedman, Jonathan M.

    2016-01-01

    Measuring precipitation in semi-arid landscapes is important for understanding the processes related to rainfall and run-off; however, measuring precipitation accurately can often be challenging especially within remote regions where precipitation instruments are scarce. Typically, rain-gauges are sparsely distributed and research comparing rain-gauge and RADAR precipitation estimates reveal that RADAR data are often misleading, especially for monsoon season convective storms. This study investigates an alternative way to map the spatial and temporal variation of precipitation inputs along ephemeral stream channels using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. NDVI values from 26 years of pre- and post-monsoon season Landsat imagery were derived across Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), a region covering 3,367 km2 of semiarid landscapes in southwestern Arizona, USA. The change in NDVI from a pre-to post-monsoon season image along ephemeral stream channels explained 73% of the variance in annual monsoonal precipitation totals from a nearby rain-gauge. In addition, large seasonal changes in NDVI along channels were useful in determining when and where flow events have occurred.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Provisioning of bioavailable carbon between the wet and dry phases in a semi-arid floodplain.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Darren S; Rees, Gavin N; Wilson, Jessica S; Colloff, Matthew J; Whitworth, Kerry L; Pitman, Tara L; Wallace, Todd A

    2013-06-01

    Ecosystem functioning on arid and semi-arid floodplains may be described by two alternate traditional paradigms. The pulse-reserve model suggests that rainfall is the main driver of plant growth and subsequent carbon and energy reserve formation in the soil of arid and semi-arid regions. The flood pulse concept suggests that periodic flooding facilitates the two-way transfer of materials between a river and its adjacent floodplain, but focuses mainly on the period when the floodplain is inundated. We compared the effects of both rainfall and flooding on soil moisture and carbon in a semi-arid floodplain to determine the relative importance of each for soil moisture recharge and the generation of a bioavailable organic carbon reserve that can potentially be utilised during the dry phase. Flooding, not rainfall, made a substantial contribution to moisture in the soil profile. Furthermore, the growth of aquatic macrophytes during the wet phase produced at least an order of magnitude more organic material than rainfall-induced pulse-reserve responses during the dry phase, and remained as recognizable soil carbon for years following flood recession. These observations have led us to extend existing paradigms to encompass the reciprocal provisioning of carbon between the wet and dry phases on the floodplain, whereby, in addition to carbon fixed during the dry phase being important for driving biogeochemical transformations upon return of the next wet phase, aquatic macrophyte carbon fixed during the wet phase is recognized as an important source of energy for the dry phase. Reciprocal provisioning presents a conceptual framework on which to formulate questions about the resistance and ecosystem resilience of arid and semi-arid floodplains in the face of threats like climate change and alterations to flood regimes.

  1. Coprophilous Mucorales (ex Zygomycota) from three areas in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Souza, Carlos Alberto Fragoso de; Lima, Diogo Xavier; Gurgel, Luciana M S; Santiago, André Luiz Cabral Monteiro de Azevedo

    Mucorales comprises fungi commonly isolated as saprobes from soil, dung, stored grains and plants. Although these fungi have been studied in several countries, there are relatively a few reports of them in semi-arid areas. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to assess and compare the Mucorales communities in dung from different species and breeds of herbivores in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, based on the frequency of occurrence and species richness of these fungi. Samples of dung collected in the cities of Arcoverde, Serra Talhada and Sertânia were incubated in moist chambers in triplicate. Altogether, 24 taxa of Mucorales distributed in the genera Absidia, Circinella, Cunninghamella, Lichtheimia, Mucor, Pilobolus, Rhizopus and Syncephalastrum were identified. The highest species richness was found in sheep excrement. Mucor circinelloides f. griseo-cyanus was the most common taxon, followed by M. ramosissimus. The similarity of the composition of Mucorales species was greatest between the excrements of Guzerá and Sindi breeds (bovine). All mucoralean species isolated are being cited for the first time from animal dung found in Caatinga and a new species of Mucor was recorded. An identification key for species of Mucorales from dung in the semi-arid region of Brazil is provided.

  2. Modeling carbon cycle dynamics and response to drought in semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilton, T. W.; Fox, A. M.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Litvak, M. E.

    2012-12-01

    The southwestern United States is presently experiencing a multi-year drought. Though the carbon uptake per unit area of the semi-arid biomes in this region is smaller than that of more temperate biomes, these biomes cover roughly 40 percent of the world's land surface, and thus make a significant contribution to the global terrestrial biological carbon cycle. Here we test the ability of two land surface model structures to diagnose the carbon cycle dynamics of semi-arid landscapes during the ongoing extreme drought. We use the New Mexico Elevation Gradient (NMEG) as a testbed for these modeling experiments. The NMEG comprises eight eddy covariance towers observing ecosystems ranging from desert grassland ( 1600 m elevation) to alpine mixed coniferous forest ( 3000 m elevation). During the drought the ecosystems observed by these towers saw their annual net carbon uptake decline between 33 and 100 percent (50 to 150 gC m^{-2} year^{-1}), with two of the eight sites becoming net sources of carbon to the atmosphere and one transitioning from a net carbon sink to carbon-neutral. We parametrize a simple light-use efficiency (LUE)-based model (Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model, VPRM) and a complex model which simulates many land surface processes (Community Land Model, CLM). We explore the capacity of both models to diagnose the terrestrial carbon cycle in semi-arid biomes where water availability is highly episodic.

  3. Time Profile of Three Semi-Arid Ecosystems in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anyamba, A.; Damoah, R.; Small, J. L.; Tucker, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    We examine the spatio-temporal variability of rainfall and satellite derived-vegetation index of three endorheic semi-arid ecosystems in Africa: Lake Chad (in the Sahel region), Okavango and Etosha (Southern Africa) to infer the nature and trends of the variability during the satellite data instrumental record. We utilize African Rainfall Climatology Precipitation Estimates (1983-2014) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR: 1981-2014) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS: 2001:2014) to examine the aspects of the annual cycle and interannual variability using both time series plots and time-space diagrams. With respect to Lake Chad region, the first two decades of the series (1981-2000) show predominantly dryer than long-term average conditions with the periods 1989, 1992 and 1996/1997 as the signature drought periods coinciding with the desiccation of the Sahel region during the 1980s to early 1990s decades. The period 2000 to present is dominated by above average rainfall and NDVI with 2003, 2007 and 2012 being the most pronounced wet/greener years. The southern African ecosystems (Okavango and Etosha) show more or less a similar temporal pattern to that of Lake Chad basin, however, the wet periods are more amplified and persistent especially 2000, 2006, 2010 and 2014, with corresponding above average NDVI departures. The amplified nature of wet and dry periods present in the southern African ecosystem time series are consistent with the El Niño Southern Oscillation teleconnection patterns. Overall these three ecosystems serve as detectable fingerprints of changing climate conditions and ecosystems in these arid regions.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannini, A.

    2009-12-01

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

  8. Experimental landfill caps for semi-arid and arid climates.

    PubMed

    Blight, Geoffrey E; Fourie, Andries B

    2005-04-01

    The United States EPA Subtitle D municipal solid waste landfill requirements specify that the permeability of a cap to a landfill be no greater than the permeability of the underliner. In recent years the concept of the evapotranspirative (ET) cap has been developed in which the cap is designed to store all rain infiltration and re-evapotranspire it during dry weather. Concern at the long period required for landfilled municipal solid waste to decompose and stabilize in arid and semi-arid climates has led to an extension of the concept of the ET cap. With the infiltrate-stabilize-evapotranspire (ISE) cap, rain infiltration during wet weather is permitted to enter the underlying waste, thus accelerating the decomposition and stabilization process. Excess infiltration is then removed from both waste and cap by evaporation during dry weather. The paper describes the construction and operation of two sets of experimental ISE caps, one in a winter rainfall semi-arid climate, and the other in a summer rainfall semi-arid climate. Observation of the rainfall, soil evaporation and amount of water stored in the caps has allowed water balances to be constructed for caps of various thicknesses. These observations show that the ISE concept is viable. In the limit, when there is insufficient rainfall to infiltrate the waste, an ISE cap operates as an ET cap.

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

    PubMed

    Yadav, Brijesh Kumar; Hassanizadeh, S Majid

    2011-09-01

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

  10. First report of anti-Trichomonas vaginalis activity of the medicinal plant Polygala decumbens from the Brazilian semi-arid region, Caatinga.

    PubMed

    Frasson, Amanda Piccoli; dos Santos, Odelta; Duarte, Mariana; da Silva Trentin, Danielle; Giordani, Raquel Brandt; da Silva, Alexandre Gomes; da Silva, Márcia Vanusa; Tasca, Tiana; Macedo, Alexandre José

    2012-06-01

    Trichomonosis, caused by the flagellate protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis, is the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease worldwide. Actually, the infection treatment is based on 5-nitroimidazole drugs. However, an emergent number of resistant isolates makes important the search for new therapeutic arsenal. In this sense, the investigation of plants and their metabolites is an interesting approach. In the present study, the anti-T. vaginalis activity of 44 aqueous extracts from 23 Caatinga plants used in folk medicine was evaluated. After screening 44 aqueous extracts from 23 distinct plants against two isolates from ATCC and four fresh clinical isolates, only the Polygala decumbens root extract was effective in reducing significantly the trophozoite viability. The MIC value against all isolates tested, including the metronidazole resistant, was 1.56 mg/mL. The kinetic growth assays showed that the extract was able to completely abolish the parasite density in the first hours of incubation, confirmed by microscopy. In summary, this study describes the first report on the activity of P. decumbens from Caatinga against T. vaginalis, being directly related to the popular knowledge and use.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarah, P.; Zonana, M.

    2015-04-01

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

  13. The contribution of semi-arid ecosystems to interannual global carbon cycle variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poulter, B.; Frank, D. C.; Ciais, P.; Myneni, R.; Andela, N.; Bi, J.; Broquet, G.; Canadell, J.; Chevallier, F.; Liu, Y.; Running, S. W.; Sitch, S.; van der Werf, G.

    2014-12-01

    Annual carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems is on average equal to about 25% of emissions from anthropogenic fossil fuels and net land cover change. Large year-to-year variability in the terrestrial carbon sink influences the atmospheric CO2 growth rate with the underlying mechanisms of variability poorly constrained and thus the evolution of future land carbon uptake unclear. The exceptionally large land carbon sink in the year 2011, almost 40% of anthropogenic emissions, provided an opportunity to investigate this year-to-year variability using a variety of carbon cycle observation techniques, including a terrestrial biogeochemical model, an atmospheric inversion, and remote sensing data. We found that the global land sink anomaly was driven mainly by semi-arid vegetation activity in the Southern Hemisphere, with almost 60 percent of carbon uptake attributed to Australian ecosystems, where prevalent La Niña conditions caused up to six consecutive seasons of increased precipitation. Since 1981, vegetation expansion over Australia was found to drive a four-fold increase in the sensitivity of continental net carbon uptake to precipitation. These combined results suggest that the higher-turnover rates of carbon pools in semi-arid biomes are an increasingly important driver of global carbon cycle inter-annual variability with implications for the paradigm that tropical rainforests drive carbon cycle variability at inter-annual timescales. More research in semi-arid regions is needed to identify mechanisms of carbon turnover at inter-annual scales and to determine the causes, and their possible interactions, in driving vegetation expansion over longer time scales.

  14. Predicting the Affects of Climate Change on Evapotranspiration and Agricultural Productivity of Semi-arid Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peri, L.; Tyler, S. W.; Zheng, C.; Pohll, G. M.; Yao, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Many arid and semi-arid regions around the world are experiencing water shortages that have become increasingly problematic. Since the late 1800s, upstream diversions in Nevada's Walker River have delivered irrigation supply to the surrounding agricultural fields resulting in a dramatic water level decline of the terminal Walker Lake. Salinity has also increased because the only outflow from the lake is evaporation from the lake surface. The Heihe River basin of northwestern China, a similar semi-arid catchment, is also facing losses from evaporation of terminal locations, agricultural diversions and evapotranspiration (ET) of crops. Irrigated agriculture is now experiencing increased competition for use of diminishing water resources while a demand for ecological conservation continues to grow. It is important to understand how the existing agriculture in these regions will respond as climate changes. Predicting the affects of climate change on groundwater flow, surface water flow, ET and agricultural productivity of the Walker and Heihe River basins is essential for future conservation of water resources. ET estimates from remote sensing techniques can provide estimates of crop water consumption. By determining similarities of both hydrologic cycles, critical components missing in both systems can be determined and predictions of impacts of climate change and human management strategies can be assessed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  17. Water relations of coast redwood planted in the semi-arid climate of southern California.

    PubMed

    Litvak, Elizaveta; McCarthy, Heather R; Pataki, Diane E

    2011-08-01

    Trees planted in urban landscapes in southern California are often exposed to an unusual combination of high atmospheric evaporative demand and moist soil conditions caused by irrigation. The water relations of species transplanted into these conditions are uncertain. We investigated the water relations of coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) planted in the urbanized semi-arid Los Angeles Basin, where it often experiences leaf chlorosis and senescence. We measured the sap flux (J(O)) and hydraulic properties of irrigated trees at three sites in the Los Angeles region. We observed relatively strong stomatal regulation in response to atmospheric vapour pressure deficit (D; J(O) saturated at D < 1 kPa), and a linear response of J(O) to photosynthetically active radiation. Total tree water use by coast redwood was relatively low, with plot-level transpiration rates below 1 mm d(-1) . There was some evidence of xylem cavitation during the summer, which appeared to be reversed in fall and early winter. We conclude that water stress was not a direct factor in causing leaf chlorosis and senescence as has been proposed. Instead, the relatively strong stomatal control that is adaptive in the native habitat of coast redwood may lead to carbon limitation and other stresses in semi-arid, irrigated habitats.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  19. C4 grasses prosper as carbon dioxide eliminates desiccation in warmed semi-arid grassland.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Jack A; LeCain, Daniel R; Pendall, Elise; Blumenthal, Dana M; Kimball, Bruce A; Carrillo, Yolima; Williams, David G; Heisler-White, Jana; Dijkstra, Feike A; West, Mark

    2011-08-03

    Global warming is predicted to induce desiccation in many world regions through increases in evaporative demand. Rising CO(2) may counter that trend by improving plant water-use efficiency. However, it is not clear how important this CO(2)-enhanced water use efficiency might be in offsetting warming-induced desiccation because higher CO(2) also leads to higher plant biomass, and therefore greater transpirational surface. Furthermore, although warming is predicted to favour warm-season, C(4) grasses, rising CO(2) should favour C(3), or cool-season plants. Here we show in a semi-arid grassland that elevated CO(2) can completely reverse the desiccating effects of moderate warming. Although enrichment of air to 600 p.p.m.v. CO(2) increased soil water content (SWC), 1.5/3.0 °C day/night warming resulted in desiccation, such that combined CO(2) enrichment and warming had no effect on SWC relative to control plots. As predicted, elevated CO(2) favoured C(3) grasses and enhanced stand productivity, whereas warming favoured C(4) grasses. Combined warming and CO(2) enrichment stimulated above-ground growth of C(4) grasses in 2 of 3 years when soil moisture most limited plant productivity. The results indicate that in a warmer, CO(2)-enriched world, both SWC and productivity in semi-arid grasslands may be higher than previously expected.

  20. Estimating evapotranspiration under warmer climates: Insights from a semi-arid riparian system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serrat-Capdevila, Aleix; Scott, Russell L.; James Shuttleworth, W.; Valdés, Juan B.

    2011-03-01

    SummaryThis paper presents an approach to quantify evapotranspiration under changing climates, using field observations, theoretical evaporation models and meteorological predictions from global climate models. We analyzed evaporation and meteorological data from three riparian sites located in a semi-arid watershed in southern Arizona USA and found that the surface resistance to water vapor transport was closely related to the vapor pressure deficit. From this, we developed a relatively simple daily conductance model and included a growing season index to accurately replicate the onset and the end of the growing season. After the model was calibrated with observations from January 2003 to December 2007, it was used to predict daily evapotranspiration rates from 2000 to 2100 using Penman-Monteith equation and meteorological projections from the IPCC fourth assessment report climate model runs. Results indicate that atmospheric demand will be greater and lead to increased reference crop evaporation, but evapotranspiration rates at the studied field sites will remain largely unchanged due to stomatal regulation. However, the length of the growing season will increase leading to a greater annual riparian water use. These findings of increased riparian water use and atmospheric demand, likely affecting recharge processes, will lead to greater groundwater deficits and decreased streamflow and have important implications for water management in semi-arid regions.

  1. A comparison of two models for simulating the water balance of soil covers under semi-arid conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Chammas, G.A.; Geddis, M.; McCaulou, D.R.

    1999-07-01

    Numerical water-balance modeling of store-and-release soil covers for hypothetical mine tailings was conducted using the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) and SoilCover models. The objective of the modeling was to compare the utility of both models in a semi-arid environment. Although values for input parameters were chosen to make simulations as identical as possible between models, differences in model solution methods and discretization led to different water-balance predictions. Specifically, SoilCover predicted less percolation than HELP, because HELP uses simplified water-routing algorithms which may over predict infiltration and under predict subsequent evapotranspiration. Since SoilCover explicitly solves physically based governing equations for heat and water flow, its predictions more accurately represent the water balance in semi-arid regions where evapotranspiration dominates, HELP can only conservatively predict percolation in dry environments.

  2. Design principles and common pool resource management: an institutional approach to evaluating community management in semi-arid Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Claire H; Huby, Meg; Kiwasila, Hilda; Lovett, Jon C

    2007-07-01

    This paper analyses the role of institutions in the management of common pool resources (CPRs) in semi-arid Tanzania. Common property regimes have often been considered inadequate for the management of CPRs because of the problems of excludability, but they are becoming more widely supported as the way forward to overcome the problems of resource use and degradation in developing countries. A series of design principles for long enduring common property institutions have been proposed by Ostrom, but there is concern that they are not applicable to a wide range of real life situations or that they may be specific to certain types of CPR. Here, we compare these principles to the situation prevailing in 12 villages in six districts in semi-arid Tanzania. Data on management institutions were collected through semi-structured interviews and meetings at district and village level. The combined information was used to make a qualitative assessment of the strength with which each design principle appeared to operate in the management of forest, pasture and water resources. Boundaries, conflict and negotiation in CPR management are of key importance in semi-arid regions. However, the need for flexibility in order to deal with ecological uncertainty means that many management institutions would be considered weak or absent according to the design principle approach. This supports the view that the design principles should not be used as a 'blueprint to be imposed on resource management regimes' rather that they provide a framework for investigating common property regimes with the proviso that, certainly for semi-arid regions, they may highlight where management cannot be explained by institutional theory alone.

  3. Economic valuation of sheep genetic resources: implications for sustainable utilization in the Kenyan semi-arid tropics.

    PubMed

    Omondi, I; Baltenweck, I; Drucker, A G; Obare, G; Zander, K K

    2008-12-01

    Sheep, recognised as one of the important livestock species especially in the semi-arid tropics with high genetic resource potentials, can be exploited through sustainable utilization in order to improve livestock keepers' livelihoods. This study presents the evaluation of the economic values of sheep genetic resources (SGR) in terms of the important non-market traits embedded in sheep and how this information can be utilised to improve livelihoods in semi-arid regions. The results obtained from mixed logit models results derived from stated choice data collected from 157 respondents in the semi-arid Marsabit district of Kenya reveal that disease resistance is the most highly valued trait whose resultant increment results into a welfare improvement of up to KShs.1537. Drought tolerance and fat deposition traits were found to be implicitly valued at KShs.694 and 738 respectively. The results further point out that for livestock stakeholders to effectively improve the livelihoods of poor livestock-keepers, development strategies for improving the management and/or utilisation of SGR in terms of drought tolerance, should not only be tailor made to target regions that are frequently devastated by drought but should also succeed other strategies or efforts that would first lead to the improvement of producers' economic status.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Variation in semi-arid soil seed banks

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ranieri, E

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Adak, Tarun; Chakravarty, N V K

    2010-07-01

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

  16. ENSO elicits opposing responses of semi-arid vegetation between Hemispheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Anzhi; Jia, Gensuo; Epstein, Howard E.; Xia, Jiangjiang

    2017-02-01

    Semi-arid ecosystems are key contributors to the global carbon cycle and may even dominate the inter-annual variability (IAV) and trends of the land carbon sink, driven largely by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The linkages between dynamics of semi-arid ecosystems and climate at the hemispheric scale however are not well known. Here, we use satellite data and climate observations from 2000 to 2014 to explore the impacts of ENSO on variability of semi-arid ecosystems, using the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition method. We show that the responses of semi-arid vegetation to ENSO occur in opposite directions, resulting from opposing controls of ENSO on precipitation between the Northern Hemisphere (positively correlated to ENSO) and the Southern Hemisphere (negatively correlated to ENSO). Also, the Southern Hemisphere, with a robust negative coupling of temperature and precipitation anomalies, exhibits stronger and faster responses of semi-arid ecosystems to ENSO than the Northern Hemisphere. Our findings suggest that natural coherent variability in semi-arid ecosystem productivity responded to ENSO in opposite ways between two hemispheres, which may imply potential prediction of global semi-arid ecosystem variability, particularly based on variability in tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures.

  17. ENSO elicits opposing responses of semi-arid vegetation between Hemispheres.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Anzhi; Jia, Gensuo; Epstein, Howard E; Xia, Jiangjiang

    2017-02-09

    Semi-arid ecosystems are key contributors to the global carbon cycle and may even dominate the inter-annual variability (IAV) and trends of the land carbon sink, driven largely by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The linkages between dynamics of semi-arid ecosystems and climate at the hemispheric scale however are not well known. Here, we use satellite data and climate observations from 2000 to 2014 to explore the impacts of ENSO on variability of semi-arid ecosystems, using the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition method. We show that the responses of semi-arid vegetation to ENSO occur in opposite directions, resulting from opposing controls of ENSO on precipitation between the Northern Hemisphere (positively correlated to ENSO) and the Southern Hemisphere (negatively correlated to ENSO). Also, the Southern Hemisphere, with a robust negative coupling of temperature and precipitation anomalies, exhibits stronger and faster responses of semi-arid ecosystems to ENSO than the Northern Hemisphere. Our findings suggest that natural coherent variability in semi-arid ecosystem productivity responded to ENSO in opposite ways between two hemispheres, which may imply potential prediction of global semi-arid ecosystem variability, particularly based on variability in tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures.

  18. ENSO elicits opposing responses of semi-arid vegetation between Hemispheres

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Anzhi; Jia, Gensuo; Epstein, Howard E.; Xia, Jiangjiang

    2017-01-01

    Semi-arid ecosystems are key contributors to the global carbon cycle and may even dominate the inter-annual variability (IAV) and trends of the land carbon sink, driven largely by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The linkages between dynamics of semi-arid ecosystems and climate at the hemispheric scale however are not well known. Here, we use satellite data and climate observations from 2000 to 2014 to explore the impacts of ENSO on variability of semi-arid ecosystems, using the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition method. We show that the responses of semi-arid vegetation to ENSO occur in opposite directions, resulting from opposing controls of ENSO on precipitation between the Northern Hemisphere (positively correlated to ENSO) and the Southern Hemisphere (negatively correlated to ENSO). Also, the Southern Hemisphere, with a robust negative coupling of temperature and precipitation anomalies, exhibits stronger and faster responses of semi-arid ecosystems to ENSO than the Northern Hemisphere. Our findings suggest that natural coherent variability in semi-arid ecosystem productivity responded to ENSO in opposite ways between two hemispheres, which may imply potential prediction of global semi-arid ecosystem variability, particularly based on variability in tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures. PMID:28181570

  19. How does the global Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR) product relate to regionally developed land cover and vegetation products in a semi-arid Australian savanna?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoettker, Birte; Phinn, Stuart; Schmidt, Michael

    2010-06-01

    Spatio-temporally variable information on total vegetation cover is highly relevant to water quality and land management in river catchments adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. A time series of the global Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR; 2000-2006) and its underlying biome classification (MOD12Q1) were compared to national land cover and regional, remotely sensed products in the dry-tropical Burdekin River. The MOD12Q1 showed reasonable agreement with a classification of major vegetation groups for 94% of the study area. We then compared dry-seasonal, quality controlled MODIS FPAR observations to (i) Landsat-based woody foliage projective cover (wFPC) (2004) and (ii) MODIS bare ground index (BGI) observations (2001-2003). Statistical analysis of the MODIS FPAR revealed a significant sensitivity to Landsat wFPC-based Vegetation Structural Categories (VSC) and VSC-specific temporal variability over the 2004 dry season. The MODIS FPAR relation to 20 coinciding MODIS BGI dry-seasonal observations was significant (ρ < 0.001) for homogeneous areas of low wFPC. Our results show that the global MODIS FPAR can be used to identify VSC, represent VSC-specific variability of PAR absorption, and indicate that the amount, structure, and optical properties of green and non-green vegetation components contribute to the MODIS FPAR signal.

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

    PubMed

    Sherratt, Jonathan A

    2016-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Carbondioxide exchange of biological soil crusts compared to disturbed soil / sand in semi arid areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilske, B.; Yakir, D.; Burgheimer, J.; Karnieli, A.; Zaady, E.; Kesselmeier, J.

    2003-04-01

    Sparse vegetation in semi arid and arid lands is associated with low productivity and minor contribution to biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases, on an area basis. Dryland ecosystems, however, cover large land areas that are continuously increasing. Two third of global population live in semi arid and arid regions and its direct impact contributes to the expansion of dryland ecosystems. Satellite images at the start of the wet season in natural dryland ecosystems clearly show significant photosynthetic activity at a time when most vascular plants are yet inactive or undeveloped, indicating a possibly neglected CO_2 sink. This can likely be assigned to the so-called biological soil crusts (BSC) that consist of poikilohydric microphytes such as cyanobacteria, lichens, green algae, and mosses, which can rapidly recover photosynthesis in response to the earliest water supply. Such non-vascular vegetation activities are an important feature of dryland ecosystems worldwide, often complementary to that of vascular plants. We report on the rates of CO_2 exchange of BSC as measured at two field sites in the northern Negev desert during six months during 2001/2002. Peak rates of net photosynthesis (1.5 - 2 μmol m-2 s-1) were in the range observed in vascular plants, but periods with low or no activities were considerable. Rates of CO_2 exchange of BSC was always compared with that of bare soil / sand. This allowed both estimating net local land surface exchange, and assessing the influence of disturbance, mainly by uncontrolled land use, of the highly vulnerable BSC ecosystems. Simultaneous measurements of spectral reflectance properties of BSC in this study aim to allow calibration of airborne remote sensing for large-scale BSC activity studies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Water resource monitoring in semi-arid environment through the synergic use of SAR data and hydrological models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    In semi-arid regions, small reservoirs are widely employed for facing seasonal in water availability due to the alternation of a short rainy season and of a very long dry season. Therefore, their monitoring is fundamental for local rural communities wellness. In this paper, we present a novel framework for water resources management exploiting the synergy of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data and hydrological models. The pilot project was implemented in Burkina Faso, showing good potentialities for cheap and continuous monitoring of the environment through the exploitation of a multi-disciplinary framework.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Pulse driven productivity in semi-arid lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pariente, Sarah

    2014-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  17. Observing Semi-Arid Ecoclimates across Mountain Gradients in the Great Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strachan, Scotty

    Observation of climate and ecohydrological variables in mountain systems is a necessary (if challenging) endeavor for modern society. Water resources are often intimately tied to mountains, and high elevation environments are frequently home to unique landscapes and biota with limited geographical distributions. This is especially true in the temperate and semi-arid mountains of the western United States, and specifically the Great Basin. Stark contrasts in annual water balance and ecological populations are visible across steep elevational gradients in the region; and yet the bulk of our historical knowledge of climate and related processes comes from lowland observations. Interpolative models that strive to estimate conditions in mountains using existing datasets are often found to be inaccurate, making future projections of mountain climate and ecosystem response suspect. This study details the results of high-resolution topographically-diverse ecohydrological monitoring, and describes the character and seasonality of basic climatic variables such as temperature and precipitation as well as their impact on soil moisture and vegetation during the 2012-2015 drought sequence. Relationships of topography (elevation/aspect) to daily and seasonal temperatures are shown. Tests of the PRISM temperature model are performed at the large watershed scale, revealing magnitudes, modes, and potential sources of bias that could dramatically affect derivative scientific conclusions. A new method of precipitation phase partitioning to detect and quantify frozen precipitation on a sub-daily basis is described. Character of precipitation from sub-daily to annual scales is quantified across all major Great Basin vegetation/elevation zones, and the relationship of elevation to precipitation phase, intensity, and amount is explored. Water-stress responses of Great Basin conifers including Pinus flexilis, Pinus longaeva, and Pinus ponderosa are directly observed, showing potential

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. UNESCO's G-WADI Program - Developing and Delivering Tools for Improved Water Management in Semi-arid and Arid Lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodard, G. C.; Imam, B.; Sorooshian, S.

    2007-12-01

    UNESCO's Water and Development Information for Arid Lands - A Global Network (G-WADI) aims to strengthen the capacity to manage the water resources of arid and semi-arid areas around the globe through a network of international and regional cooperation. Six centers, including SAHRA headquartered at the University of Arizona and CHRS at UC-Irvine, are cooperating to improve water resource management by sharing knowledge and tools. Specific objectives include: improved understanding of the special characteristics of hydrological systems and water management needs in arid areas, through shared data and experiences; capacity building of individuals and institutions; raising awareness of advanced technologies for data provision, data assimilation, and system analysis; and promoting integrated basin management and the use of appropriate decision support tools. SAHRA coordinates G-WADI's information dissemination via G-WADI's web site and publications. Web-based resources include Global Water News Watch and the subscription service, Water News Tracker, plus access to remotely sensed precipitation data from HyDIS. Information on use of isotopes and chemical tracers is also featured. Materials and outcomes from various workshops and short courses on modeling, water harvesting, and impacts of climate change also are provided. While the intent is to benefit water resource managers in semi- arid and arid developing countries, the collaboration among international water centers, and perspectives and traditional knowledge gained from users, has benefitted U.S. researchers in many ways.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  6. Land degradation assessment by geo-spatially modeling different soil erodibility equations in a semi-arid catchment.

    PubMed

    Saygın, Selen Deviren; Basaran, Mustafa; Ozcan, Ali Ugur; Dolarslan, Melda; Timur, Ozgur Burhan; Yilman, F Ebru; Erpul, Gunay

    2011-09-01

    Land degradation by soil erosion is one of the most serious problems and environmental issues in many ecosystems of arid and semi-arid regions. Especially, the disturbed areas have greater soil detachability and transportability capacity. Evaluation of land degradation in terms of soil erodibility, by using geostatistical modeling, is vital to protect and reclaim susceptible areas. Soil erodibility, described as the ability of soils to resist erosion, can be measured either directly under natural or simulated rainfall conditions, or indirectly estimated by empirical regression models. This study compares three empirical equations used to determine the soil erodibility factor of revised universal soil loss equation prediction technology based on their geospatial performances in the semi-arid catchment of the Saraykoy II Irrigation Dam located in Cankiri, Turkey. A total of 311 geo-referenced soil samples were collected with irregular intervals from the top soil layer (0-10 cm). Geostatistical analysis was performed with the point values of each equation to determine its spatial pattern. Results showed that equations that used soil organic matter in combination with the soil particle size better agreed with the variations in land use and topography of the catchment than the one using only the particle size distribution. It is recommended that the equations which dynamically integrate soil intrinsic properties with land use, topography, and its influences on the local microclimates, could be successfully used to geospatially determine sites highly susceptible to water erosion, and therefore, to select the agricultural and bio-engineering control measures needed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  10. Overlap in nitrogen sources and redistribution of nitrogen between trees and grasses in a semi-arid savanna.

    PubMed

    Priyadarshini, K V R; Prins, Herbert H T; de Bie, Steven; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Woodborne, Stephan; Gort, Gerrit; Kirkman, Kevin; Fry, Brian; de Kroon, Hans

    2014-04-01

    A key question in savanna ecology is how trees and grasses coexist under N limitation. We used N stable isotopes and N content to study N source partitioning across seasons from trees and associated grasses in a semi-arid savanna. We also used (15)N tracer additions to investigate possible redistribution of N by trees to grasses. Foliar stable N isotope ratio (δ(15)N) values were consistent with trees and grasses using mycorrhiza-supplied N in all seasons except in the wet season when they switched to microbially fixed N. The dependence of trees and grasses on mineralized soil N seemed highly unlikely based on seasonal variation in mineralization rates in the Kruger Park region. Remarkably, foliar δ(15)N values were similar for all three tree species differing in the potential for N fixation through nodulation. The tracer experiment showed that N was redistributed by trees to understory grasses in all seasons. Our results suggest that the redistribution of N from trees to grasses and uptake of N was independent of water redistribution. Although there is overlap of N sources between trees and grasses, dependence on biological sources of N coupled with redistribution of subsoil N by trees may contribute to the coexistence of trees and grasses in semi-arid savannas.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-07-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Scaling up the Hydrologic Effects of Forest Thinning in Semi-Arid Basins of Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, H. A.; White, D. D.; Gupta, H. V.; Vivoni, E. R.; Sampson, D. A.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the effects of intensive forest thinning on the hydrology of semi-arid basins is critical to achieving water resources sustainability in the water limited Southwestern US, where disturbances to headwater catchment forests, can scale up to significant perturbations of the basin-scale water balance components. In northern Arizona, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is being developed with the goal of restoring 2.4 million acres of Ponderosa pine along the Mogollon Rim. In this study, we examine the potential impacts of the 4FRI initiative on the hydrology of the Verde, Tonto and Salt rivers, which provide much of the water supply to the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Long-term (20 year) simulations conducted using the tRIBS physically based spatially distributed model reveal shifts in the spatio-temporal regimes, and in the triggering processes, of runoff and integrated discharge as a response to feasible forest thinning scenarios. Specifically, our analysis suggests that alterations to the interception, evapotranspiration, recharge and snow processes within the forested areas will result in changes to long term water yield, and to extreme (peak and low flow) values. The results are helping local and regional water managers and policy makers to better understand the potential consequences of intensive forest removal and thereby influence decision making related to land use and the management of water resources.

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

    PubMed

    Chaves, Luis Fernando; Añez, Nestor

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Belnap, J.

    1995-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-07-01

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

  18. Modeling Ecologic and Geomorphic Change in Semi-Arid New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, D. B.; Bras, R. L.

    2004-12-01

    A record of grazing, fire suppression and drought in the semi-arid American south-west since the 1800s has left a mark on the landscape. In the Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico, pinyon-juniper woodlands have expanded at the expense of ponderosa pine forest, giving rise to increased erosion rates - a concern to the sustainability of the soil resource and of vegetation. Soil loss also risks human exposure to contaminants from Los Alamos National Laboratory. The dynamics of this water-controlled environment arise from the complex interplay of climate, hydrology, ecology and geomorphology, an understanding of which is fundamental to solution of the environmental challenges. In an effort to predict the course of ecological and geomorphic change in the region, and to provide a tool for land-use planners in averting possible human health and environmental hazards, a numerical landscape evolution model is developed. It assimilates research encompassing plant physiology, ecology, hydrology, and geomorphology, highlights weaknesses in process understanding, and provides a prediction of the future environmental state on the time-scale of 100s of years.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  20. The effects of clouds and aerosols on net ecosystem CO2 exchange over semi-arid Loess Plateau of Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jing, X.; Huang, J.; Wang, G.; Higuchi, K.; Bi, J.; Sun, Y.; Yu, H.; Wang, T.

    2010-05-01

    The impacts of clouds and atmospheric aerosols on the terrestrial carbon cycle at semi-arid Loess Plateau in Northwest China are investigated, by using the observation data obtained at the SACOL (Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University) site. Daytime (solar elevation angles of larger than 50°) NEE of CO2 obtained during the midgrowing season (July-August) are analyzed with respect to variations in the diffuse radiation, cloud cover and aerosol optical depth (AOD). Results show a significant impact by clouds and aerosols on the CO2 uptake by the grassland (with smaller LAI values) located in a semi-arid region, quite different from areas covered by forests and crops. The light saturation levels in canopy are lower, with a value of about 434.8 W m-2. Thus, under overcast conditions of optically thick clouds, the CO2 uptake increases with increasing clearness index, and a maximum CO2 uptake and light use efficiency of vegetation occur with the clearness index of about 0.37 and lower air temperature. Under other sky conditions the CO2 uptake decreases with the cloudiness but the light use efficiency is enhanced, due to increase in the fraction of diffuse PAR. Additionally, under cloudy conditions, changes in the NEE of CO2 also result from the interactions of many environmental factors, especially the air temperature. In contrast to its response to changes in solar radiation, the carbon uptake shows a negative response to increased AOD. The reason for the difference in the response of the semi-arid grassland from that of the forest and crop lands may be due to the difference in the canopy's architectural structure.

  1. The effects of clouds and aerosols on net ecosystem CO2 exchange over semi-arid Loess Plateau of Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jing, X.; Huang, J.; Wang, G.; Higuchi, K.; Bi, J.; Sun, Y.; Yu, H.; Wang, T.

    2010-09-01

    The impacts of clouds and atmospheric aerosols on the terrestrial carbon cycle at semi-arid Loess Plateau in Northwest China are investigated, by using the observation data obtained at the SACOL (Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University) site. Daytime (solar elevation angles of larger than 50°) net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 obtained during the midgrowing season (July-August) are analyzed with respect to variations in the diffuse radiation, cloud cover and aerosol optical depth (AOD). Results show a significant impact by clouds on the CO2 uptake by the grassland (with smaller LAI values) located in a semi-arid region, quite different from areas covered by forests and crops. The light saturation levels in the canopy are low, with a value of about 434.8 W m-2. Thus, under overcast conditions of optically thick clouds, the CO2 uptake increases with increasing clearness index (the ratio of global solar radiation received at the Earth surface to the extraterrestrial irradiance at a plane parallel to the Earth surface), and a maximum CO2 uptake and light use efficiency of vegetation occur with the clearness index of about 0.37 and lower air temperature. Under other sky conditions, CO2 uptake decreases with cloudiness but light use efficiency is enhanced, due to increased diffuse fraction of PAR. Additionally, under cloudy conditions, changes in the NEE of CO2 also result from the interactions of many environmental factors, especially the air temperature. In contrast to its response to changes in solar radiation, the carbon uptake shows a slightly negative response to increased AOD. The reason for the difference in the response of the semi-arid grassland from that of the forest and crop lands may be due to the difference in the canopy's architectural structure.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Dagbovie, Ayawoa S.; Sherratt, Jonathan A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Extensive Green Roof Species and Soilless Media Evaluations in Semi-arid Colorado

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the high elevation, semi-arid climate of Colorado, green roofs have not been scientifically tested. This research examined alternative plant species, soilless media blends and plant interactions on an existing, modular-extensive (shallow, 10 cm deep) green roof in Denver, Colo...

  6. Economic analysis of a simulated alley cropping system for semi-arid conditions, using micro computers

    SciTech Connect

    Hoekstra, D.A.

    1983-01-01

    Returns were simulated for the semi-arid areas in Mackakos District, Kenya (bimodal rainfall distribution, 600 mm/yr) comparing the present system (maize and beans intercropped twice a year) with a Leucaena leucocephala hedgerow system. Although some of the assumptions contain a large element of uncertainty, the results were promising enough for the system to be considered further. 4 references.

  7. Determining soil erosion rates on semi-arid watersheds using radioisotope-derived sedimentation chronology 2327

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study investigates erosion dynamics of the past 90 years on three small semi-arid watersheds with histories of grazing and vegetation change. Activity of 137Cs and excess 210Pb from 18 cores collected from sedimentation ponds were measured using a gamma spectrometer. The sediment was dated usi...

  8. Integrated Modeling and Ecological Valuation: Applications in the Semi Arid Southwest 1912

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A Conservation of freshwater systems is critical in the semi-arid Southwest where groundwater and flood regimes strongly influence the abundance, composition, and structure of riparian (streamside) vegetation. At the same time these systems are in high demand for competing human use. To address thi...

  9. Winter grazing decreases wildfire risk, severity, and behavior in semi-arid sagebrush rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wildfires are an ecological and economic risk for many semi-arid rangelands which has resulted in increased pressure for pre-suppression management of fuels. In rangelands, fuel management treatment options are limited by costs. We evaluated winter grazing as a tool to manage fuels and alter fire ...

  10. Identifying Controls on Surface Carbon Dioxide Efflux in a Semi-arid Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladd, K. E.; Murgel, G.; McNamara, J.; Benner, S.

    2006-12-01

    Processes controlling soil carbon cycling in semi-arid ecosystems remain poorly constrained. Research suggests that fundamental differences in the major controlling factors over carbon cycle processes exist in semi-arid to arid climates compared to temperate, agricultural and tropical systems. Most prominently, the lack of soil moisture exerts control over carbon cycle processes and pools and alters the influence of temperature in semi-arid ecosystems. A field-based study to investigate the relative importance of temperature and water content is being conducted in Boise State University's Dry Creek Experimental Watershed, a snow- melt dominated, semi-arid mountain catchment. The study is utilizing three sites instrumented with weather stations and soil moisture and soil temperature transects. The sites represent different elevations and vegetation communities: grassland (Elevation: 1141 m, MAP 37.25 cm, MAT 10.6 C), sagebrush steppe (Elevation: 1600 m, MAP 57 cm, MAT 9.12 C), and a newly established forested site (Elevation: 1813 m). Soil samples are being analyzed for C and N weight percentages to determine the soil organic matter quantity, distribution, and reactivity. Periodic soil surface CO2 efflux rates are being measured. Initial results indicate that 1) soil carbon contents and distributions are significantly different at the three sites, 2) soil respiration appears to be strongly influenced by both temperature and soil water content, 3) soil drying during the summer greatly reduces CO2 flux.

  11. Polyacrylamide Molecular Weight and Phosphogypsum Effects on Infiltration and Erosion in Semi-Arid Soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seal formation at the surface of semi-arid soils during rainstorms reduces soil infiltration rate (IR) and causes runoff and erosion. Surface application of dry anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) with high molecular weight (MW) has been found to be effective in stabilizing soil aggregates, and decreasing ...

  12. Polyacrylamide molecular weight and phosphogypsum effects on infiltration and erosion in semi-arid soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seal formation at the surface of semi-arid soils during rainstorms reduces soil infiltration rate (IR) and causes runoff and erosion. Surface application of dry anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) with high molecular weight (MW) has been found to be effective in stabilizing soil aggregates, and decreasing ...

  13. CO2 Enrichment and Warming Interact to Facilitate Invasion of a Semi-Arid Grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although a variety of global changes have been shown to influence plant invasions, interactive effects of different changes have rarely been studied. We examined effects of CO2 enrichment and warming on the ability of the invasive forb Linaria dalmatica (Dalmatian toadflax) to invade semi-arid mixed...

  14. Acclimation of Pistacia integerrima trees to frost in semi-arid environments depends on autumn's drought.

    PubMed

    Sperling, Or; Secchi, Francesca; Godfrey, Jessie; Zwieniecki, Maciej A

    2017-03-01

    Main conclusion Cold acclimation is revealed through induced stem respiration during pre-winter frost of native Pistacia integerrima trees in continental semi-arid environments. Semi-arid environments challenge vegetation by simultaneous abiotic stresses. In this study, we examine the combined effects of water stress and frost on the physiology of Pistacia integerrima stems. This species is native to semi-arid environments where drought and frost frequently co-occur. We quantified carbohydrates and proline in P. integerrima stems responding to frost and experiencing water potentials between -0.2 and -1.8 MPa. We report that dehydrated trees (i.e., Ψstem <=-1 MPa) had more soluble sugars and proline than the well-watered trees (-0.2 MPa). The dehydrated trees also froze at lower temperatures and were less damaged by freezing. Interestingly, we observed a significant increase in stem CO2 efflux at near-freezing temperatures that could be linked to frost protection. This novel finding challenges current paradigm of plant respiration-kinetics which predicts, according to Arrhenius equation, lower respiration rates during frost. Our results support the notion that drought and frost are analogous stresses that can independently activate corresponding physiological processes in trees and amplify protection. This inevitable stress response 'collaboration' may be the key to understanding how non-dormant perennial plants survive the highly variable weather patterns of early winters in semi-arid environments.

  15. Recommendations for nutrient management plans in a semi-Arid environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A nutrient management plan (NMP) field experiment was conducted to investigate the fate of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and salts in a semi-arid environment (San Jacinto, CA). Our mechanistic approach to study NMP performance was based on comprehensive measurements of water and N mass...

  16. Manure and inorganic N affect trace gas emissions under semi-arid irrigated corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dairy manure is often applied to cropped soils as a substitute for inorganic N fertilizers, but the impacts of manure on soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, yields and soil N are uncertain in the semi-arid western U.S. Soil carbon dioxide (CO2-C), methane (CH4-C), and nitrous oxide (N2O-N) emissions ...

  17. Effect of check dams on runoff, sediment yield and retention on small semi-arid watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Erosion dynamics in semi-arid environments are defined by high magnitude, low frequency rainfalls that produce runoff with high sediment concentration. Check dams are widely used in this environment as sedimentation mitigation technique, however their impact on overall watershed sediment balance is ...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydrologists have long struggled with the problem of how to account for the effects of spatial variability in precipitation, vegetation and soils. This problem is particularly acute in snow-fed, semi-arid watersheds, which typically have considerable variability in snow distribut...

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

    PubMed

    Mayer, Ana C G; Vasconcelos, Simão D

    2013-03-10

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

  20. Land cover/land use change in semi-arid Inner Mongolia: 1992-2004

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Ranjeet; Chen, Jiquan; Lu, Nan; Wilske, Burkhard

    2009-10-01

    The semi-arid grasslands in Inner Mongolia (IM) are under increasing stress owing to climate change and rapid socio-economic development in the recent past. We investigated changes in land cover/land use and landscape structure between 1992 and 2004 through the analysis of AVHRR and MODIS derived land cover data. The scale of analysis included the regional level (i.e. the whole of IM) as well as the level of the dominant biomes (i.e. the grassland and desert). We quantified proportional change, rate of change and the changes in class-level landscape metrics using the landscape structure analysis program FRAGSTATS. The dominant land cover types, grassland and barren, 0.47 and 0.27 million km2, respectively, have increased proportionally. Cropland and urban land use also increased to 0.15 million km2 and 2197 km2, respectively. However, the results further indicated increases in both the homogeneity and fragmentation of the landscape. Increasing homogeneity was mainly related to the reduction in minority cover types such as savanna, forests and permanent wetlands and increasing cohesion, aggregation index and clumpy indices. Conversely, increased fragmentation of the landscape was based on the increase in patch density and the interspersion/juxtaposition index (IJI). It is important to note the socio-economic growth in this fragile ecosystem, manifested by an increasing proportion of agricultural and urban land use not just at the regional level but also at the biome level in the context of regional climate change and increasing water stress.

  1. An event-based approach to understanding the hydrological impacts of different land uses in semi-arid catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shengping; Zhang, Zhiqiang; McVicar, Tim R.; Zhang, Jianjun; Zhu, Jinzhao; Guo, Junting

    2012-01-01

    SummaryIn semi-arid catchments around the world re-vegetation is often implemented to reduce quick surface runoff, combat severe soil erosion, restore degraded ecosystem functionality, and, ultimately, improve ecosystem productivity. However, to date, in these water stressed regions, the event-based hydrological impact of different land uses induced by re-vegetation activities is not fully understood at the watershed scale. Traditional hillslope plot experiments and paired watershed experiments have proved difficult to up-scale to a watershed level. In 2006 and 2007, we used broad-crested weirs to measure event streamflow from six catchments within the Caijiachuan watershed (area = 40.1 km 2), located in the Loess Plateau, a semi-arid region in China. The six catchments have different land use compositions with functional combinations of crop, grassland, shrubland, secondary forest, and plantations. Over the same period, event rainfall was measured by a network of rainfall gauges deployed over the study site. We examined the difference in hydrological properties between the catchments using the non-parametric Firedman test, and differentiated the role of each land use in governing watershed hydrology using a numerical analysis technique. Our results showed important differences between the six catchments with respect to event runoff coefficients, normalized peak flow, and event duration. Each land use played a different role in catchment hydrology, as shown by the different mean runoff coefficients ( rc) and mean representative surface flow velocities ( V). Compared to secondary forest ( rc = 0.017 and V = 0.07 m s -1), plantations ( rc = 0.001 and V = 0.18 m s -1) provide a greater potential for increasing shearing force and had a larger impact on runoff reduction. Although shrubland ( rc = 0.096 and V = 0.20 m s -1) and grassland ( rc = 0.127 and V = 0.02 m s -1) have similar magnitude of mean runoff coefficients, grassland seems more capable of trapping sediment

  2. Modeled Impacts of Chronic Wasting Disease on White-Tailed Deer in a Semi-Arid Environment

    PubMed Central

    Hewitt, David G.; DeYoung, Charles A.; DeYoung, Randy W.; Schnupp, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    White-tailed deer are a culturally and economically important game species in North America, especially in South Texas. The recent discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in captive deer facilities in Texas has increased concern about the potential emergence of CWD in free-ranging deer. The concern is exacerbated because much of the South Texas region is a semi-arid environment with variable rainfall, where precipitation is strongly correlated with fawn recruitment. Further, the marginally productive rangelands, in combination with erratic fawn recruitment, results in populations that are frequently density-independent, and thus sensitive to additive mortality. It is unknown how a deer population in semi-arid regions would respond to the presence of CWD. We used long-term empirical datasets from a lightly harvested (2% annual harvest) population in conjunction with 3 prevalence growth rates from CWD afflicted areas (0.26%, 0.83%, and 2.3% increases per year) via a multi-stage partially deterministic model to simulate a deer population for 25 years under four scenarios: 1) without CWD and without harvest, 2) with CWD and without harvest, 3) with CWD and male harvest only, and 4) with CWD and harvest of both sexes. The modeled populations without CWD and without harvest averaged a 1.43% annual increase over 25 years; incorporation of 2% annual harvest of both sexes resulted in a stable population. The model with slowest CWD prevalence rate growth (0.26% annually) without harvest resulted in stable populations but the addition of 1% harvest resulted in population declines. Further, the male age structure in CWD models became skewed to younger age classes. We incorporated fawn:doe ratios from three CWD afflicted areas in Wisconsin and Wyoming into the model with 0.26% annual increase in prevalence and populations did not begin to decline until ~10%, ~16%, and ~26% of deer were harvested annually. Deer populations in variable environments rely on high adult

  3. Groundwater decline, vegetation change, and surface soil stability in a semi-arid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elmore, A. J.; Kaste, J. M.; Vest, K. R.

    2008-12-01

    Groundwater resources provide water to human populations within arid and semi-arid environments globally. In many regions, shallow groundwater has been overexploited, breaking a poorly understood link between above- and belowground processes in ecosystems dominated by groundwater dependent vegetation. Of particular importance are connections between groundwater and vegetation cover, soil resources, and surface soil stability. Although groundwater is thought to increase the risk of dust emissions from non- vegetated playas (a process that characterizes many of the dustiest places on earth) little is known regarding dust emissions from terrain covered by groundwater dependent vegetation. In a multi-year study of these effects in Owens Valley California, we are integrating field measurements of plant community composition, soil stability, and groundwater depth with remotely sensed measurements of vegetation cover with the goal of elucidating the processes behind ecosystem change in a groundwater dependent ecosystem. We have identified a strong non-linear response between vegetation cover from remote sensing and groundwater decline. This response includes a threshold in groundwater depth, which separates groundwater and precipitation driven vegetation dynamics. At sites where groundwater went below this threshold, a shift towards dominance by more deeply rooted shrub vegetation and unstable surface soils is qualitatively evident. Quantitative evidence from fallout radionuclide concentrations suggests that surface soil stability is lower in regions of groundwater decline, but there is significant within-site variability. Although fine sediments might be winnowed away, groundwater affected sites appear to be characterized by a reorganization of sediments from the inter-canopy zone, where more shallowly rooted grasses were once dominant, to the canopy zones surrounding deeper-rooted shrubs. Therefore, our preliminary finding is that the resource island desertification

  4. Measurements of scattering and absorption properties of surface aerosols at a semi-arid site, Anantapur

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rama Gopal, K.; Balakrishnaiah, G.; Arafath, S. Md.; Raja Obul Reddy, K.; Siva Kumar Reddy, N.; Pavan Kumari, S.; Raghavendra Kumar, K.; Chakradhar Rao, T.; Lokeswara Reddy, T.; Reddy, R. R.; Nazeer Hussain, S.; Vasudeva Reddy, M.; Suresh Babu, S.; Mallikarjuna Reddy, P.

    2017-01-01

    Aerosol optical properties are continuously measured at a semi-arid station, Anantapur from June 2012 to May 2013 which describes the impact of surface aerosols on climate change over the region. Scattering coefficient (σsct) and absorption coefficient (σabs) are obtained from integrating Nephelometer and Aethalometer, respectively. Also, the single scattering albedo (ω0), Scattering/absorption Ångström exponents were examined during the period of study. Diurnal variations of σsct and σabs show a bi-peak pattern with two maxima and one minimum in a day. The largest values of σsct and σabs are obtained in winter while the lowest values are measured in monsoon. From the measurements σsct550 and σabs550 are found to be 110 ± 12.23 Mm- 1 and 33 ± 5.2 Mm- 1, respectively during the study period. An analysis of the ω0 suggests that there is a more absorbing fraction in the particle composition over the measurement site. The ω0 obtained in the surface boundary layer of Anantapur is below the critical value of 0.86 that determines the shift from cooling to warming. A relationship between scattering/absorption coefficients and scattering/absorption Ångström exponent and single scattering albedo is further examined. In order to understand the origins of the air masses in the study region, we performed seven-day back trajectory analyses based on the NOAA HYSPLIT model. These trajectories were computed at several altitudes (3000 m, 1500 m, and 500 m) for June 2012 and May 2013. These results put in evidence the need of efforts to reduce absorbing particles (black carbon) emissions to avoid the possible warming that would result from the reductions of the cooling aerosol only.

  5. Integrated Modelling of Climate Change Impacts in an Irrigated, Semi-arid Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haslauer, C. P.; von Gunten, D.; Wöhling, T.; Rudolph, D. L.; Cirpka, O. A.

    2015-12-01

    Predicting the impacts of climate change on hydrological processes is a central challenge for water management. Commonly, studies on climate-change effects focus on surface flow and feed-backs between surface and subsurface flows are neglected frequently. Furthermore, changes in hydrological processes are generally not distributed realistically. Integrated catchment models, based on partial-differential-equations, have the potential of overcoming these difficulties. However, these models are complicated to use in realistic settings, notably because of their long simulation time. In this presentation, we demonstrate a successful application of an integrated catchment model (HydroGeoSphere) in a semi-arid catchment in north-east Spain. The study area recently underwent a transition to irrigated agriculture, which is reflected in our model evaluations conducted under varying irrigation conditions. To accelerate model calibration, we developed a novel calibration method based on a hierarchy of computational grids. The climate scenarios for the region are based on four regional climate models, which are downscaled using a weather generator. These scenarios are used to estimate climate change impacts on hydrologic parameters in different irrigation settings. The effects of climate change strongly depend on the presence of irrigation. Water table depth and low flows are more sensitive to climate change when irrigation is present, while peak flows exhibit a more pronounced response to climate in scenarios without irrigation. In addition to the climatic means, we examined the impacts of changes in drought conditions. We compare the outcomes of droughts predicted by our hydrological model with simpler approaches based on drought indices. We show that drought indices oversimplify future hydrological impacts of droughts and can result in biased estimation of drought impacts, especially if drought indices do not take temperature changes into account.

  6. An improved conceptual understanding of snowmelt and groundwater dynamics in the semi-arid Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sproles, Eric; Hevia, Andres; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The contribution of snowmelt to groundwater has long been recognized as an important component of the hydrological cycle in semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S). Despite its importance as a water resource, this transition to groundwater remains poorly understood. Climatically, the High Cordillera in northern central Chile receives approximately 10 times as much annual precipitation as the valley bottoms, falling almost exclusively as snow above 3500 m during the winter months. Geologically, the High Cordillera is characterized by steep topography and a highly dissected landscape underlain by bedrock. Groundwater stores in the mountain headwaters are assumed to be constrained to the valley bottoms. The current working hypothesis of watershed processes in the High Cordillera describes fluxes of spring melt moving through the hillslope via local flowpaths to valley aquifers that recharge streams throughout the headwater reaches. Previous studies in the region indicate Pre-Cordilleran aquifers, located in lower elevation dry ephemeral valleys, are hydrologically disconnected from the High Cordillera. These watersheds have no seasonal snowpack, and recharge occurs primarily during infrequent rain events. These isolated Pre-Cordilleran aquifers serve as an important water resource for rural residents and infrastructure. We present stable isotope, geochemical, and groundwater level data from the wet El Niño winter of 2015 that suggests a topographically disconnected aquifer in the Pre-Cordillera received considerable recharge from High Cordillera snowmelt. These novel findings are indicative of deep groundwater flow paths between the Pre- and High Cordillera during the wet winter and spring of 2015, and improve the conceptual understanding of hydrological processes in the region. Additionally, these results will directly benefit groundwater management in the Pre-Cordillera and better inform modeling efforts in the High Cordillera. While this study is limited to

  7. Analysis of energy fluxes and vegetation-atmosphere parameters in irrigated and natural ecosystems of semi-arid Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixeira, A. H. de Castro; Bastiaanssen, W. G. M.; Ahmad, M. D.; Moura, M. S. B.; Bos, M. G.

    2008-11-01

    SummaryKnowledge on evapotranspiration is essential in quantifying water use depletion and to allocate scarce water resources to competing uses. Despite that an extensive literature describes the theoretical mechanisms of turbulent water vapour transport above and within crop canopies fewer studies have examined land surface parameters within composite landscapes of irrigated crops and semi-arid natural vegetation. Aiming to improve parameterizations of the radiation and energy balance in irrigated crops and natural vegetation, micro-climatic measurements were carried out on irrigated land (vineyards and mango orchard) and natural vegetation (caatinga) in the semi-arid zone of the São Francisco River basin (Brazil) from 2002 to 2005. The fractions of 24 h incident solar radiation available for net radiation were 46%, 55%, 51% and 53%, for wine grape, table grape, mango orchard and caatinga, respectively. Daily evaporative fractions of the net available energy used as latent heat flux ( λE) were 0.80, 0.88, 0.75 and 0.33 respectively. The daylight values of bulk surface resistances ( rs) averaged 128 s m -1, 73 s m -1, 133 s m -1 and 1940 s m -1 for wine grape, table grape, mango orchard and caatinga, respectively. Simplified parameterizations on roughness and evaporation resistances were performed. It could be concluded that net radiation can be estimated by means of a linear expression with incident global solar radiation depending on the type of vegetation. The variability of aerodynamic resistance ( ra) could be mainly explained by the friction velocity ( u ∗) which on turn depends on the surface roughness length for momentum transport ( z 0m). The experimental data showed that for sparse canopies z 0m being 9% of the mean vegetation height is a doable operational rule for the semi-arid region of São Francisco River basin. The seasonal values of rs for irrigated crops were highly correlated with water vapour pressure deficit. The availability of analytical

  8. Interannual variability of surface radiative fluxes and rainfall in the semi-arid Sahel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guichard, F.; Grippa, M.; Kergoat, L.; Hiernaux, P.; Mougin, E.; Timouk, F.; Delbart, N.

    2009-04-01

    In the Sahel, interannual variability of rainfall is known to be strong, from meso- to continental spatial scales. This is associated with changes in surface radiative fluxes. The actual role played by surface fluxes on the interannual variability of rainfall has been much debated, especially within the context of the major regional scale, multi-decadal West African drought which started at the end of the 1960's (e.g. changes in surface albedo, Charney et al. Science 1975). The significance of conclusions that have been drawn, essentially from modelling approaches, is however limited because of weaknesses in models (e.g. parametrizations of rainfall and clouds, vegetation and aerosols) coupled to a lack of data for assessing the relevance of theories or hypotheses put forward on such bases. The present study aims to quantify and to analyse the interannual variability of surface radiative fluxes and rainfall measured with ground-based automatic weather stations (AWS) for seven years. The AWS are located in the Malian Gourma, from the semi-arid Central Sahel (15°N, 1.5°W) to Northern Sahel (17°N, 1°W), on the border of the Sahara, over the dominant Sahelian surface type (sandy soil). The variability displayed by satellite estimates SRB over this area is also presented and discussed. This study is linked to another one presented in the session AS1.14, African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) by Guichard et al. "Couplings between the seasonal cycles of surface thermodynamics and radiative fluxes in the semi-arid Sahel" (see also Guichard et al. J. Hydrology 2009, AMMA-Catch special issue, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2008.09.007) The large interannual variability of annual rainfall sampled by AWS (less than 200 mm to more than 400 mm) is associated with an equally significant variability of surface net radiation Rnet. It is the more pronounced during the core of the monsoon season. More rainy monsoon seasons are characterized by higher Rnet; the

  9. Two-Source Energy Balance Model Evaluation for Mapping Evapotranspiration on the Semi- arid Southern High Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gowda, P. H.; Chavez, J. L.; Colaizzi, P. D.; Evett, S. R.; Howell, T. A.; Copeland, K.

    2007-05-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an essential component of the water balance and a major consumptive use of irrigation water and precipitation on cropland. In this study, we applied the Two-Source Energy Balance (T-SEB) model to estimate hourly ET from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data for the semi-arid Southern High Plains of the United States where more than 90 percent of the groundwater withdrawals are used for irrigation. For this purpose, a Landsat TM image covering a major portion of the Southern High Plains (parts of Texas Panhandle and northeastern New Mexico) was acquired for 23 July 2006 for the overpass at 11:26 AM CST. Atmospheric correction on the TM imagery was done using MODTRAN, an atmospheric radiative transfer model. Comprehensive ground-truth data were collected to develop a detailed land use map showing major crops grown in the region. Performance of the T SEB model was evaluated by comparing mapped ET data with measured hourly ET data on five weighing lysimeters at Bushland, TX [35 Deg. 11' N, 102 Deg. 06' W; 1,170 m elevation MSL] managed by the Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS. Lysimeter-measured ET rates varied from 0.24 to 0.71 mm/h. Comparison of estimated hourly mapped ET values with lysimetric measurements had an accuracy within 6% of the measured ET (r2=0.99), with a root mean squared error of 0.03 mm/h. These results support the use of the T-SEB model for the semi-arid Southern High Plains; however, more evaluation is needed for different agroclimatological conditions in the region.

  10. Exceptionally high organic nitrogen concentrations in a semi-arid South Texas estuary susceptible to brown tide blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wetz, Michael S.; Cira, Emily K.; Sterba-Boatwright, Blair; Montagna, Paul A.; Palmer, Terence A.; Hayes, Kenneth C.

    2017-03-01

    Studies of estuarine eutrophication have tended to focus on systems with continually flowing rivers, while little is known about estuaries from semi-arid/arid regions. Here we report results from an assessment of water quality conditions in Baffin Bay, Texas, a shallow (<2-3 m) subtropical estuary located in a semi-arid region that has agriculture as the dominant (44%) watershed land use. Chlorophyll a averaged 28-30 μg/l in Baffin Bay from 2003 to 2013 and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) concentrations were also very high (116-120 μM), with concentrations of both variables exceeding those of most other Texas estuaries by 2-5 fold. More recent field sampling (2013-2015) showed that dissolved organic nitrogen concentrations in Baffin Bay (62 ± 14 μM) were >2 fold higher than in three other Texas estuaries. In contrast, inorganic nitrogen (ammonium, nitrate) and phosphate concentrations were relatively low. Statistically significant long-term annual increases in chlorophyll a and salinity were observed in Baffin Bay, while long-term seasonal increases were observed for water temperature and TKN. Overall, Baffin Bay is displaying multiple symptoms of eutrophication, namely very high organic carbon, organic nitrogen and chlorophyll concentrations, as well as symptoms not quantified here such as fish kills and episodic hypoxia. Much of the increase in chlorophyll in Baffin Bay, at least since ∼1990, have coincided with blooms of the mixotrophic phytoplankton species, Aureoumbra lagunensis, which is thought to be favored under high proportions of organic to inorganic nitrogen. Thus the high and possibly increasing organic nitrogen concentrations, coupled with a long-term annual increase in salinity and a long-term seasonal increase in water temperature are likely to promote additional brown tide blooms in this system in the future.

  11. Hydrodynamics, vegetation transition and geomorphology coevolution in a semi-arid floodplain wetland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandi, Steven; Rodriguez, Jose F.; Saco, Patricia M.; Riccardi, Gerardo; Wen, Li; Saintilan, Neil

    2016-04-01

    The Macquarie Marshes is a complex system of marshes, swamps and lagoons interconnected by a network of streams in the semi-arid region in north western NSW, Australia. The low-gradient topography of the site leads to channel breakdown processes where the river network becomes practically non-existent. As a result, the flow extends over large areas of wetland that later re-join and reform channels exiting the system. Vegetation in semiarid wetlands are often water dependent and flood tolerant species that rely on periodical floods in order to maintain healthy conditions. The detrimental state of vegetation in the Macquarie Marshes over the past few decades has been linked to decreasing inundation frequencies. Spatial distribution of flood tolerant overstory species such as River Red Gum and Black Box has not greatly changed since early 1990's, however; the condition of the vegetation patches shows a clear deterioration evidenced by terrestrial species encroachment on the wetland understory. On the other hand, areas of flood dependent species such as Water Couch and Common Reed have undergone complete succession to terrestrial species and dryland. In order to simulate the complex dynamics of the marshes we have developed an ecogeomorphological modelling framework that combines hydrodynamic, vegetation and channel evolution modules and in this presentation we provide an update on the status of the model. The hydrodynamic simulation provides spatially distributed values of inundation extent, duration, depth and recurrence to drive a vegetation model based on species preference to hydraulic conditions. It also provides velocities and shear stresses to assess geomorphological changes. Regular updates of stream network, floodplain surface elevations and vegetation coverage provide feedbacks to the hydrodynamic model. We presents also the development and assessment of transitional rules to determine if the water conditions have been met for different vegetation

  12. The role of upland wetlands in modulating snowmelt runoff in the semi-arid Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hevia, Andres; Sproles, Eric; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The wetlands, or bofedales, of semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S) provide a critical store of water that modulate spring snowmelt runoff. Water released from bofedales helps sustain flows throughout the dry portions of the year, providing fresh water to downstream residents and a robust tourist, agricultural, and mining economy. In the Río Claro watershed (30°S, 1515 km2, 800m to 5500 m a.s.l.) a series fourteen bofedales have formed at natural choke points in the valley bottoms of the headwater reaches. The highly erosive dynamic of this watershed provides ample sediment, and some of these bofedales are up to 30 m deep. Annual precipitation in the region is limited to 4-6 events annually that fall primarily as snow at elevations above 3500 m. The subsurface storage of the headwaters is limited by the steep terrain of the headwater catchments that are devoid of soils and primarily underlain by granite bedrock. Downstream, irrigated area has increased by 200% between 1985 and 2005, driven by the cultivation of table grapes for export. For over 70 years local water managers have flooded the bodfedales during spring runoff to augment late season flow when irrigation demand peaks. While this low-tech strategy has worked in the past, a recent 8-year drought has raised concerns over long-term water security. We apply geophysical and geographic measurements, water quality, and stable isotopic tracers to calculate the volume of water storage and residence times in the bofedales of Río Claro. This information will be used to evaluate the reliability of the bofedale system as compared to a proposed reservoir in the headwaters of the Río Claro. Additionally, estimating the storage and residence times of the will help reduce uncertainty for modeling efforts currently underway in Río Claro.

  13. Physical-chemical determinant properties of biological communities in continental semi-arid waters.

    PubMed

    da Rocha, Francisco Cleiton; de Andrade, Eunice Maia; Lopes, Fernando Bezerra; de Paula Filho, Francisco José; Filho, José Hamilton Costa; da Silva, Merivalda Doroteu

    2016-08-01

    Throughout human history, water has undergone changes in quality. This problem is more serious in dry areas, where there is a natural water deficit due to climatic factors. The aims of this study, therefore, were (i) to verify correlations between physical attributes, chemical attributes and biological metrics and (ii) from the biological attributes, to verify the similarity between different points of a body of water in a tropical semi-arid region. Samples were collected every 2 months, from July 2009 to July 2011, at seven points. Four physical attributes, five chemical attributes and four biological metrics were investigated. To identify the correlations between the physicochemical properties and the biological metrics, hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and canonical correlation analysis (CCA) were applied. Nine classes of phytoplankton were identified, with the predominance of species of cyanobacteria, and ten families of macroinvertebrates. The use of HCA resulted in the formation of three similar groups, showing that it was possible to reduce the number of sampling points when monitoring water quality with a consequent reduction in cost. Group I was formed from the waters at the high end of the reservoir (points P1, P2 and P3), group II by the waters from the middle third (points P4 and P5), and group III by the waters from the lower part of the reservoir (points P6 and P7). Richness of the phytoplanktons Cyanophyceae, Chorophyceae and Bacillariophyceae was the attribute which determined dissimilarity in water quality. Using CCA, it was possible to identify the spatial variability of the physicochemical attributes (TSS, TKN, nitrate and total phosphorus) that most influence the metrics of the macroinvertebrates and phytoplankton present in the water. Low macroinvertebrate diversity, with a predominance of indicator families for deterioration in water quality, and the composition of phytoplankton showing a predominance of cyanobacteria, suggests greater

  14. Coevolution of hydrodynamics, vegetation and channel evolution in wetlands of a semi-arid floodplain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seoane, Manuel; Rodriguez, Jose Fernando; Rojas, Steven Sandi; Saco, Patricia Mabel; Riccardi, Gerardo; Saintilan, Neil; Wen, Li

    2015-04-01

    The Macquarie Marshes are located in the semi-arid region in north western NSW, Australia, and constitute part of the northern Murray-Darling Basin. The Marshes are comprised of a system of permanent and semi-permanent marshes, swamps and lagoons interconnected by braided channels. The wetland complex serves as nesting place and habitat for many species of water birds, fish, frogs and crustaceans, and portions of the Marshes was listed as internationally important under the Ramsar Convention. Some of the wetlands have undergone degradation over the last four decades, which has been attributed to changes in flow management upstream of the marshes. Among the many characteristics that make this wetland system unique is the occurrence of channel breakdown and channel avulsion, which are associated with decline of river flow in the downstream direction typical of dryland streams. Decrease in river flow can lead to sediment deposition, decrease in channel capacity, vegetative invasion of the channel, overbank flows, and ultimately result in channel breakdown and changes in marsh formation. A similar process on established marshes may also lead to channel avulsion and marsh abandonment, with the subsequent invasion of terrestrial vegetation. All the previous geomorphological evolution processes have an effect on the established ecosystem, which will produce feedbacks on the hydrodynamics of the system and affect the geomorphology in return. In order to simulate the complex dynamics of the marshes we have developed an ecogeomorphological modelling framework that combines hydrodynamic, vegetation and channel evolution modules and in this presentation we provide an update on the status of the model. The hydrodynamic simulation provides spatially distributed values of inundation extent, duration, depth and recurrence to drive a vegetation model based on species preference to hydraulic conditions. It also provides velocities and shear stresses to assess geomorphological

  15. Coarse root distribution of a semi-arid oak savanna estimated with ground penetrating radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

    Coarse root distribution of a semi-arid oak savanna estimated with ground penetrating radar North California enjoys wet and mild winters, but experiences extreme hot, dry summer conditions, with occasional drought years. Despite the severity of summer conditions, blue oaks in this ecosystem are winter-deciduous. Water uptake from groundwater helps explain the incongruity of tree growth with soil water availability in this ecosystem. We hypothesized that the binary nature of water availability, in which water is either abundantly available or scarce, would be reflected in blue oak root architecture. The objective of this research was to understand how the form of the root system facilitates ecosystem functioning. To do this, we sought to characterize the structure of the root system, and survey coarse root distribution with ground penetrating radar (GPR), due to its advantages in covering large areas rapidly and non-destructively. Because GPR remains a relatively new technology for examining root distribution, an ancillary objective was to test this methodology, and help facilitate its application more broadly. We used a GPR Noggin1000 SmartTow (Sensors and Software Inc., Ontario, Canada) 1 GHz configuration. In order to best represent the diversity of tree size and age found at the field site, we surveyed six 8x8 m locations with trees varying in size, age and clumping (i.e. isolated trees vs. tree clusters). GPR raw data was processed with designated software in order to construct three-dimensional values of radar reflection intensity for each surveyed grid. Radar signals were transformed to root biomass by calibrating them against excavated roots in twelve 60x100 cm pits. Our results indicate that coarse roots occupy the full soil profile, and that root biomass of old large trees peaks just above the bedrock. As opposed to other semi-arid regions, where trees often develop extensive shallow coarse lateral roots, in order to exploit the entire wet-soil medium, we

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Güntner, Andreas

    2002-07-01

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

  17. Soil carbon sequestration in semi-arid soil through the addition of fuel gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Young-Soo; Tokunaga, Tetsu; Oh, Chamteut

    2014-05-01

    This study investigated a new strategy for increasing carbon retention in slightly alkaline soils through addition of fuel gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG, CaSO4•2H2O). FGDG is moderately soluble and thus the FGDG amendment may be effective to reduce microbial respiration, to accelerate calcite (CaCO3) precipitation, and to promote soil organic carbon (SOC) complexation on mineral surfaces, but rates of these processes need to be understood. The effects of FGDG addition were tested in laboratory soil columns with and without FGDG-amended layers, and in greenhouse soil columns planted with switchgrass, a biofuel crop. The results of laboratory column experiments demonstrated that additions of FGDG promote soil carbon sequestration through suppressing microbial respiration to the extent of ~200 g per m2 soil per m of supplied water, and promoting calcite precipitation at similar rates. The greenhouse experiments showed that the FGDG treatments did not adversely affect biomass yield (~600 g dry biomass/m2/harvest) at the higher irrigation rate (50 cm/year), but substantially reduced recoverable biomass under the more water-limited conditions (irrigation rate = 20 cm/year). The main achievements of this study are (1) the identification of conditions in which inorganic and organic carbon sequestration is practical in semi-arid and arid soils, (2) development of a method for measuring the total carbon balance in unsaturated soil columns, and (3) the quantification of different pathways for soil carbon sequestration in response to FGDG amendments. These findings provide information for evaluating land use practices for increased soil carbon sequestration under semi-arid region biofuel crop production.

  18. Seasonal change detection of riparian zones with remote sensing images and genetic programming in a semi-arid watershed.

    PubMed

    Makkeasorn, Ammarin; Chang, Ni-Bin; Li, Jiahong

    2009-02-01

    Riparian zones are deemed significant due to their interception capability of non-point source impacts and the maintenance of ecosystem integrity region wide. To improve classification and change detection of riparian buffers, this paper developed an evolutionary computational, supervised classification method--the RIparian Classification Algorithm (RICAL)--to conduct the seasonal change detection of riparian zones in a vast semi-arid watershed, South Texas. RICAL uniquely demonstrates an integrative effort to incorporate both vegetation indices and soil moisture images derived from LANDSAT 5 TM and RADARSAT-1 satellite images, respectively. First, an estimation of soil moisture based on RADARSAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images was conducted via the first-stage genetic programming (GP) practice. Second, for the statistical analyses and image classification, eight vegetation indices were prepared based on reflectance factors that were calculated as the response of the instrument on LANDSAT. These spectral vegetation indices were then independently used for discriminate analysis along with soil moisture images to classify the riparian zones via the second-stage GP practice. The practical implementation was assessed by a case study in the Choke Canyon Reservoir Watershed (CCRW), South Texas, which is mostly agricultural and range land in a semi-arid coastal environment. To enhance the application potential, a combination of Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Techniques (ISODATA) and maximum likelihood supervised classification was also performed for spectral discrimination and classification of riparian varieties comparatively. Research findings show that the RICAL algorithm may yield around 90% accuracy based on the unseen ground data. But using different vegetation indices would not significantly improve the final quality of the spectral discrimination and classification. Such practices may lead to the formulation of more effective management strategies

  19. Development and Application of Grid-GA Model in a Semi-Humid and Semi-Arid Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.; Li, Z.; Bao, H.; Yu, Z.

    2009-12-01

    Modeling the hydrologic processes in semi-arid and semi-humid basins is specially challenging due to the specific characteristics of these basins. In this paper, combining with GIS technology and DEM, the Grid- and Green-Ampt infiltration approach-based distributed hydrologic model of the runoff-production in excess infiltration is developed (Grid-GA model). In Grid-GA model, the Green-Ampt infiltration approach has improved in three parts: (1) the effective hydraulic conductivity of the wetting front at saturation, is power function decaying with the depth of the wetting front; (2) F, the cumulative infiltration, is modified at the end of every time step; (3) the moisture content rate of the soil, is redistribution during the infiltration process. In flow concentration formation, there are kinematic wave approach for un-channel grid and Muskingum approach for channel grid. The model described that includes vegetation and root interception, evapotranspiration, and runoff generation via the excess infiltration mechanism, as well as subsurface via the Darcian approach used by TOPMODEL, runoff concentration, and flow routing. The water exchange among grids within the watershed and the runoff routing along the river drainage networks are taken into consideration in the model. The Grid-GA model is applied to Gaoli basin in Yi River, a tributary of the Yishusi Watershed, with an area of 552 km2 for flood simulation. The results show that the model performs well in the simulation and can be used for flood forecasting in the semi-humid and semi-arid region.

  20. Impact of Lupinus leucophyllous on the nitrogen budgets of semi-arid plant communities

    SciTech Connect

    Hinds, W.T.; Hinds, N.R.

    1982-10-01

    In the semi-arid grassland on the Arid Lands Ecology Reserve on the Hanford Site in south-central Washington State, three legume flushes occurred in the past decade. Estimates of leguminous nitrogen in both native and disturbed vegetation after a flush showed that nitrogen in the legume (above-ground) doubled the amount of nitrogen associated with vascular plant tissues. 21 references, 2 tables.

  1. Seed Dispersal by Ants in the Semi-arid Caatinga of North-east Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Inara R.; Wirth, Rainer; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Myrmecochory is a conspicuous feature of several sclerophyll ecosystems around the world but it has received little attention in the semi-arid areas of South America. This study addresses the importance of seed dispersal by ants in a 2500-km2 area of the Caatinga ecosystem (north-east Brazil) and investigates ant-derived benefits to the plant through myrmecochory. Methods Seed manipulation and dispersal by ants was investigated during a 3-year period in the Xingó region. Both plant and ant assemblages involved in seed dispersal were described and ant behaviour was characterized. True myrmecochorous seeds of seven Euphorbiaceae species (i.e. elaiosome-bearing seeds) were used in experiments designed to: (1) quantify the rates of seed cleaning/removal and the influence of both seed size and elaiosome presence on seed removal; (2) identify the fate of seeds dispersed by ants; and (3) document the benefits of seed dispersal by ants in terms of seed germination and seedling growth. Key Results Seed dispersal by ants involved one-quarter of the woody flora inhabiting the Xingó region, but true myrmecochory was restricted to 12·8 % of the woody plant species. Myrmecochorous seeds manipulated by ants faced high levels of seed removal (38–84 %) and 83 % of removed seeds were discarded on ant nests. Moreover, seed removal positively correlated with the presence of elaiosome, and elaiosome removal increased germination success by at least 30 %. Finally, some Euphorbiaceae species presented both increased germination and seedling growth on ant-nest soils. Conclusions Myrmecochory is a relevant seed dispersal mode in the Caatinga ecosystem, and is particularly frequent among Euphorbiaceae trees and shrubs. The fact that seeds reach micro-sites suitable for establishment (ant nests) supports the directed dispersal hypothesis as a possible force favouring myrmecochory in this ecosystem. Ecosystems with a high frequency of myrmecochorous plants appear not

  2. Remediation of metalliferous mines, revegetation challenges and emerging prospects in semi-arid and arid conditions.

    PubMed

    Nirola, Ramkrishna; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Beecham, Simon; Aryal, Rupak; Thavamani, Palanisami; Vankateswarlu, Kadiyala; Saint, Christopher

    2016-10-01

    Understanding plant behaviour in polluted soils is critical for the sustainable remediation of metal-polluted sites including abandoned mines. Post-operational and abandoned metal mines particularly in semi-arid and arid zones are one of the major sources of pollution by soil erosion or plant hyperaccumulation bringing ecological impacts. We have selected from the literature 157 species belonging to 50 families to present a global overview of 'plants under action' against heavy metal pollution. Generally, all species of plants that are drought, salt and metal tolerant are candidates of interest to deal with harsh environmental conditions, particularly at semi-arid and arid mine sites. Pioneer metallophytes namely Atriplex nummularia, Atriplex semibaccata, Salsola kali, Phragmites australis and Medicago sativa, representing the taxonomic orders Caryophyllales, Poales and Fabales are evaluated in terms of phytoremediation in this review. Phytoremediation processes, microbial and algal bioremediation, the use and implication of tissue culture and biotechnology are critically examined. Overall, an integration of available remediation plant-based technologies, referred to here as 'integrated remediation technology,' is proposed to be one of the possible ways ahead to effectively address problems of toxic heavy metal pollution. Graphical abstract Integrated remediation technology (IRT) in metal-contaminated semi-arid and arid conditions. The hexagonal red line represents an IRT concept based on remediation decisions by combination of plants and microbial processes.

  3. Spatial scaling of waveform lidar data to characterize heterogeneity of semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvak, M. E.; Neuenschwander, A. L.; Krofcheck, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    Semi-arid ecosystems are extremely heterogeneous due to varying environmental factors (e.g. precipitation, disturbance, and edaphic controls). The characterization of vegetation in these environments requires the use of high spatial resolution data (i.e. <1m) -yet the high spatial resolution data brings about new challenges to describe the vegetation at these resolutions and how to scale the critical information to a more generalized and coarser representation. For example, in semi-arid environments, the dominant woody species exhibit complex allometric relationships due to the multi-stemmed architecture at the base of the tree. Full-waveform lidar data were flown over an Oak/Juniper savanna (Freeman Ranch, TX) in October 2010 and additional waveform lidar data were flown in September 2011 across an elevation gradient (e.g. creosote scrub to montane conifer) in NM. This research will use these datasets to present analysis for scaling within-tree (i.e. per pixel) to tree level statistics as an improved method for developing allometry in heterogeneous ecosystems. Scaled information at the tree-level can then be scaled to match coarser resolution satellite data products. We will investigate how high spatial resolution, laser waveform derived parameters can provide a more accurate estimation of vegetation structure (above ground biomass, height and leaf area) across a range of semi-arid ecosystems, providing a critical test of the potential of space-based lidar in these environments.

  4. A methodology for small scale rural land use mapping in semi-arid developing countries using orbital imagery. 1: Introduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vangenderen, J. L. (Principal Investigator); Lock, B. F.

    1976-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. This research program has developed a viable methodology for producing small scale rural land use maps in semi-arid developing countries using imagery obtained from orbital multispectral scanners.

  5. Spatial distribution of rock glaciers in the semi-arid Andes of Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blöthe, Jan Henrik; Halla, Christian; Schrott, Lothar; Götz, Joachim; Trombotto, Dario

    2016-04-01

    Active rock glaciers are indicators for permafrost in periglacial environments of high mountain areas. Within the permafrost body and the seasonally frozen active layer, these rock glaciers potentially store large amounts of water. Especially in semiarid mountain belts, such as the central Andes of Argentina, rock glaciers attain several kilometres in length, covering surface areas of >106 m2. Here, rock glaciers even outrange ice glaciers in cumulative area and absolute number, indicating they might constitute a large water reservoir in this semiarid part of the Andes. Despite their potential hydrological importance, our knowledge about the rock glaciers' spatial distribution, subsurface composition and absolute ice content is still very limited. Our study addresses this shortcoming and aims at assessing the hydrological significance of rock glacier permafrost in the semi-arid Andes of Argentina by combining local geophysical investigations with regional remote sensing analysis. Our research focuses on the central Andes between 30°S and 33°S, where we have compiled an inventory that comprises more than 1200 rock glaciers, as well as 154 clear-ice and debris-covered glaciers. Two field sites that bracket this regional study area towards their northern and southern edge have been selected for local geophysical investigations. At these locations, earlier studies detected the presence of rock glacier permafrost by thermal monitoring and geophysical prospection. Preliminary results of the regional spatial distribution indicate that the spatial density of rock glaciers increases towards the south, concomitant with a twofold increase in mean annual precipitation. Rock glacier density peaks in the area of the Aconcagua massif, while precipitation is further increasing towards the south. Simultaneously, the lower altitudinal limit of intact rock glaciers slightly decreases, with the lowest rock glacier toe positions in the northern study area located at ~3800 m a. s. l

  6. Iranian speleothems: Investigating Quaternary climate variability in semi-arid Western Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carolin, Stacy; Morgan, Jacob; Peckover, Emily; Walker, Richard; Henderson, Gideon; Rowe, Peter; Andrews, Julian; Ersek, Vasile; Sloan, Alastair; Talebian, Morteza; Fattahi, Morteza; Nezamdoust, Javad

    2016-04-01

    Rapid population growth and limited water supply has highlighted the need for vigorous water resource management practices in the semi-arid regions of Western Asia. One significant unknown in this discussion is the future change in rainfall amount due to the consequential effects of today's greenhouse gas forcing on the regional climate system. Currently, there is little paleoclimate proxy data in Western Asia to extend climate records beyond the limits of the instrumental period, leaving scant evidence to investigate the system's response to various climate forcings on different timescales. Here we present a synthesis of speleothem climate records across northern Iran, from the wetter climate of the Alborz and Zagros mountain ranges to the dry northeast, in order to investigate the magnitude of past climate variability and the forcings responsible. The stalagmites collected from the west and north-central mountain ranges, areas with ~200-400mm mean annual precipitation mostly falling within the fall-winter-spring months, all demonstrate growth limited to the interglacial periods of the Quaternary. We present overlapping Holocene stable isotope records with a complementary trace element record to assist in interpreting the isotopic variability. One of the records is sampled at <4yr resolution and spans 3.7-5.3 kyBP, a contested period of catastrophic droughts that allegedly eradicated civilizations in areas of the near East. Imposed upon decadal-scale variability, the record reveals a 1,000-yr gradual trend toward enriched stable oxygen isotope values, interpreted as a trend toward drier conditions, which ends with an abrupt 300-yr cessation in growth beginning at 4.3 kyBP, coincident with the so-called 4.2 kyBP drought event. From the northeast Iranian plateau, we present a new stalagmite record that spans the penultimate deglaciation and Stages 5e-5a. This region presently receives limited rain annually (~100-300mm/yr, regularly falling between November and May

  7. Groundwater Recharge Evaluation in Semi-Arid Northeast Mexico in Response to Projected Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolaver, B. D.

    2007-12-01

    This research evaluates the effects of projected climate change on mountain recharge in the semi-arid Cuatrocinegas Basin (CCB) of northeast Mexico. The CCB UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is located in Coahuila, Mexico (~27° N, ~102° W) and includes > 500 springs that discharge from a regional flow system to wetlands with > 70 endemic species and to an irrigation network. This study tests the hypothesis that projected climate changes will reduce CCB recharge. In CCB, ~75% of annual precipitation (~220 mm at 700 m, ~400 mm at 2350 m) falls between May and October and ~40% falls during the North American Monsoon in June, July, and August. Environmental isotopes indicate aquifer residence times of > 50 years. Stable isotopes (O and H) show that mountain precipitation (at an elevation of ~1170 to 2350 m) dominates groundwater recharge. Recharge is insignificant at lower- elevation valleys that cover the majority of the study area due to high evapotranspiration rates. A Cl--balance water-budget recharge analysis estimates a spatially distributed recharge rate of ~1 to 3% of precipitation to provide at least 35x106 m3/year spring discharge (as measured in canals that drain dozens of springs). IPCC AR4 climate projections predict an annual temperature increase of 3.0 to 3.5°C and an annual precipitation decrease of 5 to 10% for Subregion CNA (located adjacent to CCB) by 2099. During June to August, models project a temperature increase of 3.5 to 4.0°C and a precipitation increase of 0 to 5%. Although global and regional circulation models evaluate mountain regions poorly, a first-order evaluation of climate projections on CCB recharge is needed input to develop effective long-term groundwater management policies. Climate projections suggest that the minimum elevation at which recharge occurs in CCB may increase by ~615 m to 1785 m, which would limit recharge to the highest mountain elevations. If annual precipitation is reduced by 5 to 10% and temperatures increase as

  8. Event-based hydrological modeling for detecting dominant hydrological process and suitable model strategy for semi-arid catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Pengnian; Li, Zhijia; Chen, Ji; Li, Qiaoling; Yao, Cheng

    2016-11-01

    To simulate the hydrological processes in semi-arid areas properly is still challenging. This study assesses the impact of different modeling strategies on simulating flood processes in semi-arid catchments. Four classic hydrological models, TOPMODEL, XINANJIANG (XAJ), SAC-SMA and TANK, were selected and applied to three semi-arid catchments in North China. Based on analysis and comparison of the simulation results of these classic models, four new flexible models were constructed and used to further investigate the suitability of various modeling strategies for semi-arid environments. Numerical experiments were also designed to examine the performances of the models. The results show that in semi-arid catchments a suitable model needs to include at least one nonlinear component to simulate the main process of surface runoff generation. If there are more than two nonlinear components in the hydrological model, they should be arranged in parallel, rather than in series. In addition, the results show that the parallel nonlinear components should be combined by multiplication rather than addition. Moreover, this study reveals that the key hydrological process over semi-arid catchments is the infiltration excess surface runoff, a non-linear component.

  9. Where Does the River Run? Lessons from a Semi-Arid River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meixner, T.; Soto, C. D.; Richter, H.; Uhlman, K.

    2009-12-01

    Spatial data sets to assess the nature of stream groundwater interactions and the resulting power law/fractal structure of travel time distributions are rare. Spatial data sets can be collected using high technology or by use of a large number of field assistants. The labor intensive way is expensive unless the public can be enlisted as citizen scientists to gather large, robust, spatial data sets robustly and cheaply. Such an effort requires public interest and the ability of a few to organize such an effort at a basin if not regional scale. The San Pedro basin offers such an opportunity for citizen science due to the water resource restrictions of the basins semi-arid climate. Since 1999 The Nature Conservancy, in cooperation with the Upper San Pedro Partnership, the public at large and various university and federal science agency participants, has been mapping where the San Pedro River has water present versus where it is dry. This mapping has used an army of volunteers armed with GPS units, clipboards and their eyes to make the determination if a given 10m reach of the river is wet or dry. These wet/dry mapping data now exist for 11 different annual surveys. These data are unique and enable an investigation of the hydrologic connectedness of flowing waters within this system. Analysis of these data reveals several important findings. The total river area that is wet is strongly correlated with stream flow as observed at three USGS gauges. The correlation is strongest however for 90 day and 1 year average flows rather than more local in time observations such as the daily, 7 day or monthly mean flow at the gauges. This result indicates that where the river is flowing depends on long term hydrologic conditions. The length of river reach that is mapped as wet or dry is indicative of the travel distance and thus time that water travels in the surface (wet) and subsurface (dry) of the river system. The reach length that is mapped as wet follows a power law function

  10. Spatiotemporal modelling of groundwater extraction in semi-arid central Queensland, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keir, Greg; Bulovic, Nevenka; McIntyre, Neil

    2016-04-01

    The semi-arid Surat Basin in central Queensland, Australia, forms part of the Great Artesian Basin, a groundwater resource of national significance. While this area relies heavily on groundwater supply bores to sustain agricultural industries and rural life in general, measurement of groundwater extraction rates is very limited. Consequently, regional groundwater extraction rates are not well known, which may have implications for regional numerical groundwater modelling. However, flows from a small number of bores are metered, and less precise anecdotal estimates of extraction are increasingly available. There is also an increasing number of other spatiotemporal datasets which may help predict extraction rates (e.g. rainfall, temperature, soils, stocking rates etc.). These can be used to construct spatial multivariate regression models to estimate extraction. The data exhibit complicated statistical features, such as zero-valued observations, non-Gaussianity, and non-stationarity, which limit the use of many classical estimation techniques, such as kriging. As well, water extraction histories may exhibit temporal autocorrelation. To account for these features, we employ a separable space-time model to predict bore extraction rates using the R-INLA package for computationally efficient Bayesian inference. A joint approach is used to model both the probability (using a binomial likelihood) and magnitude (using a gamma likelihood) of extraction. The correlation between extraction rates in space and time is modelled using a Gaussian Markov Random Field (GMRF) with a Matérn spatial covariance function which can evolve over time according to an autoregressive model. To reduce computational burden, we allow the GMRF to be evaluated at a relatively coarse temporal resolution, while still allowing predictions to be made at arbitrarily small time scales. We describe the process of model selection and inference using an information criterion approach, and present some

  11. Mapping grazing-induced degradation in a semi-arid environment: a rapid and cost effective approach for assessment and monitoring.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Mark; Vlok, Jan; Rouget, Mathieu; Hoffman, M T; Balmford, Andrew; Cowling, R M

    2009-04-01

    Improved techniques for measuring and monitoring the state of biodiversity are required for reporting on national obligations to international and regional conservation institutions. Measuring the extent of grazing-related degradation in semi-arid ecosystems has proved difficult. Here we present an accurate and cost-effective method for doing this, and apply it in a South African semi-arid region that forms part of a globally significant biodiversity hotspot. We grouped structurally and functionally similar vegetation units, which were expert-mapped at the 1:50,000 scale, into four habitat types, and developed habitat-specific degradation models. We quantified degradation into three categories, using differences between dry and wet season values of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the three succulent karoo habitats, and the difference between maximum and mean NDVI values for the subtropical thicket habitat. Field evaluation revealed an accuracy of 86%. Overall, degradation was high: 24% of the study area was modeled as severely degraded, and only 9% as intact. Levels of degradation were highest for bottomland habitats that were most exposed to grazing impacts. In sharp contrast to our methods, a widely used, broad-scale and snapshot assessment of land cover in South Africa was only 33% accurate, and it considerably underestimated the extent of severely degraded habitat in the study area. While our approach requires a multidisciplinary team, and in particular expert knowledge on the characteristics and spatial delimitation of vegetation types, it is repeatable, rapid, and relatively inexpensive. Consequently, it holds great promise for monitoring and evaluation programs in semi-arid ecosystems, in Africa, and beyond.

  12. Scarce data in hydrology and hydrogeology: Estimation and modelling of groundwater recharge for a numerical groundwater flow model in a semi-arid to arid catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gräbe, Agnes; Schulz, Stephan; Rödiger, Tino; Kolditz, Olaf

    2013-04-01

    Water resources are strongly limited in semi-arid to arid regions and groundwater constitutes often the only possibility for fresh water for the population and industry. An understanding of the hydrological processes and the estimation of magnitude of water balance parameters also includes the knowledge of processes of groundwater recharge. For the sustainable management of water resources, it is essential to estimate the potential groundwater recharge under the given climatic conditions. We would like to present the results of a hydrological model, which is based on the HRU- concept and intersected the parameters of climatic conditions, topography, geology, soil, vegetation and land use to calculate the groundwater recharge. This model was primarily developed for humid area applications and has now been adapted to the regional conditions in the semi-arid to arid region. It was quite a challenge to understand the hydrological processes in the semi-arid to arid study area and to implement those findings (e.g. routing [Schulz (in prep.)]) into the model structure. Thus we compared the existing approaches for groundwater recharge estimations (chloride mass balance [Marei et. al 2000], empirical relations such as rainfall and base flow-relation [Goldschmidt 1960; Guttman 2000; Hughes 2008; Issar 1993; Lerner 1990; De Vries et. al 2002]) with the results of our numerical model. References: De Vries, J. J., I. Simmers (2002): Groundwater recharge: an overview of processes and challenges. Hydrogeology Journal (2002) 10: 5-17. DOI 10.1007/s10040-001-0171-7. Guttman, J., 2000. Multi-Lateral Project B: Hydrogeology of the Eastern Aquifer in the Judea Hills and Jordan Valley. Mekorot Water Company, Report 468, p. 36. Hughes, A. G., M. M. Mansour, N. S. Robins (2008): Evaluation of distributed recharge in an upland semi-arid karst system: the West Bank Mountain Aquifer, Middle East. Hydrogeology Journal (2008) 16: 845-854. DOI 10.1007/s10040-008-0273-6 Issar, A. S. (1993

  13. Influence of Vegetation Cover on Rain Pulse Responses in Semi-Arid Savannas in Central Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvak, M.; Heilman, J.; McInnes, K.; Thijs, A.; Kjelgaard, J.

    2007-12-01

    Savannas in central Texas are dominated by live oak (Quercus virginiana) and Ashe juniper (Juniperus asheii) underlain by perennial, C3/C4 grasslands, and are increasingly becoming juniper and mesquite dominated due to overgrazing and suppression of wildfires. Since 2004, we have been investigating how carbon, water and energy exchange in these rain-limited savannas respond to rainfall variability and this observed vegetation change. In semi-arid regions, rainfall pulses provide inputs of soil moisture and trigger biotic activity in the form of plant gas exchange and microbial metabolism as well as water dependent physical processes in the soil. Each of these components has a different characteristic response curve to soil moisture and integrates soil water content over a different range of depths. Here we focus on examining how the observed increase of woody species in central Texas savannas alters the response of net ecosystem exchange and its components, ecosystem respiration and gross ecosystem exchange, to rain pulses. Using data we have collected over the last three years from three Ameriflux tower sites at Freeman Ranch near San Marcos, TX (C3/C4 grassland, juniper/mesquite savanna with 50 percent woody cover, and oak/juniper woodland), we quantify the responses of both ecosystem respiration and daily carbon uptake to rainfall pulses throughout the year. Specifically, we look at the enhancement and persistence of ecosystem respiration and carbon uptake responses following a pulse, and isolate the main controlling factors on the observed response: seasonality, antecedent soil moisture and temperature, or previous pulses. In all three land covers, the general response to precipitation pulses is a respiration pulse followed by an increase in total carbon uptake. Differences in pulse responses observed at the savanna site compared to the grassland and woodland sites can be explained, in part, by the observed differences in rooting structure and photosynthetic

  14. Evaporative loss from irrigated interrows in a highly advective semi-arid agricultural area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agam, Nurit; Evett, Steven R.; Tolk, Judy A.; Kustas, William P.; Colaizzi, Paul D.; Alfieri, Joseph G.; McKee, Lynn G.; Copeland, Karen S.; Howell, Terry A.; Chávez, Jose L.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural productivity has increased in the Texas High Plains at the cost of declining water tables, putting at risk the sustainability of the Ogallala Aquifer as a principal source of water for irrigated agriculture. This has led area producers to seek alternative practices that can increase water use efficiency (WUE) through more careful management of water. One potential way of improving WUE is by reducing soil evaporation (E), thus reducing overall evapotranspiration (ET). Before searching for ways to reduce E, it is first important to quantify E and understand the factors that determine its magnitude. The objectives of this study were (1) to quantify E throughout part of the growing season for irrigated cotton in a strongly advective semi-arid region; (2) to study the effects of LAI, days after irrigation, and measurement location within the row on the E/ET fraction; and (3) to study the ability of microlysimeter (ML) measures of E combined with sap flow gage measures of transpiration (T) to accurately estimate ET when compared with weighing lysimeter ET data and to assess the E/T ratio. The research was conducted in an irrigated cotton field at the Conservation & Production Research Laboratory of the USDA-ARS, Bushland, TX. ET was measured by a large weighing lysimeter, and E was measured by 10 microlysimeters that were deployed in two sets of 5 across the interrow. In addition, 10 heat balance sap flow gages were used to determine T. A moderately good agreement was found between the sum E + T and ET (SE = 1 mm or ˜10% of ET). It was found that E may account for >50% of ET during early stages of the growing season (LAI < 0.2), significantly decreasing with increase in LAI to values near 20% at peak LAI of three. Measurement location within the north-south interrows had a distinct effect on the diurnal pattern of E, with a shift in time of peak E from west to east, a pattern that was governed by the solar radiation reaching the soil surface. However, total

  15. Simple, spatial and predictive approach for cereal yield prediction in the semi-arid areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toumi, Jihad; Khabba, Said; Er-Raki, Salah; Le page, Michel; Chahbi Bellakanji, Aicha; Lili Chabaane, Zohra; Ezzahar, Jamal; Zribi, Mehrez; Jarlan, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    The objective is to develop a simple, spatial and predictive approach of dry matter (DM) and grain yield (GY) of cereal in the semi-arid areas. The proposed method is based on the three efficiencies model of Monteith (1972). This approach summarizes the transformation of solar radiation to the dry matter (DM) by the climate (ɛc), interception (ɛi) and conversion (ɛconv) efficiencies. The method combines the maximum of ɛi and ɛconv (noted ɛimax and ɛconvmax) into a single parameter denoted ɛmax, calculating as a function of cumulating growing degree day (CGDD). Also, the stress coefficient ks, which affects the conversion of solar radiation to the biomass was calculated by the surface temperature or the water balance at the root zone. In addition, the expression of ks has been improved by the consideration of the results achieved by deficit irrigation (AquaCrop and STICS models) which showed that the value of ks from 0.7 to 1 didn't affect significantly the cereal production. For the partitioning of the dry matter developed, between straw and grain, the method proposed calculates a variable Harvest Index coefficient (HI). HI is deducted from CGDD and HI0max (maximal final harvest Index in the region of study). Finally, the approach calculates DM depending Satellite Information (NDVI and surface temperature Ts) and climatic data (solar radiation and air temperature). In the case of no availability of Ts, the amount of irrigation is required to calculate ks. Until now, the developed model has been calibrated and validated on the irrigated area R3, located 40 Km east of Marrakech. The evolutions of DM and GY were reproduced satisfactorily. R2 and RMSE are respectively 0.98 and 0.35 t/ha and 0.98 and 0.19 t/ha, respectively. Currently, additional tests are in progress on data relating to the Kairouan plain of Tunisia.

  16. Modeling GPP in Semi-arid Inner Mongolia using MODIS Imagery and Tower-based Fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, R.; Chen, J.; Noormets, A.; Xu, J.

    2011-12-01

    Semi-arid Inner Mongolia is experiencing climate change with associated land cover/use change that includes an increase in irrigated agriculture and population growth. We evaluate temporal scaling up of carbon fluxes from eddy covariance (EC) tower observations in different water-limited land cover/use and biome types. The Vegetation Photosynthesis model (VPM) and modified VPM (MVPM), driven by Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and Land Surface Water Index (LSWI) for 2006-2007 that were derived from MODIS surface reflectance product (MOD09A1) was used to scale up and validate temporal changes in GPP from the EC towers during 2006 & 2007 growing seasons. The VPM model predicted the annual GPP (GPPvpm) reasonably well at the Duolun cropland (R2 = 0.67 & 0.71) and Xilinhaote typical steppe (R2 = 0.80 & 0.73). The predictive power of VPM varied in the desert steppe, at an irrigated poplar stand (R2 = 0.74 & 0.68) and nearby shrubland in Kubuqi (R2 = 0.31 & 0.49). The comparison between GPPtower and GPPmvpm predicted GPP showed good agreement for the Xilinhaote typical steppe (R2 = 0.84 & 0.70) in 2006-2007, Duolun typical steppe (R2 = 0.63), and cropland (R2 = 0.63) in 2007. The predictive power of MVPM decreased slightly in the desert steppe, at the irrigated poplar stand (R2 = 0.55 & .47) and the shrubland (R2 = 0.20 & 0.41). The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of scaling up GPP from EC towers to the regional scale. The inter & intra-annual changes in dynamics of GPP in Inner Mongolia are especially relevant given the extreme climate events on the Mongolian Plateau. We seek to study the effects of drought in the Mongolian plateau through the mapping of anomalies in different vegetation indices (EVI, NDVI, SAVI) as well as functional variables (GPP, ET) during the MODIS decade (2001-2010). Our research question is: What is the biome response to the severe dzuds (extreme winters) and summer droughts? We then compared the MODIS data to spatially

  17. Coarse root distribution of a semi-arid oak savanna estimated with ground penetrating radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    North California enjoys wet and mild winters, but experiences extreme hot, dry summer conditions, with occasional drought years. Despite the severity of summer conditions, blue oaks are winter-deciduous. We hypothesized that the binary nature of water availability would be reflected in blue oak root architecture. Our objective was to understand how the form of the root system facilitates ecosystem functioning. To do this, we sought to characterize the structure of the root system, and survey coarse root distribution with ground penetrating radar (GPR), due to its advantages in covering large areas rapidly and non-destructively. Because GPR remains a relatively new technology for examining root distribution, an ancillary objective was to test this methodology, and help facilitate its application more broadly. A third objective was to test the potential for upscaling coarse root biomass by developing allometric relations based on LIDAR measurements of above ground canopy structure. We surveyed six 8x8 m locations with trees varying in size, age and clumping (i.e. isolated trees vs. tree clusters). GPR signals were transformed to root biomass by calibrating them against excavated roots. Toward this goal, we positioned two rectangles of size 60x100 cm in each of the grids, excavated and sieved soil to harvest roots. Our results indicate that coarse roots occupy the full soil profile, and that root biomass of old large trees peaks just above the bedrock. As opposed to other semi-arid regions, where trees often develop extensive shallow coarse lateral roots, in order to exploit the entire wet-soil medium, we found that coarse root density decreased with distance from the bole, and dropped sharply at a distance of 2 m. We upscaled root biomass to stand-scale (2.8±0.4 kg m-2) based on LiDAR analysis of the relative abundance of each tree configuration. We argue that the deep and narrow root structure we observed reflects the ecohydrology of oaks in this ecosystem, because

  18. Water Governance and Adaptation to Disturbances in Irrigated Semi-Arid Agricultural Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, T. P.; McCord, P. F.; McBride, L.; Gower, D.; Caylor, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    Climate and other physical drivers of environmental systems are modifying the global availability of water for irrigation. At the same time population growth is placing an increased demand on water resources as local municipalities promote agricultural production as a mechanism to support human welfare and development. Substantial has research focused on household-level agricultural decision-making and adaptation. But equally important are institutional dynamics, or the rules implemented to allocate water resources across different user groups. Previous work has identified design principles for common-pool resource systems that tend to lead to sustained governance regimes. Likewise, past research has addressed the issue of "institutional fit", or locally adapted governance arrangements characterized through governance structure. However, much of the complexity behind institutional dynamics and adaptive capacity lies in the translation of data to information to knowledge, and how this sequence contributes to effective cross-scale water management and decision-making - an arena that has arguably received less attention in the water management literature. We investigate the interplay between governance regimes, data/information and institutional dynamics in irrigation systems in semi-arid regions of Kenya. In particular, we articulate the role of knowledge and data in institutional dynamics at multiple levels of analysis. How do users at different decision-making levels incorporate social and hydrological information in water governance? What data is needed to develop the information and knowledge users need for effective management? While governance structure is certainly a critical component of water management systems - we emphasize the interplay between the data-information-knowledge sequence and institutional dynamics. We present findings from household and manager-level surveys examining irrigation practices and the institutions designed to equitably allocate

  19. Management of Meloidogyne incognita with Chemicals and Cultivars in Cotton in a Semi-Arid Environment

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, T. A.; Siders, K. T.; Anderson, M. G.; Russell, S. A.; Woodward, J. E.; Mullinix, B. G.

    2014-01-01

    Management of Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode) in cotton in the United States was substantially affected by the decision to stop production of aldicarb by its principle manufacturer in 2011. The remaining commercially available tools to manage M. incognita included soil fumigation, nematicide seed treatments, postemergence nematicide application, and cultivars partially resistant to M. incognita. Small plot field studies were conducted on a total of nine sites from 2011–2013 to examine the effects of each of these tools alone or in combinations, on early season galling, late-season nematode density in soil, yield, and value ($/ha = lint value minus chemical costs/ha). The use of a partially resistant cultivar resulted in fewer galls/root system at 35 d after planting in eight of nine tests, lower root-knot nematode density late in the growing season for all test sites, higher lint yield in eight of nine sites, and higher value/ha in six of nine sites. Galls per root were reduced by aldicarb in three of nine sites and by 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) in two of eight sites, relative to the nontreated control (no insecticide or nematicide treatment). Soil fumigation reduced M. incognita density late in the season in three of nine sites. Value/ha was not affected by chemical treatment in four of nine sites, but there was a cultivar × chemical interaction in four of nine sites. When value/ha was affected by chemical treatment, the nontreated control had a similar value to the treatment with the highest value/ha in seven of eight cultivar-site combinations. The next “best” value/ha were associated with seed treatment insecticide (STI) + oxamyl and aldicarb (similar value to the highest value/ha in six of eight cultivar-site combinations). The lowest valued treatment was STI + 1,3-D. In a semi-arid region, where rainfall was low during the spring for all three years, cultivars with partial resistance to M. incognita was the most profitable method of

  20. Simulating the Dependence of Sagebrush Steppe Vegetation on Redistributed Snow in a Semi-Arid Watershed.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soderquist, B.; Kavanagh, K.; Link, T. E.; Strand, E. K.; Seyfried, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    snow. These results indicate that as snow water subsidies decrease, ecosystems may shift from tree and shrub dominated to grassland dominated. As climate change progresses, shifts in the precipitation regimes in semi-arid environments may lead to changes in species composition and carbon stores throughout the intermountain west.

  1. Effects of Urbanization on the Flow Regimes of Semi-Arid Southern California Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawley, R. J.; Bledsoe, B. P.; Stein, E. D.

    2010-12-01

    Stream channel erosion and associated habitat degradation are pervasive in streams draining urban areas in the southwestern US. The prevalence of these impacts results from the inherent sensitivity of streams in semi-arid climates to changes in flow and sediment regimes, and past inattention to management of geomorphically effective flows. Addressing this issue is difficult due to the lack of data linking ranges of flow (from small to large runoff events) to geomorphic channel response. Forty-three U. S. Geological Survey gages with record lengths greater than ~15 yrs and watershed areas less than ~250 square kilometers were used to empirically model the effects of urbanization on streams in southern California. The watersheds spanned a gradient of urban development and ranged from 0 to 23% total impervious area in 2001. With little flow control at the subdivision scale to date, most impervious area in the region is relatively well-connected to surface-drainage networks. Consequently, total impervious area was an effective surrogate for urbanization, and emerged as a significant (p < 0.05) predictor of instantaneous peak-flow rates at the 1.5- and 2-yr recurrence intervals, with decreasing significance and influence at higher return periods. For example, peak factors for a watershed with 20% imperviousness were ~10, 6, and 2 for the 1.5-, 2-, and 5-yr flows, respectively, with no discernable influence at flows greater than the 10-yr event. Most importantly with respect to geomorphic response, urbanization extent was a significant predictor of duration density functions, which integrate the magnitude and duration of mean daily discharges. This approach expands on previous scaling procedures to produce histogram-style cumulative flow duration graphs for ungaged sites based on urbanization extent and other watershed descriptors. Urbanization resulted in proportionally-longer durations of all geomorphically-effective flows, with a more pronounced effect on the

  2. Latent heat loss and sweat gland histology of male goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Melo Costa, Cíntia Carol; Maia, Alex Sandro Campos; Neto, José Domingues Fontenele; Oliveira, Steffan Edward Octávio; de Queiroz, João Paulo Araújo Fernandes

    2014-03-01

    The objective of this work was to quantify the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment. The latent heat loss from the body surfaces of these ten undefined breed goats was measured using a ventilated capsule in sun and shade and in the three body regions (neck, flank and hindquarters). Skin samples from these three regions were histologically analyzed to relate the quantity of sweat glands, the area of sweat glands and the epithelium thickness of each of these regions to the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of the examined goats. The epithelium thickness that was measured varied significantly for body regions with different quantities and areas of sweat glands ( P < 0.01). Among the body regions that were examined, the samples from the neck demonstrated the highest epithelium thickness (16.23 ± 0.13 μm). However, the samples of sweat glands from the flank had the biggest area (43330.51 ± 778.71 μm2) and quantity per square centimeter (390 ± 9 cm-2). After the animals were exposed to sun, the flanks lost the greatest amount of heat by cutaneous evaporation (73.03 ± 1.75 W m-2) and possessed the highest surface temperatures (39.47 ± 0.18 °C). The histological characteristics may have influenced the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation that was observed in the flank region after the animals were exposed to sun.

  3. Latent heat loss and sweat gland histology of male goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Melo Costa, Cíntia Carol; Maia, Alex Sandro Campos; Neto, José Domingues Fontenele; Oliveira, Steffan Edward Octávio; de Queiroz, João Paulo Araújo Fernandes

    2013-03-01

    The objective of this work was to quantify the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment. The latent heat loss from the body surfaces of these ten undefined breed goats was measured using a ventilated capsule in sun and shade and in the three body regions (neck, flank and hindquarters). Skin samples from these three regions were histologically analyzed to relate the quantity of sweat glands, the area of sweat glands and the epithelium thickness of each of these regions to the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of the examined goats. The epithelium thickness that was measured varied significantly for body regions with different quantities and areas of sweat glands (P < 0.01). Among the body regions that were examined, the samples from the neck demonstrated the highest epithelium thickness (16.23 ± 0.13 μm). However, the samples of sweat glands from the flank had the biggest area (43330.51 ± 778.71 μm2) and quantity per square centimeter (390 ± 9 cm-2). After the animals were exposed to sun, the flanks lost the greatest amount of heat by cutaneous evaporation (73.03 ± 1.75 W m-2) and possessed the highest surface temperatures (39.47 ± 0.18 °C). The histological characteristics may have influenced the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation that was observed in the flank region after the animals were exposed to sun.

  4. Understanding environmental drivers in the regulation of soil respiration dynamics after fire in semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, soil CO2 efflux, soil C, soil moisture, soil temperature Introduction Soil respiration (Rs) has become a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of these CO2 fluxes from soils (Van Groenigen et al., 2014). In addition to its importance in the global C cycle, Rs is a fundamental indicator of soil health and quality that reflects the level of microbial activity and provides an indication of the ability of soils to support plant growth (Oyonarte et al., 2012; Munoz-Rojas et al., 2015). Wildfires can have a significant impact on Rs rates, with the scale of the impact depending on environmental factors such as temperature and moisture, and organic C content in the soil. Vegetation cover can have a significant effect on regulating organic C contents; and while advances are made into understanding the effects of fire on organic C contents and CO2 fluxes (Granged et al., 2011; Willaarts et al., 2015; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016), there is limited knowledge of the variability of Rs across ecosystem types, vegetation communities, and responses to fire. In this research we aimed to assess the impacts of a wildfire on the soil CO2 fluxes and soil respiration in a semi-arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara biogeographical region), and to understand the main environmental drivers controlling these fluxes in different vegetation types. The study has application for other arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Methods The study area was selected following a wildfire that affected 25 ha in February 2014. Twelve plots were established in the burnt site (B) within a 400 m2 area, and 12 plots in an adjacent unburnt control site. At each site, three plots were installed below the canopy of each of the most representative vegetation types of the areas: Eucalyptus trees, Acacia shrubs and Triodia grasses, and three on bare soil. Soil sampling and measurement of soil CO2 efflux, temperature and moisture were

  5. Global patterns and environmental controls of perchlorate and nitrate co-occurrence in arid and semi-arid environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, W. Andrew; Böhlke, J. K.; Andraski, Brian J.; Fahlquist, Lynne; Bexfield, Laura; Eckardt, Frank D.; Gates, John B.; Davila, Alfonso F.; McKay, Christopher P.; Rao, Balaji; Sevanthi, Ritesh; Rajagopalan, Srinath; Estrada, Nubia; Sturchio, Neil; Hatzinger, Paul B.; Anderson, Todd A.; Orris, Greta; Betancourt, Julio; Stonestrom, David; Latorre, Claudio; Li, Yanhe; Harvey, Gregory J.

    2015-09-01

    Natural perchlorate (ClO4-) is of increasing interest due to its wide-spread occurrence on Earth and Mars, yet little information exists on the relative abundance of ClO4- compared to other major anions, its stability, or long-term variations in production that may impact the observed distributions. Our objectives were to evaluate the occurrence and fate of ClO4- in groundwater and soils/caliche in arid and semi-arid environments (southwestern United States, southern Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, Antarctica, and Chile) and the relationship of ClO4- to the more well-studied atmospherically deposited anions NO3- and Cl- as a means to understand the prevalent processes that affect the accumulation of these species over various time scales. ClO4- is globally distributed in soil and groundwater in arid and semi-arid regions on Earth at concentrations ranging from 10-1 to 106 μg/kg. Generally, the ClO4- concentration in these regions increases with aridity index, but also depends on the duration of arid conditions. In many arid and semi-arid areas, NO3- and ClO4- co-occur at molar ratios (NO3-/ClO4-) that vary between ∼104 and 105. We hypothesize that atmospheric deposition ratios are largely preserved in hyper-arid areas that support little or no biological activity (e.g. plants or bacteria), but can be altered in areas with more active biological processes including N2 fixation, N mineralization, nitrification, denitrification, and microbial ClO4- reduction, as indicated in part by NO3- isotope data. In contrast, much larger ranges of Cl-/ClO4- and Cl-/NO3- ratios indicate Cl- varies independently from both ClO4- and NO3-. The general lack of correlation between Cl- and ClO4- or NO3- implies that Cl- is not a good indicator of co-deposition and should be used with care when interpreting oxyanion cycling in arid systems. The Atacama Desert appears to be unique compared to all other terrestrial locations having a NO3-/ClO4- molar ratio ∼103. The relative

  6. Estimation of groundwater recharge via deuterium labelling in the semi-arid Cuvelai-Etosha Basin, Namibia.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Matthias; Gaj, Marcel; Hamutoko, Josefina Tulimeveva; Koeniger, Paul; Wanke, Heike; Himmelsbach, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The stable water isotope deuterium ((2)H) was applied as an artificial tracer ((2)H2O) in order to estimate groundwater recharge through the unsaturated zone and describe soil water movement in a semi-arid region of northern central Namibia. A particular focus of this study was to assess the spatiotemporal persistence of the tracer when applied in the field on a small scale under extreme climatic conditions and to propose a method to obtain estimates of recharge in data-scarce regions. At two natural sites that differ in vegetation cover, soil and geology, 500 ml of a 70% (2)H2O solution was irrigated onto water saturated plots. The displacement of the (2)H peak was analyzed 1 and 10 days after an artificial rain event of 20 mm as well as after the rainy season. Results show that it is possible to apply the peak displacement method for the estimation of groundwater recharge rates in semi-arid environments via deuterium labelling. Potential recharge for the rainy season 2013/2014 was calculated as 45 mm a(-1) at 5.6 m depth and 40 mm a(-1) at 0.9 m depth at the two studied sites, respectively. Under saturated conditions, the artificial rain events moved 2.1 and 0.5 m downwards, respectively. The tracer at the deep sand site (site 1) was found after the rainy season at 5.6 m depth, corresponding to a displacement of 3.2 m. This equals in an average travel velocity of 2.8 cm d(-1) during the rainy season at the first site. At the second location, the tracer peak was discovered at 0.9 m depth; displacement was found to be only 0.4 m equalling an average movement of 0.2 cm d(-1) through the unsaturated zone due to an underlying calcrete formation. Tracer recovery after one rainy season was found to be as low as 3.6% at site 1 and 1.9% at site 2. With an in situ measuring technique, a three-dimensional distribution of (2)H after the rainy season could be measured and visualized. This study comprises the first application of the peak displacement method using a

  7. How do flow peaks and durations change in suburbanizing semi-arid watersheds? A southern California case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawley, Robert J.; Bledsoe, Brian P.

    2011-07-01

    SummaryForty-three US Geological Survey gauges with records greater than ˜15 yrs located in watersheds less than ˜250 km 2 were used to model the effects of suburbanization on streams in semi-arid southern California. The watersheds spanned a gradient of urban development, ranging 0-23% total impervious area in 2001. With little flow control at the subdivision scale, most impervious area in the region is relatively well-connected to surface-drainage networks and hydrologically effective. Consequently, total impervious area was an effective hydrologic surrogate for urbanization, emerging from an expansive array of geospatially-derived hydrologic variables as a statistically-significant ( p < 0.05) predictor of instantaneous peak-flow rates at the 1.5- and 2-yr recurrence intervals and the durations of all geomorphically-important flows. To represent the effects of urbanization on flow durations, we developed duration density functions by using power functions (typical R2 > 0.95) to predict occurrence of logarithmically-binned mean daily discharges greater than some nominal value. This approach expands on previous scaling procedures to produce histogram-style cumulative flow durations for ungauged sites using urbanization extent and other watershed descriptors. For a particular watershed size and climatic setting, urbanization resulted in proportionally-longer durations of all geomorphically-effective flows, with a more pronounced effect on the durations of moderate flows. For example, a representative watershed with ˜20% imperviousness could experience five times as many days of mean daily flows on the order of 100 cfs (3 m 3/s) and approximately three times as many days on the order of 1000 cfs (30 m 3/s) relative to the undeveloped setting. Increased duration of sediment-transporting flows is a primary driver of accelerated changes in channel form that are often concurrent with urbanization throughout southern California, particularly in unconfined, fine

  8. Quantifying the resilience of carbon dynamics in semi-arid biomes in the Southwestern U.S. to drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvak, M. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Maurer, G.

    2015-12-01

    Semi-arid biomes in many parts of the Southwestern U.S. have experienced a range of precipitation over the last decade, ranging from wetter than average years 2006-2010 (relative to the 40-year PRISM mean), extreme drought years (2010-2011) and slightly dry-average precipitation years (2013-2015). While annual carbon uptake in semi-arid biomes of the Southwestern US is relatively low, compared to more temperate ecosystems, collectively these biomes store a significant amount of carbon on a regional scale. It is therefore of great interest to understand what impact this range in precipitation variability has on inter- and intra- annual variability in regional carbon dynamics. We use an 9 year record from 2007-2015 of continuous measurements of net ecosystem exchange of carbon (NEE) and its components (gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re), made across a network of flux towers along an elevation/aridity gradient in New Mexico, the New Mexico Elevation Gradient (NMEG), to quantify biome-specific responses of carbon dynamics to climate variability over this time period. Biomes include a desert grassland, creosote shrubland, juniper savanna, piñon-juniper woodland, and ponderosa pine and subalpine mixed conifer forests. We compared daily, seasonal and annual NEP, GPP and Re means between pre-drought (2007-2010), drought (2011-2012), and post-drought years (2013-2015). All biomes sequestered less carbon in the drought years, compared to the pre-drought years (~30-40, 270 and 60 g C/m2 less in low and middle elevation biomes, ponderosa pine, and mixed conifer forest, respectively), as GPP in all biomes was more sensitive to the drought than Re. In the post-drought years, GPP was still only 80-90% what it was in the pre-drought years. Re, however, in all biomes except for the creosote shrubland, was 5-15% higher in the post-drought years compared to pre-drought. As a result, carbon sequestration in these biomes was 20-75% lower in the post

  9. Long term rainfall and runoff observations in a semi-arid watershed of the northern Negev, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argaman, Eli; Barth, Raphael; Ben-Hur, Meni

    2015-04-01

    Arid and semi-arid regions cover about one quarter of the global land area and inhabit more than 18% of the world's population. These regions are characterized by harsh conditions including, high temperatures and evapotranspiration, water scarcity, and low overall biomass production. Moreover, these regions are under tremendous anthropogenic pressure, such as intensive agriculture activities and livestock grazing. Therefore, it is very important to understand the ecosystems of drylands. Our study was carried out in Sayeret-Shaked Park research area located along the transition border of arid and semi-arid climate of the northern edge of Israel's Negev desert, and was initiated in 1991. The variation of the hydrological factors (i.e., precipitation and runoff), which impact the rainfall/runoff ratio, was studied during 22 years from 1991 until 2013. Rainfall data showed that the mean annual rainfall for this time scale is 154 mm with a variation of ±58 mm/year. However, while the period from 1991 to 2006 had a mean annual rainfall of 171 mm and 27 rain days per year on average, the following period from 2007 to 2013 had mean annual rainfall of 117 mm with 16 rain days per year in average. Observations showed that these variations in the precipitation and the dramatic decrease in the annual rainfall since 2008 affected the vegetation and landscape pattern. Overall, 684 runoff events were recorded from plots, with 64 m2 size of each, since 1991 to 2013. The results show a mean runoff/rainfall ratio of 0.12 with an insignificant (r2 = 0.17, p = 0.07) decrease in the yearly runoff/rainfall ratio and an increase in the runoff events, which generate ≤10% runoff of the total rainfall. The average standard deviation of the runoff/rainfall ratio within each year was ±8%. Although we found that threshold value for runoff generation was 7 mm of rainfall per event, some events with high rainfall amount resulted with no significant runoff. About 10% of the events with the

  10. Characterization by electrical and electromagnetic geophysical methods of the shallow hydrogeological system at Hebron (West Bank, Palestine) in a semi-arid zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirhan, Asal; Hamidi, Mohammad O.

    2012-09-01

    Multi-electrode geo-electrical and transient electromagnetic surveys were carried out to characterize the nature of the subsurface infiltration zones (5 to 20 m) related to a series of groundwater outlets, and to reveal the geometry of the different aquifers at Bani-Naim, in the south-eastern foothills of the Hebron area, West Bank, Palestine. The purpose of the surveys was to understand the link between water storage/transfer and the characteristics of the geological formations. The strata in this semi-arid region are composed of alternate layers of chalky limestone, hard limestone, marl and chalk. A total of 30 ERT and 15 TDEM were conducted at Bani Naim-Jahir and Bani Naim-Birein. A correlation between the results indicates various infiltration pathways: fractures, feature heterogeneities, and porous chalk. The local heterogeneity on the eastern side were the major pathways for the water infiltration, whereas the thick marl layer underneath acts as a natural impermeable barrier preventing water from infiltrating deeper. A combination of the different geophysical results identified conductive features that correspond to the infiltration zones supplying the dug wells with water. Furthermore, it was established that the fractured chalk and porous chalky limestone act as an aquifer. A three-dimensional visualization of the resistivity allowed a useful reconstruction of the shallow hydrogeological system. Consequently, these studies contribute to regional sustainable development projects in this semi-arid region.

  11. Carbon storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils and sequestration potentials in Northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Munro, Sam; Barthold, Frauke; Steffens, Markus; Schad, Peter; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-04-01

    Organic carbon (OC) sequestration in degraded semi-arid environments by improved soil management is assumed to contribute substantially to climate change mitigation. However, information about the potential saturation of soil organic carbon (SOC) and derived sequestration potentials in steppe soils is missing. In this study, we estimated the OC storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils on the basis of remote, natural steppe locations in Inner Mongolia, Northern China. Based on the maximum OC saturation of the fine mineral fraction (silt and clay particles <20 µm) of natural grassland soils, OC sequestration potentials of degraded steppe soils (grazing land, arable land, eroded areas) were estimated. The analysis of natural grassland soils revealed a strong linear regression between the proportion of the fine fraction and its OC content, confirming the importance of silt and clay particles for OC stabilization in steppe soils. This relationship was similar to derived regressions in temperate and tropical soils but on a lower level, probably due to a lower C input and different clay mineralogy. In relation to the derived OC storage capacity, degraded steppe soils showed a high OC saturation of 84 to 89% despite massive SOC losses. As a result, the OC sequestration potential of degraded grassland soils was generally low. This can be related to a relatively high contribution of labile SOC, which is preferentially lost in the course of soil degradation. Moreover, wind erosion leads to substantial loss of silt and clay particles and thus to a direct loss of the ability to stabilize additional OC amounts. Our findings indicate that the SOC loss in semi-arid environments induced by intensive land use is largely irreversible. Observed SOC increases after improved land management mainly result in an accumulation of labile SOC prone to land use/climate changes and can thus not be regarded as contribution to long-term OC sequestration.

  12. Effect of high ambient temperature on behavior of sheep under semi-arid tropical environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De, Kalyan; Kumar, Davendra; Saxena, Vijay Kumar; Thirumurugan, Palanisamy; Naqvi, Syed Mohammed Khursheed

    2017-01-01

    High environmental temperature is a major constraint in sheep production under semi-arid tropical environment. Behavior is the earliest indicator of animal's adaptation and responses to the environmental alteration. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the effects of high ambient temperature on the behavior of sheep under a semi-arid tropical environment. The experiment was conducted for 6 weeks on 16 Malpura cross (Garole × Malpura × Malpura (GMM)) rams. The rams were divided equally into two groups, designated as C and T. The rams of C were kept in comfortable environmental conditions served as control. The rams of T were exposed to a different temperature at different hours of the day in a climatic chamber, to simulate a high environmental temperature of summer in semi-arid tropic. The behavioral observations were taken by direct instantaneous observation at 15-min intervals for each animal individually. The feeding, ruminating, standing, and lying behaviors were recorded twice a week from morning (0800 hours) to afternoon (1700 hours) for 6 weeks. Exposure of rams to high temperature (T) significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the proportion of time spent in feeding during the observation period in most of the hours of the day as compared to the C. The proportion of time spent in rumination and lying was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the T group compared to the C. The animals of T spent significantly (P < 0.05) more time in rumination in standing position as compared to the C. The overall proportion of time spent in standing, panting in each hour, and total panting time was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the T as compared to the C. The result of the study indicates that the exposure of sheep to high ambient temperature severely modulates the behavior of sheep which is directed to circumvent the effect of the stressor.

  13. Carbon storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils and sequestration potentials in northern China.

    PubMed

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Munro, Sam; Barthold, Frauke; Steffens, Markus; Schad, Peter; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-10-01

    Organic carbon (OC) sequestration in degraded semi-arid environments by improved soil management is assumed to contribute substantially to climate change mitigation. However, information about the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration potential in steppe soils and their current saturation status remains unknown. In this study, we estimated the OC storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils on the basis of remote, natural steppe fragments in northern China. Based on the maximum OC saturation of silt and clay particles <20 μm, OC sequestration potentials of degraded steppe soils (grazing land, arable land, eroded areas) were estimated. The analysis of natural grassland soils revealed a strong linear regression between the proportion of the fine fraction and its OC content, confirming the importance of silt and clay particles for OC stabilization in steppe soils. This relationship was similar to derived regressions in temperate and tropical soils but on a lower level, probably due to a lower C input and different clay mineralogy. In relation to the estimated OC storage capacity, degraded steppe soils showed a high OC saturation of 78-85% despite massive SOC losses due to unsustainable land use. As a result, the potential of degraded grassland soils to sequester additional OC was generally low. This can be related to a relatively high contribution of labile SOC, which is preferentially lost in the course of soil degradation. Moreover, wind erosion leads to substantial loss of silt and clay particles and consequently results in a direct loss of the ability to stabilize additional OC. Our findings indicate that the SOC loss in semi-arid environments induced by intensive land use is largely irreversible. Observed SOC increases after improved land management mainly result in an accumulation of labile SOC prone to land use/climate changes and therefore cannot be regarded as contribution to long-term OC sequestration.

  14. Soil seed bank recovery occurs more rapidly than expected in semi-arid Mediterranean gypsum vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Olano, J. M.; Caballero, I.; Escudero, A.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Seed banks are critical in arid ecosystems and ensure the persistence of species. Despite the importance of seed banks, knowledge about their formation and the extent to which a seed bank can recover after severe perturbation remains scarce. If undisturbed, soil seed banks reflect a long vegetation history; therefore, we would expect that new soil seed banks and those of undisturbed soils require long periods to become similar with respect to both density and composition. In contrast, if soil seed banks are only a short- to mid-term reservoir in which long-term accumulation constitutes only a tiny fraction, they will recover rapidly from the vegetation. To shed light on this question, we evaluated seed bank formation in a semi-arid gypsum community. Methods Soils from 300 plots were replaced with sterilized soil in an undisturbed semi-arid Mediterranean community. Seasonal changes in seed bank density and composition were monitored for 3 years by comparing paired sterilized and control soil samples at each plot. Key Results Differences in seed bank density between sterilized and control soil disappeared after 18 months. The composition of sterilized seed banks was correlated with that of the control plots from the first sampling date, and both were highly correlated with vegetation. Nearly 24 % of the seed bank density could be attributed to secondary dispersal. Most seeds died before emergence (66·41–71·33 %), whereas the rest either emerged (14·08–15·48 %) or persisted in the soil (14·59–18·11 %). Conclusions Seed banks can recover very rapidly even under the limiting and stressful conditions of semi-arid environments. This recovery is based mainly on the seed rain at small scales together with secondary dispersal from intact seed banks in the vicinity. These results emphasize the relevance of processes occurring on short spatial scales in determining community structure. PMID:22003238

  15. Groundwater and unsaturated zone evaporation and transpiration in a semi-arid open woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balugani, E.; Lubczynski, M. W.; Reyes-Acosta, L.; van der Tol, C.; Francés, A. P.; Metselaar, K.

    2017-04-01

    Studies on evapotranspiration partitioning under eddy covariance (EC) towers rarely address the separate effects of transpiration and evaporation on groundwater resources. Such partitioning is important to accurately assess groundwater resources, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. The main objective of this study was to partition (evaluate separately) the evaporation and transpiration components of evapotranspiration, originated either from saturated or unsaturated zone, and estimate their contributions in a semi-arid area characterized by relatively shallow groundwater Table (0-10 m deep). Evapotranspiration, tree transpiration and subsurface evaporation were estimated with EC tower, using sap flow methods and HYDRUS1D model, respectively. To set up the HYDRUS1D model, soil material properties, soil moisture, soil temperature, soil matric potential and water table depth were measured in the area. The tree transpiration was sourced into groundwater and unsaturated zone components (∼0.017 mm d-1 for both) and accounted for only ∼6% of the evapotranspiration measured by the EC tower (∼0.565 mm d-1), due to the low canopy coverage in the study area (7%). The subsurface evaporation fluxes were also sourced into groundwater and unsaturated zone components using the SOURCE package, and their relative relevance in total evapotranspiration was assessed. Subsurface evaporation was the main flux year-round (∼0.526 mm d-1). During late autumn, winter and early spring time, the unsaturated zone evaporation was dominant, while in dry summer the relevance of groundwater evaporation increased, reaching one third of evapotranspiration, although errors in the water balance closure point still at its possible underestimation. The results show that, in arid and semi-arid areas with sparse vegetation, the often neglected groundwater evaporation is a relevant contribution to evapotranspiration, and that water vapor flow should be taken into account in the calculation of

  16. VNIR-SWIR-TIR hyperspectral airborne campaign for soil and sediment mapping in semi-arid south african environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milewski, Robert; Chabrillat, Sabine; Eisele, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Airborne hyperspectral remote sensing techniques has been proven to offer efficient procedures for soil and sediment mineralogical mapping in arid areas on larger scales. Optical methods based on traditional remote sensing windows using the solar reflective spectral wavelength range from the visible-near infrared (VNIR: 0.4-1.1 μm) to the short-wave infrared region (SWIR: 1.1-2.5 μm) allow mapping of common soil properties such as iron oxides, textural characteristics and organic carbon. However, soil mapping in semi-arid environments using VNIR-SWIR is currently limited due to specific spectral characteristics. Challenges appear in such environments due to the common presence of sandy soils (coarse textured) which grain size distribution is driven by the dominant mineral, quartz (SiO2), and which lacks any distinctive Si-O bond related spectral features within the VNIR-SWIR. Furthermore, another challenge is represented by the common presence of other specific spectral features due to different salts (gypsum, halite) or coatings of different forms (cyanobacteria, iron-oxides and/or -oxyhydroxides) for which few studies exists or that oft prevent detection of any other potential spectral feature of e.g. soil organics. In this context, more methodological developments are needed to overcome current limitations of hyperspectral remote sensing for arid areas, and to extent its scope using the thermal infrared (TIR) wavelength region within the atmospheric window between 8 and 14 μm (longwave infrared). In 2015 an extensive VNIR-SWIR-TIR airborne hyperspectral dataset consisting of HySpex-VNIR, HySpex-SWIR (NEO) and Hyper-Cam (TELOPS) data has been acquired in various Namibian and South African landscapes part of the Dimap/GFZ campaign in the frame of the BMBF-SPACES Geoarchive project. Research goals are 1) to demonstrate the capabilities to extract information from such a dataset and 2) to demonstrate the potential of advanced hyperspectral remote sensing

  17. Hydrological modelling in small, semi-arid catchments of south-eastern Australia: reforestation affects groundwater but not streamflow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dean, Joshua; Camporese, Matteo; Grover, Samantha; Webb, John; Dresel, Evan; Daly, Edoardo

    2015-04-01

    controls on hydrological regimes in semi-arid regions can be highly complex and region-specific.

  18. Recovery of microbial community structure and functioning after wildfire in semi-arid environments: optimising methods for monitoring and assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Introduction In semi-arid areas such as northern Western Australia, wildfires are a natural part of the environment and many ecosystems in these landscapes have evolved and developed a strong relationship with fire. Soil microbial communities play a crucial role in ecosystem processes by regulating the cycling of nutrients via decomposition, mineralization, and immobilization processes. Thus, the structure (e.g. soil microbial biomass) and functioning (e.g. soil microbial activity) of microbial communities, as well as their changes after ecosystem disturbance, can be useful indicators of soil quality and health recovery. In this research, we assess the impacts of fire on soil microbial communities and their recovery in a biodiverse semi-arid environment of Western Australia (Pilbara region). New methods for determining soil microbial respiration as an indicator of microbial activity and soil health are also tested. Methodology Soil samples were collected from 10 similar ecosystems in the Pilbara with analogous native vegetation, but differing levels of post-fire disturbance (i.e. 3 months, 1 year, 5, 7 and 14 years after wildfire). Soil microbial activity was measured with the Solvita test which determines soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst of a dry soil after it is moistened. Soils were dried and re-wetted and a CO2 probe was inserted before incubation at constant conditions of 25°C during 24 h. Measurements were taken with a digital mini spectrometer. Microbial (bacteria and fungi) biomass and community composition were measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA). Results Immediately after the fire (i.e. 3 months), soil microbial activity and microbial biomass are similar to 14 years 'undisturbed' levels (53.18±3.68 ppm CO2-CO and 14.07±0.65 mg kg-1, respectively). However, after the first year post-fire, with larger plant productivity, microbial biomass and microbial activity increase rapidly, peaking after 5

  19. The management of VA (vesicular-arbuscular) mycorrhizae in semi-arid environments

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, R.M.

    1987-01-01

    The need for management of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in semi-arid ecosystems represent an important challenge to belowground researchers especially as we increase our utilization of these stressed habitats. Within the laser couple of years several reviews have been prepared on the effects of disturbance to shrub and grasslands and their mycorrhizae. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss some research findings and management needs using examples from a high elevation cold desert, and from research in mid-grass and tallgrass prairies.

  20. Combining rough sets and GIS techniques to assess aquifer vulnerability characteristics in the semi-arid South Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uddameri, V.; Honnungar, V.

    2007-01-01

    The coastal semi-arid region of South Texas is undergoing significant growth causing an enormous burden on its limited water resources. Understanding regional-scale vulnerability of this resource is important for sustainable water resources management and land use development. In this study, DRASTIC methodology is integrated with an information-analytic technique called rough sets to understand groundwater vulnerability characteristics in 18 different counties of South Texas. The rough set theory provides three useful metrics: the strength factor which depicts how vulnerability characteristics occur over the area; the certainty factor computes the relative probabilities for various vulnerability states within a county and the coverage factor which elucidates the fraction of a specific vulnerability state present in each county. The coupling of rough sets with GIS is particularly advantageous to cluster counties exhibiting similar vulnerability characteristics and to obtain other related insights. The application of the approach indicates that the groundwater vulnerability exhibits greater variability along the coast than in the interior sections of the area. The shallow aquifer in Aransas, DeWitt, Goliad and Gonzales counties is the most vulnerable, while the aquifer in Duval, Jim Wells, Karnes, Live Oak, Nueces and San Patricio is less vulnerable. This approach should prove useful to regional planners and environmental managers entrusted with the protection of groundwater resources.

  1. Eutrophication and sedimentation patterns in complete exploitation of water resources scenarios: an example from Northwestern semi-arid Mexico.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Carrillo, Salvador; Alatorre, Luis C; Sánchez-Andrés, Raquel; Garatuza-Payán, Jaime

    2007-09-01

    Water requirements to supply human needs lead water stakeholders to store more water during surplus periods to fulfil the demand during--not only--scarcity periods. At the reservoirs, mostly those in semi-arid regions, water level then fluctuates extremely between rises and downward during one single year. Besides of water management implications, changes on physical, chemical and biological dynamics of these drawdown and refilling are little known yet. This paper shows the results, throughout a year, on solids, nutrients (N and P), chlorophyll-a, and sedimentation changes on the dynamics, when the former policy was applied in a reservoir from the semi-arid Northwestern Mexico. Water level sinusoidal trend impinged changes on thermal stratification and mixing, modifying nutrient cycling and primary producer responses. According to nitrogen and phosphorus concentration as well as chlorophyll-a, reservoir was mesotrophic, becoming hypertrophic during drawdown. Nutrient concentrations were high (1.22 +/- 0.70 and 0.14 +/- 0.12 mg P l(-1)), increasing phosphorus and lowering N:P significantly throughout the study period, although no intensive agricultural, no urban development, neither industrial activities take place in the watershed. This suggests nutrient recycling complex mechanisms, including nutrient release from the sediment-water interface as the main nutrient pathway when shallowness, at the same time as mineralization, increases. Outflows controlled nitrogen and phosphorus availability on the ecosystem while organic matter depended on river inflows. As on other subtropical aquatic ecosystems, nitrogen limited primary productivity (Spearman correlation R = 0.75) but chlorophyll-a seasonal pattern showed an irregular trend, prompting other no-nutrient related limitants. Shallowness induced a homogeneous temporal pattern on water quality. This observed temporal variability was mainly explained statistically by changes on solids (mineral and organic), chlorophyll

  2. Links between soil water availability and soil respiration in semi-arid ecosystems along the Colorado Front Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, K.; Anderson, D. E.; Blanken, P.

    2013-12-01

    Drylands cover approximately 40% of the world's terrestrial ecosystems, and this includes mostly arid and semi-arid regions. As water-limited environments, they are sensitive to changes in soil water content which may result in large carbon efflux from soils in response to precipitation events. Previous research has demonstrated that soil temperature and soil water content (e.g. volumetric or gravimetric) are the primary controls on soil respiration (Rs), however, few studies relate soil water potential to Rs, although it may be a better metric for representing how water is available to soil microbes and vegetation. Therefore, resolving how episodic changes in soil water potential cause arid/semi-arid ecosystems to shift from a carbon sink to a source is important for improving future estimates of terrestrial ecosystem fluxes in these areas. Our study focuses on above and belowground fluxes of CO2 and water at two grassland sites and one montane forest site in Colorado. Continuous (hourly) soil CO2 concentration profile measurements, at 5 cm, 10 cm and 20 cm (15 cm in the grasslands) are coupled with continuous (30 minute), collocated soil water content and soil temperature (Ts) measurements. Soil water availability is determined by using tensiometers at each site to relate volumetric water content to matric potential values. All of the sites have ongoing eddy covariance-based surface measurements of water, carbon and energy fluxes, including net ecosystem exchange (NEE). To estimate Rs at the surface, discrete fluxes of CO2 are measured with a portable photosynthesis system (chamber) and soil surface CO2 concentration measurements. To characterize changes in aboveground biomass, vegetation samples are routinely collected from each of the sites and leaf area index (LAI) and dry biomass are determined. Time-series plots of Rs are compared with aboveground fluxes of CO2 as well as soil water, Ts, precipitation, air temperature (Ta), photosynthetically active

  3. Soil carbon changes after plantation of autochthonous species in a semi-arid Mediterranean old-field in Sardinia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Dato, Giovanbattista; de Angelis, Paolo

    2010-05-01

    Forested areas are important in arid and semi-arid regions primarily to combat desertification, but also to increase carbon sinks. According to the last Italian National Inventory of Forest and Carbon INFC dated 2005, Mediterranean maquis and shrublands cover about 690,100 ha, in Italy. Considering their vast diffusion, efforts should be done to evaluate the potential of these ecosystems in sequestering C in order to achieve the Kyoto Protocol commitments and dampen desertification processes. The aim of this work was to present preliminary observations on soil C accumulation and release in a planted Mediterranean semi-arid shrubland. During the first three years particular effort was done to quantify the plant growth and soil CO2 emission, to test if species-specific responses could be detectable and relevant for the C-budget. The experimental area is located in North West Sardinia, and is characterized by a Mediterranean climate. The revegetation was set up in February 2006, in an old-field, planting local species (Juniperus phoenicea, Pistacia lentiscus and Rosmarinus officinalis) in mono-specific or mixed plots. Soil total organic carbon and nitrogen was measured at the same time of plantation and after 3 years, collecting soil cores (144 samples) at two depths (0-20 cm and 20-40 cm). Moreover, in order to measure soil CO2 emissions, 4 collars are inserted into the soil at 30-60-90-120 cm from 3 plants per each species. Measurements have being made monthly since July 2006 by a portable IRGA. Presently, soil C in the studied area is about 0.7 - 0.8 t ha-1. Based on soil CO2 emissions measurements (≈7 t C ha-1 yr-1) and on the low biomass accumulation (0.25-0.60 t ha-1 yr-1), the plantation is at the present a net C source. This is an effect of the low plant growth, very little input from litter, and the contemporary mineralization of old C deriving from the preceding agricultural phase (priming effect).

  4. Adjusting homestead feeding to requirements and nutrient intake of grazing goats on semi-arid, subtropical highland pastures.

    PubMed

    Dickhoefer, U; Mahgoub, O; Schlecht, E

    2011-03-01

    the natural vegetation. This management strategy therefore appears to be a valuable alternative to intensive livestock feeding in zero-grazing systems and may contribute to sustainable livestock production in ecologically fragile, semi-arid mountain regions.

  5. Use of vegetation index and surface temperature to estimate soil moisture in a semi-arid catchment in Brazil with limited monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebello, V. P. A.; Cunha, T. M.; Rotunno Filho, O. C.; Barbosa, M. C.; Franklin, M. R.; Lakshmi, V.

    2014-12-01

    During the last two decades, there have been numerous studies using remote sensing to study catchment energy and water balance. A well-known example is the combination of surface temperature (Ts) and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), which can provide information on vegetation and moisture conditions at the land surface. Since the soil moisture is a key variable in hydrological modeling, this information is potentially useful in large watersheds and remote areas in developing countries, where little infrastructure and few resources still make continuous in-situ monitoring of environmental variables a difficult task, as well as in semi arid areas, where the lack of water may represent an obstacle to the regional economic and sustainable development. The basic methodology is to calculate soil moisture indexes by the scatter plots of NDVI and Ts and to analyze the Ts/NDVI slope, in order to estimate temporal patterns of soil moisture. We will utilize the standard vegetation index and surface temperature products from MODIS and NOAA - AVHRR, and the results will be compared with soil moisture derived from a hydrological model (Soil Moisture Accounting Procedure). This work will focus on a 18200 km² semi-arid catchment in Northeastern Brazil.

  6. Soil bacterial diversity changes in response to agricultural land use in semi-arid soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Guo-Chun; Piceno, Yvette M.; Heuer, Holger; Weinert, Nicole; Dohrmann, Anja B.; Carrillo, Angel; Andersen, Gary L.; Castellanos, Thelma; Tebbe, Christoph C.; Smalla, Kornelia

    2013-04-01

    Natural scrublands in semi-arid deserts are increasingly being converted into agricultural lands. The long-term effect of such a transition in land use on soil bacterial communities was explored at two sites typical of semi-arid deserts in Mexico (Baja California). Comparisons were made between soil samples from alfalfa fields and the adjacent scrublands by two complementary methods - denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and PhyloChip hybridization -employed to analyze 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. DGGE analyses revealed significant effects of the transition on community composition of Bacteria, Actinobacteria, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria at both sites. PhyloChip hybridization analysis uncovered that the transition negatively affected taxa such as Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidimicrobiales, Rubrobacterales, Deltaproteobacteria and Clostridia, while Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria increased in abundance. The arable soils were lower in organic matter and phosphate concentration, and higher in salinity. Soil parameters that differed between land uses were highly correlated with the community composition of taxa responding to land use. Variation in the bacterial community composition was higher in soils from scrubland than from agriculture, as revealed by DGGE and PhyloChip analyses. The long term use for agriculture resulted in profound changes in the bacterial community composition and physicochemical characteristics of former scrublands, which may affect various soil ecosystem functions.

  7. Climate change mitigation by carbon stock - the case of semi-arid West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lykke, A. M.; Barfod, A. S.; Tinggaard Svendsen, G.; Greve, M.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2009-11-01

    Semi-arid West Africa has not been integrated into the afforestation/reforestation (AR) carbon market. Most projects implemented under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) have focused on carbon emission reductions from industry and energy consumption, whereas only few (only one in West Africa) have been certified for AR carbon sequestration. A proposed mechanism, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) to be discussed under COP15 aims to reduce emissions by conserving already existing forests. REDD has high potential for carbon stocking at low costs, but focuses primarily on rain forest countries and excludes semi-arid West Africa from the preliminary setup. African savannas have potential to store carbon in the present situation with degrading ecosystems and relatively low revenues from crops and cattle, especially if it is possible to combine carbon stocking with promotion of secondary crops such as food resources and traditional medicines harvested on a sustainable basis. Methods for modelling and mapping of potential carbon biomass are being developed, but are still in a preliminary state. Although economic benefits from the sale of carbon credits are likely to be limited, carbon stocking is an interesting option if additional benefits are considered such as improved food security and protection of biodiversity.

  8. Dry Season Constrains Bacterial Phylogenetic Diversity in a Semi-Arid Rhizosphere System.

    PubMed

    Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvêa; Lançoni, Milena Duarte; Kavamura, Vanessa Nessner; Durrer, Ademir; Andreote, Fernando Dini; Melo, Itamar Soares

    2017-01-01

    The rhizosphere is viewed as a deterministic environment led by the interaction between plants and microorganisms. In the case of semi-arid plants, this interaction is strengthened by the harshness of the environment. We tested the hypothesis that dry season represents a constraint on the bacterial diversity of the rhizosphere from semi-arid plants. To accomplish this, we sampled two leguminous species at five locations during the dry and rainy seasons in the Caatinga biome and characterised bacterial community structures using qPCR and 16S rRNA sequencing. We found that the main differences between seasons were due to reduced phylogenetic diversity caused by dryness. Variation partitioning indicated that environmental characteristics significant impacts in β-diversity. Additionally, distance decay relationship and taxa area relationship indicate a higher spatial turnover at the rainy season. During the dry season, decreased bacterial abundance is likely due to the selection of resistant or resilient microorganisms; with the return of the rain, the sensitive populations start to colonise the rhizosphere by a process that is strongly influenced by environmental characteristics. Thus, we propose that the reduction of PD and strong influence of environmental parameters on the assemblage of these communities make them prone to functional losses caused by climatic disturbances.

  9. Predicting the Future Impact of Droughts on Ungulate Populations in Arid and Semi-Arid Environments

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Clare; Chauvenet, Aliénor L. M.; McRae, Louise M.; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    Droughts can have a severe impact on the dynamics of animal populations, particularly in semi-arid and arid environments where herbivore populations are strongly limited by resource availability. Increased drought intensity under projected climate change scenarios can be expected to reduce the viability of such populations, yet this impact has seldom been quantified. In this study, we aim to fill this gap and assess how the predicted worsening of droughts over the 21st century is likely to impact the population dynamics of twelve ungulate species occurring in arid and semi-arid habitats. Our results provide support to the hypotheses that more sedentary, grazing and mixed feeding species will be put at high risk from future increases in drought intensity, suggesting that management intervention under these conditions should be targeted towards species possessing these traits. Predictive population models for all sedentary, grazing or mixed feeding species in our study show that their probability of extinction dramatically increases under future emissions scenarios, and that this extinction risk is greater for smaller populations than larger ones. Our study highlights the importance of quantifying the current and future impacts of increasing extreme natural events on populations and species in order to improve our ability to mitigate predicted biodiversity loss under climate change. PMID:23284700

  10. Spatial variation, mapping, and classification of moss families in semi-arid landscapes in NW Turkey.

    PubMed

    Abay, Gökhan; Gül, Ebru; Günlü, Alkan; Erşahin, Sabit; Ursavaş, Serhat

    2015-03-01

    Geostatistics and remote sensing techniques are frequently used in analyzing the spatial variability of terrestrial ecosystems. We analyzed spatial variation of moss families by geostatistics and Landsat imagery in a typical semi-arid landscape in North Central Anatolia, Turkey. We sampled 49 sites, chosen based on elevation, slope steepness, and slope aspect. Moss families were determined in a 10-m(2) representative area at each sampling site. The samples were transported to a laboratory and identified for moss families. In total, 10 families were found. Semivariogram analysis was performed to analyze the spatial structure of these families. The semivariogram analysis showed that the moss families were spatially dependent within 117 m in the study area. Thirteen thematic classes were categorized by Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) image in the study area. The classification resulted in an overall kappa statistic of 0.8535, producer accuracy of 74.29, and user accuracy of 86.67. The family with the lowest classification accuracy was Orthotrichaceae (kappa of 0.6379, producer accuracy of 64.52, and user accuracy of 66.67). The moss families and the other classes were identified with a 0.78 kappa statistic value and an 80.74 % accuracy level by using the Landsat TM. The classification showed that Brachytheciaceae, Pottiaceae, Bryaceae, and Grimmiaceae were the most abundant moss families in this semi-arid environment.

  11. Ammonia-oxidising bacteria not archaea dominate nitrification activity in semi-arid agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Banning, Natasha C; Maccarone, Linda D; Fisk, Louise M; Murphy, Daniel V

    2015-06-08

    Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are responsible for the rate limiting step in nitrification; a key nitrogen (N) loss pathway in agricultural systems. Dominance of AOA relative to AOB in the amoA gene pool has been reported in many ecosystems, although their relative contributions to nitrification activity are less clear. Here we examined the distribution of AOA and AOB with depth in semi-arid agricultural soils in which soil organic matter content or pH had been altered, and related their distribution to gross nitrification rates. Soil depth had a significant effect on gene abundances, irrespective of management history. Contrary to reports of AOA dominance in soils elsewhere, AOA gene copy numbers were four-fold lower than AOB in the surface (0-10 cm). AOA gene abundance increased with depth while AOB decreased, and sub-soil abundances were approximately equal (10-90 cm). The depth profile of total archaea did not mirror that of AOA, indicating the likely presence of archaea without nitrification capacity in the surface. Gross nitrification rates declined significantly with depth and were positively correlated to AOB but negatively correlated to AOA gene abundances. We conclude that AOB are most likely responsible for regulating nitrification in these semi-arid soils.

  12. Ammonia-oxidising bacteria not archaea dominate nitrification activity in semi-arid agricultural soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banning, Natasha C.; Maccarone, Linda D.; Fisk, Louise M.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2015-06-01

    Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are responsible for the rate limiting step in nitrification; a key nitrogen (N) loss pathway in agricultural systems. Dominance of AOA relative to AOB in the amoA gene pool has been reported in many ecosystems, although their relative contributions to nitrification activity are less clear. Here we examined the distribution of AOA and AOB with depth in semi-arid agricultural soils in which soil organic matter content or pH had been altered, and related their distribution to gross nitrification rates. Soil depth had a significant effect on gene abundances, irrespective of management history. Contrary to reports of AOA dominance in soils elsewhere, AOA gene copy numbers were four-fold lower than AOB in the surface (0-10 cm). AOA gene abundance increased with depth while AOB decreased, and sub-soil abundances were approximately equal (10-90 cm). The depth profile of total archaea did not mirror that of AOA, indicating the likely presence of archaea without nitrification capacity in the surface. Gross nitrification rates declined significantly with depth and were positively correlated to AOB but negatively correlated to AOA gene abundances. We conclude that AOB are most likely responsible for regulating nitrification in these semi-arid soils.

  13. Quaternary ecological and geomorphic changes associated with rainfall events in presently semi-arid northeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auler, Augusto S.; Wang, Xianfeng; Edwards, R. Lawrence; Cheng, Hai; Cristalli, Patrícia S.; Smart, Peter L.; Richards, David A.

    2004-10-01

    Several geomorphic features and palaeobiotic remains in now semi-arid northeastern Brazil indicate major palaeoenvironmental changes during past periods of increased rainfall. 230Th mass spectrometric ages of speleothems and travertines have allowed the determination of the timing and duration of wetter than present conditions. The data demonstrate that wet events have occurred throughout much of the Pleistocene, present dry conditions having been established at the end of the Younger Dryas. A markedly different fauna comprising megafaunal elements not adapted to the present low arboreal scrubland caatinga vegetation existed in the area. Palaeobotanical remains embedded in travertine indicate forested vegetation at these wetter intervals, suggesting that the caatinga was then replaced or mixed with a semi-deciduous forest. Due to the abundance of travertine sites containing fossil botanical remains in northeastern Brazil, it is believed that forest expansion occurred over large areas of the now semi-arid zone, showing that the long hypothesised forested links between biodiversity-rich Amazon and Atlantic rainforests may indeed have existed during these moister phases. Copyright

  14. Unexpected patterns of sensitivity to drought in three semi-arid grasslands.

    PubMed

    Cherwin, Karie; Knapp, Alan

    2012-07-01

    Global climate models forecast an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including severe droughts. Based on multi-year relationships between precipitation amount and aboveground annual net primary production (ANPP), semi-arid grasslands are projected to be among the most sensitive ecosystems to changes in precipitation. To assess sensitivity to drought, as well as variability within the shortgrass steppe biome, we imposed moderate and severe rainfall reductions for two growing seasons in three undisturbed grasslands that varied in soil type and climate. We predicted strong drought-induced reductions in ANPP at all sites and greater sensitivity to drought in sites with lower average precipitation, consistent with continental-scale patterns. Identical experimental infrastructure at each site reduced growing season rainfall events by 50 or 80%, and significantly reduced average soil moisture in both years (by 21 and 46% of control levels, respectively). Despite reductions in soil moisture, ANPP responses varied unexpectedly-from no reduction in ANPP to a 51% decrease. Although sensitivity to drought was highest in the semi-arid grassland with lowest mean annual precipitation, patterns in responses to drought across these grasslands were also strongly related to rainfall event size. When growing season rainfall patterns were dominated by many smaller events, ANPP was significantly reduced by drought but not when rainfall patterns were characterized by large rain events. This interaction between drought sensitivity and rainfall event size suggests that ANPP responses to future droughts may be reduced if growing season rainfall regimes also become more extreme.

  15. Do positive interactions increase with abiotic stress? A test from a semi-arid steppe.

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T; Cortina, Jordi

    2004-01-01

    Theoretical models predict that the relative importance of facilitation and competition may vary inversely across gradients of abiotic stress. However, these predictions have not been thoroughly tested in the field, especially in semi-arid environments. In this study, we evaluated how the net effect of the tussock grass Stipa tenacissima on the shrub Pistacia lentiscus varied across a gradient of abiotic stress in semi-arid Mediterranean steppes. We fitted the relationship between accumulated rainfall and the relative neighbour index (our measures of abiotic stress and of the net effect of S. tenacissima on P. lentiscus, respectively), which varied across this gradient, to a quadratic model. Competitive interactions dominated at both extremes of the gradient. Our results do not support established theory. Instead, they suggest that a shift from facilitation to competition under high abiotic stress conditions is likely to occur when the levels of the most limiting resource are so low that the benefits provided by the facilitator cannot overcome its own resource uptake. PMID:15504009

  16. Ecology and functional roles of biological soil crusts in semi-arid ecosystems of Spain

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Cantón, Yolanda; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Cortina, Jordi; Escolar, Cristina; Escudero, Adrián; Lázaro, Roberto; Martínez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, liverworts and microorganisms, are key biotic components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems worldwide. Despite they are widespread in Spain, these organisms have been historically understudied in this country. This trend is beginning to change as a recent wave of research has been identifying BSCs as a model ecological system. Many studies and research projects carried out in Spain have explored the role of BSCs on water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes, the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants, their dynamics after disturbances, and their response to global change, among other topics. In this article we review the growing body of research on BSCs available from semi-arid areas of Spain, highlighting its importance for increasing our knowledge on this group of organisms. We also discuss how it is breaking new ground in emerging research areas on the ecology of BSCs, and how it can be use to guide management and restoration efforts. Finally, we provide directions for future research on the ecology of BSCs in Spain and abroad. PMID:25908884

  17. Ammonia-oxidising bacteria not archaea dominate nitrification activity in semi-arid agricultural soil

    PubMed Central

    Banning, Natasha C.; Maccarone, Linda D.; Fisk, Louise M.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2015-01-01

    Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are responsible for the rate limiting step in nitrification; a key nitrogen (N) loss pathway in agricultural systems. Dominance of AOA relative to AOB in the amoA gene pool has been reported in many ecosystems, although their relative contributions to nitrification activity are less clear. Here we examined the distribution of AOA and AOB with depth in semi-arid agricultural soils in which soil organic matter content or pH had been altered, and related their distribution to gross nitrification rates. Soil depth had a significant effect on gene abundances, irrespective of management history. Contrary to reports of AOA dominance in soils elsewhere, AOA gene copy numbers were four-fold lower than AOB in the surface (0–10 cm). AOA gene abundance increased with depth while AOB decreased, and sub-soil abundances were approximately equal (10–90 cm). The depth profile of total archaea did not mirror that of AOA, indicating the likely presence of archaea without nitrification capacity in the surface. Gross nitrification rates declined significantly with depth and were positively correlated to AOB but negatively correlated to AOA gene abundances. We conclude that AOB are most likely responsible for regulating nitrification in these semi-arid soils. PMID:26053257

  18. Semi-Arid Landscapes: The Canary in the Climate-Change Coalmine (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, J. L.; Poulos, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    The balance between precipitation as a driving force of sediment transport (via hillslope erosional processes) or a resisting force (via increases in vegetation cover) is reflected by the landforms and denudation rates in semi-arid landscapes. While exact values vary, studies examining the relationship between land surface lowering and mean annual precipitation show a ';sweet spot' of peak denudation rates for semi-arid landscapes receiving ~300-500 mm precipitation/year. Ongoing and future climate change necessitates the investigation of how landscapes may respond as they move towards or away from this erosional threshold; semi-arid landscapes on the edge of ecohydrologic thresholds (e.g. treelines) may experience dramatic environmental changes as ongoing and future climate change alters ecosystems. Semi-arid landscapes are the equivalent to canaries in a coal-mine, and studying them advances understanding of how other sensitive landscapes may respond to climate change. Landforms, however, are a product of thousands to millions of years of climatic forcing. Direct measurement of both short and long-term erosion rates is complicated, and observations of modern erosional processes may not reflect the past. Over 10 years of environmental data collected in the heavily instrumented Dry Creek Experimental Watershed (DCEW) outside Boise, Idaho facilitates 2nd order analysis of climate-driven environmental variability across a large area (27 km2). Multi-scaled analyses relate runoff production from pedons to catchments, and erosion rates and processes from hillslopes to landforms, while prior mapping results (Poulos et al, 2012) allow application of results to similar semi-arid montane landscapes. Preliminary data reveal intriguing, but counterintuitive, feedbacks among soil properties, hillslope hydrology, ecology, and drainage development. Despite steeper slope angles, north-facing slopes have thicker soils than south-facing slopes, suggesting slower erosion rates. This

  19. Safe greywater reuse to augment water supply and provide sanitation in semi-arid areas of rural India.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, S; Labhasetwar, P; Wate, S; Jimenez, B

    2010-01-01

    Water reuse is recognized as a tool to increase water supply in peri-urban areas of semi-arid and arid regions of the world. However, it is an option rarely explored for rural areas in developing countries, and has not been documented extensively in the scientific literature. This paper presents results from 6 greywater reuse systems which were built with the objective to augment water supply and to provide sanitation in rural low income areas of Madhya Pradesh, India. The systems are based on reclaiming greywater from bathing for the use in toilet flushing and kitchen garden irrigation. The reuse systems were implemented based on the scientific rationale presented in the WHO (2006) guidelines. The paper presents evidence from the operation and evaluation of the greywater treatment plants under field conditions between 2005 and 2008. The paper concludes that greywater is a highly cost effective solution for water scarcity. In this study, reusing greywater resulted in a 60% increase in water availability, a reduction in open defecation and a fourfold increase in food availability.

  20. Fertilizer induced nitrous oxide emissions from Vertisols and Alfisols during sweet sorghum cultivation in the Indian semi-arid tropics.

    PubMed

    Ramu, Karri; Watanabe, Takeshi; Uchino, Hiroshi; Sahrawat, Kanwar L; Wani, Suhas P; Ito, Osamu

    2012-11-01

    Nitrous oxide (N(2)O) emissions from Vertisols and Alfisols during sweet sorghum cultivation in the Indian semi-arid tropics were determined using a closed chamber technique during the rainy season (June-October) of 2010. The study included two treatments, nitrogen (N) at a rate of 90 kg/ha and a control without N fertilizer application. The N(2)O emissions strongly coincided with N fertilization and rainfall events. The cumulative N(2)O-N emission from Alfisols was 1.81 N(2)O-N kg/ha for 90 N treatment and 0.15 N(2)O-N kg/ha for the 0 N treatment. Similarly, the N(2)O-N emission from Vertisols was 0.70 N(2)O-N kg/ha for 90 N treatment and 0.09 N(2)O-N kg/ha for the 0 N treatment. The mean N(2)O-N emission factor for fertilizer induced emissions from the Alfisols was 0.90% as compared to 0.32% for Vertisols. Our results suggest that the N(2)O emissions are dependent on the soil properties. Therefore, the monitoring of N(2)O emissions from different agro-ecological regions, having different soil types, rainfall characteristics, cropping systems and crop management practices are necessary to develop comprehensive and accurate green house gas inventories.

  1. Influence of geochemical processes on hydrochemistry and irrigation suitability of groundwater in part of semi-arid Deccan Plateau, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasu, Duraisamy; Singh, Surendra Kumar; Tiwary, Pramod; Sahu, Nisha; Ray, Sanjay Kumar; Butte, Pravin; Duraisami, Veppangadu Perumal

    2017-02-01

    Major ion geochemistry was used to characterise the chemical composition of groundwater in part of semi-arid Deccan plateau region to understand the geochemical evolution and to evaluate the groundwater quality for irrigation. The study area comprises peninsular gneissic complex of Archean age, younger granites and basaltic alluvium. Forty-nine georeferenced groundwater samples were collected and analysed for major ions. The ionic sequence based on relative proportions was Na+ > Mg2+ > Ca2+ > SO4 2- > HCO3 - > Cl- > CO3 2- > BO3 3- > K+. High Na+, Mg2+ and Ca2+ were generally associated with basaltic alluvial formation, whereas pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and total dissolved salts (TDS) were found to be higher in granitic formations. High standard deviation for EC, TDS, Na+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ indicated the dispersion of ionic concentration throughout the study area. Four major hydrochemical facies identified were Na-Mg-HCO3 type; Mg-Na-HCO3 type; Na-Mg-Ca-SO4 and Mg-Na-Ca-SO4 type. The graphical plots indicated that the groundwater chemistry was influenced by rock-water interaction, silicate weathering and reverse ion exchange. Sodium-dominated waters might have impeded the hydraulic properties of soils as a result of long-term irrigation.

  2. A comparative study on three methods of soil quality evaluation of microtopography in the semi-arid Loess Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Bo, Yaojun; Zhu, Qingke; Bao, Yaoxian; Zhao, Weijun; Zhao, Yanming; Zhang, Hongzhi

    2015-01-01

    Three soil property test data of microtopography in the semi-arid Loess Plateau were used to compare the following three soil quality evaluation methods: correlation coefficient method, factor analysis method and Nemoro index method. The results of these methods were analyzed and compared to determine the most suitable method for comprehensive evaluation of soil quality. While correlation coefficient method and factor analysis method produced similar results, Nemoro index method showed several differences from the othertwo methods and exhibited higher sensitivity in its assessment results. The soil quality index (SQI) parameters of three methods showed consistent scales and variation trends among the various microtopographies, and there was a highly significant linear positive correlation between the SQI parameters of any two given methods. This result suggested that the three methods were all reliable and could be employed for comprehensive assessment of soil quality of microtopography in the study region. However, the Nemoro index method involves relatively uncomplicated mathematics and is very easy to absorb, and thus should be preferentially employed when three grading standards can be identified. The factor analysis method is the next most preferable, followed by correlation coefficient method.

  3. Tradeoffs of modifications of storm water managements systems for nitrogen loss pathways in semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohse, K. A.; Gallo, E. L.; Brooks, P. D.; Meixner, T.; McIntosh, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    Urbanization is altering hydrologic and nitrogen (N) inputs to streams that may substantially increase nitrogen-containing trace gas emissions to the atmosphere with regional and global consequences. In the semi-arid southwestern US, human modifications of ephemerally dry stream channels interact with hydrologic and nitrogen alterations to lead to extremely high fluxes of nitrous oxide (N2O). Cumulative N2O losses ranged from 0.04 to 0.97 mg N m-2 in 6 hr for rainfall compared to 22.5-59.3 mg N m-2 for flood pulse events. Impervious channels eliminated N trace gas losses but increased delivery of water and N to downstream ecosystems and areas of focused recharge by 6 fold compared to watersheds with greater pervious channel lengths. In contrast, importation of clay into channels increased total N trace gas losses by 8-32 fold relative to more natural sand dominated channels but this result depended on the degree of wetting. Our integrated findings suggest human modification of storm water management systems to impervious channels increases delivery of water and N to downstream navigable waters and areas of focused recharge whereas importation of clay materials leads to higher N trace gas losses and reduced delivery of nitrate. Management will need to address long-term challenges of balancing tradeoffs of greenhouse N gases and N in water supplies, intermediate scale issues of enhancing recharge, and short-term issues of removing water and preventing flooding.

  4. Mapping Soil hydrologic features in a semi-arid irrigated area in Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Aguirre, M.° Teresa; Isidoro, Daniel; Usón, Asunción

    2016-04-01

    The lack of soil information is a managerial problem in irrigated areas in Spain. The Violada Irrigation District (VID; 5234 ha) is a gypsic, semi-arid region in the Middle Ebro River Basin, northeast Spain. VID is under irrigation since the 1940's. The implementation of the flood irrigation system gave rise to waterlogging problems, solved along the years with the installation of an artificial drainage network. Aggregated water balances have been performed in VID since the early 1980's considering average soil properties and aggregated irrigation data for the calculations (crop evapotranspiration, canal seepage, and soil drainage). In 2008-2009, 91% of the VID was modernized to sprinkler irrigation. This new system provides detailed irrigation management information that together with detailed soil information would allow for disaggregated water balances for a better understanding of the system. Our goal was to draw a semi-detailed soil map of VID presenting the main soil characteristics related to irrigation management. A second step of the work was to set up pedotransfer functions (PTF) to estimate the water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) from easily measurable parameters. Thirty four pits were opened, described and sampled for chemical and physical properties. Thirty three additional auger holes were sampled for water holding capacity (WHC; down to 60 cm), helping to draw the soil units boundaries. And 15 Ks tests (inverse auger hole method) were made. The WHC was determined as the difference between the field capacity (FC) and wilting point (WP) measured in samples dried at 40°C during 5 days. The comparison with old values dried at 105°C for 2 days highlighted the importance of the method when gypsum is present in order to avoid water removal from gypsum molecules. The soil map was drawn down to family level. Thirteen soil units were defined by the combination of five subgroups [Typic Calcixerept (A), Petrocalcic Calcixerept (B), Gypsic

  5. Sr isotope study in the drainage water in semi-arid irrigation district, Adana, Turley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kume, T.; Akca, E.; Nakano, T.; Nagano, T.; Kapur, S.; Watanabe, T.

    2009-12-01

    The management of drainage water from irrigated lands is an important issue not only for agricultural planning but also for environmental conservation. In arid and semi-arid regions, drainage water is reused as irrigation water due to lack of enough fresh irrigation water and irrigation schemes. The drainage water reuse should be undertaken only if long-term deleterious effects on soil properties can be avoided. In addition to salt concentration, the origin of salts of drainage water should be examined to avoid agricultural and environmental pollution. The Lower Seyhan Irrigation Project (LSIP), Adana, Turkey, faces to the Mediterranean. In the LSIP, intensive irrigated agriculture has conducted since 1960s. Recently, total amount of applied irrigation water has been increased along with expansion of agricultural area and fertilizer input is also increasing. Some part of the southern lowest fields is under sea level. Soil salinization and shallow groundwater have been observed in the lowest part due to irrigation water seepage from upper stream and insufficient drainage. Moreover, agricultural drainage water has been used for irrigation water there, so that the salt is a mixture of several components. Therefore, geo-chemical measurements are indispensable to clarify the source of salt. In this study, we focused on the isotopic and chemical compositions of agricultural drain water of three main drainage canals in the LSIP. Seasonal changes in drainage features were examined using 87Sr/86Sr ratio (Sr isotope ratio) and major cation data. The abundances of possible end components were determined using mixing model. The result of measurements showed that there was a good relationship between 87Sr/86Sr values and reciprocal values of Sr concentration, while drain water quality clearly differed between summer and winter. This means Sr of drain water consists of several origins. The relationship and other data showed that Sr of drain water was a mixture of three

  6. A 500-year history of floods in the semi arid basins of south-eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez García, Carlos; Schulte, Lothar; Peña, Juan Carlos; Carvalho, Filpe; Brembilla, Carla

    2016-04-01

    Floods are one of the natural hazards with higher incidence in the south-eastern Spain, the driest region in Europe, causing fatalities, damage of infrastructure and economic losses. Flash-floods in semi arid environments are related to intensive rainfall which can last from few hours to days. These floods are violent and destructive because of their high discharges, sediment transport and aggradation processes in the flood plain. Also during historical times floods affected the population in the south-eastern Spain causing sever damage or in some cases the complete destruction of towns. Our studies focus on the flood reconstruction from historical sources of the Almanzora, Aguas and Antas river basins, which have a surface between 260-2600 km2. We have also compiled information from the Andarax river and compared the flood series with the Guadalentín and Segura basins from previous studies (Benito et. al., 2010 y Machado et al., 2011). Flood intensities have been classified in four levels according to the type of damage: 1) ordinary floods that only affect agriculture plots; 2) extraordinary floods which produce some damage to buildings and hydraulic infrastructure; 3) catastrophic floods which caused sever damage, fatalities and partial or complete destruction of towns. A higher damage intensity of +1 magnitude was assigned when the event is recorded from more than one major sub-basin (stretches and tributaries such as Huércal-Overa basin) or catchment (e.g. Antas River). In total 102 incidences of damages and 89 floods were reconstructed in the Almanzora (2.611 km2), Aguas (539 km2), Antas (261 km2) and Andarax (2.100 km2) catchments. The Almanzora River was affected by 36 floods (1550-2012). The highest events for the Almanzora River were in 1580, 1879, 1973 and 2012 producing many fatalities and destruction of several towns. In addition, we identified four flood-clusters 1750-1780, 1870-1900, 1960-1977 and 1989-2012 which coincides with the periods of

  7. Genetic characterization of Kyrgyzstan fine-leaved Festuca valesiaca germplasm for use in semi-arid low-maintenance turf applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fine-leaved Festuca valesiaca Shleidcher ex. Gaudin (2n = 2x-4x) is native to heavily grazed, cold, semi-arid, Asian rangelands. However, its potential for low-maintenance turf applications in the semi-arid western United States and its relatedness to other agriculturally important Festuca species ...

  8. Stable isotope dynamics of nitrogen sewage effluent uptake in a semi-arid wetland.

    PubMed

    Fair, Jeanne M; Heikoop, Jeffrey M

    2006-04-01

    Our objectives were to determine (1) how much N is transferred into the food web via plants from a wetland receiving not only inputs of treated sewage effluent, but also containing contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), (2) how birds, as consumers, utilize exogenous N and uptake PCBs in relation to the food web of the wetlands, (3) the feasibility of using isotopic analysis in estimating trophic levels in a semi-arid system. Our results demonstrate that there is very high spatial variability in the N isotopic composition of primary producers. Birds had lower variability in delta15N, despite feeding at multiple trophic levels. In very high spatial variability in delta15N of primary producers, it is difficult to use N isotope techniques to define trophic levels relevant to the bioaccumulation of organic pollutants, but it is possible to track the flow of exogenous N through the food web.

  9. Organic textile waste as a resource for sustainable agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Bo G

    2017-03-01

    New vegetation in barren areas offers possibilities for sequestering carbon in the soil. Arid and semi-arid areas (ASAs) are candidates for new vegetation. The possibility of agriculture in ASAs is reviewed, revealing the potential for cultivation by covering the surface with a layer of organic fibres. This layer collects more water from humidity in the air than does the uncovered mineral surface, and creates a humid environment that promotes microbial life. One possibility is to use large amounts of organic fibres for soil enhancement in ASAs. In the context of the European Commission Waste Framework Directive, the possibility of using textile waste from Sweden is explored. The costs for using Swedish textile waste are high, but possible gains are the sale of agricultural products and increased land prices as well as environmental mitigation. The findings suggest that field research on such agriculture in ASAs should start as soon as possible.

  10. Determining the resilience of carbon dynamics in semi-arid biomes of the Southwestern US to severe drought and altered rainfall patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvak, M. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Hilton, T. W.; Fox, A. M.; Osuna, J. L.

    2011-12-01

    Water is critically important for biotic processes in semi-arid ecosystems and 2011 is developing as one of the most severe drought years on record for many parts of the Southwestern US. To quantify the impact of this severe drought on regional carbon and energy balance, we need a more detailed understanding of how water limitation alters ecosystem processes across a range of semi-arid biomes. We quantified the impact of severe drought and changes in both the quantity and distribution of precipitation on ecosystem biotic structure and function across the range of biomes represented in the NM elevation gradient network (desert grassland, creosote shrubland, juniper savanna, piñon-juniper woodland, ponderosa pine forest and subalpine mixed conifer forest). We compared how daily, seasonal and annual carbon and energy balance and their components in each of these biomes respond to changes in rainfall patterns using continuous measurements of carbon, water and energy exchange and associated measurements in each of these biomes during a 5 year period (2006-2011) that included a severe drought, and large variability in both winter precipitation and the timing and intensity of the monsoon. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we used time series of radiation absorbed by vegetation, surface albedo, soil moisture storage, phenology, gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Re), and WorldView-2 images acquired pre- and post-monsoon in each of these biomes. In all of the biomes except the desert grassland site, the strength and timing of both winter and monsoon precipitation are important controls over carbon and energy dynamics in this region, though we see site-specific sensitivities across the elevation gradient. Over the past 5 years, carbon dynamics in the desert grassland site appears to be decoupled from winter precipitation. In addition, carbon dynamics in disturbed grassland and pinon-juniper ecosystems were more sensitive to severe drought than

  11. Spatiotemporal soil and saprolite moisture dynamics across a semi-arid woody plant gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemeyer, Ryan J.; Heinse, Robert; Link, Timothy E.; Seyfried, Mark S.; Klos, P. Zion; Williams, Christopher J.; Nielson, Travis

    2017-01-01

    Woody plant cover has increased 10-fold over the last 140+ years in many parts of the semi-arid western USA. Woody plant cover can alter the timing and amount of plant available moisture in the soil and saprolite. To assess spatiotemporal subsurface moisture dynamics over two water years in a snow-dominated western juniper stand we compared moisture dynamics horizontally across a discontinuous canopy, and vertically in soil and saprolite. We monitored soil moisture at 15 and 60 cm and conducted periodic electromagnetic induction and electrical resistivity tomography surveys aimed at sensing moisture changes within the root zone and saprolite. Timing of soil moisture dry down at 15 cm was very similar between canopy patches and interspace. Conversely, dry down at 60 cm occurred 22 days earlier in the interspace than under canopy patches. After rainfall, interspaces with more shrubs showed greater increases in soil moisture than interspaces with few shrubs. For the few rainfall events that were large enough to increase soil moisture at 60 cm, increases in moisture occurred almost exclusively below the canopy. Soil water holding capacity from 0 to 150 cm was a primary driver of areas that were associated with the greatest change in distributed electrical conductivity - an indicator of changes in soil moisture - across the growing season. Vegetation was also correlated with a greater seasonal change in electrical conductivity at these depths. The seasonal change in resistivity suggested moisture extraction by juniper well into the saprolite, as deep as 12 m below the surface. This change in deep subsurface resistivity primarily occurred below medium and large juniper trees. This study suggests how tree roots are both increasing infiltration below their canopy while also extracting moisture at depths of upwards of 12 m. Information from this study can help improve our understanding of juniper resilience to drought and the hydrologic impacts of semi-arid land cover

  12. Potential of green infrastructure to restore predevelopment water budget of a semi-arid urban catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Youcan; Burian, Steven; Pomeroy, Christine

    2016-11-01

    This paper presents a study of the potential for green infrastructure (GI) to restore the predevelopment hydrologic cycle in a semi-arid urban catchment. Simulations of stormwater runoff from a 0.11-km2 urban catchment in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA for predeveloped (Natural Hydrology, NH), developed (Baseline, BL), and developed with GI (Green Infrastructure, GI) conditions were executed for a one-year period. The study was repeated for a relatively dry year, wet year, and an average year based on precipitation amounts in the year. Bioretention and green roofs were chosen for the GI plan. Results showed that the water budget of the catchment with the GI plan implemented more closely matches the NH water budget compared to the BL scenario, for all three years (dry, wet, average). The BL and GI scenarios showed more significant modifications to the water budget than what has been found by studies in humid climates. Compared to the BL condition, GI annually reduces surface runoff by 35%, 45%, and 43% and restores evapotranspiration by 18%, 19%, and 25% for the dry, average, wet years, respectively. Based on the introduced water budget restoration coefficient (WBRC), the water budget of the study catchment was restored by the GI plan to 90%, 90%, and 82% of the predevelopment state in the dry, average, and wet years, respectively. By comparing the WBRC estimated for other studies, it is further inferred that the water budget is more significantly affected by development and GI restoration in semi-arid than humid climates, but the differences lessen as the precipitation amount increases.

  13. Contribution of semi-arid ecosystems to interannual variability of the global carbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Poulter, Benjamin; Frank, David; Ciais, Philippe; Myneni, Ranga B; Andela, Niels; Bi, Jian; Broquet, Gregoire; Canadell, Josep G; Chevallier, Frederic; Liu, Yi Y; Running, Steven W; Sitch, Stephen; van der Werf, Guido R

    2014-05-29

    The land and ocean act as a sink for fossil-fuel emissions, thereby slowing the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Although the uptake of carbon by oceanic and terrestrial processes has kept pace with accelerating carbon dioxide emissions until now, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations exhibit a large variability on interannual timescales, considered to be driven primarily by terrestrial ecosystem processes dominated by tropical rainforests. We use a terrestrial biogeochemical model, atmospheric carbon dioxide inversion and global carbon budget accounting methods to investigate the evolution of the terrestrial carbon sink over the past 30 years, with a focus on the underlying mechanisms responsible for the exceptionally large land carbon sink reported in 2011 (ref. 2). Here we show that our three terrestrial carbon sink estimates are in good agreement and support the finding of a 2011 record land carbon sink. Surprisingly, we find that the global carbon sink anomaly was driven by growth of semi-arid vegetation in the Southern Hemisphere, with almost 60 per cent of carbon uptake attributed to Australian ecosystems, where prevalent La Niña conditions caused up to six consecutive seasons of increased precipitation. In addition, since 1981, a six per cent expansion of vegetation cover over Australia was associated with a fourfold increase in the sensitivity of continental net carbon uptake to precipitation. Our findings suggest that the higher turnover rates of carbon pools in semi-arid biomes are an increasingly important driver of global carbon cycle inter-annual variability and that tropical rainforests may become less relevant drivers in the future. More research is needed to identify to what extent the carbon stocks accumulated during wet years are vulnerable to rapid decomposition or loss through fire in subsequent years.

  14. Increasing precipitation event size increases aboveground net primary productivity in a semi-arid grassland.

    PubMed

    Heisler-White, Jana L; Knapp, Alan K; Kelly, Eugene F

    2008-11-01

    Water availability is the primary constraint to aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in many terrestrial biomes, and it is an ecosystem driver that will be strongly altered by future climate change. Global circulation models predict a shift in precipitation patterns to growing season rainfall events that are larger in size but fewer in number. This "repackaging" of rainfall into large events with long intervening dry intervals could be particularly important in semi-arid grasslands because it is in marked contrast to the frequent but small events that have historically defined this ecosystem. We investigated the effect of more extreme rainfall patterns on ANPP via the use of rainout shelters and paired this experimental manipulation with an investigation of long-term data for ANPP and precipitation. Experimental plots (n = 15) received the long-term (30-year) mean growing season precipitation quantity; however, this amount was distributed as 12, six, or four events applied manually according to seasonal patterns for May-September. The long-term mean (1940-2005) number of rain events in this shortgrass steppe was 14 events, with a minimum of nine events in years of average precipitation. Thus, our experimental treatments pushed this system beyond its recent historical range of variability. Plots receiving fewer, but larger rain events had the highest rates of ANPP (184 +/- 38 g m(-2)), compared to plots receiving more frequent rainfall (105 +/- 24 g m(-2)). ANPP in all experimental plots was greater than long-term mean ANPP for this system (97 g m(-2)), which may be explained in part by the more even distribution of applied rain events. Soil moisture data indicated that larger events led to greater soil water content and likely permitted moisture penetration to deeper in the soil profile. These results indicate that semi-arid grasslands are capable of responding immediately and substantially to forecast shifts to more extreme precipitation patterns.

  15. Infrequent composted biosolids applications affect semi-arid grassland soils and vegetation.

    PubMed

    Ippolito, J A; Barbarick, K A; Paschke, M W; Brobst, R B

    2010-05-01

    Monitoring of repeated composted biosolids applications is necessary for improving beneficial reuse program management strategies, because materials will likely be reapplied to the same site at a future point in time. A field trial evaluated a single and a repeated composted biosolids application in terms of long-term (13-14 years) and short-term (2-3 years) effects, respectively, on soil chemistry and plant community in a Colorado semi-arid grassland. Six composted biosolids rates (0, 2.5, 5, 10, 21, 30 Mg ha(-1)) were surface applied in a split-plot design study with treatment (increasing compost rates) as the main factor and co-application time (1991, or 1991 and 2002) as the split factor applications. Short- and long-term treatment effects were evident in 2004 and 2005 for soil 0-8 cm depth pH, EC, NO(3)-N, NH(4)-N, total N, and AB-DTPA soil Cd, Cu, Mo, Zn, P, and Ba. Soil organic matter increases were still evident 13 and 14 years following composted biosolids application. The repeated composted biosolids application increased soil NO(3)-N and NH(4)-N and decreased AB-DTPA extractable Ba as compared to the single composted biosolids application in 2004; differences between short- and long-term applications were less evident in 2005. Increasing biosolids rates resulted in increased native perennial grass cover in 2005. Plant tissue Cu, Mo, Zn, and P concentrations increased, while Ba content decreased depending on specific plant species and year. Overall, the lack of many significant negative effects suggests that short- or long-term composted biosolids application at the rates studied did not adversely affect this semi-arid grassland ecosystem.

  16. Evaluation of water-limited cropping systems in a semi-arid climate using DSSAT-CSM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water is the major factor limiting crop production in western Kansas due to declining groundwater levels in the Ogallala aquifer resulting from withdrawals for irrigation exceeding recharge rates coupled with erratic semi-arid rainfall. Objectives were to calibrate and validate DSSAT-CSM (Decision S...

  17. Ecohydrologic response and recovery of a semi-arid shrubland over a five year period following burning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing trends in wildfire activity on semi-arid rangelands necessitate advancement in understanding of fire impacts on vegetation, soils, and runoff and erosion processes. This study used artificially applied rainfall and concentrated overland flow experiments to evaluate the ecohydrologic resp...

  18. Small-Scale Farming in Semi-Arid Areas: Livelihood Dynamics between 1997 and 2010 in Laikipia, Kenya

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ulrich, Anne; Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika; Roden, Paul; Kiteme, Boniface; Wiesmann, Urs; Nusser, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    The rural population of semi-arid lands in Kenya face multiple challenges that result from population growth, poor markets, land use and climatic changes. In particular, subsistence oriented farmers face various risks and opportunities in their attempt to secure their livelihoods. This paper presents an analysis on how livelihood assets and…

  19. Building bridges using livestock as ecosystem engineers in semi-arid rangelands: Addressing conservation and livestock production goals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Domestic livestock have the potential to function as ecosystem engineers in semi-arid rangelands, but their utility has been compromised by management practices that emphasize livestock production, homogeneous use of vegetation and removal/control of interacting disturbances of fire and prairie dogs...

  20. Simulating the hydrologic impacts of land-cover and climate changes in a semi-arid watershed

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in climate and land cover are principal variables affecting watershed hydrology. This paper uses a cell-based model to examine the hydrologic impacts of climate and land cover changes in the semi-arid Lower Virgin River (LVR) watershed located upstream of Lake Mead, Nevad...

  1. A comparison of two stream gauging systems for measuring runoff and sediment yield on semi-arid wtershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our ability to understand erosion processes in semi-arid ecosystems depends on establishing relationships between rainfall, runoff and sediment yield and determining the key factors that influence these relationships. This requires collection of extensive and accurate hydrologic and sediment data se...

  2. Evaluation of soil and water conservation measures in a semi-arid river basin in Tunisia using SWAT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Merguellil catchment (Central Tunisia) is a typical Mediterranean semi-arid basin which suffers from regular water shortage aggravated by current droughts. During the recent decades the continuous construction of small and large dams and Soil and Water Conservation Works (i.e. Contour ridges) ha...

  3. Approaches of Integrated Watershed Management Project: Experiences of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mula, Rosana P.; Wani, Suhas P.; Dar, William D.

    2008-01-01

    The process of innovation-development to scaling is varied and complex. Various actors are involved in every stage of the process. In scaling the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)-led integrated watershed management projects in India and South Asia, three drivers were identified--islanding approach,…

  4. Achievements and prospects of genomics-assisted breeding in three legume crops of the semi-arid tropics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advances in sequencing and genotyping technologies have enabled generation of several thousand markers including SSRs, SNPs, DArTs, hundreds of thousands transcript reads and BAC-end sequences in chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut, three major legume crops of the semi-arid tropics. Comprehensive tran...

  5. Parameterization of ALMANAC crop simulation model for non-irrigated dry bean in semi-arid temperate areas in Mexico

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Simulation models can be used to make management decisions when properly parameterized. This study aimed to parameterize the ALMANAC (Agricultural Land Management Alternatives with Numerical Assessment Criteria) crop simulation model for dry bean in the semi-arid temperate areas of Mexico. The par...

  6. Effects of feral free-roaming horses on semi-arid rangeland ecosystems: an example from the sagebrush steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) are viewed as a symbol of freedom and power; however, they are also a largely unmanaged, non-native grazer in North America, South America, and Australia. Information on their influence on vegetation and soil characteristics in semi-arid rangelands has been limited by ...

  7. Short-term soil responses to late-seeded cover crops in a semi-arid environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops can expand ecosystem services, though sound management recommendations for their use within semi-arid cropping systems is currently constrained by a lack of information. This study was conducted to determine agroecosystem responses to late-summer seeded cover crops under no-till managem...

  8. Development and implementation of a monitoring and information system to increase water use efficiency in arid and semi-arid areas in Limarí, Central Chile (WEIN)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berger, Erich; Balmert, David; Richter, Jürgen

    2016-10-01

    The project WEIN was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF | Berlin, Germany) in the framework of the high-tech strategy of Germany's program "KMU-Innovativ". The project started in 2012 and was completed in 2014. In the scope of the project, an integrated system for analysis, monitoring and information at river basin level was developed, which provides relevant information for all stakeholders that are concerned with water resource issues. The main objective of the project was to improve water use efficiency and hence ensure the agricultural production in the region. The pilot region, in which this system was implemented, is the semi-arid Limarí basin in Northern Central Chile. One of the main parts of the project was the development and implementation of a web- and app-based irrigation water ordering and accounting system for local farmers.

  9. Measurement and analysis of black carbon aerosols over a tropical semi-arid station in Kadapa, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Begam, G. Reshma; Vachaspati, C. Viswanath; Ahammed, Y. Nazeer; Kumar, K. Raghavendra; Babu, S. Suresh; Reddy, R. R.

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents aerosol light absorption measurements using a seven channel Aethalometer (AE-42), recorded during September 2011-November 2012 over a tropical semi-arid site in Kadapa, India. The annual average black carbon (BC) mass concentration ([BC]) during the studied period was 2.20 ± 0.78 μg m- 3 which is in agreement when compared to other sites of similar environment. Strong seasonal variation was observed with high values during winter (2.87 ± 0.81 μg m- 3) and low in monsoon (1.30 ± 0.31 μg m- 3) season, which could be attributed to regional synoptic meteorology and long range transport. The two peaks in diurnal variations of [BC] were observed during morning between 06:00 and 08:00 h local time (LT) and in the evening around 19:00-21:00 h LT, with a minimum peak in the afternoon (~ 16:00 h LT) which is strongly correlated with the boundary layer dynamics, local and regional sources, and associated meteorology. The relationships between measured [BC] and the corresponding meteorological parameters for the studied region were also analysed. The estimated monthly mean spectral absorption coefficient values range from 0.56 to 1.15 with an average of 0.90, which suggests high BC/OC ratio and possible source of emission of aerosols is fossil fuel burning. Trajectory cluster analysis showed significant impact of long range transport of BC aerosols towards the observational site during the period of study.

  10. Groundwater Trends and Availability Under Current and Future Groundwater Withdrawals and Climate Scenarios in Semi-arid India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, S.; Sishodia, R. P.; Graham, W. D.; Jones, J. W.; Wani, S.; Heaney, J.

    2015-12-01

    Irrigation withdrawals have caused groundwater depletion, decreased surface flows and water quality problems in many parts of the world including India. Anticipated increase in groundwater demand and climate change is likely to exacerbate the problem. This study investigated long term (1990-2012) groundwater level trends in hard rock aquifers of semi-arid south India and used an integrated hydrologic model MIKE SHE/MIKE 11 to analyze the effects of changes in groundwater withdrawals and climate on groundwater and surface water flow and levels. Contrary to the common perception of widespread groundwater declines, statistical trend test results showed significant declines in only 22-36% of the wells in a three district region (3.15 million ha). Free electricity policy for farmers, implemented in 2004, and increased irrigated area were the two main causal factors. Groundwater levels in up to 76% of these wells showed significant decline after the subsidy (2005-2012) indicating the nexus between energy and groundwater. An integrated hydrologic model, developed using long-term monitoring data for a watershed (320 ha) in the region, performed well in simulating surface and groundwater levels. Compared to the current withdrawal scenario, prolonged hydrologic drought and decreased surface flows were predicted under future withdrawal scenarios. Future (2040-2069) climate scenarios from five General Circulation Models (GCMs), showed increased rainfall and flooding in the watershed. Although, projected increase in rainfall under the climate change scenarios is likely to provide opportunities for capture and reuse of surface flows, earlier well drying, and increased frequency and duration of hydrologic drought is likely to affect livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers in this hard rock aquifer region. Several management options including changes in power subsidy and implementation of efficient irrigation systems, effective institutional mechanism to regulate

  11. Soil moisture and soil loss study under different cover densities in Ultisolsin Pernambuco State semi-arid (Brazil)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borges, T. K. S.; Montenegro, A. A. A.; Santos, T. E. M.; Silva Junior, V. P.; Siqueira, G. M.

    2012-04-01

    Throughout Brazil occurs a large loss of soil and water runoff due to soil erosion especially in rural areas. The soil moisture monitoringhas been a practice increasingly important in agriculture, especially in regions where water scarcity is high and rainfed cropping is adopted. The soil cover is one of the factors that minimize these effects of degradation arising from agricultural land use. To monitor the water content in the soil profile, point measurements were performed using an FDR equipment, which is a capacitance probe, Diviner 2000 ® model, the Sentek Pty Ltd, Australia. The objective of this study was to investigate the dynamics of soil water content under different types of ground cover, using a probe and the Diviner soil loss in the semi-arid Pernambuco. The study was carried out in the Municipality of Pesqueira-PE, located in the State of Pernambuco, in the Alto Ipanema Representative Basin, with average annual rainfall of 730 mm and average annual potential evapotranspiration of 1683 mm. The soil of the study areas is classified as Eutrophic Yellow Ultisol abruptly (Area A) and typical Eutrophic Yellow Ultisol (Area B). For this, study three experimental plots were installed in two different areas, totalling six plots, bounded by brick, with 4.5 m wide and 11 m long in the direction of the slope, under three soil cover conditions. The treatments involved in this study are: bare soil (SD); with cactus (P) and natural cover (CN). The water content in soil was evaluated at 0.10, 0.20 and 0.30 m at the soil profile and sediment sampling were carried out fortnightly between April and July 2011 (rainy season). In this work we used cumulative precipitation for seven and fourteen days before the readings with the Divinerprobe. The highest rainfall is concentrated during the months of May and July of 2011, and May is the month with the highest cumulative rainfall. April received the lowest rainfall, considered the driest. The water content in the soil

  12. Using ISBA model for partitioning evapotranspiration into soil evaporation and plant transpiration of irrigated crops under semi-arid climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aouade, Ghizlane; Jarlan, Lionel; Ezzahar, Jamal; Er-raki, Salah; Napoly, Adrien; Benkaddour, Abdelfettah; Khabba, Said; Boulet, Gilles; Chehbouni, Abdelghani; Boone, Aaron

    2016-04-01

    The Haouz region, typical of southern Mediterranean basins, is characterized by a semi-arid climate, with average annual rainfall of 250, whilst evaporative demand is about 1600 mm per year. Under these conditions, crop irrigation is inevitable for growth and development. Irrigated agriculture currently consumes the majority of total available water (up to 85%), making it critical for more efficient water use. Flood irrigation is widely practiced by the majority of the farmers (more than 85 %) with an efficiency which does not exceed 50%. In this context, a good knowledge of the partitioning of evapotranspiration (ET) into soil evaporation and plant transpiration is of crucial need for improving the irrigation scheduling and thus water use efficiency. In this study, the ISBA (Interactions Soil-Biosphere-Atmosphere) model was used for estimating ET and its partition over an olive orchard and a wheat field located near to the Marrakech City (Centre of Morocco). Two versions were evaluated: standard version which simulates a single energy balance for the soil and vegetation and the recently developed multiple energy balance (MEB) version which solves a separate energy balance for each of the two sources. Eddy covariance system, which provides the sensible and latent heat fluxes and meteorological instruments were operated during years 2003-2004 for the Olive Orchard and during years 2013 for wheat. The transpiration component was measured using a Sap flow system during summer over the wheat crop and stable isotope samples were gathered over wheat. The comparison between ET estimated by ISBA model and that measured by the Eddy covariance system showed that MEB version yielded a remarkable improvement compared to the standard version. The root mean square error (RMSE) and the correlation coefficient (R²) were about 45wm-2 and 0.8 for MEB version. By contrast, for the standard version, the RMSE and R² were about 60wm-2 and 0.7, respectively. The result also showed that

  13. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Chelsea J.; Beman, J. Michael; Eviner, Valerie T.; Malmstrom, Carolyn M.; Hart, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing), plant invasion + nitrogen (N) fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5–6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N) and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials) were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO−3 availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes. PMID:26042104

  14. The influence of several changes in atmospheric states over semi-arid areas on the incidence of mental health disorders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yackerson, Naomy S.; Zilberman, Arkadi; Todder, Doron; Kaplan, Zeev

    2011-05-01

    The incidence of suicide attempts [Deliberate Self Harm (DSH); ICD-10: X60-X84] and psychotic attacks (PsA; ICD-10, F20-F29) in association with atmospheric states, typical for areas close to big deserts, was analyzed. A retrospective study is based on the 4,325 cases of DSH and PsA registered in the Mental Health Center (MHC) of Ben-Gurion University (Be'er-Sheva, Israel) during 2001-2003. Pearson and Spearman test correlations were used; the statistical significance was tested at p < 0.1. The influence of temperature and humidity on suicide attempts ( N SU ) and psychotic attacks ( N PS ) was weakly pronounced ( p > 0.1). Correlation coefficients between N SU and N PS and speed WS of westerly wind reaches 0.3 ( p < 0.05), while their dependence on easterly WS was weaker ( p > 0.09). Variations in easterly wind direction WD influence N SU and N PS values ( p < 0.04), but no corresponding correlation with westerly winds was found ( p > 0.3). Obviously ,in transition areas located between different regions ,the main role of air streams in meteorological-biological impact can scarcely be exaggerated. An unstable balance in the internal state of a weather-sensitive person is disturbed when the atmospheric state is changed by specific desert winds, which can provoke significant perturbations in meteorological parameters. Results indicate the importance of wind direction, defining mainly the atmospheric situation in semi-arid areas: changes in direction of the easterly wind influence N SU and N PS , while changes in WS are important for mental health under westerly air streams. Obviously, N SU and N PS are more affected by the disturbance of weather from its normal state, for a given season, to which the local population is accustomed, than by absolute values of meteorological parameters.

  15. How Important is Vegetation Drought Stress Response when Predicting Streamflow within the Semi-Arid Santa Fe Municipal Watershed?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dugger, A. L.; Tague, C.; Allen, C. D.; Ringler, T.

    2010-12-01

    Arid and semi-arid landscapes of the Southwest U.S. are particularly at risk from increased drought stress due to already limited water resources, increasing demands, and forecasts for even drier conditions. While we are gaining better understanding of anthropogenically induced global-scale climate change impacts at regional scales, we do not yet have a clear picture of how local watersheds will respond to these variations in climate and what these responses might mean for downstream water use and availability. In water-limited environments like those of Northern New Mexico, there is a tight coupling between water availability and vegetation productivity over space and time. Assessment of climate change impacts on water resources in these environments therefore requires understanding of the feedbacks between available water and forest productivity, as well as the mechanisms of plant water stress response. To this end, our objective is to accurately capture vegetation productivity response to drought stress in an ecohydrologic model and evaluate the importance of this response to overall streamflow predictions. We use a process-based, spatially distributed, integrated hydro-ecological model (RHESSys) to simulate water and vegetation carbon cycling. Within this modeling framework we implement a multi-tiered approach to model calibration, incorporating streamflow and remote sensing observations to estimate key soil and vegetation parameters. We then test the dynamic vegetation model’s performance during historical drought periods. Finally, we evaluate modeled streamflow predictions under static and dynamic vegetation models to assess the importance of accurately capturing changing vegetation water use, and set this drought-response effect in the context of broader data and model uncertainty.

  16. Processes Driving Submarine Groundwater Discharge and Nutrient Fluxes in a Semi-arid Coastal Area: Coastal South Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murgulet, D.; Douglas, A. R.; Spalt, N.

    2015-12-01

    Assessments of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), an important pathway for material transport to coastal embayments, are difficult, as there is no simple means to estimate the water flux. Because of processes like tidal pumping, non-homogeneous bottom sediment compositions, high hydrologic and hydrogeologic "heterogeneity", and the likelihood of multiple sources (i.e. different aquifers or recirculated seawater) within a study region, there could be significant variation in the magnitude of discharge. Furthermore, in highly saline semi-arid environments such as south Texas, density-driven flow will also influence the discharge rates and location of seepage faces. Thus, discharge throughout a bay is undoubtedly variable temporally and spatially so it is not reasonable to extrapolate a single flow rate to the entire surface area. Multiple approaches are necessary especially where the terrestrial groundwater is not fresh like in coastal area of south Texas. To meet this challenge, we have explored the use of high-resolution continuous subsurface imaging techniques, continuous radon monitoring, and other geochemical tracers to more precisely measure SGD and nutrient fluxes to coastal zone waters over time periods of hours and under different climatic conditions. This approach allowed us to differentiate between fresh groundwater and recirculated seawater, delineate seepage faces as dependent on / independent of sediment heterogeneity and convective flow caused by density differences. We were able to also correct SGD rates derived from continuous radon monitoring that can be significantly variable on account of observation uncertainties associated with the above-mentioned complications. Areas of significant SGD, as shown by both continuous resistivity profiling and radon and radium isotopes, were also associated with the highest non-conservative nutrient (i.e. nitrate) concentrations. Overall, this combination of methods shows promise in differentiating between flow

  17. Microclimate-induced Lateral Channel Migration as a Driver for Hillslope Asymmetry in Semi-arid Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, P. W.; Perron, J. T.; Miller, S. R.

    2014-12-01

    North-facing slopes in semi-arid regions of the northern hemisphere are commonly steeper than south-facing slopes, whereas the converse is observed in the southern hemisphere. In the absence of a structural cause, the most common explanations for topographic asymmetry ultimately invoke aspect-related microclimate. Landscapes with asymmetric topography are therefore potential natural laboratories for investigating the sensitivity of surface processes to climate. However, the specific mechanisms driving asymmetry are not well understood, and studies using asymmetric topography to investigate landscape climate sensitivity may have to consider multiple origins of the asymmetry. Two leading hypotheses have emerged. One states that small differences in microclimate cause differences in the efficiency of erosional processes on slopes with different aspect. The more efficiently eroding slope erodes faster until the resulting slope asymmetry compensates for the difference in erosional efficiency. According to the other hypothesis, the difference in erosional efficiency is not sufficient to create the observed topographic asymmetry. Instead, sediment aggradation at the foot of the more quickly eroding slope forces lateral channel migration and undercutting of the opposing slope. These two explanations for topographic asymmetry predict different trajectories of long-term landscape evolution - sustained migration of asymmetric valleys would drive stream capture and drainage reorganization, whereas the mechanism without lateral channel migration would not - but there is no existing test capable of distinguishing between them. We develop such a test using a landscape evolution model that simulates different asymmetry-forming mechanisms, including asymmetric runoff production, channel incision threshold, soil creep, and lateral channel migration. For the case of topographic asymmetry produced by lateral channel migration, the model predicts that north-facing hilltops should be

  18. Has contemporary climate change played a role in population declines of the lizard Ctenophorus decresii from semi-arid Australia?

    PubMed

    Walker, Samantha; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Kearney, Michael R

    2015-12-01

    Whilst contemporary climatic changes are small in magnitude compared to those predicted for the coming decades, they have already been linked to species range shifts and local extinctions. Elucidating the drivers behind species' responses to contemporary climate change will better inform management strategies for vulnerable and pest species alike. A recent proposal to explain worldwide local extinctions in lizards is that increasing maximum temperatures have constrained lizard activity time in the breeding season beyond extinction thresholds. Here we document a significant population decline and potential local extinction at the warm (northern) range margin of the tawny dragon, Ctenophorus decresii, a rock-dwelling lizard from the Flinders Ranges in semi-arid Australia. We developed and tested a biophysical model of tawny dragon thermoregulatory behaviour and drove the model with daily weather data for the period 1990-2009 across the Flinders Ranges. Our results indicate that potential annual activity time has likely increased over this period throughout the historic range, with within-season declines only in the summer months at the northern range limit. However, populations that have declined since 2000 have also likely experienced higher active body temperatures and more stringent retreat-site requirements (deeper crevices) than have regions where the species remains common, during a period of declining rainfall. Our laboratory estimates of thermal preference in this species were insensitive to altered nutritional and hydric state. Thus it is possible that recent population declines are linked to desiccation stress driven by higher body temperatures and declining rainfall. Our study illustrates that simple indices of the impact of climate warming on animals, such as activity restriction, may in fact reflect a variety of potential mechanisms whose ultimate outcome will be contingent on other factors such as water and shelter availability.

  19. Contribution of raindrop impact to the change of soil physical properties and water erosion under semi-arid rainfalls.

    PubMed

    Vaezi, Ali Reza; Ahmadi, Morvarid; Cerdà, Artemi

    2017-04-01

    Soil erosion by water is a three-phase process that consists of detachment of soil particles from the soil mass, transportation of detached particles either by raindrop impact or surface water flow, and sedimentation. Detachment by raindrops is a key component of the soil erosion process. However, little information is available on the role of raindrop impact on soil losses in the semi-arid regions where vegetation cover is often poor and does not protect the soil from rainfall. The objective of this study is to determine the contribution of raindrop impact to changes in soil physical properties and soil losses in a semiarid weakly-aggregated agricultural soil. Soil losses were measured under simulated rainfalls of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70mmh(-1), and under two conditions: i) with raindrop impact; and, ii) without raindrop impact. Three replications at each rainfall intensity and condition resulted in a total of 42 microplots of 1m×1.4m installed on a 10% slope according to a randomized complete block design. The contribution of raindrop impact to soil loss was computed using the difference between soil loss with raindrop impact and without raindrop impact at each rainfall intensity. Soil physical properties (aggregate size, bulk density and infiltration rate) were strongly damaged by raindrop impact as rainfall intensity increased. Soil loss was significantly affected by rainfall intensity under both soil surface conditions. The contribution of raindrop impact to soil loss decreased steadily with increasing rainfall intensity. At the lower rainfall intensities (20-30mmh(-1)), raindrop impact was the dominant factor controlling soil loss from the plots (68%) while at the higher rainfall intensities (40-70mmh(-1)) soil loss was mostly affected by increasing runoff discharge. At higher rainfall intensities the sheet flow protected the soil from raindrop impact.

  20. Achievements and prospects of genomics-assisted breeding in three legume crops of the semi-arid tropics.

    PubMed

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Mohan, S Murali; Gaur, Pooran M; Gangarao, N V P R; Pandey, Manish K; Bohra, Abhishek; Sawargaonkar, Shrikant L; Chitikineni, Annapurna; Kimurto, Paul K; Janila, Pasupuleti; Saxena, K B; Fikre, Asnake; Sharma, Mamta; Rathore, Abhishek; Pratap, Aditya; Tripathi, Shailesh; Datta, Subhojit; Chaturvedi, S K; Mallikarjuna, Nalini; Anuradha, G; Babbar, Anita; Choudhary, Arbind K; Mhase, M B; Bharadwaj, Ch; Mannur, D M; Harer, P N; Guo, Baozhu; Liang, Xuanqiang; Nadarajan, N; Gowda, C L L

    2013-12-01

    Advances in next-generation sequencing and genotyping technologies have enabled generation of large-scale genomic resources such as molecular markers, transcript reads and BAC-end sequences (BESs) in chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut, three major legume crops of the semi-arid tropics. Comprehensive transcriptome assemblies and genome sequences have either been developed or underway in these crops. Based on these resources, dense genetic maps, QTL maps as well as physical maps for these legume species have also been developed. As a result, these crops have graduated from 'orphan' or 'less-studied' crops to 'genomic resources rich' crops. This article summarizes the above-mentioned advances in genomics and genomics-assisted breeding applications in the form of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for hybrid purity assessment in pigeonpea; marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC) for introgressing QTL region for drought-tolerance related traits, Fusarium wilt (FW) resistance and Ascochyta blight (AB) resistance in chickpea; late leaf spot (LLS), leaf rust and nematode resistance in groundnut. We critically present the case of use of other modern breeding approaches like marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) and genomic selection (GS) to utilize the full potential of genomics-assisted breeding for developing superior cultivars with enhanced tolerance to various environmental stresses. In addition, this article recommends the use of advanced-backcross (AB-backcross) breeding and development of specialized populations such as multi-parents advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) for creating new variations that will help in developing superior lines with broadened genetic base. In summary, we propose the use of integrated genomics and breeding approach in these legume crops to enhance crop productivity in marginal environments ensuring food security in developing countries.

  1. A GIS based watershed information system for water resources management and planning in semi-arid areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzabiras, John; Spiliotopoulos, Marios; Kokkinos, Kostantinos; Fafoutis, Chrysostomos; Sidiropoulos, Pantelis; Vasiliades, Lampros; Papaioannou, George; Loukas, Athanasios; Mylopoulos, Nikitas

    2015-04-01

    The overall objective of this work is the development of an Information System which could be used by stakeholders for the purposes of water management as well as for planning and strategic decision-making in semi-arid areas. An integrated modeling system has been developed and applied to evaluate the sustainability of water resources management strategies in Lake Karla watershed, Greece. The modeling system, developed in the framework of "HYDROMENTOR" research project, is based on a GIS modelling approach which uses remote sensing data and includes coupled models for the simulation of surface water and groundwater resources, the operation of hydrotechnical projects (reservoir operation and irrigation works) and the estimation of water demands at several spatial scales. Lake Karla basin was the region where the system was tested but the methodology may be the basis for future analysis elsewhere. Τwo (2) base and three (3) management scenarios were investigated. In total, eight (8) water management scenarios were evaluated: i) Base scenario without operation of the reservoir and the designed Lake Karla district irrigation network (actual situation) • Reduction of channel losses • Alteration of irrigation methods • Introduction of greenhouse cultivation ii) Base scenario including the operation of the reservoir and the Lake Karla district irrigation network • Reduction of channel losses • Alteration of irrigation methods • Introduction of greenhouse cultivation The results show that, under the existing water resources management, the water deficit of Lake Karla watershed is very large. However, the operation of the reservoir and the cooperative Lake Karla district irrigation network coupled with water demand management measures, like reduction of water distribution system losses and alteration of irrigation methods, could alleviate the problem and lead to sustainable and ecological use of water resources in the study area. Acknowledgements: This study

  2. Monitoring temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon decomposition under maize-wheat cropping systems in semi-arid India.

    PubMed

    Sandeep, S; Manjaiah, K M; Mayadevi, M R; Singh, A K

    2016-08-01

    Long-term storage of soil organic carbon (SOC) is essential for sustainability of agricultural ecosystems and maintaining overall environment quality as soils contain a significant part of global carbon stocks. In this study, we attempted to explain the carbon mineralization and temperature sensitivity of SOC in maize-wheat systems, a common cropping system in the semi-arid regions of India. Soil samples(0-0.15 m) from long-term experimental plots laid in split plot design with two tillage systems (conventional tillage and bed planting) and six nutrient management treatments (T 1 = control, T 2 = 120 kg urea-N/ha, T 3 = T2 (25 % N substituted by farmyard manure (FYM)), T 4 = T 2 (25 % N substituted by sewage sludge), T 5 = T 2 + crop residue, T 6 = 100 % recommended doses of N through organic source - 50 % FYM + 25 % biofertilizer + 25 % crop residue) were incubated at different temperatures (25, 30, 35, and 40 °C) to determine the thermal sensitivity parameters associated with carbon mineralization. Earlier reports suggest a selective preservation of C3-derived carbon fractions over C4 in the SOC pool, and this is the first instance where δ (13)C signatures (C4-derived carbon) were used as a qualitative measure to assess thermal sensitivity of SOC pools in the maize-wheat crop rotation systems of semi-arid India. Among the nutrient management treatments, mineral fertilizers were found to add more C4-derived carbon to the SOC pool in both the tillage systems but shows less promise in SOC stability as indicated by their lower activation energies (Ea) (14.25 kJ mol(-1)). Conventional tillage was found to mineralize 18.80 % (T 1-control at 25 °C) to 29.93 % carbon (T 3-mineral fertilizer + FYM at 40 °C) during the 150 days of incubation which was significantly higher than bed planting system (14.90 % in T 1-control at 25 °C and 21.99 % in T 6-100% organic sources at 40 °C). Organic manures, especially FYM (19

  3. Ecohydrology of a semi-arid forest: effects of precipitation pattern and canopy structure on forest productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raz Yaseef, N.; Rotenberg, E.; Schiller, G.; Yakir, D.

    2009-12-01

    In dry forest ecosystems water is often the main limitation to carbon sequestration and water availability to the trees is further limited by losses to soil evaporation (E). While it is important to assess E, it is also a difficult variable to directly measure, and can be expected to be highly heterogeneous in open-canopies. We investigated the links between the water and carbon cycles in a semi-arid forest in Southern-Israel (40-year-old P. halepensis forest, with LAI of 1.5 and mean annual precipitation of 285 mm). During a four-year research period we measured precipitation (P, event rain gauges), soil water content (TDRs), evapotranspiration (ET, eddy covariance), tree transpiration (T, sap flux), soil evaporation (E, soil chambers) and intercepted precipitation (calculated). These were combined with on-going measurements of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), radiation budget and meteorological measurements. On average for the study period, ET accounted for 94% of P, varying between 100% when P<250 mm and 85% when P>300 mm (with indications for losses to subsurface flow and soil moisture storage in wetter years). Both T and E were major fluxes in this dry forest: 45% and 36% of ET, respectively. Two main processes influenced the partitioning of ET between E and T: precipitation patterns and canopy structure. The pulsed-storm pattern, characteristic of semi-arid climates, was sufficient to maintain the topsoil layer wet during the whole wet season (November to March), producing high E during high radiation days (up to 0.70 mm d-1 in the wetting and drying seasons). Only infrequent and relatively intensive storms resulted in infiltration to the depth of maximum rooting density (~25cm) and below, increasing water availability to the trees. As a result, two years with similar P (231 and 224 mm) had different ecosystem water use efficiency: 1.06 (gCO2/kgH2O) in a year with few large storms, but only 0.74 in a year with many small storms. The spatial variability in E

  4. The role of the perch effect on the nucleation process in Mediterranean semi-arid oldfields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pausas, Juli G.; Bonet, Andreu; Maestre, Fernando T.; Climent, Anna

    2006-05-01

    Oldfield succession in Mediterranean ecosystems has been studied extensively in mesic conditions. However, this phenomenon is still poorly understood in semi-arid Mediterranean areas, where reduced plant cover, the importance of facilitation processes and the role of abiotic factors make these environments distinct. We first test whether the carob tree ( Ceratonia siliqua) generates nucleation patterns in semi-arid oldfields, and to what extent such patterns change with abandonment age. Then we test to what extent nucleation can be explained by the perch effect. And finally, we test whether the nucleated pattern around carob trees is a source of diversity in the oldfields studied. To answer these questions we located oldfields abandoned 25 and 50 years ago (20 in each case) in the Alacant Province (SE Spain, Iberian Peninsula) on the basis of aerial photographs and personal interviews with local landowners and managers. In each oldfield woody plant density and richness were sampled on two microsites: under the carob tree and in the open field. Analysis was performed on all woody plants and by separating the species in two functional groups: fleshy-fruited (with fleshy mesocarp) and non-fleshy-fruited species. The results suggest that woody vegetation colonising abandoned C. siliqua fields in SE Spain is not randomly distributed but follows a nucleation pattern with higher plant density under the trees. However, the nucleation pattern is only significant for fleshy-fruited species, suggesting that facilitative interactions alone cannot explain the nucleation pattern and that the perch effect plays an important role. The results also show that the nucleation pattern (total plant density and density of non-fleshy-fruited plants) did not increase with abandonment age, while the perch effect (density of fleshy-fruited plants) did increase significantly. Furthermore, the results also show that the nucleation pattern is not only a loci of high plant density but also a

  5. Semi-arid vegetation response to antecedent climate and water balance windows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thoma, David P.; Munson, Seth M.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Witwicki, Dana L.; Bunting, Erin

    2016-01-01

    Questions Can we improve understanding of vegetation response to water availability on monthly time scales in semi-arid environments using remote sensing methods? What climatic or water balance variables and antecedent windows of time associated with these variables best relate to the condition of vegetation? Can we develop credible near-term forecasts from climate data that can be used to prepare for future climate change effects on vegetation? Location Semi-arid grasslands in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA. Methods We built vegetation response models by relating the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from MODIS imagery in Mar–Nov 2000–2013 to antecedent climate and water balance variables preceding the monthly NDVI observations. We compared how climate and water balance variables explained vegetation greenness and then used a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance models to forecast monthly NDVI for three holdout years. Results Water balance variables explained vegetation greenness to a greater degree than climate variables for most growing season months. Seasonally important variables included measures of antecedent water input and storage in spring, switching to indicators of drought, input or use in summer, followed by antecedent moisture availability in autumn. In spite of similar climates, there was evidence the grazed grassland showed a response to drying conditions 1 mo sooner than the ungrazed grassland. Lead times were generally short early in the growing season and antecedent window durations increased from 3 mo early in the growing season to 1 yr or more as the growing season progressed. Forecast accuracy for three holdout years using a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance variables outperformed forecasts made with a naïve NDVI climatology. Conclusions We determined the influence of climate and water balance on vegetation at a fine temporal scale, which presents an opportunity to forecast vegetation

  6. Soil degradation in semi-arid grasslands due to intensive grazing in Northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiesmeier, M.; Steffens, M.; Kölbl, A.; Kögel-Knabner, I.

    2012-04-01

    Degradation of semi-arid grasslands is a global environmental problem, particularly in Inner Mongolia, Northern China, where up to 70% of the total area is classified as degraded steppe. The main cause of grassland degradation in Northern China is overgrazing as a result of increasing stocking rates and a static grazing management during the last 50 years. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of intensive grazing on the stabilization processes, the amount and the spatial distribution of soil organic matter (SOM) in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia. Within the Xilin River Catchment, intensively grazed sites were compared with ungrazed experimental sites at different spatial and temporal scales. In order to determine short-term effects of intensive grazing, a controlled grazing experiment was established in 2005. Topsoil samples were taken in 2005 and again in 2008 from ungrazed (UG05), moderately grazed (MG) and heavily grazed plots (HG) and analyzed for chemical and physical soil properties. The effects of long-term grazing were investigated in detail at continuously grazed sites (CG) and compared to adjacent ungrazed sites that were fenced in 1979 (UG79). To elucidate the spatial structure of selected topsoil parameters at the field scale, 100 grid points with spacings of 5 m and 15 m were sampled. For detection of small-scale variability at the plant scale, 40 randomly selected points were sampled inside areas of 2 m × 2 m at each plot. Semivariances were calculated for the determined soil properties. To quantify the contribution of single soil fractions to total SOC stocks, a combined density and particle size fractionation was applied. Carbon mineralization was determined in an incubation experiment for a period of one month for UG79 and CG sites. Grazing exclusion led to a significant decrease of SOC in the topsoil already three years after grazing exclusion and resulted in 25-30% lower amounts after 30 years. This decrease was related to lower

  7. Should we plant trees to offset greenhouse gas emissions in semi-arid environments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pataki, D. E.; Pincetl, S.; Gillespie, T. W.; Li, W.; McCarthy, H. R.; Saatchi, S.; Saphores, J.

    2008-12-01

    Urban tree planting programs have been gaining popularity in the United States. Urban trees have been associated with a variety of environmental benefits, including improvements in air quality, mitigation of urban heat island effects, reductions in stormwater runoff, and more recently, carbon sequestration. There are also other potential aesthetic and economic benefits of urban forests, which have been shown to affect real estate values. However, there may also be significant economic and environmental costs of planting and maintaining trees in urban areas, particularly in semi-arid environments where trees are not native and require irrigation and fertilization. We are conducting an analysis of the Million Tree Initiative in the city of Los Angeles, which has committed to a major tree planting program. Los Angeles currently has a low tree canopy cover relative to other cities, particularly in its low income neighborhoods. We are evaluating the decision-making processes associated with the new tree planting program, its perceived benefits, and its actual benefits based on measurements of plant and ecosystem processes such as transpiration, photosynthesis, and water use efficiency; remote sensing analyses of tree cover and surface temperature; and economic analyses. We have found great variability in the interpretation of the program by its various participants, but also significant institutional learning as the program has evolved. Our datasets have challenged some of the common assumptions of the program, for example, the assumption that native species use less water than imported species and are therefore more environmentally beneficial in terms of water resources. We have also found significant impacts of the urban forest on air temperature, which may reduce energy use during the summer due to reductions in air conditioning. This is likely to be a larger effect of urban trees on greenhouse gas emissions than direct carbon sequestration alone, which is a very

  8. Conduits to Catchments: Deformation Band Faults in Arid and Semi-Arid Vadose Zone Sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigda, J. M.; Wilson, J. L.; Goodwin, L. B.; Conca, J. L.

    2002-12-01

    Where fault movement intercepts sandy sediments, deformational processes create narrow, tabular zones of reduced pore and grain sizes, called deformation band faults, which possess markedly different hydraulic properties than the parent sands. These faults are commonly found where tectonic extension and erosion have combined to create basins containing variably lithified, heterolithic sediments, which in turn form thick vadose and saturated zones. Under arid or semi-arid conditions the unsaturated property differences between these faults and their poorly lithified parent sands appear to be large enough that the faults can potentially act as paths for preferential flow and transport, or as liquid phase catchments, depending on the conditions. We measured the unsaturated hydraulic properties of three small-displacement normal faults and adjacent sands found in the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, central New Mexico, USA using UFA centrifuge systems. Fits to commonly used unsaturated property models revealed consistent differences between sands and faults. Analytical one-dimensional models of steady infiltration, exfiltration, and solute transport confirm that faults can become paths for preferential flow and transport. Under dry conditions and observed fault spatial densities, faulted sands can infiltrate and exfiltrate orders of magnitude more liquid phase water than unfaulted sands. Solute residence times are two to four orders of magnitude shorter through faulted than unfaulted sand beds and diagenetic alteration is far more likely to occur in faults than sands because faults are predicted to transmit as many as 10 4 pore volumes in the time needed to transmit a single pore volume through the sand. Numerical modeling of steady two dimensional downwards flow near a dipping fault suggests that, under relatively wet conditions, faults with sufficiently low dip angles can intercept enough water to form sizeable zones of increased water content in the hanging wall

  9. Eco-Physiological Responses of Dominant Species to Watering in a Natural Grassland Community on the Semi-Arid Loess Plateau of China.

    PubMed

    Niu, Furong; Duan, Dongping; Chen, Ji; Xiong, Peifeng; Zhang, He; Wang, Zhi; Xu, Bingcheng

    2016-01-01

    Altered precipitation regimes significantly affect ecosystem structure and function in arid and semi-arid regions. In order to investigate effects of precipitation changes on natural grassland community in the semi-arid Loess Plateau, the current research examined eco-physiological characteristics of two co-dominant species (i.e., Bothriochloa ischaemum and Lespedeza davurica) and community composition following two watering instances (i.e., precipitation pulses, July and August, 2011, respectively) in a natural grassland community. Results showed that the photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance and intercellular CO2 concentration rapidly increased on the first to third day following watering in both species, and both months. Under watering treatments, the maximum net photosynthetic rates appeared on the second to third day after watering, which increased 30-80% in B. ischaemum and 40-50% in L. davurica compared with non-watering treatments, respectively. Leaf water use efficiency kept stable or initially decreased in both species under watering treatments. Watering in July produced more promoting effects on grass photosynthesis than in August, particularly in B. ischaemum. Community above-ground biomass at the end of the growing season increased after watering, although no significant changes in species diversity were observed. Our results indicated that timing and magnitude of watering could significantly affect plant eco-physiological processes, and there were species-specific responses in B. ischaemum and L. davurica. Pulsed watering increased community productivity, while did not significantly alter community composition after one growing season. The outcomes of this study highlight eco-physiological traits in dominant species may playing important roles in reshaping community composition under altered precipitation regimes.

  10. Combined effects of nitrogen addition and litter manipulation on nutrient resorption of Leymus chinensis in a semi-arid grassland of northern China.

    PubMed

    Li, X; Liu, J; Fan, J; Ma, Y; Ding, S; Zhong, Z; Wang, D

    2015-01-01

    Plant growth in semi-arid ecosystems is usually severely limited by soil nutrient availability. Alleviation of these resource stresses by fertiliser application and aboveground litter input may affect plant internal nutrient cycling in such regions. We conducted a 4-year field experiment to investigate the effects of nitrogen (N) addition (10 g N·m(-2) ·year(-1)) and plant litter manipulation on nutrient resorption of Leymus chinensis, the dominant native grass in a semi-arid grassland in northern China. Although N addition had no clear effects on N and phosphorus (P) resorption efficiencies in leaves and culms, N fertilisation generally decreased leaf N resorption proficiency by 54%, culm N resorption proficiency by 65%. Moreover, N fertilisation increased leaf P resorption proficiency by 13%, culm P resorption proficiency by 20%. Under ambient or enriched N conditions, litter addition reduced N and P resorption proficiencies in both leaves and culms. The response of P resorption proficiency to litter manipulation was more sensitive than N resorption proficiency: P resorption proficiency in leaves and culms decreased strongly with increasing litter amount under both ambient and enriched N conditions. In contrast, N resorption proficiency was not significantly affected by litter addition, except for leaf N resorption proficiency under ambient N conditions. Furthermore, although litter addition caused a general decrease of leaf and culm nutrient resorption efficiencies under both ambient and enriched N conditions, litter addition effects on nutrient resorption efficiency were much weaker than the effects of litter addition on nutrient resorption proficiency. Taken together, our results show that leaf and non-leaf organs of L. chinensis respond consistently to altered soil N availability. Our study confirms the strong effects of N addition on plant nutrient resorption processes and the potential role of aboveground litter, the most important natural fertiliser in

  11. Eco-Physiological Responses of Dominant Species to Watering in a Natural Grassland Community on the Semi-Arid Loess Plateau of China

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Furong; Duan, Dongping; Chen, Ji; Xiong, Peifeng; Zhang, He; Wang, Zhi; Xu, Bingcheng

    2016-01-01

    Altered precipitation regimes significantly affect ecosystem structure and function in arid and semi-arid regions. In order to investigate effects of precipitation changes on natural grassland community in the semi-arid Loess Plateau, the current research examined eco-physiological characteristics of two co-dominant species (i.e., Bothriochloa ischaemum and Lespedeza davurica) and community composition following two watering instances (i.e., precipitation pulses, July and August, 2011, respectively) in a natural grassland community. Results showed that the photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance and intercellular CO2 concentration rapidly increased on the first to third day following watering in both species, and both months. Under watering treatments, the maximum net photosynthetic rates appeared on the second to third day after watering, which increased 30–80% in B. ischaemum and 40–50% in L. davurica compared with non-watering treatments, respectively. Leaf water use efficiency kept stable or initially decreased in both species under watering treatments. Watering in July produced more promoting effects on grass photosynthesis than in August, particularly in B. ischaemum. Community above-ground biomass at the end of the growing season increased after watering, although no significant changes in species diversity were observed. Our results indicated that timing and magnitude of watering could significantly affect plant eco-physiological processes, and there were species-specific responses in B. ischaemum and L. davurica. Pulsed watering increased community productivity, while did not significantly alter community composition after one growing season. The outcomes of this study highlight eco-physiological traits in dominant species may playing important roles in reshaping community composition under altered precipitation regimes. PMID:27242864

  12. Seasonal responses of soil respiration to warming and nitrogen addition in a semi-arid alfalfa-pasture of the Loess Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Fang, Chao; Ye, Jian-Sheng; Gong, Yanhong; Pei, Jiuying; Yuan, Ziqiang; Xie, Chan; Zhu, Yusi; Yu, Yueyuan

    2017-07-15

    Responses of soil respiration (Rs) to increasing nitrogen (N) deposition and warming will have far-reaching influences on global carbon (C) cycling. However, the seasonal (growing and non-growing seasons) difference of Rs responses to warming and N deposition has rarely been investigated. We conducted a field manipulative experiment in a semi-arid alfalfa-pasture of northwest China to evaluate the response of Rs to nitrogen addition and warming from March 2014 to March 2016. Open-top chambers were used to elevate temperature and N was enriched at a rate of 4.42g m(-2)yr(-1) with NH4NO3. Results showed that (1) N addition increased Rs by 14% over the two-year period; and (2) warming stimulated Rs by 15% in the non-growing season, while inhibited it by 5% in the growing season, which can be explained by decreased plant coverage and soil water. The main effect of N addition did not change with time, but that of warming changed with time, with the stronger inhibition observed in the dry year. When N addition and warming were combined, an antagonistic effect was observed in the growing season, whereas a synergism was observed in the non-growing season. Overall, warming and N addition did not affect the Q10 values over the two-year period, but these treatments significantly increased the Q10 values in the growing season compared with the control treatment. In comparison, combined warming and nitrogen addition significantly reduced the Q10 values compared with the single factor treatment. These results suggest that the negative indirect effect of warming-induced water stress overrides the positive direct effect of warming on Rs. Our results also imply the necessity of considering the different Rs responses in the growing and non-growing seasons to climate change to accurately evaluate the carbon cycle in the arid and semi-arid regions.

  13. Semi-arid zone caves: Evaporation and hydrological controls on δ18O drip water composition and implications for speleothem paleoclimate reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markowska, Monika; Baker, Andy; Andersen, Martin S.; Jex, Catherine N.; Cuthbert, Mark O.; Rau, Gabriel C.; Graham, Peter W.; Rutlidge, Helen; Mariethoz, Gregoire; Marjo, Christopher E.; Treble, Pauline C.; Edwards, Nerilee

    2016-01-01

    Oxygen isotope ratios in speleothems may be affected by external processes that are independent of climate, such as karst hydrology and kinetic fractionation. Consequently, there has been a shift towards characterising and understanding these processes through cave monitoring studies, particularly focussing on temperate zones where precipitation exceeds evapotranspiration. Here, we investigate oxygen isotope systematics at Wellington Caves in semi-arid, SE Australia, where evapotranspiration exceeds precipitation. We use a novel D2O isotopic tracer in a series of artificial irrigations, supplemented by pre-irrigation data comprised four years of drip monitoring and three years of stable isotope analysis of both drip waters and rainfall. This study reveals that: (1) evaporative processes in the unsaturated zone dominate the isotopic composition of drip waters; (2) significant soil zone 'wetting up' is required to overcome soil moisture deficits in order to achieve infiltration, which is highly dependent on antecedent hydro-climatic conditions; (3) lateral flow, preferential flow and sorption in the soil zone are important in redistributing subsurface zone water; (4) isotopic breakthrough curves suggest clear evidence of piston-flow at some drip sites where an older front of water discharged prior to artificial irrigation water; and (5) water residence times in a shallow vadose zone (<2 m) are highly variable and can exceed six months. Oxygen isotope speleothem records from semi-arid regions are therefore more likely to contain archives of alternating paleo-aridity and paleo-recharge, rather than paleo-rainfall e.g. the amount effect or mean annual. Speleothem-forming drip waters will be dominated by evaporative enrichment, up to ∼3‰ in the context of this study, relative to precipitation-weighted mean annual rainfall. The oxygen isotope variability of such coeval records may further be influenced by flow path and storage in the unsaturated zone that is not only

  14. Comparison of four methods of aerodynamic roughness length parameterization in semi-arid shrublands with airborne LiDAR, hyperspectral, and meteorological data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, A.; Mitchell, J. J.; Glenn, N. F.; Zhao, W.; Germino, M. J.; Allen, R.; Sankey, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    The aerodynamic roughness length (z0) plays an important role in the flux exchange between the land surface and atmosphere. Especially in semiarid shrublands, z0 is a key parameter for physical models of aeolian transport. z0 is influenced by the height, geometry, density and pattern of roughness elements. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is well suited to measure the vegetation height and has been used to estimate z0 across large areas. In this study, we combined airborne LiDAR, hyperspectral imagery and meteorological measurements to estimate z0, and assessed the ability of airborne LiDAR to estimate z0 over semi-arid shrublands. Airborne LiDAR data was used to derive the height of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentate subsp. wyomingensis) over a study area in the Great Basin, Idaho. Roughness density was related with percent vegetation cover which was estimated by integrating LiDAR and hyperspectral data, both collected in August 2011. Four methods of parameterization of z0 were applied and compared with the vegetation height from LiDAR; roughness from LiDAR and hyperspectral; NDVI and LAI from HyMap; and a geometric approach using meteorological data (e.g. wind speed). Micrometeorological measurements at two eddy covariance sites in the study area were used for validation of parameterized z0. The spatial variability of z0 was analyzed and the relationship with vegetation density was explored. The results demonstrated the potential of using airborne LiDAR data to estimate z0 at a regional scale in semi-arid shrublands. Furthermore, z0 showed a tight relationship with local variance of vegetation height and vegetation density.

  15. Altered phenology and temperature sensitivity of invasive annual grasses and forbs changes autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration rates in a semi-arid shrub community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauritz, M.; Lipson, D. L.

    2013-04-01

    Many invasions, like the wide-spread establishment of annual grasses and forbs in semi-arid shrublands, are associated with climate change. In order to predict ecosystem carbon (C) storage it is critical that we understand how invasion affects soil respiration (Rt). Because plants and microbes have different seasonal dynamics, determining the relative contribution of autotrophic (Ra) and heterotrophic (Rh) respiration provides critical insight into soil C processes. Using automated soil respiration measurements and root exclusion cores we evaluated the moisture and temperature sensitivity of Rt and Rh and calculated the contribution of Ra in native shrub and invaded areas. Invasion increased cumulative Rt by 40% from 695 (±51) g C m-2 under shrubs to 1050 g C m-2 (±44) in invaded areas. Cumulative Rh did not change but invasion altered the seasonal pattern of Rh. Throughout the season Rt and Rh responded positively to temperature increases when soils were wet and negatively when soils were dry. Invasion increased temperature sensitivity of Rt and Rh in wet soils and decreased temperature sensitivity in dry soils. The altered temperature sensitivity of invasives was attributed largely to differences in phenology. Early phenology of invasive grasses caused rapid Ra increases early in the season; late phenology of invasive forbs resulted in the surprising maintenance of diurnal Ra and Rh signals despite high temperatures and low soil moisture. Invasion extended the respiration season of the system. Ability of the invasive community to withstand high temperatures and drought could confer greater resilience if temperature and precipitation patterns in the region change. The high contribution of Ra by invasive annuals means ecosystem C storage will depend heavily on seasonal rainfall dynamics and productivity of invasive annuals. In semi-arid ecosystems even small scale changes in plant community composition alter Rt, Ra and Rh and should be considered when attempting

  16. Elemental quantification, chemistry, and source apportionment in golf course facilities in a semi-arid urban landscape using a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udeigwe, T. K.; Young, J.; Kandakji, T.; Weindorf, D. C.; Mahmoud, M. A.; Stietiya, M. H.

    2015-04-01

    This study extends the application of the portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry to the examination of elements in semi-arid urban landscapes of the Southern High Plains (SHP) of the United States, focusing on golf courses. The complex environmental challenges of this region and the unique management practices at golf course facilities could lead to differences in concentration and in the chemistry of elements between managed (irrigated) and non-managed (non-irrigated) portions of these facilities. Soil samples were collected at depths of 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm from managed and non-managed areas of seven different facilities in the city of Lubbock, Texas, and analyzed for a suite of soil properties. Total elemental quantification was conducted using a PXRF spectrometer. Findings mostly indicated no significant differences in the concentration of examined elements between the managed and non-managed areas of the facilities. However, strong positive relationships (R = 0.82-0.91, p < 0.001) were observed among elements (e.g., Fe on the one hand and Cr, Mn, Ni, and As on the other; Cu and Zn; As and Cr) and between these elements and soil constituents or properties such as clay, calcium carbonate, organic matter, and pH. The strengths of these relationships were mostly higher in the non-managed areas, suggesting a possible alteration in the chemistry of these elements by anthropogenic influences in the managed areas. Principal component and correlation analyses within the managed areas suggested that As, Cr, Fe, Mn, and Ni could be of lithogenic origin, while Cu, Pb, and Zn could have anthropogenic influences. Only one possible, likely lithogenic, source of the elements was identified within the non-managed areas. As evidenced by the study, the PXRF spectrometer can be a valuable tool for elemental quantification and rapid investigation of elemental interaction and source apportionment in semi-arid climates.

  17. Elemental quantification, chemistry, and source apportionment in golf course facilities in semi-arid urban landscape using portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udeigwe, T. K.; Young, J.; Kandakji, T.; Weindorf, D. C.; Mahmoud, M. A.; Stietiya, M. H.

    2015-01-01

    This study extends the application of the portable x-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry to examination of elements in semi-arid urban landscapes of the Southern High Plains (SHP) of the United States (US), focusing on golf courses. The complex environmental challenges of this region and the unique management practices at golf course facilities could lead to differences in concentration and chemistry of elements between managed (irrigated) and non-managed (non-irrigated) portions of these facilities. Soil samples were collected at the depths of 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm from managed and non-managed areas of seven different facilities in the city of Lubbock, Texas, and analyzed for a suite of soil properties. Total elemental quantification was conducted using PXRF. Findings mostly indicated no significant differences in concentration of examined elements between the managed and non-managed areas of the facilities. However, strong positive relationships (R2 = 0.82-0.91, p < 0.001) were observed among elements (e.g. Fe and each of Cr, Mn, Ni, and As; Cu and Zn; As and Cr) and between these elements and soil constituents or properties such as clay, calcium carbonate, organic matter, and pH. The strengths of these relationships were mostly higher in the non-managed areas, suggesting possible alteration in the chemistry of these elements by anthropogenic influences. Principal component analyses (PCA) and correlation analyses within the managed areas suggested that As, Cr, Fe, Mn, and Ni could be of lithogenic origin, while Cu, Pb, and Zn were attributed to anthropogenic influences. Only one possible source of element, likely lithogenic, was identified within non-managed areas. As evidenced from the study, the PXRF can be a valuable tool for elemental quantification, and rapid investigation of elemental interaction and source apportionment in semi-arid climates.

  18. Assessing the biophysical and socio-economic potential of Sustainable Land Management and Water Harvesting Technologies for rainfed agriculture across semi-arid Africa.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine, Brian; Fleskens, Luuk; Kirkby, Mike

    2016-04-01

    Stakeholders in recent EU projects identified soil erosion as the most frequent driver of land degradation in semi-arid environments. In a number of sites, historic land management and rainfall variability are recognised as contributing to the serious environmental impact. In order to consider the potential of sustainable land management and water harvesting techniques stakeholders and study sites from the projects selected and trialled both local technologies and promising technologies reported from other sites . The combined PESERA and DESMICE modelling approach considered the regional effects of the technologies in combating desertification both in environmental and socio-economical terms. Initial analysis was based on long term average climate data with the model run to equilibrium. Current analysis, primarily based on the WAHARA study sites considers rainfall variability more explicitly in time series mode. The PESERA-DESMICE approach considers the difference between a baseline scenario and a (water harvesting) technology scenario, typically, in terms of productivity, financial viability and scope for reducing erosion risk. A series of 50 year rainfall realisations are generated from observed data to capture a full range of the climatic variability. Each realisation provides a unique time-series of rainfall and through modelling can provide a simulated time-series of crop yield and erosion risk for both baseline conditions and technology scenarios. Subsequent realisations and model simulations add to an envelope of the potential crop yield and cost-benefit relations. The development of such envelopes helps express the agricultural and erosional risk associated with climate variability and the potential for conservation measures to absorb the risk, highlighting the probability of achieving a given crop yield or erosion limit. Information that can directly inform or influence the local adoption of conservation measures under the climatic variability in semi-arid

  19. New Brazilian Cerambycidae from the Amazonian region (Coleoptera)

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Silva, Antonio; Galileo, Maria Helena M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Three new species of Cerambycidae are described from the Brazilian Amazonian region: Psapharochrus bezarki (Lamiinae, Acanthoderini); Xenofrea ayri (Lamiinae, Xenofreini); and Mecometopus wappesi (Cerambycinae, Clytini). Mecometopus wappesi is added to a previous key. PMID:27551200

  20. Dynamics of component carbon fluxes in a semi-arid Acacia woodland, central Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleverly, James; Boulain, Nicolas; Villalobos-Vega, Randol; Grant, Nicole; Faux, Ralph; Wood, Cameron; Cook, Peter G.; Yu, Qiang; Leigh, Andrea; Eamus, Derek

    2013-07-01

    Vast areas in the interior of Australia are exposed to regular but infrequent periods of heavy rainfall, interspersed with long periods at high temperatures, but little is known of the carbon budget of these remote areas or how they respond to extreme precipitation. In this study, we applied three methods to partition net ecosystem photosynthesis into gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) during two years of contrasting rainfall. The first year was wet (>250 mm above average rainfall), while little precipitation fell during the second year (>100 mm below average). During the first year of study, rates of GPP were large (793 g C m-2 yr-1) in this semi-arid Mulga (Acacia aneura) and grass savanna due to complementary photosynthetic responses by the canopy and C4 understorey to cycles of heavy rainfall. Patterns in GPP during the summer and autumn matched those in leaf area index (LAI), photosynthetic activity, and autotrophic respiration. During the dry year, small but positive photosynthetic uptake by Mulga contributed to the neutral carbon budget (GPP / Re = 1.06 ± 0.03). Small rates of photosynthesis by evergreen Mulga when dry were supported by storage of soil moisture above a relatively shallow hardpan. Little soil organic matter (1.1%) was available to support heterotrophic respiration (Rh) without input of fresh substrate. The two largest sources of Re in this study were autotrophic respiration by the seasonal understorey and Rh through decomposition of fresh organic matter supplied by the senescent understorey.

  1. High Contribution of Gallery Forests to Local Evaporation in Semi-Arid Burkina Faso

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceperley, N. C.; Mande, T.; Tyler, S. W.; Van De Giesen, N.; Rinaldo, A.; Parlange, M. B.

    2014-12-01

    Management of the hydrologic cycle is critical to the primary livelihood of a large part of semi-arid West Africa's primary livelihood, rain-fed farming. We use flux measurements from an eddy-covariance station coupled with a dense network of small wireless meteorological stations to examine the relationship between land surface properties (albedo, soil moisture, and roughness) and evapotranspiration in a small (3.5 km2) catchment in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The catchment is a matrix of savanna and agricultural land maintained under various regimes, providing a comparison of multiple land use types of Sudanian Wooded Savanna including a canyon gallery forest, agroforestry parklands, occasionally grazed semi-open savanna, a semi-closed wooded slope, fallow fields, rice paddies, and ephemeral wetlands. By filtering out times when dry air was entrained, we demonstrate the small control of soil moisture and vegetation on the evaporative fraction, which was not initially visible. Additionally we document the high contribution of the gallery forest to the the catchment evaporation, despite its small size. These small meteorological stations could be paired with currently available satellite data to calculate evaporation over a much larger area, even when eddy-covariance equipment is not available. These findings reinforce local cultural beliefs of the importance of gallery forests for climate regulation and may provide tools to key local decision makers, rural farmers.

  2. Seasonal transpiration pattern of Phragmites australis in a wetland of semi-arid Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moro, María José; Domingo, Francisco; López, Germán

    2004-02-01

    Transpiration rates were measured in a flooded population of Phragmites australis ssp. altissima in a wetland located in El Hondo Natural Park (southeastern Spain) during the growing season of 2000. The heat balance method for measuring sap flow was used to calculate the rate of water transpiration on a whole-stem basis. Four series of measurements were carried out in selected weeks in May, June, August and October. Structure, biomass and leaf area index of the reed population were simultaneously quantified in order to scale transpiration on a plot-area basis.Overall, transpiration flux was high during the sampling period and showed a typical diurnal pattern with a maximum at about midday. Mean transpiration was highest at the end of June coinciding with the peak of reed growth and with the maximum leaf area both at individual and plot scales. Rates decreased abruptly in October, in parallel with the advanced foliar senescence. The variation of both midday and integrated daily transpiration is significantly related to that of the air temperature on clear days. Cloudy and rainy days exert a pronounced effect on water loss by decreasing transpiration. Our results highlight the potential use of the sap-flow method to measure transpiration in reed ecosystems and the relevance of this flux for the water balance in wetlands in semi-arid environments. Thus, it is suggested that water management in these areas could be favoured by acquiring high-quality experimental data.

  3. Ecosystem services provided by agricultural terraces in semi-arid climates.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero-Díaz, Asunción; Díaz-Pereira, Elvira; Boix-Fayos, Carolina; de Vente, Joris

    2016-04-01

    Since ancient times, agricultural terraces are common features throughout the world, especially on steep slope gradients. Nowadays many terraces have been abandoned or removed and few new terraces are build due to increased mechanisation and intensification of agriculture. However, terraces are amongst the most effective soil conservation practices, reducing the slope gradient and slope length, as well as runoff rate and soil erosion, and without terraces, it would be impossible to cultivate on many hillslopes. Moreover, their scenic interest is undeniable, as in some cases, terraced slopes have even become part of UNESCO World Heritage. In order to highlight the potential benefits, requirements and limitations of terraces, we reviewed different types of sustainable land management practices related to terraces and characterised their implications for provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services. We centred our review on terraces in semi-arid environments worldwide, as were documented in the WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) database. Our results show that the most important ecosystem services provided by terraces relate to regulation of the on-site and off-site effects of runoff and erosion, and maintenance of soil fertility and vegetation cover. The presence of terraces also favours the provision of food, fiber, and clean water. In short, our results stress the crucial environmental, geomorphological and hydrological functions of terraces that directly relate to improving the quality of life of the people that use them. These results highlight the need for renewed recognition of the value of terraces for society, their preservation and maintenance.

  4. Secondary circulations above a solitary forest surrounded by semi-arid shrubland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eder, Fabian; De Roo, Frederik; Rotenberg, Eyal; Yakir, Dan; Schmid, Hans Peter; Mauder, Matthias

    2015-04-01

    The dynamics of the heterogeneous atmospheric boundary layer are complex and still not fully understood. In particular, it is not known to what extent surface heterogeneities can induce secondary circulations. For this purpose, Doppler lidar and eddy-covariance measurements and large-eddy simulations were conducted at the Yatir forest in Israel, a pine forest that is surrounded by semi arid shrubland, in August and September 2013. Due to the low albedo of the forest and the increased turbulence intensity, the surface buoyancy flux was 220-290 W m-2 higher at the forest site than in the surrounding desert during the measurement campaign. Moreover, the forest is about 6 x 10 km large which should be sufficient for affecting the whole atmospheric boundary layer. However, the large-eddy simulation suggested that under ambient background wind (≈ 6 m s-1), the forest induces only a weak secondary circulation which should appear downwind of the forest. Nevertheless, persistent updrafts above the forest were detected with the Doppler lidar on 5 of the 16 measurement days. Such a circulation might have an impact on the validity of eddy-covariance fluxes, because its flux contribution cannot be reliably captured with a point measurement. We found that the energy balance closure was 80% at the desert site, but it was closed at the forest site, because the large eddies were broken up into smaller eddies there and those are captured by the eddy-covariance system.

  5. Simulating the hydrologic impacts of land cover and climate changes in a semi-arid watershed

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Changes in climate and land cover are among the principal variables affecting watershed hydrology.This paper uses a cell-based model to examine the hydrologic impacts of climate and land-cover changes in thesemi-arid Lower Virgin River (LVR) watershed located upstream of Lake Mead, Nevada, USA. The cell-basedmodel is developed by considering direct runoff based on the Soil Conservation Service - Curve Number (SCSCN)method and surplus runoff based on the Thornthwaite water balance theory. After calibration and validation,the model is used to predict LVR discharge under future climate and land-cover changes. The hydrologicsimulation results reveal climate change as the dominant factor and land-cover change as a secondary factor inregulating future river discharge. The combined effects of climate and land-cover changes will slightly increaseriver discharge in summer but substantially decrease discharge in winter. This impact on water resources deservesattention in climate change adaptation planning.This dataset is associated with the following publication:Chen, H., S. Tong, H. Yang, and J. Yang. Simulating the hydrologic impacts of land cover and climate changes in a semi-arid watershed. Hydrological Sciences Journal. IAHS LIMITED, Oxford, UK, 60(10): 1739-1758, (2015).

  6. Climate phase drives canopy condition in a large semi-arid floodplain forest.

    PubMed

    Wen, Li; Saintilan, Neil

    2015-08-15

    To maintain and restore the ecological integrity of floodplains, allocating water for environmental benefits (i.e. environmental water) is widely practised globally. To efficiently manage the always limited environmental water, there is pressing need to advance our understanding of the ecological response to long-term climate cycles as evidence grows of intensification of extreme climatic events such as severe drought and heat waves. In this study, we assessed the alleviating effects of artificial flooding on drought impact using the canopy condition of the iconic river red gum forests in Australia's Murray Darling Basin (MDB). To achieve this, we jointly analysed spatial-temporal patterns of NDVI response and drought conditions for the period of 2000-2013, during which the MDB experienced an extreme dry-wet cycle. Our results indicated that while NDVI-derived canopy condition was better at the sites receiving environmental water during the dry phases, both watered and unwatered sites displayed great similarity in seasonality and trends. Furthermore, we did not find any significant difference in NDVI response of the canopy between the sites to suggest significant differences in ecosystem stability and resilience, with watered and unwatered sites showing similar responses to the extreme wet conditions as the drought broke. The highly significant relationship between long-term drought index and NDVI anomaly suggest that climate phase is the main forcing driving canopy condition in semi-arid floodplain forests.

  7. Determination of seasonal rainfall variability, onset and cessation in semi-arid Tharaka district, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Recha, C. W.; Makokha, G. L.; Traore, P. S.; Shisanya, C.; Lodoun, T.; Sako, A.

    2012-05-01

    The study quantified rainfall variability for March-May (MAM) and October-December (OND) seasons in Tharaka district, Kenya. The parameters analysed were inter-annual variability of seasonal rainfall, onset and cessation using daily rainfall data in three agro-ecological zones' stations. Percentage mean cumulative method was used to determine onset and cessation, and seasonal variability was estimated using rainfall variability indices. Although both seasons are highly variable, OND has been persistently below mean over time while MAM shows high within-season variability. Despite the near uniformity in the mean onset and cessation dates, the former is highly variable on an inter-annual scale. The two rainfall seasons are inherently dissimilar and therefore require specific cropping in agro-ecological zone LM4 and LM4-5. It is possible that farmers in IL5 are missing an opportunity by under-utilising MAM rainfall. The results should be incorporated in implications of climate variability and vulnerability assessment in semi-arid Tharaka district.

  8. Using optical-microwave synergy for estimating surface energy fluxes over semi-arid rangeland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Troufleau, D.; Vidal, A.; Beaudoin, A.; Moran, M. S.; Weltz, M. A.; Goodrich, D. C.; Washburn, J.; Rahman, A. F.

    1994-01-01

    First results of the Walnut Gulch '92 (Arizona, U.S.) experiment concerning the combined use of radar backscattering (ERS-1) and thermal infrared (LANDSAT TM (Thematic Mapper)) data to estimate surface sensible heat flux are reported. The first step investigates the potential use of ERS-1 SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) images for surface soil moisture monitoring of the watershed using five calibrated images acquired during the year 1992 (dry to wet conditions). Results show that despite the typical low level of biomass of semi arid rangeland, an attenuation of the soil backscatter (up to 2 dB) can occur during the rainy season mainly due to the vegetation characteristics. A statistical relationship is then used to retrieve the volumetric surface soil moisture from ERS-1 backscattering (sensitivity of 0.23 dB/% moisture) with a resulting root mean square error of 1.3% of soil moisture. In a second step a semi empirical approach based on energy balance relates soil temperatures to this estimated surface soil moisture. Vegetation temperature is then deduced from soil temperatures and LANDSAT TM composite temperature in order to estimate sensible heat flux according to a two layer type model providing an RMSE of 29 W/sq m.

  9. Irrigation agriculture affects organic matter decomposition in semi-arid terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Arroita, Maite; Causapé, Jesús; Comín, Francisco A; Díez, Joserra; Jimenez, Juan José; Lacarta, Juan; Lorente, Carmen; Merchán, Daniel; Muñiz, Selene; Navarro, Enrique; Val, Jonatan; Elosegi, Arturo

    2013-12-15

    Many dryland areas are being converted into intensively managed irrigation crops, what can disrupt the hydrological regime, degrade soil and water quality, enhance siltation, erosion and bank instability, and affect biological communities. Still, the impacts of irrigation schemes on the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are poorly understood. Here we assess the effects of irrigation agriculture on breakdown of coarse organic matter in soil and water. We measured breakdown rates of alder and holm oak leaves, and of poplar sticks in terrestrial and aquatic sites following a gradient of increasing irrigation agriculture in a semi-arid Mediterranean basin transformed into irrigation agriculture in 50% of its surface. Spatial patterns of stick breakdown paralleled those of leaf breakdown. In soil, stick breakdown rates were extremely low in non-irrigated sites (0.0001-0.0003 day(-1)), and increased with the intensity of agriculture (0.0018-0.0044 day(-1)). In water, stick breakdown rates ranged from 0.0005 to 0.001 day(-1), and increased with the area of the basin subject to irrigation agriculture. Results showed that irrigation agriculture affects functioning of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, accelerating decomposition of organic matter, especially in soil. These changes can have important consequences for global carbon budgets.

  10. Dynamic modeling of potentially conflicting energy reduction strategies for residential structures in semi-arid climates.

    PubMed

    Hester, Nathan; Li, Ke; Schramski, John R; Crittenden, John

    2012-04-30

    Globally, residential energy consumption continues to rise due to a variety of trends such as increasing access to modern appliances, overall population growth, and the overall increase of electricity distribution. Currently, residential energy consumption accounts for approximately one-fifth of total U.S. energy consumption. This research analyzes the effectiveness of a range of energy-saving measures for residential houses in semi-arid climates. These energy-saving measures include: structural insulated panels (SIP) for exterior wall construction, daylight control, increased window area, efficient window glass suitable for the local weather, and several combinations of these. Our model determined that energy consumption is reduced by up to 6.1% when multiple energy savings technologies are combined. In addition, pre-construction technologies (structural insulated panels (SIPs), daylight control, and increased window area) provide roughly 4 times the energy savings when compared to post-construction technologies (window blinds and efficient window glass). The model also illuminated the importance variations in local climate and building configuration; highlighting the site-specific nature of this type of energy consumption quantification for policy and building code considerations.

  11. Elephant dung decomposition and coprophilous fungi in two habitats of semi-arid Botswana.

    PubMed

    Masunga, Gaseitsiwe S; Andresen, Øystein; Taylor, Joanne E; Dhillion, Shivcharn S

    2006-10-01

    In order to understand the impact of habitat changes on ecosystem processes caused by increased populations of elephants, elephant dung decomposition was studied in semi-arid Botswana. Dung decomposition rates were studied with and without the presence of arthropods, using pairs of exposed dung and dung enclosed in nylon-mesh bags, respectively. Dung decomposition rates were lower in the absence of arthropods. The rates in the late wet season were higher in the scrubland than in the woodland. In the early dry season, immediately after the wet season, the rates were higher in the woodland than in the scrubland. The difference in decomposition rates between habitats was attributed to microclimatic conditions created by vegetation cover. With regard to fungal succession, Cladosporium cladosporioides and Eurotium brefeldianum occurred only in the late stages of dung decomposition whereas Talaromyces helicus, Cercophora coprophila and Sporormiella minima occurred in all the stages. Although there was no significant difference in Shannon-Weiner fungal species diversity index between habitats, seasons, dung ages and laboratory incubation periods, there were significant differences in fungal community composition between these parameters. Species richness was higher in the late wet season than in the early dry season, indicating the importance of moist conditions for a large diversity of fungal species.

  12. Seasonality of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in sedges in a semi-arid tropical grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muthukumar, T.; Udaiyan, K.

    2002-10-01

    Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) colonization and spore numbers in the rhizosphere of Cyperus iria L. and C. rotundus L., growing in a semi-arid tropical grassland, was studied during the 1993 and 1994 monsoons. In addition, climatic and chemical properties of the soils were determined in order to investigate their influence on mycorrhizal variables. VAM fungal association in the sedges was confirmed by plant- and root-trap culture techniques. The soil nutrients exhibited seasonal variations, but were highly variable between years. Intercellular hyphae and vesicles with occasional intraradical spores characterized mycorrhizal association in sedges. Dark septate fungi also colonized roots of sedges. Temporal variations in mycorrhizal colonization and spore numbers occurred, indicating seasonality. However, the patterns of mycorrhizal colonization and spore numbers were different during both the years. The VAM fungal structures observed were intercellular hyphae and vesicles. Changes in the proportion of root length with VAM structures, total colonization levels and spore numbers were related to climatic and edaphic factors. However, the intensity of influence of climatic and soil factors on VAM tended to vary with sedge species.

  13. Spatial Distribution of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in Semi-Arid Vitis vinifera Vineyards in Washington

    PubMed Central

    Howland, Amanda D.; Schreiner, R. Paul; Zasada, Inga A.

    2014-01-01

    The most commonly encountered plant-parasitic nematodes in eastern Washington Vitis vinifera vineyards are Meloidogyne hapla, Mesocriconema xenoplax, Pratylenchus spp., Xiphinema americanum, and Paratylenchus sp.; however, little is known about their distribution in the soil profile. The vertical and horizontal spatial distribution of plant-parasitic nematodes was determined in two Washington V. vinifera vineyards. Others variables measured in these vineyards included soil moisture content, fine root biomass, and root colonization by arbuscular mycorhizal fungi (AMF). Meloidogyne hapla and M. xenoplax were aggregated under irrigation emitters within the vine row and decreased with soil depth. Conversely, Pratylenchus spp. populations were primarily concentrated in vineyard alleyways and decreased with depth. Paratylenchus sp. and X. americanum were randomly distributed within the vineyards. Soil water content played a dominant role in the distribution of fine roots and plant-parasitic nematodes. Colonization of fine roots by AMF decreased directly under irrigation emitters; in addition, galled roots had lower levels of AMF colonization compared with healthy roots. These findings will help facilitate sampling and management decisions for plant-parasitic nematodes in Washington semi-arid vineyards. PMID:25580024

  14. Analysis of Precipitation Characteristics during 1957-2012 in the Semi-Arid Loess Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Weijun; Yu, Xinyang; Ma, Huan; Zhu, Qingke; Zhang, Yan; Qin, Wei; Ai, Ning; Wang, Yu

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation is the only water supply and most important factor affecting vegetation growth on the slopes of semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Based on precipitation data from 7 synoptic stations in the study area over the period 1957-2012, the trends of precipitation and standardized precipitation index (SPI) were analyzed by using linear regression, Mann-Kendall, and Spearman's Rho tests at the 5% significance level. The results show that (1) the precipitation fluctuation of monthly precipitation was intense (coefficients of variation> 100%), and the drier years were recorded as 1965 and 1995 at all stations. (2) The significant change trend of different stations varied on different time scales: the Changwu station had a significant decreasing trend in April (-0.488 mm/year) and November (-0.249 mm/year), while Luochuan station was in April (-0.457 mm/year); Changwu station displayed a significant increasing trends in winter (0.220 mm/year) and a significant decreasing trends in spring (-0.770 mm/year). The significant decreasing trends in annual precipitation were detected at the Suide (-2.034 mm/year) and Yan'an (-2.129 mm/year) stations. (3) The SPI-12 series analysis suggests that the drought degree of Yulin and Changwu was the lowest and that of Hengshan was the highest among the 7 synoptic stations.

  15. Impacts of Climate Anomalies on the Vegetation Patterns in the Arid and Semi-Arid Zones of Uzbekistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dildora, Aralova; Toderich, Kristina; Dilshod, Gafurov

    2016-08-01

    Steadily rising temperature anomalies in last decades are causing changes in vegetation patterns for sensitive to climate change in arid and semi-arid dryland ecosystems. After desiccation of the Aral Sea, Uzbekistan has been left with the challenge to develop drought and heat stress monitoring system and tools (e.g., to monitor vegetation status and/crop pattern dynamics) with using remote sensing technologies in broad scale. This study examines several climate parameters, NDVI and drought indexes within geostatistical method to predict further vegetation status in arid and semi-arid zones of landscapes. This approaches aimed to extract and utilize certain variable environmental data (temperature and precipitation) for assessment and inter-linkages of vegetation cover dynamics, specifically related to predict degraded and recovered zones or desertification process in the drylands due to scarcity of water resources and high risks of climate anomalies in fragile ecosystem of Uzbekistan.

  16. Carbon dioxide emissions from semi-arid soils amended with biochar alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers.

    PubMed

    Fernández, José M; Nieto, M Aurora; López-de-Sá, Esther G; Gascó, Gabriel; Méndez, Ana; Plaza, César

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid soils cover a significant area of Earth's land surface and typically contain large amounts of inorganic C. Determining the effects of biochar additions on CO2 emissions from semi-arid soils is therefore essential for evaluating the potential of biochar as a climate change mitigation strategy. Here, we measured the CO2 that evolved from semi-arid calcareous soils amended with biochar at rates of 0 and 20tha(-1) in a full factorial combination with three different fertilizers (mineral fertilizer, municipal solid waste compost, and sewage sludge) applied at four rates (equivalent to 0, 75, 150, and 225kg potentially available Nha(-1)) during 182 days of aerobic incubation. A double exponential model, which describes cumulative CO2 emissions from two active soil C compartments with different turnover rates (one relatively stable and the other more labile), was found to fit very well all the experimental datasets. In general, the organic fertilizers increased the size and decomposition rate of the stable and labile soil C pools. In contrast, biochar addition had no effects on any of the double exponential model parameters and did not interact with the effects ascribed to the type and rate of fertilizer. After 182 days of incubation, soil organic and microbial biomass C contents tended to increase with increasing the application rates of organic fertilizer, especially of compost, whereas increasing the rate of mineral fertilizer tended to suppress microbial biomass. Biochar was found to increase both organic and inorganic C contents in soil and not to interact with the effects of type and rate of fertilizer on C fractions. As a whole, our results suggest that the use of biochar as enhancer of semi-arid soils, either alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers, is unlikely to increase abiotic and biotic soil CO2 emissions.

  17. Dietary selection of sheep grazing the semi-arid grasslands of Inner Mongolia, China at different grazing intensities.

    PubMed

    Schiborra, A; Gierus, M; Wan, H W; Glindemann, T; Wang, C J; Susenbeth, A; Taube, F

    2010-08-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate dietary selection of sheep grazing semi-arid grassland in Inner Mongolia, China, using the difference in organic matter digestibility (OMD) of herbage ingested and herbage on offer as indicator for selection. Faecal N was used as digestibility index for herbage ingested (FOMD), while OMD of herbage on offer (GOMD) was estimated from gas production obtained by the Hohenheim gas test. It was hypothesized that the difference between FOMD and GOMD is high, when grazing animals select against low quality herbage provided that herbage is abundant. In a grazing experiment, six grazing intensities (1.5, 3.0, 4.5, 6.0, 7.5 and 9.0 sheep/ha), representing light to very heavy grazing intensity for the semi-arid grassland, were compared. The amount of herbage on offer decreased with increasing grazing intensity. Independent statistical analysis of FOMD and GOMD showed that the differences between grazing intensities for both OMD determinations (FOMD: 54.0-57.3%, GOMD: 55.2-57.5%) were not significant (p > 0.05). The difference between FOMD and GOMD was not significant for grazing intensities, but varied between sampling periods from -4 to 1 percentage units. In conclusion, the lack of significance for the difference between FOMD and GOMD suggests that for the semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia, China, sheep did not select their feed due to a homogeneous nutritional composition of herbage on offer in 2005, regardless of grazing intensity.

  18. Leguminous species sequester more carbon than gramineous species in cultivated grasslands of a semi-arid area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yu; Tian, Fuping; Jia, Pengyan; Zhang, Jingge; Hou, Fujiang; Wu, Gaolin

    2017-01-01

    The establishment of grasslands on abandoned cropland has been proposed as an effective method to mitigate climate change. In this study, five cultivated grasslands (three leguminous species and two gramineous species), one abandoned cropland, and one natural grassland were studied to examine how soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration rate and sequestration efficiency change in a semi-arid area in China. Our results showed that leguminous grasslands had greater total biomass (above- and belowground biomass), SOC storage, SOC sequestration rate, and efficiency than gramineous grasslands, abandoned cropland, and natural grassland during the experimental period. The largest soil carbon (C) accumulation in leguminous grassland was mainly attributed to the capacity to incorporate C and the higher biomass production. Leguminous grasslands accumulated more SOC than gramineous grasslands by 0.64 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. The average SOC sequestration efficiency in leguminous grassland (1.00) was about 2 times greater than gramineous grassland (0.34). The results indicate that cultivated leguminous grassland sequestered more SOC with higher SOC sequestration efficiency than cultivated gramineous grassland in arid and semi-arid areas. Our results provide a reference for ecological management in arid and semi-arid areas.

  19. Multi-satellite sensor study on precipitation-induced emission pulses of NOx from soils in semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zörner, Jan; Penning de Vries, Marloes; Beirle, Steffen; Sihler, Holger; Veres, Patrick R.; Williams, Jonathan; Wagner, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    We present a top-down approach to infer and quantify rain-induced emission pulses of NOx ( ≡ NO + NO2), stemming from biotic emissions of NO from soils, from satellite-borne measurements of NO2. This is achieved by synchronizing time series at single grid pixels according to the first day of rain after a dry spell of prescribed duration. The full track of the temporal evolution several weeks before and after a rain pulse is retained with daily resolution. These are needed for a sophisticated background correction, which accounts for seasonal variations in the time series and allows for improved quantification of rain-induced soil emissions. The method is applied globally and provides constraints on pulsed soil emissions of NOx in regions where the NOx budget is seasonally dominated by soil emissions. We find strong peaks of enhanced NO2 vertical column densities (VCDs) induced by the first intense precipitation after prolonged droughts in many semi-arid regions of the world, in particular in the Sahel. Detailed investigations show that the rain-induced NO2 pulse detected by the OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument), GOME-2 and SCIAMACHY satellite instruments could not be explained by other sources, such as biomass burning or lightning, or by retrieval artefacts (e.g. due to clouds). For the Sahel region, absolute enhancements of the NO2 VCDs on the first day of rain based on OMI measurements 2007-2010 are on average 4 × 1014  molec cm-2 and exceed 1 × 1015  molec cm-2 for individual grid cells. Assuming a NOx lifetime of 4 h, this corresponds to soil NOx emissions in the range of 6 up to 65 ng N m-2 s-1, which is in good agreement with literature values. Apart from the clear first-day peak, NO2 VCDs are moderately enhanced (2 × 1014  molec cm-2) compared to the background over the following 2 weeks, suggesting potential further emissions during that period of about 3.3 ng N m-2 s-1

  20. Developing an Understanding of Vegetation Change and Fluvial Carbon Fluxes in Semi-Arid Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puttock, A. K.; Dungait, J.; Bol, R.; MacLeod, C. J.; Brazier, R.

    2011-12-01

    Dryland environments are estimated to cover around 40% of the global land surface (Okin et al, 2009) and are home to approximately 2.5 billion people (Reynolds et al. 2007). Many of these areas have recently experienced extensive land degradation. One such area and the focus of this project is the semi-arid US Southwest, where degradation over the past 150 years has been characterized by the invasion of woody vegetation into grasslands. Transition from grass to woody vegetation results in a change in ecosystem structure and function (Turnbull et al, 2008). Structural change is typically characterised by an increased heterogeneity of soil and vegetation resources, associated with reduced vegetation coverage and an increased vulnerability to soil erosion and the potential loss of key nutrients to adjacent fluvial systems. Such loss of resources may impact heavily upon the amount of carbon that is sequestered by these environments and the amount of carbon that is lost as the land becomes more degraded. Therefore, understanding these vegetation transitions is significant for sustainable land use and global biogeochemical cycling. This project uses an ecohydrological approach, monitoring natural rainfall-runoff events over six bounded plots with different vegetation coverage. The experiment takes advantage of a natural abundance stable 13C isotope shift from C3 piñon-juniper (Pinus edulis-Juniperus monosperma) mixed stand through a C4 pure-grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) to C3 shrub (Larrea tridentate). Data collected quantify fluvial fluxes of sediment and associated soil organic matter and carbon that is lost from across the grass-to-shrub and grass-to-woodland transition (where change in space is taken to indicate a similar change through time). Results collected during the 2010 and 2011 monsoon seasons will be presented, illustrating that soil and carbon losses are greater as the ecosystem becomes more dominated by woody plants. Additionally this project utilises novel