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Sample records for savanna landscape developing

  1. Fire in Australian savannas: from leaf to landscape

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Fire in Australian Savannas: from leaf to landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beringer, J.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Disentangling how landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity affects Savanna birds.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Riginos, Corinna

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, R.; Pavlovic, N.B.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhu, Likai; Southworth, Jane; Meng, Jijun

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Likai; Southworth, Jane; Meng, Jijun

    2015-10-01

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

  14. Monitoring contrasting land management in the savanna landscapes of northern Australia.

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

  15. A multi-scale spatial analysis of native and exotic plant species richness within a mixed-disturbance oak savanna landscape.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  17. Landscape changes in a neotropical forest-savanna ecotone zone in central Brazil: The role of protected areas in the maintenance of native vegetation.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Andrea S; Sawakuchi, Henrique O; Ferreira, Manuel Eduardo; Ballester, Maria Victoria R

    2017-02-01

    In the Amazon-savanna ecotone in northwest Brazil, the understudied Araguaia River Basin contains high biodiversity and seasonal wetlands. The region is representative of tropical humid-dry ecotone zones, which have experienced intense land use and land cover (LULC) conversions. Here we assessed the LULC changes for the last four decades in the central portion of the Araguaia River Basin to understand the temporal changes in the landscape composition and configuration outside and inside protected areas. We conducted these analyzes by LULC mapping and landscape metrics based on patch classes. During this period, native vegetation was reduced by 26%. Forests were the most threatened physiognomy, with significant areal reduction and fragmentation. Native vegetation cover was mainly replaced by croplands and pastures. Such replacement followed spatial and temporal trends related to the implementation of protected areas and increases in population cattle herds. The creation of most protected areas took place between 1996 and 2007, the same period during which the conversion of the landscape matrix from natural vegetation to agriculture occurred. We observed that protected areas mitigate fragmentation, but their roles differ according to their location and level of protection. Still, we argue that landscape characteristics, such as suitability for agriculture, also influence landscape conversions and should be considered when establishing protected areas. The information provided in this study can guide new research on species conservation and landscape planning, as well as improve the understanding of the impacts of landscape composition and configuration changes.

  18. [Landscape classification: research progress and development trend].

    PubMed

    Liang, Fa-Chao; Liu, Li-Ming

    2011-06-01

    Landscape classification is the basis of the researches on landscape structure, process, and function, and also, the prerequisite for landscape evaluation, planning, protection, and management, directly affecting the precision and practicability of landscape research. This paper reviewed the research progress on the landscape classification system, theory, and methodology, and summarized the key problems and deficiencies of current researches. Some major landscape classification systems, e. g. , LANMAP and MUFIC, were introduced and discussed. It was suggested that a qualitative and quantitative comprehensive classification based on the ideology of functional structure shape and on the integral consideration of landscape classification utility, landscape function, landscape structure, physiogeographical factors, and human disturbance intensity should be the major research directions in the future. The integration of mapping, 3S technology, quantitative mathematics modeling, computer artificial intelligence, and professional knowledge to enhance the precision of landscape classification would be the key issues and the development trend in the researches of landscape classification.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serling, T. E.

    1992-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Deciphering the distribution of the savanna biome.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Caroline E R; Archibald, Sally A; Hoffmann, William A; Bond, William J

    2011-07-01

    • We aimed to identify the limits of savanna across Africa, Australia and South America. We based our investigation on the rich history of hypotheses previously examined: that the limits of savanna are variously determined by rainfall, rainfall seasonality, soil fertility and disturbance. • We categorized vegetation on all continents as 'savanna' (open habitats with a C(4) grass layer) or 'not-savanna' (closed habitats with no C(4) grass layer) and used a combination of statistical approaches to examine how the presence of savanna varied as a function of five environmental correlates. • The presence of savanna is constrained by effective rainfall and rainfall seasonality. Soil fertility is regionally important, although the direction of its effect changes relative to rainfall. We identified three continental divergences in the limits of savanna that could not be explained by environment. • Climate and soils do not have a deterministic effect on the distribution of savanna. Over the range of savanna, some proportion of the land is always 'not-savanna'. We reconciled previous contradictory views of savanna limits by developing a new conceptual framework for understanding these limits by categorizing environmental factors into whether they had a positive or negative effect on woody growth and the frequency of disturbance.

  3. Vocal development in a Waddington landscape

    PubMed Central

    Teramoto, Yayoi; Takahashi, Daniel Y; Holmes, Philip; Ghazanfar, Asif A

    2017-01-01

    Vocal development is the adaptive coordination of the vocal apparatus, muscles, the nervous system, and social interaction. Here, we use a quantitative framework based on optimal control theory and Waddington’s landscape metaphor to provide an integrated view of this process. With a biomechanical model of the marmoset monkey vocal apparatus and behavioral developmental data, we show that only the combination of the developing vocal tract, vocal apparatus muscles and nervous system can fully account for the patterns of vocal development. Together, these elements influence the shape of the monkeys’ vocal developmental landscape, tilting, rotating or shifting it in different ways. We can thus use this framework to make quantitative predictions regarding how interfering factors or experimental perturbations can change the landscape within a species, or to explain comparative differences in vocal development across species DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20782.001 PMID:28092262

  4. DNA Methylation Landscapes of Human Fetal Development.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Carbon accumulation and nitrogen pool recovery during transitions from savanna to forest in central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Hoffmann, William A; Franco, Augusto C

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 23 CFR 752.4 - Landscape development.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RIGHT-OF-WAY AND ENVIRONMENT LANDSCAPE AND... periods of a duration sufficient for expected survival in the highway environment. Normal 1-year plant..., such as junkyard screening or urban landscaping projects. (c) In urban areas new and...

  10. Genomic Landscape of Developing Male Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Fire drives functional thresholds on the savanna-forest transition.

    PubMed

    Dantas, Vinícius de L; Batalha, Marco A; Pausas, Juli G

    2013-11-01

    In tropical landscapes, vegetation patches with contrasting tree densities are distributed as mosaics. However, the locations of patches and densities of trees within them cannot be predicted by climate models alone. It has been proposed that plant-fire feedbacks drive functional thresholds at a landscape scale, thereby maintaining open (savanna) and closed (forest) communities as two distinct stable states. However, there is little rigorous field evidence for this threshold model. Here we aim to provide support for such a model from a field perspective and to analyze the functional and phylogenetic consequences of fire in a Brazilian savanna landscape (Cerrado). We hypothesize that, in tropical landscapes, savanna and forest are two stable states maintained by plant-fire feedbacks. If so, their functional and diversity attributes should change abruptly along a community closure gradient. We set 98 plots along a gradient from open savanna to closed forest in the Brazilian Cerrado and tested for a threshold pattern in nine functional traits, five soil features, and seven diversity indicators. We then tested whether the threshold pattern was associated with different fire regimes. Most community attributes presented a threshold pattern on the savanna-forest transition with coinciding breakpoints. The thresholds separated two community states: (1) open environments with low-diversity communities growing in poor soils and dominated by plants that are highly resistant to high-intensity fires; and (2) closed environments with highly diverse plant communities growing in more fertile soils and dominated by shade-tolerant species that efficiently prevent light from reaching the understory. In addition, each state was associated with contrasting fire regimes. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that forests and savannas are two coexisting stable states with contrasting patterns of function and diversity that are regulated by fire-plant feedbacks; our results also

  12. Landscape development modeling based on statistical framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohjola, Jari; Turunen, Jari; Lipping, Tarmo; Ikonen, Ari T. K.

    2014-01-01

    Future biosphere modeling has an essential role in assessing the safety of a proposed nuclear fuel repository. In Finland the basic inputs needed for future biosphere modeling are the digital elevation model and the land uplift model because the surface of the ground is still rising due to the download stress caused by the last ice age. The future site-scale land uplift is extrapolated by fitting mathematical expressions to known data from past shoreline positions. In this paper, the parameters of this fitting have been refined based on information about lake and mire basin isolation and archaeological findings. Also, an alternative eustatic model is used in parameter refinement. Both datasets involve uncertainties so Monte Carlo simulation is used to acquire several realizations of the model parameters. The two statistical models, the digital elevation model and the refined land uplift model, were used as inputs to a GIS-based toolbox where the characteristics of lake projections for the future Olkiluoto nuclear fuel repository site were estimated. The focus of the study was on surface water bodies since they are the major transport channels for radionuclides in containment failure scenarios. The results of the study show that the different land uplift modeling schemes relying on alternative eustatic models, Moho map versions and function fitting techniques yield largely similar landscape development tracks. However, the results also point out some more improbable realizations, which deviate significantly from the main development tracks.

  13. The biosimilar insulin landscape: current developments.

    PubMed

    Lavalle-González, Fernando J; Khatami, Hootan

    2014-10-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

    Wright, H E

    1974-11-08

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

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

  17. Lidar remote sensing of savanna biophysical attributes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwenzi, David

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

  18. Aridity, not fire, favors nitrogen-fixing plants across tropical savanna and forest biomes.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Staver, A Carla; Hedin, Lars O; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Tourgee, Amy

    2016-09-01

    Tropical savannas are hypothesized to be hot spots of nitrogen-fixer diversity and activity because of the high disturbance and low nitrogen characteristic of savanna landscapes. Here we compare the abundances of nitrogen-fixing and non-fixing trees in both tropical savannas and tropical forests under climatically equivalent conditions, using plant inventory studies across 566 plots in South America and Africa. A single factor, aridity, explained 19-54% of the variance in fixer abundance, and unexpectedly was more important than fire frequency, biome, and continent. Nitrogen fixers were more abundant in arid environments; as a result, African savannas, which tend to be drier, were richer in nitrogen fixers than South American savannas. Fixer abundance converged on similar levels in forests in both continents. We conclude that climate plays a greater role than fire in determining the distribution of nitrogen fixers across tropical savanna and forest biomes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  20. Towards developing Kentucky's landscape change maps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A

    2016-02-01

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

  2. Climatic Limits on Landscape Development in the Northwestern Himalaya

    PubMed

    Brozović; Burbank; Meigs

    1997-04-25

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

  3. The application of local measures of spatial autocorrelation for describing pattern in north Australian landscapes.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Diane M

    2002-01-01

    This paper tests the use of a spatial analysis technique, based on the calculation of local spatial autocorrelation, as a possible approach for modelling and quantifying structure in northern Australian savanna landscapes. Unlike many landscapes in the world, northern Australian savanna landscapes appear on the surface to be intact. They have not experienced the same large-scale land clearance and intensive land management as other landscapes across Australia. Despite this, natural resource managers are beginning to notice that processes are breaking down and declines in species are becoming more evident. With future declines of species looking more imminent it is particularly important that models are available that can help to assess landscape health, and quantify any structural change that takes place. GIS and landscape ecology provide a useful way of describing landscapes both spatially and temporally and have proved to be particularly useful for understanding vegetation structure or pattern in landscapes across the world. There are many measures that examine spatial structure in the landscape and most of these are now available in a GIS environment (e.g. FRAGSTATS* ARC, r.le, and Patch Analyst). All these methods depend on a landscape described in terms of patches, corridors and matrix. However, since landscapes in northern Australia appear to be relatively intact they tend to exist as surfaces of continuous variation rather than in clearly defined homogeneous units. As a result they cannot be easily described using entity-based models requiring patches and other essentially cartographic approaches. This means that more appropriate methods need to be developed and explored. The approach examined in this paper enables clustering and local pattern in the data to be identified and forms a generic method for conceptualising the landscape structure where patches are not obvious and where boundaries between landscape features are difficult to determine. Two sites

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  5. Career Development in Canada: A Changing Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kellett, Ralph

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

  6. Determinants of woody encroachment and cover in African savannas.

    PubMed

    Devine, Aisling P; McDonald, Robbie A; Quaife, Tristan; Maclean, Ilya M D

    2017-04-01

    Savanna ecosystems are an integral part of the African landscape and sustain the livelihoods of millions of people. Woody encroachment in savannas is a widespread phenomenon but its causes are widely debated. We review the extensive literature on woody encroachment to help improve understanding of the possible causes and to highlight where and how future scientific efforts to fully understand these causes should be focused. Rainfall is the most important determinant of maximum woody cover across Africa, but fire and herbivory interact to reduce woody cover below the maximum at many locations. We postulate that woody encroachment is most likely driven by CO2 enrichment and propose a two-system conceptual framework, whereby mechanisms of woody encroachment differ depending on whether the savanna is a wet or dry system. In dry savannas, the increased water-use efficiency in plants relaxes precipitation-driven constraints and increases woody growth. In wet savannas, the increase of carbon allocation to tree roots results in faster recovery rates after disturbance and a greater likelihood of reaching sexual maturity. Our proposed framework can be tested using a mixture of experimental and earth observational techniques. At a local level, changes in precipitation, burning regimes or herbivory could be driving woody encroachment, but are unlikely to be the explanation of this continent-wide phenomenon.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Saiful Arif; Hezri, Adnan A

    2008-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdullah, Saiful Arif; Hezri, Adnan A.

    2008-11-01

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

  10. Effects of restoring oak savannas on bird communities and populations.

    PubMed

    Brawn, Jeffrey D

    2006-04-01

    Efforts to restore and maintain oak savannas in North America, with emphasis on the use of prescribed fire, have become common. Little is known, however about how restoration affects animal populations, especially those of birds. I compared the breeding densities, community structure, and reproductive success of birds in oak savannas maintained by prescribed fire (12 sites) with those in closed-canopy forests (13 sites). All sampling was conducted in Illinois (U.S.A.). Of the 31 bird species analyzed, 12 were more common in savannas, 14 were not affected by habitat structure, and 5 were more common in forest habitat. The species favored by disturbance and restoration included Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus), Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura), Red-headed Woodpeckers (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea), and Baltimore Orioles (Icterus galbula). Those more common in closed-canopy forest included Ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla) and Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina). Few species were unique to one type of habitat, but overall avian community structure in oak savannas and closed-canopy forests was generally distinctive. Estimates of nesting success (derived from 785 nests) revealed that 6 of the 13 species considered experienced greater productivity in the savanna habitat. Rates of brood parasitism were unaffected by restoration and habitat structure. Within savannas, tract size had little effect on breeding abundances and reproductive success. My results illustrate that restoration techniques can significantly affect the ecology of constituent animal populations and communities and have key implications regarding avian conservation and the management of forest habitat in fragmented landscapes. Small patches of forest habitat that regularly function as population sinks may offer far better prospects for birds if they are subjected to disturbance and ecosystem restoration.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chabi, A.

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Transposon tools: worldwide landscape of intellectual property and technological developments.

    PubMed

    Palazzoli, Fabien; Testu, François-Xavier; Merly, Franck; Bigot, Yves

    2010-03-01

    DNA transposons are considered to be good candidates for developing tools for genome engineering, insertional mutagenesis and gene delivery for therapeutic purposes, as illustrated by the recent first clinical trial of a transposon. In this article we set out to highlight the interest of patent information, and to develop a strategy for the technological development of transposon tools, similar to what has been done in many other fields. We propose a patent landscape for transposon tools, including the changes in international patent applications, and review the leading inventors and applicants. We also provide an overview of the potential patent portfolio for the prokaryotic and eukaryotic transposons that are exploited by spin-off companies. Finally, we discuss the difficulties involved in tracing relevant state-of-the-art of articles and patent documents, based on the example of one of the most promising transposon systems, including all the impacts on the technological development of transposon tools.

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

    PubMed Central

    Pujadas, Elisabet; Feinberg, Andrew

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Unsustainable fuelwood extraction from South African savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wessels, K. J.; Colgan, M. S.; Erasmus, B. F. N.; Asner, G. P.; Twine, W. C.; Mathieu, R.; van Aardt, J. A. N.; Fisher, J. T.; Smit, I. P. J.

    2013-03-01

    Wood and charcoal supply the majority of sub-Saharan Africa’s rural energy needs. The long-term supply of fuelwood is in jeopardy given high consumption rates. Using airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR), we mapped and investigated savanna aboveground biomass across contrasting land uses, ranging from densely populated communal areas to highly protected areas in the Lowveld savannas of South Africa. We combined the LiDAR observations with socio-economic data, biomass production rates and fuelwood consumption rates in a supply-demand model to predict future fuelwood availability. LiDAR-based biomass maps revealed disturbance gradients around settlements up to 1.5 km, corresponding to the maximum distance walked to collect fuelwood. At current levels of fuelwood consumption (67% of households use fuelwood exclusively, with a 2% annual reduction), we calculate that biomass in the study area will be exhausted within thirteen years. We also show that it will require a 15% annual reduction in consumption for eight years to a level of 20% of households using fuelwood before the reduction in biomass appears to stabilize to sustainable levels. The severity of dwindling fuelwood reserves in African savannas underscores the importance of providing affordable energy for rural economic development.

  18. Relationship between tourism development and vegetated landscapes in Luya Mountain Nature Reserve, Shanxi, China.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Zhan-Hong; Zhang, Jin-Tun

    2005-09-01

    The relationship between tourism development and vegetated landscapes is analyzed for the Luya Mountain Nature Reserve (LMNR), Shanxi, China, in this study. Indices such as Sensitive Level (SL), Landscape Importance Value (LIV), information index of biodiversity (H'), Shade-tolerant Species Proportion (SSP), and Tourism Influencing Index (TII) are used to characterize vegetated landscapes, the impact of tourism, and their relationship. Their relationship is studied by Two-Way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN) and Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). TWINSPAN gives correct and rapid partition to the classification, and DCA ordination shows the changing tendency of all vegetation types based on tourism development. These results reflect the ecological relationship between tourism development and vegetated landscapes. In Luya Mountain Nature Reserve, most plant communities are in good or medium condition, which shows that these vegetated landscapes can support more tourism. However, the occurrence of the bad condition shows that there is a severe contradiction between tourism development and vegetated landscapes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

  20. Critical Influences on Carbon Balances and Production in the Man-made Montado Savanna of Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, J.; Tenhunen, J.; Dinh, N. Q.; Reichstein, M.; Ribeiro, N.

    2005-12-01

    The "montado savanna" of Portugal provides ecosystem services in the form of cork from Quercus suber trees and understory forage for grazing animals. The production system is controlled directly by physical factors along regional climate and hydrological gradients as well as by human influences on fire, grazing and tree population dynamics (planting and plowing for fire control). We present an analysis of carbon and water exchange at montado savanna sites that is based on long-term eddy covariance measurements, ecophysiological field studies and process-based modelling. A pixel-oriented model set up for spatial simulations, estimates gas fluxes between vegetation and the atmosphere separately for the tree and understory compartments (subsequently combining these), allows for herbage growth and LAI development, and predicts physiological gas exchange restrictions (stomatal regulation) and herb dieback in response to reduced water availability over annual courses. Model validation has been carried out via comparisons with eddy covariance observations at the MITRA II site in Evora, Portugal. Ground level observations of ecosystem structure (LAI and tree cover), aerial photography, Landsat images, and MODIS remotely sensed data are utilized to apply the modelling and to estimate fluxes at landscape, regional and continental scales (Mediterranean basin) for similar vegetation. Potential links to tree growth models and socio-economic models are discussed.

  1. Development of spatial database on intact forest landscapes of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudhakar Reddy, C.; Singh, Jyoti; Jha, C. S.; Diwakar, P. G.; Dadhwal, V. K.

    2017-01-01

    There is an increased interest in identifying the status of biodiversity in different spatial and temporal scales. The objective of the current research is to prepare a consistent spatial database of intact forest landscapes of India. The intact forest landscapes are located in the Himalayas, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Western Ghats and Sunderbans. At national level 237 forest landscapes and 5.4% of the total natural forest remained as intact in India. Current intact forest landscapes of India consists of blocks larger than 10 km2 covering an area of 34,061 km2. Of the total area under intact forest landscapes, Eastern Himalayas represent 76.7% of the area, followed by Western Himalayas (8.8%), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (6.2%) and Western Ghats (5.7%). The largest intact forest landscape block occupies an area of 3342.9 km2 (9.8%) is found in western Arunachal Pradesh. Temperate forest zone represents the highest intactness (56.6%), followed by subtropical zone (19.2%), tropical zone (18.6%) and alpine zone (5.6%). Himalayan moist temperate forests represent the highest area (39.1%) of intact forest landscapes followed by subtropical broad-leaved hill forests, wet evergreen forests, and montane wet temperate forests. It is estimated that 4.4% of the area of intact forest landscapes fall inside the existing 47 protected areas. The results of the analysis best suited as input for the process of identification of new protected areas. The study recommends fine-scale mapping of biodiversity within the intact forest landscapes and to prepare efficient conservation plans.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucke, Bernhard

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Savanna-Bush Environments Research.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    The savanna is a plant formation of tropical regions, comprising a virtually continuous ecologically dominant stratum of more or less xeromorphic plants ... of which herbaceous plants, especially grasses and sedges, are frequently the principal, and occasionally the only, components, although woody

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cárdenas Gaudry, María.; Gutknecht, Dieter

    2010-05-01

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

  5. The ongoing development of a pragmatic and adaptive fire management policy in a large African savanna protected area.

    PubMed

    van Wilgen, Brian W; Govender, Navashni; Smit, Izak P J; MacFadyen, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes recent changes to the fire management policy of the 1.9 million ha Kruger National Park in South Africa. It provides a real-life example of adaptive learning in an environment where understanding is incomplete, but where management nonetheless has to proceed. The previous policy called for the application of fire to meet burnt area targets that were set for administrative subdivisions, and that were assessed at the scale of the entire park. This was problematic because the park is large and heterogeneous, and because sound ecological motivations that could link burning prescriptions to ecological objectives were missing. The new policy divides the park into five fire management zones on the basis of differences in mean annual rainfall, historic fire return periods, and geology. In addition, it proposes fire management actions designed to achieve specified ecological objectives in each zone, and includes fire-regime related thresholds and associated ecological outcomes against which to assess the effectiveness of management. The new policy is an improvement over previous iterations, but several challenges remain. Most important among these would be to continually improve the understanding of the effects of fire, and to develop frameworks for assessing the impacts of fire together with other ecosystem drivers that interact strongly with fire to influence the attainment of ecological objectives.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  10. EXTINCTION DEBT OF PROTECTED AREAS IN DEVELOPING LANDSCAPES

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Söderström, Bo; Reid, Robin S.

    2010-03-01

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

  12. Implications of the spatial dynamics of fire spread for the bistability of savanna and forest.

    PubMed

    Schertzer, E; Staver, A C; Levin, S A

    2015-01-01

    The role of fire in expanding the global distribution of savanna is well recognized. Empirical observations and modeling suggest that fire spread has a threshold response to fuel-layer continuity, which sets up a positive feedback that maintains savanna-forest bistability. However, modeling has so far failed to examine fire spread as a spatial process that interacts with vegetation. Here, we use simple, well-supported assumptions about fire spread as an infection process and its effects on trees to ask whether spatial dynamics qualitatively change the potential for savanna-forest bistability. We show that the spatial effects of fire spread are the fundamental reason that bistability is possible: because fire spread is an infection process, it exhibits a threshold response to fuel continuity followed by a rapid increase in fire size. Other ecological processes affecting fire spread may also contribute including temporal variability in demography or fire spread. Finally, including the potential for spatial aggregation increases the potential both for savanna-forest bistability and for savanna and forest to coexist in a landscape mosaic.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  14. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-25

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwenzi, David; Lefsky, Michael Andrew

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Implementing landscape fragmentation as an indicator in the Swiss Monitoring System Of Sustainable Development (Monet).

    PubMed

    Jaeger, Jochen A G; Bertiller, René; Schwick, Christian; Müller, Kalin; Steinmeier, Charlotte; Ewald, Klaus C; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2008-09-01

    There is an increasing need and interest in including indicators of landscape fragmentation in monitoring systems of sustainable landscape management. Landscape fragmentation due to transportation infrastructure and urban development threatens human and environmental well-being by noise and pollution from traffic, reducing the size and viability of wildlife populations, facilitating the spread of invasive species, and impairing the scenic and recreational qualities of the landscape. This paper provides the rationale, method, and data for including landscape fragmentation in monitoring systems, using as an example the Swiss Monitoring System of Sustainable Development (Monet). We defined and compared four levels of fragmentation analysis, or fragmentation geometries (FGs), each based on different fragmenting elements, e.g., only anthropogenic, or combinations of anthropogenic and natural elements. As each FG has specific strengths and weaknesses, the most appropriate choice of FG depends on the context and objectives of a study. We present data on the current degree of landscape fragmentation for the five ecoregions and 26 cantons in Switzerland for all four FGs. Our results show that the degree of landscape fragmentation as quantified by the effective mesh size method is strongly supported by the postulates and indicator selection criteria of Monet, and we identify the most suitable FG focusing on the land area below 2,100 m (e.g., excluding lakes) and allowing for an equitable comparison of fragmentation degrees among regions that differ in area covered by lakes and high mountains. For a more detailed analysis of landscape fragmentation in the context of environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments, a combination of all four FGs may provide a more informative tool than any single FG.

  18. Savanna burning methodology for fire management and emissions reduction: a critical review of influencing factors.

    PubMed

    Maraseni, Tek Narayan; Reardon-Smith, Kathryn; Griffiths, Greg; Apan, Armando

    2016-12-01

    Savanna fire is a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Australia, savanna fire contributes about 3% of annual GHG emissions reportable to the Kyoto Protocol. In order to reduce GHG emissions from savanna burning, the Australian government has developed and approved a Kyoto compliant savanna controlled burning methodology-the first legal instrument of this kind at a global level-under its Emission Reduction Fund. However, this approved methodology is currently only applicable to nine vegetation fuel types across northern parts of Australia in areas which receive on average over 600 mm rainfall annually, covering only 15.4% of the total land area in Australia. Savanna ecosystems extend across a large proportion of mainland Australia. This paper provides a critical review of ten key factors that need to be considered in developing a savanna burning methodology applicable to the other parts of Australia. It will also inform discussion in other countries intent on developing similar emissions reduction strategies.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-12-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. Mapping Brazilian savanna vegetation gradients with Landsat time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwieder, Marcel; Leitão, Pedro J.; da Cunha Bustamante, Mercedes Maria; Ferreira, Laerte Guimarães; Rabe, Andreas; Hostert, Patrick

    2016-10-01

    Global change has tremendous impacts on savanna systems around the world. Processes related to climate change or agricultural expansion threaten the ecosystem's state, function and the services it provides. A prominent example is the Brazilian Cerrado that has an extent of around 2 million km2 and features high biodiversity with many endemic species. It is characterized by landscape patterns from open grasslands to dense forests, defining a heterogeneous gradient in vegetation structure throughout the biome. While it is undisputed that the Cerrado provides a multitude of valuable ecosystem services, it is exposed to changes, e.g. through large scale land conversions or climatic changes. Monitoring of the Cerrado is thus urgently needed to assess the state of the system as well as to analyze and further understand ecosystem responses and adaptations to ongoing changes. Therefore we explored the potential of dense Landsat time series to derive phenological information for mapping vegetation gradients in the Cerrado. Frequent data gaps, e.g. due to cloud contamination, impose a serious challenge for such time series analyses. We synthetically filled data gaps based on Radial Basis Function convolution filters to derive continuous pixel-wise temporal profiles capable of representing Land Surface Phenology (LSP). Derived phenological parameters revealed differences in the seasonal cycle between the main Cerrado physiognomies and could thus be used to calibrate a Support Vector Classification model to map their spatial distribution. Our results show that it is possible to map the main spatial patterns of the observed physiognomies based on their phenological differences, whereat inaccuracies occurred especially between similar classes and data-scarce areas. The outcome emphasizes the need for remote sensing based time series analyses at fine scales. Mapping heterogeneous ecosystems such as savannas requires spatial detail, as well as the ability to derive important

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    SigdelPhuyal, Mandira

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

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

    PubMed

    Yu, Kailiang; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Landscape ecological assessment and eco-tourism development in the South Dongting Lake Wetland, China.

    PubMed

    He, Ping; Wang, Bao-zhong

    2003-03-01

    As an important resource and the living environment of mankind, wetland has become gradually a highlight, strongly concerned and intensively studied by scientists and sociologists. The governments in the world and the whole society have been paying more and more attention on it. The Dongting Lake of China is regarded as an internationally important wetland. For a rational development and protection of the wetland, an investigation and studied on its resources and its value to tourism in the South Dongting Lake was conducted, to create an assessment system of the ecological landscapes, and to evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively the value of wetland landscape to the ecotourism. The results showed that the scenic value of the South Dongting Lake Wetland satisfied the criterion of AAAA grade of China national scenic attraction. The eco-tourism value of the landscape cultures in the South Dongting Lake Wetland was discussed with emphasis. It were formulated that a principle and frame of sustainable exploitation of the wetland landscapes and it was proposed as well that establishing a Wetland Park and developing eco-tourism in the South Dongting Lake Wetland is a fragile ecosystem with low resistance to the impact of the exploitation. Thus, we must pay intensively attention to the influence of exploitation on the landscape, take the ecological risk in account to employ a right countermeasure and avoid the negative affection.

  9. The extent of burning in African savanna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cahoon, D. R. JR.; Levine, J. S.; Cofer, W. R. Iii; Stocks, B. J.

    1994-01-01

    The temporal and spatial distribution of African savanna grassland fires has been examined, and the areal extent of these fires has been estimated for the subequatorial African continent. African savanna fires have been investigated using remote sensing techniques and imagery collected by low-light sensors on Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites and by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) which is aboard polar orbiting National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites. DMSP imagery has been used to map the evolution of savanna burning over all of the African continent and the analysis of AVHRR imagery has been used to estimate the areal extent of the burning in the southern hemispheric African savannas. The work presented primarily reflects the analysiscompleted for the year 1987. However, comparisons have been made with other years and the representativeness of the 1987 analysis is discussed.

  10. Determinants of woody cover in African savannas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Determinants of woody cover in African savannas.

    PubMed

    Sankaran, Mahesh; Hanan, Niall P; Scholes, Robert J; Ratnam, Jayashree; Augustine, David J; Cade, Brian S; Gignoux, Jacques; Higgins, Steven I; Le Roux, Xavier; Ludwig, Fulco; Ardo, Jonas; Banyikwa, Feetham; Bronn, Andries; Bucini, Gabriela; Caylor, Kelly K; Coughenour, Michael B; Diouf, Alioune; Ekaya, Wellington; Feral, Christie J; February, Edmund C; Frost, Peter G H; Hiernaux, Pierre; Hrabar, Halszka; Metzger, Kristine L; Prins, Herbert H T; Ringrose, Susan; Sea, William; Tews, Jörg; Worden, Jeff; Zambatis, Nick

    2005-12-08

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

  12. Disaggregating tree and grass phenology in tropical savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Qiang

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

  13. Large carnivores make savanna tree communities less thorny.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-17

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. 36 CFR 219.12 - Collaboration and cooperatively developed landscape goals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Collaborative Planning for Sustainability § 219.12 Collaboration and cooperatively developed landscape goals. (a) Collaboration. To promote sustainability, the responsible official must actively engage the American public... and foster understanding of the nation's declaration of environmental policy as set forth in...

  16. 36 CFR 219.12 - Collaboration and cooperatively developed landscape goals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Collaborative Planning for Sustainability § 219.12 Collaboration and cooperatively developed landscape goals. (a) Collaboration. To promote sustainability, the responsible official must actively engage the American public... and foster understanding of the nation's declaration of environmental policy as set forth in...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Glen D.

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

  18. A LANDSCAPE DEVELOPMENT INTENSITY MAP OF MARYLAND, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Soil development on stable landforms and implications for landscape studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harden, J.W.

    1990-01-01

    Soil development parameters include a wide variety of morphological, chemical, and mineralogical parameters, but some of the best indicators of time and surface stability are derived from field morphology. Over long time-spans, the most common time function for soil development is exponential or logarithmic, in which rates decrease with increasing age. Over shorter time-spans in semi-arid and moister climates, Holocene and Pleistocene soil development functions appear as linear segments, with Holocene rates about 10 to 50 times those of Pleistocene rates. In contrast to significant temporal variation in rates, geographical variation in rates within (a) the southern Great Basin and (b) the east Central Valley of California is on the order of 2 or 3 times. When comparing soil development indices of the semi-arid Great Basin to those of moister central California, Holocene rates are similar, but Pleistocene rates are more than 10 times slower in the Great Basin. In a range of climatic settings, the reasons for declining rates over time are several and are complexly related to erosional history, fluxes in water and dust related to climatic changes, rates of primary mineral dissolution, and intrinsic soil processes. ?? 1990.

  5. Seasonal Distribution of African Savanna Fires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  6. Development of a Digital Aquifer Permeability Map for the Pacific Southwest in Support of Hydrologic Landscape Classification: Methods

    EPA Science Inventory

    Researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Western Ecology Division have been developing hydrologic landscape maps for selected U.S. states in an effort to create a method to identify the intrinsic watershed attributes of landscapes in regions with little dat...

  7. Fire and home range expansion: a behavioral response to burning among savanna dwelling vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops).

    PubMed

    Herzog, Nicole M; Parker, Christopher H; Keefe, Earl R; Coxworth, James; Barrett, Alan; Hawkes, Kristen

    2014-08-01

    The behavioral adaptations of primates to fire-modified landscapes are of considerable interest to anthropologists because fire is fundamental to life in the African savanna-the setting in which genus Homo evolved. Here we report the behavioral responses of a savanna-dwelling primate, vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops), to fire-induced ecological change. Using behavioral and spatial data to characterize ranging patterns prior to and postburn and between burn and nonburn years, we show that these primates inhabiting small, spatially bound, riverine habitats take advantage of newly burned savanna landscapes. When subjects encountered controlled fires, they did not flee but instead avoided the path of the fire seemingly unbothered by its approach. After fire, the primates' home range expanded into newly burned but previously unused areas. These results contribute to understanding the response of non-human primates to fire-modified landscapes and can shed light on the nature and scope of opportunities and constraints posed by the emergence of fire-affected landscapes in the past. Results also expose deficiencies in our knowledge of fire-related behavioral responses in the primate lineage and highlight the need for further investigation of these responses as they relate to foraging opportunities, migration, resource use, and especially fire-centric adaptations in our own genus.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Nonclinical development of a biosimilar: the current landscape.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Anita; Rogge, Mark

    2013-03-01

    Preclinical studies have always been a critical component in the development program of a biopharmaceutical. With the advent of biosimilars the traditional preclinical program has changed to a new paradigm that integrates the concept of comparability with existing knowledge of the biopharmaceutical reference drug. Recently, the recommended preclinical program espoused by the European Medicines Agency has been modified to an abbreviated one that now emphasizes in vitro studies in lieu of in vivo for monoclonal antibody biosimilars. Likewise, the US FDA guidance on biosimilars suggests a flexible approach rather than the 28-day comparative toxicology studies that have historically been conducted for worldwide marketing. For now, structure and function studies will continue to be the foundation of the overall analytical assessment of biosimilarity. Traditional, comparative animal safety assessments will have limited value in determination of biosimilarity and in an abbreviated design they may have most value in providing assurance of safety in first-in-human trials when structural attributes are not indistinguishable. Unless this value can be proven, particularly as analytical technology improves in sensitivity, accuracy and precision, the need for these animal safety studies will diminish. Thus, the future lies in the ever evolving and sophisticated analytical studies that will replace the current in vivo studies for biosimilar products.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  12. Steady state, erosional continuity, and the topography of landscapes developed in layered rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perne, Matija; Covington, Matthew D.; Thaler, Evan A.; Myre, Joseph M.

    2017-01-01

    The concept of topographic steady state has substantially informed our understanding of the relationships between landscapes, tectonics, climate, and lithology. In topographic steady state, erosion rates are equal everywhere, and steepness adjusts to enable equal erosion rates in rocks of different strengths. This conceptual model makes an implicit assumption of vertical contacts between different rock types. Here we hypothesize that landscapes in layered rocks will be driven toward a state of erosional continuity, where retreat rates on either side of a contact are equal in a direction parallel to the contact rather than in the vertical direction. For vertical contacts, erosional continuity is the same as topographic steady state, whereas for horizontal contacts it is equivalent to equal rates of horizontal retreat on either side of a rock contact. Using analytical solutions and numerical simulations, we show that erosional continuity predicts the form of flux steady-state landscapes that develop in simulations with horizontally layered rocks. For stream power erosion, the nature of continuity steady state depends on the exponent, n, in the erosion model. For n = 1, the landscape cannot maintain continuity. For cases where n ≠ 1, continuity is maintained, and steepness is a function of erodibility that is predicted by the theory. The landscape in continuity steady state can be quite different from that predicted by topographic steady state. For n < 1 continuity predicts that channels incising subhorizontal layers will be steeper in the weaker rock layers. For subhorizontal layered rocks with different erodibilities, continuity also predicts larger slope contrasts than in topographic steady state. Therefore, the relationship between steepness and erodibility within a sequence of layered rocks is a function of contact dip. For the subhorizontal limit, the history of layers exposed at base level also influences the steepness-erodibility relationship. If uplift rate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. The influence of different environmental and climatic conditions on vegetated aeolian dune landscape development and response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nield, Joanna M.; Baas, Andreas C. W.

    2008-11-01

    Aeolian dune field development in coastal and semi-arid environments is a function of complex ecogeomorphic interactions which are sensitive to fluctuations in climatic and environmental conditions. We explore the relationships between ecological and geomorphic processes in the development of these landscape patterns and speculate on their response to variations in vegetation vitality and sediment transport capacity, indicating possible consequences of climate and land use change, using the Discrete ECogeomorphic Aeolian Landscape (DECAL) cellular automaton algorithm. This algorithm models dune field behaviour that reflects long-term trends prevalent in palaeo-records, but also elucidates possible evolutionary progressions, relaxation period sequences and threshold sensitivities. The landscape response is sensitive both to the perturbation itself and the state of the system when the disturbance occurs. Response amplitude decreases in simulated systems with reduced mobility unless an external disturbance mimicking fire or land clearance is applied concurrently with a reduction in growth vigour triggering a threshold type response when sufficient vegetation is removed. The model demonstrates that the relative response characteristics of the multiple vegetation types and their mutual feedback with geomorphic processes impart a significant influence on landscape equilibrium or attractor states. Fast growing vegetation enables the formation of hairpin (long-walled) parabolic dune systems, which eventually become sediment starved and stabilise, whereas inhospitable conditions inhibiting vegetation growth contribute to the development of active transgressive transverse dune fields. This simple vegetated dune model illustrates the power and versatility of a cellular automaton approach for exploring thresholds, sensitivities and possible evolutionary trajectories associated with the interactions between ecology, geomorphology and climatic conditions in complex earth surface

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

    PubMed

    Price, Sarah L; Reutzel-Edens, Susan M

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magli, Giulio

    2015-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Basement Fracturing and Weathering On- and Offshore Norway - Genesis, Age, and Landscape Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knies, J.; van der Lelij, R.; Faust, J.; Scheiber, T.; Broenner, M.; Fredin, O.; Mueller, A.; Viola, G.

    2014-12-01

    Saprolite remnants onshore Scandinavia have been investigated only sporadically. The nature and age of the deeply weathered material thus remains only loosely constrained. The type and degree of weathering of in situ weathered soils are indicative of the environmental conditions during their formation. When external forcing changes, properties related to previous weathering conditions are usually preserved, for example in clay mineral assemblages. By constraining the age and rate of weathering onshore and by isotopically dating selected faults determined to be intimately linked to weathered basement blocks, the influence of climate development, brittle deformation and landscape processes on weathering can be quantified. The "BASE" project aims to establish a temporal and conceptual framework for brittle tectonics, weathering patterns and landscape evolution affecting the basement onshore and offshore Norway. We will study the formation of saprolite in pre-Quaternary times, the influence of deep weathering on landscape development and establish a conceptual structural template of the evolution of the brittle deformational features that are exposed on onshore (weathered) basement blocks. Moreover, saprolitic material may have been eroded and preserved along the Norwegian continental margin during Cenozoic times. By studying both the onshore remnants and offshore erosional products deposited during periods of extreme changes of climate and tectonic boundary conditions (e..g Miocene-Pliocene), new inferences on the timing and controlling mechanisms of denudation, and on the relevance of deep weathering on Late Cenozoic global cooling can be drawn.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  1. Advancing environmental flow science: Developing frameworks for altered landscapes and integrating efforts across disciplines.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Brewer, Shannon; McManamay, Ryan A.; Miller, Andrew D.; ...

    2016-05-13

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-05-13

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  5. Fuel model selection for BEHAVE in midwestern oak savannas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gordon, Liahna E; Silva, Tony J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  12. Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—A case study in partnership development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    D'Erchia, Frank

    2016-10-21

    The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) is a successful example of collaboration between science and natural resource management at the landscape scale. In southwestern Wyoming, expanding energy and mineral development, urban growth, and other changes in land use over recent decades, combined with landscape-scale drivers such as climate change and invasive species, have presented compelling challenges to resource managers and a diverse group of Federal, State, industry, and non-governmental organizations, as well as citizen stakeholders. To address these challenges, the WLCI was established as a collaborative forum and interagency partnership to develop and implement science-based conservation actions. About a decade after being established, this report documents the establishment and history of the WLCI, focusing on the path to success of the initiative and providing insights and details that may be useful in developing similar partnerships in other locations. Not merely retrospective, the elements of the WLCI that are presented herein are still in play, still evolving, and still contributing to the resolution of compelling conservation challenges in the Western United States.The U.S. Geological Survey has developed many successful longstanding partnerships, of which the WLCI is one example.“As the Nation’s largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. The diversity of our scientific expertise enables us to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers” (U.S. Geological Survey, 2016).

  13. Field Investigations of Landscape Development in southeast Spain for use in Modeling Holocene (8,000 - 1,500 yr) Agropastoral Landuse and Landscape Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimaggio, E. N.; La Roca, N.; Arrowsmith, J. R.; Diez-Castillo, A.; Bernabeu, J.; Barton, C. M.

    2007-12-01

    Dramatic changes in land use were associated with the rise of agriculture in the mid Holocene in the Mediterranean region. Both the surface properties and the drainage networks were changed. Along with the direct modifications to surface properties (vegetation removal and change, sediment liberation and compaction) and consequent drainage alteration (terracing, canals), up and downstream responses in the watersheds communicated these changes throughout the landscape. The magnitude, rate, and feedbacks with the growing human populations are critical questions in our effort to assess human-landscape interactions. To investigate these relationships, recent field work in the Penaguila Valley in southeast Spain included landform mapping, alluvial deposit description, and sample collection emphasizing areas of active erosion, remnant land surfaces and their relation to archaeological sites. We have updated our geomorphic maps by refining the delineation of alluvial terraces, steep-walled (40m deep) drainages ("barrancos"), and hollows ("barrancos de fondo plano"). Hollows are curved, elongate, flat-bottomed gullies with steep walls (2-30m tall) and extend headward from the main barrancos. This work enables more accurate terrace correlations necessary for both landscape evolution modeling and interpretation of the development history of the basin. Alluvial terraces are crucial to this research because they record periods of past stable topography. In the Penaguila, sites dating back to late Mesolithic and early Neolithic (around 6600 BP) and subsequent periods (Chalcolithic and Bronze Age) are exposed on a prominent terrace surface mapped as Terrace A. This broad low relief surface is scarred by deep barrancos and hollow formation that expose bedrock marls and overlying alluvial deposits. Stratigraphic profiles and texture analyses of Terrace A deposits reveal overland flow facies and channel networks in reworked and CaCO3-encrusted marls, and several organic

  14. Relationships between brittle deformation, weathering and landscape development during the Mesozoic in Scandinavia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viola, Giulio; Fredin, Ola; Scheiber, Thomas; Brönner, Marco; Zwingmann, Horst; Knies, Jochen

    2015-04-01

    Pre-Quaternary weathering is generally considered responsible for the formation of rather common, yet poorly constrained, saprolite remnants onshore Scandinavia. Understanding the genesis of these weathering products and placing them into an adequate tectonic and climatic framework is currently of great interest for two reasons. First, the origin of the landscape in Scandinavia, where deep weathering is thought to have played a fundamental role, is the subject of a lively debate hinged around the number and age of episodes of regional uplift and denudation. Second, there have been recent discoveries of major hydrocarbon reserves within weathered basement highs in the North Sea immediately offshore Norway. Invariably, these basement highs are also severely fractured and faulted and a genetic relationship between brittle deformation, weathering and landscape development is suggested by a number of observations. Within the recently launched BASE project, we aim to establish a temporal and conceptual framework for brittle tectonics, weathering patterns and landscape evolution by constraining the age and rate of weathering and by isotopically dating selected faults intimately linked to weathered basement blocks. Initial efforts have focused on fractured and weathered granitoid rocks of Caledonian age exposed in western Norway. There, saprolites are found as small pockets within a joint valley landscape, which was likely stripped by Quaternary glaciations. Saprolite distribution is mostly structurally controlled as deep weathering and alteration occur predominantly in association with fractures and along faulted corridors. Structural analysis has allowed the geometric and kinematic interpretation of the exposed fracture and fault patterns and we could assign them to a number of distinct brittle deformation episodes characterised by robust paleostress tensors. The K-Ar dating of illites separated from structurally constrained faults indicates a long strain localization

  15. Ranking landscape development scenarios affecting natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) population dynamics in Central Poland.

    PubMed

    Franz, Kamila W; Romanowski, Jerzy; Johst, Karin; Grimm, Volker

    2013-01-01

    When data are limited it is difficult for conservation managers to assess alternative management scenarios and make decisions. The natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) is declining at the edges of its distribution range in Europe and little is known about its current distribution and abundance in Poland. Although different landscape management plans for central Poland exist, it is unclear to what extent they impact this species. Based on these plans, we investigated how four alternative landscape development scenarios would affect the total carrying capacity and population dynamics of the natterjack toad. To facilitate decision-making, we first ranked the scenarios according to their total carrying capacity. We used the software RAMAS GIS to determine the size and location of habitat patches in the landscape. The estimated carrying capacities were very similar for each scenario, and clear ranking was not possible. Only the reforestation scenario showed a marked loss in carrying capacity. We therefore simulated metapopulation dynamics with RAMAS taking into account dynamical processes such as reproduction and dispersal and ranked the scenarios according to the resulting species abundance. In this case, we could clearly rank the development scenarios. We identified road mortality of adults as a key process governing the dynamics and separating the different scenarios. The renaturalisation scenario clearly ranked highest due to its decreased road mortality. Taken together our results suggest that road infrastructure development might be much more important for natterjack toad conservation than changes in the amount of habitat in the semi-natural river valley. We gained these insights by considering both the resulting metapopulation structure and dynamics in the form of a PVA. We conclude that the consideration of dynamic processes in amphibian conservation management may be indispensable for ranking management scenarios.

  16. Ranking Landscape Development Scenarios Affecting Natterjack Toad (Bufo calamita) Population Dynamics in Central Poland

    PubMed Central

    Franz, Kamila W.; Romanowski, Jerzy; Johst, Karin; Grimm, Volker

    2013-01-01

    When data are limited it is difficult for conservation managers to assess alternative management scenarios and make decisions. The natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) is declining at the edges of its distribution range in Europe and little is known about its current distribution and abundance in Poland. Although different landscape management plans for central Poland exist, it is unclear to what extent they impact this species. Based on these plans, we investigated how four alternative landscape development scenarios would affect the total carrying capacity and population dynamics of the natterjack toad. To facilitate decision-making, we first ranked the scenarios according to their total carrying capacity. We used the software RAMAS GIS to determine the size and location of habitat patches in the landscape. The estimated carrying capacities were very similar for each scenario, and clear ranking was not possible. Only the reforestation scenario showed a marked loss in carrying capacity. We therefore simulated metapopulation dynamics with RAMAS taking into account dynamical processes such as reproduction and dispersal and ranked the scenarios according to the resulting species abundance. In this case, we could clearly rank the development scenarios. We identified road mortality of adults as a key process governing the dynamics and separating the different scenarios. The renaturalisation scenario clearly ranked highest due to its decreased road mortality. Taken together our results suggest that road infrastructure development might be much more important for natterjack toad conservation than changes in the amount of habitat in the semi-natural river valley. We gained these insights by considering both the resulting metapopulation structure and dynamics in the form of a PVA. We conclude that the consideration of dynamic processes in amphibian conservation management may be indispensable for ranking management scenarios. PMID:23734223

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Window area and development drive spatial variation in bird-window collisions in an urban landscape.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benvenuti, Paolo

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Environmental resource management of the Munduruku savanna

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-05-01

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

  5. Seasonal distribution of African savanna fires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

    The temporal and spatial distribution of savanna fires over the entire African continent, as determined from nighttime satellite imagery, is described. It is found that, contrary to expectations, most fires are left to burn uncontrolled, so that there is no strong diurnal cycle in the fire frequency. The knowledge gained from this study regarding the distribution and variability of fires is helpful in the monitoring of climatically important trace gases emitted from burning biomass.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-07-01

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

  7. The Cellular and Molecular Landscapes of the Developing Human Central Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Silbereis, John C.; Pochareddy, Sirisha; Zhu, Ying; Li, Mingfeng; Sestan, Nenad

    2016-01-01

    Summary The human central nervous system follows a pattern of development typical of all mammals, but certain neurodevelopmental features are highly derived. Building the human CNS requires the precise orchestration and coordination of myriad molecular and cellular processes across a staggering array of cell types and over a long period of time. Dysregulation of these processes affects the structure and function of the CNS and can lead to neurological or psychiatric disorders. Recent technological advances and increased focus on human neurodevelopment have enabled a more comprehensive characterization of the human CNS and its development in both health and disease. The aim of this review is to highlight recent advancements in our understanding of the molecular and cellular landscapes of the developing human CNS, with focus on the cerebral neocortex, and the insights these findings provide into human neural evolution, function, and dysfunction. PMID:26796689

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jantz, Patrick Arthur

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

  9. Groundwater uptake by woody vegetation in a semiarid oak savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Gretchen R.; Chen, Xingyuan; Rubin, Yoram; Ma, Siyan; Baldocchi, Dennis D.

    2010-10-01

    Groundwater can serve as an important resource for woody vegetation in semiarid landscapes, particularly when soil water is functionally depleted and unavailable to plants. This study examines the uptake of groundwater by deciduous blue oak trees (Quercus douglasii) in a California oak savanna. Here we present a suite of direct and indirect methods that demonstrate its occurrence and quantify its rates. The study site is underlain by a thin soil layer and fractured metavolcanic bedrock. Typical depth to groundwater is approximately 8 m. A variety of water storage and flux measurements were collected from 2005 to 2008, including groundwater levels, soil moisture contents, sap flows, and latent heat fluxes. During the dry season, groundwater uptake rates ranged from 4 to 25 mm month-1 and approximately 80% of total ET during June, July, and August came from groundwater. Leaf and soil water potentials supported these results, indicating that groundwater uptake was thermodynamically favorable over soil water uptake for key portions of the growing season. These findings strongly suggest that blue oaks should be considered obligate phreatophytes and that groundwater reserves provide a buffer to rapid changes in their hydroclimate, if these assets are not otherwise depleted by prolonged drought or human consumption. While groundwater uptake may provide for short-term protection, it should be viewed not as a mechanism for continued plant growth. It allows the woody vegetation to subsist during the summer but not to flourish.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  11. Modeling Gross Primary Production of Savanna Woodlands in Southern Africa Using MODIS Imagery and CO2 Flux Tower Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, C.; Xiao, X.; Merbold, L.; Arneth, A.; Veenendaal, E.; Kutsch, W.

    2012-12-01

    Accurate estimation of gross primary production (GPP) of savanna ecosystem is valuable for evaluating the role of Africa in the global carbon cycle. An eddy flux observation network has been established to continuously measure the net CO2 fluxes (NEE) across various savanna vegetation types in Africa (CarboAfrica). Several publications have reported the seasonal dynamics and interannual variation of GPP for the savanna vegetation through partitioning of the measured NEE data. The satellite-based Production Efficiency Models (PEM), which calculate GPP as the product of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and light use efficiency (LUE), have been developed to scale up in situ GPP estimation from the eddy flux towers to regional scale. In this study, the Vegetation Photosynthesis Model (VPM) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data were evaluated for their capacity to model GPP for savanna woodlands at two eddy flux towers in Botswana and Zambia, respectively. These two sites have different woodland types and precipitation pattern (Mopane woodlands vs. Miombo woodlands, semi-arid vs. semi-humid). In the VPM model, GPP is simulated as the product of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), air temperature, Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), and Land Surface Water Index (LSWI). The results show that the simulated GPP by the VPM track well the temporal dynamic of GPP estimated from the eddy covariance measurements at these two sites. In addition, the land surface phenology of savanna woodlands, described by the satellite vegetation indices, especially the water-sensitive satellite indices-LSWI, are proved to match the phenology based on vegetation physiology activity measured by eddy covariance towers. The information of the timing and duration of vegetation growing season is useful for assisting the VPM modeling. Further evaluation of VPM simulations for and other savanna ecosystems is necessary before the VPM model is applied to

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

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Nathan F.; Pejchar, Liba

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Comparing the ecological impacts of wind and oil & gas development: a landscape scale assessment.

    PubMed

    Jones, Nathan F; Pejchar, Liba

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Development on drought-stressed host plants affects life history, flight morphology and reproductive output relative to landscape structure.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Melanie; Van Dyck, Hans; Breuker, Casper J

    2012-01-01

    With global climate change, rainfall is becoming more variable. Predicting the responses of species to changing rainfall levels is difficult because, for example in herbivorous species, these effects may be mediated indirectly through changes in host plant quality. Furthermore, species responses may result from a simultaneous interaction between rainfall levels and other environmental variables such as anthropogenic land use or habitat quality. In this eco-evolutionary study, we examined how male and female Pararge aegeria (L.) from woodland and agricultural landscape populations were affected by the development on drought-stressed host plants. Compared with individuals from woodland landscapes, when reared on drought-stressed plants agricultural individuals had longer development times, reduced survival rates and lower adult body masses. Across both landscape types, growth on drought-stressed plants resulted in males and females with low forewing aspect ratios and in females with lower wing loading and reduced fecundity. Development on drought-stressed plants also had a landscape-specific effect on reproductive output; agricultural females laid eggs that had a significantly lower hatching success. Overall, our results highlight several potential mechanisms by which low water availability, via changes in host plant quality, may differentially influence P. aegeria populations relative to landscape structure.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  19. Modeling soil moisture memory in savanna ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gou, S.; Miller, G. R.

    2011-12-01

    Antecedent soil conditions create an ecosystem's "memory" of past rainfall events. Such soil moisture memory effects may be observed over a range of timescales, from daily to yearly, and lead to feedbacks between hydrological and ecosystem processes. In this study, we modeled the soil moisture memory effect on savanna ecosystems in California, Arizona, and Africa, using a system dynamics model created to simulate the ecohydrological processes at the plot-scale. The model was carefully calibrated using soil moisture and evapotranspiration data collected at three study sites. The model was then used to simulate scenarios with various initial soil moisture conditions and antecedent precipitation regimes, in order to study the soil moisture memory effects on the evapotranspiration of understory and overstory species. Based on the model results, soil texture and antecedent precipitation regime impact the redistribution of water within soil layers, potentially causing deeper soil layers to influence the ecosystem for a longer time. Of all the study areas modeled, soil moisture memory of California savanna ecosystem site is replenished and dries out most rapidly. Thus soil moisture memory could not maintain the high rate evapotranspiration for more than a few days without incoming rainfall event. On the contrary, soil moisture memory of Arizona savanna ecosystem site lasts the longest time. The plants with different root depths respond to different memory effects; shallow-rooted species mainly respond to the soil moisture memory in the shallow soil. The growing season of grass is largely depended on the soil moisture memory of the top 25cm soil layer. Grass transpiration is sensitive to the antecedent precipitation events within daily to weekly timescale. Deep-rooted plants have different responses since these species can access to the deeper soil moisture memory with longer time duration Soil moisture memory does not have obvious impacts on the phenology of woody plants

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-24

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

  2. Trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and economic development in five tropical forest landscapes.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonitto, C.; Gurwick, N. P.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joubert, Marie

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    den Uyl, Roos M; Driessen, Peter P J

    2015-11-01

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

  11. Do "savanna" chimpanzees consume C4 resources?

    PubMed

    Sponheimer, M; Loudon, J E; Codron, D; Howells, M E; Pruetz, J D; Codron, J; de Ruiter, D J; Lee-Thorp, J A

    2006-08-01

    Several stable carbon isotopic studies have shown that South African australopiths consumed significant quantities of C(4) resources (tropical grasses, sedges, or animals that eat those foods), but relatively little is known about the consumption of such resources by chimpanzees. Here, we present stable carbon isotopic data for 36 chimpanzee hair samples from Fongoli, one of the driest and most open areas inhabited by chimpanzees. These data suggest that the Fongoli chimpanzees consume little in the way of C(4) vegetation or animals that eat such vegetation, even though these resources are locally abundant and preferred fruits are more widely scattered than at most chimpanzee study sites. The homogeneity of the Fongoli results is especially striking and recalls the narrow isotopic distribution of stenotopic savanna mammals. This is in stark contrast to what has been observed for australopiths, which had highly variable diets and consumed about 35% C(4) vegetation on average. Carbon isotope data for modern and fossil Papio depict a dietarily variable genus with a tendency to consume C(4) vegetation. This trophic flexibility, or willingness to consume C(4) savanna resources, may make Papio a more profitable ecological analog for australopiths than chimpanzees.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. The Influence of Landscape Features on Road Development in a Loess Region, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bi, Xiaoli; Wang, Hui; Zhou, Rui

    2011-10-01

    Many ecologists focus on the effects of roads on landscapes, yet few consider how landscapes affect road systems. In this study, therefore, we quantitatively evaluated how land cover, topography, and building density affected the length density, node density, spatial pattern, and location of roads in Dongzhi Yuan, a typical loess region in China. Landscape factors and roads were mapped using images from SPOT satellite (Système Probatoire d'Observation de la Terre), initiated by the French space agency and a digital elevation model (DEM). Detrended canonical correspondence analysis (DCCA), a useful ordination technique to explain species-environment relations in community ecology, was applied to evaluate the ways in which landscapes may influence roads. The results showed that both farmland area and building density were positively correlated with road variables, whereas gully density and the coefficient of variation (CV of DEM) showed negative correlations. The CV of DEM, farmland area, grassland area, and building density explained variation in node density, length density, and the spatial pattern of roads, whereas gully density and building density explained variation in variables representing road location. In addition, node density, rather than length density, was the primary road variable affected by landscape variables. The results showed that the DCCA was effective in explaining road-landscape relations. Understanding these relations can provide information for landscape managers and transportation planners.

  14. The influence of landscape features on road development in a loess region, China.

    PubMed

    Bi, Xiaoli; Wang, Hui; Zhou, Rui

    2011-10-01

    Many ecologists focus on the effects of roads on landscapes, yet few consider how landscapes affect road systems. In this study, therefore, we quantitatively evaluated how land cover, topography, and building density affected the length density, node density, spatial pattern, and location of roads in Dongzhi Yuan, a typical loess region in China. Landscape factors and roads were mapped using images from SPOT satellite (Système Probatoire d'Observation de la Terre), initiated by the French space agency and a digital elevation model (DEM). Detrended canonical correspondence analysis (DCCA), a useful ordination technique to explain species-environment relations in community ecology, was applied to evaluate the ways in which landscapes may influence roads. The results showed that both farmland area and building density were positively correlated with road variables, whereas gully density and the coefficient of variation (CV of DEM) showed negative correlations. The CV of DEM, farmland area, grassland area, and building density explained variation in node density, length density, and the spatial pattern of roads, whereas gully density and building density explained variation in variables representing road location. In addition, node density, rather than length density, was the primary road variable affected by landscape variables. The results showed that the DCCA was effective in explaining road-landscape relations. Understanding these relations can provide information for landscape managers and transportation planners.

  15. Termites facilitate and ungulates limit savanna tree regeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Unveiling changes in the landscape of patient populations in cancer early drug development.

    PubMed

    Hierro, Cinta; Azaro, Analía; Argilés, Guillem; Elez, Elena; Gómez, Patricia; Carles, Joan; Rodon, Jordi

    2016-11-09

    The introduction of new Molecularly Targeted Agents (MTA) has changed the landscape in Early Drug Development (EDD) over the last two decades, leading to an improvement in clinical trial design. Previous Phase 1 (Ph1) studies with cytotoxics focused on safety objectives, only recruiting heavily pre-treated cancer patients, have been left behind. In this review, we will illustrate the slow although unstoppable change that has increasingly been observed in those populations candidate to participate in EDD trials with the advent of MTA. As more evidence regarding oncogene addiction becomes available, molecular-biomarker driven selection has been implemented among Molecularly-Selected Population (MSP) studies. New Window-Of-Opportunity (WOO) and Phase 0 (Ph0) studies have been developed in order to assess whether a MTA produces the hypothetical proposed biological effect. The rising need of getting early pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics data has led to the conduction of Healthy Volunteer (HV) studies, in part favoured for the particular and different toxicity profile of these MTA. However, several challenges will need to be addressed in order to boost the implementation of these new clinical trial designs in the forthcoming years. Among the problems to overcome, we would highlight a better coordination effort between centers for ensuring adequate patient accrual among small patient populations and a deepening into the ethics implied in enrolling patients in studies with no therapeutic intent. However, these tribulations will be certainly compensated by the possibility of opening a new horizon of treatment for diseases with dismal prognosis.

  18. Savanna vegetation-fire-climate relationships differ among continents.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Caroline E R; Anderson, T Michael; Sankaran, Mahesh; Higgins, Steven I; Archibald, Sally; Hoffmann, William A; Hanan, Niall P; Williams, Richard J; Fensham, Roderick J; Felfili, Jeanine; Hutley, Lindsay B; Ratnam, Jayashree; San Jose, Jose; Montes, Ruben; Franklin, Don; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Ryan, Casey M; Durigan, Giselda; Hiernaux, Pierre; Haidar, Ricardo; Bowman, David M J S; Bond, William J

    2014-01-31

    Ecologists have long sought to understand the factors controlling the structure of savanna vegetation. Using data from 2154 sites in savannas across Africa, Australia, and South America, we found that increasing moisture availability drives increases in fire and tree basal area, whereas fire reduces tree basal area. However, among continents, the magnitude of these effects varied substantially, so that a single model cannot adequately represent savanna woody biomass across these regions. Historical and environmental differences drive the regional variation in the functional relationships between woody vegetation, fire, and climate. These same differences will determine the regional responses of vegetation to future climates, with implications for global carbon stocks.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foo, Y. S.; Hashim, M.

    2014-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hüttl, Reinhard F.; Weber, Edwin

    2001-08-01

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

  2. From the Field to the Classroom: A Web-Based Teaching Tool on Depositional Environments and Landscape Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krzic, M.; Watson, K.; Grand, S.; Crowley, C.; Dyanatkar, S.; Bomke, A.; Smith, S.

    2012-04-01

    The relationship between sedimentary deposits, landforms and soil profile development is difficult for students to grasp in a conventional classroom setting. The ideal way to solve this is to take the students on extended field trips; however, field trips are expensive, have to be conducted during specific time periods, and can only handle a limited number of students. The objective of this project was to bring the field to the classroom via a virtual, dynamic web-based teaching tool illustrating common depositional environments and associated landforms and soils. The teaching tool was largely based on video footage obtained in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and in the grasslands of the southern interior of British Columbia. The Canadian Rockies are undergoing rapid deglaciation and provided excellent examples of new glacial deposits and early landscape development processes. On the other hand, British Columbia's grasslands became ice-free about 10,000 years ago and were used to illustrate landscape evolution and post-glaciation soil profile development. To bring these two environments together, video footage of corresponding landforms was shot at both locations and edited into a series of short video clips illustrating the link between depositional processes, resulting landforms and soils and their post-glacial evolution. Soil scientists, survey specialists and geomorphologists provided live commentary. The teaching tool (http://soilweb.landfood.ubc.ca/landscape/) is an open-access website merging video clips, sound recordings, text, photos and graphics intended to help students situate landforms within their geomorphologic context. This online teaching resource allows students to observe, on their own time, conditions under which sediments are deposited and soils are formed, and to witness the transformation of a barren, glacial landscape into a vegetated soil landscape. The tool can be used in various geomorphology, soil, agriculture, forestry, and natural

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  4. Contesting authority: China and the new landscape of power sector governance in the developing world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannam, Phillip Matthew

    development sovereignty among recipients, it can cause backsliding on safeguards and rules among established donors with consequences for power sector outcomes, making fragile movement away from carbon-intensive development even more tenuous. By characterizing this new and uncertain landscape of power sector governance, the thesis contributes to theorization on discord in international governance and to policy development for mitigating climate change.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Garry; Meyer, Mick

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Methane emission from tropical savanna Trachypogon sp. grasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanhueza, E.; Donoso, L.

    2006-11-01

    Methane flux measurements from the soil-grass system were made during the wet season in unperturbed plots and plots where standing dry and green Trachypogon sp. grasses were clipped to just above the soil surface. Results support the surprising discovery that vegetation emits methane. The results of this work allows to infer that the savanna dry/green mixture of grasses produce methane at a rate of ~10 ng m-2 s-1, which is in agreement with early published soil-grass system fluxes. An extrapolation of this flux to the global savanna produces an annual emission much lower than the CH4 production recently suggested in the literature. On the other hand, during the wet season savanna soil consume CH4 at a rate of ~4.7 ng m-2 s-1. Therefore, the tropical savanna soil-grass system would make a modest contribution to the global budget of methane.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Landscape as a predictor of wetland condition: an evaluation of the Landscape Development Index (LDI) with a large reference wetland dataset from Ohio.

    PubMed

    Mack, John J

    2006-09-01

    Recent approaches to wetland assessment have advocated a multilevel approach which incorporates assessments based on landscape (remote sensing) data, on-site but "rapid" methods, and intensive methods where quantitative data is collected. Brown and Vivas (2004) recently pro- posed an assessment method that uses remote sensing information (Landscape Development Index or LDI) and propose that it may also be usable as a quantified human disturbance gradient. The LDI was evaluated using a large reference wetland data set from Ohio using land use percentages within a 1 km radius circle of the wetlands. The LDI had interpretable and significant relationships with another human disturbance gradient (the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands or ORAM) and with most metrics and scores from the Vegetation Index of Biotic Integrity (VIBI) developed for use in the State of Ohio. Metrics from emergent wetlands had the most significant correlations with the LDI (10 of 10 metrics), followed by forested wetlands (8 of 10 metrics) and shrub wetlands (4 of 10). Poor correlation for VIBI scores and metrics of shrub wetlands was due to differences in attainable LDI scores based on ecoregion and natural buffers shielding the wetland from otherwise intensive land uses. The ORAM and VIBI were developed for use in wetlands in Ohio completely independent of the LDI. It is an important test of the LDI concept that so many interpretable and significant relationships occurred between the VIBI scores, VIBI metric values, and the ORAM scores. For the purposes of VIBI development, the LDI is an independent, quantified disturbance gradient that has provided an additional test of the VIBI. Given its theoretical underpinnings and the fact that it uses quantified land use percentages, the LDI has many advantages over more qualitative human disturbance gradients. Using land use percentages from increasingly smaller distances from the wetland edge (100-200 m) may improve the resolution of the LDI

  10. Emissions from Miombo Woodland and Dambo Grassland Savanna Fires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  11. Spiny plants, mammal browsers, and the origin of African savannas

    PubMed Central

    Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Davies, T. Jonathan; Hempson, Gareth P.; Bezeng, Bezeng S.; Kabongo, Ronny M.; Maurin, Olivier; Muasya, A. Muthama; van der Bank, Michelle; Bond, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Savannas first began to spread across Africa during the Miocene. A major hypothesis for explaining this vegetation change is the increase in C4 grasses, promoting fire. We investigated whether mammals could also have contributed to savanna expansion by using spinescence as a marker of mammal herbivory. Looking at the present distribution of 1,852 tree species, we established that spinescence is mainly associated with two functional types of mammals: large browsers and medium-sized mixed feeders. Using a dated phylogeny for the same tree species, we found that spinescence evolved at least 55 times. The diversification of spiny plants occurred long after the evolution of Afrotherian proboscideans and hyracoids. However, it is remarkably congruent with diversification of bovids, the lineage including the antelope that predominantly browse these plants today. Our findings suggest that herbivore-adapted savannas evolved several million years before fire-maintained savannas and probably, in different environmental conditions. Spiny savannas with abundant mammal herbivores occur in drier climates and on nutrient-rich soils, whereas fire-maintained savannas occur in wetter climates on nutrient-poor soils. PMID:27601649

  12. Spiny plants, mammal browsers, and the origin of African savannas.

    PubMed

    Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Davies, T Jonathan; Hempson, Gareth P; Bezeng, Bezeng S; Daru, Barnabas H; Kabongo, Ronny M; Maurin, Olivier; Muasya, A Muthama; van der Bank, Michelle; Bond, William J

    2016-09-20

    Savannas first began to spread across Africa during the Miocene. A major hypothesis for explaining this vegetation change is the increase in C4 grasses, promoting fire. We investigated whether mammals could also have contributed to savanna expansion by using spinescence as a marker of mammal herbivory. Looking at the present distribution of 1,852 tree species, we established that spinescence is mainly associated with two functional types of mammals: large browsers and medium-sized mixed feeders. Using a dated phylogeny for the same tree species, we found that spinescence evolved at least 55 times. The diversification of spiny plants occurred long after the evolution of Afrotherian proboscideans and hyracoids. However, it is remarkably congruent with diversification of bovids, the lineage including the antelope that predominantly browse these plants today. Our findings suggest that herbivore-adapted savannas evolved several million years before fire-maintained savannas and probably, in different environmental conditions. Spiny savannas with abundant mammal herbivores occur in drier climates and on nutrient-rich soils, whereas fire-maintained savannas occur in wetter climates on nutrient-poor soils.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Raytheon Services Nevada Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Division

    1995-09-01

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

  15. The chromatin landscape of the moss Physcomitrella patens and its dynamics during development and drought stress.

    PubMed

    Widiez, Thomas; Symeonidi, Aikaterini; Luo, Chongyuan; Lam, Eric; Lawton, Michael; Rensing, Stefan A

    2014-07-01

    The moss Physcomitrella patens is an important model organism for evo-devo studies. Here, we determined the genome-wide chromatin landscape of five important histone three (H3) modifications (H3K4me3, H3K27me3, H3K27Ac, H3K9Ac and H3K9me2) and describe the changes to these histone marks in two contrasted situations, developmental transition and abiotic (drought) stress. Integrative analysis of these histone H3 modifications revealed their preferential association into 15 chromatin states (CS) in genic regions of the P. patens genome. Synergistic relationships that influence expression levels were revealed for the three activating marks H3K4me3, H3K27Ac and H3K9Ac, while an antagonistic relationship was found between CS containing the H3K27me3 and H3K27Ac marks, suggesting that H3K27 is a key indexing residue regarding transcriptional output. Concerning the alteration of histone marks in response to developmental transition (juvenile to adult) and drought stress, the three activating marks H3K4me3, H3K27Ac and H3K9Ac show significant changes in both situations. However, changes to H3K27me3 are central only for genes differentially expressed during development. Interestingly, genes induced during drought stress show significant histone mark toggling during developmental transition. This situation suggests that drought induced adult (gametophore expressed) genes are primed to respond to this stress during the juvenile to adult transition.

  16. Disentangling fragmentation effects on herbivory in understory plants of longleaf pine savanna.

    PubMed

    Levey, Douglas J; Caughlin, T Trevor; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Damschen, Ellen I; Tewksbury, Joshua J; Evans, Daniel M

    2016-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation affects species and their interactions through intertwined mechanisms that include changes to fragment area, shape, connectivity and distance to edge. Disentangling these pathways is a fundamental challenge of landscape ecology and will help identify ecological processes important for management of rare species or restoration of fragmented habitats. In a landscape experiment that manipulated connectivity, fragment shape, and distance to edge while holding fragment area constant, we examined how fragmentation impacts herbivory and growth of nine plant species in longleaf pine savanna. Probability of herbivory in open habitat was strongly dependent on proximity to forest edge for every species, increasing with distance to edge in six species (primarily grasses and annual forbs) and decreasing in three species (perennial forbs and a shrub). In the two species of perennial forbs, these edge effects were dependent on fragment shape; herbivory strongly decreased with distance to edge in fragments of two shapes, but not in a third shape. For most species, however, probability of herbivory was unrelated to connectivity or fragment shape. Growth was generally determined more strongly by leaf herbivory than by distance to edge, fragment shape, or connectivity. Taken together, these results demonstrate consistently strong edge effects on herbivory, one of the most important biotic factors determining plant growth and demography. Our results contrast with the generally inconsistent results of observational studies, likely because our experimental approach enabled us to tease apart landscape processes that are typically confounded.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ng, Pak Tee; Tan, Charlene

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Developing a Spatial Perspective: Using the Local Landscape To Teach Students to Think Geographically.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hermann, Dan

    1996-01-01

    Summarizes methods from a high school geography class that used examples from local geography to teach basic geographic concepts. Maintains that these illustrative examples can be used even in courses where the content is not local geography. Provides examples of local landscapes illustrating concepts applicable to the Brazilian rain forest. (MJP)

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Soil Development Over Mud-rich Rocks Produces Landscape-scale Erosional Instabilities in the Northern Gabilan Mesa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnstone, S. A.; Miguel, F.; Hilley, G. E.

    2015-12-01

    Whether landscapes respond to climatic and tectonic perturbations through steady, continuous adjustment or by short-lived, transiently unstable acceleration of erosion rates is fundamental to understanding landscape dynamics and the impact that land-use change may have on watershed sediment budgets. We document the geomorphic response of catchments in the Northern Gabilan Mesa (NGM), where it appears that over geomorphic timescales, well-developed soils may provide more resistance to incision than the mudstones from which they were derived. While measures of tensile strength reveal that intact mudstone is stronger than overlying soils, slaking removes the internal strength of these mudstones. This produces materials in the critical zone that are weaker than the overlying soils. This local configuration appears to impact large-scale landscape dynamics in the NGM, in that once the cohesive soils are locally removed, gullies that incise into the underlying, weaker slaked rock undermine the cohesive soil mantle and propagate headward as a series of arroyos predominantly hosted on south-facing slopes. These arroyos are more frequent in landscapes underlain by shallow marine mudstones and sandstones than sandstones and conglomerates. On the walls of arroyos, the development of relief and the exposure of rapidly disintegrating bedrock is accompanied by the dominance of transport by granular flows. Finally, arroyos often extend farther upslope than do channels without bedrock exposures, ultimately causing an increase in drainage density. Therefore in a situation where cohesive soils overlie a zone of weaker weathered material, incision through the cohesive layer represents a threshold that initiates a transient wave of incision that rapidly undermines and removes large volumes of bedrock and soil. This conceptual model is affirmed by simple one-dimensional geomorphic models that explore the conditions under which such features may be produced.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-11-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Characterization of hundreds of regulatory landscapes in developing limbs reveals two regimes of chromatin folding.

    PubMed

    Andrey, Guillaume; Schöpflin, Robert; Jerković, Ivana; Heinrich, Verena; Ibrahim, Daniel M; Paliou, Christina; Hochradel, Myriam; Timmermann, Bernd; Haas, Stefan; Vingron, Martin; Mundlos, Stefan

    2017-02-01

    Complex regulatory landscapes control the pleiotropic transcriptional activities of developmental genes. For most genes, the number, location, and dynamics of their associated regulatory elements are unknown. In this work, we characterized the three-dimensional chromatin microarchitecture and regulatory landscape of 446 limb-associated gene loci in mouse using Capture-C, ChIP-seq, and RNA-seq in forelimb, hindlimb at three developmental stages, and midbrain. The fine mapping of chromatin interactions revealed a strong preference for functional genomic regions such as repressed or active domains. By combining chromatin marks and interaction peaks, we annotated more than 1000 putative limb enhancers and their associated genes. Moreover, the analysis of chromatin interactions revealed two regimes of chromatin folding, one producing interactions stable across tissues and stages and another one associated with tissue and/or stage-specific interactions. Whereas stable interactions associate strongly with CTCF/RAD21 binding, the intensity of variable interactions correlates with changes in underlying chromatin modifications, specifically at the viewpoint and at the interaction site. In conclusion, this comprehensive data set provides a resource for the characterization of hundreds of limb-associated regulatory landscapes and a framework to interpret the chromatin folding dynamics observed during embryogenesis.

  8. Quantifying the relative importance of greenhouse gas emissions from current and future savanna land use change across northern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bristow, Mila; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Beringer, Jason; Livesley, Stephen J.; Edwards, Andrew C.; Arndt, Stefan K.

    2016-11-01

    The clearing and burning of tropical savanna leads to globally significant emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs); however there is large uncertainty relating to the magnitude of this flux. Australia's tropical savannas occupy the northern quarter of the continent, a region of increasing interest for further exploitation of land and water resources. Land use decisions across this vast biome have the potential to influence the national greenhouse gas budget. To better quantify emissions from savanna deforestation and investigate the impact of deforestation on national GHG emissions, we undertook a paired site measurement campaign where emissions were quantified from two tropical savanna woodland sites; one that was deforested and prepared for agricultural land use and a second analogue site that remained uncleared for the duration of a 22-month campaign. At both sites, net ecosystem exchange of CO2 was measured using the eddy covariance method. Observations at the deforested site were continuous before, during and after the clearing event, providing high-resolution data that tracked CO2 emissions through nine phases of land use change. At the deforested site, post-clearing debris was allowed to cure for 6 months and was subsequently burnt, followed by extensive soil preparation for cropping. During the debris burning, fluxes of CO2 as measured by the eddy covariance tower were excluded. For this phase, emissions were estimated by quantifying on-site biomass prior to deforestation and applying savanna-specific emission factors to estimate a fire-derived GHG emission that included both CO2 and non-CO2 gases. The total fuel mass that was consumed during the debris burning was 40.9 Mg C ha-1 and included above- and below-ground woody biomass, course woody debris, twigs, leaf litter and C4 grass fuels. Emissions from the burning were added to the net CO2 fluxes as measured by the eddy covariance tower for other post-deforestation phases to provide a total GHG emission from

  9. Implication of Forest-Savanna Dynamics on Biomass and Carbon Stock: Effectiveness of an Amazonian Ecological Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couto-Santos, F. R.; Luizao, F. J.

    2014-12-01

    The forests-savanna advancement/retraction process seems to play an important role in the global carbon cycle and in the climate-vegetation balance maintenance in the Amazon. To contribute with long term carbon dynamics and assess effectiveness of a protected area in reduce carbon emissions in Brazilian Amazon transitional areas, variations in forest-savanna mosaics biomass and carbon stock within Maraca Ecological Station (MES), Roraima/Brazil, and its outskirts non-protected areas were compared. Composite surface soil samples and indirect methods based on regression models were used to estimate aboveground tree biomass accumulation and assess vegetation and soil carbon stock along eleven 0.6 ha transects perpendicular to the forest-savanna limits. Aboveground biomass and carbon accumulation were influenced by vegetation structure, showing higher values within protected area, with great contribution of trees above 40 cm in diameter. In the savanna environments of protected areas, a higher tree density and carbon stock up to 30 m from the border confirmed a forest encroachment. This pointed that MES acts as carbon sink, even under variations in soil fertility gradient, with a potential increase of the total carbon stock from 9 to 150 Mg C ha-1. Under 20 years of fire and disturbance management, the results indicated the effectiveness of this protected area to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate greenhouse and climate change effects in a forest-savanna transitional area in Brazilian Northern Amazon. The contribution of this study in understanding rates and reasons for biomass and carbon variation, under different management strategies, should be considered the first approximation to assist policies of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) from underresearched Amazonian ecotone; despite further efforts in this direction are still needed. FINANCIAL SUPPORT: Boticário Group Foundation (Fundação Grupo Boticário); National Council for

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Slonecker, Terry E.; Milheim, Lesley E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandre, A. E.; Abbadie, L.

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandre, Anne; Bouvet, Mickael; Abbadie, Luc

    2011-08-01

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

  13. Anthelmintic activity of plant extracts from Brazilian savanna.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Andreia F; Costa Junior, Livio M; Lima, Aldilene S; Silva, Carolina R; Ribeiro, Maria N S; Mesquista, José W C; Rocha, Cláudia Q; Tangerina, Marcelo M P; Vilegas, Wagner

    2017-03-15

    Helminth infections represent a serious problem for the production of small ruminants that is currently aggravated by resistance to anthelmintic products and has induced a search for control alternatives, such as natural products. In this study, extracts of Turnera ulmifolia L. (leaves and roots), Parkia platycephala Benth. (leaves and seeds) and Dimorphandra gardneriana Tul. (leaves and bark), which have been cited in ethnoveterinary studies and selected naturally by goats in the cerrado (Brazilian savanna), were tested in vitro against Haemonchus contortus. Hydroacetonic (ACT) and hydroalcoholic (ETH) extracts were evaluated using an Egg Hatching Assay (EHA), a Larval Exsheathment Inhibition Assay (LEIA) and a Larval Development Assay (LDA). A second set of incubations was performed using polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP) to determine the influence of polyphenols on the anthelmintic effects of EHA and LEIA. Data from each extract were used to calculate inhibition concentrations (IC50). All tested extracts showed activity against at least one life stage of H. contortus. The use of PVPP revealed that the tannins are not the only extracts of secondary metabolites responsible for the anthelmintic effects. The results showed clear in vitro anthelmintic activities against H. contortus at different stages and indicated the potential use of these species as a promising alternative approach to control helminthic infections of small ruminants.

  14. Methane emission from tropical savanna Trachypogon sp. grasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanhueza, E.; Donoso, L.

    2006-07-01

    Methane flux measurements from the soil-grass system were made during the wet season in unperturbed plots and plots where standing dry and green Trachypogon sp. grasses were clipped to just above the soil surface. Results support the surprising discovery that vegetation emits methane. The dry/green mixture of grasses produce methane at a rate of ~10 ng m-2 s-1, which extrapolated to the global savanna would produce an annual emission of ~5 Tg, much lower than the production recently suggested in the literature. On the other hand, during the wet season savanna soil consume CH4 at a rate of ~4.7 ng m-2 s-1, producing a global sink of ~1.3 Tg yr-1. Therefore, the tropical savanna soil-grass system would make a modest contribution to the global budget of methane.

  15. Eco-hydrology driven fire regime in savanna.

    PubMed

    Ursino, Nadia

    2014-08-21

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Seasonal Habitat Use by Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) on a Landscape with Low Density Oil and Gas Development.

    PubMed

    Rice, Mindy B; Rossi, Liza G; Apa, Anthony D

    2016-01-01

    Fragmentation of the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem has led to concern about a variety of sagebrush obligates including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Given the increase of energy development within greater sage-grouse habitats, mapping seasonal habitats in pre-development populations is critical. The North Park population in Colorado is one of the largest and most stable in the state and provides a unique case study for investigating resource selection at a relatively low level of energy development compared to other populations both within and outside the state. We used locations from 117 radio-marked female greater sage-grouse in North Park, Colorado to develop seasonal resource selection models. We then added energy development variables to the base models at both a landscape and local scale to determine if energy variables improved the fit of the seasonal models. The base models for breeding and winter resource selection predicted greater use in large expanses of sagebrush whereas the base summer model predicted greater use along the edge of riparian areas. Energy development variables did not improve the winter or the summer models at either scale of analysis, but distance to oil/gas roads slightly improved model fit at both scales in the breeding season, albeit in opposite ways. At the landscape scale, greater sage-grouse were closer to oil/gas roads whereas they were further from oil/gas roads at the local scale during the breeding season. Although we found limited effects from low level energy development in the breeding season, the scale of analysis can influence the interpretation of effects. The lack of strong effects from energy development may be indicative that energy development at current levels are not impacting greater sage-grouse in North Park. Our baseline seasonal resource selection maps can be used for conservation to help identify ways of minimizing the effects of energy development.

  18. Seasonal Habitat Use by Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) on a Landscape with Low Density Oil and Gas Development

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Fragmentation of the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem has led to concern about a variety of sagebrush obligates including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Given the increase of energy development within greater sage-grouse habitats, mapping seasonal habitats in pre-development populations is critical. The North Park population in Colorado is one of the largest and most stable in the state and provides a unique case study for investigating resource selection at a relatively low level of energy development compared to other populations both within and outside the state. We used locations from 117 radio-marked female greater sage-grouse in North Park, Colorado to develop seasonal resource selection models. We then added energy development variables to the base models at both a landscape and local scale to determine if energy variables improved the fit of the seasonal models. The base models for breeding and winter resource selection predicted greater use in large expanses of sagebrush whereas the base summer model predicted greater use along the edge of riparian areas. Energy development variables did not improve the winter or the summer models at either scale of analysis, but distance to oil/gas roads slightly improved model fit at both scales in the breeding season, albeit in opposite ways. At the landscape scale, greater sage-grouse were closer to oil/gas roads whereas they were further from oil/gas roads at the local scale during the breeding season. Although we found limited effects from low level energy development in the breeding season, the scale of analysis can influence the interpretation of effects. The lack of strong effects from energy development may be indicative that energy development at current levels are not impacting greater sage-grouse in North Park. Our baseline seasonal resource selection maps can be used for conservation to help identify ways of minimizing the effects of energy development. PMID:27788202

  19. Enhancement Through Landscaping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindley, Charles

    1985-01-01

    Landscaping can make the school environment more attractive, thus encouraging students' intellectual, emotional, and physical development. Guidelines are offered for comprehensive site planning, tree and plant selection, and grounds maintenance. (MLF)

  20. 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.

  1. Oil and Gas Development in Southwestern Wyoming - Energy Data and Services for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biewick, Laura R.H.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to explore current oil and gas energy development in the area encompassing the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative. The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative is a long-term science-based effort to ensure southwestern Wyoming's wildlife and habitat remain viable in areas facing development pressure. Wyoming encompasses some of the highest quality wildlife habitats in the Intermountain West. At the same time, this region is an important source of natural gas. Using Geographic Information System technology, energy data pertinent to the conservation decision-making process have been assembled to show historical oil and gas exploration and production in southwestern Wyoming. In addition to historical data, estimates of undiscovered oil and gas are included from the 2002 U.S. Geological Survey National Assessment of Oil and Gas in the Southwestern Wyoming Province. This report is meant to facilitate the integration of existing data with new knowledge and technologies to analyze energy resources development and to assist in habitat conservation planning. The well and assessment data can be accessed and shared among many different clients including, but not limited to, an online web-service for scientists and resource managers engaged in the Initiative.

  2. Climatic changes can drive the loss of genetic diversity in a Neotropical savanna tree species.

    PubMed

    Lima, Jacqueline S; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Lima-Ribeiro, Matheus S; Collevatti, Rosane G

    2017-03-13

    The high rates of future climatic changes, compared with the rates reported for past changes, may hamper species adaptation to new climates or the tracking of suitable conditions, resulting in significant loss of genetic diversity. Trees are dominant species in many biomes and because they are long-lived, they may not be able to cope with ongoing climatic changes. Here, we coupled Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) and genetic simulations to forecast the effects of climatic changes on the genetic diversity and the structure of genetic clusters. Genetic simulations were conditioned to climatic variables and restricted to plant dispersal and establishment. We used a Neotropical savanna tree as species model that shows a preference for hot and drier climates, but with low temperature seasonality. The ENM predicts a decreasing range size along the more severe future climatic scenario. Additionally, genetic diversity and allelic richness also decrease with range retraction and climatic genetic clusters are lost for both future scenarios, which will lead genetic variability to homogenize throughout the landscape. Besides, climatic genetic clusters will spatially reconfigure on the landscape following displacements of climatic conditions. Our findings indicate that climate change effects will challenge population adaptation to new environmental conditions because of the displacement of genetic ancestry clusters from their optimal conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Multiple ecosystem services in a working landscape

    PubMed Central

    Eastburn, Danny J.; O’Geen, Anthony T.; Tate, Kenneth W.; Roche, Leslie M.

    2017-01-01

    Policy makers and practitioners are in need of useful tools and models for assessing ecosystem service outcomes and the potential risks and opportunities of ecosystem management options. We utilize a state-and-transition model framework integrating dynamic soil and vegetation properties to examine multiple ecosystem services—specifically agricultural production, biodiversity and habitat, and soil health—across human created vegetation states in a managed oak woodland landscape in a Mediterranean climate. We found clear tradeoffs and synergies in management outcomes. Grassland states maximized agricultural productivity at a loss of soil health, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services. Synergies existed among multiple ecosystem services in savanna and woodland states with significantly larger nutrient pools, more diversity and native plant richness, and less invasive species. This integrative approach can be adapted to a diversity of working landscapes to provide useful information for science-based ecosystem service valuations, conservation decision making, and management effectiveness assessments. PMID:28301475

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

    PubMed

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Hanan, Niall P

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Seasonal changes of water carbon relations in savanna ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonner, Ian J.

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

  12. Nitrogen deposition in tropical forests from deforestation and savanna fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Y.; Randerson, J. T.; van der Werf, G.; Morton, D. C.; Kasibhatla, P. S.

    2009-12-01

    Tropical forests account for nearly half of global net primary production (NPP) and may contribute substantially to contemporary and future land carbon (C) sinks. We used satellite-derived estimates of global fire emissions and a chemical transport model to estimate atmospheric nitrogen (N) fluxes from deforestation and savanna fires in tropical ecosystems. N emissions and deposition led to a substantial net transport of N equatorward, from savannas and areas undergoing deforestation to tropical forests. On average, N emissions from fires were equivalent to approximately 28% of biological N fixation (BNF) in savannas (4.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and 38% of BNF from ecosystems at the deforestation frontier (9.1 kg N ha-1 yr-1). N deposition occurred in interior tropical forests at a rate equivalent to 4% of their BNF (1.1 kg N ha-1 yr-1). This percentage was highest for African tropical forests in the Congo Basin (16%; 3.7 kg N ha-1 yr-1) owing to equatorward transport from northern and southern savannas. These results suggest that land use change, including deforestation fires, may be enhancing nutrient availability and carbon sequestration in nearby tropical forest ecosystems.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bader, Brian J.; Egan, Dave

    1999-01-01

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

  16. Planetary Landscape Geography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargitai, H.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  19. [Landscape and ecological genomics].

    PubMed

    Tetushkin, E Ia

    2013-10-01

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

  20. Effect of Suburban Development and Landscape Position on Water Quality in Three Small Watersheds Within the Croton System, New York.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassett, J. M.; Endreny, T. A.; Wolosoff, S.; Adam, M.; Mitchell, M. J.

    2003-12-01

    Internal hydrological processes in suburban watersheds and their effects on water quality warrant investigation. Instrument clusters (throughfall collectors, suction lysimeters, monitoring wells, and shallow and deep piezometers) were installed at several locations within three small (50 - 70 ha) watersheds (one forested, two with different degrees of suburban development) in the Croton Watershed, southeastern New York. Biweekly and storm samples were analyzed for base cations, selected anions, and DOC over a one-year period. The topographic index (TI) quantified landscape position; flowpath analyses determined degree of development at each cluster, using % impervious cover as the metric. Water quality degradation was observed in sites with medium and high TI values; no such effect was observed along the ridges, i.e., low TI values. At medium TI values, areas with more than 5% impervious had degraded water quality. At high TI values, the water chemistry degradation appeared at 10% or greater impervious surface

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Grassland structural heterogeneity in a savanna is driven more by productivity differences than by consumption differences between lawn and bunch grasses.

    PubMed

    Veldhuis, Michiel P; Fakkert, Heleen F; Berg, Matty P; Olff, Han

    2016-11-01

    Savanna grasslands are characterized by high spatial heterogeneity in vegetation structure, aboveground biomass and nutritional quality, with high quality short-grass grazing lawns forming mosaics with patches of tall bunch grasses of lower quality. This heterogeneity can arise because of local differences in consumption, because of differences in productivity, or because both processes enforce each other (more production and consumption). However, the relative importance of both processes in maintaining mosaics of lawn and bunch grassland types has not been measured. Also their interplay been not been assessed across landscape gradients. In a South African savanna, we, therefore, measured the seasonal changes in primary production, nutritional quality and herbivore consumption (amount and percentage) of grazing lawns and adjacent bunch grass patches across a rainfall gradient. We found both higher amounts of primary production and, to a smaller extent, consumption for bunch grass patches. In addition, for bunch grasses primary production increased towards higher rainfall while foliar nitrogen concentrations decreased. Foliar nitrogen concentrations of lawn grasses decreased much less with increasing rainfall. Consequently, large herbivores targeted the biomass produced on grazing lawns with on average 75 % of the produced biomass consumed. We conclude that heterogeneity in vegetation structure in this savanna ecosystem is better explained by small-scale differences in productivity between lawn and bunch grass vegetation types than by local differences in consumption rates. Nevertheless, the high nutritional quality of grazing lawns is highly attractive and, therefore, important for the maintenance of the heterogeneity in species composition (i.e. grazing lawn maintenance).

  5. Forest-savanna- morichal dynamics in relation to fire and human occupation in the southern Gran Sabana (SE Venezuela) during the last millennia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montoya, Encarni; Rull, Valentí; Stansell, Nathan D.; Abbott, Mark B.; Nogué, Sandra; Bird, Broxton W.; Díaz, Wilmer A.

    2011-11-01

    The southern Gran Sabana (SE Venezuela) holds a particular type of neotropical savanna characterized by the local occurrence of morichales ( Mauritia palm swamps) , in a climate apparently more suitable for rain forests. We present a paleoecological analysis of the last millennia of Lake Chonita (4°39'N-61°0'W, 884 m elevation), based on biological and physico-chemical proxies. Savannas dominated the region during the last millennia, but a significant vegetation replacement occurred in recent times. The site was covered by a treeless savanna with nearby rainforests from 3640 to 2180 cal yr BP. Water levels were higher than today until about 2800 cal yr BP. Forests retreated since about 2180 cal yr BP onwards, likely influenced by a higher fire incidence that facilitated a dramatic expansion of morichales. The simultaneous appearance of charcoal particles and Mauritia pollen around 2000 cal yr BP supports the potential pyrophilous nature of this palm and the importance of fire for its recent expansion. The whole picture suggests human settlements similar to today - in which fire is an essential element - since around 2000 yr ago. Therefore, present-day southern Gran Sabana landscapes seem to have been the result of the synergy between biogeographical, climatic and anthropogenic factors, mostly fire.

  6. Aquaculture in artificially developed wetlands in urban areas: an application of the bivariate relationship between soil and surface water in landscape ecology.

    PubMed

    Paul, Abhijit

    2011-01-01

    Wetlands show a strong bivariate relationship between soil and surface water. Artificially developed wetlands help to build landscape ecology and make built environments sustainable. The bheries, wetlands of eastern Calcutta (India), utilize the city sewage to develop urban aquaculture that supports the local fish industries and opens a new frontier in sustainable environmental planning research.

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

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jingting; Ohliger, James

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Alsing, Anne Katrine; Sneppen, Kim

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Alsing, Anne Katrine; Sneppen, Kim

    2013-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-04-01

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

  11. Mars Landscapes

    NASA Video Gallery

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brilli, Lorenzo; Moriondo, Marco; Bindi, Marco

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  15. Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities of oak savanna are distinct from forest communities.

    PubMed

    Dickie, I A; Dentinger, B T M; Avis, P G; McLaughlin, D J; Reich, P B

    2009-01-01

    Oak savanna is one of the most endangered ecosystems of North America, with less than 0.02% of its original area remaining. Here we test whether oak savanna supports a unique community of ectomycorrhizal fungi, a higher diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi or a greater proportional abundance of ascomycete fungi compared with adjacent areas where the absence of fire has resulted in oak savanna conversion to oak forest. The overall fungal community was highly diverse and dominated by Cenococcum geophilum and other ascomycetes, Cortinarius, Russula, Lactarius and Thelephoraceae. Oak savanna mycorrhizal communities were distinct from oak forest communities both aboveground (sporocarp surveys) and belowground (RFLP identification of ectomycorrhizal root tips); however total diversity was not higher in oak savanna than oak forests and there was no evidence of a greater abundance of ascomycetes. Despite not having a higher local diversity than oak forests, the presence of a unique fungal community indicates that oak savanna plays an important role in maintaining regional ectomycorrhizal diversity.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. Landscape evolution (A Review)

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Robert P.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Regional insight into savanna hydrogeomorphology from termite mounds.

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. Edge-effect interactions in fragmented and patchy landscapes.

    PubMed

    Porensky, Lauren M; Young, Truman P

    2013-06-01

    Ecological edges are increasingly recognized as drivers of landscape patterns and ecosystem processes. In fragmented and patchy landscapes (e.g., a fragmented forest or a savanna with scattered termite mounds), edges can become so numerous that their effects pervade the entire landscape. Results of recent studies in such landscapes show that edge effects can be altered by the presence or proximity of other nearby edges. We considered the theoretical significance of edge-effect interactions, illustrated various landscape configurations that support them and reviewed existing research on this topic. Results of studies from a variety of locations and ecosystem types show that edge-effect interactions can have significant consequences for ecosystems and conservation, including higher tree mortality rates in tropical rainforest fragments, reduced bird densities in grassland fragments, and bush encroachment and reduced wildlife densities in a tropical savanna. To clarify this underappreciated concept and synthesize existing work, we devised a conceptual framework for edge-effect interactions. We first worked to reduce terminological confusion by clarifying differences among terms such as edge intersection and edge interaction. For cases in which nearby edge effects interact, we proposed three possible forms of interaction: strengthening (presence of a second edge causes stronger edge effects), weakening (presence of a second edge causes weaker edge effects), and emergent (edge effects change completely in the presence of a second edge). By clarifying terms and concepts, this framework enables more precise descriptions of edge-effect interactions and facilitates comparisons of results among disparate study systems and response variables. A better understanding of edge-effect interactions will pave the way for more appropriate modeling, conservation, and management in complex landscapes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Landscape-scale observations of plant water use using continuous stable isotope monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.; Caylor, K. K.; Good, S. P.; Villegas, J. C.; Breshears, D. D.

    2009-12-01

    Water vapor isotopes (δ2H and δ18O) are useful for resolving the dynamics of the near-surface atmospheric water cycle across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Previously, insight was limited by the temporal resolution of available measurement and sampling techniques. In recent years, with the development of laser-based spectroscopy techniques, continuous monitoring of δ2H and δ18O compositions in water vapor has become feasible. In this study, we reported two experiments, one conducted within a sealed mega-scale chamber (Biosphere 2) and another in an African savanna ecosystem. These studies were conducted to examine the feasibility of continuously monitoring the isotopic composition of surface evapotranspiration by coupling isotope and eddy covariance techniques. Results from the Biosphere 2 glasshouse facility provided clear evidence of the method’s ability to track the impact of diurnal cycles in plant transpiration on atmospheric isotope composition. In addition, patterns of isotopic vapor composition were well-correlated to experimental manipulations of vegetation cover, which we related to changes in the relative amounts of evaporation and transpiration. Preliminary results for the field experiment conducted in a Kenyan savanna revealed a rapid, dramatic shift in the isotopic composition of near-surface water vapor after a very small rainfall event (~1 mm), which was likely caused by the canopy/soil evaporation. Our field observations also indicated that soil moisture/potential may play a role in determining the evaporation signals. Taken as a whole, these experiments confirm the potential of laser based continuous isotope monitoring as a means for greatly expanding the use of isotope flux measurements to address a wide range of research topics related to landscape-scale plant water use in drylands.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Syktus, Jozef I; McAlpine, Clive A

    2016-07-04

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syktus, Jozef I.; McAlpine, Clive A.

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Syktus, Jozef I.; McAlpine, Clive A.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  14. Clinical development of gene- and cell-based therapies: overview of the European landscape.

    PubMed

    de Wilde, Sofieke; Guchelaar, Henk-Jan; Zandvliet, Maarten Laurens; Meij, Pauline

    2016-01-01

    In the last decade, many clinical trials with gene- and cell-based therapies were performed and increasing interest in the development was established by (national) authorities, academic developers, and commercial companies. However, until now only eight products have received marketing authorization (MA) approval. In this study, a comprehensive overview of the clinical development of gene- and cell-based therapies in Europe is presented, with a strong focus on product-technical aspects. Public data regarding clinical trials with gene- and cell-based therapies, obtained from the European Union (EU) clinical trial database (EudraCT) between 2004 and 2014 were analyzed, including product-technical variables as potential determinants affecting development. 198 unique gene and cell therapy products were identified, which were studied in 278 clinical trials, mostly in phase 1/2 trials and with cell therapies as major group. Furthermore, most products were manufactured from autologous starting material mostly manufactured from stem cells. The majority of the trials were sponsored by academia, whereas phase 3 trials mostly by large companies. Academia dominated early-stage development by mainly using bone marrow derived products and stem cells. Conversely, commercial sponsors were more actively pursuing in vivo gene therapy medicinal product development, and cell therapies derived from differentiated tissue in later-stage development.

  15. Clinical development of gene- and cell-based therapies: overview of the European landscape

    PubMed Central

    de Wilde, Sofieke; Guchelaar, Henk-Jan; Zandvliet, Maarten Laurens; Meij, Pauline

    2016-01-01

    In the last decade, many clinical trials with gene- and cell-based therapies were performed and increasing interest in the development was established by (national) authorities, academic developers, and commercial companies. However, until now only eight products have received marketing authorization (MA) approval. In this study, a comprehensive overview of the clinical development of gene- and cell-based therapies in Europe is presented, with a strong focus on product-technical aspects. Public data regarding clinical trials with gene- and cell-based therapies, obtained from the European Union (EU) clinical trial database (EudraCT) between 2004 and 2014 were analyzed, including product-technical variables as potential determinants affecting development. 198 unique gene and cell therapy products were identified, which were studied in 278 clinical trials, mostly in phase 1/2 trials and with cell therapies as major group. Furthermore, most products were manufactured from autologous starting material mostly manufactured from stem cells. The majority of the trials were sponsored by academia, whereas phase 3 trials mostly by large companies. Academia dominated early-stage development by mainly using bone marrow derived products and stem cells. Conversely, commercial sponsors were more actively pursuing in vivo gene therapy medicinal product development, and cell therapies derived from differentiated tissue in later-stage development. PMID:27990447

  16. Exploring water cycle dynamics by sampling multiple stable water isotope pools in a developed landscape in Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orlowski, Natalie; Kraft, Philipp; Pferdmenges, Jakob; Breuer, Lutz

    2016-09-01

    A dual stable water isotope (δ2H and δ18O) study was conducted in the developed (managed) landscape of the Schwingbach catchment (Germany). The 2-year weekly to biweekly measurements of precipitation, stream, and groundwater isotopes revealed that surface and groundwater are isotopically disconnected from the annual precipitation cycle but showed bidirectional interactions between each other. Apparently, snowmelt played a fundamental role for groundwater recharge explaining the observed differences to precipitation δ values. A spatially distributed snapshot sampling of soil water isotopes at two soil depths at 52 sampling points across different land uses (arable land, forest, and grassland) revealed that topsoil isotopic signatures were similar to the precipitation input signal. Preferential water flow paths occurred under forested soils, explaining the isotopic similarities between top- and subsoil isotopic signatures. Due to human-impacted agricultural land use (tilling and compression) of arable and grassland soils, water delivery to the deeper soil layers was reduced, resulting in significant different isotopic signatures. However, the land use influence became less pronounced with depth and soil water approached groundwater δ values. Seasonally tracing stable water isotopes through soil profiles showed that the influence of new percolating soil water decreased with depth as no remarkable seasonality in soil isotopic signatures was obvious at depths > 0.9 m and constant values were observed through space and time. Since classic isotope evaluation methods such as transfer-function-based mean transit time calculations did not provide a good fit between the observed and calculated data, we established a hydrological model to estimate spatially distributed groundwater ages and flow directions within the Vollnkirchener Bach subcatchment. Our model revealed that complex age dynamics exist within the subcatchment and that much of the runoff must has been stored

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gou, S.; Miller, G. R.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siddiqui, Imran; Ali, Natasha; Kayani, Naila

    2016-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Landscapes, tourism, and conservation

    PubMed

    Burger

    2000-04-17

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

  2. Determinants of flammability in savanna grass species.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Kimberley J; Ripley, Brad S; Christin, Pascal-Antoine; Belcher, Claire M; Lehmann, Caroline E R; Thomas, Gavin H; Osborne, Colin P

    2016-01-01

    Tropical grasses fuel the majority of fires on Earth. In fire-prone landscapes, enhanced flammability may be adaptive for grasses via the maintenance of an open canopy and an increase in spatiotemporal opportunities for recruitment and regeneration. In addition, by burning intensely but briefly, high flammability may protect resprouting buds from lethal temperatures. Despite these potential benefits of high flammability to fire-prone grasses, variation in flammability among grass species, and how trait differences underpin this variation, remains unknown.By burning leaves and plant parts, we experimentally determined how five plant traits (biomass quantity, biomass density, biomass moisture content, leaf surface-area-to-volume ratio and leaf effective heat of combustion) combined to determine the three components of flammability (ignitability, sustainability and combustibility) at the leaf and plant scales in 25 grass species of fire-prone South African grasslands at a time of peak fire occurrence. The influence of evolutionary history on flammability was assessed based on a phylogeny built here for the study species.Grass species differed significantly in all components of flammability. Accounting for evolutionary history helped to explain patterns in leaf-scale combustibility and sustainability. The five measured plant traits predicted components of flammability, particularly leaf ignitability and plant combustibility in which 70% and 58% of variation, respectively, could be explained by a combination of the traits. Total above-ground biomass was a key driver of combustibility and sustainability with high biomass species burning more intensely and for longer, and producing the highest predicted fire spread rates. Moisture content was the main influence on ignitability, where species with higher moisture contents took longer to ignite and once alight burnt at a slower rate. Biomass density, leaf surface-area-to-volume ratio and leaf effective heat of combustion

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Development of a Multi-Hazard Landscape for Exposure and Risk Interpretation

    EPA Science Inventory

    A complete accounting of potential hazard exposures is critical in the development of any model meant to depict the resilience of a system. This allows for a clear ledger to both assess current risk status along with potential ways to improve resilience. The US EPA is currently...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Islas, M. Rene

    2010-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. Geomorpho-Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farabollini, Piero; Lugeri, Francesca; Amadio, Vittorio

    2014-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-03-15

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

  10. Spatial vegetation patterns and neighborhood competition among woody plants in an East African savanna

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The majority of research on savanna vegetation dynamics has focused on the coexistence of woody and herbaceous vegetation; interactions among woody plants in savannas are relatively poorly understood. We present data from a 10-year longitudinal study of spatially explicit growth patterns of woody ve...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    CHUONG, CHENG-MING; HOMBERGER, DOMINIQUE G.

    2015-01-01

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

  13. The changing landscape of membrane protein structural biology through developments in electron microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Rawson, Shaun; Davies, Simon; Lippiat, Jonathan D.; Muench, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Membrane proteins are ubiquitous in biology and are key targets for therapeutic development. Despite this, our structural understanding has lagged behind that of their soluble counterparts. This review provides an overview of this important field, focusing in particular on the recent resurgence of electron microscopy (EM) and the increasing role it has to play in the structural studies of membrane proteins, and illustrating this through several case studies. In addition, we examine some of the challenges remaining in structural determination, and what steps are underway to enhance our knowledge of these enigmatic proteins. PMID:27608730

  14. Landscape Management: Field Operator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Carole A.

    These materials for a six-unit course were developed to prepare secondary and postsecondary students for entry-level positions in landscape management. The six units are on orientation, hand tools, light power equipment, water and watering techniques, planting and maintaining plant beds, and establishing and maintaining turf. The first section is…

  15. Landscapes of Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Maxine

    The commitment of educators to human development goals is a major theme of the booklet's 17 essays. Compiled from lectures written by the author during 1974-77, the essays explore individual potential, the cultural significance of various life situations, and personal fulfillment within each individual's particular landscape of work, experience,…

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  17. Size characterization of dissolved metals and organic matter in source waters to streams in developed landscapes.

    PubMed

    Luan, Hongwei; Vadas, Timothy M

    2015-02-01

    Individual and mixed water samples from wastewater treatment plant effluents, stormwater runoff, streams from developed areas were characterized with respect to organic matter concentration and spectral properties and metal concentration and size distribution. In addition, asymmetric flow-field flow fractionation coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to measure concentration, size distribution and association of metals in the colloidal size range. Results reveal that Fe, Cu, Zn and Pb in the colloidal size range were mainly associated with the less than 5 nm, or less than 10 kDa size range. Cu was most strongly associated with organic matter, while Zn and Pb were mixed between Fe and organic matter. Effluent showed higher binding capacity for metals, while stormwater, even with higher organic matter concentrations showed more exchangeable metals. Upon mixing of source waters, colloidal metal concentrations and size distributions were conserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Classen, Nikolaus; Gröngröft, Alexander; Eschenbach, Annette

    2010-05-01

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

  19. North African savanna fires and atmospheric carbon dioxide

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-04-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, A. E. C.

    2013-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falanruw, Margie Cushing

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

  5. North African savanna fires and atmospheric carbon dioxide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. ReRouting biomedical innovation: observations from a mapping of the alternative research and development (R&D) landscape.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Alexandra; Kiddell-Monroe, Rachel

    2016-09-14

    In recent years, the world has witnessed the tragic outcomes of multiple global health crises. From Ebola to high prices to antibiotic resistance, these events highlight the fundamental constraints of the current biomedical research and development (R&D) system in responding to patient needs globally.To mitigate this lack of responsiveness, over 100 self-identified "alternative" R&D initiatives, have emerged in the past 15 years. To begin to make sense of this panoply of initiatives working to overcome the constraints of the current system, UAEM began an extensive, though not comprehensive, mapping of the alternative biomedical R&D landscape. We developed a two phase approach: (1) an investigation, via the RE:Route Mapping, of both existing and proposed initiatives that claim to offer an alternative approach to R&D, and (2) evaluation of those initiatives to determine which are in fact achieving increased access to and innovation in medicines. Through phase 1, the RE:Route Mapping, we examined 81 initiatives that claim to redress the inequity perpetuated by the current system via one of five commonly recognized mechanisms necessary for truly alternative R&D.Preliminary analysis of phase 1 provides the following conclusions: 1. No initiative presents a completely alternative model of biomedical R&D. 2. The majority of initiatives focus on developing incentives for drug discovery. 3. The majority of initiatives focus on rare diseases or diseases of the poor and marginalized. 4. There is an increasing emphasis on the use of push, pull, pool, collaboration and open mechanisms alongside the concept of delinkage in alternative R&D. 5. There is a trend towards public funding and launching of initiatives by the Global South. Given the RE:Route Mapping's inevitable limitations and the assumptions made in its methodology, it is not intended to be the final word on a constantly evolving and complex field; however, its findings are significant. The Mapping's value lies in its

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Ant plant herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  12. Modelling Fire Frequency in a Cerrado Savanna Protected Area

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Drivers of Recent Trends in African Landscape Fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andela, N.; van der Werf, G.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. Climate change and long-term fire management impacts on Australian savannas.

    PubMed

    Scheiter, Simon; Higgins, Steven I; Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B

    2015-02-01

    Tropical savannas cover a large proportion of the Earth's land surface and many people are dependent on the ecosystem services that savannas supply. Their sustainable management is crucial. Owing to the complexity of savanna vegetation dynamics, climate change and land use impacts on savannas are highly uncertain. We used a dynamic vegetation model, the adaptive dynamic global vegetation model (aDGVM), to project how climate change and fire management might influence future vegetation in northern Australian savannas. Under future climate conditions, vegetation can store more carbon than under ambient conditions. Changes in rainfall seasonality influence future carbon storage but do not turn vegetation into a carbon source, suggesting that CO₂ fertilization is the main driver of vegetation change. The application of prescribed fires with varying return intervals and burning season influences vegetation and fire impacts. Carbon sequestration is maximized with early dry season fires and long fire return intervals, while grass productivity is maximized with late dry season fires and intermediate fire return intervals. The study has implications for management policy across Australian savannas because it identifies how fire management strategies may influence grazing yield, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions. This knowledge is crucial to maintaining important ecosystem services of Australian savannas.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Multiple ecosystem services in a working landscape.

    PubMed

    Eastburn, Danny J; O'Geen, Anthony T; Tate, Kenneth W; Roche, Leslie M

    2017-01-01

    Policy makers and practitioners are in need of useful tools and models for assessing ecosystem service outcomes and the potential risks and opportunities of ecosystem management options. We utilize a state-and-transition model framework integrating dynamic soil and vegetation properties to examine multiple ecosystem services-specifically agricultural production, biodiversity and habitat, and soil health-across human created vegetation states in a managed oak woodland landscape in a Mediterranean climate. We found clear tradeoffs and synergies in management outcomes. Grassland states maximized agricultural productivity at a loss of soil health, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services. Synergies existed among multiple ecosystem services in savanna and woodland states with significantly larger nutrient pools, more diversity and native plant richness, and less invasive species. This integrative approach can be adapted to a diversity of working landscapes to provide useful information for science-based ecosystem service valuations, conservation decision making, and management effectiveness assessments.

  20. Desert landscape irrigation

    SciTech Connect

    Quinones, R.

    1995-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-17

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

  2. PESP Landscaping Initiative

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Landscaping practices can positively or negatively affect local environments and human health. The Landscaping Initiative seeks to enhance benefits of landscaping while reducing need for pesticides, fertilizers, etc., by working with partners.

  3. Planning Construction Research of Modern Urban Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Z. Q.; Chen, W.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Decision making on fitness landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arthur, R.; Sibani, P.

    2017-04-01

    We discuss fitness landscapes and how they can be modified to account for co-evolution. We are interested in using the landscape as a way to model rational decision making in a toy economic system. We develop a model very similar to the Tangled Nature Model of Christensen et al. that we call the Tangled Decision Model. This is a natural setting for our discussion of co-evolutionary fitness landscapes. We use a Monte Carlo step to simulate decision making and investigate two different decision making procedures.

  8. Termites create spatial structure and govern ecosystem function by affecting N2 fixation in an East African savanna.

    PubMed

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Doak, Daniel F; Brody, Alison K; Palmer, Todd M

    2010-05-01

    The mechanisms by which even the clearest of keystone or dominant species exert community-wide effects are only partially understood in most ecosystems. This is especially true when a species or guild influences community-wide interactions via changes in the abiotic landscape. Using stable isotope analyses, we show that subterranean termites in an East African savanna strongly influence a key ecosystem process: atmospheric nitrogen fixation by a monodominant tree species and its bacterial symbionts. Specifically, we applied the 15N natural abundance method in combination with other biogeochemical analyses to assess levels of nitrogen fixation by Acacia drepanolobium and its effects on co-occurring grasses and forbs in areas near and far from mounds and where ungulates were or were not excluded. We find that termites exert far stronger effects than do herbivores on nitrogen fixation. The percentage of nitrogen derived from fixation in Acacia drepanolobium trees is higher (55-80%) away from mounds vs. near mounds (40-50%). Mound soils have higher levels of plant available nitrogen, and Acacia drepanolobium may preferentially utilize soil-based nitrogen sources in lieu of fixed nitrogen when these sources are readily available near termite mounds. At the scale of the landscape, our models predict that termite/soil derived nitrogen sources influence >50% of the Acacia drepanolobium trees in our system. Further, the spatial extent of these effects combine with the spacing of termite mounds to create highly regular patterning in nitrogen fixation rates, resulting in marked habitat heterogeneity in an otherwise uniform landscape. In summary, we show that termite-associated effects on nitrogen processes are not only stronger than those of more apparent large herbivores in the same system, but also occur in a highly regular spatial pattern, potentially adding to their importance as drivers of community and ecosystem structure.

  9. Geomorphology of anthropogenic landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sofia, Giulia; Tarolli, Paolo

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Fluvial landscape development in the southwestern Kalahari during the Holocene - Chronology and provenance of fluvial deposits in the Molopo Canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramisch, Arne; Bens, Oliver; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Eden, Marie; Heine, Klaus; Hürkamp, Kerstin; Schwindt, Daniel; Völkel, Jörg

    2017-03-01

    The southern Kalahari drainage network is in a key position to analyze spatiotemporal changes in the tropical easterly and the temperate westerly circulation over the Southern African subcontinent. However, due to the prevailing aridity, paleoenvironmental archives within the southwestern Kalahari are sparse and often discontinuous. Hence, little is known about Holocene environmental change in this region. This study focuses on reconstructing paleoenvironmental change from the timing and provenance of fluvial deposits located within the Molopo Canyon, which connects the southern Kalahari drainage to the perennial flow regime of the Orange River. To gain insight into temporal aspects of fluvial morphodynamics within the Molopo Canyon, the entire variety of fluvial landforms consisting mainly of slope sediments, alluvial fans and alluvial fills were dated using Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL). We additionally applied a provenance analysis on alluvial fill deposits to estimate potential sediment source areas. Source areas were identified by analyzing the elemental and mineralogical composition of tributaries and eolian deposits throughout the course of the lower Molopo. The results allow the first general classification of fluvial landscape development into three temporally distinct deposition phases in the southern Kalahari: (1) A phase of canyon aggradation associated with short lived and spatially restricted flash floods during the early to mid-Holocene; (2) a phase of fan aggradation indicating a decrease in flood intensities during the mid- to late Holocene; and (3) a phase of canyon aggradation caused by the occurrence of supra-regional flood events during the Little Ice Age. We interpret the observed spatiotemporal deposition patterns to latitudinal shifts of the tropical easterly circulation in the early to mid-Holocene and the temperate westerly circulation in the late Holocene. However, despite marked changes in the provenance and timing of fluvial

  11. Modeling the habitat range of phototrophs in yellowstone national park: toward the development of a comprehensive fitness landscape.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Tectonic and lithological controls on fluvial landscape development in central-eastern Portugal: Insights from long profile tributary stream analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, António A.; Cabral, João; Cunha, Pedro P.; Stokes, Martin; Borges, José; Caldeira, Bento; Martins, A. Cardoso

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the long profiles of tributaries of the Tagus and Zêzere rivers in Portugal (West Iberia) in order to provide new insights into patterns, timing, and controls on drainage development during the Quaternary incision stage. The studied streams are incised into a relict culminant fluvial surface, abandoned at the beginning of the incision stage. The streams flow through a landscape with bedrock variations in lithology (mainly granites and metasediments) and faulted blocks with distinct uplift rates. The long profiles of the analyzed streams record an older transitory knickpoint/knickzone separating (1) an upstream relict graded profile, with lower steepness and higher concavity, that reflects a long period of quasi-equilibrium conditions reached after the beginning of the incision stage, and (2) a downstream rejuvenated long profile, with steeper gradient and lower concavity, particularly for the final reach, which is often convex. The rejuvenated reaches testify to the upstream propagation of several incision waves, interpreted as the response of each stream to increasing crustal uplift and prolonged periods of base-level lowering by the trunk drainages, coeval with low sea level conditions. The morphological configurations of the long profiles enabled spatial and relative temporal patterns of incisions to be quantified. The incision values of streams flowing on the Portuguese Central Range (PCR; ca. 380-150 m) are variable but generally higher than the incision values of streams flowing on the adjacent South Portugal Planation Surface (SPPS; ca. 220-110 m), corroborating differential uplift of the PCR relative to the SPPS. Owing to the fact that the relict graded profiles can be correlated with the Tagus River T1 terrace (1.1-0.9 My) present in the study area, incision rates can be estimated (1) for the streams located in the PCR, 0.38-0.15 m/ky and (2) for the streams flowing on the SPPS, 0.22-0.12 m/ky. The differential uplift inferred in the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. How soil shapes the landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2015-03-01

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

  19. Contrasting physiological responses to excess heat and irradiance in two tropical savanna sedges

    PubMed Central

    John-Bejai, C.; Farrell, A. D.; Cooper, F. M.; Oatham, M. P.

    2013-01-01

    Tropical hyperseasonal savannas provide a rare example of a tropical climax community dominated by graminoid species. Species living in such savannas are frequently exposed to excess heat and light, in addition to drought and waterlogging, and must possess traits to avoid or tolerate these stress factors. Here we examine the contrasting heat and light stress adaptations of two dominant savanna sedges: Lagenocarpus guianensis, which is restricted to the sheltered forest edge, and Lagenocarpus rigidus, which extends from the forest edge to the open savanna. An ecotone extending from the forest edge to the open savanna was used to assess differences in a range of physiological traits (efficiency of photosystem II, cell membrane thermostability, stomatal conductance, leaf surface reflectance and canopy temperature depression) and a range of leaf functional traits (length : width ratio, specific leaf area and degree of folding). Lagenocarpus guianensis showed significantly less canopy temperature depression than L. rigidus, which may explain why this species was restricted to the forest edge. The range of leaf temperatures measured was within the thermal tolerance of L. guianensis and allowed photosystem II to function normally, at least within the cool forest edge. The ability of L. rigidus to extend into the open savanna was associated with an ability to decouple leaf temperature from ambient temperature combined with enhanced cell membrane thermostability. The high degree of canopy temperature depression seen in L. rigidus was not explained by enhanced stomatal conductance or leaf reflectance, but was consistent with a capacity to increase specific leaf area and reduce leaf length: width ratio in the open savanna. Plasticity in leaf functional traits and in cell membrane thermostability are key factors in the ability of this savanna sedge to survive abiotic stress. PMID:24379971

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, R.; Pavlovic, N.B.

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Landscape Visualisation on the Internet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imhof, M. P.; Cox, M. T.; Harvey, D. W.; Heemskerk, G. E.; Pettit, C. J.

    2012-07-01

    The Victorian Resources Online (VRO) website (http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/vro) is the principal means for accessing landscapebased information in Victoria. In this paper we introduce a range of online landscape visualisations that have been developed to enhance existing static web content around the nature and distribution of Victoria's landforms and soils as well as associated processes. Flash is used to develop online visualisations that include interactive landscape panoramas, animations of soil and landscape processes and videos of experts explaining features in the field as well as landscape "flyovers". The use of interactive visualisations adds rich information multimedia content to otherwise static pages and offers the potential to improve user's appreciation and understanding of soil and landscapes. Visualisation is becoming a key component of knowledge management activities associated with VRO - proving useful for both "knowledge capture" (from subject matter specialists) and "knowledge transfer" to a diverse user base. A range of useful visualisation products have been made available online, with varying degrees of interactivity and suited to a variety of users. The use of video files, animation and interactive visualisations is adding rich information content to otherwise static web pages. These information products offer new possibilities to enhance learning of landscapes and the effectiveness of these will be tested as the next phase of development.

  2. Wildfire and landscape change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Santi, P.; Cannon, S.; DeGraff, J.

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire is a worldwide phenomenon that is expected to increase in extent and severity in the future, due to fuel accumulations, shifting land management practices, and climate change. It immediately affects the landscape by removing vegetation, depositing ash, influencing water-repellent soil formation, and physically weathering boulders and bedrock. These changes typically lead to increased erosion through sheetwash, rilling, dry ravel, and increased mass movement in the form of floods, debris flow, rockfall, and landslides. These process changes bring about landform changes as hillslopes are lowered and stream channels aggrade or incise at increased rates. Furthermore, development of alluvial fans, debris fans, and talus cones are enhanced. The window of disturbance to the landscape caused by wildfire is typically on the order of three to four years, with some effects persisting up to 30 years.

  3. Economic Growth and Landscape Change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prato, Tony; Fagre, Dan

    2007-01-01

    Sustaining Rocky Mountain Landscapes provides a scientific basis for communities to develop policies for managing the growth and economic transformation of the CCE without sacrificing the quality of life and environment for which the land is renowned. This forthcoming edited volume focuses on five aspects of sustaining mountain landscapes in the CCE and similar regions in the Rocky Mountains. The five aspects are: 1) how social, economic, demographic and environmental forces are transforming ecosystem structure and function, 2) trends in use and conditions for human and environmental resources, 3) activating science, policy and education to enhance sustainable landscape management, 4) challenges to sustainable management of public and private lands, and 5) future prospects for achieving sustainable landscapes.

  4. Landscaping for energy efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    This publication by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory addresses the use of landscaping for energy efficiency. The topics of the publication include minimizing energy expenses; landscaping for a cleaner environment; climate, site, and design considerations; planning landscape; and selecting and planting trees and shrubs. A source list for more information on landscaping for energy efficiency and a reading list are included.

  5. Introduction to landscape influences on stream habitats and biological assemblages

    EPA Science Inventory

    Viewing river systems within a landscape context is a relatively new and rapidly developing approach to river ecology. Although the linkages among landscapes and associated physicochemical and biological characteristics of rivers have long been recognized, the development of con...

  6. Vulnerability and Resilience of Temperate Forest Landscapes to Broad-Scale Deforestation in Response to Changing Fire Regimes and Altered Post-Fire Vegetation Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tepley, A. J.; Veblen, T. T.; Perry, G.; Anderson-Teixeira, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    In the face of on-going climatic warming and land-use change, there is growing concern that temperate forest landscapes could be near a tipping point where relatively small changes to the fire regime or altered post-fire vegetation dynamics could lead to extensive conversion to shrublands or savannas. To evaluate vulnerability and resilience to such conversion, we develop a simple model based on three factors we hypothesize to be key in predicting temperate forest responses to changing fire regimes: (1) the hazard rate (i.e., the probability of burning in the next year given the time since the last fire) in closed-canopy forests, (2) the hazard rate for recently-burned, open-canopy vegetation, and (3) the time to redevelop canopy closure following fire. We generate a response surface representing the proportions of the landscape potentially supporting closed-canopy forest and non-forest vegetation under nearly all combinations of these three factors. We then place real landscapes on this response surface to assess the type and magnitude of changes to the fire regime that would drive extensive forest loss. We show that the deforestation of much of New Zealand that followed initial human colonization and the introduction of a new ignition source ca. 750 years ago was essentially inevitable due to the slow rate of forest recovery after fire and the high flammability of post-fire vegetation. In North America's Pacific Northwest, by contrast, a predominantly forested landscape persisted despite two periods of widespread burning in the recent past due in large part to faster post-fire forest recovery and less pronounced differences in flammability between forests and the post-fire vegetation. We also assess the factors that could drive extensive deforestation in other regions to identify where management could reduce this potential and to guide field and modeling work to better understand the responses and ecological feedbacks to changing fire regimes.

  7. The Development of Topography in Ancient and Active Orogens: Case Studies of Landscape Evolution in the Southern Appalachians, USA and Crete, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallen, Sean Francis

    Understanding the development of topography is fundamental to the geosciences. Topography represents the sum of all tectonic and geodynamic processes that force the earth's surface upward paired with those that act to bring it down. Spatial and temporal changes in topographic relief can modulate the various feedbacks between atmospheric, earth surface and rock exhumation processes, sediment flux, and the magnitude and style of gravity driven natural hazards. Plate tectonics provides the first-order framework necessary to understand how topography is built through the interaction of lithospheric plates. However, density contrasts in the mantle can also influence the elevation of the earth's surface through dynamic topography, while poorly understood nuances of mountain building at convergent margins complicate drawing direct connections between tectonics and topography. Such linkages are further confounded by non-linearity between rock uplift and erosion, variations in rates of deformation, changes in climate and the properties of bedrock. Great advances in our understanding of the evolution of topography have been achieved, yet numerous questions remain regarding the evolution of topography in ancient and active orogens. This research addresses knowledge gaps in the development of topography through case-studies of landscape evolution in the southern Appalachians Mountains, USA and the forearc overlying the Hellenic subduction zone. Chapter 1 explores the origins of modern topographic relief in the southern Appalachians, where tectonic activity ceased prior to 200 Ma. Conventional theories invoked to explain modern relief in the region are challenged. Quantitative analyses of digital elevation models and numerical modeling are coupled to provide the magnitudes and timing of changes in topographic relief. The results suggest that the southern Appalachians experienced a phase of topographic rejuvenation during the Miocene that increased the distance between the

  8. Lightning fires in North Dakota grasslands and in pine-savanna lands of South Dakota and Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.

    1984-01-01

    Lightning strike fires which occurred between 1940 and 1981 were studied in mixed-grass prairie grasslands and in pine-savanna lands in the Northern Great Plains region. A majority (73%) of ignitions occurred during July and August, while a lesser number was recorded in April, May, June, and September. The April-September period is also the average time of the freeze-free period and approximates the average distribution period for thunderstorm activity in this region. The area burned by each of 293 lightning fires (most of which were suppressed) ranged from 0.004-1158.3 ha (mean = 10.8 ha). The frequency of lightning fires in mixed-grass prairie grasslands averaged 6.0/yr per 10,000 km2 in eastern North Dakota, 22.4/yr per 10,000 km2 in southcentral North Dakota, 24.7/yr per 10,000 km2 in western North Dakota, and 91.7/yr per 10,000 km2 in pine-savanna lands in northwestern South Dakota and southeastern Montana. The ecological role of lightning-set fires is discussed relative to the development of resource research and management plans and to the interpretation of historical records of natural fire occurrence in the Northern Great Plains region.

  9. New distribution records of the savanna specialist fungus-farming ant Cyatta Sosa-Calvo et al. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae)

    PubMed Central

    Feitosa, Rodrigo Machado; Vasconcelos, Heraldo Luis; Maravalhas, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The fungus-farming ant genus Cyatta (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is represented by a single species, C. abscondita Sosa-Calvo et al., known from a few localities in Brazil (in the states of Ceará, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and the Distrito Federal), and a single locality in the Misiones province, Argentina. Cyatta is known to occur predominantly in savanna habitats and occasionally in the transition zones between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado. New information The new records reported here significantly expand the previously known distribution of Cyatta abscondita and provide further support for the intimate relation between this species and the savannas of South America. We report the first occurrence of the genus in southern Brazil (Paraná state) and the westernmost occurrence (Bolivia) of Cyatta abscondita, which extend its distribution approximately 1450 km to the west. Finally, we discuss the importance of mapping inconspicuous species in order to develop strategies for protecting endangered areas and to increase our understanding of the evolutionary history of organisms and biomes. PMID:27932931

  10. LANDSCAPING YOUR HOME, TEACHER'S GUIDE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    HEDGES, LOWELL E.

    THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE IS TO ASSIST THE VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE TEACHER TO DEVELOP A UNIT IN THE RELATIVELY SPECIALIZED FIELD OF HOME LANDSCAPING. IT WAS DEVELOPED BY A TEACHER IN CONSULTATION WITH HORTICULTURISTS AND TESTED IN THE CLASSROOM BEFORE PUBLICATION. THE OBJECTIVES OF THE UNIT ARE TO DEVELOP STUDENT ABILITY TO (1) UNDERSTAND THE NEED…

  11. Probing the String Landscape

    SciTech Connect

    Keith Dienes

    2009-12-01

    We are currently in the throes of a potentially huge paradigm shift in physics. Motivated by recent developments in string theory and the discovery of the so-called "string landscape", physicists are beginning to question the uniqueness of fundamental theories of physics and the methods by which such theories might be understood and investigated. In this colloquium, I will give a non-technical introduction to the nature of this paradigm shift and how it developed. I will also discuss some of the questions to which it has led, and the nature of the controversies it has spawned.

  12. Probing the String Landscape

    ScienceCinema

    Keith Dienes

    2016-07-12

    We are currently in the throes of a potentially huge paradigm shift in physics. Motivated by recent developments in string theory and the discovery of the so-called "string landscape", physicists are beginning to question the uniqueness of fundamental theories of physics and the methods by which such theories might be understood and investigated. In this colloquium, I will give a non-technical introduction to the nature of this paradigm shift and how it developed. I will also discuss some of the questions to which it has led, and the nature of the controversies it has spawned.

  13. LanDPro: Landscape Dynamics Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-18

    making. These same types of sites were rarely found on landscapes formed on deposits derived from coarse-grained igneous rock sources, such as granite...grained igneous rocks . Our premise is that if our conceptual model were applied at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) it would indicate a dominance...of sites on the most stable landscape units developed on deposits derived from fine-grained igneous rocks . At YPG, these landscape units would be

  14. Applying landscape genetics to the microbial world.

    PubMed

    Dudaniec, Rachael Y; Tesson, Sylvie V M

    2016-07-01

    Landscape genetics, which explicitly quantifies landscape effects on gene flow and adaptation, has largely focused on macroorganisms, with little attention given to microorganisms. This is despite overwhelming evidence that microorganisms exhibit spatial genetic structuring in relation to environmental variables. The increasing accessibility of genomic data has opened up the opportunity for landscape genetics to embrace the world of microorganisms, which may be thought of as 'the invisible regulators' of the macroecological world. Recent developments in bioinformatics and increased data accessibility have accelerated our ability to identify microbial taxa and characterize their genetic diversity. However, the influence of the landscape matrix and dynamic environmental factors on microorganism genetic dispersal and adaptation has been little explored. Also, because many microorganisms coinhabit or codisperse with macroorganisms, landscape genomic approaches may improve insights into how micro- and macroorganisms reciprocally interact to create spatial genetic structure. Conducting landscape genetic analyses on microorganisms requires that we accommodate shifts in spatial and temporal scales, presenting new conceptual and methodological challenges not yet explored in 'macro'-landscape genetics. We argue that there is much value to be gained for microbial ecologists from embracing landscape genetic approaches. We provide a case for integrating landscape genetic methods into microecological studies and discuss specific considerations associated with the novel challenges this brings. We anticipate that microorganism landscape genetic studies will provide new insights into both micro- and macroecological processes and expand our knowledge of species' distributions, adaptive mechanisms and species' interactions in changing environments.

  15. Nitrogen Subsidies and Fire Prone Ecosystems: the Case of African Savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prihodko, L.; Hanan, N. P.

    2008-12-01

    Savannas are the most frequently burned ecosystems on earth and fires are known to have significant effects on community composition and species interactions across all trophic levels. Fire also plays a significant role in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and various nutrients in savannas as they are emitted or chemically transformed into more available, or more recalcitrant, forms during fires. In Africa, savanna fires occur more frequently in the unstable (mean annual precipitation (MAP) > 516mm), dystrophic (nutrient poor) savannas than they do in the relatively more stable (MAP < 516mm), eutrophic (nutrient rich) savannas. Are these dystrophic savannas dystrophic because they burn? Are the eutrophic savannas eutrophic because they are subsidized by nutrient inputs from spatially remote fires? Africa is an ideal location to study ecosystem sensitivity to atmospheric inputs of nitrogen from biomass burning for several reasons. A large proportion of the continent is very fire prone and approximately 40% of global emissions from biomass burning originate in Africa. In contrast, emissions from fossil fuel sources are low compared to highly industrialized regions in the Americas, Europe and Asia and agricultural input of nitrogen is limited in Africa. As a result, the ecosystem impacts of pyrogenic loss and gain of nitrogen are likely to be more important in Africa than elsewhere. We combine data from recent analyses of fire frequency (GFED) with an atmospheric transport model (HYSPLIT4) to simulate pyrogenic nitrogen deposition fields and analyze the fate of fire-related nitrogen in the atmosphere, gross and net N-deposition fields and thus the role fires may play in displacing nitrogen and depleting or enriching adjacent regions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buyer, Jeffrey S.; Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne; Nghikembua, Matti; Maul, Jude E.; Marker, Laurie

    2016-03-01

    Savanna ecosystems are subject to desertification and bush encroachment, which reduce the carrying capacity for wildlife and livestock. Bush thinning is a management approach that can, at least temporarily, restore grasslands and raise the grazing value of the land. In this study we examined the soil microbial communities under bush and grass in Namibia. We analyzed the soil through a chronosequence where bush was thinned at 9, 5, or 3 years before sampling. Soil microbial biomass, the biomass of specific taxonomic groups, and overall microbial community structure was determined by phospholipid fatty acid analysis, while the community structure of Bacteria, Archaea, and fungi was determined by multiplex terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Soil under bush had higher pH, C, N, and microbial biomass than under grass, and the microbial community structure was also altered under bush compared to grass. A major disturbance to the ecosystem, bush thinning, resulted in an altered microbial community structure compared to control plots, but the magnitude of this perturbation gradually declined with time. Community structure was primarily driven by pH, C, and N, while vegetation type, bush thinning, and time since bush thinning were of secondary importance.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buyer, J. S.; Schmidt-Küntzel, A.; Nghikembua, M.; Maul, J. E.; Marker, L.

    2015-12-01

    Savanna ecosystems are subject to desertification and bush encroachment, which reduce the carrying capacity for wildlife and livestock. Bush thinning is a management approach that can, at least temporarily, restore grasslands and raise the grazing value of the land. In this study we examined the soil microbial communities under bush and grass in Namibia. We analyzed the soil through a chronosequence where bush was thinned at 9, 5, or 3 years before sampling. Soil microbial biomass, the biomass of specific taxonomic groups, and overall microbial community structure was determined by phospholipid fatty acid analysis, while the community structure of Bacteria, Archaea, and fungi was determined by multiplex terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Soil under bush had higher pH, C, N, and microbial biomass than under grass, and the microbial community structure was also altered under bush compared to grass. A major disturbance to the ecosystem, bush thinning, resulted in an altered microbial community structure compared to control plots, but the magnitude of this perturbation gradually declined with time. Community structure was primarily driven by pH, C, and N, while vegetation type, bush thinning, and time since bush thinning were of secondary importance.

  18. Savanna Tree Seedlings are Physiologically Tolerant to Nighttime Freeze Events

    PubMed Central

    O’Keefe, Kimberly; Nippert, Jesse B.; Swemmer, Anthony M.

    2016-01-01

    Freeze events can be important disturbances in savanna ecosystems, yet the interactive effect of freezing with other environmental drivers on plant functioning is unknown. Here, we investigated physiological responses of South African tree seedlings to interactions of water availability and freezing temperatures. We grew widely distributed South African tree species (Colophospermum mopane, Combretum apiculatum, Acacia nigrescens, and Cassia abbreviata) under well-watered and water-limited conditions and exposed individuals to nighttime freeze events. Of the four species studied here, C. mopane was the most tolerant of lower water availability. However, all species were similarly tolerant to nighttime freezing and recovered within one week following the last freezing event. We also show that water limitation somewhat increased freezing tolerance in one of the species (C. mopane). Therefore, water limitation, but not freezing temperatures, may restrict the distribution of these species, although the interactions of these stressors may have species-specific impacts on plant physiology. Ultimately, we show that unique physiologies can exist among dominant species within communities and that combined stresses may play a currently unidentified role in driving the function of certain species within southern Africa. PMID:26870065

  19. Assessment and kinetics of soil phosphatase in Brazilian Savanna systems.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Adão S; Espíndola, Suéllen P; Campos, Maria Rita C

    2016-05-31

    The activity and kinetics of soil phosphatases are important indicators to evaluate soil quality in specific sites such as the Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna). This study aimed to determine the activity and kinetic parameters of soil phosphatase in Cerrado systems. Soil phosphatase activity was assessed in samples of native Cerrado (NC), no-tillage (NT), conventional tillage (CT) and pasture with Brachiaria brizantha (PBb) and evaluated with acetate buffer (AB), tris-HCl buffer (TB), modified universal buffer (MUB) and low MUB. The Michaelis-Menten equation and Eadie-Hofstee model were applied to obtain the kinetic parameters of soil phosphatase using different concentrations of p-nitrophenol phosphate (p-NPP). MUB showed the lowest soil phosphatase activity in all soils whereas AB in NC and NT presented the highest. Low MUB decreased interferences in the assessment of soil phosphatase activity when compared to MUB, suggesting that organic acids interfere on the soil phosphatase activity. In NC and NT, soil phosphatase activity performed with TB was similar to AB and low MUB. Km values from the Michaels-Menten equation were higher in NC than in NT, which indicate a lower affinity of phosphatase activity for the substrate in NC. Vmax values were also higher in NC than in NT. The Eadie-Hofstee model suggests that NC had more phosphatase isoforms than NT. The study showed that buffer type is of fundamental importance when assessing soil phosphatase activity in Cerrado soils.

  20. Will savannas survive outside the parks? A lesson from Zambia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutsch, W.; Merbold, L.; Scholes, B.; Mukelabai, M.

    2012-04-01

    Miombo woodlands cover the transition zone between dry open savannas and moist forests in Southern Africa. They cover about 2.7 million km2 in southern Africa and provide many ecosystem services that support rural life, including medical products, wild foods, construction timber and fuel. In Zambia, as in many of its neighbouring countries, miombo woodlands are currently experiencing accelerating degradation and clearing, mostly with charcoal production as the initial driver. Domestic energy needs in the growing urban areas are largely satisfied by charcoal, which is less energy-efficient fuel on a tree-to-table basis than the firewood that is used in rural areas, but has a higher energy density and is thus cheaper to transport. This study uses data from inventories and from eddy covariance measurements of carbon exchange to characterize the impact of charcoal production on miombo woodlands. We address the following questions: (i) how much carbon is lost at local as well as at national scale and (ii) does forest degradation result in the loss of a carbon sink? On the basis of our data we (iii) estimate the per capita emissions through deforestation and forest degradation in Zambia and relate it to fossil fuel emissions. Furthermore, (iv) a rough estimate of the energy that is provided by charcoal production to private households at a national level is calculated and (v) options for alternative energy supply to private households are discussed.

  1. Changes in Carbon Emissions in Colombian Savannas Derived From Recent Land use and Land Cover Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etter, A.; Sarmiento, A.

    2007-12-01

    The global contribution of carbon emissions from land use dynamics and change to the global carbon (C) cycle is still uncertain, a major concern in global change modeling. Carbon emission from fires in the tropics is significant and represents 9% of the net primary production, and 50% of worldwide C emissions from fires are attributable to savanna fires. Such emissions may vary significantly due to differences in ecosystem types. Most savanna areas are devoted to grazing land uses making methane emissions also important in savanna ecosystems. Land use change driven by intensification of grazing and cropping has become a major factor affecting C emission dynamics from savanna regions. Colombia has some 17 MHa of mesic savannas which have been historically burned. Due to changes in market demands and improved accessibility during the last 20 years, important areas of savannas changed land use from predominantly extensive grazing to crops and intensive grazing systems. This research models and evaluates the impacts of such land use changes on the spatial and temporal burning patterns and C emissions in the Orinoco savannas of Colombia. We address the effects of land use change patterns using remote sensing data from MODIS and Landsat, ecosystem mapping products, and spatial GIS analysis. First we map the expansion of the agricultural frontier from the 1980s-2000s. We then model the changes in land use from the 1980s using a statistical modeling approach to analyze and quantify the impact of accessibility, ecosystem type and land tenure. We calculate the effects on C emissions from fire regimes and other sources of C based on patterns and extent of burned areas in the 2000s for different savanna ecosystem types and land uses. In the Llanos the fire regime exhibits a marked seasonal variability with most fire events occurring during the dry season between December-March. Our analysis shows that fire frequencies vary consistently between 0.6 and 2.8 fires.yr-1 per 2

  2. Analysis of the pattern of potential woody cover in Texas savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xuebin; Crews, Kelley A.; Yan, Bowei

    2016-10-01

    While woody plant encroachment has been observed worldwide in savannas and adversely affected the ecosystem structure and function, a thorough understanding of the nature of this phenomenon is urgently required for savanna management and restoration. Among others, potential woody cover (the maximum realizable woody cover that a given site can support), especially its variation over environment has huge implication on the encroachment management in particular, and on tree-grass interactions in general. This project was designed to explore the pattern of potential woody cover in Texas savanna, an ecosystem with a large rainfall gradient in west-east direction. Substantial random pixels were sampled across the study area from MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) tree cover layer (250 m). Since potential woody cover is suggested to be limited by water availability, a nonlinear 99th quantile regression was performed between the observed woody cover and mean annual precipitation (MAP) to model the pattern of potential woody cover. Research result suggests a segmented relationship between potential woody cover and MAP at MODIS scale. Potential biases as well as the practical and theoretical implications were discussed. Through this study, the hypothesis about the primary role of water availability in determining savanna woody cover was further confirmed in a relatively understudied US-located savanna.

  3. Landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns and processes - eight hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Rand, Tatyana A; Didham, Raphael K; Fahrig, Lenore; Batáry, Péter; Bengtsson, Janne; Clough, Yann; Crist, Thomas O; Dormann, Carsten F; Ewers, Robert M; Fründ, Jochen; Holt, Robert D; Holzschuh, Andrea; Klein, Alexandra M; Kleijn, David; Kremen, Claire; Landis, Doug A; Laurance, William; Lindenmayer, David; Scherber, Christoph; Sodhi, Navjot; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Thies, Carsten; van der Putten, Wim H; Westphal, Catrin

    2012-08-01

    conservation management' includes (7) the intermediate landscape-complexity hypothesis-landscape-moderated effectiveness of local conservation management is highest in structurally simple, rather than in cleared (i.e. extremely simplified) or in complex landscapes, and (8) the landscape-moderated biodiversity versus ecosystem service management hypothesis-landscape-moderated biodiversity conservation to optimize functional diversity and related ecosystem services will not protect endangered species. Shifting our research focus from local to landscape-moderated effects on biodiversity will be critical to developing solutions for future biodiversity and ecosystem service management.

  4. Groundwater dependent ecohydrology in a semi-arid oak savanna (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, G. R.; Rubin, Y.; Baldocchi, D. D.; Chen, X.; Ma, S.

    2010-12-01

    Groundwater can serve as an important resource for woody vegetation in semi-arid landscapes, particularly when soil water is functionally depleted and unavailable to plants. This study examines the uptake of groundwater by deciduous blue oak trees (Quercus douglasii) in a California oak savanna. Here, we present a suite of direct and indirect measurement techniques, combined with modeling, that demonstrate its occurrence and quantify its rates. The study site is similar to others with shallow-soil ecohydrology: it is underlain by a thin, rocky soil layer followed fractured metavolcanic bedrock. Typical depth to groundwater is approximately 8 m and varies from 7- 10 m, both spatially and temporally. A variety of water storage and flux measurements were collected from 2005 to 2008, including groundwater levels, soil moisture contents, sap flows, and latent heat fluxes. During the dry season, groundwater uptake rates ranged from 4 to 25 mm per month, and approximately 80% of total ET during June, July, and August came from groundwater. Leaf and soil water potentials supported these results, indicating that groundwater uptake was thermodynamically favorable over soil water uptake for key portions of the growing season. Sap flow rates suggest differential access to groundwater by trees of varying size classes. Dynamic groundwater-soil-plant-atmosphere modeling has shown that in order to achieve these uptake rates, approximately 20% of roots must be exposed to groundwater. Modeled evapotranspiration rates drop dramatically during the late summer when this connection is severed (Figure 1). These findings strongly suggest that blue oaks should be considered obligate phreatophytes, and that groundwater reserves provide a buffer to rapid changes in their hydro-climate, if these assets are not otherwise depleted by prolonged drought or human consumption. While groundwater uptake may provide for short-term protection, it should be viewed not as a mechanism for continued plant

  5. Ecological thresholds at the savanna-forest boundary: how plant traits, resources and fire govern the distribution of tropical biomes.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, William A; Geiger, Erika L; Gotsch, Sybil G; Rossatto, Davi R; Silva, Lucas C R; Lau, On Lee; Haridasan, M; Franco, Augusto C

    2012-07-01

    Fire shapes the distribution of savanna and forest through complex interactions involving climate, resources and species traits. Based on data from central Brazil, we propose that these interactions are governed by two critical thresholds. The fire-resistance threshold is reached when individual trees have accumulated sufficient bark to avoid stem death, whereas the fire-suppression threshold is reached when an ecosystem has sufficient canopy cover to suppress fire by excluding grasses. Surpassing either threshold is dependent upon long fire-free intervals, which are rare in mesic savanna. On high-resource sites, the thresholds are reached quickly, increasing the probability that savanna switches to forest, whereas low-resource sites are likely to remain as savanna even if fire is infrequent. Species traits influence both thresholds; saplings of savanna trees accumulate bark thickness more quickly than forest trees, and are more likely to become fire resistant during fire-free intervals. Forest trees accumulate leaf area more rapidly than savanna trees, thereby accelerating the transition to forest. Thus, multiple factors interact with fire to determine the distribution of savanna and forest by influencing the time needed to reach these thresholds. Future work should decipher multiple environmental controls over the rates of tree growth and canopy closure in savanna.

  6. Health assessment for Savanna Army Depot, Savanna, Carroll County, Illinois, Region 5. CERCLIS No. IL0213820376. Preliminary report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-19

    The Savanna Army Depot Activity (SADA) is on the National Priorities List. The 13,000-acre facility is an Army munitions plant engaged in munitions renovation and loading, and demolition and burning. About 20 areas within the facility have been identified as potential sources of hazardous waste. The environmental contamination on-site (maximum concentrations reported) consists of chloroform (20 ppb), trinitrotoluene or TNT (29 percent), trinitrobenzene or TNB (2,770 ppb), 2,6-dinitrotoluene or 2,6-DNT (1,400 ppb), 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (300,000 ppb), and 2,4-dinitrotoluene (94,200 ppb) in sediment; TNB (1,400 ppb), TNT (314 ppb), 2,4-DNT (113 ppb), trichloroethylene or TCE (20 ppb), chloroform (20 ppb), and nickel (185 ppb) in ground water; TNT (50 percent), 2,4-DNT (673 ppb), and cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine or RDX (12,300 ppb), and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs (greater than 59,000,000 ppb) in soil; and RDX (36,900 ppb) and TNT (16,600 ppb) in surface water. The site is considered to be of potential public health concern because of the risk to human health caused by the possibility of exposure to hazardous substances via ground water, surface water, soil, sediment, and air.

  7. Using landscape history to predict biodiversity patterns in fragmented landscapes.

    PubMed

    Ewers, Robert M; Didham, Raphael K; Pearse, William D; Lefebvre, Véronique; Rosa, Isabel M D; Carreiras, João M B; Lucas, Richard M; Reuman, Daniel C

    2013-10-01

    Landscape ecology plays a vital role in understanding the impacts of land-use change on biodiversity, but it is not a predictive discipline, lacking theoretical models that quantitatively predict biodiversity patterns from first principles. Here, we draw heavily on ideas from phylogenetics to fill this gap, basing our approach on the insight that habitat fragments have a shared history. We develop a landscape 'terrageny', which represents the historical spatial separation of habitat fragments in the same way that a phylogeny represents evolutionary divergence among species. Combining a random sampling model with a terrageny generates numerical predictions about the expected proportion of species shared between any two fragments, the locations of locally endemic species, and the number of species that have been driven locally extinct. The model predicts that community similarity declines with terragenetic distance, and that local endemics are more likely to be found in terragenetically distinctive fragments than in large fragments. We derive equations to quantify the variance around predictions, and show that ignoring the spatial structure of fragmented landscapes leads to over-estimates of local extinction rates at the landscape scale. We argue that ignoring the shared history of habitat fragments limits our ability to understand biodiversity changes in human-modified landscapes.

  8. Using landscape history to predict biodiversity patterns in fragmented landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Ewers, Robert M; Didham, Raphael K; Pearse, William D; Lefebvre, Véronique; Rosa, Isabel M D; Carreiras, João M B; Lucas, Richard M; Reuman, Daniel C

    2013-01-01

    Landscape ecology plays a vital role in understanding the impacts of land-use change on biodiversity, but it is not a predictive discipline, lacking theoretical models that quantitatively predict biodiversity patterns from first principles. Here, we draw heavily on ideas from phylogenetics to fill this gap, basing our approach on the insight that habitat fragments have a shared history. We develop a landscape ‘terrageny’, which represents the historical spatial separation of habitat fragments in the same way that a phylogeny represents evolutionary divergence among species. Combining a random sampling model with a terrageny generates numerical predictions about the expected proportion of species shared between any two fragments, the locations of locally endemic species, and the number of species that have been driven locally extinct. The model predicts that community similarity declines with terragenetic distance, and that local endemics are more likely to be found in terragenetically distinctive fragments than in large fragments. We derive equations to quantify the variance around predictions, and show that ignoring the spatial structure of fragmented landscapes leads to over-estimates of local extinction rates at the landscape scale. We argue that ignoring the shared history of habitat fragments limits our ability to understand biodiversity changes in human-modified landscapes. PMID:23931035

  9. Oregon Hydrologic Landscapes: A Classification Framework

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is a growing need for hydrologic classification systems that can provide a basis for broad-scale assessments of the hydrologic functions of landscapes and watersheds and their responses to stressors such as climate change. We developed a hydrologic landscape (HL) classifica...

  10. Assessing Landscapes to Support Watershed Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    As we change the face of the landscape in the United States with urban development and agriculture practices, the alterations can cause stormwater runoff, soil erosion and water pollution. Therefore, evaluating or assessing natural landscapes and providing the tools to do the...

  11. Landscape Management: Field Supervisor.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newton, Deborah; Newton, Steve

    This module is the third volume in a series of instructional materials on landscape management. The materials are designed to help teachers train students in the job skills they will need in landscape occupations. The module contains six instructional units that cover the following topics: orientation; basic landscape design principles; irrigation…

  12. The relationship between satellite-derived indices and species diversity across African savanna ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mapfumo, Ratidzo B.; Murwira, Amon; Masocha, Mhosisi; Andriani, R.

    2016-10-01

    The ability to use remotely sensed diversity is important for the management of ecosystems at large spatial extents. However, to achieve this, there is still need to develop robust methods and approaches that enable large-scale mapping of species diversity. In this study, we tested the relationship between species diversity measured in situ with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Coefficient of Variation in the NDVI (CVNDVI) derived from high and medium spatial resolution satellite data at dry, wet and coastal savanna woodlands. We further tested the effect of logging on NDVI along the transects and between transects as disturbance may be a mechanism driving the patterns observed. Overall, the results of this study suggest that high tree species diversity is associated with low and high NDVI and at intermediate levels is associated with low tree species diversity and NDVI. High tree species diversity is associated with high CVNDVI and vice versa and at intermediate levels is associated with high tree species diversity and CVNDVI.

  13. The effect of carbon credits on savanna land management and priorities for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Douglass, Lucinda L; Possingham, Hugh P; Carwardine, Josie; Klein, Carissa J; Roxburgh, Stephen H; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Wilson, Kerrie A

    2011-01-01

    Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent) on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1-2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments.

  14. An index of ecological integrity for the Mississippi alluvial plain ecoregion: index development and relations to selected landscape variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Justus, B.G.

    2003-01-01

    Macroinvertebrate community, fish community, water-quality, and habitat data collected from 36 sites in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain Ecoregion during 1996-98 by the U.S. Geological Survey were considered for a multimetric test of ecological integrity. Test metrics were correlated to site scores of a Detrended Correspondence Analysis of the fish community (the biological community that was the most statistically significant for indicating ecological conditions in the ecoregion) and six metrics--four fish metrics, one chemical metric (total ammonia plus organic nitrogen) and one physical metric (turbidity)--having the highest correlations were selected for the index. Index results indicate that sites in the northern half of the study unit (in Arkansas and Missouri) were less degraded than sites in the southern half of the study unit (in Louisiana and Mississippi). Of 148 landscape variables evaluated, the percentage of Holocene deposits and cotton insecticide rates had the highest correlations to index of ecological integrity results. sites having the highest (best) index scores had the lowest percentages of Holocene deposits and the lowest cotton insecticide use rates, indicating that factors relating to the amount of Holocene deposits and cotton insecticide use rates partially explain differences in ecological conditions throughout the Mississippi Alluvial Plain Ecoregion.

  15. Interpreting climate-modulated processes of terrace development along the Colorado Front Range using a landscape evolution model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langston, Abigail L.; Tucker, Gregory E.; Anderson, Robert S.

    2015-10-01

    Flights of terraces that flank range fronts throughout the Rocky Mountains record episodic stream incision over the past 1.5 Ma. Studies dating terraces in the Denver Basin along the Colorado Front Range suggest that these high surfaces were formed during glacial intervals and were rapidly incised and abandoned during interglacials. Modulation of sediment supply or transport capacity associated with climate change related to glacial-interglacial cycles have been suggested as possible drivers for the repeated aggradation and abandonment of these high surfaces. Potential mechanisms for increasing sediment supply and transport in rivers include variations over time in sediment flux from intermittently glaciated major valleys, the efficiency of hillslope sediment transport, and the magnitude and timing of rainfall intensity and stream flow. In this study, we use a landscape evolution model to determine whether any of these processes, in isolation or in combination, is sufficient to explain the observed rates and patterns of terrace formation and abandonment along the Colorado piedmont. Cycles of channel aggradation and incision are apparent in the models when either mean rainfall intensity is varied or a glacial source of sediment is added. The models suggest that in the absence of a large addition of sediment to the streams, changes in stream power are necessary to allow channel aggradation and the planation of bedrock surfaces, and increased sediment flux from hillslopes is necessary to match observations of increased denudation rates that coincide with the deposition of terrace-capping gravels.

  16. Dynamics of Vegetatin Indices in Tropical and Subtropical Savannas Defined by Ecoregions and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectoradiometer (MODIS) Land Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, Michael J.; Roman, Miguel O.; Schaaf, Crytal B.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we explored the capacity of vegetation indices derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectance products to characterize global savannas in Australia, Africa and South America. The savannas were spatially defined and subdivided using the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) global ecoregions and MODIS land cover classes. Average annual profiles of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, shortwave infrared ratio (SWIR32), White Sky Albedo (WSA) and the Structural Scattering Index (SSI) were created. Metrics derived from average annual profiles of vegetation indices were used to classify savanna ecoregions. The response spaces between vegetation indices were used to examine the potential to derive structural and fractional cover measures. The ecoregions showed distinct temporal profiles and formed groups with similar structural properties, including higher levels of woody vegetation, similar forest savanna mixtures and similar grassland predominance. The potential benefits from the use of combinations of indices to characterize savannas are discussed.

  17. The global extent and determinants of savanna and forest as alternative biome states.

    PubMed

    Staver, A Carla; Archibald, Sally; Levin, Simon A

    2011-10-14

    Theoretically, fire-tree cover feedbacks can maintain savanna and forest as alternative stable states. However, the global extent of fire-driven discontinuities in tree cover is unknown, especially accounting for seasonality and soils. We use tree cover, climate, fire, and soils data sets to show that tree cover is globally discontinuous. Climate influences tree cover globally but, at intermediate rainfall (1000 to 2500 millimeters) with mild seasonality (less than 7 months), tree cover is bimodal, and only fire differentiates between savanna and forest. These may be alternative states over large areas, including parts of Amazonia and the Congo. Changes in biome distributions, whether at the cost of savanna (due to fragmentation) or forest (due to climate), will be neither smooth nor easily reversible.

  18. Seasonal variation in the relative dominance of herbivore guilds in an African savanna.

    PubMed

    Davies, Andrew B; van Rensburg, Berndt J; Robertson, Mark P; Levick, Shaun R; Asner, Gregory P; Parr, Catherine L

    2016-06-01

    African savannas are highly seasonal with a diverse array of both mammalian and invertebrate herbivores, yet herbivory studies have focused almost exclusively on mammals. We conducted a 2-yr exclosure experiment in South Africa's Kruger National Park to measure the relative impact of these two groups of herbivores on grass removal at both highly productive patches (termite mounds) and in the less productive savanna matrix. Invertebrate and mammalian herbivory was greater on termite mounds, but the relative importance of each group changed over time. Mammalian offtake was higher than invertebrates in the dry season, but can be eclipsed by invertebrates during the wet season when this group is more active. Our results demonstrate that invertebrates play a substantial role in savanna herbivory and should not be disregarded in attempts to understand the impacts of herbivory on ecosystems.

  19. Tree cover bimodality in savannas and forests emerging from the switching between two fire dynamics.

    PubMed

    De Michele, Carlo; Accatino, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Moist savannas and tropical forests share the same climatic conditions and occur side by side. Experimental evidences show that the tree cover of these ecosystems exhibits a bimodal frequency distribution. This is considered as a proof of savanna-forest bistability, predicted by dynamic vegetation models based on non-linear differential equations. Here, we propose a change of perspective about the bimodality of tree cover distribution. We show, using a simple matrix model of tree dynamics, how the bimodality of tree cover can emerge from the switching between two linear dynamics of trees, one in presence and one in absence of fire, with a feedback between fire and trees. As consequence, we find that the transitions between moist savannas and tropical forests, if sharp, are not necessarily catastrophic.

  20. Nutrient dynamics and plant assemblages of Macrotermes falciger mounds in a savanna ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muvengwi, Justice; Ndagurwa, Hilton G. T.; Nyenda, Tatenda; Mbiba, Monicah

    2016-10-01

    Termites through mound construction and foraging activities contribute significantly to carbon and nutrient fluxes in nutrient-poor savannas. Despite this recognition, studies on the influence of termite mounds on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in sub-tropical savannas are limited. In this regard, we examined soil nutrient concentrations, organic carbon and nitrogen mineralization in incubation experiments in mounds of Macrotermes falciger and surrounding soils of sub-tropical savanna, northeast Zimbabwe. We also addressed whether termite mounds altered the plant community and if effects were similar across functional groups i.e. grasses, forbs or woody plants. Mound soils had significantly higher silt and clay content, pH and concentrations of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), organic carbon (C), ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-) than surrounding soils, with marginal differences in phosphorus (P) and sodium (Na) between mounds and matrix soils. Nutrient enrichment increased by a factor ranging from 1.5 for C, 4.9 for Mg up to 10.3 for Ca. Although C mineralization, nitrification and nitrification fraction were similar between mounds and matrix soils, nitrogen mineralization was elevated on mounds relative to surrounding matrix soils. As a result, termite mounds supported unique plant communities rich and abundant in woody species but less diverse in grasses and forbs than the surrounding savanna matrix in response to mound-induced shifts in soil parameters specifically increased clay content, drainage and water availability, nutrient status and base cation (mainly Ca, Mg and Na) concentration. In conclusion, by altering soil properties such as texture, moisture content and nutrient status, termite mounds can alter the structure and composition of sub-tropical savanna plant communities, and these results are consistent with findings in other savanna systems suggesting that increase in soil clay content, nutrient status and associated changes in the plant

  1. Sources and sinks of methane in the African savanna. CH sub 4 emissions from biomass burning

    SciTech Connect

    Delmas, R.A.; Marenco, A. ); Tathy, J.P.; Cros, B. ); Baudet, J.G.R. )

    1991-04-20

    Sources and sinks of atmospheric methane are studied in savanna regions of west and central Africa. Flux measured over dry savanna soils, using static chambers, is always negative, the average uptake rate being 2 {times} 10{sup 10} molecules/cm{sup 2}/s. In these regions, sources are linked to biomass burning. Methane and CO{sub 2} emission from combustion of savanna plants and wood is studied by both field experiments and laboratory experiments using a combustion chamber. For savanna plants most of the carbon (85%) contained in the biomaterial is volatilized as CO{sub 2} and 0.1 to 0.25% as methane. For graminaceous plants like loudetia simplex the ratio C-CH{sub 4}/C-CO{sub 2} is 0.11%; it is 0.28% for hyparrhenia the other main type of savanna plants and it attains 1.4% for the combustion of wood. In natural fire plumes this ratio is around 0.26% for savanna fires and 0.56 to 2.22% for forest fires. These results show that methane release is highly dependent on the type of combustion. Methane to CO{sub 2} ratios are also studied in vertical profiles in the troposphere taken during the TROPOZ I campaign, an aerial research expedition carried out over west Africa during the bushfire period. Within polluted layers, the average ratio of CH{sub 4} to CO{sub 2} excess over ambient air concentration is 0.34%. These results show that biomass burning in tropical Africa constitutes an important source of atmospheric methane estimated to about 9.2 {times} 10{sup 6} T (CH{sub 4})/yr.

  2. Competition between trees and grasses for both soil water and mineral nitrogen in dry savannas.

    PubMed

    Donzelli, D; De Michele, C; Scholes, R J

    2013-09-07

    The co-existence of trees and grasses in savannas in general can be the result of processes involving competition for resources (e.g. water and nutrients) or differential response to disturbances such as fire, animals and human activities; or a combination of both broad mechanisms. In moist savannas, the tree-grass coexistence is mainly attributed to of disturbances, while in dry savannas, limiting resources are considered the principal mechanism of co-existence. Virtually all theoretical explorations of tree-grass dynamics in dry savannas consider only competition for soil water. Here we investigate whether coexistence could result from a balanced competition for two resources, namely soil water and mineral nitrogen. We introduce a simple dynamical resource-competition model for trees and grasses. We consider two alternative hypotheses: (1) trees are the superior competitors for nitrogen while grasses are superior competitors for water, and (2) vice-versa. We study the model properties under the two hypotheses and test each hypothesis against data from 132 dry savannas in Africa using Kendall's test of independence. We find that Hypothesis 1 gets much more support than Hypothesis 2, and more support than the null hypothesis that neither is operative. We further consider gradients of rainfall and nitrogen availability and find that the Hypothesis 1 model reproduces the observed patterns in nature. We do not consider our results to definitively show that tree-grass coexistence in dry savannas is due to balanced competition for water and nitrogen, but show that this mechanism is a possibility, which cannot be a priori excluded and should thus be considered along with the more traditional explanations.

  3. Emission estimates of selected volatile organic compounds from tropical savanna burning in northern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirai, T.; Blake, D. R.; Meinardi, S.; Rowland, F. S.; Russell-Smith, J.; Edwards, A.; Kondo, Y.; Koike, M.; Kita, K.; Machida, T.; Takegawa, N.; Nishi, N.; Kawakami, S.; Ogawa, T.

    2003-02-01

    Here we present measurements of a range of carbon-based compounds: carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs), methyl halides, and dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emitted by Australian savanna fires studied as part of the Biomass Burning and Lightning Experiment (BIBLE) phase B aircraft campaign, which took place during the local late dry season (28 August to 13 September 1999). Significant enhancements of short-lived NMHCs were observed in the boundary layer (BL) over the region of intensive fires and indicate recent emissions for which the mean transport time was estimated to be about 9 hours. Emission ratios relative to CO were determined for 20 NMHCs, 3 methyl halides, DMS, and CH4 based on the BL enhancements in the source region. Tight correlations with CO were obtained for most of those compounds, indicating the homogeneity of the local savanna source. The emission ratios were in good agreement with some previous measurements of savanna fires for stable compounds but indicated the decay of emission ratios during transport for several reactive compounds. Based on the observed emission ratios, emission factors were derived and compared to previous studies. While emission factors (g species/kg dry mole) of CO2 varied little according to the vegetation types, those of CO and NMHCs varied significantly. Higher combustion efficiency and a lower emission factor for methane in this study, compared to forest fires, agreed well with results for savanna fires in other tropical regions. The amount of biomass burned was estimated by modeling methods using available satellite data, and showed that 1999 was an above average year for savanna burning. The gross emissions of the trace gases from Australian savanna fires were estimated.

  4. Contrasting photosynthetic characteristics of forest vs. savanna species (Far North Queensland, Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloomfield, K. J.; Domingues, T. F.; Saiz, G.; Bird, M. I.; Crayn, D. M.; Ford, A.; Metcalfe, D. J.; Farquhar, G. D.; Lloyd, J.

    2014-12-01

    Forest and savanna are the two dominant vegetation types of the tropical regions with very few tree species common to both. At a broad scale, it has long been recognised that the distributions of these two biomes are principally governed by precipitation and its seasonality, but with soil physical and chemical properties also potentially important. For tree species drawn from a range of forest and savanna sites in tropical Far North Queensland, Australia, we compared leaf traits of photosynthetic capacity, structure and nutrient concentrations. Area-based photosynthetic capacity was higher for the savanna species with a steeper slope to the photosynthesis ↔ nitrogen (N) relationship compared with the forest group. Higher leaf mass per unit leaf area for the savanna trees derived from denser rather than thicker leaves and did not appear to restrict rates of light-saturated photosynthesis when expressed on either an area or mass basis. Median ratios of foliar N to phosphorus (P) were relatively high (>20) at all sites, but we found no evidence for a dominant P limitation of photosynthesis for either forest or savanna trees. A parsimonious mixed-effects model of area-based photosynthetic capacity retained vegetation type and both N and P as explanatory terms. Resulting model-fitted predictions suggested a good fit to the observed data (R2 = 0.82). The model's random component found variation in area-based photosynthetic response to be much greater among species (71% of response variance) than across sites (9%). These results suggest that, on a leaf-area basis, savanna trees of Far North Queensland, Australia, are capable of photosynthetically outperforming forest species at their common boundaries.

  5. The ecohydrologic significance of hydraulic redistribution in a semiarid savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Russell L.; Cable, William L.; Hultine, Kevin R.

    2008-02-01

    Recent studies have illuminated the process of hydraulic redistribution, defined as the translocation of soil moisture via plant root systems, but the long-term ecohydrologic significance of this process is poorly understood. We investigated hydraulic redistribution (HR) by Prosopis velutina Woot. (velvet mesquite) in an upland savanna ecosystem over a two-year period. Our goal was to quantify patterns of HR by mesquite roots and assess how this affects tree water use and productivity. We used the heat ratio method to monitor bi-directional sap flow, an analog of HR, in both lateral and tap roots. Additionally, we monitored soil water content and used the eddy covariance technique to quantify ecosystem carbon dioxide and water exchange. Mesquite roots redistributed large amounts of water throughout the year, even during periods of canopy dormancy. Dormant season precipitation (November-March) was often taken up by shallow lateral roots and transferred downward in the soil profile by deeper lateral and tap roots. Such a transfer was also apparent when the trees were active and moisture from summer rainfall was plant available in the upper soil layers. As the upper soil layers dried, sap flow moving toward the canopy in the lateral roots diminished and water use from deeper soils increased via the taproots. The relationship between root sap flow and above-canopy fluxes suggested that deeper "stored" water from HR allowed the trees to transpire more in the spring that followed a winter with significant downward redistribution. Patterns of lateral and tap root sap flow also implied that redistribution may extend the growing season of the trees after summer rains have ended and surface soils are dry, thus allowing the trees to photosynthesize through periods of seasonal drought. The large hydrologic magnitude and the ecological effects of HR we studied, along with mounting evidence of this process occurring in many other ecosystems, indicates that HR should be accounted

  6. Rapid Leaf Deployment Strategies in a Deciduous Savanna

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Deciduous plants avoid the costs of maintaining leaves in the unfavourable season, but carry the costs of constructing new leaves every year. Deciduousness is therefore expected in ecological situations with pronounced seasonality and low costs of leaf construction. In our study system, a seasonally dry tropical savanna, many trees are deciduous, suggesting that leaf construction costs must be low. Previous studies have, however, shown that nitrogen is limiting in this system, suggesting that leaf construction costs are high. Here we examine this conundrum using a time series of soil moisture availability, leaf phenology and nitrogen distribution in the tree canopy to illustrate how trees resorb nitrogen before leaf abscission and use stored reserves of nitrogen and carbon to construct new leaves at the onset of the growing season. Our results show that trees deployed leaves shortly before and in anticipation of the first rains with its associated pulse of nitrogen mineralisation. Our results also show that trees rapidly constructed a full canopy of leaves within two weeks of the first rains. We detected an increase in leaf nitrogen content that corresponded with the first rains and with the movement of nitrogen to more distal branches, suggesting that stored nitrogen reserves are used to construct leaves. Furthermore the stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) of these leaves suggest the use of stored carbon for leaf construction. Our findings suggest that the early deployment of leaves using stored nitrogen and carbon reserves is a strategy that is integrally linked with the onset of the first rains. This strategy may confer a competitive advantage over species that deploy leaves at or after the onset of the rains. PMID:27310398

  7. Modelling productivity in a mixed C3 and C4 Australian savanna using a soil-plant-atmosphere model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macinnis-Ng, Cate; Whitley, Rhys; Hutley, Lindsay; Beringer, Jason; Zeppel, Melanie; Williams, Mathew; Medlyn, Belinda; Eamus, Derek

    2010-05-01

    The Soil-Plant-Atmosphere (SPA) model of Williams et al. (1996) is a mechanistic model which simulates ecosystem carbon and water fluxes over multiple canopy and soil layers at fine temporal scale. To-date, this model has not included consideration of C4 vegetation that is typically present in tropical savannas. We added a C4 photosynthesis routine to the model to allow estimation of the gross primary productivity (GPP) of a mixed (C3 and C4) tropical savanna in northern Australia. Much of Australia's savanna consists of a seasonal C4 grass understorey with a C3 open tree canopy, including evergreen, semi-deciduous and deciduous species. The tall annual grasses make up approximately half of the leaf area index (LAI) in the wet season (November to March) when 90% of annual rain falls but they die back in every dry season (April to October). The seasonal cycle of leaf area and foliar N distributions were defined for each canopy layer and each layer was designated as C3 or C4 for application of the applicable photosynthesis model. The SPA model was then run over a 5 year period (2001-2005) and compared to measured eddy covariance data. There was good agreement between modelled and measured GPP values. The model explained between 80 - 87% of the variance and had a low root-mean-square error (RMSE) of between 0.0206 - 0.5742 g C m-2 d-1. The contribution of the grass to total annual GPP was approximately 66%, highlighting the importance of including the C4 grasses in the model. Approximately 60% of the total (trees and grasses) annual GPP occurred during the wet season. Landscape quantum yields were calculated as the response of GPP to PAR between 50 and 250 µmol m-2 s-1 and compared for wet and dry seasons, in both morning and afternoons. This was highest for the wet season mornings (0.0282 mol CO2 per mol photon) and lowest for dry season afternoons. A sensitivity analysis of GPP revealed that daily GPP was most sensitive to changes in understorey LAI and foliar N

  8. The development of quick, robust, quantitative phenotypic assays for describing the host–nonhost landscape to stripe rust

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Andrew M.; Bettgenhaeuser, Jan; Gardiner, Matthew; Green, Phon; Hernández-Pinzón, Inmaculada; Hubbard, Amelia; Moscou, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Nonhost resistance is often conceptualized as a qualitative separation from host resistance. Classification into these two states is generally facile, as they fail to fully describe the range of states that exist in the transition from host to nonhost. This poses a problem when studying pathosystems that cannot be classified as either host or nonhost due to their intermediate status relative to these two extremes. In this study, we investigate the efficacy of the Poaceae-stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis Westend.) interaction for describing the host–nonhost landscape. First, using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and Brachypodium distachyon (L.) P. Beauv. We observed that macroscopic symptoms of chlorosis and leaf browning were associated with hyphal colonization by P. striiformis f. sp. tritici, respectively. This prompted us to adapt a protocol for visualizing fungal structures into a phenotypic assay that estimates the percent of leaf colonized. Use of this assay in intermediate host and intermediate nonhost systems found the frequency of infection decreases with evolutionary divergence from the host species. Similarly, we observed that the pathogen’s ability to complete its life cycle decreased faster than its ability to colonize leaf tissue, with no incidence of pustules observed in the intermediate nonhost system and significantly reduced pustule formation in the intermediate host system as compared to the host system, barley-P. striiformis f. sp. hordei. By leveraging the stripe rust pathosystem in conjunction with macroscopic and microscopic phenotypic assays, we now hope to dissect the genetic architecture of intermediate host and intermediate nonhost resistance using structured populations in barley and B. distachyon. PMID:26579142

  9. Landscape genetics of plants.

    PubMed

    Holderegger, Rolf; Buehler, Dominique; Gugerli, Felix; Manel, Stéphanie

    2010-12-01

    Landscape genetics is the amalgamation of landscape ecology and population genetics to help with understanding microevolutionary processes such as gene flow and adaptation. In this review, we examine why landscape genetics of plants lags behind that of animals, both in number of studies and consideration of landscape elements. The classical landscape distance/resistance approach to study gene flow is challenging in plants, whereas boundary detection and the assessment of contemporary gene flow are more feasible. By contrast, the new field of landscape genetics of adaptive genetic variation, establishing the relationship between adaptive genomic regions and environmental factors in natural populations, is prominent in plant studies. Landscape genetics is ideally suited to study processes such as migration and adaptation under global change.

  10. Units of Instruction in Landscape and Nursery Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iowa State Univ. of Science and Technology, Ames. Dept. of Agricultural Education.

    This set of teacher-developed instructional units is intended for use in secondary-level vocational agriculture courses dealing with landscape and nursery management courses. The following topics are covered in the individual units: identification of landscape plants, selection of landscape plants, understanding soils and fertilizers, water…

  11. Satellite-based automated burned area detection: A performance assessment of the MODIS MCD45A1 in the Brazilian savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araújo, Fernando Moreira De; Ferreira, Laerte G.

    2015-04-01

    Burnings, which cause major changes to the environment, can be effectively monitored via satellite data, regarding both the identification of active fires and the estimation of burned areas. Among the many orbital sensors suitable for mapping burned areas on global and regional scales, the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), on board the Terra and Aqua platforms, has been the most widely utilized. In this study, the performance of the MODIS MCD45A1 burned area product was thoroughly evaluated in the Brazilian savanna, the second largest biome in South America and a global biodiversity hotspot, characterized by a conspicuous climatic seasonality and the systematic occurrence of natural and anthropogenic fires. Overall, September MCD45A1 polygons (2000-2012) compared well to the Landsat-based reference mapping (r2 = 0.92) and were closely accompanied, on a monthly basis, by MOD14 and MYD14 hotspots (r2 = 0.89), although large omissions errors, linked to landscape patterns, structures, and overall conditions depicted in each reference image, were observed. In spite of its spatial and temporal limitations, the MCD45A1 product proved instrumental for mapping and understanding fire behavior and impacts on the Cerrado landscapes.

  12. Developing landscape-scaled habitat selection functions for forest wildlife from Landsat data: Judging black bear habitat quality in Louisiana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Robert Owen

    2003-10-01

    Understanding habitat needs of animal populations is critical for their effective management. In recent years, technological advances have increased the range of methods available to examine habitat selection patterns. However, available habitat data are often either limited to small geographic areas or are of coarse resolution, resulting in a gap in data to model habitat selection at landscape scales. I explored a method of processing Landsat data, the at-satellite reflectance tasseled cap, to address this data gap using black bears in south central Louisiana as a case study. As I showed, this case was particularly instructive because these bears occupy two very different habitat matrices. I examined the information content of resource measures derived from tasseled caps and determined that they contain substantially more information than is represented in coarse habitat maps such as available from the USGS GAP program. Additionally, this process could be applied over large areas and time frames, during different times of the year, and across sensors to produce consistent results that avoid the need to categorize land cover/habitats. I used logistic regression and the information theoretic approach to examine: the spatial scale at which habitat measures were derived, model complexity, and the relative value of groups of derived habitat measures. I grouped derived habitat measures to examine the information content in: images captured in two seasons, measures based on mean and standard deviation filters, and combinations of tasseled cap functions. My work suggests that researchers should consider multiple summary statistics derived over a range of scales, use multi-temporal data, and use all three tasseled cap functions to derive habitat measures. I calculated resource selection functions (RSF) for black bears in south central Louisiana and examined model calibration and discrimination. Mahalanobis distance has been proposed as an alternative to RSF because it does

  13. Landscapes Impacted by Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arellano, B.; Roca, J.

    2016-06-01

    The gradual spread of urbanization, the phenomenon known under the term urban sprawl, has become one of the paradigms that have characterized the urban development since the second half of the twentieth century and early twenty-first century. However, there is no unanimous consensus about what means "urbanization". The plurality of forms of human settlement on the planet difficult to identify the urbanization processes. The arrival of electrification to nearly every corner of the planet is certainly the first and more meaningful indicator of artificialization of land. In this sense, the paper proposes a new methodology based on the analysis of the satellite image of nighttime lights designed to identify the highly impacted landscapes worldwide and to build an index of Land Impacted by Light per capita (LILpc) as an indicator of the level of urbanization. The used methodology allows the identification of different typologies of urbanized areas (villages, cities or metropolitan areas), as well as "rural", "rurban", "periurban" and "central" landscapes. The study identifies 186,134 illuminated contours (urbanized areas). In one hand, 404 of these contours could be consider as real "metropolitan areas"; and in the other hand, there are 161,821 contours with less than 5,000 inhabitants, which could be identify as "villages". Finally, the paper shows that 44.5 % live in rural areas, 15.5 % in rurban spaces, 26.2 % in suburban areas and only 18.4 % in central areas.

  14. Evaluating channel morphology in small watersheds of oak savannas Southeastern New Mexico, USA: Do seasonal prescribed burn treatments have a significant impact on sediment processes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koestner, Karen; Neary, Daniel; Gottfried, Gerald; Tecle, Aregai

    2010-05-01

    Oak-savannas comprise over 80,000 km2 of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. However, there is a paucity of data to assist in the management of this vast ecotype. Fire, which was once the most important natural disturbance in this system, has been excluded due to over-grazing and fire suppression practices. This has resulted in ecosystem changes and fuel accumulations. Prescribed fire is one management technique to restore natural processes within southwestern oak-savannas by reducing woody species density, increasing herbaceous plant production, and creating vegetative mosaics on the landscape. However, questions concerning the seasonality of burn treatments and the overall effects of these treatments on physical and ecological processes need to be addressed prior to broad management application. The Cascabel Watershed Study is a collaborative effort between multiple government agencies, universities, local land managers, and environmental interest groups to evaluate the impacts of warm and cool season burn treatments on an array of ecosystem processes. Established in 2000, the Cascabel Watershed study takes an "ecosystem approach" to watershed research by examining an array of physical and biological components, including geomorphologic, climatologic, hydrologic, and biologic (flora and fauna) data to determine ecosystem response to prescribed fire. The 182.6 ha study area is located in the eastern Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico at about the 1,640 m elevation. It consists of 12 small watersheds dominated by an oak (Quercus spp.) overstory and bunch-grass (Bouteloua spp.), savanna component. The parent material is fine-grained Tertiary rhyolite that is part of an extensive lava field that was formed about 25 to 27 M ybp. A US Forest Service soil survey in the area classified 45% of the soils as Typic Haplustolls, coarse-loamy, mixed, mesic, 25% as Typic Haplustalfs, and 15% rock outcrops. Here, we evaluate within-channel processes to establish

  15. Allocation strategies of savanna and forest tree seedlings in response to fire and shading: outcomes of a field experiment

    PubMed Central

    Gignoux, Jacques; Konaté, Souleymane; Lahoreau, Gaëlle; Le Roux, Xavier; Simioni, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    The forest-savanna ecotone may be very sharp in fire-prone areas. Fire and competition for light play key roles in its maintenance, as forest and savanna tree seedlings are quickly excluded from the other ecosystem. We hypothesized a tradeoff between seedling traits linked to fire resistance and to competition for light to explain these exclusions. We compared growth- and survival-related traits of two savanna and two forest species in response to shading and fire in a field experiment. To interpret the results, we decomposed our broad hypothesis into elementary tradeoffs linked to three constraints, biomass allocation, plant architecture, and shade tolerance, that characterize both savanna and adjacent forest ecosystems. All seedlings reached similar biomasses, but forest seedlings grew taller. Savanna seedlings better survived fire after topkill and required ten times less biomass than forest seedlings to survive. Finally, only savanna seedlings responded to shading. Although results were consistent with the classification of our species as mostly adapted to shade tolerance, competition for light in the open, and fire tolerance, they raised new questions: how could savanna seedlings survive better with a 10-times lower biomass than forest seedlings? Is their shade intolerance sufficient to exclude them from forest understory? PMID:28000732

  16. Allocation strategies of savanna and forest tree seedlings in response to fire and shading: outcomes of a field experiment.

    PubMed

    Gignoux, Jacques; Konaté, Souleymane; Lahoreau, Gaëlle; Le Roux, Xavier; Simioni, Guillaume

    2016-12-21

    The forest-savanna ecotone may be very sharp in fire-prone areas. Fire and competition for light play key roles in its maintenance, as forest and savanna tree seedlings are quickly excluded from the other ecosystem. We hypothesized a tradeoff between seedling traits linked to fire resistance and to competition for light to explain these exclusions. We compared growth- and survival-related traits of two savanna and two forest species in response to shading and fire in a field experiment. To interpret the results, we decomposed our broad hypothesis into elementary tradeoffs linked to three constraints, biomass allocation, plant architecture, and shade tolerance, that characterize both savanna and adjacent forest ecosystems. All seedlings reached similar biomasses, but forest seedlings grew taller. Savanna seedlings better survived fire after topkill and required ten times less biomass than forest seedlings to survive. Finally, only savanna seedlings responded to shading. Although results were consistent with the classification of our species as mostly adapted to shade tolerance, competition for light in the open, and fire tolerance, they raised new questions: how could savanna seedlings survive better with a 10-times lower biomass than forest seedlings? Is their shade intolerance sufficient to exclude them from forest understory?

  17. Allocation strategies of savanna and forest tree seedlings in response to fire and shading: outcomes of a field experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gignoux, Jacques; Konaté, Souleymane; Lahoreau, Gaëlle; Le Roux, Xavier; Simioni, Guillaume

    2016-12-01

    The forest-savanna ecotone may be very sharp in fire-prone areas. Fire and competition for light play key roles in its maintenance, as forest and savanna tree seedlings are quickly excluded from the other ecosystem. We hypothesized a tradeoff between seedling traits linked to fire resistance and to competition for light to explain these exclusions. We compared growth- and survival-related traits of two savanna and two forest species in response to shading and fire in a field experiment. To interpret the results, we decomposed our broad hypothesis into elementary tradeoffs linked to three constraints, biomass allocation, plant architecture, and shade tolerance, that characterize both savanna and adjacent forest ecosystems. All seedlings reached similar biomasses, but forest seedlings grew taller. Savanna seedlings better survived fire after topkill and required ten times less biomass than forest seedlings to survive. Finally, only savanna seedlings responded to shading. Although results were consistent with the classification of our species as mostly adapted to shade tolerance, competition for light in the open, and fire tolerance, they raised new questions: how could savanna seedlings survive better with a 10-times lower biomass than forest seedlings? Is their shade intolerance sufficient to exclude them from forest understory?

  18. Effects of Precommercial Thinning and Midstory Control on Avian and Small Mammal Communities during Longleaf Pine Savanna Restoration.

    SciTech Connect

    Lane, Vanessa R; Kilgo, John C

    2015-01-01

    Abstract - Restoring longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) savanna is a goal of many southern land managers, and longleaf plantations may provide a mechanism for savanna restoration. However, the effects of silvicultural treatments used in the management of longleaf pine plantations on wildlife communities are relatively unknown. Beginning in 1994, we examined effects of longleaf pine restoration with plantation silviculture on avian and small mammal communities using four treatments in four 8- to 11- year-old plantations within the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Treatments included prescribed burning every 3 to 5 years, plus: (1) no additional treatment (burn-only control); (2) precommercial thinning; (3) non-pine woody control with herbicides; and (4) combined thinning and woody control. We surveyed birds (1996-2003) using 50-m point counts and small mammals with removal trapping. Thinning and woody control alone had short-lived effects on avian communities, and the combination treatment increased avian parameters over the burn-only control in all years. Small mammal abundance showed similar trends as avian abundance for all three treatments when compared with the burn-only control, but only for 2 years post-treatment. Both avian and small mammal communities were temporarily enhanced by controlling woody vegetation with chemicals in addition to prescribed fire and thinning. Therefore, precommercial thinning in longleaf plantations, particularly when combined with woody control and prescribed fire, may benefit early-successional avian and small mammal communities by developing stand conditions more typical of natural longleaf stands maintained by periodic fire.

  19. Spatial vegetation patterns and neighborhood competition among woody plants in an East African savanna.

    PubMed

    Dohn, Justin; Augustine, David J; Hanan, Niall P; Ratnam, Jayashree; Sankaran, Mahesh

    2017-02-01

    The majority of research on savanna vegetation dynamics has focused on the coexistence of woody and herbaceous vegetation. Interactions among woody plants in savannas are relatively poorly understood. We present data from a 10-yr longitudinal study of spatially explicit growth patterns of woody vegetation in an East African savanna following exclusion of large herbivores and in the absence of fire. We examined plant spatial patterns and quantified the degree of competition among woody individuals. Woody plants in this semiarid savanna exhibit strongly clumped spatial distributions at scales of 1-5 m. However, analysis of woody plant growth rates relative to their conspecific and heterospecific neighbors revealed evidence for strong competitive interactions at neighborhood scales of up to 5 m for most woody plant species. Thus, woody plants were aggregated in clumps despite significantly decreased growth rates in close proximity to neighbors, indicating that the spatial distribution of woody plants in this region depends on dispersal and establishment processes rather than on competitive, density-dependent mortality. However, our documentation of suppressive effects of woody plants on neighbors also suggests a potentially important role for tree-tree competition in controlling vegetation structure and indicates that the balanced-competition hypothesis may contribute to well-known patterns in maximum tree cover across rainfall gradients in Africa.

  20. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savanna plant community composition explained by total herbivory, not herbivore identity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The replacement of wild ungulate herbivores by domestic livestock in African savannas is composed of two interrelated phenomena: 1) loss or reduction in numbers of individual wildlife species or guilds, and 2) addition of livestock to the system. Yet very few studies have addressed the individual, c...

  1. Sustainable Land Management and Adult Education: Issues for the Stakeholders of Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benson, Rebecca

    1998-01-01

    Sustainable land management is an important consideration for stakeholders in Australia's tropical savannas. Land-management-education providers must deal with issues of access and the impact of values and perceptions on behavior. Adult educators must take on the role of negotiating attitudes and beliefs among stakeholders. (SK)

  2. RELATIONSHIP OF MICROBIAL COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND CARBON DYNAMICS IN SOILS FROM BRAZILIAN SAVANNAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fertilization is a widespread management practice in savanna areas of central Brazil (Cerrado) that are undergoing rapid agricultural land use changes. We conducted field and laboratory studies in soils with added fertilizers to determine the effect that fertilization of native a...

  3. Modeling the effects of anthropogenic habitat change on savanna snake invasions into African rainforest.

    PubMed

    Freedman, Adam H; Buermann, Wolfgang; Lebreton, Matthew; Chirio, Laurent; Smith, Thomas B

    2009-02-01

    We used a species-distribution modeling approach, ground-based climate data sets, and newly available remote-sensing data on vegetation from the MODIS and Quick Scatterometer sensors to investigate the combined effects of human-caused habitat alterations and climate on potential invasions of rainforest by 3 savanna snake species in Cameroon, Central Africa: the night adder (Causus maculatus), olympic lined snake (Dromophis lineatus), and African house snake (Lamprophis fuliginosus). Models with contemporary climate variables and localities from native savanna habitats showed that the current climate in undisturbed rainforest was unsuitable for any of the snake species due to high precipitation. Limited availability of thermally suitable nest sites and mismatches between important life-history events and prey availability are a likely explanation for the predicted exclusion from undisturbed rainforest. Models with only MODIS-derived vegetation variables and savanna localities predicted invasion in disturbed areas within the rainforest zone, which suggests that human removal of forest cover creates suitable microhabitats that facilitate invasions into rainforest. Models with a combination of contemporary climate, MODIS- and Quick Scatterometer-derived vegetation variables, and forest and savanna localities predicted extensive invasion into rainforest caused by rainforest loss. In contrast, a projection of the present-day species-climate envelope on future climate suggested a reduction in invasion potential within the rainforest zone as a consequence of predicted increases in precipitation. These results emphasize that the combined responses of deforestation and climate change will likely be complex in tropical rainforest systems.

  4. SEASONAL SOIL FLUXES OF CARBON MONOXIDE IN BURNED AND UNBURNED BRAZILIAN SAVANNAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Soil-atmosphere fluxes of carbon monoxide (CO) were measured from September 1999 through November 2000 in savanna areas in central Brazil (Cerrado) under different fire regimes using transparent and opaque static chambers. Studies focused on two vegetation types, cerrado stricto...

  5. Ecology and management of savannas and semi-deserts of central Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetation of western pampas of central Argentina comprises: caldera, local name of a savanna to woodland ecosystem dominated by Prosopis caldenia; short-grassland and dune-grassland. The area include the central La Pampa and southern San Luis provinces, following a western precipitation gradient fr...

  6. STRUCTURE OF MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES IN NATIVE AND CONVERTED SAVANNA AREAS OF CENTRAL BRAZIL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Brazilian savannas (Cerrado) have suffered drastic changes in land use with major conversion of native areas to agriculture since 1960. Burning, both due to natural conditions and as a human-induced practice, is a common event during the dry season (April to September) and plays ...

  7. Pedosediments of karstic sinkholes in the eolianites of NE Yucatán: A record of Late Quaternary soil development, geomorphic processes and landscape stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabadas-Báez, H.; Solleiro-Rebolledo, E.; Sedov, S.; Pi-Puig, T.; Gama-Castro, J.

    2010-10-01

    The pedogenetic and geomorphic processes controlling soil development in tropical karstic landscapes, are still poorly understood. We have discovered and studied thick pedosediments in karst pockets, developed in Late Pleistocene lithified calcareous dunes (eolianites), in the NE coast of the Yucatán peninsula. The morphological geochemical and mineralogical characteristics of the pocket fills, were interpreted as a record of pedogenesis and geomorphic dynamics, that shaped the soil mantle during the Holocene. Sand fraction mineralogy and the Zr/Ti ratio, indicated a mixed origin of the soil parent material; volcanic and granitic/metamorphic components, redeposited in the lithoral and coastal environments were identified. Within the soil matrix, primary minerals were transformed by weathering and caused desilicification, accumulation of clay (hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite and kaolinite) and dithionite-citrate-bicarbonate extractable iron oxides (Fe d). Reworked pedofeatures indicative of clay illuviation and redoximorphic processes were observed. This set of processes points to a continuous phase of humid pedogenesis, several thousand years long in the Early-Middle Holocene. However, the development of thick recalcified pedosediments in the pockets, contrasting with the thin background Rendzinas requires active soil redeposition, during a late phase of geomorphic activity. The available Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon date indicates that the switch of the erosion/sedimentation processes could be related to ancient Maya land-use impact.

  8. Managing landscape disturbances to increase watershed infiltration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural land undergoing conversion to conventional urban development can drastically increase runoff and degrade water quality. A study of landscape management for improving watershed infiltration was conducted using readily available runoff data from experimental watersheds. This article focus...

  9. Toronto: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spelt, Jacob

    1984-01-01

    In the course of history, the Toronto, Canada, landscape has acquired many interesting and attractive features. The history of its urban renewal projects, suburban expansion, inner city change, residential preservation and stabilization, and central city development is examined. (RM)

  10. Another Paper Landscape?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radlak, Ted

    2001-01-01

    Describes the University of Toronto's extensive central campus revitalization plan to create lush landscapes that add to the school's image and attractiveness. Drawings and photographs are included. (GR)

  11. Are the eucalypt and non-eucalypt components of Australian tropical savannas independent?

    PubMed

    Lawes, M J; Murphy, B P; Midgley, J J; Russell-Smith, J

    2011-05-01

    Eucalypts (Eucalyptus and Corymbia spp.) dominate (>60%) the tree biomass of Australia's tropical savannas but account for only a fraction (28%) of the tree diversity. Because of their considerable biomass and adaptation to environmental stressors, such as fire, the eucalypts may drive tree dynamics in these savannas, possibly to the exclusion of non-eucalypts. We evaluated whether the eucalypt and non-eucalypt components in tropical savannas are dependent so that changes in one component are matched by opposite trends in the other. Using tree inventory data from 127 savanna sites across the rainfall and fire frequency gradients, we found that eucalypt and non-eucalypt basal area and species richness had a negative relationship. This relationship was maintained across the rainfall gradient, with rainfall having a positive effect on the basal area and species richness of both components, but with a greater effect in non-eucalypts. Fire frequency negatively affected basal area, but not species richness, although basal area and species richness of eucalypts and non-eucalypts did not differ in their response to fire. Rainfall appears to set the upper bounds to woody biomass in these mesic savannas, while fire maintains woody biomass below carrying capacity and facilitates coexistence of the components. The magnitude of the component responses, particularly for non-eucalypts, is determined by rainfall, but their dependence is likely due to their differential response to both rainfall and fire, but not to competition for resources. Thus, while eucalypts dominate biomass overall, at high rainfall sites non-eucalypt basal area and diversity are highest, especially where fire frequency is low.

  12. Contrasting photosynthetic characteristics of forest vs. savanna species (far North Queensland, Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloomfield, K. J.; Domingues, T. F.; Saiz, G.; Bird, M. I.; Crayn, D. M.; Ford, A.; Metcalfe, D. J.; Farquhar, G. D.; Lloyd, J.

    2014-06-01

    Forest and savanna are the two dominant vegetation types of the tropical regions with very few tree species common to both. Aside from precipitation patterns, boundaries between these two vegetation types are strongly determined by soil characteristics and nutrient availability. For tree species drawn from a range of forest and savanna sites in tropical far north Queensland, Australia, we compared leaf traits of photosynthetic capacity, structure and nutrient concentrations. Area-based photosynthetic capacity was higher for the savanna species with a steeper slope to the photosynthesis ↔ Nitrogen relationship compared with the forest group. Higher leaf mass per unit leaf area for the savanna trees derived from denser rather than thicker leaves and did not appear to restrict rates of light-saturated photosynthesis when expressed on either an area- or mass-basis. Median ratios of foliar N to phosphorus were above 20 at all sites, but we found no evidence for a dominant P-limitation of photosynthesis for the forest group. A parsimonious mixed-effects model of area-based photosynthetic capacity retained vegetation type and both N and P as explanatory terms. Resulting model-fitted predictions suggested a good fit to the observed data (R2 = 0.82). The model's random component found variation in area-based photosynthetic response to be much greater among species (71% of response variance) than across sites (9%). These results suggest that in leaf area-based photosynthetic terms, savanna trees of far north Queensland, Australia are capable of out-performing forest species at their common boundaries1. 1 Adopted symbols and abbreviations are defined in Table 5.

  13. A Smartphone Application for Landscape Plants: A Case Study and Guide to Developing a Decision-Making Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hansen, Gail; Purcell, Scott

    2012-01-01

    Smart phone applications are rapidly gaining popularity, and Extension programs are eager to use this teaching tool. But developing an application can be time intensive and costly. Students in environmental horticulture at the University of Florida teamed with the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program to develop an application with an extensive…

  14. Modelling vegetated dune landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baas, A. C. W.; Nield, J. M.

    2007-03-01

    This letter presents a self-organising cellular automaton model capable of simulating the evolution of vegetated dunes with multiple types of plant response in the environment. It can successfully replicate hairpin, or long-walled, parabolic dunes with trailing ridges as well as nebkha dunes with distinctive deposition tails. Quantification of simulated landscapes with eco-geomorphic state variables and subsequent cluster analysis and PCA yields a phase diagram of different types of coastal dunes developing from blow-outs as a function of vegetation vitality. This diagram indicates the potential sensitivity of dormant dune fields to reactivation under declining vegetation vitality, e.g. due to climatic changes. Nebkha simulations with different grid resolutions demonstrate that the interaction between the (abiotic) geomorphic processes and the biological vegetation component (life) introduces a characteristic length scale on the resultant landforms that breaks the typical self-similar scaling of (un-vegetated) bare-sand dunes.

  15. Development of edge effects around experimental ecosystem hotspots is affected by edge density and matrix type

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecological edge effects are sensitive to landscape context. In particular, edge effects can be altered by matrix type and by the presence of other nearby edges. We experimentally altered patch configurations in an African savanna to determine how edge density and matrix type influence edge effect de...

  16. Imprint of oaks on nitrogen availability and δ15N in California grassland-savanna: A case of enhanced N inputs?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perakis, S.S.; Kellogg, C.H.

    2007-01-01

    Woody vegetation is distributed patchily in many arid and semi-arid ecosystems, where it is often associated with elevated nitrogen (N) pools and availability in islands of fertility. We measured N availability and δ15N in paired blue-oak versus annual grass dominated patches to characterize the causes and consequences of spatial variation in N dynamics of grassland-savanna in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. We found significantly greater surface soil N pools (0–20 cm) in oak patches compared to adjacent grass areas across a 700 m elevation gradient from foothills to the savanna-forest boundary. N accumulation under oaks was associated with a 0.6‰ depletion in soil δ15N relative to grass patches. Results from a simple δ15N mass balance simulation model, constrained by surface soil N and δ15N measured in the field, suggest that the development of islands of N fertility under oaks can be traced primarily to enhanced N inputs. Net N mineralization and percent nitrification in laboratory incubations were consistently higher under oaks across a range of experimental soil moisture regimes, suggesting a scenario whereby greater N inputs to oak patches result in net N accumulation and enhanced N cycling, with a potential for greater nitrate loss as well. N concentrations of three common herbaceous annual plants were nearly 50% greater under oak than in adjacent grass patches, with community composition shifted towards more N-demanding species under oaks. We find that oaks imprint distinct N-rich islands of fertility that foster local feedback between soil N cycling, plant N uptake, and herbaceous community composition. Such patch-scale differences in N inputs and plant–soil interactions increase biogeochemical heterogeneity in grassland-savanna ecosystems and may shape watershed-level responses to chronic N deposition.

  17. Buildings Interoperability Landscape

    SciTech Connect

    Hardin, Dave; Stephan, Eric G.; Wang, Weimin; Corbin, Charles D.; Widergren, Steven E.

    2015-12-31

    Through its Building Technologies Office (BTO), the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE) is sponsoring an effort to advance interoperability for the integration of intelligent buildings equipment and automation systems, understanding the importance of integration frameworks and product ecosystems to this cause. This is important to BTO’s mission to enhance energy efficiency and save energy for economic and environmental purposes. For connected buildings ecosystems of products and services from various manufacturers to flourish, the ICT aspects of the equipment need to integrate and operate simply and reliably. Within the concepts of interoperability lie the specification, development, and certification of equipment with standards-based interfaces that connect and work. Beyond this, a healthy community of stakeholders that contribute to and use interoperability work products must be developed. On May 1, 2014, the DOE convened a technical meeting to take stock of the current state of interoperability of connected equipment and systems in buildings. Several insights from that meeting helped facilitate a draft description of the landscape of interoperability for connected buildings, which focuses mainly on small and medium commercial buildings. This document revises the February 2015 landscape document to address reviewer comments, incorporate important insights from the Buildings Interoperability Vision technical meeting, and capture thoughts from that meeting about the topics to be addressed in a buildings interoperability vision. In particular, greater attention is paid to the state of information modeling in buildings and the great potential for near-term benefits in this area from progress and community alignment.

  18. Epistasis and the Structure of Fitness Landscapes: Are Experimental Fitness Landscapes Compatible with Fisher's Geometric Model?

    PubMed

    Blanquart, François; Bataillon, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    The fitness landscape defines the relationship between genotypes and fitness in a given environment and underlies fundamental quantities such as the distribution of selection coefficient and the magnitude and type of epistasis. A better understanding of variation in landscape structure across species and environments is thus necessary to understand and predict how populations will adapt. An increasing number of experiments investigate the properties of fitness landscapes by identifying mutations, constructing genotypes with combinations of these mutations, and measuring the fitness of these genotypes. Yet these empirical landscapes represent a very small sample of the vast space of all possible genotypes, and this sample is often biased by the protocol used to identify mutations. Here we develop a rigorous statistical framework based on Approximate Bayesian Computation to address these concerns and use this flexible framework to fit a broad class of phenotypic fitness models (including Fisher's model) to 26 empirical landscapes representing nine diverse biological systems. Despite uncertainty owing to the small size of most published empirical landscapes, the inferred landscapes have similar structure in similar biological systems. Surprisingly, goodness-of-fit tests reveal that this class of phenotypic models, which has been successful so far in interpreting experimental data, is a plausible in only three of nine biological systems. More precisely, although Fisher's model was able to explain several statistical properties of the landscapes-including the mean and SD of selection and epistasis coefficients-it was often unable to explain the full structure of fitness landscapes.

  19. New emission factors for Australian vegetation fires measured using open-path Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy - Part 2: Australian tropical savanna fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, T. E. L.; Paton-Walsh, C.; Meyer, C. P.; Cook, G. D.; Maier, S. W.; Russell-Smith, J.; Wooster, M. J.; Yates, C. P.

    2014-10-01

    Savanna fires contribute approximately 40-50% of total global annual biomass burning carbon emissions. Recent comparisons of emission factors from different savanna regions have highlighted the need for a regional approach to emission factor development, and better assessment of the drivers of the temporal and spatial variation in emission factors. This paper describes the results of open-path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopic field measurements at 21 fires occurring in the tropical savannas of the Northern~Territory, Australia, within different vegetation assemblages and at different stages of the dry season. Spectra of infrared light passing through a long (22-70 m) open-path through ground-level smoke released from these fires were collected using an infrared lamp and a field-portable FTIR system. The IR spectra were used to retrieve the mole fractions of 14 different gases present within the smoke, and these measurements used to calculate the emission ratios and emission factors of the various gases emitted by the burning. Only a handful of previous emission factor measures are available specifically for the tropical savannas of Australia and here we present the first reported emission factors for methanol, acetic acid, and formic acid for this biome. Given the relatively large sample size, it was possible to study the potential causes of the within-biome variation of the derived emission factors. We find that the emission factors vary substantially between different savanna vegetation assemblages; with a majority of this variation being mirrored by variations in the modified combustion efficiency (MCE) of different vegetation classes. We conclude that a significant majority of the variation in the emission factor for trace gases can be explained by MCE, irrespective of vegetation class, as illustrated by variations in the calculated methane emission factor for different vegetation classes using data sub-set by different combustion efficiencies

  20. New emission factors for Australian vegetation fires measured using open-path Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy - Part 2: Australian tropical savanna fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, T. E. L.; Paton-Walsh, C.; Meyer, C. P.; Cook, G. D.; Maier, S. W.; Russell-Smith, J.; Wooster, M. J.; Yates, C. P.

    2014-03-01

    Savanna fires contribute approximately 40-50% of total global annual biomass burning carbon emissions. Recent comparisons of emission factors from different savanna regions have highlighted the need for a regional approach to emission factor development, and better assessment of the drivers of the temporal and spatial variation in emission factors. This paper describes the results of open-path Fourier Transform Infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopic field measurements at twenty-one fires occurring in the tropical savannas of the Northern Territory, Australia, within different vegetation assemblages and at different stages of the dry season. Spectra of infrared light passing through a long (22-70 m) open-path through ground-level smoke released from these fires were collected using an infrared lamp and a field-portable FTIR system. The IR spectra were used to retrieve the mole fractions of fourteen different gases present within the smoke, and these measurements used to calculate the emission ratios and emission factors of the various gases emitted by the burning. Only a handful of previous emission factor measures are available specifically for the tropical savannas of Australia and here we present the first reported emission factors for methanol, acetic acid, and formic acid for this biome. Given the relatively large sample size, it was possible to study the potential causes of the within-biome variation of the derived emission factors. We find that the emission factors vary substantially between different savanna vegetation assemblages; with a majority of this variation being mirrored by variations in the modified combustion efficiency (MCE) of different vegetation classes. We conclude that a significant majority of the variation in the emission factor for trace gases can be explained by MCE, irrespective of vegetation class, as illustrated by variations in the calculated methane emission factor for different vegetation classes using data subsetted by different

  1. Monitoring drought impact on Mediterranean oak savanna vegetation using remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Dugo, Maria P.; Carpintero, Elisabet; Andreu, Ana

    2015-04-01

    A holm oak savanna, known as dehesa in Spain and montado in Portugal, is the largest agroforest ecosystem in Europe, covering about 3 million hectares in the Iberian Peninsula and Greece (Papanastasis et al., 2004). It is considered an example of sustainable land use, supporting a large number of species and diversity of habitats and for its importance in rural development and economy (Plieninger et al., 2001). It is a combination between an agricultural and a naturally vegetated ecosystem, consisting of widely-spaced oak trees (mostly Quercus Ilex and Quercus suber) combined with a sub-canopy composed by crops, annual grassland and/or shrubs. It has a Mediterranean climate with severe periodic droughts. In the last decades, this system is being exposed to multiple threats derived from socio-economic changes and intensive agricultural use, which have caused environmental degradation, including tree decline, changes in soil properties and hydrological processes, and an increase of soil erosion (Coelho et al., 2004). Soil water dynamics plays a central role in the current decline and reduction of forested areas that jeopardizes the preservation of the system. In this work, a series of remotely sensed images since 1990 to present was used to evaluate the effect of several drought events occurred in the study area (1995, 2009, 2010/2011) on the tree density and water status. Data from satellites Landsat and field measurements have been combined in a spectral mixture model to assess separately the evolution of tree, dry grass and bare soil ground coverage. Only summer images have been used to avoid the influence of the green herbaceous layer on the analysis. Thermal data from the same sensors and meteorological information are integrated in a two source surface energy balance model to compute the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) and evaluate the vegetation water status. The results have provided insights about the severity of each event and the spatial distribution of

  2. The Effect of Carbon Credits on Savanna Land Management and Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Douglass, Lucinda L.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Carwardine, Josie; Klein, Carissa J.; Roxburgh, Stephen H.; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Wilson, Kerrie A.

    2011-01-01

    Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent) on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1–2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments. PMID:21935363

  3. Continuous evapotranspiration monitoring and water stress at watershed scale in a Mediterranean oak savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpintero, E.; González Dugo, M. P.; Hain, C.; Nieto, H.; Gao, F.; Andreu, A.; Kustas, W. P.; Anderson, M. C.

    2016-10-01

    The regular monitoring of the evapotranspiration rates and their links with vegetation conditions and soil moisture may support management and hydrological planning leading to reduce the economic and environmental vulnerability of complex water-controlled Mediterranean ecosystems. In this work, the monitoring of water use over a basin with a predominant oak savanna (known in Spain as dehesa) was conducted for two years, 2013 and 2014, monitoring ET at both fine spatial and temporal resolution in different seasons. A global 5 km daily ET product, developed with the ALEXI model and MODIS day-night temperature difference, was used as starting point. Flux estimations with higher spatial resolutions were obtained with the associated flux disaggregation scheme, DisALEXI, using surface temperature data from the polar orbiting satellites MODIS (1 Km, daily) and Landsat 7/8 (60-120m and sharpened to 30m, 16 days) and the previously estimated coarse resolution fluxes. The results achieved supported the ability of this scheme to accurately estimate daytime-integrated energy fluxes over this system, using input data with different spatio-temporal resolution and without the need for ground observations. Daily ET series at 30 m spatial resolution, generated using STARFM fusion technique, has provided a significant improvement in spatial heterogeneity assessment of the ET series, with RMSE values of 0.56 and 0.68 mm/day for each year, representing an enhancement with respect to interpolated Landsat series. In summary, this approach was demostrated to be robust and operative to map ET at watershed scale with a suitable spatial and temporal resolution for applications over the dehesa ecosystem.

  4. A sustainable landscape ecosystem design: a case study.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lei-Chang; Ye, Shu-Hong; Gu, Xun; Cao, Fu-Cun; Fan, Zheng-Qiu; Wang, Xiang-Rong; Wu, Ya-Sheng; Wang, Shou-Bing

    2010-05-01

    Landscape planning is clearly ecologically and socially relevant. Concern about sustainability between human and environment is now a driving paradigm for this professional. However, the explosion of the sustainable landscape in China is a very recent phenomenon. What is the sustainable landscape? How is this realized in practice? In this article, on the basis of the reviews of history and perplexities of Chinese landscape and nature analysis of sustainable landscape, the ecothinking model, an implemental tool for sustainable landscape, was developed, which applies ecothinking in vision, culture, conservation and development of site, and the process of public participation for a harmonious relationship between human and environment. And a case study of the south entrance of TongNiuling Scenic Area was carried out, in which the most optimum scenario was chosen from among three models according to the ecothinking model, to illustrate the construction of the ecothinking model and how to achieve a sustainable landscape.

  5. Human-environment interactions and sustainable urban development: Spatial modeling and landscape prediction the case of Nang Rong town, Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varnakovida, Pariwate

    It is now well-recognized that, at local, regional, and global scales, land use changes are significantly altering land cover, perhaps at an accelerating pace. Further, the world's scientific community is increasingly recognizing what, in retrospect, should have been obvious, that human behavior and agency is a critical driver of Land Cover and Land Use Change. In this research, using recently developed computer modeling procedures and a rich case study, I develop spatially-explicit model-based simulations of LULCC scenarios within the rubric of sustainability science for Nang Rong town, Thailand. The research draws heavily on recent work in geography and complexity theory. A series of scenarios were built to explore different development trajectories based upon empirically observed relationships. The development models incorporate a) history and spatial pattern of village settlement; b) road development and changing geographic accessibility; c) population; d) biophysical characteristics and e) social drivers. This research uses multi-temporal and spatially-explicit data, analytic results, and dynamic modeling approaches combined with to describe, explain, and explore LULCC as the consequences of different production theories for rural, small town urbanization in the South East Asian context. Two Agent Based models were built: 1) Settlement model and 2) Land-use model. The Settlement model suggests that new development will emerge along the existing road network especially along the major highway and in close proximity to the urban center. If the population doubles in 2021, the settlement process may inhibit development along some corridors creating low density sprawl. The Land-use model under the urban expansion scenario suggests that new settlements will occur in close proximity to the town center and roads; even though, the area is suitable for rice farming or located on a flood plain. The Land-use model under the cash-crop expansion scenario captures that new

  6. THE ECOLOGICAL EFFECTIVENESS OF PONDS AND WETLANDS AS "BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPS)" FOR STREAMS IN DEVELOPING LANDSCAPES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ponds and constructed wetlands, also referred to as detention/retention basins, have a long history as best management practices (BMPs) used to mitigate the impacts of stormwater runoff from developed lands on receiving waters. Initially designed for flood control by peak flow at...

  7. Instrumentation, monitoring and hydrology of an experimental small catchment in the Brazilian savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodrigues, Lineu; Roosevelt, Antonio; Marioti, Juliana; Wallender, Wesley; Steenhuis, Tammo

    2010-05-01

    from 3.5 (regular bean) to 9.2 (wheat). Root depth varied from 0.17 m (annual crops) to 5 m (natural vegetation). To date, policymakers lack scientific evidence on the consequences for growth, poverty alleviation or environmental sustainability of alternative uses of water resources, such as the increase of water resources demand in the savannas that will probably occur due to increasing of biofuel production in the region. In the future the development of irrigation water use will increase conflicts not only between farmers but also between farmers and city dwellers. Before this occurs, a well designed strategy that optimizes sustainable water use has to be in place. Realistically this can only be accomplished when data such as collected here are available taking into account that a well instrumented basin does not imply that the basin is being well monitored.

  8. Drug discovery, drug development and the emerging world of pharmacogenomics: prospecting for information in a data-rich landscape.

    PubMed

    Michelson, S; Joho, K

    2000-12-01

    Drug development is a very expensive and inefficient process. Currently, it takes on average 15 years and costs approximately US $500 million to bring a new drug to market, with the pharmaceutical industry spending more than US $20 billion in identifying and developing drugs in 1998. Twenty-two percent of this total was spent on screening assays and toxicity testing. Yet the rapidly accelerating advances in high-throughput technologies, including screening and robotics, combinatorial chemistry, and genomics makes this an extremely data-rich environment. Add to that the new paradigms of pharmacogenomics and 'customized medicine', and the question is, are we helping or hurting our cause? Clearly, interpreting this flood of data and turning it into useful information is our next great hurdle. By extending the pharmacogenomic paradigm to the drug discovery process, this paper intends to put the scope of the problem into context.

  9. Allocation to leaf area and sapwood area affects water relations of co-occurring savanna and forest trees.

    PubMed

    Gotsch, Sybil G; Geiger, Erika L; Franco, Augusto C; Goldstein, Guillermo; Meinzer, Frederick C; Hoffmann, William A

    2010-06-01

    Water availability is a principal factor limiting the distribution of closed-canopy forest in the seasonal tropics, suggesting that forest tree species may not be well adapted to cope with seasonal drought. We studied 11 congeneric species pairs, each containing one forest and one savanna species, to test the hypothesis that forest trees have a lower capacity to maintain seasonal homeostasis in water relations relative to savanna species. To quantify this, we measured sap flow, leaf water potential (Psi(L)), stomatal conductance (g (s)), wood density, and Huber value (sapwood area:leaf area) of the 22 study species. We found significant differences in the water relations of these two species types. Leaf area specific hydraulic conductance of the soil/root/leaf pathway (G (t)) was greater for savanna species than forest species. The lower G (t) of forest trees resulted in significantly lower Psi(L) and g (s) in the late dry season relative to savanna trees. The differences in G (t) can be explained by differences in biomass allocation of savanna and forest trees. Savanna species had higher Huber values relative to forest species, conferring greater transport capacity on a leaf area basis. Forest trees have a lower capacity to maintain homeostasis in Psi(L) due to greater allocation to leaf area relative to savanna species. Despite significant differences in water relations, relationships between traits such as wood density and minimum Psi(L) were indistinguishable for the two species groups, indicating that forest and savanna share a common axis of water-use strategies involving multiple traits.

  10. Methane fluxes from the mound-building termite species of North Australian savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamali, H.; Livesely, S. J.; Arndt, S. K.; Dawes-Gromadzki, T.; Cook, G. D.; Hutley, L.

    2009-04-01

    Termites are estimated to contribute 3-19% to the global methane emissions. These estimates have large uncertainties because of the limited number of field-based studies and species studied, as well as issues of diel and seasonal variation. We measured methane fluxes from four common mound-building termite species (Microcerotermes nervosus, n=26; M. serratus, n=4; Tumulitermes pastinator, n=5; and Amitermes darwini, n=4) in tropical savannas near Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia. Methane fluxes from replicated termite mounds were measured in the field using manual chambers with fluxes reported on a mound volume basis. Methane flux was measured in both wet and dry seasons and diel variation was investigated by measuring methane flux every 4 hours over a 24 hour period. Mound temperature was measured concurrently with flux to examine this relationship. In addition, five M. nervosus mounds removed from the field and incubated under controlled temperature conditions over a 24 hour period to remove the effect of varying temperature. During the observation campaigns, mean monthly minimum and maximum temperatures for February (wet season) were 24.7 and 30.8°C, respectively, and were 20.1 to 31.4 °C in June (dry season). Annual rainfall in 2008 for Darwin was 1970.1 mm, with a maximum of 670 mm falling in February and no rain in May and June. Methane fluxes were greatest in the wet season for all species, ranging from 265.1±101.1 (T. pastinator) to 2256.6±757.1 (M. serratus) µg CH4-C/m3/h. In the dry season, methane fluxes were at their lowest, ranging from 10.0±5.5 (T. pastinator) to 338.0±165.9 (M. serratus) µg CH4-C/m3/h. On a diel basis, methane fluxes were smallest at the coolest time of the day (~0700 hrs) and greatest at the warmest (~1400 hrs) for all species, and for both wet and dry seasons. Typical diel variation in flux from M. serratus dominated mounds ranged from 902.6±261.9 to 1392.1±408.1 µg CH4-C/m3/h in wet season and 99.6±57.4 to

  11. Multiple ecosystem services landscape index: a tool for multifunctional landscapes conservation.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Loinaz, Gloria; Alday, Josu G; Onaindia, Miren

    2015-01-01

    The contribution of ecosystems to human well-being has been widely recognised. Taking into account existing trade-offs between ecosystem services (ES) at the farm scale and the dependence of multiple ES on processes that take place at the landscape scale, long-term preservation of multifunctional landscapes must be a priority. Studies carried out from such perspective, and those that develop appropriate indicators, could provide useful tools for integrating ES in landscape planning. In this study we propose a new integrative environmental indicator based on the ES provided by the landscape and named "multiple ecosystem services landscape index" (MESLI). Because synergies and trade-offs between ES are produced at regional or local levels, being different from those perceived at larger scales, MESLI was developed at municipality level. Furthermore, in order to identify main drivers of change in ES provision at the landscape scale an analysis of the relationship between the environmental and the socioeconomic characteristics of the municipalities was carried out. The study was located in the Basque Country and the results demonstrated that the MESLI index is a good tool to measure landscape multifunctionality at local scales. It is effective evaluating landscapes, distinguishing between municipalities based on ES provision, and identifying the drivers of change and their effects. This information about ES provisioning at the local level is usually lacking; therefore, MESLI would be very useful for policy-makers and land managers because it provides relevant information to local scale decision-making.

  12. Integrating landscape ecology and geoinformatics to decipher landscape dynamics for regional planning.

    PubMed

    Dikou, Angela; Papapanagiotou, Evangelos; Troumbis, Andreas

    2011-09-01

    We used remote sensing and GIS in conjunction with multivariate statistical methods to: (i) quantify landscape composition (land cover types) and configuration (patch density, diversity, fractal dimension, contagion) for five coastal watersheds of Kalloni gulf, Lesvos Island, Greece, in 1945, 1960, 1971, 1990 and 2002/2003, (ii) evaluate the relative importance of physical (slope, geologic substrate, stream order) and human (road network, population density) variables on landscape composition and configuration, and (iii) characterize processes that led to land cover changes through land cover transitions between these five successive periods in time. Distributions of land cover types did not differ among the five time periods at the five watersheds studied because the largest cumulative changes between 1945 and 2002/2003 did not take place at dominant land cover types. Landscape composition related primarily to the physical attributes of the landscape. Nevertheless, increase in population density and the road network were found to increase heterogeneity of the landscape mosaic (patchiness), complexity of patch shape (fractal dimension), and patch disaggregation (contagion). Increase in road network was also found to increase landscape diversity due to the creation of new patches. The main processes involved in land cover changes were plough-land abandonment and ecological succession. Landscape dynamics during the last 50 years corroborate the ecotouristic-agrotouristic model for regional development to reverse trends in agricultural land abandonment and human population decline and when combined with hypothetical regulatory approaches could predict how this landscape could develop in the future, thus, providing a valuable tool to regional planning.

  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. DNA methylation profiling of the fibrinogen gene landscape in human cells and during mouse and zebrafish development.

    PubMed

    Vorjohann, Silja; Pitetti, Jean-Luc; Nef, Serge; Gonelle-Gispert, Carmen; Buhler, Leo; Fish, Richard J; Neerman-Arbez, Marguerite

    2013-01-01

    The fibrinogen genes FGA, FGB and FGG show coordinated expression in hepatocytes. Understanding the underlying transcriptional regulation may elucidate how their tissue-specific expression is maintained and explain the high variability in fibrinogen blood levels. DNA methylation of CpG-poor gene promoters is dynamic with low methylation correlating with tissue-specific gene expression but its direct effect on gene regulation as well as implications of non-promoter CpG methylation are not clear. Here we compared methylation of CpG sites throughout the fibrinogen gene cluster in human cells and mouse and zebrafish tissues. We observed low DNA methylation of the CpG-poor fibrinogen promoters and of additional regulatory elements (the liver enhancers CNC12 and PFE2) in fibrinogen-expressing samples. In a gene reporter assay, CpG-methylation in the FGA promoter reduced promoter activity, suggesting a repressive function for DNA methylation in the fibrinogen locus. In mouse and zebrafish livers we measured reductions in DNA methylation around fibrinogen genes during development that were preceded by increased fibrinogen expression and tri-methylation of Histone3 lysine4 (H3K4me3) in fibrinogen promoters. Our data support a model where changes in hepatic transcription factor expression and histone modification provide the switch for increased fibrinogen gene expression in the developing liver which is followed by reduction of CpG methylation.

  15. Using three-dimensional geological mapping methods to inform sustainable groundwater development in a volcanic landscape, Victoria, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, Bruce; Cherry, Don; Adelana, Michael; Cheng, Xiang; Reid, Mark

    2011-11-01

    This study investigated the use of three-dimensional (3D) geological methods to provide better groundwater resource estimates for the Spring Hill area in central Victoria, Australia. Geological data were gathered in 3D geological software, which was utilised to derive fundamental dimensional parameters of the groundwater system in the study area. Mining industry software and hydrogeological methods were combined to give volumetric determinations of the basalt aquifer that were used to improve estimates of the groundwater resource. The methods reduce uncertainty about the physical attributes of the aquifer systems and greatly improve conceptual understanding of their behaviour. A simple numerical water-balance model was developed to refine the estimates of aquifer volume and fluxes to approximate observed water-level behaviour in the area. This enabled a much better comparison of groundwater resource use to the natural inputs and outputs for the area. A key conclusion was that the main issues for sustainable development and use in the study area are more to do with the physical aspects of the aquifer system, rather than simply the volume of water pumped. Visualisations of the area's hydrogeology also provide improved hydrogeological understanding and communication for groundwater users and administrators.

  16. Methane emissions from termites - landscape level estimates and methods of measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamali, Hizbullah; Livesley, Stephen J.; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Arndt, Stefan K.

    2013-04-01

    Termites contribute between <5 and 19% of the global methane emissions. These estimates have large uncertainties because of the limited number of field-based studies and species investgated, as well as issues of diurnal and seasonal variations. We measured methane fluxes from four common mound-building termite species diurnally and seasonally in tropical savannas in the Northern Territory, Australia. Our results showed that there were significant diel and seasonal variations of methane emissions from termite mounds and we observed large species-specific differences. On a diurnal basis, methane fluxes were least at the coolest time of the day and greatest at the warmest for all species for both wet and dry seasons. We observed a strong and significant positive correlation between methane flux and mound temperature for all species. Fluxes in the wet season were 5-26-fold greater than those in the dry season and this was related to population dynamics of the termites. We observed significant relationships between mound methane flux and mound carbon dioxide flux, enabling the prediction of methane flux from measured carbon dioxide flux. However, these relationships were clearly termite species specific. We also determined significant relationships between mound flux and gas concentration inside mound, for both gases, and for all termite species, thereby enabling the prediction of flux from measured mound internal gas concentration. However, these relationships were also termite species specific. Consequently, there was no generic relationship that would enable an easier prediction of methane flux from termite mounds. On a landscape scale we estimated that termites were a methane source of +0.24 kg methane-C ha-1 year-1 whilst savanna soils were a methane sink of 1.14 kg methane-C ha-1 year-1. Termites therefore only offset 21% of methane consumed by savanna soil resulting in net sink strength of -0.90 kg methane-C ha-1 year-1 for these savannas. Assuming a similar

  17. The effects of gap size and disturbance type on invasion of wet pine savanna by cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (Poaceae).

    PubMed

    King, S E; Grace, J B

    2000-09-01

    Cogongrass is a nonindigenous species perceived to threaten native communities of the southeastern United States through modification of species composition and alteration of community processes. To examine how gap size and disturbance type influence the invasion of wet pine savannas by cogongrass, we performed three field experiments to evaluate the response of cogongrass seeds and transplanted seedlings to four different gap sizes, four types of site disturbance, and recent burning of savanna vegetation. Cogongrass germinated, survived, and grew in all gap sizes, from 0 to 100 cm in diameter. Similarly, disturbance type had no effect on germination or seedling and transplant survival. Tilling, however, significantly enhanced transplanted seedling growth, resulting in a tenfold increase in biomass over the other disturbance types. Seedling survival to 1 and 2 mo was greater in burned savanna than unburned savanna, although transplant survival and growth were not affected by burning. Results of this study suggest that cogongrass can germinate, survive, and grow in wet pine savanna communities regardless of gap size or type of disturbance, including burning. Burning of savanna vegetation may enhance establishment by improving early seedling survival, and soil disturbance can facilitate invasion of cogongrass by enhancing plant growth.

  18. The effects of gap size and disturbance type on invasion of wet pine savanna by cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (Poaceae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, S.E.; Grace, J.B.

    2000-01-01

    Cogongrass is a nonindigenous species perceived to threaten native communities of the southeastern United States through modification of species composition and alteration of community processes. To examine how gap size and disturbance type influence the invasion of wet pine savannas by cogongrass, we performed three field experiments to evaluate the response of cogongrass seeds and transplanted seedlings to four different gap sizes, four types of site disturbance, and recent burning of savanna vegetation. Cogongrass germinated, survived, and grew in all gap sizes, from 0 to 100 cm in diameter. Similarly, disturbance type had no effect on germination or seedling and transplant survival. Tilling, however, significantly enhanced transplanted seedling growth, resulting in a tenfold increase in biomass over the other disturbance types. Seedling survival to 1 and 2 mo was greater in burned savanna than unburned savanna, although transplant survival and growth were not affected by burning. Results of this study suggest that cogongrass can germinate, survive, and grow in wet pine savanna communities regardless of gap size or type of disturbance, including burning. Burning of savanna vegetation may enhance establishment by improving early seedling survival, and soil disturbance can facilitate invasion of cogongrass by enhancing plant growth.

  19. Transcriptome analysis reveals signature of adaptation to landscape fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Somervuo, Panu; Kvist, Jouni; Ikonen, Suvi; Auvinen, Petri; Paulin, Lars; Koskinen, Patrik; Holm, Liisa; Taipale, Minna; Duplouy, Anne; Ruokolainen, Annukka; Saarnio, Suvi; Sirén, Jukka; Kohonen, Jukka; Corander, Jukka; Frilander, Mikko J; Ahola, Virpi; Hanski, Ilkka

    2014-01-01

    We characterize allelic and gene expression variation between populations of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) from two fragmented and two continuous landscapes in northern Europe. The populations exhibit significant differences in their life history traits, e.g. butterflies from fragmented landscapes have higher flight metabolic rate and dispersal rate in the field, and higher larval growth rate, than butterflies from continuous landscapes. In fragmented landscapes, local populations are small and have a high risk of local extinction, and hence the long-term persistence at the landscape level is based on frequent re-colonization of vacant habitat patches, which is predicted to select for increased dispersal rate. Using RNA-seq data and a common garden experiment, we found that a large number of genes (1,841) were differentially expressed between the landscape types. Hexamerin genes, the expression of which has previously been shown to have high heritability and which correlate strongly with larval development time in the Glanville fritillary, had higher expression in fragmented than continuous landscapes. Genes that were more highly expressed in butterflies from newly-established than old local populations within a fragmented landscape were also more highly expressed, at the landscape level, in fragmented than continuous landscapes. This result suggests that recurrent extinctions and re-colonizations in fragmented landscapes select a for specific expression profile. Genes that were significantly up-regulated following an experimental flight treatment had higher basal expression in fragmented landscapes, indicating that these butterflies are genetically primed for frequent flight. Active flight causes oxidative stress, but butterflies from fragmented landscapes were more tolerant of hypoxia. We conclude that differences in gene expression between the landscape types reflect genomic adaptations to landscape fragmentation.

  20. Aviation Medicine: global historical perspectives and the development of Aviation Medicine alongside the growth of Singapore's aviation landscape.

    PubMed

    Gan, W H; Low, R; Singh, J

    2011-05-01

    Aviation Medicine traces its roots to high altitude physiology more than 400 years ago. Since then, great strides have been made in this medical specialty, initially catalysed by the need to reduce pilot medical attrition during the World Wars, and more recently, fuelled by the explosive growth in globalised commercial air travel. This paper traces the historical milestones in Aviation Medicine, and maps its development in Singapore since the 1960s. Advancements in military aviation platforms and technology as well as the establishment of Singapore as an international aviation hub have propelled Aviation Medicine in Singapore to the forefront of many domains. These span Aviation Physiology training, selection medical standards, performance maximisation, as well as crew and passenger protection against communicable diseases arising from air travel. The year 2011 marks the centennial milestone of the first manned flight in Singapore, paving the way for further growth of Aviation Medicine as a mature specialty in Singapore.

  1. Global alterations of the transcriptional landscape during yeast growth and development in the absence of Ume6-dependent chromatin modification.

    PubMed

    Lardenois, Aurélie; Becker, Emmanuelle; Walther, Thomas; Law, Michael J; Xie, Bingning; Demougin, Philippe; Strich, Randy; Primig, Michael

    2015-10-01

    Chromatin modification enzymes are important regulators of gene expression and some are evolutionarily conserved from yeast to human. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a major model organism for genome-wide studies that aim at the identification of target genes under the control of conserved epigenetic regulators. Ume6 interacts with the upstream repressor site 1 (URS1) and represses transcription by recruiting both the conserved histone deacetylase Rpd3 (through the co-repressor Sin3) and the chromatin-remodeling factor Isw2. Cells lacking Ume6 are defective in growth, stress response, and meiotic development. RNA profiling studies and in vivo protein-DNA binding assays identified mRNAs or transcript isoforms that are directly repressed by Ume6 in mitosis. However, a comprehensive understanding of the transcriptional alterations, which underlie the complex ume6Δ mutant phenotype during fermentation, respiration, or sporulation, is lacking. We report the protein-coding transcriptome of a diploid MAT a/α wild-type and ume6/ume6 mutant strains cultured in rich media with glucose or acetate as a carbon source, or sporulation-inducing medium. We distinguished direct from indirect effects on mRNA levels by combining GeneChip data with URS1 motif predictions and published high-throughput in vivo Ume6-DNA binding data. To gain insight into the molecular interactions between successive waves of Ume6-dependent meiotic genes, we integrated expression data with information on protein networks. Our work identifies novel Ume6 repressed genes during growth and development and reveals a strong effect of the carbon source on the derepression pattern of transcripts in growing and developmentally arrested ume6/ume6 mutant cells. Since yeast is a useful model organism for chromatin-mediated effects on gene expression, our results provide a rich source for further genetic and molecular biological work on the regulation of cell growth and cell differentiation in eukaryotes.

  2. Newly discovered landscape traps produce regime shifts in wet forests

    PubMed Central

    Lindenmayer, David B.; Hobbs, Richard J.; Likens, Gene E.; Krebs, Charles J.; Banks, Samuel C.

    2011-01-01

    We describe the “landscape trap” concept, whereby entire landscapes are shifted into, and then maintained (trapped) in, a highly compromised structural and functional state as the result of multiple temporal and spatial feedbacks between human and natural disturbance regimes. The landscape trap concept builds on ideas like stable alternative states and other relevant concepts, but it substantively expands the conceptual thinking in a number of unique ways. In this paper, we (i) review the literature to develop the concept of landscape traps, including their general features; (ii) provide a case study as an example of a landscape trap from the mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forests of southeastern Australia; (iii) suggest how landscape traps can be detected before they are irrevocably established; and (iv) present evidence of the generality of landscape traps in different ecosystems worldwide. PMID:21876151

  3. Changes in soil nitrogen storage and δ15N with woody plant encroachment in a subtropical savanna parkland landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutton, T. W.; Liao, J. D.

    2010-09-01

    Subtropical woodlands dominated by N-fixing tree legumes have largely replaced grasslands in the Rio Grande Plains, southwestern United States, during the past century. To evaluate the impact of this vegetation change on the N cycle, we measured the mass and isotopic composition (δ15N) of N in the soil system of remnant grasslands and woody plant stands ranging in age from 10 to 130 years. Nitrogen accumulated at linear rates following woody encroachment in the litter (0.10-0.14 g N m-2 yr-1), roots (0.63-0.98 g N m-2 yr-1), and soils (0.75-3.50 g N m-2 yr-1), resulting in a 50%-150% increase in N storage in the soil system (0-30 cm) in woody stands older than 60 years. Simultaneous decreases in soil δ15N of up to 2‰ in the upper 30 cm of the profile are consistent with a scenario in which N inputs have exceeded losses following woody encroachment and suggest N accrual was derived from symbiotic N fixation by tree legumes and/or differential atmospheric N deposition to wooded areas. Vertical uplift and lateral transfer of N by the more deeply and intensively rooted woody plants may have contributed to N accumulation in wooded areas, but soil δ15N values are inconsistent with this explanation. N accumulation following woody encroachment may alter soil N availability, species interactions and successional dynamics, flux rates of key trace gases such as NOX and N2O and ecosystem C sequestration. Given the geographic dimensions of woody encroachment, these results may have implications for atmospheric composition and the climate system.

  4. Establishing an Ongoing Binational U.S.-Mexico Border Climate Diagnostic Summary: Developing a Prototype and Navigating the Institutional Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garfin, G.; Varady, R.; Morehouse, B.; Wilder, M.; Crawford, B.

    2007-05-01

    In its eighth report to the President and Congress of the United States, the Good Neighbor Environmental Board (an independent federal advisory committee, that advises the President and Congress on environmental practices and infrastructure needs along the U.S. border with Mexico) noted that management of water resources issues along the U.S. border with Mexico would be aided by data and information sharing. They encouraged agencies and institutions to make data accessible, and to exchange data and information, even on a limited or ad hoc basis, in order to build trust and the capacity for managers and staff on both sides of the border to collaborate and work together to solve problems of mutual interest. Although climate is merely one factor affecting decision makers, it can often be the "straw that breaks the camel's back." Along the arid and semiarid U.S. border with Mexico, population growth, industrialization, increasing water consumption, and other factors have exacerbated societal vulnerability to naturally occurring persistent climate phenomena, such as drought. In 2006, scientists from institutions in the U.S. and Mexico agreed to collaborate to address decision makers' pressing needs for climate information, by developing a climate diagnostic and outlook product in a format usable and easily accessible by managers and policy makers. The Border Climate Summary (Resumen del Climate de la Frontera), modeled after monthly climate newsletters produced in the U.S., provides a tangible and simple information tool to strengthen the basic capacity for climate information to be usefully incorporated into decision processes. The Summary provides forecasts and value-added information on temperature, precipitation, and drought within the region. However, in order for the Summary to be effective at reaching its intended audiences, collaborators must break through barriers posed by regulatory and institutional control. They must also identify key insertion points for

  5. Quaternary landscape development, alluvial fan chronology and erosion of the Mecca Hills at the southern end of the San Andreas Fault zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, Harrison J.; Owen, Lewis; Dietsch, Craig; Beck, Richard A.; Caffee, Marc A.; Finkelman, Robert B.; Mahan, Shannon

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative geomorphic analysis combined with cosmogenic nuclide 10Be-based geochronology and denudation rates have been used to further the understanding of the Quaternary landscape development of the Mecca Hills, a zone of transpressional uplift along the southern end of the San Andreas Fault, in southern California. The similar timing of convergent uplifts along the San Andreas Fault with the initiation of the sub-parallel San Jacinto Fault suggest a possible link between the two tectonic events. The ages of alluvial fans and the rates of catchment-wide denudation have been integrated to assess the relative influence of climate and tectonic uplift on the development of catchments within the Mecca Hills. Ages for major geomorphic surfaces based on 10Be surface exposure dating of boulders and 10Be depth profiles define the timing of surface stabilization to 2.6 +5.6/–1.3 ka (Qyf1 surface), 67.2 ± 5.3 ka (Qvof2 surface), and 280 ± 24 ka (Qvof1 surface). Comparison of 10Be measurements from active channel deposits (Qac) and fluvial terraces (Qt) illustrate a complex history of erosion, sediment storage, and sediment transport in this environment. Beryllium-10 catchment-wide denudation rates range from 19.9 ± 3.2 to 149 ± 22.5 m/Ma and demonstrate strong correlations with mean catchment slope and with total active fault length normalized by catchment area. The lack of strong correlation with other geomorphic variables suggests that tectonic uplift and rock weakening have the greatest control. The currently measured topography and denudation rates across the Mecca Hills may be most consistent with a model of radial topographic growth in contrast to a model based on the rapid uplift and advection of crust.

  6. Geoheritage, geotourism and cultural landscapes in Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, John E.

    2015-04-01

    Geoheritage is closely linked with many aspects of cultural heritage and the development of tourism in Scotland. Historically, aesthetic appreciation of the physical landscape and links with literature and art formed the foundation for tourism during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, exploration of the cultural links between geodiversity and landscape is providing new opportunities for raising awareness of geoheritage through literature, poetry, art and the built heritage. Interpreting the cultural dimension of geodiversity can enable people to connect with geodiversity through different experiences and a renewed sense of wonder about the physical landscape and the creative inspiration provided by geodiversity. It can also link geodiversity to cultural roots and sense of place, allowing exploration of different connections between people and the natural world. Such experiential engagement is promoted through the development of Geoparks. It requires thinking about how interpretation can add value to people's experiences and provide involvement that evokes a sense of wonder about the physical landscape. This means encouraging new and memorable experiential ways of interpreting the landscape and communicating its geological stories, not simply presenting information. Rediscovering a sense of wonder about the physical landscape through cultural links can enable wider public appreciation of geoheritage and help to develop greater support for geoconservation.

  7. Why is a landscape perspective important in studies of primates?

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Fahrig, Lenore

    2014-10-01

    With accelerated deforestation and fragmentation through the tropics, assessing the impact that landscape spatial changes may have on biodiversity is paramount, as this information is required to design and implement effective management and conservation plans. Primates are expected to be particularly dependent on the landscape context; yet, our understanding on this topic is limited as the majority of primate studies are at the local scale, meaning that landscape-scale inferences are not possible. To encourage primatologists to assess the impact of landscape changes on primates, and help future studies on the topic, we describe the meaning of a "landscape perspective" and evaluate important assumptions of using such a methodological approach. We also summarize a number of important, but unanswered, questions that can be addressed using a landscape-scale study design. For example, it is still unclear if habitat loss has larger consistent negative effects on primates than habitat fragmentation per se. Furthermore, interaction effects between habitat area and other landscape effects (e.g., fragmentation) are unknown for primates. We also do not know if primates are affected by synergistic interactions among factors at the landscape scale (e.g., habitat loss and diseases, habitat loss and climate change, hunting, and land-use change), or whether landscape complexity (or landscape heterogeneity) is important for primate conservation. Testing for patterns in the responses of primates to landscape change will facilitate the development of new guidelines and principles for improving primate conservation.

  8. Amassing power in a northern landscape: J. B. Duke and the development of the Saguenay River, 1897-1927

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massell, David Perera

    Beginning at the turn of the century, Chapter One reconstructs the process by which the Provincial Government of Quebec sold--individually, outright, and cheaply--the waterfalls and rapids strung out along the length of the Saguenay River. The small-scale Canadian power projects stalled, however, for want of capital or power customers in a remote North American region. A major shift in developmental scale ensues in Chapter Two as a Canadian who owned riparian rights, Thomas "Carbide" Willson, uncorks a genie of American capital in industrialist J. B. Duke. While Duke was invited to participate in the Saguenay's development as a third party, Chapter Three describes how the aggressive New York trader seizes the entire length of the river for his exclusive use. Chapter Four recounts the unexpectedly stiff resistance to the industrial plans of Duke's lieutenants by a young French-Canadian engineer named Arthur Amos, head of Quebec's newly established Hydraulic Service. Stymied in Quebec City, Duke nonetheless proves remarkably agile in the broader theater of multinational enterprise. As Chapter Five documents, Duke succeeds in rounding up an array of industrial power customers to justify the enormous cost of his dams, most notably Delaware-based explosives manufacturer E. I du Pont de Nemours Powder Company. Ultimately Du Pont gets cold feet, and Duke's giant electrochemical scheme collapses around him at the end of 1915. Only after 1920, in Chapter Six, is Duke able to proceed with his project in a changed political and business climate of the postwar period. Contemplating aluminum manufacture by his own company, in Chapter Seven, he attempts to procure the requisite supply of high grade bauxite. But he encounters ferocious competition for possession of the essential raw material. Choosing to merge rather than fight, Duke and Alcoa's President Arthur Vining Davis ally in 1925. Their deal sealed, the two businessmen send their Canadian lawyer to Quebec City to sidestep

  9. Quasispecies on Fitness Landscapes.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Selection-mutation dynamics is studied as adaptation and neutral drift on abstract fitness landscapes. Various models of fitness landscapes are introduced and analyzed with respect to the stationary mutant distributions adopted by populations upon them. The concept of quasispecies is introduced, and the error threshold phenomenon is analyzed. Complex fitness landscapes with large scatter of fitness values are shown to sustain error thresholds. The phenomenological theory of the quasispecies introduced in 1971 by Eigen is compared to approximation-free numerical computations. The concept of strong quasispecies understood as mutant distributions, which are especially stable against changes in mutations rates, is presented. The role of fitness neutral genotypes in quasispecies is discussed.

  10. Relationships between avian richness and landscape structure at multiple scales using multiple landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, M.S.; Rutzmoser, S.H.; Wigley, T.B.; Loehle, C.; Gerwin, J.A.; Keyser, P.D.; Lancia, R.A.; Perry, R.W.; Reynolds, C.J.; Thill, R.E.; Weih, R.; White, D.; Wood, P.B.

    2006-01-01

    Little is known about factors that structure biodiversity on landscape scales, yet current land management protocols, such as forest certification programs, place an increasing emphasis on managing for sustainable biodiversity at landscape scales. We used a replicated landscape study to evaluate relationships between forest structure and avian diversity at both stand and landscape-levels. We used data on bird communities collected under comparable sampling protocols on four managed forests located across the Southeastern US to develop logistic regression models describing relationships between habitat factors and the distribution of overall richness and richness of selected guilds. Landscape models generated for eight of nine guilds showed a strong relationship between richness and both availability and configuration of landscape features. Diversity of topographic features and heterogeneity of forest structure were primary determinants of avian species richness. Forest heterogeneity, in both age and forest type, were strongly and positively associated with overall avian richness and richness for most guilds. Road density was associated positively but weakly with avian richness. Landscape variables dominated all models generated, but no consistent patterns in metrics or scale were evident. Model fit was strong for neotropical migrants and relatively weak for short-distance migrants and resident species. Our models provide a tool that will allow managers to evaluate and demonstrate quantitatively how management practices affect avian diversity on landscapes.

  11. Genomic DNA sequences from mastodon and woolly mammoth reveal deep speciation of forest and savanna elephants.

    PubMed

    Rohland, Nadin; Reich, David; Mallick, Swapan; Meyer, Matthias; Green, Richard E; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Roca, Alfred L; Hofreiter, Michael

    2010-12-21

    To elucidate the history of living and extinct elephantids, we generated 39,763 bp of aligned nuclear DNA sequence across 375 loci for African savanna elephant, African forest elephant, Asian elephant, the extinct American mastodon, and the woolly mammoth. Our data establish that the Asian elephant is the closest living relative of the extinct mammoth in the nuclear genome, extending previous findings from mitochondrial DNA analyses. We also find that savanna and forest elephants, which some have argued are the same species, are as or more divergent in the nuclear genome as mammoths and Asian elephants, which are considered to be distinct genera, thus resolving a long-standing debate about the appropriate taxonomic classification of the African elephants. Finally, we document a much larger effective population size in forest elephants compared with the other elephantid taxa, likely reflecting species differences in ancient geographic structure and range and differences in life history traits such as variance in male reproductive success.

  12. Trace gas emissions to the atmosphere by biomass burning in the west African savannas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frouin, Robert J.; Iacobellis, Samuel F.; Razafimpanilo, Herisoa; Somerville, Richard C. J.

    1994-01-01

    Savanna fires and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) detection and estimating burned area using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer_(AVHRR) reflectance data are investigated in this two part research project. The first part involves carbon dioxide flux estimates and a three-dimensional transport model to quantify the effect of north African savanna fires on atmospheric CO2 concentration, including CO2 spatial and temporal variability patterns and their significance to global emissions. The second article describes two methods used to determine burned area from AVHRR data. The article discusses the relationship between the percentage of burned area and AVHRR channel 2 reflectance (the linear method) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (the nonlinear method). A comparative performance analysis of each method is described.

  13. Termites as Mediators of the Water Economy of Arid Savanna Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, S.

    2002-05-01

    Termites of the genus Macrotermes are major movers of carbon, minerals and soil through arid savanna ecosystems. They and their fungal symbionts concentrate cellulose digestion and metabolism in a tightly regulated nest environment, which results in a very high metabolic power density in the nest. Cellulose, their principal food, is a potent source of stored energy through the photosynthetic fixation of carbon dioxide. However, cellulose is also fixed water, which is released by its metabolism. Because of the highly seasonal rains in arid savannas, plants often experience drought conditions in the summer months. However, termite metabolism can make water available year-round to plants growing near termite colonies. Long-term variations in rainfall and drought (such as periodic El Nino events) can be further ameliorated by the regulated release of fixed water by termites.

  14. Radiative transfer in shrub savanna sites in Niger: Preliminary results from HAPEX-Sahel. Part 1: Modelling surface reflectance using a geometric-optical approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Franklin, Janet; Duncan, Jeff; Huete, Alfredo R.; vanLeeuwen, W. J. D.; Li, Xiaowen; Begue, Agnes

    1994-01-01

    To use optical remote sensing to monitor land surface-climate interactions over large areas, algorithms must be developed to relate multispectral measurements to key variables controlling the exchange of matter (water, carbon dioxide) and energy between the land surface and the atmosphere. The proportion of the ground covered by vegetation and the interception of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) by vegetation are examples of two variables related to evapotranspiration and primary production, respectively. An areal-proportion model of the multispectral reflectance of shrub savanna, composed of scattered shrubs with a grass, forb or soil understory, predicted the reflectance of two 0.5 km(exp 2) sites as the area-weighted average of the shrub and understory or 'background' reflectances. Although the shaded crown and shaded background have darker reflectances, ignoring them in the area-weighted model is not serious when shrub cover is low and solar zenith angle is small. A submodel predicted the reflectance of the shrub crown as a function of the foliage reflectance and amount of plant material within the crown, and the background reflectance scattered or transmitted through canopy gaps (referred to as a soil-plant 'spectral interaction' term). One may be able to combine these two models to estimate both the fraction of vegetation cover and interception of PAR by green vegetation in a shrub savanna.

  15. Fire alters ecosystem carbon and nutrients but not plant nutrient stoichiometry or composition in tropical savanna.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Hedin, Lars O; Staver, A Carla; Govender, Navashni

    2015-05-01

    Fire and nutrients interact to influence the global distribution and dynamics of the savanna biome, but the results of these interactions are both complex and poorly known. A critical but unresolved question is whether short-term losses of carbon and nutrients caused by fire can trigger long-term and potentially compensatory responses in the nutrient stoichiometry of plants, or in the abundance of dinitrogen-fixing trees. There is disagreement in the literature about the potential role of fire on savanna nutrients, and, in turn, on plant stoichiometry and composition. A major limitation has been the lack of fire manipulations over time scales sufficiently long for these interactions to emerge. We use a 58-year, replicated, large-scale, fire manipulation experiment in Kruger National Park (South Africa) in savanna to quantify the effect of fire on (1) distributions of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus at the ecosystem scale; (2) carbon: nitrogen: phosphorus stoichiometry of above- and belowground tissues of plant species; and (3) abundance of plant functional groups including nitrogen fixers. Our results show dramatic effects of fire on the relative distribution of nutrients in soils, but that individual plant stoichiometry and plant community composition remained unexpectedly resilient. Moreover, measures of nutrients and carbon stable isotopes allowed us to discount the role of tree cover change in favor of the turnover of herbaceous biomass as the primary mechanism that mediates a transition from low to high 'soil carbon and nutrients in the absence of fire. We conclude that, in contrast to extra-tropical grasslands or closed-canopy forests, vegetation in the savanna biome may be uniquely adapted to nutrient losses caused by recurring fire.

  16. Relative growth rate variation of evergreen and deciduous savanna tree species is driven by different traits

    PubMed Central

    Tomlinson, Kyle W.; Poorter, Lourens; Bongers, Frans; Borghetti, Fabian; Jacobs, Loes; van Langevelde, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Plant relative growth rate (RGR) depends on biomass allocation to leaves (leaf mass fraction, LMF), efficient construction of leaf surface area (specific leaf area, SLA) and biomass growth per unit leaf area (net assimilation rate, NAR). Functional groups of species may differ in any of these traits, potentially resulting in (1) differences in mean RGR of groups, and (2) differences in the traits driving RGR variation within each group. We tested these predictions by comparing deciduous and evergreen savanna trees. Methods RGR, changes to biomass allocation and leaf morphology, and root non-structural carbohydrate reserves were evaluated for juveniles of 51 savanna species (34 deciduous, 17 evergreen) grown in a common garden experiment. It was anticipated that drivers of RGR would differ between leaf habit groups because deciduous species have to allocate carbohydrates to storage in roots to be able to flush leaves again, which directly compromises their LMF, whereas evergreen species are not subject to this constraint. Key Results Evergreen species had greater LMF and RGR than deciduous species. Among deciduous species LMF explained 27 % of RGR variation (SLA 34 % and NAR 29 %), whereas among evergreen species LMF explained between 2 and 17 % of RGR variation (SLA 32–35 % and NAR 38–62 %). RGR and LMF were (negatively) related to carbohydrate storage only among deciduous species. Conclusions Trade-offs between investment in carbohydrate reserves and growth occurred only among deciduous species, leading to differences in relative contribution made by the underlying components of RGR between the leaf habit groups. The results suggest that differences in drivers of RGR occur among savanna species because these have different selected strategies for coping with fire disturbance in savannas. It is expected that variation in the drivers of RGR will be found in other functional types that respond differently to particular disturbances. PMID

  17. Plant phenology, resource seasonality and climate change in a Brazilian cerrado savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutierrez de Camargo, Maria Gabriela; de Camargo Guaraldo, André; Reys, Paula; Patrícia Cerdeira Morellato, Leonor

    2010-05-01

    Plant phenology, the study of recurring events and its relationship to climate, contributes with key information for the understanding of forest dynamics and plant resource availability to the fauna. Plant reproduction and growth are affected by proximate factors such as precipitation, temperature and photoperiod, ecological factors such as plant-animal interaction, for instance pollination and seed dispersal, and by phylogeny. Therefore, phenological changes may have enormous consequences for both, plants and animals depending upon the periodical availability of plant resources. The Brazilian tropical savannas, the cerrado, is a highly diverse vegetation with around 70% of the woody flora relaying on animal vectors for pollination and seed dispersal. We consider the cerrado savanna a good model to investigate shifts on tropical phenology and climate change. This vegetation presents a very seasonal phenology shaped by the climate characterized by the alternation of a hot, wet season and a dry, cooler one. The onset of leafing, flowering and fruiting is defined by the duration and intensity of the dry season, and changes on precipitation patterns and dryness may likely affect the plant species reproductive pattern as well as the resource availability to the fauna. In that context, we are carrying out a long-term project to investigate the phenology of growth and reproduction of a cerrado savanna woody community in Southeastern Brazil. Our aim is to understand the cerrado savanna long-term phenological patterns, its relationship to local climate, and whether phenological shifts over time may occur due to variations on climate. We are collecting data on crop size, species abundance and fruit consumption by birds to understand the fruit-frugivore network. Additionally, analyses are underway to explore the relationship among fruit season, fruit production, color and nutritional contents, and the activity of frugivores. Our final goal is to verify at which extension

  18. Carbon balance of grazed savanna grassland ecosystem in Welgegund, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Räsänen, Matti; Aurela, Mika; Vakkari, Ville; Beukes, Paul; Van Zyl, Pieter; Josipovic, Micky; Venter, Andrew; Jaars, Kerneels; Siebert, Stefan; Laurila, Tuomas; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Rinne, Janne; Laakso, Lauri

    2016-04-01

    Tropical savannas and grasslands are estimated to contribute significantly to the global primary production of all terrestrial vegetation. It is suggested that semi-arid ecosystems dominate the inter-annual variation of the global land carbon sink. Most of the previous carbon flux measurements of African savannas have focused on the areas around national parks or nature reserves. However, large parts of African savannas and grasslands are used for agriculture or cattle grazing and there is a lack of measurements from these areas. In this study, we present carbon dioxide fluxes measured with the eddy covariance method for three years at a grazed savanna grassland in South Africa. The tree cover around the Welgegund measurement site (26°34'10"S, 26°56'21"E, 1480 m.a.s.l.; www.welgegund.org) was around 15% and it was grazed by cattle and sheep. Weekly monitoring of the measurements produced high quality flux measurements and only 33% of the measured flux values were missing or discarded due to e.g. too small turbulence. The inter-annual variation of yearly carbon balance was high. The carbon balance for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 were -73, 82 and 167 gC m-2 y-1, respectively. The yearly variation in GPP and respiration followed the changes in precipitation, whereas the yearly variation in NEE was not explained by the changes in annual precipitation, the length of rainy season or peak NDVI. However, the number of days when soil was wet, seems to relate to the annual sum of NEE.

  19. Patterns in volatile organic compound emissions along a savanna-rainforest gradient in central Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinger, L. F.; Greenburg, J.; Guenther, A.; Tyndall, G.; Zimmerman, P.; M'bangui, M.; Moutsamboté, J.-M.; Kenfack, D.

    1998-01-01