Skip to main content

English, Nathan B

Physiological activity and structural dynamics in arid and semi-arid ecosystems are driven by discrete inputs or "pulses" of growing season precipitation. Here we describe the short-term dynamics of ecosystem physiology in experimental stands of native (Heteropogon contortus) and invasive (Eragrostis lehmanniana) grasses to an irrigation pulse across two geomorphic surfaces with distinctly different soils: a Pleistocene-aged surface with high clay content in a strongly horizonated soil, and a Holocene-aged surface with low clay content in homogenously structured soils. We evaluated whole-ecosystem and leaf-level CO2 and H2O exchange, soil CO2 efflux, along with plant and soil water status to understand potential...
? The influences of prior monsoon-season drought (PMSD) and the seasonal timing of episodic rainfall (?pulses?) on carbon and water exchange in water-limited ecosystems are poorly quantified. ? In the present study, we estimated net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) and evapotranspiration (ET) before, and for 15 d following, experimental irrigation in a semi-arid grassland during June and August 2003. Rainout shelters near Tucson, Arizona, USA, were positioned on contrasting soils (clay and sand) and planted with native (Heteropogon contortus) or non-native invasive (Eragrostis lehmanniana) C4 bunchgrasses. Plots received increased (?wet?) or decreased (?dry?) monsoon-season (July?September) rainfall during 2002 and...
Over the last eight years, we have developed several paleoenvironmental records from a broad geographic region spanning the Altiplano in Bolivia (18uS–22uS) and continuing south along the western Andean flank to ca. 26uS. These records include: cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in surface deposits, dated nitrate paleosoils, lake levels, groundwater levels from wetland deposits, and plant macrofossils from urine-encrusted rodent middens. Arid environments are often uniquely sensitive to climate perturbations, and there is evidence of significant changes in precipitation on the western flank of the central Andes and the adjacent Altiplano. In contrast, the Atacama Desert of northern Chile is hyperarid over many millions...
Maize (Zea mays) was a primary food crop for aboriginal societies of the arid American Southwest. Water used for maize production in these arid zones could have come from precipitation and runoff during the summer monsoon, from perennial streams and springs, or from stored soil water fed by snowmelt. The oxygen stable isotope ratio (?18O) of summer and winter precipitation on the Colorado Plateau naturally differ by more than 10? providing a powerful tool for distinguishing winter- from summer-derived water sources used in cultivation of maize. We investigated whether variation in ?18O of potential source waters is preserved in the ?18O of cellulose (?18Ocellulose) of maize cobs by growing four aboriginal and one...
ScienceBase brings together the best information it can find about USGS researchers and offices to show connections to publications, projects, and data. We are still working to improve this process and information is by no means complete. If you don't see everything you know is associated with you, a colleague, or your office, please be patient while we work to connect the dots. Feel free to contact sciencebase@usgs.gov.