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We report the first simultaneous measurements of ?15N and ?13C of DNA extracted from surface soils. The isotopic composition of DNA differed significantly among nine different soils. The ?13C and ?15N of DNA was correlated with ?13C and ?15N of soil, respectively, suggesting that the isotopic composition of DNA is strongly influenced by the isotopic composition of soil organic matter. However, in all samples DNA was enriched in 13C relative to soil, indicating microorganisms fractionated C during assimilation or preferentially used 13C enriched substrates. Enrichment of DNA in 15N relative to soil was not consistently observed, but there were significant differences between ?15N of DNA and ?15N of soil for three...
Seasonal snowpack chemistry data from the Rocky Mountain region of the US was examined to identify long-term trends in concentration and chemical deposition in snow and in snow-water equivalent. For the period 1993?2004, comparisons of trends were made between 54 Rocky Mountain Snowpack sites and 16 National Atmospheric Deposition Program wetfall sites located nearby in the region. The region was divided into three subregions: Northern, Central, and Southern. A non-parametric correlation method known as the Regional Kendall Test was used. This technique collectively computed the slope, direction, and probability of trend for several sites at once in each of the Northern, Central, and Southern Rockies subregions....
Geochemical studies of the Middle—Late Cenozoic succession of volcanic rocks from the northern part of the Rio Grande Rift were conducted. The initial activation of the rift structure was coeval with voluminous eruptions of lava and pyroclastic material of mainly intermediate and acid compositions in the San Juan volcanic field 35–27 Ma. The composition of the volcanic products after the rifting was dominated by basic and intermediate lavas. It is shown that the basanites and alkali basalts of the territory had geochemical characteristics of sublithospheric slab and above–sl ab sources. The processes of the riftogenic thinning of lithosphere are expressed by geochemical parameters that reflect the interaction...
A new species of poplar is recognized based on abundant specimens from the early Middle Eocene Parachute Creek Member of the Green River Formation in eastern Utah and western Colorado and compared with two other contemporary species. A rare twig bearing both leaves and fruits serves as a Rosetta stone, linking the vegetative and reproductive structures that formerly were only known from dispersed organs. Fruit and foliage characters distinguish Populus tidwellii sp. n. from Populus cinnamomoides (Lesquereux) MacGinitie (typified on specimens from Green River Station, WY), to which the isolated leaves had formerly been attributed. In addition, new data from fruits and foliage confirm that there were two distinct...
Leaf mass per area (MA) is a central ecological trait that is intercorrelated with leaf life span, photosynthetic rate, nutrient concentration, and palatability to herbivores. These coordinated variables form a globally convergent leaf economics spectrum, which represents a general continuum running from rapid resource acquisition to maximized resource retention. Leaf economics are little studied in ancient ecosystems because they cannot be directly measured from leaf fossils. Here we use a large extant data set (65 sites; 667 species-site pairs) to develop a new, easily measured scaling relationship between petiole width and leaf mass, normalized for leaf area; this enables MA estimation for fossil leaves from...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation, Journal Citation; Tags: Paleobiology
The concentration of fine particulate carbonaceous material has been measured over a 1�year period at the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) Canyonlands National Park, Utah sampling site using a Brigham Young University organic sampling system (BOSS) multisystem, multichannel diffusion denuder sampler. Samples were collected on the IMPROVE schedule of a 24�hour sample every Wednesday and Saturday. The concentrations of particulate C, determined using only a quartz filter pack sampling system, were low by an average of 39%, as a result of the loss of semi�volatile organic compounds from the particles collected on quartz filters during sampling. The loss was higher during the summer...
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Resource specialists at Dinosaur National Monument utilize both planned and unplanned wildland ignitions in big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)--dominated plant communities to restore successional processes, maintain vegetation vigor, and promote diversified landscapes. Short- and long-term effects of prescribed burning on small mammal populations are not well understood. The objectives of this study were to (1) compare small mammal species richness, similarity, and diversity between paired burned and unburned treatment plots, and (2) assess long-term trends of small mammal community responses to burning. Five paired burned/unburned sites having similar vegetation, soils, elevation, and annual precipitation were...
The relation of some physical and chemical soil characteristics to cryptogamic crust development was determined from sites in semidesert regions of southern Utah. The effects of grazing on cryptogamic crust development also was examined. Electrical conductivity, percentage silt, and soil phosphorus were found to be correlated with well-developed cryptogamic crusts. Both total cryptogamic cover and the number of cryptogamic species decreased under grazing pressure. The management of rangelands, especially in arid regions, would be strengthened by understanding the role of cryptogamic crusts and considering them in range management decisions. Published in Journal of Range Management, volume 35, issue 2, on pages 180...
We investigated experimental warming and simulated grazing (clipping) effects on rangeland quality, as indicated by vegetation production and nutritive quality, in winter-grazed meadows and summer-grazed shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau, a rangeland system experiencing climatic and pastoral land use changes. Warming decreased total aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) by 40 g.m?�.yr?� at the meadow habitats and decreased palatable ANPP (total ANPP minus non-palatable forb ANPP) by 10 g.m?�.yr?� at both habitats. The decreased production of the medicinal forb Gentiana straminea and the increased production of the non-palatable forb Stellera chamaejasme with warming also reduced rangeland quality. At the shrubland...
Extensional reactivation of thrust faults north of the Uinta Mountains in Utah and Wyoming is accompanied by Quaternary surface faulting, tilting, and monoclinal folding. The 40-km-long Bear River fault zone consists of down-to- the-west, right-stepping, en echelon scarps, each about 3.0 to 3.5 km in length, striking N20°W to N20°E. Scarp-derived colluvial deposits record two Holocene surface ruptures with net vertical tectonic displacements ranging from <1 to >5 m per event (West, 1989, in press). Radiocarbon ages indicate surface faulting events occurred at about 4.6 ka and 2.4 ka. The length of surface rupture and net slip per event in the Bear River fault zone imply a seismic potential comparable to the Lost...
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Incision rates of the Colorado River are integral to understanding the development of the Colorado Plateau. Here we calculate episodic incision rates of the Colorado River based on absolute ages of two levels of Quaternary deposits adjacent to Glen Canyon, Utah, along the north flank of Navajo Mountain. Minimum surface ages are determined by a combination of cosmogenic radionuclide surface exposure ages, uranium series and soil-development formation times. Bedrock incision rates of the Colorado River between c. 500 ka and c. 250 ka, and c. 250 ka to present are c. 0·4 m ka−1 and c. 0·7 m ka−1, respectively. These rates are more than double the rates reported in the Grand Canyon, suggesting that the Colorado...
Prairie restoration at the northern edge of the Great Plains can be frustrated by previously established non-native perennial grasses. We compared the emergence of a widely introduced grass, Agropyron cristatum, and a common native grass, Bouteloua gracilis, in a 4-year-old field experiment in which the Agropyron-dominated vegetation had either been left intact or treated annually with herbicide. This was done at two levels of water supply, reflecting conditions expected in wet and dry years, to examine the effects of among-year variability in precipitation. Water addition significantly increased the emergence of both surface-sown and buried (1 cm deep) seeds. Herbicide treatment of neighbors did not increase the...
Wildlife managers in northwestern Colorado have had difficulty accurately estimating numbers of subadult male elk (Cervus elaphus) by sampling winter population densities and sex ratios. We investigated emigration and survival of telemetered 2-year-old male elk in a trophy hunting area in a northwestern Colorado Game Management Unit (GMU) to evaluate management strategies. We hypothesized that skewed numbers of males resulted from high subadult mortality or dispersal of subadult males. We used telemetered elk and Kaplan-Meier staggered entry methods to estimate emigration probability of 0.56 and 0.33 in 1995 and 1996, respectively. Maximum distances moved by emigrants from their capture point averaged 87 km (median...
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In a glass house experiment, we investigated the effect of both the frequency of water pulses and the total amount of water supplied on individual performance in the absence and presence of neighbors. We used monocultures and all combinations of pairs of seedlings of three species of perennial grasses, characteristic of different points along a soil moisture gradient within a semi-arid grassland in New Mexico, USA. In the absence of neighbors, higher total water or more frequent (but smaller) pulses significantly increased growth of all three species. The species with the fastest intrinsic growth rate, and from the most productive habitat, exhibited the largest increase in absolute and relative growth in response...
Understanding the relationships between animal population demography and the abiotic and biotic elements of the environments in which they live is a central objective in population ecology. For example, correlations between weather variables and the probability of survival in populations of temperate zone amphibians may be broadly applicable to several species if such correlations can be validated for multiple situations. This study focuses on the probability of survival and evaluates hypotheses based on six weather variables in three populations of Boreal Toads (Bufo boreas) from central Colorado over eight years. In addition to suggesting a relationship between some weather variables and survival probability in...
The canopies of woody plants in semiarid ecosystems modify the microclimate beneath and around them, with canopy patches usually having lower soil temperatures than intercanopy patches. However, lacking are studies that have evaluated how heterogeneity in soil temperature, induced by woody plant canopies, influences soil evaporation rates and the consequent effects on plant-available water. Soil temperatures were measured and soil evaporation rates were estimated for canopy and intercanopy patches in a semiarid pinyon-juniper woodland (Pinus edulis and Juniperus monosperma) in northern New Mexico. Soil temperature was measured at 2-cm depths in four canopy and four intercanopy locations during 1994. Maximum soil...
Annual differences in reproductive effort by female long-billed curlews (Numenius americanus) were clearly associated with changes in environmental conditions. During pre-laying in 1977 and 1978, long-billed curlews foraged almost exclusively on their breeding territories where vegetation height was generally short. Females did little flying prior to laying, and heavier females with relatively greater wing-disc loading laid larger egg and clutch volumes earlier in the season than did lighter females with lesser wing-disc loading. Tall, dense residual vegetation covered most upland breeding territories during pre-laying in 1979; and until grazing livestock broke down or removed this standing-dead vegetation, long-billed...
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Historically, ecosystems in the southwestern United States derived much of their nitrogen (N) from N-fixation in biological soil crusts. Today, these regions have highly reduced crust cover, and atmospheric deposition may be the dominant source of N. This study investigates the effects of increased nitrogen deposition on nitrogen uptake, photosynthesis, and growth of the two main forage grasses on the Colorado Plateau, galleta (Hilaria jamesii [Torr.] Benth.) and Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides, [Roemer & J.S. Schultes] Ricker ex Piper). Plots were fertilized for 2 years with 0, 10, 20, and 40 kg nitrogen ha?1 annually, up to 4� the estimated current annual deposition rate, in 2 applications per year (spring...
Photosynthetic rates, chlorophyll content, and activities of several photosynthetic enzymes were determined per cell, per unit DNA, and per unit leaf area in five ploidal levels of the C4 dicot Atriplex confertifolia. Volumes of bundle sheath and mesophyll protoplasts were measured in enzymatic digestions of leaf tissue. Photosynthetic rates per cell, contents of DNA per cell, and activities of the bundle sheath enzymes ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBPC) and NAD-malic enzyme per cell were correlated with ploidal level at 99% or 95% confidence levels, and the results suggested a near proportional relationship between gene dosage and gene products. There was also a high correlation between volume of mesophyll...
Field data are reported for the horizontal and vertical flux of wind-eroded sediment on an agricultural field in northern Germany. Measurements were made during a windstorm that hit the region on 18 May 1999. The magnitude of both fluxes was significantly affected by the presence of a surface crust covering the test field. Measuring the physical crust strength at 45 locations with a torvane, the relationships between crust strength (Ï„) and the horizontal (Fh) and vertical (Fv) sediment fluxes were investigated. Both fluxes decreased as the surface crust became stronger. The decay behaved as an exponential function for both types of flux. The horizontal sediment flux over a crusted surface can be accurately predicted...


map background search result map search result map Episodic incision of the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, Utah Effects of water pulsing on individual performance and competitive hierarchies in plants Effects of Nitrogen Deposition on an Arid Grassland in the Colorado Plateau Cold Desert Fire effects on small mammal communities in Dinosaur National Monument Episodic incision of the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, Utah Effects of water pulsing on individual performance and competitive hierarchies in plants Fire effects on small mammal communities in Dinosaur National Monument Effects of Nitrogen Deposition on an Arid Grassland in the Colorado Plateau Cold Desert