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Filters: Tags: Stable isotope (X) > Extensions: Citation (X)

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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...
In many ecosystems, seasonal shifts in temperature and precipitation induce pulses of primary productivity that vary in phenology, abundance, and nutritional quality. Variation in these resource pulses could strongly influence community composition and ecosystem function, because these pervasive bottom-up forces play a primary role in determining the biomass, life cycles, and interactions of organisms across trophic levels. The focus of this research is to understand how consumers across trophic levels alter resource use and assimilation over seasonal and interannual timescales in response to climatically driven changes in pulses of primary productivity. We measured the carbon isotope ratios (delta(13)C) of plant,...
Sugar cane cropping for biofuel production reduces water discharge from a northern Indian basin and threatens downstream communities. Regulators want to partition blame between climate change—induced declines in mountain snowpack and excessive evaporation from poorly managed fields. In the same basin, a tiger is found shot. Is it the nuisance animal that has been tormenting local communities, or is it a different animal poached from the upland forests?
Semiarid areas in the US have realized extensive and persistent exotic plant invasions. Exotics may succeed in arid regions by extracting soil water at different times or from different depths than native plants, but little data is available to test this hypothesis. Using estimates of root mass, gravimetric soil water, soil-water potential, and stable isotope ratios in soil and plant tissues, we determined water-use patterns of exotic and native plant species in exotic- and native-dominated communities in Washington State, USA. Exotic and native communities both extracted 12 � 2 cm of water from the top 120 cm of soil during the growing season. Exotic communities, however, shifted the timing of water use by extracting...