Southwest Biological Science Center
Wind erosion and dust from US drylands: a review of causes, consequences, and solutions in a changing world
Erosion by wind is one of the principal processes associated with land degradation in drylands and is a signiﬁcant concern to land managers and policymakers globally. In the drylands of North America, millions of tons of soil are lost to wind erosion annually. Of the 60 million ha in the United States identiﬁed as most vulnerable to wind erosion (...Duniway, Michael C.; Pfennigwerth, Alix A.; Fick, Stephen E.; Nauman, Travis W.; Belnap, Jayne; Barger, Nichole N.
Long‐term plant community trajectories suggest divergent responses of native and non‐native perennials and annuals to vegetation removal and seeding treatments
Land managers frequently apply vegetation removal and seeding treatments to restore ecosystem function following woody plant encroachment, invasive species spread, and wildfire. However, the long‐term outcome of these treatments is unclear due to a lack of widespread monitoring. We quantified how vegetation removal (via wildfire or management)...Copeland, Stella M.; Munson, Seth M.; Bradford, John B.; Butterfield, Bradley J.; Gunnell, Kevin L.
An introduced breeding population of Chrysemys picta marginata in the Kaibab National Forest, northern Arizona
The painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) is widely distributed from coast to coast in North America with each of four subspecies generally occupying different regions. In the southwestern USA and northern Mexico, where C. p. bellii is the expected native race, populations are small and widelyscattered. Introduced populations of other painted...Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Christman, Bruce L.; Norris, Jenna; Cummings, Kristy L.; Puffer, Shellie R.; Jones, Christina
The past and future roles of competition and habitat in the range‐wide occupancy dynamics of Northern Spotted Owls
Slow ecological processes challenge conservation. Short‐term variability can obscure the importance of slower processes that may ultimately determine the state of a system. Furthermore, management actions with slow responses can be hard to justify. One response to slow processes is to explicitly concentrate analysis on state dynamics. Here, we...Yackulic, Charles B.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Dugger, Catherine; Davis, Raymond J.; Franklin, Alan B.; Forsman, Eric D.; Ackers, Steven H.; Andrews, Lawrence S.; Diller, Lowell V.; Gremel, Scott A.; Hamm, Keith A.; Herter, Dale R.; Higley, J. Mark; Horn, Rob B.; McCafferty, Christopher; Reid, Janice A.; Rockweit, Jeremy T.; Sovern, Stan G.
Where has turtle ecology been, and where is it going?
Over 9000 articles have been published on turtles and tortoises (excluding sea turtles) since 1950 according to the Web of Science, including over 8000 contained in a personal bibliography that we analyze in this paper. Research had a slow start from 1900 to 1950, with mostly anecdotal additions to our knowledge until the contributions of F. Cagle...Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Lovich, Jeffrey E.
Patterns of big sagebrush plant community composition and stand structure in the western United States
Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) plant communities are found in western North America and comprise a mix of shrubs, forbs, and grasses. Climate, topography, and soil water availability are important factors that shape big sagebrush stand structure and plant community composition; however, most studies...Pennington, Victoria E.; Bradford, John B.; Palmquist, Kyle A.; Renne, Rachel R.; Lauenroth, William K.
Arizona hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. arizonicus)—A systematic data assessment in support of recovery
The Arizona hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. arizonicus) is endemic to central Arizona in Gila and Pinal Counties, and has been federally listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) since 1979. Mining, mineral exploration, and highway development have resulted in habitat degradation and loss of individual...Thomas, Kathryn A.; Shryock, Daniel F.; Esque, Todd C.
Modelling gully-erosion susceptibility in a semi-arid region, Iran: Investigation of applicability of certainty factor and maximum entropy models
Gully erosion susceptibility mapping is a fundamental tool for land-use planning aimed at mitigating land degradation. However, the capabilities of some state-of-the-art data-mining models for developing accurate maps of gully erosion susceptibility have not yet been fully investigated. This study assessed and...Azareh, Ali; Rahmati, Omid; Rafiei-Sardooi, Elham; Sankey, Joel B.; Lee, Saro; Shahabi, Himan; Bin Ahmad, Baharin
Fire changes the spatial distribution and sources of soil organic carbon in a grassland-shrubland transition zone
AimsIn many mixed grass-shrub ecosystems, increased shrub biomass tends to promote overall carbon storage, but the distribution of carbon pools may be complicated by disturbances such as wildfires. We investigated the spatial distribution of surface soil organic carbon (SOC) and its relative contribution from grasses and shrubs after fires in a...Wang, Guan; Li, Junran; Ravi, Sujith; Theiling, Bethany P.; Sankey, Joel B.
Influence of climate, post‐treatment weather extremes, and soil factors on vegetation recovery after restoration treatments in the southwestern US
AimsUnderstanding the conditions associated with dryland vegetation recovery after restoration treatments is challenging due to a lack of monitoring data and high environmental variability over time and space. Tracking recovery trajectories with satellite‐based vegetation indices can strengthen predictions of restoration outcomes across broad...Copeland, Stella M.; Munson, Seth M.; Bradford, John B.; Butterfield, Bradley J.
On the development of a magnetic susceptibility‐based tracer for aeolian sediment transport research
Aeolian processes — the erosion, transport, and deposition of sediment by wind — play important geomorphological and ecological roles in drylands. These processes are known to impact the spatial patterns of soil, nutrients, plant‐available water, and vegetation in many dryland ecosystems. Tracers, such as rare earth elements and stable isotopes...Ravi, Sujith; Gonzales, Howell B.; Buynevich, Ilya V.; Li, Junran; Sankey, Joel B.; Dukes, David; Wang, Guan
Amendments fail to hasten biocrust recovery or soil stability at a disturbed dryland sandy site
In most drylands, biological soil crusts (biocrusts), an assemblage of lichens, bryophytes, fungi, green algae, and cyanobacteria, are critical to healthy ecosystem function. However, they are extremely sensitive to disturbance and attempts to facilitate their recovery have had variable success. In this study, we applied soil amendments designed...Chandler, David G.; Day, Natalie; Madsen, Matthew D.; Belnap, Jayne