Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Rainfall

  • abundant rainfall
  • annual rainfall
  • average rainfall
  • cumulative rainfall
  • daily rainfall
  • extreme rainfall
  • heavy rainfall
  • high rainfall
  • increasing rainfall
  • intense rainfall
  • low rainfall
  • mean annual rainfall
  • monsoon rainfall
  • natural rainfall
  • normal rainfall
  • observed rainfall
  • season rainfall
  • seasonal rainfall
  • simulated rainfall
  • spring rainfall
  • summer monsoon rainfall
  • summer rainfall
  • total rainfall
  • winter rainfall

  • Terms modified by Rainfall

  • rainfall accumulation
  • rainfall amount
  • rainfall anomaly
  • rainfall area
  • rainfall characteristic
  • rainfall condition
  • rainfall data
  • rainfall deficit
  • rainfall distribution
  • rainfall duration
  • rainfall event
  • rainfall extreme
  • rainfall field
  • rainfall fluctuation
  • rainfall forecast
  • rainfall frequency
  • rainfall gradient
  • rainfall index
  • rainfall intensity
  • rainfall level
  • rainfall measuring mission
  • rainfall parameter
  • rainfall pattern
  • rainfall peak
  • rainfall period
  • rainfall rate
  • rainfall record
  • rainfall regime
  • rainfall region
  • rainfall regions
  • rainfall simulation
  • rainfall simulator
  • rainfall stations
  • rainfall time series
  • rainfall trend
  • rainfall variability

  • Selected Abstracts

    The role of groundwater in cliff instability: an example at Cape Blanc-Nez (Pas-de-Calais, France)

    Guillaume Pierre
    Abstract Cliff retreat in northern Boulonnais is described. The distribution of the amount of retreat is related to structural and topographic factors. Both control the runoff,infiltration balance and therefore the mechanical behaviour of the rocks, which determines the modes of failure. The spatial variability of the retreat rate is explained, but predicting the temporal variability of the retreat rate, which is central to risk management, is much more difficult. Rainfall and piezometric surface data enhanced a ,piston flow' mechanism during November 2000. The result of its occurrence on the stability of the cliff and conditions of its recurrence are examined with a view to better understanding the rate of recession of coastal cliffs and wiser management of risk. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Influence of seasonal, diel, lunar, and other environmental factors on upstream fish passage in the Igarapava Fish Ladder, Brazil

    P. M. Bizzotto
    Abstract,,, Upstream fish passage was evaluated during 12 months in the vertical-slot Igarapava Fish Ladder constructed around Igarapava Dam, in the heavily dammed Grande River, Southeast Brazil. A video monitoring system was used to observe 61,621 fish that passed the ladder, of which 93.5% were identified to 15 taxa. Among the migratory species, the most abundant were Pimelodus maculatus (33.6% of all fish), Leporinus octofasciatus (31.4%), Leporinus friderici (4.5%), and Prochilodus lineatus (3.1%). Seven taxa were classified as nonmigratory, and of these taxa, the small Bryconamericus stramineus was the most abundant (12.7%) of all fishes. Passage of the ,nonmigratory' taxa upstream in the ladder shows they are migratory in this system and have a strong behavioural drive to move to upstream habitat. Passage of most taxa had a strong seasonal pattern. While some species passed primarily during the day, others showed a distinct nocturnal pattern. Lunar phase and water temperature also strongly affected passage of some taxa. Rainfall and dam discharge had a small or null influence on most taxa; perhaps due to the fairly small catchment area of the reservoir and the highly regulated discharge at Igarapava Dam. [source]

    Distribution, zoogeography and biology of the Murchison River hardyhead (Craterocephalus cuneiceps Whitley, 1944), an atherinid endemic to the Indian Ocean (Pilbara) Drainage Division of Western Australia

    M. G. Allen
    Abstract , The Murchison River hardyhead (Craterocephalus cuneiceps) is endemic to the extremely arid Indian Ocean (Pilbara) Drainage Division of Western Australia, where it is found in the Greenough, Hutt, Murchison, Wooramel, Gascoyne and DeGrey rivers, but is absent from numerous rivers within its range. The most likely explanation for the disjunct contemporary distribution is that C. cuneiceps has simply never inhabited the rivers from which it is conspicuously absent (e.g. Ashburton and Fortescue). Biogeographical, geological and palaeoclimatic evidence is presented to support this hypothesis. In the Murchison River, breeding was extremely protracted with recruitment occurring throughout the year. The largest female and male specimens captured were 96 mm total length (TL; 7.73 g) and 86 mm TL (5.57 g), respectively. Sex ratio was 1.09 females:1 male. Batch fecundity ranged from 46 to 454 (mean 167.5 ± 25.7 SE). Estimates for the length at which 50 and 95% of females first spawned were 36.4 and 44.3 mm TL, respectively. Craterocephalus cuneiceps is essentially a detritivore, but also feeds on aquatic invertebrates. Rainfall in the Murchison River catchment is unpredictable and pH, salinity and temperature are variable. A specialised diet, small size and young age at maturity and protracted spawning period, coupled with serial spawning and high fecundity, allows the numerical dominance of this species in competitive, harsh, arid and unpredictable desert environments. Resumen 1. Craterocephalus cuneiceps es una especie endémica de las cuencas del Océano Indico (i.e., Pilbara) de Australia Occidental. Se encuentra en los ríos Greenough, Hutt, Murchison, Wooramel, Gascoyne y DeGrey pero está ausente en numerosos ríos dentro de su área de distribución. La explicación más probable para esta distribución separada en la actualidad es que C. cuneiceps no ha habitado nunca los ríos en los que está ausente tales como los ríos Ashburton y Fortescue. Presentamos evidencia bio-geográfica, geológica y paleo-climática para soportar esta hipótesis. 2. En el río Murchison, la reproducción es extremadamente prolongada con reclutamiento a lo largo de todo el año. Los mayores machos y hembras capturados alcanzaron 96 mm LT (7.73 g) y 86 mm LT (5.57 g), respectivamente. La proporción de sexos fue 1.09 hembras: 1 macho. La fecundidad varió entre 46 y 454 (media 167.5 ± 25.7 SE) y la longitudes a la que el 50 y el 95% de las hembras se reproducen por primera vez alcanzaron 36.4 y 44.3 mm LT, respectivamente. 3. C. cuneiceps es esencialmente detritívoro pero también se alimenta de invertebrados acuáticos. La lluvia sobre la cuenca del río Murchison es impredecible y el pH, la salinidad y la temperatura son variables. Una dieta especializada, pequeño tamaño, una edad joven en la madurez, y un período reproductivo prolongado, ademos de una freza seriada y alta fecundidad, permiten la dominancia numérica de la especie en ambientes competitivos, duros, áridos e impredecibles. [source]

    Rainfall in arid zones: possible effects of climate change on the population ecology of blue cranes

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2009
    Res Altwegg
    Summary 1.,Understanding the demographic mechanisms through which climate affects population dynamics is critical for predicting climate change impacts on biodiversity. In arid habitats, rainfall is the most important forcing climatic factor. Rainfall in arid zones is typically variable and unpredictable, and we therefore hypothesise that its seasonality and variability may be as important for the population ecology of arid zone animals as its total amount. 2.,Here we examine the effect of these aspects of rainfall on reproduction and age specific survival of blue cranes (Anthropoides paradiseus Lichtenstein) in the semi-arid eastern Nama Karoo, South Africa. We then use our results to predict the effect of changes in rainfall at the population level. 3.,Using combined capture-mark-resighting and dead-recovery models, we estimated average survival of cranes to be 0·53 in their first year, 0·73 in their second and third year, and 0·96 for older birds. 4.,We distinguished between three seasons, based on the blue cranes' breeding phenology: early breeding season, late breeding season and nonbreeding season. Cranes survived better with increasing rainfall during the late but not early breeding season. Based on road counts and success of monitored nests, reproduction was positively associated with rainfall during the early but not late breeding season. 5.,A matrix population model predicted that population growth rate would increase with increasing rainfall. A stochastic analysis showed that variation in early breeding season rainfall increased population growth slightly due to the nonlinear relationship between rainfall and reproduction. This effect was opposed by the effect of variation in late breeding season rainfall on survival and overall, variation in rainfall had a negligible effect on population growth. 6.,Our results allow predictions to be made for a range of climate-change scenarios. For example, a shift in seasonality with drier springs but wetter summers would likely decrease reproduction but increase survival, with little overall effect on population growth. [source]

    Geostatistical Analysis of Rainfall

    David I. F. Grimes
    Rainfall can be modeled as a spatially correlated random field superimposed on a background mean value; therefore, geostatistical methods are appropriate for the analysis of rain gauge data. Nevertheless, there are certain typical features of these data that must be taken into account to produce useful results, including the generally non-Gaussian mixed distribution, the inhomogeneity and low density of observations, and the temporal and spatial variability of spatial correlation patterns. Many studies show that rigorous geostatistical analysis performs better than other available interpolation techniques for rain gauge data. Important elements are the use of climatological variograms and the appropriate treatment of rainy and nonrainy areas. Benefits of geostatistical analysis for rainfall include ease of estimating areal averages, estimation of uncertainties, and the possibility of using secondary information (e.g., topography). Geostatistical analysis also facilitates the generation of ensembles of rainfall fields that are consistent with a given set of observations, allowing for a more realistic exploration of errors and their propagation in downstream models, such as those used for agricultural or hydrological forecasting. This article provides a review of geostatistical methods used for kriging, exemplified where appropriate by daily rain gauge data from Ethiopia. La precipitación puede ser modelada como un campo aleatorio correlacionado espacialmente sobrepuesto a un valor de fondo (background) medio. Dadas estas propiedades, resulta apropiado utilizar métodos geoestadísticos para el análisis de datos registrados con pluviómetros distribuidos en estaciones meteorológicas. Existen sin embargo, ciertas características de este tipo de datos que deben ser tomados en cuenta para producir resultados útiles:a) la distribución de datos tiende a ser mixta y no ser normal; b) las observaciones son heterogéneas y de escasa densidad espacial; y c) los patrones de correlación espacial son varían considerablemente en el tiempo y espacio. Numerosos estudios han demostrado ya que un análisis geoestadístico riguroso ofrece mejores resultados que las otras técnicas de interpolación disponibles para este tipo de datos. Cabe resaltar que en la aplicación de estas técnicas, el uso de variogramas climatológicos y el tratamiento apropiado de áreas lluviosas versus áreas no lluviosas son consideraciones importantes. El análisis geoestadístico de lluvias tiene además la ventaja de estimar promedios areales con facilidad, proporcionar una estimación espacial de la incertidumbre, y la posibilidad de incorporar información secundaria (ej. topografía) en el modelo. Asimismo, los métodos geoestadísticos también facilitan la generación de campos de lluvia que son consistentes con las observaciones. Esto hace posible exploraciones más realistas del error y la estimación de su propagación en modelos aplicados subsecuentemente, como por ejemplo en los modelos utilizados en predicción agrícola e hidrológica. Los autores reseñan los métodos geoestadísticos utilizados para krijeage o krijeado (kriging) mediante ejemplos de su uso apropiado con datos pluviométricos en Etiopia. [source]

    An Initial Analysis of River Discharge and Rainfall in Coastal New South Wales, Australia Using Wavelet Transforms

    H. Kirkup
    In many coastal catchments of south eastern New South Wales, Australia, changes in river morphology are a response to human impact superimposed on spatial and temporal patterns of variability in precipitation and discharge. Understanding, and preferably quantifying, spatial and temporal patterns of hydrologic variability are essential to understanding natural changes, and to separate these from artificial changes in river systems. Prediction and management of water resources are also dependent upon this understanding. We assess the variability in precipitation and discharge using the wavelet transform which projects the time series of data into a three dimensional surface of frequency, amplitude and time. The analysis reveals that changes across time often reflect changes in individual seasons and may be linked to changes in particular seasonal atmospheric circulation systems. Strong perturbations in the analysis of one catchment are consistent with documented, geomorphically-effective, flooding sequences. The characteristics of the series in the transformed data reveal interesting differences at certain times and scales which may be a reflection of changes in larger scale atmospheric processes. [source]

    Long-term carbon exchange in a sparse, seasonally dry tussock grassland

    GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Issue 10 2004
    John E. Hunt
    Abstract Rainfall and its seasonal distribution can alter carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange and the sustainability of grassland ecosystems. Using eddy covariance, CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and a sparse grassland was measured for 2 years at Twizel, New Zealand. The years had contrasting distributions of rain and falls (446 mm followed by 933 mm; long-term mean=646 mm). The vegetation was sparse with total above-ground biomass of only 1410 g m,2. During the dry year, leaf area index peaked in spring (November) at 0.7, but it was <0.2 by early summer. The maximum daily net CO2 uptake rate was only 1.5 g C m,2 day,1, and it occurred before mid-summer in both years. On an annual basis, for the dry year, 9 g C m,2 was lost to the atmosphere. During the wet year, 41 g C m,2 was sequestered from the atmosphere. The net exchange rates were determined mostly by the timing and intensity of spring rainfall. The components of ecosystem respiration were measured using chambers. Combining scaled-up measurements with the eddy CO2 effluxes, it was estimated that 85% of ecosystem respiration emanated from the soil surface. Under well-watered conditions, 26% of the soil surface CO2 efflux came from soil microbial activity. Rates of soil microbial CO2 production and net mineral-N production were low and indicative of substrate limitation. Soil respiration declined by a factor of four as the soil water content declined from field capacity (0.21 m3 m,3) to the driest value obtained (0.04 m3 m,3). Rainfall after periods of drought resulted in large, but short-lived, respiration pulses that were curvilinearly related to the increase in root-zone water content. Coupled with the low leaf area and high root : shoot ratio, this sparse grassland had a limited capacity to sequester and store carbon. Assuming a proportionality between carbon gain and rainfall during the summer, rainfall distribution statistics suggest that the ecosystem is sustainable in the long term. [source]

    Long-term trends and cycles in the hydrometeorology of the Amazon basin since the late 1920s

    José A. Marengo
    Abstract Rainfall and river indices for both the northern and southern Amazon were used to identify and explore long-term climate variability on the region. From a statistical analysis of the hydrometeorological series, it is concluded that no systematic unidirectional long-term trends towards drier or wetter conditions have been identified since the 1920s. The rainfall and river series showing variability at inter-annual scales linked to El Niño Southern Oscillation was detected in rainfall in the northern Amazon. It has a low-frequency variability with a peak at , 30 years identified in both rainfall and river series in the Amazon. The presence of cycles rather than a trend is characteristic of rainfall in the Amazon. These cycles are real indicators of decadal and multi-decadal variations in hydrology for both sides of the basin. Sea-level pressure (SLP) gradients between tropics and sub topics were explored in order to explain variability in the hydrometeorology of the basin. Sea surface temperature (SST) gradients inside the tropical Atlantic and between the tropical Atlantic and the sub-tropical Atlantic have been assessed in the context of changes in rainfall in the Amazon, as compared to northern Argentina. Trends in SSTs in the subtropical Atlantic are linked to changes in rainfall and circulation in northern Argentina, and they seem to be related to multi-decadal variations of rainfall in the Amazon. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Soil water content and yield variability in vineyards of Mediterranean northeastern Spain affected by mechanization and climate variability

    M. C. Ramos
    Abstract The objective of this paper was to analyse the combined influence of the Mediterranean climate variability (particularly the irregular rainfall distribution throughout the year) and the land transformations carried out in vineyards of northeastern Spain on soil water content evolution and its influence on grape production. The study was carried out in a commercial vineyard located in the Anoia,Alt Penedès region (Barcelona province, northeastern Spain), which was prepared for mechanization with important land transformations. Two plots were selected for the study: one with low degree of transformation of the soil profile, representing a non-disturbed situation, and the second one in which more than 3 m were cut in the upper part of the plot and filled in the lower part, representing the disturbed situation. Soil water content was evaluated at three positions along the slope in each plot and at three depths (0,20, 20,40, 40,60 cm) during the period 1999,2001, years with different rainfall characteristics, including extreme events and long dry periods. Rainfall was recorded in the experimental field using a pluviometer linked to a data-logger. Runoff rates and yield were evaluated at the same positions. For the same annual rainfall, the season of the year in which rainfall is recorded and its intensity are critical for water availability for crops. Soil water content varies within the plot and is related to the soil characteristics existing at the different positions of the landscape. The differences in soil depth created by soil movements in the field mechanization give rise to significant yield reductions (up to 50%) between deeper and shallow areas. In addition, for the same annual rainfall, water availability for crops depends on its distribution over the year, particularly in soils with low water-storage capacity. The yield was strongly affected in years with dry or very dry winters. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Quantifying diffuse pathways for overland flow between the roads and streams of the mountain ash forests of central Victoria Australia

    Patrick N. J. Lane
    Abstract Limiting connectivity between road runoff sources and stream networks is crucial for preservation of water quality in forested environments. Where flow is non-eroding, the length of hillslope available to accommodate volumes of discharged water is the key to restricting connectivity. Hairsine et al. (2002, Hydrological Processes16: 2311,2327) proposed a probabilistic model of diffuse overland flow that predicted the hillslope lengths required to infiltrate road discharge, based on the concept of volume to breakthrough (Vbt). This paper extends this analysis to a different forest environment with the aim of testing the portability of the Hairsine et al. (2002) model. The volume of flow required to travel overland to a distance of 5 and 10 m (Vbt5 and Vbt10) from drainage outlets was measured in deep, highly conductive mountain soils in the Upper Tyers catchment, Victoria, Australia. Rainfall, hydraulic conductivity and soil depths contrasted markedly with those in the Hairsine et al. (2002) study, and represent an extreme in Australian forests. Statistical analyses revealed the population of Vbt5 to be indistinguishable from that observed by Hairsine et al. (2002), indicating the model is valid for a range of forest soils. There was no significant correlation of sediment plume length with site characteristics such as slope, width of flow, or existence of incised pathways. It is suggested there are universal properties of pathways draining tracks and roads, with bioturbation acting to restore available pore spaces filled by antecedent plumes. Drain discharge design criteria may be developed for local conditions using the Hairsine et al. (2002) model, providing a robust tool for protection of water quality in the siting of new forest roads, and maintenance of exiting roads and tracks. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The effect of truck traffic and road water content on sediment delivery from unpaved forest roads

    Gary J. Sheridan
    Abstract A study investigated the effect of truck-traffic intensity and road water-content on the quality of runoff water from unsealed forest roads. Three sections of a gravel-surfaced forest road were instrumented and exposed to low and high levels of truck traffic during wet winter conditions and dry summer conditions between July 2001 and December 2002. Rainfall, runoff, road moisture, and traffic were measured continuously, and suspended and bedload sediments were integrated measurements over 2-week site-service intervals. The median suspended sediment concentration from the three road segments under low truck-traffic conditions (less than nine return truck passes prior to a storm) was 269 mg l,1, increasing 2·7-fold to a median of 725 mg l,1 under high truck-traffic conditions (greater than or equal to nine return truck passes prior to a storm). These concentrations, and increases due to traffic, are substantially less than most previously reported values. When these data are expressed as modified universal soil loss equation (MUSLE) erodibility values K, accounting for differences in rainfall energy, site characteristics and runoff, high traffic resulted in a road surface that was four times more erodible than the same road under low traffic conditions. Using multiple regression, traffic explained 36% of the variation in MUSLE erodibility, whereas road water content was not significant in the model. There was little difference in the erodibility of the road when trafficked in low water-content compared with high water-content conditions (MUSLE K values of 0·0084 versus 0·0080 respectively). This study shows that, for a good quality well-maintained gravel forest road, the level of truck traffic affects the sediment concentration of water discharging from the road, whereas the water content of the road at the time of that traffic does not (note that traffic is not allowed during runoff events in Victoria). These conclusions are conditional upon the road being adequately maintained so that trafficking does not compromise the lateral drainage of the road profile. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    A simulation model for unified interrill erosion and rill erosion on hillslopes

    Q. Q. Liu
    Abstract A mathematical model was developed for simulating runoff generation and soil erosion on hillslopes. The model is comprised of three modules: one for overland flow, one for soil infiltration, and one for soil erosion including rill erosion and interrill erosion. Rainfall and slope characteristics affecting soil erosion on hillslopes were analysed. The model results show that the slope length and gradient, time distribution rainfall, and distribution of rills have varying influence on soil erosion. Erosion rate increases nonlinearly with increase in the slope length; a long slope length leads to more serious erosion. The effect of the slope gradient on soil erosion can be both positive and negative. Thus, there exists a critical slope gradient for soil erosion, which is about 45° for the rate of erosion at the end of the slope and about 25° for the accumulated erosion. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Wavelet analysis of inter-annual variability in the runoff regimes of glacial and nival stream catchments, Bow Lake, Alberta

    Melissa Lafrenière
    Abstract Continuous wavelet analyses of hourly time series of air temperature, stream discharge, and precipitation are used to compare the seasonal and inter-annual variability in hydrological regimes of the two principal streams feeding Bow Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta: the glacial stream draining the Wapta Icefields, and the snowmelt-fed Bow River. The goal is to understand how water sources and flow routing differ between the two catchments. Wavelet spectra and cross-wavelet spectra were determined for air temperature and discharge from the two streams for summers (June,September) 1997,2000, and for rainfall and discharge for the summers of 1999 and 2000. The diurnal signal of the glacial runoff was orders of magnitude higher in 1998 than in other years, indicating that significant ice exposure and the development of channelized glacial drainage occurred as a result of the 1997,98 El Niño conditions. Early retreat of the snowpack in 1997 and 1998 led to a significant summer-long input of melt runoff from a small area of ice cover in the Bow River catchment; but such inputs were not apparent in 1999 and 2000, when snow cover was more extensive. Rainfall had a stronger influence on runoff and followed quicker flow paths in the Bow River catchment than in the glacial catchment. Snowpack thickness and catchment size were the primary controls on the phase relationship between temperature and discharge at diurnal time scales. Wavelet analysis is a fast and effective means to characterize runoff, temperature, and precipitation regimes and their interrelationships and inter-annual variability. The technique is effective at identifying inter-annual and seasonal changes in the relative contributions of different water sources to runoff, and changes in the time required for routing of diurnal meltwater pulses through a catchment. However, it is less effective at identifying changes/differences in the type of the flow routing (e.g. overland flow versus through flow) between or within catchments. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Rainfall,runoff modelling of ephemeral streams in the Valencia region (eastern Spain)

    Ana M. Camarasa
    Abstract This paper presents preliminary results from the application of a transfer-function rainfall,runoff model to ephemeral streams in Mediterranean Spain. Flow simulations have been conducted for two small catchments (Carraixet and Poyo basins), located in close proximity to one another yet with significantly different geological characteristics. Analysis of flow simulations for a number of high-flow events has revealed the dominant influence of the rainfall on the catchment response, particularly for high-rainfall events. Particular success has been attained modelling the highest magnitude events in both catchments and for all events in the faster responding (Poyo) catchment. In order to investigate the viability of the model for forecasting floods in ungauged catchments, additional investigations have been conducted by calibrating the model for one catchment (donor catchment) and then applying it to another (receptor catchment). The results indicate that this can be successful when either the donor catchment is a fast response catchment or when the model is calibrated using a high-magnitude event in the donor catchment, providing that the modelled receptor catchment event is of a lower magnitude. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Infiltration, runoff and sediment production in blanket peat catchments: implications of field rainfall simulation experiments

    J. Holden
    Abstract Blanket peat covers the headwaters of many major European rivers. Runoff production in upland blanket peat catchments is flashy with large flood peaks and short lag times; there is minimal baseflow. Little is known about the exact processes of infiltration and runoff generation within these upland headwaters. This paper presents results from a set of rainfall simulation experiments performed on the blanket peat moorland of the North Pennines, UK. Rainfall was simulated at low intensities (3,12 mm h,1), typical of natural rainfall, on bare and vegetated peat surfaces. Runoff response shows that infiltration rate increases with rainfall intensity; the use of low-intensity rainfall therefore allows a more realistic evaluation of infiltration rates and flow processes than previous studies. Overland flow is shown to be common on both vegetated and bare peat surfaces although surface cover does exert some control. Most runoff is produced within the top few centimetres of the peat and runoff response decreases rapidly with depth. Little vertical percolation takes place to depths greater than 10 cm owing to the saturation of the peat mass. This study provides evidence that the quickflow response of upland blanket peat catchments is a result of saturation-excess overland flow generation. Rainfall,runoff response from small plots varies with season. Following warm, dry weather, rainfall tends to infiltrate more readily into blanket peat, not just initially but to the extent that steady-state surface runoff rates are reduced and more flow takes place within the peat, albeit at shallow depth. Sediment erosion from bare peat plots tends to be supply limited. Seasonal weather conditions may affect this in that after a warm, dry spell, surface desiccation allows sediment erosion to become transport limited. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Runoff generation and routing on artificial slopes in a Mediterranean,continental environment: the Teruel coalfield, Spain

    José-Manuel Nicolau
    Abstract The aim of this study was to identify the mechanisms of runoff generation and routing and their controlling factors at the hillslope scale, on artificial slopes derived from surface coal mining reclamation in a Mediterranean,continental area. Rainfall and runoff at interrill and microcatchment scales were recorded for a year on two slopes with different substrata: topsoil cover and overburden cover. Runoff coefficient and runoff routing from interrill areas to microcatchment outlets were higher in the overburden substratum than in topsoil, and greater in the most developed rill network. Rainfall volume is the major parameter responsible for runoff response on overburden, suggesting that this substratum is very impermeable,at least during the main rainfall periods of the year (late spring and autumn) when the soil surface is sealed. In such conditions, most rainfall input is converted into runoff, regardless of its intensity. Results from artificial rainfall experiments, conducted 3 and 7 years after seeding, confirm the low infiltration capacity of overburden when sealed. The hydrological response shows great seasonal variability on the overburden slope in accordance with soil surface changes over the year. Rainfall volume and intensities (I30, I60) explain runoff at the interrill scale on the topsoil slope, where rainfall experiments demonstrated a typical Hortonian infiltration curve. However, no correlation was found at the microcatchment level, probably because of the loss of functionality of the only rill as ecological succession proceeded. The runoff generation mechanism on the topsoil slope is more homogeneous throughout the year. Runoff connectivity, defined as the ratio between runoff rates recorded at the rill network scale and those recorded at the interrill area scale in every rainfall event, was also greater on the rilled overburden slope, and in the most developed rill network. The dense rill networks of the overburden slope guarantee very effective runoff drainage, regardless of rainfall magnitude. Rills drain overland flow from interrill-sealed areas, reducing the opportunity of reinfiltration in areas not affected by siltation. Runoff generation and routing on topsoil slopes are controlled by grass cover and soil moisture content, whereas on overburden slopes rill network density and soil moisture content are the main controlling factors. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Quantitative evaluation of strategies for erosion control on a railway embankment batter

    Y. Gyasi-Agyei
    Abstract Strategies for erosion control on a railway embankment batter (side slope) are quantitatively evaluated in this paper. The strategies were centred on control (,do nothing' treatment), grass seeding, gypsum application, jute mat (an erosion control blanket) placement and planting hedgerows of Monto vetiver grass. Rainfall and runoff were monitored at 1 min intervals on 10 m wide embankment batter plots during 1998 and 1999. Total bedload and suspended sediment eroded from the plots were also measured but only for a group of storm events within sampling intervals. It has been demonstrated that vetiver grass is not cost-effective in controlling erosion on railway batters within Central Queensland region. Seeding alone could cause 60% reduction in the erosion rate compared with the control treatment. Applying gypsum to the calcium-deficient soil before seeding yielded an additional 25% reduction in the erosion rate. This is the result, primarily, of 100% grass cover establishment within seven months of sowing. Therefore, for railway embankment batter erosion control, the emphasis needs to be on rapid establishment of 100% grass cover. For rapid establishment of grass cover, irrigation is necessary during the initial stages of growth as the rainfall is unpredictable and the potential evaporation exceeds rainfall in the study region. The risk of seeds and fertilizers being washed out by short-duration and high-intensity rainfall events during the establishment phase may be reduced by the use of erosion control blankets on sections of the batters. Accidental burning of grasses on some plots caused serious erosion problems, resulting in very slow recovery of grass growth. It is therefore recommended that controlled burning of grasses on railway batters should be avoided to protect batters from being exposed to severe erosion. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Body condition, growth rates and diet of Skylark Alauda arvensis nestlings on lowland farmland

    IBIS, Issue 3 2001
    Factors affecting the diet, body condition and growth rates of Skylark chicks were assessed to examine their relationship to their agricultural environment during a critical period in the life cycle of this rapidly declining species. Rainfall explained the greatest amount of variation in body condition and growth rates and had a negative effect on both. Body condition indices were a good predictor of the likelihood of future partial brood loss to starvation. Low body condition in grass fields was related to a low diversity in the diet. Chicks fed insect larvae had higher body condition indices than those not fed larvae. Larger broods tended to have higher growth rates than smaller ones, whereas smaller broods tended to have higher body condition indices. Natural brood size reduction through the non-hatching of eggs resulted in higher body condition indices than were found in nests with the same number of chicks where all eggs hatched, this effect being independent of absolute brood size. There was no significant difference between crop types in the distance adult birds flew to forage for food for nestlings and foraging crop destination had no effect on chick development. Differences between crop types in chick diet could be related to the documented effects of pesticides on different prey species. We suggest that recent agricultural changes have affected diet and possibly body condition, but that these effects are unlikely to have been an important factor in recent population declines. [source]

    Predicting summer rainfall in the Yangtze River basin with neural networks

    Heike Hartmann
    Abstract Summer rainfall in the Yangtze River basin is predicted using neural network techniques. Input variables (predictors) for the neural network are the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), the East Atlantic/Western Russia (EA/WR) pattern, the Scandinavia (SCA) pattern, the Polar/Eurasia (POL) pattern and several indices calculated from sea surface temperatures (SST), sea level pressures (SLP) and snow data from December to April for the period from 1993 to 2002. The output variable of the neural network is rainfall from May to September for the period from 1994 to 2002, which was previously classified into six different regions by means of a principal component analysis (PCA). Rainfall is predicted from May to September 2002. The winter SST and SLP indices are identified to be the most important predictors of summer rainfall in the Yangtze River basin. The Tibetan Plateau snow depth, the SOI and the other teleconnection indices seem to be of minor importance for an accurate prediction. This may be the result of the length of the available time series, which does not allow a deeper analysis of the impact of multi-annual oscillations. The neural network algorithms proved to be capable of explaining most of the rainfall variability in the Yangtze River basin. For five out of six regions, our predictions explain at least 77% of the total variance of the measured rainfall. Copyright © 2007 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

    Controlling western corn rootworm larvae with entomopathogenic nematodes: effect of application techniques on plant-scale efficacy

    S. Toepfer
    Abstract The three larval instars of western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feed on the roots of maize, Zea mays (L.). The effects of six application techniques on the plant-scale efficacy of the entomopathogenic nematode species, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae), in controlling D. v. virgifera populations were assessed in seven field plot experiments in southern Hungary between 2004 and 2007. Approximately 230 000 nematodes were applied per row metre using four different stream spray techniques; or, alternatively 400 000 nematodes per square metre using two different flat spray techniques. Nematode efficacy was assessed by comparing the number of emerging adult D. v. virgifera, and root damage between treatments and untreated controls. All tested nematode application techniques reduced D. v. virgifera density by at least 50% (on average across fields and years). The highest reduction in D. v. virgifera density was 68% and occurred when nematodes were applied into the soil together with maize sowing using a fluid solid stream. Rainfall, the day before application likely increased the control efficacy of H. bacteriophora. Using the 0.00,3.00 node injury damage rating scale, we estimated that potential root damage was prevented by 25,79% when H. bacteriophora was applied. Although, H. bacteriophora can effectively be applied with all of the techniques tested, for optimum performance and minimum costs, it is suggested that the nematodes be applied as follows: (i) as a stream requiring 8,10 times less volume of water than flat sprays, or as a granule requiring no water, and (ii) into the soil when sowing maize, requiring less water than soil surface sprays and avoiding the destruction of nematodes by UV radiation and additional machinery use. [source]

    Rain forest invasion of eucalypt-dominated woodland savanna, Iron Range, north-eastern Australia: II.

    Rates of landscape change
    Abstract Aim, To explore rates of rain forest expansion and associated ecological correlates in Eucalyptus -dominated woodland savanna vegetation in north-eastern Australia, over the period 1943,91. Location, Iron Range National Park and environs, north-east Queensland, Australia. This remote region supports probably the largest extent of lowland (< 300 m) rain forest extant in Australia. Rainfall (c. 1700 mm p.a.) occurs mostly between November and June, with some rain typically occurring even in the driest months July,October. Methods, Interpretation of change in lowland rain forest vegetation cover was undertaken for a 140 km2 area comprising complex vegetation, geology and physiography using available air photos (1943, 1970 and 1991). A GIS database was assembled comprising rain forest extent for the three time periods, geology, elevation, slope, aspect, proximity to streams and roads. Using standard GIS procedures, a sample of 6996 10 × 10 m cells (0.5% of study area) was selected randomly and attributed for vegetation structure (rain forest and non-rain forest), and landscape features. Associations of rain forest expansion with landscape features were examined with logistic regression using the subset of cells that had changed from other vegetation types to rain forest, and remained rain forest over the assessment period, and comparing them with cells that showed no change from their original, non-rain forest condition. Results, Rain forest in the air photo study area increased from 45 km2 in 1943 to 78.1 km2 by 1970, and to 82.6 km2 by 1991. Rainfall (and atmospheric CO2 concentration) was markedly lower in the first assessment period (1943,70). Modelled rates of rain forest invasion differed predominantly with respect to substrate type, occurring faster on substrates possessing better moisture retention properties, and across all elevation classes. Greatest expansion, at least in the first assessment period, occurred on the most inherently infertile substrates. Expansion was little constrained by slope, aspect and proximity to streams and roads. On schist substrates, probability of invasion remained high (> 60%) over distances up to 1500 m from mature rain forest margins; on less favourable substrates (diorite, granites), probability of expansion was negligible at sites more than 400 m from mature margins. Main conclusions, (i) Rain forest expansion was associated primarily with release from burning pressure from c. the 1920s, following major disruption of customary Aboriginal lifestyles including hunting and burning practices. (ii) Decadal-scale expansion of rain forest at Iron Range supports extensive observations from the palaeoecological literature concerning rapid rain forest invasion under conducive environmental conditions. (iii) The generality of these substrate-mediated observations requires further testing, especially given that landscape-scale rain forest invasion of sclerophyll-dominated communities is reported from other regions of north-eastern Australia. [source]

    Impact of climate variability on vegetative cover in the Butana area of Sudan

    Muna Elhag
    Abstract Climate variability has an impact on the renewable natural resources. This impact is strong in regions with a delicate balance between climate and ecosystem, like the Sahelian regions. Rainfall is the most important climatic factor influencing livelihoods in Butana, north-eastern part of Sudan. All people and their livestock depend on the amount of rainfall that falls and supports plant growth. Butana area experienced severe drought in 1984, 1990 and 2000. Linear relationships between the long-term rainfall and AVHRR/NDVI data were developed for four separate zones in the Butana area. There is a significant correlation between peak NDVI (beginning of September) and cumulative rainfall for July and August, but weak relationships resulted when annual rainfall and cumulative NDVI were used. This is because the NDVI reached a plateau as the rainfall increased, then it remained constant despite further increases in rainfall. The departure from the long-term average of NDVI for each pixel was calculated using the departure average vegetation method. The area had a high percentage of departure during the drought years and the NDVI recovered during the following year when the rainfall was above the average. It can be noted that the area adjacent to the irrigated scheme showed considerable decrease in NDVI. This may be due to overexploitation by the nomads during the drought year. [source]

    The role of rainfall and predators in determining synchrony in reproduction of savanna trees in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2007
    Summary 1We examined the factors determining synchrony in reproduction in nine Acacia and six other tree species in the Serengeti ecosystem. 2We test two hypotheses: (i) an abiotic hypothesis where the primary determinant of synchrony is an adaptation to water availability; and (ii) biotic hypotheses where these adaptations to water can be further refined by additional adaptations to avoid predators, or attract seed and fruit dispersers. 3Flowering and fruiting were recorded monthly for individually marked trees during 1997,2004. Flowering in different species occurs semi-annually, annually or, in the case of one species, once every 2 years. For most species synchrony of flowering was correlated with seasonal rainfall, with lags related to the mean height of the species; small species flowered during the rains while larger species flowered in the dry season. Fruiting seasons occurred at the end of the rains irrespective of the flowering season. 4Most species showed flowering synchrony greater than expected from the distribution of rainfall. This may be related to avoidance of insect seed predators through predator satiation. Two Acacias showed multi-annual fruiting (masting), possibly as a predator avoidance mechanism. Acacia tortilis has two flowering seasons: a dry season flowering with early abortion of pods and a wet season flowering producing successful fruits. 5Two species of Commiphora appeared to be synchronized so as to attract birds that disperse seeds. Acacia tortilis produced indehiscent pods attractive to ungulates, possibly to kill bruchid beetles during digestion and so increase seed viability. 6Our results suggest that synchrony in these trees is caused by a strong interaction between abiotic and biotic factors. Closely related species have different reproductive patterns of synchrony that seem to be adapted to different combinations of rainfall, predators and dispersers. Rainfall is the primary determinant but the activities of predators and dispersers increase the degree of synchrony. [source]

    Does fertilizer use respond to rainfall variability?

    Panel data evidence from Ethiopia
    Fertilizer use; Rainfall; Highlands of Ethiopia; Panel data Abstract In this article, we use farmers' actual experiences with changes in rainfall levels and their responses to these changes to assess whether patterns of fertilizer use are responsive to changes in rainfall patterns. Using panel data from the Central Highlands of Ethiopia matched with corresponding village-level rainfall data, the results show that the intensity of current year's fertilizer use is positively associated with higher rainfall levels experienced in the previous year. Rainfall variability, on the other hand, impacts fertilizer use decisions negatively, implying that variability raises the risks and uncertainty associated with fertilizer use. Abundant rainfall in the previous year could depict relaxed liquidity constraints and increased affordability of fertilizer, which makes rainfall availability critical in severely credit-constrained environments. In light of similar existing literature, the major contribution of the study is that it uses panel data to explicitly examine farmers' responses to actual weather changes and variability. [source]

    Effects of Rainfall and Ground-Water Pumping on Streamflow in M,kaha, O'ahu, Hawai'i,

    Alan Mair
    Abstract:, Land-use/land-cover changes in M,kaha valley have included the development of agriculture, residential dwellings, golf courses, potable water supply facilities, and the introduction of alien species. The impact of these changes on surface water and ground water resources in the valley is of concern. In this study, streamflow, rainfall, and ground-water pumping data for the upper part of the M,kaha valley watershed were evaluated to identify corresponding trends and relationships. The results of this study indicate that streamflow declined during the ground-water pumping period. Mean and median annual streamflow have declined by 42% (135 mm) and 56% (175 mm), respectively, and the mean number of dry stream days per year has increased from 8 to 125. Rainfall across the study area appears to have also declined though it is not clear whether the reduction in rainfall is responsible for all or part of the observed streamflow decline. Mean annual rainfall at one location in the study area declined by 14% (179 mm) and increased by 2% (48 mm) at a second location. Further study is needed to assess the effect of ground-water pumping and to characterize the hydrologic cycle with respect to rainfall, infiltration, ground-water recharge and flow in the study area, and stream base flow and storm flow. [source]

    Rainfall, dispersal and reproductive inhibition in eusocial Damaraland mole-rats (Cryptomys damarensis)

    JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, Issue 4 2002
    A. J. Molteno
    Abstract Non-reproductive female Damaraland mole-rats Cryptomys damarensis that were caught before a period of good rainfall (during which 90% of the average annual fell) (Group 1), exhibited a significantly lower pituitary sensitivity to gonadotrophin-releasing hormone compared to non-reproductive females (Group 2) caught in the same area, close to the end of the wet period. Group 2 were also significantly heavier than Group 1. Pituitary sensitivity was not significantly correlated to body mass within either group of females, nor within groups of reproductive males and non-reproductive males from a laboratory held colony. This suggests that rainfall may have resulted in the simultaneous, but unrelated, increase in pituitary sensitivity and body mass. Larger size and reduced sexual inhibition assist dispersal and the probability of successful independent reproduction, during periods when environmental constraints on dispersal are relaxed. These findings support the hypothesis that low rainfall may be an important constraint on dispersal and an important factor promoting the evolution of reproductive inhibition, and consequently eusociality, in this species. [source]

    Runoff transport of faecal coliforms and phosphorus released from manure in grass buffer conditions

    W.L. Stout
    Abstract Aims:, To test the hypothesis that faecal coliform (FC) and phosphorus (P) are transported similarly in surface runoff through the vegetative filter strip after being released from land-applied manure. Methods and Results:, The Hagerstown soil was packed into boxes that were 10 cm deep, 30 cm wide and 100, 200 or 300 cm long. Grass was grown in boxes prior experiments. Same-length boxes were placed under rainfall simulator and tilted to have with either 2% or 4% slopes. Dairy manure was broadcast on the upper 30-cm section. Rainfall was simulated and runoff samples were collected and analysed for Cl, FC and total phosphorus (TP). Mass recovery, the concentration decrease rate k, and the ratio FC : TP showed that there was a consistent relationship between FC and TP in runoff. Conclusion:, The FC and TP transport through simulated vegetated buffer strips were highly correlated. Significance and Impact of the Study:, As a knowledge base on the effect of the environmental parameters on P transport in vegetated buffer strips is substantially larger than for manure-borne bacteria, the observed similarity may enhance ability to assess the efficiency of the vegetated buffer strips in retention of FC currently used as indicator organisms for manure-borne pathogens. [source]

    Landslide events on the West Coast, South Island, 1867,2002

    J. L. Benn
    Abstract:, A new landslide event inventory based on a literature search has been compiled for the West Coast of New Zealand. Rainfall has been identified as the most frequent reported landslide generating mechanism by far, followed by other/unknown means, then earthquakes. Small-magnitude, high-frequency, rainfall-induced events have historically caused the most damage to property and infrastructure, with many of the region's highways and settlements being repeatedly affected by landslides. Since 1874, landslides have caused at least 36 fatalities in the region. More historical research is needed to fill chronological and geographical gaps in the record, and to complement scientific research. Such information is useful for hazard planning purposes. [source]

    Variation in the impact of exotic grasses on native plant composition in relation to fire across an elevation gradient in Hawaii

    AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2000
    Carla M. D'Antonio
    Abstract The impact that an exotic species can have on the composition of the community it enters is a function of its abundance, its particular species traits and characteristics of the recipient community. In this study we examined species composition in 14 sites burned in fires fuelled by non-indigenous C4 grasses in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. We considered fire intensity, time since fire, climatic zone of site, unburned grass cover, unburned native cover and identity of the most abundant exotic grass in the adjacent unburned site as potential predictor variables of the impact of fire upon native species. We found that climatic zone was the single best variable for explaining variation in native cover among burned sites and between burned and unburned pairs. Fire in the eastern coastal lowlands had a very small effect on native plant cover and often stimulated native species regeneration, whereas fire in the seasonal submontane zone consistently caused a decline in native species cover and almost no species were fire tolerant. The dominant shrub, Styphelia tameiameia, in particular was fire intolerant. The number of years since fire, fire intensity and native cover in reference sites were not significantly correlated with native species cover in burned sites. The particular species of grass that carried the fire did however, have a significant effect on native species recovery. Where the African grass Melinis minutiflora was a dominant or codominant species, fire impacts were more severe than where it was absent regardless of climate zone. Overall, the impacts of exotic grass-fuelled fires on native species composition and cover in seasonally dry Hawaiian ecosystems was context specific. This specificity is best explained by differences between the climatic zones in which fire occurred. Elevation was the main physical variable that differed among the climatic zones and it alone could explain a large percentage of the variation in native cover among sites. Rainfall, by contrast, did not vary systematically with elevation. Elevation is associated with differences in composition of the native species assemblages. In the coastal lowlands, the native grass Heteropogon contortus, was largely responsible for positive changes in native cover after fire although other native species also increased. Like the exotic grasses, this species is a perennial C4 grass. It is lacking in the submontane zone and there are no comparable native species there and almost all native species in the submontane zone were reduced by fire. The lack of fire tolerant species in the submontane zone thus clearly contributes to the devastating impact of fire upon native cover there. [source]

    Environmental and entomological factors determining Ross River virus activity in the River Murray Valley of South Australia

    Craig R. Williams
    Abstract Objectives: 1) To determine whether environmental and mosquito abundance variables could be used to explain fluctuations in the activity of Ross River (RR) virus, in the River Murray Valley of South Australia (SA). 2) To develop models at the local government spatial scale to understand local variability in RR activity factors. Method: Notification data of RR virus positive serology, mosquito surveillance, meteorological and river height data were analysed for the period 1999 to 2006. Stepwise multiple regression was used to determine significant environmental factors and to create descriptive models. Results: The three models developed for different regions of the Valley explained significant amounts of variation in notification rates (R2 0.77 , 0.98). Regional variation in the models was observed, with differences in significant mosquito species evident. Rainfall was a significant predictor of RR virus activity in two of the models, while the height of the River Murray was significant in the third. An overall model for the entire SA section of the Valley contained only time-lagged mosquito abundance variables (R2 0.52). Conclusion: Although rainfall, river height and mosquito abundance are significant factors in determining RR virus activity, there are regional differences in this relationship. Implications: The regional variability of RR virus activity drivers has been defined, and has implications for the forecasting of future activity in this part of SA. The models provided here can provide the foundation for an effective RR virus early warning system, but only if criteria for action, lines of responsibility and the resources required have been determined. [source]