National Park, SD, United States
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Stetler L.D.,South Dakota School of Mines and Technology | Benton R.,Badlands National Park | Weiler M.,University of North Dakota
ASABE - International Symposium on Erosion and Landscape Evolution 2011 | Year: 2011

Erosion rates from fossil-bearing strata at Badlands National Park in South Dakota (Figure 1) will be used to prepare an erosion model for paleontologists to utilize for management of fossil resources throughout the Park. Strata being monitored has been regarded as highly erodible, estimated at ∼2.5 cm/yr, although no documented measurements have been identified. Stratigraphic units, and their contained fossil beds, are low-angle (2 to 3 degree dip) and thick (up to ∼100 m) sequences that consist primarily of fine-grained silt and clay units with intercalated thin sandstone beds representing mostly fluvial deposits and paleosols. The clay provides cohesion and swells when wet resulting in typical badlands weathering profiles that are steep and deeply gullied. The rugged topography and often remote fossil sites have historically challenged Park paleontologists in their efforts to catalog and protect these resources. Current measurements of erosion rates are made using erosion pins, erosion trays at the toe of slopes, and photogrammetry techniques. In addition, a tipping-bucket rain gauge is used at each instrumented site. Erosion pins consist of 0.47 cm diameter stainless steel rods 45.7 cm long, three of which are driven perpendicularly into the slope leaving approximately 8 cm exposed. A flat stainless steel plate (10 cm x 15 cm) is inserted over the exposed pin through a hole and the measurement is acquired using a 0.025 mm resolution digital caliper. The flat plate provides measurements averaged over an area. Six to eight measurements are collected from each pin and averaged to attain a value. Erosion trays consist of hard plastic trays that are 1 m long, 10 cm deep, and 13 cm wide that are dug into the bedrock so they are flush with the surface and butt against the toe of the near vertical slope. The height of the slope above the tray multiplied by the length provides an area from which the eroded material were derived. The co-located rain gauge provides the precipitation amount utilized in determination of erosion rates. At specific locations, a high-resolution photogrammetry system is utilized to image a slope and render 3-D images. Subsequent images from the same location will be subtracted to determine an average slope retreat and will be compared to the physical measurements from the pins and trays. Preliminary measurements from fall 2010 have indicated that erosion is linked to precipitation. A rare 4.4 cm precipitation event occurred at Badlands over the course of 1.5 days in August 2010. The slope wash overfilled the erosion trays rendering invalid data. However, the erosion pins at two sites (a north-facing and a south-facing slope) recorded up to 10.6 mm of slope retreat. Installation of additional sites in 2011 and additional photogrammetry images will be utilized to determine Parkwide as well as site-specific erosion rates.


Larson D.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | Droege S.,U.S. Geological Survey | Rabie P.A.,WEST Inc. | Larson J.L.,Polistes Foundation | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2014

Summary: Analyses of flower-visitor interaction networks allow application of community-level information to conservation problems, but management recommendations that ensue from such analyses are not well characterized. Results of modularity analyses, which detect groups of species (modules) that interact more with each other than with species outside their module, may be particularly applicable to management concerns. We conducted modularity analyses of networks surrounding a rare endemic annual plant, Eriogonum visheri, at Badlands National Park, USA, in 2010 and 2011. Plant species visited were determined by pollen on insect bodies and by flower species upon which insects were captured. Roles within modules (network hub, module hub, connector and peripheral, in decreasing order of network structural importance) were determined for each species. Relationships demonstrated by the modularity analysis, in concert with knowledge of pollen species carried by insects, allowed us to infer effects of two invasive species on E. visheri. Sharing a module increased risk of interspecific pollen transfer to E. visheri. Control of invasive Salsola tragus, which shared a module with E. visheri, is therefore a prudent management objective, but lack of control of invasive Melilotus officinalis, which occupied a different module, is unlikely to negatively affect pollination of E. visheri. Eriogonum pauciflorum may occupy a key position in this network, supporting insects from the E. visheri module when E. visheri is less abundant. Year-to-year variation in species' roles suggests management decisions must be based on observations over several years. Information on pollen deposition on stigmas would greatly strengthen inferences made from the modularity analysis. Synthesis and applications: Assessing the consequences of pollination, whether at the community or individual level, is inherently time-consuming. A trade-off exists: rather than an estimate of fitness effects, the network approach provides a broad understanding of the relationships among insect visitors and other plant species that may affect the focal rare plant. Knowledge of such relationships allows managers to detect, target and prioritize control of only the important subset of invasive species present and identify other species that may augment a rare species' population stability, such as E. pauciflorum in our study. © 2014 British Ecological Society.


Coulter J.A.,University of Minnesota | Sheaffer C.C.,University of Minnesota | Haar M.J.,Badlands National Park | Wyse D.L.,University of Minnesota | Orf J.H.,University of Minnesota
Agronomy Journal | Year: 2011

Delayed planting is a common strategy for enhancing weed control in organic soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] production, but it has the potential to reduce yield. Increasing soybean seeding rate may be a way to enhance weed control wiThearly planting, and to mitigate potential yield losses due to delayed planting. From 2006 to 2008, experiments were conducted in southern and central Minnesota in organically managed systems with tillage for weed control to determine agronomic responses of soybean and weed density to planting date and seeding rate for feed- and food-grade soybean cultivars. Increasing seeding rate from 395,400 to 543,600 seeds ha -1 did not enhance weed control or soybean yield, and this was consistent across planting dates and cultivars. Total weed density at harvest and soybean yield were greatest when planting occurred in mid- or late May, and were reduced by 51 and 21% when planting was delayed until mid-June, respectively. Yield of feed-grade cultivars was 21% higher than food-grade cultivars, which was consistent across planting dates. Total weed density at harvest differed among cultivars, and was lowest with two of the three highest-yielding cultivars. These results demonstrate that in organic cropping systems with tillage for weed control in the Upper Midwest, planting in mid- to late May rather than mid-June is critical for maximizing yield, while high seeding rates are not likely to improve yield or weed control. © 2011 by the American Society of Agronomy. All rights reserved.


Coulter J.A.,University of Minnesota | Sheaffer C.C.,University of Minnesota | Wyse D.L.,University of Minnesota | Haar M.J.,Badlands National Park | And 3 more authors.
Agronomy Journal | Year: 2011

Cropping systems with less reliance on external inputs could improve agricultural sustainability if they can produce high and stable crop yields over time. A 16-yr experiment was conducted in southwestern Minnesota to evaluate the effects of zero external input (ZEI), low external input (LEI), high external input (HEI), and organic input (OI) systems on crop yield and yield stability in a 2-yr soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]-corn (Zea mays L.) rotation and a 4-yr oat (Avena sativa L.)/alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)-alfalfa-corn-soybean rotation. Oat yield was stable and highest with the LEI, HEI, and OI systems. Alfalfa yield was highest with the LEI, HEI, and OI systems in the fi rst 8 yr and the OI system in the last 8 yr. Corn grain yield was 0, 13, 26, and 40% greater with the 4-yr rotation than the 2-yr rotation in the HEI, LEI, OI, and ZEI systems, respectively, and was greatest with the HEI system in the 2-yr rotation and the LEI, HEI, and OI systems in the 4-yr rotation. Soybean yield was 7% greater with the 4-yr rotation than the 2-yr rotation and was among the highest with the LEI and HEI systems. Stable corn and soybean yields occurred with the LEI and OI systems, while above-average yield increases under favorable growing conditions occurred with the LEI and HEI systems in alfalfa and the HEI system in corn. These results demonstrate the value of extended crop rotations for corn and soybean, and that high crop yields can be obtained with reduced-input systems. © 2011 by the American Society of Agronomy.


Boyd C.A.,South Dakota School of Mines and Technology | Weiler M.W.,University of North Dakota | Householder M.L.,Badlands National Park | Schumaker K.K.,University of North Dakota
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica | Year: 2014

The synonymization of the cimolestan taxa Cymaprimadon and Chadronia from the Late Eocene Chadron Formation is consistently upheld, despite a lack of supporting evidence. Here we show that the synonymization is unjustified, owing to distinct differences between these taxa in the mandibular tooth count (1-1-3-3 vs. ?-1-4-3), the identity of the enlarged anterior mandibular tooth (incisor versus canine), and the morphology of the crown of m3 (e.g., paraconid on m3 in Cymaprimadon). We also refer a specimen recently collected from the Early Oligocene Brule Formation within the Badlands National Park (BADL 16917) to Chadronia sp., thus making it the youngest occurrence of a pantolestan from North America. Examination of an additional specimen (FMNH UC 349) revealed the presence of a further cimolestan taxon in the White River Group of South Dakota, although the poor quality of the locality and stratigraphic data associated with this specimen precludes erecting a formal name. In total, this study doubles the number of cimolestans from the Late Chadronian and Orellan (Ch4 to Or1) of North America from two to four, and extends the biostratigraphic range of Pantolesta into the North American Oligocene. © 2014 C.A. Boyd et al.


Larson D.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | Rabie P.A.,Western Ecosystems Technology Inc | Droege S.,U.S. Geological Survey | Larson J.L.,Polistes Foundation | Haar M.,Badlands National Park
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

The majority of pollinating insects are generalists whose lifetimes overlap flowering periods of many potentially suitable plant species. Such generality is instrumental in allowing exotic plant species to invade pollination networks. The particulars of how existing networks change in response to an invasive plant over the course of its phenology are not well characterized, but may shed light on the probability of long-term effects on plant-pollinator interactions and the stability of network structure. Here we describe changes in network topology and modular structure of infested and non-infested networks during the flowering season of the generalist non-native flowering plant, Cirsium arvense in mixed-grass prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. Objectives were to compare network-level effects of infestation as they propagate over the season in infested and non-infested (with respect to C. arvense) networks. We characterized plant-pollinator networks on 5 noninfested and 7 infested 1-ha plots during 4 sample periods that collectively covered the length of C. arvense flowering period. Two other abundantly-flowering invasive plants were present during this time: Melilotus officinalis had highly variable floral abundance in both C. arvense-infested and non-infested plots and Convolvulus arvensis, which occurred almost exclusively in infested plots and peaked early in the season. Modularity, including roles of individual species, and network topology were assessed for each sample period as well as in pooled infested and non-infested networks. Differences in modularity and network metrics between infested and non-infested networks were limited to the third and fourth sample periods, during flower senescence of C. arvense and the other invasive species; generality of pollinators rose concurrently, suggesting rewiring of the network and a lag effect of earlier floral abundance. Modularity was lower and number of connectors higher in infested networks, whether they were assessed in individual sample periods or pooled into infested and non-infested networks over the entire blooming period of C. arvense. Connectors typically did not reside within the same modules as C. arvense, suggesting that effects of the other invasive plants may also influence the modularity results, and that effects of infestation extend to co-flowering native plants. We conclude that the presence of abundantly flowering invasive species is associated with greater network stability due to decreased modularity, but whether this is advantageous for the associated native plant-pollinator communities depends on the nature of perturbations they experience.


Brainard D.C.,Michigan State University | Curran W.S.,Pennsylvania State University | Bellinder R.R.,Cornell University | Ngouajio M.,Michigan State University | And 4 more authors.
Weed Technology | Year: 2013

Nonsynthetic herbicides offer a potentially useful addition to the suite of weed management tools available to organic growers, but limited information is available to guide the optimal use of these products. The objectives of this research were to (1) evaluate the efficacy of clove oil- and vinegar-based herbicides on weeds across multiple states, and (2) assess the potential role of temperature, relative humidity (RH), and cloud cover in explaining inter-state variations in results. From 2006 to 2008, a total of 20 field trials were conducted in seven states using an identical protocol. Seeds of brown mustard were sown and herbicides applied to both mustard and emerged weeds when mustard reached the three- to four-leaf stage. Treatments included clove oil at 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10% v/v concentrations at 54 L ha-1, and vinegar at 5, 10, 15, and 20% v/v concentrations at 107 L ha-1. Results varied widely across trials. In general, concentrations of at least 7.5% for clove oil and 15% for vinegar were needed for adequate control of mustard. Both products were more effective at suppressing mustard than Amaranthus spp. or common lambsquarters. Poor control was observed for annual grasses. No significant effects of cloud cover on the efficacy of either product were detected. In contrast, RH was positively correlated with control of brown mustard by both clove oil and vinegar with improved control at higher RH. Temperature had no detectable effect on the efficacy of clove oil, but higher temperatures improved control of brown mustard by vinegar. Nomenclature: Clove oil; vinegar; common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L.; redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus L.; brown mustard, Brassica juncea L. Czerniak.


PubMed | U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecosystems Technology Inc., Polistes Foundation and Badlands National Park
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

The majority of pollinating insects are generalists whose lifetimes overlap flowering periods of many potentially suitable plant species. Such generality is instrumental in allowing exotic plant species to invade pollination networks. The particulars of how existing networks change in response to an invasive plant over the course of its phenology are not well characterized, but may shed light on the probability of long-term effects on plant-pollinator interactions and the stability of network structure. Here we describe changes in network topology and modular structure of infested and non-infested networks during the flowering season of the generalist non-native flowering plant, Cirsium arvense in mixed-grass prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. Objectives were to compare network-level effects of infestation as they propagate over the season in infested and non-infested (with respect to C. arvense) networks. We characterized plant-pollinator networks on 5 non-infested and 7 infested 1-ha plots during 4 sample periods that collectively covered the length of C. arvense flowering period. Two other abundantly-flowering invasive plants were present during this time: Melilotus officinalis had highly variable floral abundance in both C. arvense-infested and non-infested plots and Convolvulus arvensis, which occurred almost exclusively in infested plots and peaked early in the season. Modularity, including roles of individual species, and network topology were assessed for each sample period as well as in pooled infested and non-infested networks. Differences in modularity and network metrics between infested and non-infested networks were limited to the third and fourth sample periods, during flower senescence of C. arvense and the other invasive species; generality of pollinators rose concurrently, suggesting rewiring of the network and a lag effect of earlier floral abundance. Modularity was lower and number of connectors higher in infested networks, whether they were assessed in individual sample periods or pooled into infested and non-infested networks over the entire blooming period of C. arvense. Connectors typically did not reside within the same modules as C. arvense, suggesting that effects of the other invasive plants may also influence the modularity results, and that effects of infestation extend to co-flowering native plants. We conclude that the presence of abundantly flowering invasive species is associated with greater network stability due to decreased modularity, but whether this is advantageous for the associated native plant-pollinator communities depends on the nature of perturbations they experience.


Citing a tweet that Bryce Canyon National Park officials posted in late December, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is probing whether they had advance notice of then-President Barack Obama’s designation of a national monument in Utah that month. In a Jan. 19 letter, Chaffetz wrote that a day after Obama designated 1.35 million acres in southeastern Utah as the Bears Ears National Monument and 300,000 acres as a monument in Gold Butte, Nev., the Bryce Canyon National Park’s official Twitter account posted a message that suggested that the office had been awaiting the move. “Welcome to the family Bears Ears (& Gold Butte) NM! A hopeful slot in our front desk maps have long been held for you,” the tweet read, with a photo of vacant mail slots with a spot labeled for Bears Ears. Bryce Canyon, which is world-renowned for its striking red rock formations and rich archaeological history, was declared a national monument by President Warren G. Harding in 1923 and designated a national park by Congress five years later. It lies roughly 250 miles west of Bears Ears, in southwestern Utah. Chaffetz, who represents the county where Bears Ears is located and opposed the unilateral designation of the monument, wrote to Bryce Canyon interim superintendent Sue Fritzke saying that “the message created the appearance that officials at Bryce Canyon coordinated with the White House prior to this most recent designation.” He asked that the interim superintendent answer four questions, including details on any park employees who had been involved in discussions concerning the designation and “when was a Bears Ears map slot created in the Bryce Canyon National Park’s front desk national parks and monuments map area?” [With final two monuments, Obama leaves his mark out West] In a Feb. 2 response, Fritzke wrote that a summer intern who had read media coverage of the prospect of Bears Ears becoming a national monument created the map slot in 2016. The intern’s supervisor approved the request, she wrote “knowing that if the Bears Ears National Monument was not created, the slot could be used by another regional recreation area.” Fritzke also informed Chaffetz, “No employees of Bryce Canyon National Park were consulted with, or coordinated with, any entities regarding the designation of Bears Ears National Monument.” An aide for Chaffetz contacted Tuesday said the office had no additional comment beyond the letter itself. While many national monuments — including Bryce, Arches and other iconic Utah landscapes — are eventually embraced by local residents, Utah Republicans remain fiercely opposed to the Bears Ears designation. The state’s governor, legislature and congressional delegation have all asked President Trump to rescind the designation. Meanwhile, outdoor industry companies just pulled their major trade show from the state in protest of Republican Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s approach to public lands. This is not the first time a national park’s social-media account has stirred controversy since the fall election. The National Park Service temporarily suspended tweeting after its main account retweeted two posts on Inauguration Day that were perceived as unflattering to Trump, and a former employee with access to the Badlands National Park’s Twitter account later posted a series of tweets highlighting the theme of climate change.


News Article | October 13, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A new study chronicles how central Asia dried out over the last 23 million years into one of the most arid regions on the planet. The findings illustrate the dramatic climatic shifts wrought by the ponderous rise of new mountain ranges over geologic time. Researchers have long cited the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayan Mountains around 50 million years ago for blocking rain clouds' entry into central Asia from the south, killing off much of the region's plant life. The new study, published online in the journal Geology, paints a more nuanced picture of Central Asia's desertification. It suggests that the relatively recent rise of lesser-known mountain ranges, such as the Tian Shan and the Altai, further sealed off moisture from the west and north. As a result, great stretches of what we now consider western China, southwestern Mongolia and eastern Tajikistan became barren earth or laced by sand dunes. "While Central Asia was probably never lush and verdant, it was certainly greener 23 million years ago and probably even greener in the more distant past," said Jeremy Kesner Caves, the lead author of the study and a doctoral student at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. "One way to think about this change is that when viewed from space today, Central Asia appears very brown because of its expansive deserts," Caves said. "If viewed from space 23 million years ago, though, Central Asia would have looked somewhat darker, simply due to there being considerably more leaves and vegetation." Caves and his co-authors arrived at their conclusions after measuring the carbon isotope values in buried, ancient soil samples. A particular isotope, or version, of carbon found in the samples speaks to the dryness of conditions at the time of the soil's deposition. Wetter, rainier conditions allow for greater numbers of organisms, including plants and soil-dwelling bacteria, to thrive and pull carbon out of their surroundings to fuel their growth and metabolism, leaving telltale carbon isotopes in their environment. Previously, scientists had relied on these sorts of soil sample measurements primarily to study plant types and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Caves and colleagues instead looked at samples over extensive geographic and temporal spans in order to draw a fuller portrait of the climatic changes influencing soil composition. "Our paper is the first-ever attempt to present maps of carbon isotopes over a geologic time frame of more than a million years," Caves said. He and several co-authors traveled to Mongolia, eastern Kazakhstan and northern China to collect the bulk of 171 new soil samples, while Russian co-authors collected samples near Lake Baikal. The new specimens were considered alongside more than 2,200 previously collected samples. Because most of those existing samples originated from the Tibetan Plateau, the research team plugged a gap in the geographical coverage by going to little-studied northern central Asia. The samples themselves "are honestly pretty boring," Caves admitted. "Basically, they look and feel like dirt." But the rocky outcrops exposing the old, hardened soil chunks can dazzle. "The outcrops are striped deep purple, red and green, and they often erode in crazy patterns," Caves said. "Imagine Badlands National Park in South Dakota or the Painted Desert in Arizona." Overall, the samples were well-distributed from 23 million to 2.6 million years ago during a geological period known as the Neogene. The Earth's climate cooled off substantially as the Neogene wore on, setting the stage for an Ice Age when glaciers crept from polar regions into lower latitudes. Upon analysis, the samples' carbon isotope values revealed an exceptionally arid region deep in Asia's interior going back 23 million years, initially ringed by areas of higher rainfall. Starting about five million years ago, however, that dry region expanded to the north and west, as new mountain ranges reached heights sufficient to block westerly winds from delivering moisture. The findings will help researchers disentangle how much of Central Asia's de-greening occurred in response to localized geological changes versus global shifts happening during the Neogene. With this compelling demonstration of using ancient soil samples as proxies for regional climate in Asia, Caves now plans to extend his investigations elsewhere on the globe. "I hope to be able to apply this method to other continents, such as North America, where there are large datasets of carbon isotopes," Caves said. Doing so could illuminate impacts on western North America's climate due to the uplift of the Sierra Nevada in eastern California, as well as the Rocky Mountains further east, which reached near their present elevations around 40 million and 50 million years ago, respectively. "Only by making these continental-scale maps, like Jeremy has done for Central Asia, can you further understand how the uplift of mountain ranges controlled rainfall patterns against this backdrop of global cooling in the Neogene," said Page Chamberlain, co-author of the study and a professor of Earth system science at Stanford. "North America is really ripe for this kind of research."

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