More information:

Tschinkel, W.R. 2015. Experiments Testing the Causes of Namibian Fairy Circles. PLoS ONE, 10(10): e0140099


Description:

Experiments Testing the Causes of Namibian Fairy Circles.

Summary / Notes:

The grasslands on the sandy soils of the eastern edge of the Namib Desert of Namibia are strikingly punctuated by millions of mostly regularly-spaced circular bare spots 2 to 10 m or more in diameter, generally with a margin of taller grasses. The causes of these so called fairy circles are unknown, but several hypotheses have been advanced. In October 2009, we set up experiments that specifically tested four hypothesized causes, and monitored these 5 times between 2009 and 2015. Grass exclusion in circles due to seepage of subterranean vapors or gases was tested by burying an impermeable barrier beneath fairy circles, but seedling density and growth did not differ from barrier-less controls. Plant germination and growth inhibition by allelochemicals or nutrient deficiencies in fairy circle soils were tested by transferring fairy circle soil to artificially cleared circles in the grassy matrix, and matrix soil to fairy circles (along with circle to circle and matrix to matrix controls). None of the transfers changed the seedling density and growth from the control reference conditions. Limitation of plant growth due to micronutrient depletion within fairy circles was tested by supplementing circles with a micronutrient mixture, but did not result in differences inrnplant seedling density and growth. Short-range vegetation competitive feedbacks were tested by creating artificially-cleared circles of 2 or 4 m diameter located 2 or 6 m from a natural fairy circle. The natural circles remained bare and the artificial circles revegetated. These four experiments provided evidence that fairy circles were not caused by subterraneanrnvapors, that fairy circle soil per se did not inhibit plant growth, and that the circles were not caused by micronutrient deficiency. There was also no evidence that vegetative feedbacksrnaffected fairy circles on a 2 to 10 m scale. Landscape-scale vegetative self-organization is discussed as a more likely cause of fairy circles.

Year: 2015

Type: Journal Article

Download: Experiments Testing the Causes of Namibian Fairy Circles.pdf (23.68 mb)

Preview: Preview this file


Top 50 related results:

You may also be interested in the following items which are on a similar or related topic, listed in order of similarity.

Results per page:

Results: 1 to 50 of 50

To FILTER: Use the pale green row to filter the results on this page. Type in text or select from the year list.

Rows matching filter(s): All
What is this row? 
Data titleYearOriginFile typeDownloadkml/kmz
Robinson, R.E. 1976. Phytosociology of the Namib Desert Park, South West Africa. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, Department of Botany, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg
  » More info & related results
1976 Thesis12.89 mb pdf
Preview
Seely, M.K. 1990. Patterns of plant establishment on a linear desert dune. Israel Journal of Botany, 39(4-6): 443-451
  » More info & related results
1990 Journal Article
Ramond, J-B., Pienaar, A., Armstrong, A., Seely, M. and Cowan, D.A. 2014. Niche-Partitioning of Edaphic Microbial Communities in the Namib Desert Gravel Plain Fairy Circles. PLoS ONE, 9(10): e109539
  » More info & related results
2014 Journal Article765 kb pdf
Preview
Jacobson, K., van Diepeningen, A., Evans, S., Fritts, R., Gemmel, P., Marsho, C., Seely, M., Wenndt, A., Yang, X. and Jacobson, P. 2015. Non-Rainfall Moisture Activates Fungal Decomposition of Surface Litter in the Namib Sand Sea. PLoS ONE, 10(5): e0126977
  » More info & related results
2015 Journal Article3.52 mb pdf
Preview
Tarnita, C.E., Bonachela, J.A., Sheffer, E., Guyton, J.A., Coverdale, T.C., Long, R.A. and Pringle, R.M. 2017. A theoretical foundation for multi-scale regular vegetation patterns. Nature, 541: 398–401
  » More info & related results
2017 Journal Article
Espach, C., Lubbe, L.G. and Ganzin, N. 2009. Determining grazing capacity in Namibia with the aid of remote sensing. African Journal of Range and Forage Science, Volume 26(3): 133-138
  » More info & related results
2009 Journal Article
Parsons, D.A.B., Shackleton, C.M. and Scholes, R.J. 1997. Changes in herbaceous layer condition under contrasting land use systems in the semi-arid lowveld, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments, 37(2): 319-329
  » More info & related results
1997DRFN DLIBJournal Article
Jobst, P., Kakukuru, E., Kambutuku, J.R., Mouton, D., Netha, L., Nghitila, T.M., Shanyengana, S.E. and Siyambango, M.S. 1994. SDP 3: An investigation into the biophysical aspects and socio-economics of desertification in north western Namibia. (Climate variability, desertification and loss of biodiversity)
  » More info & related results
1994DRFN DLIBReport1.43 mb pdf
Preview
Yeaton, R.I. 1990. The structure and function of the Namib Dune grasslands: species interactions. Journal of Arid Environments, 18(3): 343-349
  » More info & related results
1990DRFN DLIBJournal Article
Jürgens, N., Oldeland, J., Hachfeld, B., Erb, E. and Schultz, C. 2013. Ecology and spatial patterns of large-scale vegetation units within the central Namib Desert. Journal of Arid Environments, 93: 59–79
  » More info & related results
2013 Journal Article
Boyer, D.C. 1989. Some characteristics of the plant communities of three dunes situated across a climatic gradient in the Namib Desert. Madoqua, 16(2): 141-148
  » More info & related results
1989DRFN DLIBJournal Article404 kb pdf
Preview
Seely, M.K. 1978. Grassland productivity: the desert end of the curve. South African Journal of Science, 74: 295-297
  » More info & related results
1978DRFN DLIBJournal Article313 kb pdf
Preview
Seymour, C.L. 2008. Grass, rainfall and herbivores as determinants of Acacia erioloba (Meyer) recruitment in an African savanna. Plant Ecology, 197(1): 131-138
  » More info & related results
2008 Journal Article
Walter, H. and Breckle, S-W. 1986. The Namib Fog Desert in Southern Africa. Ecological Systems of the Geobiosphere, 1986: 274-315
  » More info & related results
1986 Journal Article570 kb pdf
Preview
Curtis, B.A. 1985. Nests of the namib desert dune ant Camponotus detritus Emery. Insectes Sociaux, 32(3): 313-320
  » More info & related results
1985 Journal Article
Schmiedel, U. and Jürgens, N. 1999. Community structure on unusual habitat islands: quartz-fields in the Succulent Karoo, South Africa. Plant Ecology, 142(1-2): 57-69
  » More info & related results
1999 Journal Article
Danin, A. 1996. Adaptations of Stipagrostis species to desert dunes. Journal of Arid Environments, 34(3): 297–311
  » More info & related results
1996 Journal Article
Vlieghe, K., Picker, M., Ross-Gillespie, V. and Erni, B. 2015. Herbivory by subterranean termite colonies and the development of fairy circles in SW Namibia. Ecological Entomology, 40: 42-49
  » More info & related results
2015 Journal Article
Hipondoka, M.H.T. 2005. The development and evolution of Etosha Pan. PhD Thesis, Bayerischen Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
  » More info & related results
2005 Thesis7.2 mb pdf
Preview
Christiaan, R., Gruber, M., Isaacks, R., Kotze, D., Lot, M., Mtuleni, V.S., Mukuya, R.S., Pieters, W., Schmiedel, U., Swartbooi, J. and Swartbooi, S. 2009. Bridging the gap Para-ecologists in action. 13th Namibian Rangeland Forum - The role of biodiversity in rangeland management and policy, Neudamm Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Windhoek, Dates: 27-29 October 2009
  » More info & related results
2009 Presentation1.53 mb pdf
Preview
Dames, R. 2009. Grass fed beef and the controlled fodder flow grazing management strategy, a model for the production of super healthy red meat for the Arid and Semi-Arid regions of Southern Africa. 13th Namibian Rangeland Forum - The role of biodiversity in rangeland management and policy, Neudamm Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Windhoek, Dates: 27-29 October 2009
  » More info & related results
2009 Presentation3.17 mb pdf
Preview
Cramer, M.D. and Barger, N.N. 2013. Are Namibian "Fairy Circles" the consequence of self-organizing spatial vegetation patterning? PLoS ONE, 8(8): e70876
  » More info & related results
2013 Journal Article1.85 mb pdf
Preview
Zhang, H. and Sinclair, R. 2015. Namibian fairy circles and epithelial cells share emergent geometric order. Ecological Complexity, 22: 32–35
  » More info & related results
2015 Journal Article
Meyer, J.J.M., Senejoux, F., Heyman, H.M., Meyer, N.L. and Meyer, M.A. 2015. The occurrence of triterpenoids from Euphorbia gummifera inside the fairy circles of Garub in the southern Namibian pro-desert. South African Journal of Botany, 98: 10–15
  » More info & related results
2015 Journal Article
Amwele, E., Ausiku, A.P., Lugambo, A.K., Toivo, E., Bernhardt, H., Fillemon, I., lsrael, K., Rodrick; M., Moses, M., Mkwetu, M., Isaac, N., Ntandozenkosi, N., Ndahafa, S.M., Veronica, S. and Nandjamba. T.D. 2004. Water balance, use and management in the Omaruru Basin
  » More info & related results
2004DRFN DLIBReport5.31 mb pdf
Preview
Buyer, J.S., Schmidt-Küntzel, A., Nghikembua, M., Maul, J.E. and Marker, L.L. 2016. Soil microbial communities following bush removal in a Namibian savanna. SOIL, 2: 101–110
  » More info & related results
2016 Journal Article490 kb pdf
Preview
Soderberg, K., Henschel, J., Swap, R. and Macko, S. 2011. Environmental controls on C, N and S cycling in plants of the Namib Desert. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 13
  » More info & related results
2011 Journal Article108 kb pdf
Preview
Scott, L., Romera, G.G., Marais, E. and Brook, G.A. 2018. Pollen in fossil hyrax dung from Marine Isotope Stages 2 and 3 reveals past environments in Namibia. Quaternary International, 464(Part A): 260-272
  » More info & related results
2018 Journal Article
Burke, A. 2001. Classification and ordination of plant communities of the Naukluft Mountains, Namibia. Journal of Vegetation Science, 12(1): 53-60
  » More info & related results
2001 Journal Article
Cammeraat, L.H. and Imeson, A.C. 1998. Deriving indicators of soil degradation from soil aggregation studies in southeastern Spain and southern France. Geomorphology, 23(2-4): 307-321
  » More info & related results
1998DRFN DLIBJournal Article
Schmidt, H. and Karnieli, A. 2001. Sensitivity of vegetation indices to substrate brightness in hyper-arid environment: the Makhtesh Ramon Crater (Israel) case study. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 22(17): 3503-3520
  » More info & related results
2001DRFN DLIBJournal Article
Hachfeld, B. and Jürgens, N. 2000. Climate patterns and their impact on the vegetation in a fog driven desert: the central Namib Desert in Namibia. Phytocoeologia, 30(3-4): 567-589
  » More info & related results
2000DRFN DLIBJournal Article
Jabs, C. 1991. Alien invasives in the Kuiseb river, Namib Desert, Namibia
  » More info & related results
1991DRFN DLIBReport3.62 mb pdf
Preview
Arnold, S., Attinger, S., Frank, K. and Hildebrandt, A. 2009. Uncertainty in parameterisation and model structure affect simulation results in coupled ecohydrological models. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 13: 1789–1807
  » More info & related results
2009 Journal Article3.57 mb pdf
Preview
Henschel, J., Dausab, R., Moser, P. and Fallen, J. (eds.) 2004. !NARA - Fruit for development of the !Khuiseb Topnaar. Namibia Scientific Society, Windhoek
  » More info & related results
2004 Book, Book Section, Booklet
Viljoen, P.J. and du P. Bothma, J. 1990. The influence of desert-dwelling elephants on vegetation in the northern Namib Desert, South West Africa/Namibia. Journal of Arid Environments, 18(1): 85-96
  » More info & related results
1990 Journal Article
von Willert, D.J., Brinckmann, E., Scheitler, B., Schulze, E-D., Thomas, D.A. and Treichel, S. 1980. Ökophysiologische Untersuchungen an Pflanzen der Namib-Wüste. Naturwissenschaften, 67(1): 21-28
  » More info & related results
1980 Journal Article
Burke, A. 2005. Vegetation types of mountain tops in Damaraland, Namibia. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14(6): 1487-1506
  » More info & related results
2005 Journal Article
von Willert, D.J., Brinckmann, E., Scheitler, B., Thomas, D.A. and Treichel, S. 1979. The activity and malate inhibition/stimulation of phosphoenolpyruvate-carboxylase in crassulacean-acid-metabolism plants in their natural environment. Planta, 147(1): 31-36
  » More info & related results
1979 Journal Article
Bester, F.V. 1988. Die bepaling van die grasproduksie van natuurlike veld. Agricola, 6: 26-30
  » More info & related results
1988Ministry of Agriculture, Water and ForestryJournal Article1.79 mb pdf
Preview
Burke, A. and Mannheimer, C. 2004. The Sperrgebiet - a Diversity Hotspot of Desert Plants in: Desert Plants, 19-22
  » More info & related results
2004 Book, Book Section, Booklet1.9 mb pdf
Preview
Heinl, M. 2001. Fire and its effects on vegetation in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. MSc-Thesis
  » More info & related results
2001 Thesis4.06 mb pdf
Preview
Bockmühl, F. 2009. The Platveld Aquifer Study (PAS). 13th Namibian Rangeland Forum - The role of biodiversity in rangeland management and policy, Neudamm Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Windhoek, Dates: 27-29 October 2009
  » More info & related results
2009 Presentation5.49 mb pdf
Preview
Joubert, D.F. and Smit, G.N. 2009. The dynamics of Acacia mellifera, implications for bush encroachment management. 13th Namibian Rangeland Forum - The role of biodiversity in rangeland management and policy, Neudamm Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Windhoek, Dates: 27-29 October 2009
  » More info & related results
2009 Presentation3.03 mb pdf
Preview
Domptail, S. and Nuppenau, E-A. 2009. Could land taxes be a tool for rangeland conservation? Application of bio-economic modeling for on farm conservation in southern Namibia. 13th Namibian Rangeland Forum - The role of biodiversity in rangeland management and policy, Neudamm Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Windhoek, Dates: 27-29 October 2009
  » More info & related results
2009 Presentation4.85 mb pdf
Preview
Domptail, S. 2009. The role of bio- and landscape diversity in farming strategies - the case of the Keetmanshoop commercial farms. 13th Namibian Rangeland Forum - The role of biodiversity in rangeland management and policy, Neudamm Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Windhoek, Dates: 27-29 October 2009
  » More info & related results
2009 Presentation643 kb pdf
Preview
Bonyongo, M.C., Mubyana, T., Totolo, O. and Veenandaal, E.M. 2002. Flooding and soil nutrient status in the Okavango Delta's seasonal floodplains. Botswana Notes and Records, 34: 123-130
  » More info & related results
2002 Journal Article
Seely, M.K. 1978. Standing crop as an index of precipitation in the Central Namib grassland. Madoqua, 11(1): 61-68
  » More info & related results
1978 Journal Article557 kb pdf
Preview
Scholz, H. 1963. Studien über die Bodenbildung zwischen Rehoboth und Walvis Bay. PhD Thesis, Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universität, Bonn
  » More info & related results
1963DRFN DLIBThesis104.06 mb pdf
Preview
Ward, D. and Ngairorue, B.T. 2000. Are Namibia's grasslands desertifying?. Journal of Range Management, 53: 138-144
  » More info & related results
2000 Journal Article111 kb pdf
Preview

» Links to useful free software for working with shapefiles, kml and kmz files, pdf files and more.