Natural Resources Conservation Service
Natural Resources Conservation Service known as the Soil Conservation Service, is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that provides technical assistance to farmers and other private landowners and managers. Its name was changed in 1994 during the presidency of Bill Clinton to reflect its broader mission, it is a small agency comprising about 12,000 employees. Its mission is to improve and conserve natural resources on private lands through a cooperative partnership with state and local agencies. While its primary focus has been agricultural lands, it has made many technical contributions to soil surveying and water quality improvement. One example is the Conservation Effects Assessment Project, set up to quantify the benefits of agricultural conservation efforts promoted and supported by programs in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. NRCS is the leading agency in this project; the agency was founded through the efforts of Hugh Hammond Bennett, a soil conservation pioneer who worked for the Department of Agriculture from 1903 to 1952.
Bennett's motivation was based on his knowledge of the detrimental effects of soil erosion and the impacts on U. S lands. On September 13, 1933, the Soil Erosion Service was formed in the Department of the Interior, with Bennett as chief; the service was transferred to the Department of Agriculture on March 23, 1935, was shortly thereafter combined with other USDA units to form the Soil Conservation Service by the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1935. The Soil Conservation Service was in charge of 500 Civilian Conservation Corps camps between 1933 and 1942; the primary purpose of these camps was erosion control. Hugh Bennett continued as chief, a position he held until his retirement in 1952. On October 20, 1994, the agency was renamed to the Natural Resources Conservation Service as part of the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994. NRCS offers financial assistance to farmers and ranchers; the financial assistance is authorized by the Farm Bill, a law, renewed every five years.
The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated 23 programs into 15. NRCS offers these services to private land owners, conservation districts and other types of organizations. NRCS collects and shares information on the nation's soil, water and plants; the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill provides the funding to agricultural producers, a conservation plan must be included. All of these programs are voluntary; the main programs include: The purpose of EQIP is to provide assistance to landowners to help them improve their soil and related natural resources, including grazing lands and wildlife habitat. Conservation Stewardship Program CSP is targeted to a producers who maintain a higher level of environmental stewardship. Regional Conservation Partnership Program RCPP consolidated four programs from the prior 2008 Farm Bill, it aims at more watershed scale projects, rather than individual farms and ranches. Agricultural Conservation Easement Program ACEP was another consolidation effort of the 2014 Farm Bill, which includes the former Grasslands Reserve Program and Ranch Lands Protection Program, Wetlands Reserve Program.
ACEP includes technical and financial help to maintain or improve land for agriculture or environmental benefits. Landowners volunteer to protect forests in 30 or 10 year contracts; this program hands assisting funds to participants. The objectives of HFRP are to: Promote the recovery of endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act Improve plant and animal biodiversity Enhance carbon sequestration Serves 10 states in the Midwest United States in helping to reduce Nitrate levels in soil due to runoff from fertilized farmland; the project began in 2010 and focused on the Mississippi Basin area. The main goal of the project is to implement better methods of managing water drainage from agricultural uses, in place of letting the water drain as it had done in the past. In October 2011, The National "Managing Water, Harvesting Results" Summit was held to promote the drainage techniques used in hopes of people adopting them nationwide. Includes water supply forecasts and the Surface Water Supply Index for Alaska and other Western states.
NRCS agents collect data from snowpack and mountain sites to predict spring runoff and summer streamflow amounts. These predictions are used in decision making for agriculture, wildlife management and development, several other areas; these predictions are available within the first 5 days of each month from January to June. Is a blanket program which involves conservation efforts on soil and water conservation, as well as management of agricultural wastes and general longterm sustainability. NRCS and related agencies work with landowners, communities, or developers to protect the environment. Serve to guide people to comply with acts such as the Highly Erodible Land and Conservation Compliance Provisions acts; the CTA can cover projects by state and federal governments. Is a program to assist gulf bordering states improve water quality and use sustainable methods of farming and other industry; the program will deliver up to 50 million dollars over 2011-2013 to apply these sustainable methods, as well as wildlife habitat management systems that do not hinder agricultural productivity, prevent future over use of water resources to protect native endangered spe
Flora of China
The flora of China is diverse. More than 30,000 plant species are native to China, representing nearly one-eighth of the world's total plant species, including thousands found nowhere else on Earth. China contains a variety of forest types. Both northeast and northwest reaches contain mountains and cold coniferous forests, supporting animal species which include moose and Asiatic black bear, along with some 120 types of birds. Moist conifer forests can have thickets of bamboo as an understorey, replaced by rhododendrons in higher montane stands of juniper and yew. Subtropical forests, which dominate central and southern China, support an astounding 146,000 species of flora. Tropical rainforest and seasonal rainforests, though confined to Yunnan and Hainan Island, contain a quarter of all the plant and animal species found in China; the flora of China has an online database which gives both its taxonomy. Media related to Flora of China at Wikimedia Commons eflora: Flora of China
In botany, an evergreen is a plant that has leaves throughout the year that are always green. This is true if the plant retains its foliage only in warm climates, contrasts with deciduous plants, which lose their foliage during the winter or dry season. There are many different kinds of both trees and shrubs. Evergreens include: most species of conifers, but not all live oak, "ancient" gymnosperms such as cycads most angiosperms from frost-free climates, such as eucalypts and rainforest trees clubmosses and relativesThe Latin binomial term sempervirens, meaning "always green", refers to the evergreen nature of the plant, for instance Cupressus sempervirens Lonicera sempervirens Sequoia sempervirens Leaf persistence in evergreen plants varies from a few months to several decades. Deciduous trees shed their leaves as an adaptation to a cold or dry/wet season. Evergreen trees do lose leaves, but each tree loses its leaves and not all at once. Most tropical rainforest plants are considered to be evergreens, replacing their leaves throughout the year as the leaves age and fall, whereas species growing in seasonally arid climates may be either evergreen or deciduous.
Most warm temperate climate plants are evergreen. In cool temperate climates, fewer plants are evergreen, with a predominance of conifers, as few evergreen broadleaf plants can tolerate severe cold below about −26 °C. In areas where there is a reason for being deciduous, e.g. a cold season or dry season, being evergreen is an adaptation to low nutrient levels. Deciduous trees lose nutrients. In warmer areas, species such as some pines and cypresses grow on disturbed ground. In Rhododendron, a genus with many broadleaf evergreens, several species grow in mature forests but are found on acidic soil where the nutrients are less available to plants. In taiga or boreal forests, it is too cold for the organic matter in the soil to decay so the nutrients in the soil are less available to plants, thus favouring evergreens. In temperate climates, evergreens can reinforce their own survival; these conditions favour the growth of more evergreens and make it more difficult for deciduous plants to persist.
In addition, the shelter provided by existing evergreen plants can make it easier for younger evergreen plants to survive cold and/or drought. Semi-deciduous Helen Ingersoll. "Evergreens". Encyclopedia Americana
South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere in the Southern Hemisphere, with a small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas; the reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics. It is bordered on the west on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean, it includes twelve sovereign states, a part of France, a non-sovereign area. In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Tobago, Panama may be considered part of South America. South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers, its population as of 2016 has been estimated at more than 420 million. South America ranks fourth in fifth in population. Brazil is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the continent's population, followed by Colombia, Argentina and Peru. In recent decades Brazil has concentrated half of the region's GDP and has become a first regional power.
Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated. The geography of western South America is dominated by the Andes mountains. Most of the continent lies in the tropics; the continent's cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of indigenous peoples with European conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with African slaves. Given a long history of colonialism, the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak Portuguese or Spanish, societies and states reflect Western traditions. South America occupies the southern portion of the Americas; the continent is delimited on the northwest by the Darién watershed along the Colombia–Panama border, although some may consider the border instead to be the Panama Canal. Geopolitically and geographically all of Panama – including the segment east of the Panama Canal in the isthmus – is included in North America alone and among the countries of Central America.
All of mainland South America sits on the South American Plate. South America is home to Angel Falls in Venezuela. South America's major mineral resources are gold, copper, iron ore and petroleum; these resources found in South America have brought high income to its countries in times of war or of rapid economic growth by industrialized countries elsewhere. However, the concentration in producing one major export commodity has hindered the development of diversified economies; the fluctuation in the price of commodities in the international markets has led to major highs and lows in the economies of South American states causing extreme political instability. This is leading to efforts to diversify production to drive away from staying as economies dedicated to one major export. South America is one of the most biodiverse continents on earth. South America is home to many interesting and unique species of animals including the llama, piranha, vicuña, tapir; the Amazon rainforests possess high biodiversity, containing a major proportion of the Earth's species.
Brazil is the largest country in South America, encompassing around half of the continent's land area and population. The remaining countries and territories are divided among three regions: The Andean States, the Guianas and the Southern Cone. Traditionally, South America includes some of the nearby islands. Aruba, Curaçao, Trinidad and the federal dependencies of Venezuela sit on the northerly South American continental shelf and are considered part of the continent. Geo-politically, the island states and overseas territories of the Caribbean are grouped as a part or subregion of North America, since they are more distant on the Caribbean Plate though San Andres and Providencia are politically part of Colombia and Aves Island is controlled by Venezuela. Other islands that are included with South America are the Galápagos Islands that belong to Ecuador and Easter Island, Robinson Crusoe Island, Chiloé and Tierra del Fuego. In the Atlantic, Brazil owns Fernando de Noronha and Martim Vaz, the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, while the Falkland Islands are governed by the United Kingdom, whose sovereignty over the islands is disputed by Argentina.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands may be associate
In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only woody plants with secondary growth, plants that are usable as lumber or plants above a specified height. Trees are not a taxonomic group but include a variety of plant species that have independently evolved a woody trunk and branches as a way to tower above other plants to compete for sunlight. Trees tend to be long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old. In wider definitions, the taller palms, tree ferns and bamboos are trees. Trees have been in existence for 370 million years, it is estimated. A tree has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground by the trunk; this trunk contains woody tissue for strength, vascular tissue to carry materials from one part of the tree to another. For most trees it is surrounded by a layer of bark. Below the ground, the roots spread out widely. Above ground, the branches divide into smaller shoots.
The shoots bear leaves, which capture light energy and convert it into sugars by photosynthesis, providing the food for the tree's growth and development. Trees reproduce using seeds. Flowers and fruit may be present, but some trees, such as conifers, instead have pollen cones and seed cones. Palms and bamboos produce seeds, but tree ferns produce spores instead. Trees play a significant role in moderating the climate, they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store large quantities of carbon in their tissues. Trees and forests provide a habitat for many species of plants. Tropical rainforests are among the most biodiverse habitats in the world. Trees provide shade and shelter, timber for construction, fuel for cooking and heating, fruit for food as well as having many other uses. In parts of the world, forests are shrinking as trees are cleared to increase the amount of land available for agriculture; because of their longevity and usefulness, trees have always been revered, with sacred groves in various cultures, they play a role in many of the world's mythologies.
Although "tree" is a term of common parlance, there is no universally recognised precise definition of what a tree is, either botanically or in common language. In its broadest sense, a tree is any plant with the general form of an elongated stem, or trunk, which supports the photosynthetic leaves or branches at some distance above the ground. Trees are typically defined by height, with smaller plants from 0.5 to 10 m being called shrubs, so the minimum height of a tree is only loosely defined. Large herbaceous plants such as papaya and bananas are trees in this broad sense. A applied narrower definition is that a tree has a woody trunk formed by secondary growth, meaning that the trunk thickens each year by growing outwards, in addition to the primary upwards growth from the growing tip. Under such a definition, herbaceous plants such as palms and papayas are not considered trees regardless of their height, growth form or stem girth. Certain monocots may be considered trees under a looser definition.
Aside from structural definitions, trees are defined by use. The tree growth habit is an evolutionary adaptation found in different groups of plants: by growing taller, trees are able to compete better for sunlight. Trees tend some reaching several thousand years old. Several trees are among the oldest organisms now living. Trees have modified structures such as thicker stems composed of specialised cells that add structural strength and durability, allowing them to grow taller than many other plants and to spread out their foliage, they differ from shrubs, which have a similar growth form, by growing larger and having a single main stem. The tree form has evolved separately in unrelated classes of plants in response to similar environmental challenges, making it a classic example of parallel evolution. With an estimated 60,000-100,000 species, the number of trees worldwide might total twenty-five per cent of all living plant species; the greatest number of these grow in tropical regions and many of these areas have not yet been surveyed by botanists, making tree diversity and ranges poorly known.
The majority of tree species are angiosperms. There are about 1000 species of gymnosperm trees, including conifers, cycads and gnetales. Most angiosperm trees are eudicots, the "true dicotyledons", so named because the seeds contain two cotyledons or seed leaves. There are some trees among the old lineages of flowering plants called basal angiosperms or paleodicots. Wood gives structural strength to the trunk of most types of tree; the vascular system of trees allows water and other chemicals to be di
Coccoloba pubescens is a species of Coccoloba native to coastal regions of the Caribbean, on Antigua, Barbuda, Hispaniola, Martinique and Puerto Rico. Coccoloba pubescens is a medium-sized tree growing to 24 m tall, with an open, sparsely branched crown; the leaves are orbicular variable in size, from 2.5–45 cm diameter up to 90 cm diameter, bright green above, paler below with yellow to reddish veins, a smooth, wavy margin. The flowers are greenish-white; the fruit is 2 cm diameter
Serra do Cipó National Park
The Serra do Cipó National Park is a national park in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The park is in the Cerrado biome, it covers 31,639 hectares. It was created by decree 90.223 of 25 September 1984, modified by decree 94.984 of 30 September 1987. It is administered by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, it lies in the municipalities of Itabira, Itambé do Mato Dentro, Nova União, Morro do Pilar and Santana do Riacho, Minas Gerais. The park is classified as IUCN protected area category II, it has the objectives of preserving natural ecosystems of great ecological relevance and scenic beauty, enabling scientific research, environmental education, outdoors recreation and eco-tourism. Protected species include]] the maned wolf, cougar, white-necked hawk, the lizard Placosoma cipoense, the fish Characidium lagosantense and the butterfly Nirodia belphegor