Central Valley (California)
The Central Valley is a flat valley that dominates the geographical center of the U. S. state of California. It is 40 to 60 miles wide and stretches 450 miles from north-northwest to south-southeast, inland from and parallel to the Pacific Ocean coast, it covers 18,000 square miles, about 11% of California's total land area. The valley is bounded by the Sierra Nevada to the Coast Ranges to the west, it is California's single most productive agricultural region and one of the most productive in the world, providing more than half of the fruits and nuts grown in the United States. More than 7 million acres of the valley are irrigated via an extensive system of reservoirs and canals; the valley has many major cities, including the state capital Sacramento. The Central Valley watershed comprises over a third of California, it consists of three main drainage systems: the Sacramento Valley in the north, which receives well over 20 inches of rain annually. The Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems drain their respective valleys and meet to form the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, a large expanse of interconnected canals, stream beds, sloughs and peat islands.
The delta empties into the San Francisco Bay, ultimately flows into the Pacific. The waters of the Tulare Basin never flow to the ocean, though they are connected by man-made canals to the San Joaquin and could drain there again if they were to rise high enough; the valley encompasses all or parts of 18 Northern California counties: Butte, Glenn, Kings, Merced, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Tehama, Yuba and the Southern California county of Kern. The Central Valley is known to residents as "the Valley." Older names include "the Great Valley," a name still seen in scientific references, "Golden Empire," a booster name, still referred to by some organizations. The Central Valley is outlined by the Cascade, Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi mountain ranges on the east, the California Coast Ranges and San Francisco Bay on the west; the broad valley floor is carpeted by vast agricultural regions, dotted with numerous population centers. Subregions and their counties associated with the valley include: North Sacramento Valley Sacramento Metro North San Joaquin South San Joaquin There are four main population centers in the Central Valley, each equidistant from the next, from south to north: Bakersfield, Fresno and Redding.
While there are many communities large and small between these cities, these four cities act as hubs for regional commerce and transportation. About 6.5 million people live in the Central Valley today, it is the fastest growing region in California. There are 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and 1 Micropolitan Statistical Area in the Central Valley. Below, they are listed by μSA population; the largest city is the state capital Sacramento, followed by Fresno. The following metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas listed from largest to smallest: The flatness of the valley floor contrasts with the rugged hills or gentle mountains that are typical of most of California's terrain; the valley is thought to have originated below sea level as an offshore area depressed by subduction of the Farallon Plate into a trench further offshore. The San Joaquin Fault is a notable seismic feature of the Central Valley; the valley was enclosed by the uplift of the Coast Ranges, with its original outlet into Monterey Bay.
Faulting moved the Coast Ranges, a new outlet developed near what is now San Francisco Bay. Over the millennia, the valley was filled by the sediments of these same ranges, as well as the rising Sierra Nevada to the east; the one notable exception to the flat valley floor is Sutter Buttes, the remnants of an extinct volcano just to the northwest of Yuba City, 44 miles north of Sacramento. Another significant geologic feature of the Central Valley lies hidden beneath the delta; the Stockton Arch is an upwarping of the crust beneath the valley sediments that extends southwest to northeast across the valley. The Central Valley lies within the California Trough physiographic section, part of the larger Pacific Border province, which in turn is part of the Pacific Mountain System; the "Central Valley grassland" is the Nearctic temperate and subtropical grasslands and shrub lands ecoregion, once a diverse grassland containing areas of desert grassland, savanna, riverside woodland, several types of seasonal vernal pools, large lakes such as now-dry Tulare Lake, Buena Vista Lake and Kern Lake.
However, much of the Central Valley environment
Phoradendron is a genus of mistletoe family, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the Americas. The center of diversity is the Amazon rainforest. Traditionally, the genus has been placed in the family Viscaceae, but recent genetic research acknowledged by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group shows this family to be placed within a larger circumscription of the sandalwood family, Santalaceae, they are woody hemi-parasitic shrubs with branches 10 -- 80 cm long. The foliage is dichotomously branching, with opposite pairs of leaves. Although they are able to photosynthesize the plant relies on its host for some nutrients; the plant draws its mineral and water needs, some of its energy needs, from the host tree using a haustorium which grows into the stems of the host. The genus name Phoradendron is derived from the Greek for "tree thief"; the flowers are inconspicuous and incomplete, no petals and 3-4 greenish-yellow sepals, 1–3 mm diameter. The fruit is a berry, yellow, orange, or red when mature, containing several seeds embedded in sticky juice.
The seeds are dispersed when birds eat the fruit and remove the sticky seeds from their bills by wiping them on tree branches where they can germinate. The foliage and berries of some species are toxic. Leafy mistletoes kill but they cause stress reducing crop productions in fruits and nut trees. Phoradendron species can infest many taxa of plants including hackberry mesquite, cedar and Osage-orange. Certain species of Phoradendron are host-specific. P. californicum infests trees such as acacia and blue palo verde. Some species infest oaks. Branches become swollen and distorted, forming burls and making the tree more susceptible to insect attack. Phoradendron presents serious problems along rivers, streams and golf courses with large cottonwood trees. Deciduous trees can be mistaken for evergreens during the winter. Other common symptoms include swelling formations of witch's broom and weakened branches. Phoradendron species are hemiparasites which produce their own chlorophyll but rely on the host plant to provide water and other nutrients.
Birds are the primary means of dispersal of the parasite. Birds consume the drupes of the mistletoe and excrete or regurgitate the seeds onto the branches of the host plant. Germinating seeds produce a radicle, a holdfast, the germinated seeds produce haustoria; the haustorium is a root-like structure that penetrates the host plant's bark and cambium, reaching the xylem and phloem where it extracts water and minerals carbon and nitrogen compounds. The most important birds for effective dispersal include the cedar waxwing, silky-flycatchers and thrushes. Leafy mistletoe can adversely affect trees growing in forests, it is considered a nuisance in urban environments because of its appearance on deciduous trees during winter. Severe colonization of mistletoe can affect the health of an individual tree, a tree stressed by other factors can be killed. Forest fragmentation can increase Phoradendron infection rates in some oak trees, as trees in lower density forests and those closer to the forests' edges are more to be colonized by the mistletoe.
Control and management regimes include watering the host plant to improve its vigor, removing infested vegetation. Pruning infested branches is not effective because the haustoria can infiltrate deeply. Plucking the mistletoe herbage is a temporary treatment because it resprouts, but keeping its herbage sparse can help to reduce its seed production. Phorodendron species are larval host plants for a number of Lepidoptera; the buckthorn duskywing feeds on Phoradendron californicum. Phoradendron are the preferred food of a silky-flycatcher; the male defends territories. Phoradendron californicum was used by Native American peoples as a medicinal remedy; some Phoradendron species, such as Phoradendron serotinum and Phoradendron flavescens, are used in North America as Christmas decoration, substituting for the European mistletoe Viscum album. They are harvested commercially for that purpose. Nuttall named the genus Phoradendron from the Greek and dendron, alluding to the genus' parasitic habit. There are 235 to 240 species in the genus.
Species include: Phoradendron aequatoris Urb. Phoradendron anceps G. Maza – goldenfruit mistletoe Phoradendron argentinum Phoradendron barahonae Urb. & Trel. – island mistletoe Phoradendron bolleanum Eichl. – Bollean mistletoe Phoradendron californicum Nutt. – desert mistletoe, mesquite mistletoe Phoradendron canzacotoi Trel. Phoradendron capitellatum Torr. Ex Trel. – downy mistletoe or hairy mistletoe Phoradendron coryae Trel. – oak mistletoe Phoradendron crassifolium Phoradendron densum Torr. Ex Trel. – dense mistletoe Phoradendron dichotomum Krug & Urb. – Bertero's mistletoe Phoradendron emarginatum Phoradendron flavescens same as Phoradendron leucarpum Phoradendron hawksworthii Griseb. – Hawksworth's mistletoe Phoradendron hexastichum Griseb. – tropical mistletoe Phoradendron hieronymi Phoradendron juniperinum A. Gray – juniper mistletoe Phoradendron leucarpum Rev
El Paso, Texas
El Paso is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2017 population estimate for the city from the U. S. Census was 683,577, its metropolitan statistical area covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, has a population of 844,818. El Paso stands on the Rio Grande across the Mexico–United States border from Ciudad Juárez, the most populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua with 1.4 million people. Las Cruces, in the neighboring U. S. state of New Mexico, has a population of 215,579. On the U. S. side, El Paso metropolitan area forms part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces CSA, with a population of 1,060,397. Bi-nationally, these three cities form a combined international metropolitan area sometimes referred to as the Paso del Norte or the Borderplex; the region of 2.5 million people constitutes the largest bilingual and binational work force in the Western Hemisphere. The city is home to three publicly traded companies, former Western Refining, now Andeavor. as well as home to the Medical Center of the Americas, the only medical research and care provider complex in West Texas and Southern New Mexico, the University of Texas at El Paso, the city's primary university.
The city hosts the annual Sun Bowl college football post-season game, the second oldest bowl game in the country. El Paso has a strong military presence. William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Biggs Army Airfield, Fort Bliss call the city home. Fort Bliss is one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army and the largest training area in the United States. Headquartered in El Paso are the DEA domestic field division 7, El Paso Intelligence Center, Joint Task Force North, United States Border Patrol El Paso Sector, the U. S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group. In 2010 and 2018, El Paso received an All-America City Award. El Paso ranked in the top three safest large cities in the United States between 1997 and 2014, including holding the title of safest city between 2011 and 2014; the El Paso region has had human settlement for thousands of years, as evidenced by Folsom points from hunter-gatherers found at Hueco Tanks. The evidence suggests 10,000 to 12,000 years of human habitation.
The earliest known cultures in the region were maize farmers. When the Spanish arrived, the Manso and Jumano tribes populated the area; these were subsequently incorporated into the Mestizo culture, along with immigrants from central Mexico, captives from Comanchería, genízaros of various ethnic groups. The Mescalero Apache were present. Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate was born in 1550 in Zacatecas, Zacatecas and was the first New Spain explorer known to have observed the Rio Grande near El Paso, in 1598, celebrating a Thanksgiving Mass there on April 30, 1598. However, the four survivors of the Narváez expedition, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, Andrés Dorantes de Carranza, his enslaved Moor Estevanico, are thought to have passed through the area in the mid-1530s. El Paso del Norte was founded on the south bank of the Río Bravo del Norte, in 1659 by Fray Garcia de San Francisco. In 1680, the small village of El Paso became the temporary base for Spanish governance of the territory of New Mexico as a result of the Pueblo Revolt, until 1692 when Santa Fe was reconquered and once again became the capital.
The Texas Revolution was not felt in the region, as the American population was small. However, the region was claimed by Texas as part of the treaty signed with Mexico and numerous attempts were made by Texas to bolster these claims. However, the villages which consisted of what is now El Paso and the surrounding area remained a self-governed community with both representatives of the Mexican and Texan government negotiating for control until Texas irrevocably took control in 1846. During this interregnum, 1836–1848, Americans nonetheless continued to settle the region; as early as the mid-1840s, alongside long extant Hispanic settlements such as the Rancho de Juan María Ponce de León, Anglo settlers such as Simeon Hart and Hugh Stephenson had established thriving communities of American settlers owing allegiance to Texas. Stephenson, who had married into the local Hispanic aristocracy, established the Rancho de San José de la Concordia, which became the nucleus of Anglo and Hispanic settlement within the limits of modern-day El Paso, in 1844: the Republic of Texas, which claimed the area, wanted a chunk of the Santa Fe trade.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo made the settlements on the north bank of the river part of the US, separate from Old El Paso del Norte on the Mexican side. The present Texas–New Mexico boundary placing El Paso on the Texas side was drawn in the Compromise of 1850. El Paso remained the largest settlement in New Mexico as part of the Republic of Mexico until its cession to the U. S. in 1848, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified the border was to run north of El Paso De Norte around the Ciudad Juárez Cathedral which became part of the state of Chihuahua. El Paso County was established in March 1850, with San Elizario as the first county seat; the United States Senate fixed a boundary between Texas and New Mexico at the 32nd parallel, thus ignoring history and topography. A military post called "The Post opposite El Paso" was established in 1849 on Coons' Rancho beside the settlement of Franklin, which became the nucleus of the future El Paso, Texas.
A chordate is an animal constituting the phylum Chordata. During some period of their life cycle, chordates possess a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, a post-anal tail: these five anatomical features define this phylum. Chordates are bilaterally symmetric; the Chordata and Ambulacraria together form the superphylum Deuterostomia. Chordates are divided into three subphyla: Vertebrata. There are extinct taxa such as the Vetulicolia. Hemichordata has been presented as a fourth chordate subphylum, but now is treated as a separate phylum: hemichordates and Echinodermata form the Ambulacraria, the sister phylum of the Chordates. Of the more than 65,000 living species of chordates, about half are bony fish that are members of the superclass Osteichthyes. Chordate fossils have been found from as early as the Cambrian explosion, 541 million years ago. Cladistically, vertebrates - chordates with the notochord replaced by a vertebral column during development - are considered to be a subgroup of the clade Craniata, which consists of chordates with a skull.
The Craniata and Tunicata compose the clade Olfactores. Chordates form a phylum of animals that are defined by having at some stage in their lives all of the following anatomical features: A notochord, a stiff rod of cartilage that extends along the inside of the body. Among the vertebrate sub-group of chordates the notochord develops into the spine, in wholly aquatic species this helps the animal to swim by flexing its tail. A dorsal neural tube. In fish and other vertebrates, this develops into the spinal cord, the main communications trunk of the nervous system. Pharyngeal slits; the pharynx is the part of the throat behind the mouth. In fish, the slits are modified to form gills, but in some other chordates they are part of a filter-feeding system that extracts particles of food from the water in which the animals live. Post-anal tail. A muscular tail that extends backwards behind the anus. An endostyle; this is a groove in the ventral wall of the pharynx. In filter-feeding species it produces mucus to gather food particles, which helps in transporting food to the esophagus.
It stores iodine, may be a precursor of the vertebrate thyroid gland. There are soft constraints that separate chordates from certain other biological lineages, but are not part of the formal definition: All chordates are deuterostomes; this means. All chordates are based on a bilateral body plan. All chordates are coelomates, have a fluid filled body cavity called a coelom with a complete lining called peritoneum derived from mesoderm; the following schema is from the third edition of Vertebrate Palaeontology. The invertebrate chordate classes are from Fishes of the World. While it is structured so as to reflect evolutionary relationships, it retains the traditional ranks used in Linnaean taxonomy. Phylum Chordata †Vetulicolia? Subphylum Cephalochordata – Class Leptocardii Clade Olfactores Subphylum Tunicata – Class Ascidiacea Class Thaliacea Class Appendicularia Class Sorberacea Subphylum Vertebrata Infraphylum incertae sedis Cyclostomata Superclass'Agnatha' paraphyletic Class Myxini Class Petromyzontida or Hyperoartia Class †Conodonta Class †Myllokunmingiida Class †Pteraspidomorphi Class †Thelodonti Class †Anaspida Class †Cephalaspidomorphi Infraphylum Gnathostomata Class †Placodermi Class Chondrichthyes Class †Acanthodii Superclass Osteichthyes Class Actinopterygii Class Sarcopterygii Superclass Tetrapoda Class Amphibia Class Sauropsida Class Synapsida Craniates, one of the three subdivisions of chordates, all have distinct skulls.
They include the hagfish. Michael J. Benton commented that "craniates are characterized by their heads, just as chordates, or all deuterostomes, are by their tails". Most craniates are vertebrates; these consist of a series of bony or cartilaginous cylindrical vertebrae with neural arches that protect the spinal cord, with projections that link the vertebrae. However hagfish have incomplete braincases and no vertebrae, are therefore not regarded as vertebrates, but as members of the craniates, the group from which vertebrates are thought to have evolved; however the cladistic exclusion of hagfish from the vertebrates is controversial, as they ma
A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or – less – as songbirds, passerines are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes, which facilitates perching. With more than 110 families and some 6,409 identified species, Passeriformes is the largest order of birds and among the most diverse orders of terrestrial vertebrates. Passerines are divided into three clades, Acanthisitti and Passeri; the passerines contain several groups of brood parasites such as the viduas, cuckoo-finches, the cowbirds. Most passerines are omnivorous; the terms "passerine" and "Passeriformes" are derived from the scientific name of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, from the Latin term passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds. The order is divided into three suborders, Tyranni and the basal Acanthisitti. Oscines have the best control of their syrinx muscles among birds, producing a wide range of songs and other vocalizations.
The acanthisittids or New Zealand wrens are tiny birds restricted to New Zealand, at least in modern times. Most passerines are smaller than typical members of other avian orders; the heaviest and altogether largest passerines are the thick-billed raven and the larger races of common raven, each exceeding 1.5 kg and 70 cm. The superb lyrebird and some birds-of-paradise, due to long tails or tail coverts, are longer overall; the smallest passerine is the short-tailed pygmy tyrant, at 4.2 g. The foot of a passerine has three toes directed forward and one toe directed backward, called anisodactyl arrangement; this arrangement enables the passerine birds to perch upon vertical surfaces, such as trees and cliffs. The toes have no webbing or joining, but in some cotingas, the second and third toes are united at their basal third; the hind toe joins the leg at the same level as the front toes. The passeriformes have this toe arrangement in common with hunting birds like falcons; the leg arrangement of passerine birds contains a special adaptation for perching.
A tendon in the rear of the leg running from the underside of the toes to the muscle behind the tibiotarsus will automatically be pulled and tighten when the leg bends, causing the foot to curl and become stiff when the bird lands on a branch. This enables passerines to sleep. Most passerine birds develop 12 tail feathers, although the superb lyrebird has 16. Certain species of passerines have stiff tail feathers, which help the birds balance themselves when perching upon vertical surfaces; some passerines in the family Ploceidae, are well known for their elaborate sexual ornaments, including long tails. A well-known example is the long-tailed widowbird; the chicks of passerines are altricial: blind and helpless when hatched from their eggs. Hence, the chicks require extensive parental care. Most passerines lay coloured eggs, in contrast with nonpasserines, most of whose eggs are white except in some ground-nesting groups such as Charadriiformes and nightjars, where camouflage is necessary, in some parasitic cuckoos, which match the passerine host's egg.
Vinous-throated parrotbill has two egg colours and blue. This can prevent the brood parasitic Common cuckoo. Clutches vary in size: some larger passerines of Australia such as lyrebirds and scrub-robins lay only a single egg, most smaller passerines in warmer climates lay between two and five, while in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, hole-nesting species like tits can lay up to a dozen and other species around five or six; the family Viduidae do not build their own nests, they lay eggs in other birds' nests. The evolutionary history of the passerine families and the relationships among them remained rather mysterious until the late 20th century. In many cases, passerine families were grouped together on the basis of morphological similarities that, it is now believed, are the result of convergent evolution, not a close genetic relationship. For example, the wrens of the Eurasia. Much research remains to be done, but advances in molecular biology and improved paleobiogeographical data are revealing a clearer picture of passerine origins and evolution that reconciles molecular affinities, the constraints of morphology and the specifics of the fossil record.
The first passerines are now thought to have evolved in the Southern Hemisphere in the late Paleocene or early Eocene, around 50 million years ago. The initial split was between the New Zealand wrens and all other passerines, the second split involved the Tyranni and the Passeri; the latter experienced a great radiation of forms out of the Australian continent. A major branch of the Passeri, parvorder Passerida, expanded deep into Eurasia and Africa, where a further explosive radiation of new lineages occurred; this led to three major Passerida lineages comprising about 4,000 species, which in addition to the Corvida and numerous minor linea
A forb is an herbaceous flowering plant, not a graminoid. The term is used in biology and in vegetation ecology in relation to grasslands and understory. "Forb" is derived from the Greek φορβή, "pasture" or "fodder". The spelling "phorb" is sometimes used, in older usage this sometimes includes graminids and other plants not regarded as forbs. Forbs are members of a guild – a group of plant species with broadly similar growth form. In certain contexts in ecology, guild membership may be more important than the taxonomic relationships between organisms. In addition to its use in ecology, the term "forb" may be used for subdividing popular guides to wildflowers, distinguishing them from other categories such as grasses, sedges and trees; some examples of forbs are clover, sunflower and milkweed. Dicotyledon Herbaceous plant Overgrazing United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service link to Growth habits Codes and Definitions