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Is degradation a major problem in semi-desert environments of the Gobi region in southern Mongolia?

Title data

Wesche, Karsten ; Retzer, Vroni:
Is degradation a major problem in semi-desert environments of the Gobi region in southern Mongolia?
In: Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei = Exploration into the biological resources of Mongolia. Vol. 9 (2005) . - pp. 133-146.
ISSN 0440-1298

Abstract in another language

This paper tests predictions derived from the non-equilibrium theory of rangeland science. Data were collected in livestock enclosures situated in the relatively moist desert steppes of the Gobi Gurvan Saykhan region of southern Mongolia from 2000 to 2003. Plant community composition and species’ richness in enclosures showed clear differences between years, but these were equally strong in ungrazed controls. Thus, changes were mainly attributed to differences in precipitation between years as opposed to grazing, as no significant effects thereof were detected. This was also confirmed by data on above-ground standing biomass. This changed tremendously over the years, with differences between various grazing regimes (factorial combination of grazing by livestock and small mammals) being smaller than interannual changes. The results support the idea that on a local scale desert steppes experience non-equilibrium dynamics with water availability being far more important than livestock impact. As a result, it can be presumed that the danger of anthropo-zoogenic degradation is small. However, a nomadic way of life appears to be a crucial precondition for sustainable land use of these environments, thus, further aspects than precipitation data alone need to be taken into account when assessing the dynamics of the ecosystem.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: No
Additional notes: BAYCEER29535
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2015 06:10
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2016 14:09
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/15561