Pasture Characteristics in Three Different Ecotypes at Khovd Aimag, Western Mongolia
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sBeher, Jutta
AffiliationSchool of BioSciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsBeher, J. (2014). Pasture Characteristics in Three Different Ecotypes at Khovd Aimag, Western Mongolia. PLOS ONE, 9 (7), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102892.
Access StatusOpen Access
The transition of nomadic pastoralism to more sessile forms of rangeland utilization and increased stocking rates can result in the degradation of pasture. After political changes in the 1990s in Mongolia, population growth and missing alternative livelihoods intensified the grazing pressure on pastures, and further decreased the condition of the fragile arid ecosystems. To learn more about the productivity and quality of pasture land in Khovd Aimag in the western region of Mongolia, standing biomass was measured in the alpine region, mountain steppe and semi-desert. Plant samples were analyzed for nitrogen and fiber contents by wet chemistry and Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). Results show clear differences in distribution of biomass with reduced biomass in the vicinity of temporary settlements. From July to early September plant nitrogen contents decreased in the alpine region, remained unchanged in the mountain steppe and increased in the semi-desert. Nitrogen concentrations were elevated in vegetation close to temporary settlements. For fiber contents (ADF) no clear patterns were found. Neither biomass/m(2) nor vegetation cover were appropriate indicators for food quality.
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