DEGRADATION ISSUES OF FESCUE-FORBS RANGELAND IN MOUNTAIN STEPPE
Keywords:Rangeland degradation, species composition, quantity of individual species, plant canopy cover,
The total area of Fescue-forbs rangeland in Mongolia is 10 million hectares, in account of 8.5% of total rangeland area. Fescue-forbs rangeland is the main type of rangeland in mountain steppe. The Mongolian rangeland has degraded for the last decades mainly due to overgrazing and climate change. The main objective of this study is to determine the change of plant community and reduction of abundance and productivity of dominant species Festuca lenensis in different degradation levels. The dominant species and main plant functional groups were completely changed in Fescue-forbs rangeland in compared with three degradation levels.
The cover of Festuca lenensis was decreased by 98.6-99.5% and biomass percentage was decreased by 95.3-100% in three different degradation levels compared with no degraded pasture. Regarding the results of species composition, the highest number of species reached in moderately degraded pasture, lowest number of species reached in heavily degraded pasture. The species similarity coefficient=0.45 between slightly and moderately degraded pastures. Heavily degraded pasture was different from other two pastures. Quantity of individual species increased in moderately and heavily degraded pastures compared with slightly degraded site. It has depended on increaser and tolerant plant species, these are Arenaria capillaris, Potentilla acaulis, Artemisia frigida, A.commutata, Chamaerodos erecta and Carex duriuscula.
Our study to reveal a degradation process of Fescue-forbs rangeland in mountain steppe of Mongolia.
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