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Water 2016, 8(8), 339; doi:10.3390/w8080339

Estimated Grass Grazing Removal Rate in a Semiarid Eurasian Steppe Watershed as Influenced by Climate

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0241, USA
2
College of Water Conservancy and Civil Engineering, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot 010018, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Soil-Vegetation Dynamic Interactions in Changing Climate)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4633 KB, uploaded 9 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Grazing removal rate of grasses needs to be determined for various climate conditions to address eco-environmental concerns (e.g., desertification) related to steppe grassland degradation. The conventional approach, which requires survey data on animal species and heads as well as grass consumption per individual animal, is too costly and time-consuming to be applied at a watershed scale. The objective of this study was to present a new approach that can be used to estimate grazing removal rate with no requirement of animal-related data. The application of this new approach was demonstrated in a Eurasian semiarid typical-steppe watershed for an analysis period of 2000 to 2010. The results indicate that the removal rate tended to become larger, but its temporal variation tended to become smaller, from the upstream to downstream. Averaged across the watershed, the removal rate ranged from 63.9 to 401.0 g DM m−2 (or 22.4 to 60.9%) during the analysis period. As expected, the removal rate in an atmospherically wetter year was higher than that in an atmospherically drier year. Nevertheless, none of the eleven analysis years had a removal rate higher than the threshold value of 65%, above which the risk of grassland degradation would become much greater. View Full-Text
Keywords: degradation; erosion; evapotranspiration; MODIS; natural NPP; NPP model degradation; erosion; evapotranspiration; MODIS; natural NPP; NPP model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, X.; Pedram, S.; Liu, T.; Gao, R.; Li, F.; Luo, Y. Estimated Grass Grazing Removal Rate in a Semiarid Eurasian Steppe Watershed as Influenced by Climate. Water 2016, 8, 339.

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