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Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4753; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124753

Effects of Different Grazing Systems on Aboveground Biomass and Plant Species Dominance in Typical Chinese and Mongolian Steppes

1
Resources and Environment Economy College, Inner Mongolia University of Finance and Economics, No.185, North Two Ring Road, Hohhot 010070, China
2
Planning and Geographic Information System Laboratory, Inner Mongolia University of Finance and Economics, No.185, North Two Ring Road, Hohhot 010070, China
3
Department of Resources and Environment, Baotou Teachers’ College, Baotou 014030, China
4
Department of Environmental Symbiotic College of Agriculture, Rakuno Gakuen University, 582, Bunkyodai-Midorimachi, Ebetsu, Hokkaido 069-8501, Japan
5
College of Geographical Sciences, Inner Mongolia Normal University, No. 81, Zhao Wuda Road, Hohhot 010022, China
6
Department of Geography, School of Arts and Sciences, National University of Mongolia, University street 1, Ulaanbaatar 14200, Mongolia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Sustainable Environmental Management)
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Abstract

This study investigated the effects of different grazing systems on plant communities, and examined the causes of Mongolian grassland desertification. The typical steppes near the Chinese-Mongolian border were studied using quadrat sampling and remote sensing methods. Aboveground biomass in the steppe areas differed significantly among the three grazing systems (p < 0.05): Biomass in the grazing-prohibited areas (455.9 g) was greater than that in the rotational-grazing areas (268.4 g) and the continuous grazing areas (122.2 g). Aboveground biomass was well correlated with the Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI; y = 5600x2 + 260x + 110; R2 = 0.67; p < 0.05). The relative mean deviation between the aboveground biomass was calculated using this regression and the measured biomass was 29.1%. The Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI) values for nomadic-grazing areas were greater than those for continuous-grazing areas in 1989, 2005, 2011, and 2016, and were significantly greater in 2011 and 2016. The SAVI values for the continuous-grazing areas were slightly, but not significantly greater, than those for the nomadic-grazing areas in 1993. Plant species that dominated in moderately degraded areas were most dominant in nomadic-grazing areas, followed by continuous-grazing areas and grazing-prohibited areas. Plant species that dominated in lightly and heavily degraded areas were most dominant in continuous-grazing areas, followed by nomadic-grazing areas and grazing-prohibited areas. Generally, continuous grazing caused more serious grassland degradation than did nomadic grazing, and nomadic-grazing areas tolerated more intense grazing than did continuous-grazing areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: Grazing system; typical steppe; species dominance; desertification; China-Mongolian comparative study Grazing system; typical steppe; species dominance; desertification; China-Mongolian comparative study
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Na, Y.; Li, J.; Hoshino, B.; Bao, S.; Qin, F.; Myagmartseren, P. Effects of Different Grazing Systems on Aboveground Biomass and Plant Species Dominance in Typical Chinese and Mongolian Steppes. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4753.

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