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An Assessment Framework for Grassland Ecosystem Health with Consideration of Natural Succession: A Case Study in Bayinxile, China

1
Grassland Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hohhot 010010, China
2
Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
3
Grassland Investigation and Planning Institute of Inner Mongolia, Hohhot 010051, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041096
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
Grassland health assessment is the basis for formulating grassland protection policy. However, there are few assessment methods that consider the angle of natural succession for northern China’s regional native grassland with excessive human activities. The main purpose of this study is to build an assessment system for these areas from the perspective of natural succession. Besides, the minimal cumulative resistance (MCR) model was used to extract potential ecological information from the study area as a supplementary reference for the assessment results. The result for Bayinxile pasture, a typical semiarid steppe with excessive human activities located in northern China, showed that: (1) The ecological function of eastern hilly area was better than that of other regions and the western area was lowest as a whole. (2) The river was the most important ecological network in the whole grassland in that it was of vital significance in the prevention of retrogressive succession and in the linking of ecological communities. (3) The density of ecological network was closely related to the intensity of human activities, and farmland and roads had great negative influence on the connection of the grassland ecological network. We further proposed an ecological control zone and made suggestions for Bayinxile ecological management to prevent grassland degradation based on the above results. This study should provide a new perspective for grassland health assessment and sustainable development of regional grassland. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem health; grassland; MCR model; ecological corridor; remote sensing ecosystem health; grassland; MCR model; ecological corridor; remote sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, N.; Liu, A.; Wang, Y.; Li, L.; Chao, L.; Liu, G. An Assessment Framework for Grassland Ecosystem Health with Consideration of Natural Succession: A Case Study in Bayinxile, China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1096. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041096

AMA Style

Wu N, Liu A, Wang Y, Li L, Chao L, Liu G. An Assessment Framework for Grassland Ecosystem Health with Consideration of Natural Succession: A Case Study in Bayinxile, China. Sustainability. 2019; 11(4):1096. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041096

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wu, Nitu, Aijun Liu, Yongfang Wang, Lanhua Li, Lumengqiqige Chao, and Guixiang Liu. 2019. "An Assessment Framework for Grassland Ecosystem Health with Consideration of Natural Succession: A Case Study in Bayinxile, China" Sustainability 11, no. 4: 1096. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041096

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