Vol13 No.9: 1567-1583
【Title】Rangeland degradation assessment in Kyrgyzstan: vegetation and soils as indicators of grazing pressure in Naryn Oblast
【Author】HoppeFranziska1*; Zhusui KyzyTaalaigul2; UsupbaevAdilet2; SchickhoffUdo1
【Addresses】1 CEN Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, Institute of Geography, Hamburg 20146, Germany; 2 Laboratory of "Flora", Institute for Biology and Pedology, National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek 720071, Kyrgyz Republic
【Citation】Hoppe F, Zhusui Kyzy T, Usupbaev A, et al. (2016) Rangeland degradation assessment in Kyrgyzstan: vegetation and soils as indicators of grazing pressure in Naryn Oblast. Journal of Mountain Science 13(9). DOI: 10.1007/s11629-016-3915-5
【Abstract】Rangelands occupy more than 80% of the agricultural land in Kyrgyzstan. At least 30% of Kyrgyz pasture areas are considered to be subject to vegetation and soil degradation. Since animal husbandry is the economic basis to sustain people's livelihoods, rangeland degradation presents a threat for the majority of the population. We present for the first time an ecological assessment of different pasture types in a remote area of the Naryn Oblast, using vegetation and soils as indicators of rangeland conditions. We analysed the current degree of utilization (grazing pressure), the amount of biomass, soil samples, and vegetation data, using cluster analysis as well as ordination techniques. Winter pastures (kyshtoo) are characterized by higher pH values (average of 7.27) and lower organic matter contents (average of 12.83%) compared to summer pastures (dzailoo) with average pH values of 6.03 and average organic matter contents of 21.05%. Additionally, summer pastures show higher above-ground biomass, and higher species richness and diversity. Our results support the hypothesis that winter pastures, which are located near settlements, suffer from over-utilisation, while the more distant summer pastures are subjected to much lower grazing pressure.
【Keywords】Alpine meadows; Alpine steppes; Animal husbandry; Classification; Grazing management; Montane pastures; Ordination; Plant communities