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What drives the recent intensified vegetation degradation in Mongolia

  • This study examines the course and driving forces of recent vegetation change in the Mongolian steppe. A sediment core covering the last 55years from a small closed-basin lake in central Mongolia was analyzed for its multi-proxy record at annual resolution. Pollen analysis shows that highest abundances of planted Poaceae and highest vegetation diversity occurred during 1977-1992, reflecting agricultural development in the lake area. A decrease in diversity and an increase in Artemisia abundance after 1992 indicate enhanced vegetation degradation in recent times, most probably because of overgrazing and farmland abandonment. Human impact is the main factor for the vegetation degradation within the past decades as revealed by a series of redundancy analyses, while climate change and soil erosion play subordinate roles. High Pediastrum (a green algae) influx, high atomic total organic carbon/total nitrogen (TOC/TN) ratios, abundant coarse detrital grains, and the decrease of C-13(org) and N-15 since about 1977 but particularly after 1992This study examines the course and driving forces of recent vegetation change in the Mongolian steppe. A sediment core covering the last 55years from a small closed-basin lake in central Mongolia was analyzed for its multi-proxy record at annual resolution. Pollen analysis shows that highest abundances of planted Poaceae and highest vegetation diversity occurred during 1977-1992, reflecting agricultural development in the lake area. A decrease in diversity and an increase in Artemisia abundance after 1992 indicate enhanced vegetation degradation in recent times, most probably because of overgrazing and farmland abandonment. Human impact is the main factor for the vegetation degradation within the past decades as revealed by a series of redundancy analyses, while climate change and soil erosion play subordinate roles. High Pediastrum (a green algae) influx, high atomic total organic carbon/total nitrogen (TOC/TN) ratios, abundant coarse detrital grains, and the decrease of C-13(org) and N-15 since about 1977 but particularly after 1992 indicate that abundant terrestrial organic matter and nutrients were transported into the lake and caused lake eutrophication, presumably because of intensified land use. Thus, we infer that the transition to a market economy in Mongolia since the early 1990s not only caused dramatic vegetation degradation but also affected the lake ecosystem through anthropogenic changes in the catchment area.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Fang TianORCiDGND, Ulrike HerzschuhORCiDGND, Steffen MischkeORCiDGND, Frank Schlütz
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-404201
Parent Title (English):The Holocene
Subtitle (English):Climate change or human activity?
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe (418)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/04/13
Year of Completion:2014
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2018/04/13
Tag:central Mongolia; grain size; human impact; lake eutrophication; pollen; vegetation degradation
Pagenumber:10
Source:The Holocene 24 (2014) Nr. 10, S. 1206–1215 DOI: 10.1177/0959683614540958
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Sage
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:Bibliographieeintrag der Originalveröffentlichung/Quelle