Changing Climate and Overgrazing Are Decimating Mongolian Steppes

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/325311
Title:
Changing Climate and Overgrazing Are Decimating Mongolian Steppes
Authors:
Liu, Yi Y.; Evans, Jason P.; McCabe, Matthew ( 0000-0002-1279-5272 ) ; de Jeu, Richard A. M.; van Dijk, Albert I. J. M.; Dolman, Albertus J.; Saizen, Izuru
Abstract:
Satellite observations identify the Mongolian steppes as a hotspot of global biomass reduction, the extent of which is comparable with tropical rainforest deforestation. To conserve or restore these grasslands, the relative contributions of climate and human activities to degradation need to be understood. Here we use a recently developed 21-year (1988-2008) record of satellite based vegetation optical depth (VOD, a proxy for vegetation water content and aboveground biomass), to show that nearly all steppe grasslands in Mongolia experienced significant decreases in VOD. Approximately 60% of the VOD declines can be directly explained by variations in rainfall and surface temperature. After removing these climate induced influences, a significant decreasing trend still persists in the VOD residuals across regions of Mongolia. Correlations in spatial patterns and temporal trends suggest that a marked increase in goat density with associated grazing pressures and wild fires are the most likely non-climatic factors behind grassland degradation. © 2013 Liu et al.
KAUST Department:
Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Citation:
Liu YY, Evans JP, McCabe MF, de Jeu RAM, van Dijk AIJM, et al. (2013) Changing Climate and Overgrazing Are Decimating Mongolian Steppes. PLoS ONE 8: e57599. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057599.
Publisher:
Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Journal:
PLoS ONE
Issue Date:
25-Feb-2013
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0057599
PubMed ID:
23451249
PubMed Central ID:
PMC3581472
Type:
Article
ISSN:
19326203
Appears in Collections:
Articles; Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Yi Y.en
dc.contributor.authorEvans, Jason P.en
dc.contributor.authorMcCabe, Matthewen
dc.contributor.authorde Jeu, Richard A. M.en
dc.contributor.authorvan Dijk, Albert I. J. M.en
dc.contributor.authorDolman, Albertus J.en
dc.contributor.authorSaizen, Izuruen
dc.date.accessioned2014-08-27T09:46:22Zen
dc.date.available2014-08-27T09:46:22Zen
dc.date.issued2013-02-25en
dc.identifier.citationLiu YY, Evans JP, McCabe MF, de Jeu RAM, van Dijk AIJM, et al. (2013) Changing Climate and Overgrazing Are Decimating Mongolian Steppes. PLoS ONE 8: e57599. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057599.en
dc.identifier.issn19326203en
dc.identifier.pmid23451249en
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0057599en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/325311en
dc.description.abstractSatellite observations identify the Mongolian steppes as a hotspot of global biomass reduction, the extent of which is comparable with tropical rainforest deforestation. To conserve or restore these grasslands, the relative contributions of climate and human activities to degradation need to be understood. Here we use a recently developed 21-year (1988-2008) record of satellite based vegetation optical depth (VOD, a proxy for vegetation water content and aboveground biomass), to show that nearly all steppe grasslands in Mongolia experienced significant decreases in VOD. Approximately 60% of the VOD declines can be directly explained by variations in rainfall and surface temperature. After removing these climate induced influences, a significant decreasing trend still persists in the VOD residuals across regions of Mongolia. Correlations in spatial patterns and temporal trends suggest that a marked increase in goat density with associated grazing pressures and wild fires are the most likely non-climatic factors behind grassland degradation. © 2013 Liu et al.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)en
dc.rightsThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to PLoS ONEen
dc.subjectrainen
dc.subjectwateren
dc.subjectbiomassen
dc.subjectclimate changeen
dc.subjectcorrelation analysisen
dc.subjectenvironmental parametersen
dc.subjectenvironmental temperatureen
dc.subjectfireen
dc.subjectgoaten
dc.subjectgrazingen
dc.subjectland useen
dc.subjectMongoliaen
dc.subjectovergrazingen
dc.subjectpopulation densityen
dc.subjectremote sensingen
dc.subjectsteppeen
dc.subjectvegetation optical depthen
dc.subjectwater contenten
dc.subjectBiomassen
dc.subjectClimateen
dc.subjectClimate Changeen
dc.subjectEcosystemen
dc.subjectHuman Activitiesen
dc.subjectMongoliaen
dc.subjectTemperatureen
dc.subjectWateren
dc.titleChanging Climate and Overgrazing Are Decimating Mongolian Steppesen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)en
dc.identifier.journalPLoS ONEen
dc.identifier.pmcidPMC3581472en
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionWater Research Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionClimate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionEarth and Climate Cluster, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlandsen
dc.contributor.institutionCSIRO Land and Water, Black Mountain Laboratories, Canberra, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionFenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australiaen
dc.contributor.institutionGraduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japanen
dc.contributor.affiliationKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)en
kaust.authorMcCabe, Matthewen

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