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Change in land cover in ecological zones of Mongolia

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Change in land cover in ecological zones of Mongolia
Washington State Convention Center
Battumur Tserenchunt Jr., Dryland Sustainability Institute of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

We studied vegetation productivity trends in Mongolia, using long-term remotely sensed vegetation index AVHRR NDVI (1982-2008). First, we related remotely sensed vegetation index NDVI long-term (1982-2008) average value intervals to main 6 ecological zones. Then we studied changes in areas within these NDVI intervals. Vegetation trends analysis in Mongolia, using long-term remotely sensed vegetation index NDVI (1982-2008) showed that main ecological zone boundaries didn't shift. Desert area didn't change during last 27 years. Averaged (2000-2008) area of southern part of the desert steppe expanded northward by 7.2% relative to average area between 1982-1990, however, northern part of the desert steppe shrunk by 4.7%. Southern part of the dry steppe expanded northward by 6.5% and southern part of the dry steppe shrunk by 2.2% as comparison of average areas of sub-ecozones of the dry steppe between 2000-2008 and 1982-1990 showed. The same comparison shows that mountain forest areas expanded by 11.1%, high mountain forest steppe reduced by 21.3%.

However, there were changes within main ecological zones, particularly, southern drier parts with relatively lover productivity (southern sub-ecological zones) have expanded in areas by 6.5-11.1% northward, and the northern parts with relatively higher productivity (northern sub-ecological zones) have shrunk in areas. Expansion of southern sub-zones within ecological zones means that plant productivity tend to decrease due to climate and land use changes.

This study was funded by the NASA and APN.