6.7 Simulating Grazing Dynamics of Goat and Sheep for Climate Adaptation strategies in West Inner Mongolia

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 5:00 PM
Room 19A (Austin Convention Center)
Xingang Dai, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; and Z. Xiong, K. Kramer, and G. Jia

Handout (2.9 MB)

This study focus on climate change adaptation involving land use management and grazing strategies by use of social survey,statistics and numerical modeling. The results suggest that the adaptation must keep the balance between sustainable development of local economics and ecological system. Our investigation shows that grazing ban and migration strategy are two major adaptation policies in west Inner Mongolia. Grazing ban has led to a quick regeneration of local steppe, and meanwhile the migration has enhanced pressure to emigrant towns which are the low lands with better vegetation. Increase in population of the town with over-cultivation has caused land degradation, and over-use of deep ground water has made ground water drop, surface soil salty and drinking water quality declining. The grazing ban has led to a series of negative effects, such as increase in mouse population that damage grassland, enhance in fire risk due to accumulation of dry matter, and biological diversity tend to decrease since grazing ban. The local shrubs become declining without grazing that is a stimulate mechanism for keeping their growth. It turned out that ungulate is one of important roles in keeping local ecological system. To quantitatively investigate the grazing effect we made a numerical simulation of local grassland NPP under different grazing pressures with FORSPACE model, incorporating ungulate grazing, wild fire, hydrological process, ecological system, and climate change. It confirmed that suitable grazing or controllable grazing would be not only in favorable to dry land vegetation, especially to local shrubs, but also as alternatives in reducing the pressure of the emigrant towns and increase the income of local residents. By contrast, over grazing would destroy surface vegetation and lead to animal death. These results suggest that local adaptation policy is proposed to allow some extent grazing, and encourage having their economical animals enclosed. We should greatly promote the new policies that encourage young emigrants to search new jobs in city or mine or service sector, other than waiting the government helps day by day. The policy should combine both local economic development and ecological conservation under global warming. Keywords: ungulate grazing climate change impact and adaptation grassland degradation policy assessment
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