Spatiotemporal patterns of the forage-livestock balance in the Xilin Gol steppe, China: implications for sustainably utilizing grassland-ecosystem services
Understanding the spatiotemporal patterns of the forage-livestock balance is imperative for regionally arranging animal husbandry production while ensuring sustainable grassland-ecosystem service use. The Xilin Gol steppe is an important native grassland resource in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. This study aimed to elucidate the dynamics of the forage-livestock balance in the Xilin Gol steppe during the period 2000–2015. We evaluated the forage production and corresponding livestock carrying capacity (LCC) in the growing seasons of 2000–2015 using remote sensing data and field surveys. The spatiotemporal patterns of the forage-livestock balance were then assessed at regional, city (including city, county and banner), and village scales using statistical and household survey data. The results showed that both forage production and LCC decreased in the Xilin Gol steppe from east to west. During the period 2000–2015, the regional average forage production and corresponding LCC fluctuated without following a distinct trend, but were consistent with the variations in precipitation. The forage-livestock balance varied with time, space, and scale. At the regional scale, steppes were overgrazed in the early 2000s, but a forage-livestock balance or even grazing potential was achieved in other years. At the city scale, approximately half of the region exhibited a "forage-livestock balance" since 2000. However, about half of the region still experienced overgrazing, which mainly located in the southwest sandy zones. Such changes may have been affected by the variations in grassland quality, forage production, compensation payment, and so on. We suggest a location-specific management scheme for grazing constraints, ecological compensation payment, and industry development to aid in harmonizing animal husbandry and environmental restoration, while promoting sustainable development goals by 2030.
forage production; livestock carrying capacity; forage-livestock balance; Xilin Gol steppe; sustainable development
QU, Yingbo; ZHAO, Yuanyuan; DING, Guodong; CHI, Wenfeng; and GAO, Guanglei
"Spatiotemporal patterns of the forage-livestock balance in the Xilin Gol steppe, China: implications for sustainably utilizing grassland-ecosystem services,"
Journal of Arid Land: Vol. 13:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://egijournals.researchcommons.org/journal-of-arid-land/vol13/iss2/3