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Gewählte Publikation:

Wan, HW; Bai, YF; Schonbach, P; Gierus, M; Taube, F.
(2011): Effects of grazing management system on plant community structure and functioning in a semiarid steppe: scaling from species to community
PLANT SOIL. 2011; 340(1-2): 215-226. FullText FullText_BOKU

Under the aim of searching for a more sustainable grazing management system, a mixed management system (grazing and haymaking alternate annually) was proposed and tested against traditional management system (used consistently either for grazing or haymaking) in the semiarid grassland of Inner Mongolia with a field manipulation experiment. The responses of aboveground biomass to the two grazing management systems were examined across different levels of organization (i.e., species, plant functional group, and community) and in five consecutive years from 2005 to 2009. The effects of the two systems on seed production potential of four dominant species (Leymus chinensis, Stipa grandis, Agropyron cristatum, Cleistogenes squarrosa) were also investigated. Our results demonstrate that, in the traditional system, aboveground biomass production across all the levels of organization was reduced by grazing. In mixed system, however, no significantly negative relationship between the biomass response and stocking rate was detected at all organization levels. Precipitation fluctuation had strong influence on biomass responses, and compared to the traditional system the slope of the biomass-precipitation relationship tends to be higher in the mixed system. This effect might be attributed to the more positive response of L. chinensis and A. cristatum to increase in precipitation. In the traditional system, both the ratio and the density of reproductive tillers of the grazing subplots were significantly reduced compared to the haymaking or ungrazed control plots. In the mixed system, there was no significant difference between the haymaking subplots and the ungrazed control plots, regardless of the grazing pressures imposed on the haymaking subplots in the previous growing season. Our findings suggest that the mixed system mitigates the sheep grazing-induced species shift and it tends to be more responsive to increasing precipitation as compared to the traditional system. Therefore, replacement of the traditional grazing strategy with the mixed system could provide an important contribution to sustainable land-use of the Inner Mongolia grasslands.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Gierus Martin

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Aboveground biomass
Grazing management
Mixed system
Semiarid grassland
Stocking rate
Traditional system

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