Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2021, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (3): 319-331.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.03.002

• Forest and Grassland Ecosystem • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Grazing on the Grassland Vegetation Community Characteristics in Inner Mongolia

GUO Caiyun1,2, ZHAO Dongsheng1,*(), ZHENG Du1, ZHU Yu1,2   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-08-31 Accepted:2021-02-24 Online:2021-05-30 Published:2021-07-30
  • Contact: ZHAO Dongsheng
  • About author:GUO Caiyun, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The National Key Research and Development Program of China(2017YFA0604803)


The continuous increase of livestock production in Inner Mongolia has caused severe degradation of the grassland ecosystems in recent years. Previous grazing experiments have shown a wide range of vegetation responses between the biome types on a global scale, but there is still a lack of sufficient studies to discern the relative responses of a given biome type. We conducted a meta-analysis of vegetation coverage (VC), plant density (PD), total biomass (TB), above-ground biomass (AGB), under-ground biomass (UGB) and Shannon-Weaver Index (SI) in different grassland types in Inner Mongolia obtained under conditions of different grazing intensities and durations. The results showed that grazing decreased VC, TB, AGB, UGB, and PD significantly. Compared to the global and national average values, the negative effects of grazing to steppe biomass in Inner Mongolia were higher than that on the global scale, while less pronounced than that in China. TB of the meadow steppe in Inner Mongolia increased by 40% under moderate grazing intensity and duration because of compensatory growth. SI of the desert and meadow steppe showed negative linear relationships with the grazing intensity in Inner Mongolia. The percentage changes in AGB, PD, and SI to grazing showed quadratic relationships with the mean annual temperature of the experimental year. With increasing mean annual precipitation, the negative effects of grazing on UGB and SI first decreased and then increased, with that of VC and grazing showing a cubic relationship.

Key words: grazing intensity, grazing duration, vegetation community characteristics, meta-analysis, Inner Mongolia