Impact of Overgrazing on Semiarid Ecosystem Soil Properties: A Case Study of the Eastern Hovsgol Lake Area, MongoliaQinxue Wang1* and Ochirbat Batkhishig2
- *Corresponding Author:
- Qinxue Wang
National Institute for Environmental Studies
16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba 305-8506, Japan
E mail: [email protected]
Received date: November 04 , 2013; Accepted date: January 28, 2014; Published date: February 06, 2014
Citation: Wang Q, Batkhishig O (2014) Impact of Overgrazing on Semiarid Ecosystem Soil Properties: A Case Study of the Eastern Hovsgol Lake Area, Mongolia. J Ecosys Ecograph 4:140. doi:10.4172/2157-7625.1000140
Copyright: © 2014 Wang Q, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The present study investigates the impacts of overgrazing on soil properties in eastern Hovsgol, Mongolia. The results have shown that soil fertility decreases and soil chemical properties change as a result of overgrazing and pasture degradation. In overgrazed areas, SOM content was 30-50% lower (p=0.012), and exchangeable calcium 40-60% lower when compared to non-grazing areas. Nitrate nitrogen content was also lower in overgrazed valleys. Overgrazing was also found to affect physical soil water properties, increasing topsoil temperature and decreasing moisture content. Moreover, topsoil becomes denser and more compact as a result of animal pressure on the soil surface, increasing bulk and particle density. The results indicate that overgrazing can lead to significant decreases in soil organic content and fertility, highlighting the need to implement soil conservation and pasture management policies based on traditional nomadic husbandry.