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Improvement of degraded pasture by resting

The pasture, a main component of husbandry in Mongolia, is the main source for herders income generation. Recently huge areas of pasture are degrading, due to the strong increase of livestock number, unproper management of pastureland and, probably, global warming. So, there is a big need to introduce rehabilitation methods for degraded pasture depending on their degradation level such as a self rehabilitation by resting or other techniques.
Test the resting impact on degraded rangeland by different level
We were aiming to:
–    Compare the resting and grazing pasture by main indicators of rangeland health
–    Study of resting impact by degradation level
Materials and methods
The experiment conducted since 2007 in 5 sites degraded different level :
1.    Ecological zones (high mountain and steppe)
2.    The degradation level (slightly, heavily, totally)
The following parameters were studied by 3-5 replicates using line point intercept and a traditional method inside and outside the fences and compared.

  • –    canopy cover
  • –    basal cover
  • –    bare ground
  • –    diversity of key species
  • –    standing biomass
  • –    percentage of grass
  • –    indicator species for degradation
  • –    Forage species (good and bad)


  1. Increased cover of canopy and hay yield shows the possibility to improve the structure of degraded pasture with different levels of degradation by resting.
  2. The improvement intensity was differing between degradation levels.
  3. Vegetation cover, species number and a biomass has a tight interaction with climate condition of particular years. But  grass cover is a relatively stable parameter indicating a management practice.
  4. Due to the long term resting not just the vegetation cover, also the soil surface indicators have a positive trend.

Herders are needed to manage the pasture sustainably by keeping  the appropriate level of species richness and hay yield by the resting way.

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