Title: Vegetation conditions in various plant communities in Khongor District, Darkhan-Uul province in Mongolia

Author(s): Tserennadmid Bataa
Final project
Year of publication:
Document URL: Link
Supervisors: Jarngerdur Gretarsdottir , Groa Valgerdur Ingimundardottir
vegetation composition, plant communities, vegetation cover, dominant species, species richness, grasslands, Mongolian Daurian steppe


The main part of the Mongolian ecosystem is natural grassland. Because of the increasing effects of humans and animals on the natural grassland, the vegetation cover has been changing considerably. Overgrazing of livestock is the main cause of land degradation in Mongolia, resulting in more bare ground and lower species diversity. Few extensive grassland steppes remain in Eurasia, where wildlife and domestic livestock co-exist. One of these steppes is the Mongolian Daurian steppe in North-east Mongolia. The goal of this project was to assess the vegetation conditions in eight different plant communities in the Khongor district, DarkhanUul province, which is located in the north-western part of the Mongolian Daurian steppe, and to investigate vegetation dynamics in the communities for the years 2009 – 2012. Vegetation data were collected, using phytosociological methods, from 40 stands in eight areas crossing approximately 300 km and covering a large proportion of the south-east part of the Khongor district. The results showed that regarding ecological groups, most species in the study sites belonged to mesophytes (38 %), xerophytes (26 %) and mesoxerophytes (23 %), but different groups were important in different communities. The results revealed also a variation between study sites in canopy cover, species richness and vegetation height, but minor changes in cover, richness and height between the four study years. A DCA ordination revealed groupings of eight phytosociological communities based on vegetation composition. The changes observed in species composition in the eight plant communities between study years were only small and no trends were observed in the direction of change. The minor changes observed in species richness between study years could possibly be connected to the low precipitation in the year 2010. The vegetation parameters measured in this study did not show signs of a degrading condition of the plant communities observed.

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