Title: Vegetation pattern and environmental factors in semi-desert and desert areas of Mongolia: Case study in Khanbogd Soum

Author(s): Altantsetseg Balt
Final project
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vegetation pattern, precipitation, environmental factors, desert and semi-desert area, ordination


The aim of this study was to assess the vegetation patterns in the semi-desert and desert areas of Khanbogd soum and to determine the relationship between these vegetation patterns and environmental factors. The study provides reference data of the natural undisturbed vegetation before mining and information on natural fluctuations in the area for assisting the future rehabilitation and conservation efforts of desert areas in Mongolia. Data were collected in 24 plots from 2007-2009 on a cover of vascular plant species using visual estimation. Environmental variables such as slope, altitude, and habitat type were recorded. Temperature and precipitation were obtained for the study period from the Khanbogd weather station. The vegetation pattern was explored using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) and Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) was used to quantify and test the effects of environmental variables. A total of 107 species were recorded and species composition varied greatly in the study area. The temporal variation in the three study years was considerable; however the spatial variation was relatively much larger. Most of the variation in species composition is best explained by two habitat types (sandy hill, riverside) and topography (altitude, slope). There were natural fluctuations in plant cover, species richness and species composition – these changes may most likely have been related to precipitation which varied greatly between the study years.

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