Grazing removal rate of grasses needs to be determined for various climate conditions to address eco-environmental concerns (e.g., desertification) related to steppe grassland degradation. The conventional approach, which requires survey data on animal species and heads as well as grass consumption per individual animal, is too costly and time-consuming to be applied at a watershed scale. The objective of this study was to present a new approach that can be used to estimate grazing removal rate with no requirement of animal-related data. The application of this new approach was demonstrated in a Eurasian semiarid typical-steppe watershed for an analysis period of 2000 to 2010. The results indicate that the removal rate tended to become larger, but its temporal variation tended to become smaller, from the upstream to downstream. Averaged across the watershed, the removal rate ranged from 63.9 to 401.0 g DM m-2 (or 22.4 to 60.9%) during the analysis period. As expected, the removal rate in an atmospherically wetter year was higher than that in an atmospherically drier year. Nevertheless, none of the eleven analysis years had a removal rate higher than the threshold value of 65%, above which the risk of grassland degradation would become much greater.
Original Publication Citation
Wang, X. X., Pedram, S., Liu, T. X., Gao, R. Z., Li, F. L., & Luo, Y. Y. (2016). Estimated grass grazing removal rate in a semiarid Eurasian steppe watershed as influenced by climate. Water, 8(8), 1-18. doi: 10.3390/w8080339
Wang, Xixi; Pedram, Shohreh; Liu, Tingxi; Gao, Ruizhong; Li, Fengling; and Luo, Yanyun, "Estimated Grass Grazing Removal Rate in a Semiarid Eurasian Steppe Watershed as Influenced by Climate" (2016). Civil & Environmental Engineering Faculty Publications. 4.