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Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Mongolian State University of Agriculture is a national university of Mongolia, with the main branch situated in the capital of Ulan Bator. It lies in the southern part of the city in the Khoroo 11 district on the southern side of the Tuul River, just to the northwest of the Zaisan Memorial and the American School of Ulan Bator.It was formerly the veterinary faculty of the Mongolian State University and Higher School of Agriculture from 1958 but underwent structural reform in 1990 and 1993, with seven schools, four research institutes and three university branches in Orkhon Province, Dornod Province and Khovd Province since 2001. 7060 undergraduates and 1045 graduates were reported in 2008. Wikipedia.

Sasaki T.,Tohoku University | Ohkuro T.,University of Tokyo | Jamsran U.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture | Takeuchi K.,University of Tokyo
Grass and Forage Science

We examined the changes in the nutritive value and yield of herbage along a grazing gradient, where abrupt changes in community composition occurred, at multiple ecological sites in Mongolian rangelands. At grassland sites, changes in the herbage nutritive value could be attributed to rapid replacement of perennial grasses or forbs with weedy annual forbs along a grazing gradient. Crude protein (CP) concentration increased sharply in approaching the source of grazing gradient, whereas neutral detergent fibre and metabolizable energy (ME) concentrations decreased sharply. As ME can be utilized as a main index of herbage nutritive value, these results indicated its overall loss with severe grazing. Consequently, gradual increases in the yields of CP and ME in the direction of the gradient source at the grassland sites did not necessarily indicate the improvement of rangeland condition. In contrast, at shrubland sites, we could not generally detect any significant trends in the herbage nutritive value. The yield of ME gradually decreased in the direction of gradient source, suggesting that grazing affects herbage yield rather than herbage feed value at shrubland sites. Thus, the nutritive value and yield of herbage can be modified greatly in association with nonlinear responses of vegetation to livestock grazing. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Lkhagvadorj D.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture | Hauck M.,University of Gottingen | Dulamsuren C.,University of Gottingen | Tsogtbaatar J.,Mongolian Academy of science
Journal of Arid Environments

The population structure, educational level and the livelihoods of 82 households of pastoral nomads, the organization of livestock husbandry and its impact on the grassland and forest ecosystems of the Dayan high valley (>2000 m a.s.l.) in the Mongolian Altai, western Mongolia, were surveyed using interviews and secondary information from official sources. Changes following the transition from centrally planned (before 1990) to market economy were analyzed. Two thirds of the monthly mean income of ca. 310 USD per nomad household is cash (ca. 55 USD) or non-cash (ca. 165 USD) income from livestock husbandry. Cashmere sale accounts for 70% of the cash income from livestock husbandry, which has led to a strong increase of goat numbers after 1990. Forests are used for livestock grazing, fuel wood collection, logging, and fruit collection. Livestock breeding and the seasonal migration of the nomad households are no longer organized by the government. To avoid transportation costs, two thirds of the families have reduced their seasonal migrations. This trend was favored by rising temperatures and earlier snowmelt during the last few decades, but resulted in a shortage of fodder and intensified forest use. Therefore, the use of grasslands and forests in the Mongolian Altai is no longer considered to be sustainable. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Hauck M.,University of Gottingen | Lkhagvadorj D.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture
Ecological Indicators

The ecological impact of the traditional land use by pastoral nomads on forest ecosystems is little studied. We analyzed the influence of livestock density on epiphytic lichen diversity in larch forests of the Mongolian forest-steppe, which we selected as a case example because pastoral nomadism is here most widespread within Central Asia. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that the epiphytic lichen vegetation was strongly influenced by the livestock density within a radius of 1 km around the sampled forests. Goats together with horses were most significant at shaping lichen vegetation in the forest edges as were horses alone in the forest interiors. This result matches with the results of interviews with 169 herder families and own field observations, which substantiate that goats preferably graze at the edges, whereas horses often browse the interiors. The livestock impact is thought to be primarily exerted through fertilization by the animals and mechanical abrasion. Based on an indicator species analyses, we propose to use epiphytic lichens as indicators of the grazing impact at different livestock densities in the Mongolian forest-steppe. The proposed indication system can be used as a tool for the rapid assessment of the livestock grazing impact. It has the advantage that it is thought to average the livestock impact of several years, which is important with regard to the nomadic style of livestock husbandry. The use of lichens as indicator species can at least partly substitute the time-consuming interviewing of the herder families to assess livestock densities and their impact on forest biodiversity. The proposed indicator system could thus be used as a planning tool for purposes of nature conservation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Scherr K.E.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Lundaa T.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Lundaa T.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture | Klose V.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Biotechnology

Anaerobic biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHC) to methane has been recognized to occur in oil reservoirs and contaminated surface sites alike. This process could be employed efficiently for the treatment of contaminated materials, including petrochemical wastes and PHC-contaminated soil, since no external electron acceptor is required. Moreover, the controlled production of methane in digestion plants, similarly to the anaerobic digestion (AD) of energy crops or organic residues, would enable for energy recovery from these wastes. At present, little is known about the bacterial communities involved in and responsible for hydrocarbon fermentation, the initial step in PHC conversion to methane. In the present study, the fate of two different methanogenic communities derived from the AD of wastewater (WWT) and of biowaste, mixed with PHC-contaminated soil (SWT), was monitored during incubation with PHC using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rDNA genes amplified with Bacteria-specific primers. During 11 months of incubation, slight but significant degradation of PHC occurred in both sludges and distinct bacterial communities were developing. In both sludges, Bacteroidetes were found. In addition, in WWT, the bacterial community was found to be dominated by Synergistetes and Proteobacteria, while Firmicutes and unidentified members were abundant in SWT. These results indicate that bacterial communities from anaerobic digesters can adapt to and degrade petroleum hydrocarbons. The decontamination of PHC-containing waste via fermentative treatment appears possible. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Yoshihara Y.,University of Tokyo | Ohkuro T.,University of Tokyo | Buuveibaatar B.,Mongolian Academy of science | Jamsran U.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture | Takeuchi K.,University of Tokyo

With our enhanced understanding of the factors that determine biodiversity and assemblage structure has come increasing acknowledgment that the use of an appropriate disturbance regime to maintain spatial heterogeneity is an effective conservation technique. A herbivore's behavior affects its disturbance regime (size and intensity); this, in turn, may modify the associated spatial heterogeneity of plants and soil properties. We examined whether the pattern of spatial disturbance created by the Siberian marmot (Marmota sibirica) affects the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation and soils at a colony scale on the Mongolian steppe. We expected that the difference in management between two types of area (protection against hunting marmots vs. hunting allowed) would result in different behavioral patterns; therefore, we estimated the patterns of spatial disturbance separately in protected and unprotected areas. We then surveyed plant communities and soil nutrients in these areas to assess their spatial heterogeneity. We found that disturbance of both vegetation and soil was more concentrated near marmot burrows in the unprotected area than in the protected area. In addition, the degrees of spatial heterogeneity of vegetation and soil NO3-N were greater in the unprotected area than in the protected area, where disturbance was more widely distributed. These results indicate that the spatial pattern of disturbance by herbivores affects the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation and soil properties through changes in the disturbance regime. Our findings also suggest that the intensity of disturbance is more important than its size in determining community structure in Mongolian grasslands. © Springer-Verlag 2009. Source

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