Mongolian State University of Agriculture
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.

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Tulokhonov A.K.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Tsydypov B.Z.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Voloshin A.L.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Batueva D.Z.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Chimeddorj T.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture
Arid Ecosystems | Year: 2014

Model polygons located in arid and semiarid climactic zones in Central Mongolia were considered for the investigation of vegetation dynamics. For these polygons, plots of the NDVI temporal variation and NDVI maps of its multi-temporal values on the basis of Landsat TM imagery were constructed. The full-scale landscape indication of the selected NDVI areas was conducted. This indication is supported by the analysis of vegetation by environmental groups for drought resistance. The vegetation digression during this period is traced across almost the entire territory of the selected polygons. © 2014, Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.

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 | Year: 2012

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.

Sasaki T.,Tohoku University | Yoshihara Y.,Tohoku University | Jamsran U.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture | Ohkuro T.,University of Tokyo
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2010

Plant facilitation (positive plant-plant interactions) strongly influences biodiversity, structure, and dynamics in plant communities, and the topic has received considerable attention among ecologists. Most studies of facilitation processes by shrubs have been conducted at small spatial scales between shrubs and their neighboring species. Yet, we know little about whether facilitation processes by shrubs at a small scale (i.e., a patch scale) also work at a larger scale (i.e., a site scale) in terms of the maintenance of biodiversity. Here, we report that the facilitative effects of shrubs on plant diversity at a larger scale can be explained by changing ecological stoichiometry. The soil fertility showed unimodal shape along shrub cover gradient, suggesting that the facilitative effects of a shrub do not necessarily increase as the shrub develops. The unimodal shape of dependence of plant species richness on shrub cover probably was generated by the unimodal dependence of soil fertility on shrub cover. Soil nutrient enrichment by shrubs shifted low N:P ratios of plant communities with low levels of shrub cover to more balanced N:P ratios at intermediate levels of shrub cover. At the peak N:P ratio along the gradient in shrub cover, the maximum species richness and functional richness were observed, which was consistent with the unimodal relationship predicted by the resource balance hypothesis. Thus, our findings showed that facilitation processes by shrubs at a patch scale also work at a larger scale in terms of the maintenance of biodiversity. Because observed larger-scale facilitation processes are enhanced at some intermediate levels of shrub cover, this study offers practical insight into the need for management practices that allow some intermediate levels of grazing by livestock for optimizing the role of larger-scale facilitation processes in the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in arid and semi-arid rangelands. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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 | Year: 2012

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.

Hasinger M.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | 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 | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2012

Crude oil consists of a large number of hydrocarbons with different susceptibility to microbial degradation. The influence of hydrocarbon structure and molecular weight on hydrocarbon biodegradation under anaerobic conditions is not fully explored. In this study oxygen, nitrate and sulphate served as terminal electron acceptors (TEAs) for the microbial degradation of a paraffin-rich crude oil in a freshly contaminated soil. During 185 days of incubation, alkanes from n-C11 to n-C39, three n- to iso-alkane ratios commonly used as weathering indicators and the unresolved complex mixture (UCM) were quantified and statistically analyzed. The use of different TEAs for hydrocarbon degradation resulted in dissimilar degradative patterns for n- and iso-alkanes. While n-alkane biodegradation followed well-established patterns under aerobic conditions, lower molecular weight alkanes were found to be more recalcitrant than mid- to high-molecular weight alkanes under nitrate-reducing conditions. Biodegradation with sulphate as the TEA was most pronounced for long-chain (n-C32 to n-C39) alkanes. The observation of increasing ratios of n-C17 to pristane and of n-C18 to phytane provides first evidence of the preferential degradation of branched over normal alkanes under sulphate reducing conditions. The formation of distinctly different n- and iso-alkane biodegradation fingerprints under different electron accepting conditions may be used to assess the occurrence of specific degradation processes at a contaminated site. The use of n- to iso-alkane ratios for this purpose may require adjustment if applied for anaerobic sites. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Hauck M.,University of Gottingen | Lkhagvadorj D.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2013

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.

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 | Year: 2013

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.

Lkhagvadorj D.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture | Hauck M.,University of Gottingen | Dulamsuren C.,University of Gottingen | Tsogtbaatar J.,Mongolian Academy of science
Human Ecology | Year: 2013

The socioeconomics and the ecological impact of nomadic pastoralism were analyzed using interviews with 87 herder families and secondary information in the western Khangai, Mongolia. The pastoralists had an income above the national average for rural areas in Mongolia. Most herders continued traditional seasonal migration patterns, which involved ca. 10 moves per year over a total distance of ca. 100 km between summer and winter grazing grounds. As elsewhere in Mongolia, the number of goats owned by herders has greatly increased and cashmere has become the main source of cash income. Total livestock numbers rose considerably after decollectivization of the livestock sector in 1992, but in recent years have periodically been reduced by harsh winters, often combined with drought. Due to the high economic risk of these periodic livestock losses, many herders invest in better education for their children to enable them to migrate to the cities. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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
Oecologia | Year: 2010

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.

Hirano A.,Japan International Research Center for Agricultural science | Batbileg B.,Mongolian State University of Agriculture
Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly | Year: 2013

The spatial distribution of vegetation trends identified by time series analysis of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for the Mongolian grasslands was cross-referenced with the recently obtained land use/cover data and socioeconomic information in the geographic domain. Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) dataset with an 8-km resolution provided by the Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) of the United States were used to compute the vegetation trends. We cross-referenced the vegetation trends obtained from the land use/cover information as of 2005 extracted from the European Space Agency's (ESA) GlobCover land cover dataset and the Mongolian livestock statistics. We found that vegetation or pasture degradation prevailed in the decade after 1990. Results indicated that 21.1% of the vegetation degradation occurred in croplands, mainly in the northcentral part of the country, which may be linked to the abandonment of large-scale state-operated farmland after 1990 when Mongolia made the transition to a market economy. A decline in the vigor of vegetation was also commonly observed in provinces where livestock numbers surged, and may be attributable to the over-exploitation of pasture resources. However, a greening belt was observed around the mountain areas along 45°N. The number of livestock remained relatively constant and no major land use/cover change was observed in these areas, suggesting that the improved vegetation vigor was attributable to the recent global climate change.

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