Eingeladen durch Prof. Beierkuhnlein.
The southern Mongolian Gobi contains 5 large protected areas, which cover some 100000 km2. Several endangered species are found within this arid ecosystem, yet our knowledge regarding the ecology of these environments and the distribution of its species is quite coarse. We therefore started a multiscaled approach to gain sound spatial knowledge about plant species and vegetation types. Based on the plant species data biogeographical patterns were analysed and related to environmental characteristics. Vegetation maps of all protected areas were processed based on Landsat data; additionally an analysis of soil and rainfall patterns as well as plant productivity was performed in order to understand the ecological characteristics and interactions of this highly variable ecosystem. Productivity patterns were related to livestock numbers in order to quantify the effect of extreme events (both droughts and extensive snowfalls). The derived datasets and results were combined with ARCOR-collar points of both Wild horses (Equus przewalskii) and Asiatic Wild Asses (Equus hemionus) to understand the habitat use of these two equids on a landscape level. In a final step we used the results gained within Central Asia to review non-equilibrium dynamics within rangelands on a global scale.
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A new experiment to unravel the Impact of Biodiversity and Climate Variability on the functioning of grasslands
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