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Soil Cover of the Hovsgol Region

Research Objectives and Activities

To study soil covers, specific of soil forming process, morphological characteristics, chemical, water-physical properties of soils eastern shore of Lake Hovsgol (six study valleys: Borsog, Dalbay, Sevsuul, Noyon, Shagnuul, Turag).

Our objectives include:

  • Define differences among watersheds in the context of spatial differences in livestock grazing on soil moisture, temperature, water holding capacity, bulk density and chemical content (N, P and C content)
  • Perform graphical and statistical analysis of all data and relate to other study results: meteorology, plant ecology, and nomad’s land use and livestock grazing practices.

Our research activities started in 2002 year by establishing transects in the study valleys with different levels of livestock grazing. We collect samples from the permanent monitoring transects, using a Standard Operating Procedure.

Study Design and Methods

Transect Establishment

Monitoring studies continue in the six study valleys (Borsog, Dalbay, Sevsuul, Noyon, Shagnuul and Turag), which are different level of livestock use, for identification of plant species composition, canopy cover, above and belowground biomass and soil physical and chemical condition. In each valley we established fixed transects across valleys with a 100 meter width. The established transects were divided into four strata in the steppe zone: north facing slope-lower steppe, south facing slope-upper steppe, -lower steppe, and in riparian zone south facing-lower steppe.

[Insert the photo named as transect 2.]

Soil Water-Physical Properties Measurement

Soil Sampling Identifying of Soil Morphology [Insert Fig_4 Insert Fig_5]

Initial Results

Soil Cover of the Eastern Part of the Lake Hovsgol

Soil cover of Western and Eastern part of Hovsgol lake areas differed. In Western parts more wide spread out high mountain soils: Mountain tundra, Mountain meadow. Soils of this part especially Hordil Sardag mountain areas characterized by high carbonate contents result of calcite, dolomite rocks.

Strata Soil
South Slopes Mountain Dark Kastanazem, Mountain Chernozem
North Slope Forest Mountain Derno Taiga, Mountain Taiga Cryomorphic
North Lower Slopes Boggy Cryomorphic, Meadow-Boggy Cryomorphic, Meadow Chernozem, Mounatin Chernozem
Flooplains of Rivers Alluvial Meadow, Alluvial Derno, Boggy Cryomorphic
Meadow Boggy Cryomorphic

Soil Bulk Density And Water Holding Capacity

Soil water holding capacity and soil moisture are high in the riparian zone than other parts of the study valleys. In other words the upper and lower steppe of south facing slope are deficient by soil moisture. But the soil moisture of the Sevsuul and Turag valley are lower than the soil water holding capacity. It relate with sandy soil of Sevsuul and heavy grazing in Turag valley.

Also the soil bulk density is lower in riparian zone of the valleys. The bulk density is higher in Turag valley than others, also it relates with heavy grazing. In other words soil in Turag valley is compacted by livestock grazing.

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