, Volume 122, Issue 2, pp 111–127 | Cite as

The vegetation of the forest-steppe region of Hustain Nuruu, Mongolia

  • M. F. Wallis de Vries
  • N. Manibazar
  • S. Dügerlham


The vegetation of a forest-steppe region in Hustain Nuruu, Mongolia, was studied by a phytocoenological approach. Eleven plant communities were recognized, comprising four steppe communities, two meadow communities, a tussock grassland, two shrub communities, a scrub community and a woodland community. The botanical and ecological characteristics of the different communities are discussed, with reference to the existing classification of Mongolian plant communities. Analysis of the present data indicates that a refinement or extension of the classification system is desirable, especially concerning the steppe(-related) communities. Discussion of the relative distribution of steppe and forest reveals that in the relatively dry location of Hustain Nuruu grassland and shrubland dominate the natural vegetation (88% of the area). Forest covers ca. 5% of the area, it is limited to sites where ground water is within rooting depth: north slopes above 1400 m (Betula platyphylla woodland) and along erosion gullies (fragmentary Ulmus pumila gallery woodland). Under natural conditions forest cover might reach 12%, but it is speculated that wild ungulates could maintain its extension at a lower level. The importance of forest is greater in forest-steppe regions with higher rainfall, but the factors determining the distribution of grassland and forest are expected to be similar.

Key words

Central Asia Forest distribution Forest-steppe Mongolia Phytocoenology Temperate grassland 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. F. Wallis de Vries
    • 1
  • N. Manibazar
    • 3
  • S. Dügerlham
    • 4
  1. 1.Foundation Reserves Przewalski HorseRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Dept. of Terrestrial Ecology and Nature ConservationAgricultural University WageningenWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Institute of BotanyAcademy of SciencesUlan BatorMongolia
  4. 4.Mongolian Association for the Conservation of Nature and EnvironmentUlan BatorMongolia

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