Current State of Multifunctional Use of Grasslands



Grasslands are multifunctional ecosystems, which can provide important ecological benefits, as well as economic benefits. In this chapter, we give an overview of the ecosystem services provided by the grassland ecosystem on the Loess Plateau and demonstrate the possibilities for multifunctional grassland utilisation. Grasslands are able to effectively protect soil, prevent erosion, promote carbon sequestration, regulate regional climate and constantly provide environmental services. Grasslands also provide a source of forage material and livelihood, which indirectly promotes the development of local economies. At present, protection-based grazing, coupled with agriculture and livestock and grassland ecotourism managements have been seen as the major multifunctional uses of the grassland on the Loess Plateau. These managements have beneficial effects on regional socioeconomic development and environmental quality. However, some negative influences have been observed through the management of the grassland ecosystem. One challenge is that we have to keep the balance between land degradation and grazing while giving full consideration to grassland conservation and ecotourism. Finally, the need to promote more multifunctional use of grasslands is proposed.


Soil Erosion Loess Plateau Land Degradation Grassland Ecosystem Natural Grassland 
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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaoshan An
    • 1
  • Man Cheng
    • 2
  • Zhijing Xue
    • 3
  • Rentian Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soil and Water ConservationNorthwest A&F UniversityYangling, Xi’anChina
  2. 2.Institute of Agricultural Environment and ResourceShanxi Academy of Agricultural SciencesTaiyuanChina
  3. 3.Tourism and Environment Collage of Shaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anChina

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