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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES, SCALE, CLIMATE VARIABILITY, AND WATER RESOURCES FOR SEMIARID WATERSHED MANAGEMENT

Location: Southwest Watershed Research

Title: Monitoring Rangeland Ecosystems with Remote Sensing: An example from Kazakhstan

Authors
item Lebed, L. - KAZAKH RESEARCH INST.
item Qi, J. - MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
item Heilman, Philip

Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 30, 2008
Publication Date: December 30, 2008
Citation: Lebed, L., Qi, J., Heilman, P. 2008. Monitoring Rangeland Ecosystems with Remote Sensing: An example from Kazakhstan. NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Environmental Problems of Central Asia and their Economic, Social and Security Impacts. 1-5 October 2007, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. p. 135-146.

Interpretive Summary: A new project is underway to develop methods of monitoring rangelands in Kazakhstan. This paper introduces desertification in Kazakhstan and describes some of the dominant characteristics of vegetation in Kazakhstan. A previously developed model of vegetation production is described. The model calculates pasture yield given soils and climatic inputs. A new algorithm for estimating canopy cover will be used to assess desertification apply the vegetation model. Time permitting, the project will also assess changes in carbon stocks associated with rangeland vegetation.

Technical Abstract: This paper introduces the problem of desertification in Kazakhstan in both a historical and modern context. The vegetation of Kazakhstan is dominated by shrubs and grasses, many of which are adapted to saline or sandy soils, with a very limited growing season. A model of vegetation production under conditions prevailing in Kazakhstan has been developed and has been applied previously. The model calculates pasture yield given soils and climatic inputs. Remotely sensed information is used to check the spatial and temporal validity of the model estimates of production. A project is underway to develop new methods of monitoring rangelands in Kazakhstan, including assessment of a new algorithm for estimating canopy cover to assess desertification and to compliment the vegetation model.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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