World Congress of Soil Science Logo 18th World Congress of Soil Science
July 9-15, 2006 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
International Union of Soil Sciences

Monday, 10 July 2006 - Friday, 14 July 2006
176-2

This presentation is part of 176: LD Soil Degradation: Processes, Control, and Politics - Poster

Productivity of the Grassland in China and the Restricting Factors for Its Sustainable Utilization.

Liming Liu, Department of Land Resources Management, China Agricultural University, West Campus, Beijing, 100094, China

The area of natural grassland in China reaches as high as 392.8 million hm2, which makes up 41% of the total land of this country. The grassland is mainly distributed in the western regions of China. The grassland productivity in China is generally low, with the average of only 911 kg, hay /ha.yr. Moreover, the grassland productivity in different bio-climatic regions often differs greatly (Table 1).

Theoretic capacity of the whole grassland in China is estimated to 450 million sheep units. However, the amount of domestic herbivore China owned in 2000 reached 970 million sheep units, and the actual animal load of the grassland was at least 700-800 sheep units as 30-40% of fodder in the agricultural and semi-agricultural areas was made of crop straws etc. Hence, The overload rate of the grassland in China was estimated to more than 60%. Table 1 indicates the grassland in the keystone pasturing areas in northern China was heavily overloaded, causing the deterioration of the soil and ecosystems; while the grassland to the south of the Yangtze River and in the Sichuan Basin was not fully utilized and still had potentials for exploitation.          

The main restricting factors for the sustainable use of the grassland include: (1) Climate stress: 61% of the grassland is in alpine or water-shortage areas; (2) Natural disasters and rodent and insect pests: 5 million hm2 of grassland is affected by natural disasters each year and 30% of the semi-arid grassland, alpine grassland and meadow are damaged by rodent pest; (3) Soil degradation: 1.05 million hm2 of grassland in the desert areas has been deteriorated to different extent; (4) Imbalance between cold and warm: 44.4% of the grassland in China is suitable for pasturing in warm seasons; but only 24.3% for pasturing in cold seasons; (5) Low rate of artificial grassland: only 2.4% of the grassland in China is artificial or improved one; (6) Low input, extensive management and the faultiness of grassland property rights.

 Table 1 Area and productivity of the natural grassland in China in 2000

 Regions

Area of natural grassland

(ha)

Yield

(Hay, kg/ha.yr)

Potential

(Hay, kg/ha.yr)

Theoretic capacity

(sheep units)

Amount of domestic herbivore in 2000

(sheep units)

Northeast China

19787054

1243

11961

41504227

81217800

The Huang-Huai-Hai Rivers Region

4412477

1769

16013

10380407

226291200

The lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze River

7830031

3307

28177

25813687

72572400

The south of the Yangtze River

18078323

3479

30903

58939658

58207000

South China

6798994

3070

35048

30670010

69563800

The Inner Mongolia Plateau and along the Great Wall

62975566

862

4182

44922632

74411800

The Loess Plateau

18517247

1153

7762

23317581

61732000

The Sichuan Basin

12754961

2378

26573

42594488

42922300

The Yunnan-guizhou Plateau

22394613

1772

27414

48839077

92649800

The Hengduan Mountain Area

32639249

1381

14707

28688728

37986800

Northwest China

84828762

684

1288

38386608

79281200

The Tibet Plateau

101815566

577

4577

54858313

71917700

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total 

392832633

 

 

448915416

968753800

   

 

 

 


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