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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Diploma Thesis

Character and intensity of spatial and functional correlations between soil erosion / vegetation damage and grazing.

Martin Alt (01/2007)

Support: Sebastian Schmidtlein, Carl Beierkuhnlein




Within the framework of the interdisciplinary research project "The Impact of the Transformation Process on Human - Environmental Interactions in Southern Kyrgyzstan", financed by the Volkswagen foundation, interactions between human and environment in the Jalalabad region are investigated. This work presents an extension of the subject from the Walnut-Wildfruit-Forests to the adjacent summer pastures in the Fergana Range. Over decades Kyrgyzstan was developed to one of the most important wool and meat producing countries under Soviet leadership. Nowadays consequences are still visible in the environment. Since stock numbers start to recover after a recent decline and sustainable animal husbandry is unknown, the area is endangered to get irrevocably destroyed. This was the motivation to investigate the actual condition of the area.

Because the study area is a very heterogeneous and rugged alpine terrain with high variability in climate and moisture, it was assumed that ext to grazing environmental factors also play important roles in vegetation damage.

Based on this assumption the ecological hypothesis was formulated as: "Relief and distances to camps explain the magnitude of vegetation damage." Numbers of cattle tracks (as measure of consumption), the cover of bare soil (as measure for vegetation damage) and animals’ faeces (for evaluation) were sampled on 100 sites.

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