Changing patterns of basic household consumption in the Inner Mongolian grasslands: a case study of policy-oriented adoptive changes in the use of grasslands

B. Du, L. Zhen, R.S. de Groot, C.E. Goulden, X. Long, X. Cao, R. Wu, C. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Grassland ecosystems, as the basic natural resources in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, are becoming increasingly sensitive to human intervention, leading to deterioration in fragile ecosystems. The goal of this study was to describe the restoration policy-oriented adoptive changes to basic household consumption patterns of food, fuel, and water, and their spatial distribution by grassland types in the region. Basic household consumption data were collected in the meadow steppe (Hulun Buir), typical steppe (Xilin Gol), and semi-desert steppe (Ordos) ecosystems using structured questionnaires administered to 209 herders and farmers. In 2010, the householders' intake comprised a low amount of agricrops, including staple foods, vegetables and fruit with a high amount of meat, which still dominated the patterns of food consumption. However, the number of households preferring this pattern is decreasing and higher amounts of agri-crop and lower amounts of meat consumption pattern is increasing. From 1995 to 2010, fuel consumption patterns changed from being dominated by bio-fuels (dung) to being dominated mainly by electricity and gas. However, bio-fuel remains a major energy source for daily life in the meadow steppe ecosystem. In all three surveyed grassland types, the use of coal, electricity and gas increased from 1995 to 2010. The source of domestic water in all three surveyed areas is from groundwater, with an increasing trend to use tap water from a public supply rather than from privately owned wells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-517
JournalThe Rangeland Journal
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • energy-consumption
  • northern china
  • vegetation
  • land
  • food
  • communities
  • management
  • attitudes
  • responses
  • selection

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