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The Influence Of Vegetation On Reflected Solar Radiation In Arid And Extra-Arid Zone Of Mongolian Gobi

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Vegetation cover has a noticeable effect on surface reflectivity and local microclimate in arid areas of Mongolian Gobi. Over the past decades, various shrub species (Haloxylon ammodendron and Calligonum mongolicum) have appeared on the previously unvegetated hamada. The climatic consequences of bush encroachment are still poorly understood. Using the experimental data, this article estimates the reflectance of plants dominating in Mongolia’s dry steppe, desert-steppe, and desert ecosystems. The average values of the total reflection coefficient at visible and infrared wavelengths range from 19.7% ± 1.4% to 20.1% ± 1.7% in plants growing in desert-steppe ecosystems, and from 25.0% ± 0.9% to 24.8% ± 1.5% on the bare surface. The difference between the reflectance of vegetated and unvegetated surfaces reaches 5%. Therefore, in daylight hours, the vegetated day surface loses less solar energy than the non-vegetated surface does. This phenomenon may be defined as a quasi- or secondary greenhouse effect – in daylight hours, solar energy is retained on the surface by vegetation and this contributes to the temperature increase. Such an impulse, which seems to be insignificantly small at first glance, triggers a series of climatic variations leading to a change in the structure of the radiation and heat balance as well as the climate not only in the desert-steppe and desert ecosystems but also in Central Asia as a whole. All this may explain the 1.2-2.3°C increase in air temperatures in the Gobi observed over the last 25 years.

About the Authors

Viktor P. Dedkov
Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University
Russian Federation
14, A. Nevskogo ul., Kaliningrad, 236036

Elena V. Danzhalova
A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

33, Leninsky Prospekt, Moscow, 119071

Sergey N. Tkachenko
Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University
Russian Federation
14, A. Nevskogo ul., Kaliningrad, 236036

S. Khadbaatar
Mongolian National University of Education
14, Baga toiruu, Ulaanbaatar-48, 210648

E. Ariunbold
Botanical Garden – Institute, Mongolian Academy of Sciences
77 – Jukov avenue-77, Ulaanbaatar – 51, 13330

Peter D. Gunin
A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation
33, Leninsky Prospekt, Moscow, 119071

Sergey N. Bazha
A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

33, Leninsky Prospekt, Moscow, 119071


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For citations:

Dedkov V.P., Danzhalova E.V., Tkachenko S.N., Khadbaatar S., Ariunbold E., Gunin P.D., Bazha S.N. The Influence Of Vegetation On Reflected Solar Radiation In Arid And Extra-Arid Zone Of Mongolian Gobi. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2020;13(4):72-80.

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)