ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONS OF STEPPE LANDSCAPES NEAR LAKE BAIKAL
AbstractRecreational activity has a significant impact on the Priol’khonie steppes and forest steppes, which are part of the Pribaikalskyi National Park (western coast of Lake Baikal, Russia). The aim of this investigation is the assessment of different landscapes’ values for the provision of ecosystems functions and services. To meet these objectives, fieldwork was conducted in the Priol’khonie steppes and forest steppes during the summer of 2013. The function of phytomass formation was considered for different land-cover types identified in the area, and the above-ground phytomass and inter-rill erosion were measured. The level of landscape degradation was estimated and draft maps of phytomass stocks and vulnerability to soil erosion of the investigated area were compiled. To show the dependence between the studied ecosystem functions and the ecosystem services provided by them, a scoring of the latter was made. It was found that characteristics of ecosystem functions varied significantly in the steppes of the Priol’khonie.
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