Vegetation, ecosystem dynamics, and restoration of floodplains in Central Asia - the Tarim River (Xinjiang, NW China) as an example [Vegetation, Ökosystemdynamik und Renaturierung von zentralasiatischen Flussauen am Beispiel des Tarim in Xinjiang, NW-China]
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Naturally, the floodplains of Central Asian rivers harbour riparian, so-called 'Tugai' forests, reeds with Phragmites australis, and shrub communities which form a mosaic depending on the variety of available ground water. In recent decades, these natural ecosystems have been strongly altered anthropogenically or even completely destroyed. In order to restore those ecosystems, knowledge on vegetation, ecosystem dynamics, and natural regeneration processes is essential. In our study, we present results of ecological investigations at the Tarim River. We gathered comprehensive data on soil, vegetation, forest stand age, tree vitality, river course dynamics, and land use and brought it to the landscape level. Thus, recommendations are derived for the maintenance of these floodplain ecosystems, in particular with regard to their biological diversity.
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