Assessing environmentally sensitive land to desertification using MEDALUS method in Mongolia

Eun Jung Lee, Dongfan Piao, Cholho Song, Jiwon Kim, Chul Hee Lim, Eunji Kim, Jooyeon Moon, Menas Kafatos, Munkhnsan Lamchin, Seong Woo Jeon, Woo Kyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Desertification is a global phenomenon caused by various processes, including climate change, vegetation processes, and human activities. The need to combat desertification is increasing in many countries. A reasonable assessment of the vulnerability or sensitivity of land cover to desertification at national scales is crucial to formulate appropriate strategies or policies for combating it. The main purpose of this work was to quantitatively assess the sensitivity of land cover to desertification in Mongolia using the MEDALUS approach. The MEDALUS method is a widely known technique for assessing desertification in the Mediterranean area. In this study, the method was adjusted to be applied to Mongolia, while the numerical methods of the MEDALUS remained the same. The modified MEDALUS method used nine factors from 2003 and 2008 to quantify the sensitivity of land to desertification. As a result, our study resulted in the calculation and spatial distribution of the Environmental Sensitive Area Index (ESAI), produced throughout Mongolia. In 2003, the middle region of the southern Mongolia had the highest sensitivity to desertification, while sensitivity in 2008 increased in the western area. Mongolia’s area with the highest ESAI range increased approximately five times, indicating rapid desertification occurring throughout Mongolia from 2003 to 2008.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-220
Number of pages11
JournalForest Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT [No. 2018K1A3A7A03089842] and the Forest Science Technologies Development Project [No. S211215L030320] of the Korean Forest Service.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Desertification
  • MEDALUS method
  • Mongolia
  • land degradation
  • land sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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