Included here are the deserts in and around Mongolia including the Gobi Desert.

Mongolian Brackish Depressions

Certain places such as the Tsaidam Basin are mostly composed of brackish depressions (inland saltmarsh) known locally as tsaidam. In fact, an ancient sea once filled the Tsaidam Basin. Typical species include Tamarix ramoisissima, Myricaria alopecuroides, Nitraria schoberi, Ceratoides papposa, Halogeton glomeratus, Cynomorium songarium and Lepidium perfoliatum. In other saline (solonchak) areas other halophytes may predominate. Typical species in well-drained areas include Atriplex sibiricum, Kalidium latifolium, Kochia sieversana, Lepidium latifolium, Nitraria schoberi, Salsola collina, Scorzonera mongolica and Suaeda glauca, whereas in the wetter zones Glaux maritima, Phragmites communis, Puccinellia tenuiflora, Scirpus maritimus, Triglochin palustre and Typha davidiana predominate. In the transition zones between saline and non-saline areas the grasses Aneuralepidium pseudo-agropyrum and Puccinellia distans become characteristic. The endemics here are few in number but include Calligonum zaidamense (Polygonaceae) and Salsola zaidamensis (Chenopodiaceae).


Gunin, P., Vostokova, E. A., Dorofeyuk, N. I., Tarasov, P. E. & Black, C. C. 1999. Vegetation Dynamics of Mongolia. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Hilbig, W. 1995. The vegetation of Mongolia. SPB Academic Publishing, Amsterdam.

Takahasi, M. 1936. An ecological study of the vegetation in the province of Jehol, Manchoukuo. Report of the first scientific expedition to Manchoukou.

Walter, H. & Box, E. O. 1983. Deserts of Central Asia. In: Ecosystems of the World 5 - Temperate Deserts and Semi-Deserts. Ed. N. E. West. Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company.