Methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants should be accounted for the natural grazed rangeland ecosystems
when devising greenhouse gas budget inventory, in particular, their contribution to global warming. In this study, CH4
emission from sheep respiration at different grazing intensities (light grazing, 0.75 sheep/ha, LG; moderate grazing, 1.50
sheep/ha, MG; and heavy grazing, 2.25 sheep/ha, HG) and in sheepfolds were evaluated in a desert grassland of Inner
Mongolia. Results indicated that daily CH4 emission from sheep was not significantly different between treatments. When
CH4 emission was expressed emission per 100g daily, there was a significant difference of LG vs HG and MG vs HG,
with the values of 15.64g, 20.00g and 28.63g for LG, MG and HG, respectively, during the grazing season. There was no
significant difference among CH4 fluxes in sheepfolds (mean 39.0 ug m-2 h-1). Considering CH4 emissions from the
grazing ecosystem, net CH4 emissions from LG, MG and HG plots were -18.33, -1.91 and 21.19 g/ha/day, respectively.
The digestibility of forage had a positive correlation with CH4 emission expressed on daily and metabolic body weight
basis. It is concluded that MG will improve the balance between CH4 emission from grassland and grazing livestock in the
desert grasslands of Inner Mongolia.