Next Article in Journal
Flood Damage Analysis: First Floor Elevation Uncertainty Resulting from LiDAR-Derived Digital Surface Models
Previous Article in Journal
The Use of Aerial RGB Imagery and LIDAR in Comparing Ecological Habitats and Geomorphic Features on a Natural versus Man-Made Barrier Island
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(7), 603; doi:10.3390/rs8070603

Land Degradation States and Trends in the Northwestern Maghreb Drylands, 1998–2008

1
Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas (CSIC), Ctra. Sacramento sn, La Cañada, 04120 Almeria, Spain
2
Laboratory of Vegetal Ecology, University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB), BP 32 El Alia, 16111 Bab Ezzouar, Algiers, Algeria
3
Centre de Recherche Scientifique et Technique sur les Régions Arides (CRSTRA), Mohamed Khider University, Biskra, Algeria
4
Centre de Recherche Forestiere (CRF), Avenue Omar Ibn Al Khattab BP 763, 10050 Rabat-Agdal, Morocco
5
Institut des Regions Arides (IRA), Route du Djorf km 22.5, 4119 Medenine, Tunisia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lars T. Waser and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 29 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7946 KB, uploaded 20 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

States of ecological maturity and temporal trends of drylands in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia north of 28°N are reported for 1998–2008. The input data were Normalized Difference Vegetation Index databases and corresponding climate fields, at a spatial resolution of 1 km and a temporal resolution of one month. States convey opposing dynamics of human exploitation and ecological succession. They were identified synchronically for the full period by comparing each location to all other locations in the study area under equivalent aridity. Rain Use Efficiency (RUE) at two temporal scales was used to estimate proxies for biomass and turnover rate. Biomass trends were determined for every location by stepwise regression using time and aridity as predictors. This enabled human-induced degradation to be separated from simple responses to interannual climate variation. Some relevant findings include large areas of degraded land, albeit improving over time or fluctuating with climate, but rarely degrading further; smaller, but significant areas of mature and reference vegetation in most climate zones; very low overall active degradation rates throughout the area during the decade observed; biomass accumulation over time exceeding depletion in most zones; and negative feedback between land states and trends suggesting overall landscape persistence. Semiarid zones were found to be the most vulnerable. Those results can be disaggregated by country or province. The combination with existing land cover maps and national forest inventories leads to the information required by the two progress indicators associated with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification strategic objective to improve the conditions of ecosystems and with the Sustainable Development Goal Target 15.3 to achieve land degradation neutrality. Beyond that, the results are also useful as a basis for land management and restoration. View Full-Text
Keywords: land degradation; desertification; land degradation neutrality; land productivity trends; rangelands; ecosystem condition; ecosystem monitoring and assessment; NDVI; 2dRUE land degradation; desertification; land degradation neutrality; land productivity trends; rangelands; ecosystem condition; ecosystem monitoring and assessment; NDVI; 2dRUE
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

del Barrio, G.; Sanjuan, M.E.; Hirche, A.; Yassin, M.; Ruiz, A.; Ouessar, M.; Martinez Valderrama, J.; Essifi, B.; Puigdefabregas, J. Land Degradation States and Trends in the Northwestern Maghreb Drylands, 1998–2008. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 603.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top