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Article

System Dynamics Applied to Terraced Agroecosystems: The Case Study of Assaragh (Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco)

1
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Architettura, Territorio, Ambiente e di Matematica (DICATAM), Università degli Studi di Brescia, Via Branze, 43, 25123 Brescia, Italy
2
Department of Geology, Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Avenue Sebta, Tétouan 93002, Morocco
3
Center for Soil and Fertilizer Research in Africa (CESFRA), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Lot 660, Hay Moulay Rachid, Ben Guerir 43150, Morocco
4
Department of Biology, Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Avenue Sebta, Tétouan 93002, Morocco
5
Direzione Difesa del Suolo, Regione del Veneto, Palazzo Linetti, Calle Priuli 99, 30121 Venice, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Water 2020, 12(6), 1693; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061693
Received: 30 April 2020 / Revised: 31 May 2020 / Accepted: 9 June 2020 / Published: 13 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Terraced Landscapes and Hydrological-Geological Hazards)
Terraced agroecosystems (TAS)—apart from being an important cultural heritage element—are considered vital for sustainable water resource management and climate change adaptation measures. However, this traditional form of agriculture, with direct implications in food security at a local scale, has been suffering from abandonment or degradation worldwide. In light of this, the need to fully comprehend the complex linkage of their abandonment with different driving forces is essential. The identification of these dynamics makes possible an appropriate intervention with local initiatives and policies on a larger scale. Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to introduce a comprehensive multidisciplinary framework that maps the dynamics of the investigated TAS’s abandonment, by defining cause–effect relationships on a hydrogeological, ecological and social level, through tools from System Dynamics studies. This methodology is implemented in the case of Assaragh TAS, a traditional oasis agroecosystem in the Moroccan Anti-Atlas, characterized by data scarcity. Through field studies, interviews, questionnaires and freely accessible databases, the TAS’s abandonment, leading to a loss in agrobiodiversity, is linked to social rather than climatic drives. Additionally, measures that can counteract the phenomenon and strengthen the awareness of the risks associated with climate change and food security are proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: terraced landscapes; agroecosystems; system dynamics; climate change terraced landscapes; agroecosystems; system dynamics; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Boselli, V.; Ouallali, A.; Briak, H.; Houssni, M.; Kassout, J.; El Ouahrani, A.; Michailidi, E.M. System Dynamics Applied to Terraced Agroecosystems: The Case Study of Assaragh (Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco). Water 2020, 12, 1693. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061693

AMA Style

Boselli V, Ouallali A, Briak H, Houssni M, Kassout J, El Ouahrani A, Michailidi EM. System Dynamics Applied to Terraced Agroecosystems: The Case Study of Assaragh (Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco). Water. 2020; 12(6):1693. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061693

Chicago/Turabian Style

Boselli, Vladimiro; Ouallali, Abdessalam; Briak, Hamza; Houssni, Mhammad; Kassout, Jalal; El Ouahrani, Abdeltif; Michailidi, Eleni M. 2020. "System Dynamics Applied to Terraced Agroecosystems: The Case Study of Assaragh (Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco)" Water 12, no. 6: 1693. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061693

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