John Libbey Eurotext

Science et changements planétaires / Sécheresse


Impact of dead leaves on the biomass of the alfa (Stipa tenacissima L.) steppe area south of Oran (western Algeria) Volume 18, issue 1, Janvier, Février, Mars 2007


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Laboratoire de recherche en écodéveloppement des espaces, Département des sciences de l’environnement, Faculté des sciences, Université Dj. Liabes, Bd Ben Mhidi, BP 89, 22000 Sidi Bel Abbès, Algérie, Faculté des sciences, Université de Tiaret, 14000 Tiaret, Algérie
  • Key words: alfa grass, Algerian steppe, biomass, physiology, phytology, vegetal resources
  • DOI : 10.1684/sec.2007.0066
  • Page(s) : 65-71
  • Published in: 2007

Due to lack of exploitation and to the drought of the last two decades, alfa (Stipa tenacissima L.) grass communities produce less and less green alfa biomass. These two factors are at the origin of the formation of dead leaves left in place leading to the degeneration of the tufts through circination. A comparative analysis of the rates of growth and of dry up of the alfa leaves is carried out in order to find out how dead leaves are formed through lack of exploitation. Measurements taken on tufts in their “natural” conditions and on tufts bereft of their dead leaves provide an insight into the alarming state of the alfa grass community. This is indicative of the progressive reduction of the biomass of alfa leaves and of the very early signs of circination. The close relationship between the progressive increase of the dead leaves and the diminishing biomass of alfa leaves clearly expresses the definitive unbalance affecting the alfa grass community under study.