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Seasonal variation of some structural attributes of the Matmata Mountains ecosystems in southern Tunisia under the effect of drought and anthropozoic action Volume 20, issue 2, avril-mai-juin 2009

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Authors
Institut des régions arides (IRA) Laboratoire d’écologie pastorale 4119 Médenine Tunisie

In southern Tunisia, over the past few decades desertification has become the main environmental problem. The steppes of this region, subjected to severe and irrational exploitation for a long period in addition to climate and soil aridity, are highly degraded. This study aims at quantifying the effects of drought and topography on the natural plant cover of the Matmata Mountains in southern Tunisia. Some structural attributes have been assessed in order to describe the evolution of plant communities under these constraints. The main results show that relationships between soil, climate conditions and plant cover are strongly influenced by topography and human activities. the gypsum substratum shows a better resistance to arid conditions than the calcareous one. The Northern exposition manifests the best resilience in confronting these ecosystems.