Phenological behavior of Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) forest to snow and precipitation variability in Boutaleb and Babors Mountains, Algeria

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KHALED MISSAOUI
RACHID GHARZOULI
YAMNA DJELLOULI
FRANÇOIS MESSNER

Abstract

Abstract. Missaoui K, Gharzouli R, Djellouli Y, Messner F. 2020. Phenological behavior of Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica)  forest to snow and precipitation variability in Boutaleb and Babors Mountains, Algeria. Biodiversitas 21: 239-245. Understanding the changes in snow and precipitation variability and how forest vegetation response to such changes is very important to maintain the long-term sustainability of the forest. However, relatively few studies have investigated this phenomenon in Algeria. This study was aimed to find out the response of Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) G.Manetti ex Carrière) forest in two areas (i.e Boutaleb and Babors Mountains) and their response to the precipitation and snow variability. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) generated from satellite images of MODIS time series was used to survey the changes of the Atlas cedar throughout the study area well as dataset of monthly precipitation and snow of the province of Setif (northeast of Algeria) from 2000 to 2018. Descriptive analysis using Standarized Precipitation Index (SPI) showed the wetter years were more frequent in the past than in the last two decades. The NDVI values changes in both areas with high values were detected in Babors Mountains with statistically significant differences. Our findings showed important difference in Atlas cedar phenology from Boutaleb mountains to Babors Mountains which likely related to snow factor.

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