Resource Details

Restoration and rehabilitation of arid and semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems in North Africa and West Asia: A review

Literature: Journal Articles

Le Houerou, H.N. 2000, "Restoration and rehabilitation of arid and semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems in North Africa and West Asia: A review", Arid Soil Research and Rehabilitation, vol. 14, pp. 3-14.

Contact Info

Henry N. Le Houerou, houerou@mnet.fr

Affiliations

  • International Consultant in Arid Land Ecology, Management and Development

Link(s)

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Species Info

  • Acacia cyanophylla (Exotic)
  • Cedrus atlantica (Exotic)
  • Eucalyptus spp. (Exotic)
  • Pinus halepensis (Exotic)
  • Pinus pinaster mesogaeensis (Exotic)
  • Pinus radiata (Exotic)

Description

  • This study systematically analyzed extensive literature on exclosures, afforestation, reafforestation, rehabilitation and other regeneration operations over several million hectares combined with the 50 years of the author’s personal field experience in 17 of the 20 Mediterranean bioclimatic areas from the Atlantic Ocean to the Aral Sea. 
  • A review of the 46 range production experiments in West Asia and North Africa showed that productivity in exclosures averaged 2.8 times that of adjacent grazed areas while the variability of annual production decreased by 5% in exclosures versus the grazed areas.
  • In the study zone the total area under temporary or permanent exclosure was 750,000 ha in Morocco, 450,000 ha in Tunisia, 850,000 ha in Algeria. These areas include National Parks and other actually protected zones. 
  • Exclosure permits the restoration and biological recovery of vegetation structure, composition and productivity over a period of 3-5 years in steppic ecosystems and 25-30 years in coniferous or sclerophyllic vegetation. In addition, controlled access and rationally managed utilization of land may achieve similar and sometimes better results than full exlcosure.
  • Afforestation and reafforestation are usually more successful above the isohyet of 200mm mean annual rainfall, sometimes below as far as the selection of the species introduced or reintroduced is appropriate and degradation causes have been eliminated or minimized.
  • Although rehabilitation operations may achieve quick success it is at a higher cost and may be subjected to the following constraints to techniques such as appropriate species and site selection and adequate subsequent management.
  • The main constraints to ensuring the success of this National Regeneration Effort is the discontinuation of the situations that brought about degradation.

Geographical Region

  • Other-North Africa
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