Original Paper

Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 167-189

Recent dynamics of the wet pastures at Oukaimeden plateau (High Atlas mountains, Morroco)

  • S. Alaoui HaroniAffiliated withEquipe Ecologie Végétale, Sol et Environnement, Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Université Cadi Ayyad Email author 
  • , M. AlifriquiAffiliated withEquipe Ecologie Végétale, Sol et Environnement, Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Université Cadi Ayyad
  • , V. SimonneauxAffiliated withProjet SudMed, IRD, Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Université Cadi Ayyad

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Abstract

Wetlands are a very important universal heritage; in the Moroccan High Atlas mountains the geomorphology and the slopes evolution determine the existence of the numerous projecting ledges of pozzines on plateaus and oozing. This is particularly the case in Oukaimeden site located at 75 km south of Marrakesh. These wet grasslands have been developed on small surface areas supported by soils water accumulation; and close to the sources and on some banks constitute wetlands of high floristic richness, which makes them very coveted pastures by local populations. These wet pastures are highly sensitive to climatic factors. Recent climatic changes, the anthropic and pastoral pressures and the global environmental changes, affect these zones at the level of their structure (areas, soil characteristics…) and their ecological functions. In the Oukaimeden plateau, the use of aerial photography made it possible to carry out a detailed follow up of the hydraulic adjustments (dam construction in the 1970s) as well as the setting up of new adjustments (tracks, paths, drain channel) on the structure and functioning of these grasslands.

Keywords

Wet grasslands Cartography Dynamic GIS Biodiversity High Atlas mountains Morocco