An Assessment of Sensitivity to Desertification in Western High Atlas of Morocco: An Application to Ain Asmama Site

  • Adnane LabbaciEmail author
  • Belkacem Kabbachi
  • Abdelkarim Ezaidi
  • James Thorne
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


In Morocco, desertification affects large areas, and has become more pronounced as conditions become more arid with increasingly a long drought, and on poor soils, highly vulnerable to erosion. In addition, the precarious living conditions of rural populations grows to overuse natural resources to meet their growing needs, which amplifies further environmental degradation [1]. Concerning this big Site of Biological and Ecological Interest (SBEI) (West of Morocco), its bioecological qualities especially its very specific and original flora has attracted naturalists over a long time. This region seems to be still relatively preserved despite the erosion and anthropogenic advanced threats. This article presented a study undertaken to map the sensitivity of Ain Asmama’s SBEI to desertification via MEDALUS (Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use) method [2]: This approach is based on a classification system developed in the parametric algorithm. It is worth noting that the sensitivity of soils to desertification depends on the quality of soil [3], climate, vegetation and management system. More than 90% of the territory has a medium climate quality. More than 63% are arid. The vegetal cover has a high quality to protect against desertification. 77% of the site’s area represents a low fire risk. More than 14% of soils have a soft parental material. More than 70% have a high slope degree. In conclusion, the largest part of Ain Asmama is very vulnerable to desertification.


Morocco Desertification MEDALUS Vulnerability SBEI of Ain Asmama 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adnane Labbaci
    • 1
    Email author
  • Belkacem Kabbachi
    • 2
  • Abdelkarim Ezaidi
    • 2
  • James Thorne
    • 3
  1. 1.High Commission on Water Forests and Combating DesertificationChallah RabatMorocco
  2. 2.Faculty of Sciences of Ibn Zohr, Geology Department, Geomaterials LaboratoryIbn Zohr UniversityAgadirMorocco
  3. 3.Environmental Science and Policy DepartmentUniversity of California DavisDavisUSA

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