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Study of Atlas Cedar Growth ( Cedrus atlantica Manetti) in El M’sid Mountains (East Algeria): Productivity and Growth According to Planting Methods

Open Journal of Forestry, 2018, 8, 182-195
ISSN Online: 2163-0437
ISSN Print: 2163-0429
10.4236/ojf.2018.82013 Apr. 20, 2018 182 Open Journal of Forestry
Study of Atlas Cedar Growth (Cedrus atlantica
Manetti) in El M’sid Mountains (East Algeria):
Productivity and Growth According to Planting
Amina Keriem1, Mohamed Sbabdji1*, Luc Lambs2
1Forestry Departement, Ecole National supéRieure Agronomique, El Harrach, Algeria
2CNRS-ECOLAB, Toulouse, France
The Atlas cedar (
Cedrus atlantica
) is one of the more valuable
species in the Mediterranean areas. But this species suffers from rainfall lim
tation and climate changes, particularly in its originated area, North
Therefore, any knowledge about the plantation practices to improve the
water availability and the reforestation success has great importance. The cu
rent study has been undertaken in this view, i.e. to compare the growth of c
dar plots located in El M’Sid Mountains, Souk Ahras department (700 km
of Algiers), according to different planting methods. The radial growth
the productivity have been measured on a cedar plot with a total surface
165 ha. 150 ha has been planted in 1970 on hillside ditches, and 15 ha
which the majority is planted in a simple hole and some bouquets on terraces
both are originated from a complementary reforestation achieved
1980. The results show that most of the trees planted in 1970 reach a
ranging between 10 and 17 m and a diameter between 23 and 44 cm.
some trees were 20 m high with diameter of 65 cm. The productivity flu
tuates between 3 and 8 m3/ha/year, values close to the one of natural
plots. Trees planted in 1980 reach a height ranging between 5. 5 to 7 m,
diameter between 11.5 to 23 cm. The radial growth improves that the
ditches help the roots anchoring and trees growth during the first season
plantation. These results indicate that the cedar tree can be used with
in areas outside the natural cedar forest presence, and that appropriate plan
ing techniques can compensate in part the lower rainfall occurring in
chosen regeneration areas.
How to cite this paper:
Keriem, A.,
M., &
Lambs, L. (2018).
Study of Atlas Cedar
Growth (
Cedrus atlantica
Manetti) in El
id Mountains (East Algeria): Productivi-
ty and Growth According to Planting M
Open Journal of Forestry
, 182-195.
January 28, 2018
April 17, 2018
April 20, 2018
© 2018 by authors and
Research Publishing Inc.
work is licensed under the Creative
Attribution International
(CC BY 4.0).
Open Access
A. Keriem et al.
10.4236/ojf.2018.82013 183 Open Journal of Forestry
Atlas Cedar, El M’Sid Mountains, Tree Productivity, Radial Growth, Hillside
1. Introduction
With its ecological plasticity (Savill & Wilson 2015), its good wood production
both quality and quantity (El Azzouzi & Keller 1998; Messaoudène et al., 2004),
the Atlas cedar is considered as a noble species in its originated area, the North
African. Effectively, this species can grow under a wide range of biotope corres-
ponding to all areas between 1200 and 2400 m of altitude and sub-humid to
per-humid climate (Harfouche & Nedjahi 2003; M’Hirit & Benzyane 2006, De-
marteau et al., 2007) where it can provide yearly between 4 and 5 m3/ha of good
wood (Bentouati & Oudjehih 1999).
Additionally to their forest considerations, the cedar forests are well appre-
ciated for its aesthetic qualities (Courbet & Alboudy 1993; Toth 1990), and their
resistance to drought, to limestone soil and to fire. For those numerous advan-
tages; cedar is designed by many authors (M’Hirit 1999; Harfouche & Nedjahi
2003) as a main species for the mountains reforestation, above 1000 to 1200 m
altitude, and for the valorization of unproductive or damaged forest under Me-
diterranean climate. In the same context, Messaoudène et al. (2004) indicate that
the cedar forest in Algeria occupies 20,000 ha, but its climatic area is larger.
Moreover, and because of the success of its introduction in different European
countries since 19th century (Cointat 1996; Nedjahi, 1987), it has been men-
tioned among the priority research subject by Mediterranean Forestry Commit-
tee during its 12th session held in Rome 1986. Its surface in France has exceeded
10,000 ha before the end of past century (Toth 1980).
In Algeria, one of his two origin countries with Morocco, this species has not
found yet such favourable consideration. Aside from the privilege granted to
their natural stands in protected areas, there are few development programs for
the cedar plantations. Indeed, the cedar forests is composed mainly by natural
forest, the reforestations areas are very few, in spite of a great number of re-
searches focusing on the advantage of cedar forest extension. Several among
these works, suggest that the cedar trees can significantly improve the ecological
and economical role of forest (El Azzouzi & Keller, 1998; Lefievre et al., 2010;
Savill & Wilson, 2015) in spite of the difficulties related to climate change
(Linares et al., 2011). Indeed, recent work shows that the native northern stands
of cedar behave normally and allow the best protection of the high parts of the
watersheds, despite the high tourist pressure and the defoliations by the pine
processionary moth (
Thaumetopoea pytiocampa
Schiff) (Sbabdji 2012). Other
works indicate that the cedar area in Blidian Atlas (centre part of North Algeria)
may be extending by reforestation from 1200 to 5000 ha (Dehilis & Bouakline,
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If in northern stations, the cedar trees can be established on large area without
inconvenient, in comparison with the southern stations, where the natives plan-
tations are much affected by rainfall deficit and higher temperature (Bentouati &
Bariteau 2006; Courbet et al. 2012; Linares et al. 2013). New investigations must
be carried out to clarify this question and to define the areas and techniques of
cedar reforestation.
Dispersed all over the Tellian Atlas (Northern part of Algeria) in small woody
plots, cedar reforestations have been tested in different watershed. In this pur-
pose, the present work reports the case of the cedar plantation of El M’sid
Mountains in Souk Ahras department. Located in the North-eastern part of Al-
geria, these trees have been planted during 1970s and completed in 1980s. The
first aim of this study is to estimate the potentiality wood productivity of cedar
tree in this area, from the 70s plantation. The second aim is to compare different
planting methods: hillside ditches (in 70s plantation), on terrace and in simple
hole (in 80s plantation) on the cedar growth speed, by comparison of the tree
height, the circumference and the radial growth.
2. Materiel and Methods
2.1. Study Area
The study area is named Djebel El M’sid, which is part of Mount Medjerda
(36.4075˚N - 36.3875˚N, 8.0525˚E - 8.0725˚E) is located 20 km south-east of
Souk Ahras city and 700km eastern of Algiers (Figure 1).
Peaking at 1400 m, it is characterized by an average slope (10% to 30%) and a
fresh humid bioclimate with an annual precipitation ranging between 800 and
900 mm. The substrate is dominated by Numidian sandstones leading to the
sandy clay (siliceous). The natural vegetation is dominated by grasses lawns
containing some shrubs, the most common are
Calicotome spinosa
pelodesma mauritanica
Asphodelus microcarpus
Crataegus monogyna
ica arborea.
2.2. Cedar Plantation
It should be recalled that the work concerns two parts of different ages (Figure
1(a)). The first part covers 150 ha planted on hillside ditches during the 70s
(1970-1975), the other younger, is from a complementary reforestation per-
formed on 15 hectares during the 80s, for its most part the trees was planted in
the simple holes, the remaining is small bouquet planted on terraces. Thus the
reforestation area is divided on two parts, according to the trees age, but on
three parts according to the planting methods. That of 1970 is disposed in line
following the hillside ditches, which are oriented according to the level curves.
The hillside ditches are 2.5 to 3 m width, including the downhill ridge, the uphill
ditch and the middle nearly flat part flat. The trees were planted on the inferior
border of the hillside ditches (see Figure 1(b)). The spacing is of 3 m between
trees and 30 m between the hillside ditches. For the plots of 1980s, the trees were
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Figure 1. (a) Localisation and structure of cedar planting plots in El
M’sid Mountain (map drawn with Map Info v 7.0, from original
Google Map satellites views from 2013). (b) General view of the stu-
died site (up) and the different planting methods: terrace (left) and
hillside ditches (right).
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planted in simple hole and spaced from 3 to 4 m; those on terrace are slightly
tight, between 2 and 3 m of spacing.
2.3. Sampled Plot
Because the trees are line up (for those on terrace and on hillside ditches), it was
not possible to work with traditional on the circular or square 400 m2 plots
(Rondeux 1999). Therefore, it was essential to select elongated rectangular plots
corresponding to plantation lines. Due to the size and tree density heterogeneity
the study plots were randomly chosen in each of the four cardinal directions
(East, South, West, North). Thus for the trees planted in the 1970s, dendromet-
ric measurements have been realised in these four directions in triplicate (Table
According the norms of dendrometric sampling (Parde & Bouchon 1988),
each measured plot contains at least 25 trees, which corresponds to a length of
75 m. The plot width were fixed to 5 m according to the vital space of trees, this
gives a surface plot area of 75 × 5 = 375 m2. The same sampling system were ap-
plied for the terrace trees areas, but in only one plot (due to the smaller area).
For the planted trees areas planted in a simple hole, the sampling plots have a
circular form of 400 m2.
2.4. Dendrometric Measurements
The girth at breast height and the total height were measured for all trees in all
plots. The Pressler height (height corresponds of half diameter) is taken on five
trees by plot, for those planted in 1970s. Girths were taken with a measuring
tape, the height by a Bitterlich relascope.
2.5. Wood Productivity Calculation
The wood productivity calculation which concerns only the 70s plantation re-
quires three steps:
In the first one concerns the estimation of the tree volume (Vp) with the
Pressler formula. This calculation requires the determination of the diameter at
breath high for the calculation of the corresponding surface (So) and the
Table 1. Sampled plots description.
Planting methods Hillside ditches Simple hole Terrace
Planting date 1970 1980
Altitude (m) 1363 1345 1351 1312 1389 1380
Slope (%) 20 20 30 15 10 15
Cardinal direction East South West North West West
(Long. et Lat.)
Plot number 3 3 3 3 2 1
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measurement of the Pressler’s height (
) with the Relascope (Duplat & Perrotte
1981; Parde & Bouchon 1988) according to the formula (Rondeux 1993):
= 2/3 So (
= 1.30 m. This calculation was only used on the trees chosen to be meas-
ured for Pressler height (five per plot).
The second step consists of aregression calculation to find the best fit between
and the volume calculated only from the girth (i) and tree height (
). This
), was then applied to calculated the tree volume for the
other trees were the Pressler height (
) was not determined.
In the third step, the wood production and productivity were determined. The
wood volume by plot is given by addition of trees single volumes. Thereafter, the
volume by hectare is extrapolated according to the surface plot. The real produc-
tivity (m3/ha/year) is calculated by dividing the production with the tree age. The
potential productivity is calculated if the free space (30 m) let between the trees
lines for the hillside ditches, were planted with additional tree lines every 5 me-
2.6. Radial Growth Measurements
For the radial growth measurement, twelve trees were sampled in each planting
type plot. A total of 36 increment cores were taking from the dominant trees.
The wood cores were glued onto wooden mounts. After drying, fine sandpaper
was used to improve the tree rings discrimination. After preliminary dating, ring
widths were measured with the help of a calibrated microscope under × 10 mag-
nification. This measurement was used to compare the planting techniques on
trees growth and to see how its change over the years.
2.7. Statistical Analysis
The data were analysed using the EXCEL and the XLSTAT Pro 7.1 (Microsoft Cor-
poration, Washington, USA), Analyses of variance (ANOVA) and non-parametric
3. Results
3.1. Dendrometric Analysis and Woody Productivity Potential
3.1.1. Height Growth
The results show that the tree height ranges between 3 and 20 m (Table 2).
However, the height values in the three first sites (6.5 to 20 m) were relatively
homogeneous (CV17% for the majority of cases) and higher than those of 4th
site which were smaller (3 to 17 m) and more variable (28% CV34%). The
smaller heights in this 4th site were also seen by the low mean values observed in
its three sample plots (9.89, 10.15 and 10.18 m), whereas for the other sites the
mean value was generally over 12 m in height. The trees height was significantly
variable between sites (f = 37.25, d.f = 3, P < 0.0001, for p = 0.05) and between
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Table 2. Summary table of trees sizes variation, heights and girths in the sampled plots.
Sites Plots
Height (m) Variation
(cm) Variation
Hmin Hmax Hmean
Cmin Cmax Cmean
1 7.0 11.8 10.25 8.61%
60 160 107.28 24%
NS 2 8.0 14.5 12.68 13% 40 140 95.56 27%
3 10.5 17.0 13.51 28% 30 170 105.41 34%
1 14.0 20.0 17.49 17%
44 180 127.12 28%
NS 2 6.5 15.0 12.19 17% 38 204 121.7 27%
3 9.5 16.9 14.35 17% 50 187 116.16 35%
1 11.8 16.0 13.87 9.4%
80 190 126.48 26%
NS 2 11.5 16.2 14.91 8.1% 70 200 138.2 24%
3 12.0 17.0 14.43 10% 100 210 146.6 22%
1 3.1 14.0 9.89 34%
25 113 70.5 37%
2 4.2 13.8 10.15 28% 25 118 74.68 34%
3 3.4 15.0 11.16 31% 20.5 135 74.76 41%
(Kruskall-Wallis Test for variation between plots and variation coefficient for between trees).
plots for the first three plots. Globally the best height growth was observed in the
second plot, whereas the lower was recorded in the fourth one.
3.1.2. Diameter Growth
The analysis of girth growth have revealed similar results with those of height for
the variation between sites (F = 42.75, d.f. = 3, P < 0.0001), but the variation was
more high between trees (CV ≥ 22%) and not significant between plots of same
site. As for the heights, the lower mean values was recorded in the fourth plot
(70.5, 74.68 and 74.76 cm), those of second and third plots were the higher (from
116.16 to 146.6 cm).
3.1.3. Volume Growth
After testing numerous equations for the volume estimation by height and di-
ameter (V = f(d, h)), we used the one reported by Rondeux (1993), who corre-
sponds to high value of coefficient of determination: V = 0.109 – 1.121d +
3.761d² + 3.16E 02d²h. Except the fourth plot where the tree growth were pre-
sumably affected by grazing, the wood volume of this plantation fluctuate be-
tween 149 (first site) and 301 m3/ha (third site) (Table 3). These values corre-
spond to 100% of difference between plots. On the other hand, the variation be-
tween plots of same sites remains relatively weak (CV values are respectively
13.24, 20.24, 21.77 and 18.01 for the plots 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively). With regard
of wood volume values, growth fluctuates between 0.53 and 1.36 m3/ha/year ac-
cording the plots and it varies from 0.59 ± 0.08 to 1.2 ± 0.26 m3/ha/year in func-
tion of the sites.
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Table 3. Summary of the real (VR) and potential (VP) growth of woody volume.
Plots Plots Volume
Real productivity
Potential productivity
1 5.36 23.82 142.93
0.57 3.40
2 5.03 22.36 134.13 0.53 3.19
3 6.45 28.67 172.00 0,68 4.10
1 8.63 38.36 230.13
0.91 5.48
2 7.13 31.69 190.13 0.75 4.53
3 5.73 25.47 152.80 0.61 3,64
1 8.48 37.69 226.13
0.90 5.38
2 12.62 56.09 336.53 1.34 8.01
3 12.87 57.20 343.20 1.36 8.17
1 1.42 6.31 37.87
0.15 0.90
2 1.63 7.24 43.47 0.17 1.03
3 2.02 8.98 53.87 0.21 1.28
According to these values, the potential productivity varies from 3.19 to 8.17
m3/ha/year through the sampled plots and from 3.56 ± 0.47 to 7.19 ± 1.57
m3/ha/year in function of the sites. The mean growth is 4.09 ± 2.42 m3/ha/year,
but can reach 5 m3/ha/year (5.10 ± 1.87) after exclusion of the fourth plot.
3.2. Effect of Plantation Methods on Trees Growth
3.2.1. In Term of Height and Girth
With regard to the plantation of 1980, the results show that the trees grew better
on terrace than in simple holes (Figure 2). Their mean size is 7.3 ± 153 m (from
4.3 to 10.4 m) of height and 72 ± 25.2 cm (from 21 to 120 cm) of girth on ter-
race, but for the case of simple hole planting, the two plots have respectively,
5.42 ± 1.08 m and 5.57 ± 1.20 (from 2.3 to 8.4 m) for height, 36.3 ± 9.55 and
37.35 ± 13.27 (from 19 to 75 cm) for girth.
The mean yearly growth on terrace is 22.8 cm for height and 2.25 cm for girth,
for trees planted in simple hole it’s only 16.87 and 17.4 cm for height, 1.13 and
1.17 cm for girth. Thus the difference is significant for the two parameters,
height (F = 42.75, df = 3, P < 0.0001) and girth (F = 42.75, df = 3, P < 0.0001).
For both, on terrace and in simple hole, the trees growth remains very limited
compared to those planted on hillside ditches where the annual growth range
from 24.4 to 41.64 cm of height and from 2.27 to 3.49 cm for the girth (the forth
site is exclude from comparison). On hillside ditches, the mean yearly growth of
height (sites 1, 2 ant 3 combined) is 32.72 ± 4.7 cm are 90.88% more high than in
simple holes and 43.4% than on terrace, for the case of girth, the corresponding
gain is of 149.3% and 27.5%.
3.2.2. In Term of Radial Growth
The radial growth of tree planted on hillside ditches was higher than those on
terraces or in simple hole (Figure 2). This difference was visible only during the
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Figure 2. Mean radial growth following the planting methods on hillside ditches (HD),
terrace (T) and in simple holes (SH).
young age, before 2002 when the 70s trees were 30 years old and those of 80s
about 20 years. For example, between 1985 and 2002, the values of mean ring
was 5.12 mm for trees on hillside ditches but only 2.24 and 1.43 mm for tree on
terraces ant those planted in simple holes. Subsequently the situation was re-
versed by the effect of density because the trees on hillside ditches and on ter-
races are very tight (spacing ≤ 3 m) but those in simple holes are too spaced
(spacing ≥ 5 m). The higher growth rate was obtained by trees planted after 25
year, but decline after.
The superposition of growth profiles following age of trees shows that be-
tween 14 and 22 years of age, the trees on hillside ditches have recorded 1.45%
and 2.45% of growth gain than those on terraces and in simple hole (Figure 3).
It should be noted that this difference is independent of the climate (rainfall)
because the mean annual quantities of precipitation during the two correspond-
ing periods (1986-1991, 1996-2001) are advantageous for the trees planted in the
80s on terrace and in simple holes (618.7 and 689.8 mm respectively).
4. Discussion
This work reports the cedar reforestation of El M’Sid mountain (Wilaya of Souk
Ahras), achieved during the 70s and 80s. Firstly, it allowed to evaluate the wood
potentiality of this species in this area and secondly to determine the effect of
different planting methods (on hillside ditches, on terrace and in simple hole) on
trees growth. The overall results show that this reforestation works fine. Indeed,
for the majority of 1970s planted plots, the mean size of trees excess 10 m in
height and 30 cm of diameter (1 m girth). These values are similar or higher
than those from many cedar native plots of the same age (Haddad 1998, Larbi
Rezig 2011, Chellabi 1992) and see Table 4.
The wood productivity ranges between 3 and 8 m3/ha/year shows that these
planted plots are as productive as the native cedar plots in Chrea area (Chellabi
1992). The values of the most fertile plots (plot 3) exceeding 8 m3/ha/year (8.01
and 8.17 m3/ha/year), are close to planted plots in same area achieved during the
same period (10.8 m3/ha/year) (Larbi-Rezig 2011). Note that these values
Tree ring (mm)
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Figure 3. Evolution of radial growth according planting methods (HD: on hillside
ditches, T: terraces, SH: simple holes).
coincide very closely with those announced by other authors for others Medi-
terranean areas (Toth, 1973; M’hirit 1999), see also Table 4.
The wood volume measures indicate globally that the yearly growth of cedar
forest in this area is about 4 and 5 m3/ha, what is mentioned for its potentiality
through its origin area (Morocco and Algeria) (Nedjahi 1987; M’hirit 1994;
Bentouati & Oudjehih 1999).
In terms of radial growth, the results support those announced above and
show that growth rate of this planted cedar plots is similar to those from others
native cedar forest. Indeed, for the trees planted during the 1970s, the average
radial growth fluctuates between 2.9 and 8.2 mm/year is closed to those of hu-
mid cedar forests in the Rif in Morocco (3 to 8 mm/year) and are considerably
higher than those of southern cedar forest in Morocco (0.8 - 3.5) and Algeria
(0.62 - 1.14 mm/an) (Messaoudène et al. 2004). Moreover, the mean of yearly
radial growth (4.8 ± 1.05 mm) is very close to that of reforestation achieved
during the same period (5.36 ± 1.5) (Sbabdji et al. 2015) in Chrea area, where the
cedar finds its best climatic conditions (more than 1000 mm/year) (Meddour
2002; Harfouche & Nedjahi 2003). However, we must not forget that this growth
implies besides the natural factors of plot, the soil improvement induced by the
hillside ditches.
The comparison of radial growth following the methods of plantation shows
that the trees planted on hillside ditches grew more quickly during their young
age. They have recorded an average annual gain of 40.7% and 31.3% compared
to those on terrace and those planted in simple hole, respectively. Noted that this
gain would be more important in case of similar planting density; in other
words, the low density of the trees planted in the simple holes have partially
hidden the positive effect of the benches.
Although the use of hillside ditches in reforestation actions was toughly ques-
tioned because the high price of their implementation, this work demonstrate
the efficiency of such planting method, and positive effect of tree growth during
the first years. In addition to their role in a better roots anchorage, the ditch im-
proves the water and minerals supply. Many authors have proposed the useful-
ness of hillside ditches and terraces, which protects the soil against erosion and
Tree ring (mm)
Age (year)
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Table 4. Some growth index of Atlas cedar in north Africa and France from the references :
Bentouati & Oudjehih
, Laa-
ribya & Belghazi
, Larbi-Rezig
Dehilis & Bouakline
(2006), and from
this work on last line, with *: hillside ditches, **: terrace and *** = simple hole.
Area climate stage Rainfall
mm/year Height (m) Girth (cm) Productivity
Radial growth
Rif occidental Humid 1390 - 1786 12 - 27 3.5 - 8.30 3 - 8
Moyen-Atlas tabulaire
to humid
871 - 1066 18 - 36 1.42 - 4.65
Moyen-Atlas oriental
to subhumid
615 - 927 12 - 30 0.78 - 3.48 0.8 - 3.
France South of France - 800 - 1400 13 - 32.5 57 - 145 7.2 - 12.8 7.2 - 12.8
Natif plantation Semi-arid 499 - 790 5.83 - 22.8 79 - 363 0.15 - 5.14 0.61 - 3.43
Teniet el Had
Natif plantation Subhumid 792 10.1 - 25.93 106 - 223 1.18 - 6.08
Atlas blidéen
Natif plantation Humid 1000 - 1200 14 - 28 95 - 128 3.38- 8.29 0.4 - 3.68
Atlas Blidéen artificial
planting of 1970 Humid 1200 12.28 - 16.65 43 - 61 5.27 - 11.42 1.30 - 4.44
Atlas blidéen artificial
planting of 1930 Humid 1200 19.05 - 20.98 51 - 102 4.89 - 6.32 2 - 4.04
Atlas blidéen artificial
planting of 1970 Subhumid 950 10.2 - 16.46 77 - 94 1.78 - 4.53 5.78 ± 1.59
Atlas blideen artificial
planting of 1970
Subhumid 680 10.55 - 12.32 59 - 72 1.03 - 1.98 2.68 ± 0.75
Médea artificial
planting of 1970 Semi-arid 523 4.93 - 12.87 37 - 72 0.35 - 2.42 3.33 ± 0.74
Souk Ahras (El M’sid)
artificial planting of 1970 Humid 900 6.5-20* 95.6 - 146.6* 3.19 - 8.17*
4.72 ± 1.30*
2.64 ± 0.97**
3.20 ± 2.68***
promote water infiltration (Widmann 1952, Monjauze 1960, Seigue 1985). These
results correlate the one obtained by other authors reflecting the importance of
deep soil anchorage for the cedar success in reforestation actions. Khorchi
(2008) and Larbi-Rezig (2011) indicate that young cedars on deeply tilled soil
grow from 3 to 7 times faster and are much less sensitive to precipitation de-
clines compared to those on thin soil. For the cedar forest persistence over the
quaternary period, Lecompte and Lepoutre (1975) explain it by the location of
the forest on deep soil which limit the drought effect. They specify that only
trees growing on substrates composed by volcanic ash, were able to overcome
this difficult period, because the ashes soil is able to stores deeply significant wa-
ter volumes. In the same context Savill and Wilson (2015) supposes that the re-
sistance of cedar to eventually droughts related to the recent climate warming,
will depend on the presence of depth soil.
Thus this work brings useful information for forests management in general
and for cedar reforestation actions. Since the beginning of cedar trees decline
since the 80s, due to the climate warming (Bentouati & Bariteau 2006; Bentouati
2008; Linares et al. 2011), its use for reforestation in the South Mediterranean
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becomes less obvious. And Demarteau et al. (2007), estimate if the climate
warming keep one and aridity period increase the 160,000 ha of cedar forest in
North African will be strongly affected. Beloula (2010) reported already the die-
back of 13,000 ha of cedar forest during the period 1955-2006. This works shows
that the use of new plating technics came compensate in part or delay the ongo-
ing rainfall decline and rainfall enhance annual variability.
5. Conclusion
The results of this study show the advantage of new planting methods to im-
prove the resistance of cedar reforestation to climatic hindrance. In mountains
area, the uses of hillside ditches strengthen the roots anchoring and the collec-
tion of soil moisture. On the North slope, such as the Souk Ahras Mountains
which receive between 700 and 800 mm at an altitude of 1200 m, the cedar re-
forestation records it higher productivity. The usefulness of this cedar reforesta-
tion in Algeria is well established, because of the presence of numerous moun-
tains range with optimum altitudinal conditions. For instance, in the North part
of Tellian Atlas mountains in the Blida region, the area above 1000 m of altitude
can be used for cedar reforestation, exceeds 7000 ha (Dehilis & Bouakline 2013).
Usually, these areas receive 700 mm of rainfall, which is the minimum for the
best growth of cedar. However, improvements of soil depth will limit the cli-
matic hazard over the youngest plantations. The plantation on hillside ditches or
on terraces is one of the methods to improve deep root soil anchorage, but this
technique remains more expense, which is the only restriction for its wide scale
S M which conceived the study directed the work on the field and performed the
statistical analysis, K A realised the measurements, the bibliographical research
and commented the results, L L corrected and improved the manuscript. The
authors would like to thank the foresters of S. Ahras department for their field
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In adapting forests to climate change, cedar is often recommended as a potential species to replace existing conifers that are sensitive to drought. The experience in the French Mediterranean zone and the more recent tests in the temperate zone confirm this interest. Nevertheless, cedar establishment and silviculture must follow strict guidelines in order to be successful. The state of knowledge on Atlas cedar, as synthesised in this document, is drawn from a literature review and from a nationwide survey of field trials. The information will help foresters to make informed decisions concerning the establishment and management of cedar stands, including the following aspects: - autecology and behaviour with respect to climatic factors and soil characteristics - technical recommendations for reafforestation and management of stands - indications and criteria to select silvicultural treatments - timber quality and uses - health issues - references
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Le renouvellement des connaissances, des techniques et des demandes de la société ont fait de l'aménagement forestier un instrument fondamental d'une gestion durable des écosystèmes forestiers. Il devait répondre à un objectif de préservation et de croissance équilibrée du peuplement forestier. L’aménagiste ayant acquis de nouvelles expériences, forge de nouveaux instruments pour améliorer l’état des forêts à travers une division des espaces forestier en séries selon un diagnostic approfondi et une planification des interventions dans le temps et dans l’espace. Ainsi, l’objectif de cette étude est d’évaluer l’impact des traitements sylvicoles dans la forêt d’Azrou, sur l’accroissement du cèdre de l’Atlas sur un échantillon de 88 placettes, préconisés dans le groupe d’amélioration par l’aménagement forestier. Cependant, du fait de l’hétérogénéité du milieu, nous avions étudié l’effet des facteurs prépondérants de la station (substrat, profondeur du sol) sur ce même phénomène de croissance des arbres. Les résultats obtenus ont permis mettre en relief la dynamique de l’accroissement radial en fonction des principaux descripteurs du milieu. En effet, la profondeur du sol et le substrat basaltique stimule positivement cet accroissement mieux que le calcaire; l’accroissement radial diminue avec l’augmentation de la densité du peuplement et il est intéressant autour de 40 m2/ha de surface terrière. Les résultats obtenus permettent de guider les choix des opérations sylvicoles en fonction des milieux, et ce en vue d’une meilleure productivité du cèdre de l’Atlas
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RÉSUMÉ.— Effet des défoliations périodiques par Thaumetopoea pityocampa Schiff. sur la croissance radiale des cèdres du Chréa, Algérie.— La forêt emblématique de cèdres (Cedrus atlantica Manetti) du parc national de Chréa, 40 km au sud-ouest d'Alger, est attaquée par la Processionnaire du pin (Thaumetopoea pityocampa Schiff.). Nous avons étudié l'impact des pullulations successives de cette processionnaire entre 1980 et 2009 sur la croissance des cèdres pour voir si un éventuel effet cumulatif pourrait affecter la vitalité de ces arbres. Nous avons corrélé la largeur des cernes de croissance (dendrochronologie) aux décomptes de nids de processionnaires afin de déterminer les pertes de croissance et les temps de récupération. La population du papillon culmine tous les 5 ou 6 ans, les arbres étant sévèrement défoliés durant les pics d'explosion de chenilles. Après 3 années d'attaque, la population de l'insecte disparaît pendant 2 ou 3 ans, durant lesquels la croissance des cèdres se rétablit. Il n'y a pas d'effet cumulatif sur la croissance des arbres. Les résultats suggèrent que ces derniers résistent aux défoliations. Toutefois, on ne sait pas clairement combien de temps peut perdurer cet équilibre. Les effets de l'homme et du changement climatique peuvent affecter la vitalité de la cédraie et en modifier la dynamique. SUMMARY.— The emblematic cedar forest (Cedrus atlantica Manetti) of North Algeria in the Chréa National Park, 40 km southwest of Algiers, is being attacked by the pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa Schiff.). We studied the impact of successive outbreaks of the processionary moth on the growth of cedar trees from 1980 to 2009 to assess if there is a cumulative effect that can affect their vitality. We correlated tree-ring width (dendrochronology) with nest counting to determine growth loss and time of recovery. The population culminates every 5 or 6 years, the trees are severely defoliated during the outbreak peaks. After 3 years of attack, the insect population disappears for 2 or 3 years, during which time cedar growth recovers. There is no cumulative effect on tree growth. The results suggest the trees are resistant to defoliations. However, it is unclear how long this equilibrium can be maintained. The anthropogenic effect and climate change could affect the vitality of the cedar trees and thus alter the balance.
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An understanding of the interactions between climate change and forest structure on tree growth are needed for decision making in forest conservation and management. In this paper, we investigated the relative contribution of tree features and stand structure on Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) radial growth in forests that have experienced heavy grazing and logging in the past. Dendrochronological methods were applied to quantify patterns in basal-area increment and drought sensitivity of Atlas cedar in the Middle Atlas, northern Morocco. We estimated the tree-to-tree competition intensity and quantified the structure in Atlas cedar stands with contrasting tree density, age, and decline symptoms. The relative contribution of tree age and size and stand structure to Atlas cedar growth decline was estimated by variance partitioning using partial-redundancy analyses. Recurrent drought events and temperature increases have been identified from local climate records since the 1970s. We detected consistent growth declines and increased drought sensitivity in Atlas cedar across all sites since the early 1980s. Specifically, we determined that previous growth rates and tree age were the strongest tree features, while Quercus rotundifolia basal area was the strongest stand structure measure related to Atlas cedar decline. As a result, we suggest that Atlas cedar forests that have experienced severe drought in combination with grazing and logging may be in the process of shifting dominance toward more drought-tolerant species such as Q. rotundifolia.
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