Original Article

Assessing land use change and moving sand transport in the western Hodna basin (central Algerian steppe ecosystems)


Centre of Scientific and Technical Research on Arid Regions, Biskra, Algeria


Department of Agronomic Sciences, University of Mohamed Kheidar, Biskra, Algeria

FORESTIST 2019; 69: 87-96
DOI: 10.26650/forestist.2019.19005
Read: 1250 Downloads: 625 Published: 01 July 2019

The application of land use and land coverchange (LULC) techniques for identifying the state of the environment is both asuitable tool and cost-effective. The study was conducted in the western partof the Hodna Basin (province of M’sila, Algeria). In this study, we combinedremotely sensed data and ground truth observations to analyze the trends ofLULC and their drivers during the 30 years from 1984 to 2014. In addition, weevaluated the sand transport using wind data. We assessed LULC using thesupervised image classification method. The results indicated that rangelands experienceda considerable decrease with 50,000 hectares. This shrinkage in rangelandscover is associated with an expansion in bare soil cover with an increase of57,000 hectares. Furthermore, woody vegetation and sand experienced a decreasein their cover. However, there is an increase in agriculture area. The analysisof land cover of sand indicated a decrease in the area of this class, and theassessment of wind data revealed that within the study area there is atransition zone of moving sands. The dynamic of LULC was mostly conducted bythe anthropogenic and overgrazing factors. These drivers have a considerablerole in the patterning of different types of land cover in the investigatedlandscape. We can conclude that the LULC technique used for the assessment ofthe environmental state identified a regressive trend of ecosystem values and aprocess of land degradation which implies the need for implementation ofsustainable management practices.

Cite this paper as: Merdas, S., Boulghobra,N., Mostephaoui, T., Belhamra, M., Fadloui, H., 2019. Assessing land use changeand moving sand transport in the western Hodna basin (central Algerian steppeecosystems). Forestist 69(2): 87-96.

EISSN 2602-4039