Dendroclimatology and wheat production in Algeria

Ramzi Touchan, Dalila Kherchouche, Bachir Oudjehih, Hayat Touchan, Said Slimani, David Meko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drought is one of the main natural factors in declining tree-ring growth and the production of agricultural crops in Algeria. This paper addresses the variability of growing conditions for wheat in Algeria with climatic data and a tree-ring reconstruction of January-June precipitation from ten Pinus halepensis tree-ring chronologies. A regression-based reconstruction equation explains up to 74% of the variance of precipitation in the 1970-2011 calibration period and cross validates well. Classification of dry years by the 30% percentile of observed precipitation (131 mm) yields a maximum length of drought of five years (1877-1881) and increasing frequency of dry years in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. A correlation-based sensitivity analysis shows a similar pattern of dependence of tree-growth and wheat production on monthly and seasonal precipitation, but contrasting patterns of dependence on temperature. The patterns are interpreted by reference to phenology, growth phases, and - for wheat - agricultural practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-110
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume124
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

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Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Drought
  • Reconstruction
  • Seascorr
  • Tree ring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Ecology

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