Modelling the Impact of Human and Climate Change on Stipa Tenacissima Distribution in the Arid and Semi-Arid Rangelands of North Africa
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Rangelands in the Southern part of Tunisia are characterized by the extent of the impact of human induced activities in particular overgrazing and encroachment of cultivation into best rangeland sites (Ouled Belgacem et al., 2008). Furthermore, climatic changes are expected to increase the inter-annual variability of rainfall for many locations and to raise annual mean temperatures globally (IPCC, 2012). In fact, the scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) project a further increase in global mean surface temperature of 2–6 °C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, increased incidence of floods and droughts, and spatial and temporal changes in precipitation patterns (IPCC, 2007). However, these projections provide little information on how this might affect rangeland plant communities at the local scale. The purpose of this study is to assess the vulnerability of the ecologically and economically important native rangeland plant species Stipa tenacissima L. This research is needed to develop strategies for climate change adaptation. The adaptation measures should focus on building and strengthening the resilience of these fragile ecosystems.