Dendroagricultural Signal in Algeria

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Ramzi Touchan1, Dalila Kherchouche2, Kevin J Anchukaitis1, Bachir Oudjehih2, Hayat Touchane3, Said Slimani4 and David M Meko1, (1)University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States, (2)The University Hadj-Lakhdar, Institute of Veterinary and Agronomy Sciences, Batna, Algeria, (3)University of Aleppo, Faculty of Agriculture, Aleppo, Syria, (4)The University Mouloud Mammeri, Faculty of Biological Sciences and Agronomy, Tizi Ouzou, Algeria
Dalila Kherchouche2, Kevin J. Anchukaitis3, Bachir Oudjehih2, Hayat Touchan4, Said Slimani5, and David M. Meko1

Drought is one of the main natural factors in declining tree-ring growth and the production of agricultural crops in Algeria. Here we will address 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 21stcenturies. 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. We apply these interpretations to understand possible impacts of climate variability on the agricultural productivity of past civilizations in the Mediterranean.

2Institute of Veterinary and Agronomy Sciences, The University Hadj-Lakhdar, Batna 05000, Algeria, d.kherchouche@yahoo.fr and oudjehihbachir@yahoo.fr

3University of Arizona, ENR2 Building, 1064 E Lowell Street, PO Box 210137, Tucson, AZ 85721-0137, kanchukaitis@email.arizona.edu

4Faculty of Agriculture, University of Aleppo, Aleppo-Syria, dr.htouchan@gmail.com

5Faculty of Biological Sciences and Agronomy, The University Mouloud Mammeri, Tizi Ouzou 15000, Algeria, slimanisaid@yahoo.fr

1Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, The University of Arizona, 1215 E. Lowell St. Bldg. 45B, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA, dmeko@ltrr.arizona.edu