Volume XXI |

Ecosystem behavior face to climatic changes and anthropogenic actions. Case study: a north-eastern urban wetland, Tunisia

Abstract: Wetlands environments are ecosystems threatened by climate change and urban sprawl. Studying the behavior of Sabkhaof Sousse, the green lung of the industrial region of Sidi Abd Elhamid in north-eastern Tunisia, is necessary to improve the living conditions of the population living within this ecosystem. This study analysis the impact of climate change and human activities on the seasonal and pluriannual behavior of this Sabkha by using multitemporal series of high-resolution satellite imagery, and a survey among the inhabitants of the area. Shorelines from 2003 to 2019 were vectorized in GIS environment using georeferenced images from Google Earth platform. Then, Land Use Land Cover changes were detected by using Environment Visualizing Imageries software. Results show that built-up and cultivated areas have increased by 4.3 % and 18.5 % respectively in the North and East side of the study area. Moreover, climatic changes during the seasons lead to changes in the soil occupation. Hence the importance of setting up strategies to preserve this brittle ecosystem. The development of an urban park around the Sabkha will enhance the local population’s living conditions while also protecting the Sabkha from degradation.