Chorological and conservation status of the endemic cypress, Cupressus atlantica Gaussen, in the High Atlas (Morocco)
We present a study of the distribution, ecology and conservation status of Cupressus atlantica, an endemic tree of the High Atlas (Morocco). The main populations of this species grow in a reduced area along the N’Fiss valley in the Central High Atlas and are gradually receding. Particular populations are increasingly fragmented and the total area covered by the cypress woodland has decreased to less than a third of the surface occupied in the 1930s. Overgrazing reduces the woodlands’ regenerative capacity, and the exploitation of the wood, linked to traditional uses by the rural society of the N’Fiss valley, directly reduces the number of trees. Great efforts being made to protect the species by the Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts are having some effect in recent years.