Soil erosion and sediment control with vegetation and bioengineering on severely eroded terrain
Convener: F. Rey  | Co-Conveners: H. P. Rauch , E. Bochet , J. Poesen 
Oral Programme
 / Thu, 23 Apr, 08:30–10:00  / Room 24
Poster Programme
 / Attendance Thu, 23 Apr, 17:30–19:00  / Hall A

Severe soil erosion is a frequent problem where steep slopes and erodible grounds are subjected to intensive precipitation or soil use. Slopes and banks of torrential catchments in mountain areas are particularly concerned, where gullies and badlands frequently form. This erosion, which is mainly due to superficial hydric runoff, causes problems to society due to soil loss upslope and torrential floods downslope. High sediment yields at the exit of catchments can also cause different kinds of remote problems, such as reservoir sedimentation, inundations or pollution. To avoid these problems, sustainable control of soil erosion and sediment is necessary in the upslope parts of the watersheds. For this, the efficacy of vegetation is well known, as stated by the numerous studies on the relationships between vegetation and erosion. Using vegetation in ecological rehabilitation or restoration actions not only allows controlling erosion and conserving soils, but also favours recovering ecosystem structures and functions. However, installing vegetation cover on severely eroded mountain terrain remains difficult due to the strong hydrologic and erosive forces, especially in dry climates and on poor soils. Its establishment is however possible when using bioengineering techniques and afforestation. Even though successful experiments have been reported from countries with mountainous climates, especially in the Central Alps of Europe, the Rockies in North America and in the Asia-Pacific, improved knowledge is still required to increase the performance of actions while reducing the costs. Land managers, as well as local populations, need to better know the efficacy and the vulnerability of vegetation and bioengineering works that are submitted to strong hydrologic and erosive forces during extreme events. This session welcomes papers presenting state-of-the-art in the role of vegetation and bioengineering in erosion and sediment control, as well as papers presenting new experiments and knowledge. The focus of the session will be on the mechanisms of vegetation actions on erosion and sedimentation, the efficiency of different plant traits, vegetation structures and bioengineering techniques, and the significance of the rate and distribution of vegetation cover for combating erosion. Reports on investigations at different spatial scales (from plants to communities, from plots to catchments) will be appreciated. Applied research, exposing how results can be translated into ecological engineering strategies (recommendations, guidelines, models…) for soil erosion and sediment control with vegetation and bioengineering on highly erodible terrain, is encouraged.