Landslides, flooding and surface erosion are among the most threatening natural hazards for humanity, all over the world. Protection measures against them mainly focus on technical constructions that, however, are restricted to point by point or linear effects with an often short lifespan. Environmentally compatible and long-term surface protection is one of the privileges of plants and accompanying organisms. The biological measures naturally contribute to the strength of soil all along the successional paths of plant associations and considerably influence hydrological and hydraulic characteristics. Furthermore, a developing vegetation cover enhances the biological activities in the soil in general and affects the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil and the natural drainage system. The application of living plants and other organisms as construction material for civil and river engineering structures is one of the key benefits of soil bioengineering. However, to establish soil bioengineering techniques as standardised civil and river engineering methods, the dynamic interaction processes between the living organisms (bio system), soil and water (geo system) need to be quantified. From a soil bioengineering point of view this is essential for consolidated knowledge on the effects of the applied organisms (support, anchoring, drainage, reinforcement, armour and hydraulic resistance).
The goal of this session is to exchange knowledge of research from the field of slope bioengineering. Contributions dealing with above mentioned topics are highly encouraged. Practical applications of slope bioengineering systems are as much welcome as fundamental studies of the role of vegetation for slope and river bank stability.