Mitigating against natural hazards: Biological contribution to sustainable soil bioengineering in a changing world (co-organized)
|Convener: Hans Peter Rauch | Co-Conveners: Freddy Rey , Frank Graf , Federico Preti|
Wind and water driven erosion processes, landslides, and flooding are among the most threatening natural hazards for humanity all over the world. Protection measures against them mainly focus on technical constructions that are, however, restricted to point-by-point or linear effects and often have a short lifespan.
Environmentally compatible and long-term surface protection is one of the privileges of plants acting in concert with other organisms. The application of soil bioengineering measures is a key benefit of eco-engineering, particularly in view of sustainably combating erosion, land-slides, flooding, desertification, and drought.
There is evidence to suggest that biological measures naturally contribute to the strength of soil all along the successional paths of plant associations with considerable influence on geotechnical, hydrological, and hydraulic characteristics. Additionally, biological activity is supposed to substantially increase in time below and above ground and to influence the physical and chemical properties of the soil and its drainage system. Yet, uncertainties are rather frequent, not least due to a missing reliable scientific base.
Consequently, the application of joint technical and biological measures as a standardised engineering method is a crucial requirement. That for, the dynamic interaction processes be-tween the living organisms (bio system), soil, water (geo system), and technical measures (tech system) need to be quantified, allowing to soundly answer fundamental questions.
“What exactly are contributions of the biological measures in view of soil stability in general and related to support, anchoring, drainage, reinforcement, armour, and hydraulic resistance in particular?”“What selection criteria are planting strategies based on and which criteria are indispensable for sustainable protection against the corresponding hazards?”“What are the ecological and socio-economic consequences of soil bioengineering measures?”
“How does global change affect soil bioengineering and how can it be considered regarding the selection of appropriate species for recolonizing degraded soil?” …
The goal of this session is to exchange knowledge of research work from the entire field of soil bioengineering. Contributions addressing questions within the above mentioned frame are strongly encouraged. Practical applications of corresponding systems are as much welcomed as are fundamental studies of the role of vegetation for soil, slope, and river bank stability.