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Please note that this session was withdrawn and is no longer available in the respective programme. This withdrawal might have been the result of a merge with another session.


Impacts of paved and unpaved roads on soils and surface dynamics
Convener: Antonio Jordán  | Co-Convener: Lorena M. Zavala 

Construction of roads constitutes the most damaging facet of forestry activities: the forest has to be cleared for them and they are thus a cause of deforestation. Soil erosion is particularly important in forested areas, because natural erosion rates tend to be very low.
Anthropic activities in mountain areas contribute to the development of road networks. Intensification of vehicle traffic through these roads and paths leads to cumulative effects in watersheds and river systems, especially in areas under deep land use changes. Watersheds with dense road networks commonly experience increased sediment yield and peak flows. Forest roads often act as linearly connected systems, so that surface runoff flow may travel downslope towards the stream network. Roads are therefore potentially susceptible to hydraulic erosion processes, and may contribute substantially to stream sedimentation, even during low-magnitude rainfall events. There are also other undesirable ecological consequences, as loss of forest production alongside roads, barrier effects, disturbance of breeding areas or migration routes of animal species, and compression of soil structures. These processes are of particular interest in forested areas, where natural erosion rates tend to be very low. Understanding the interaction between roads in steep slopes and anthropic activities in neighbouring areas (rural activities, economy, agriculture, minery and tourism, among others) is essential for fully address environmental problems and for a good land use planning.
The objective of this session is to discuss the effects of forest roads in mountainous areas and diagnose the major problems, proposing solutions for damaged areas.
Conveners would like to propose a special issue after the session.