Although it is widely recognized that vegetation can mitigate soil erosion and enhance slope stability, design tools for a quantitative assessment of the effect of vegetation (either alone or with other structural materials, as it occurs in soil bioengineering works) in land restoration projects and management plans are scarcely available. The reason of this lapse probably lays on the fact that the eco-hydrological and geo-mechanical factors affecting the interactions between vegetation and soil are poorly understood, being issues which entail knowledge from different disciplines of geosciences. As a result, the contribute of the vegetation is generally cautiously underestimated or even totally ignored within land restoration projects and management plans.
We would like to create a forum where experimentalists and modelers from different disciplines can share their experiences on this subject, to get an overview of the state of the art and to identify future research challenges. We solicit contributions presenting experimental and numerical studies which can shed light on the following topics:
- Influence of vegetation cover on soil water erosion rate;
- Effect of plant roots on the soil resistance to water erosion;
- Slope stability enhancement by root reinforcement;
- Relevance of the soil suction regime induced by root water extraction on shallow landslide hazards;
- Below- and above-ground biomass dynamics after disturbing events (e.g. fire, vegetation cutting, etc.) and relative effects on soil erosion and shallow landslide hazards;
- Role of vegetation in soil bioengineering works and innovative approaches for its quantitative assessment.