Environmental Management

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 221–232 | Cite as

European Tamaricaceae in Bioengineering on Dry Soils

  • Catherine Lavaine
  • André EvetteEmail author
  • Hervé Piégay


We tested the bioengineering capabilities and resistance to drought of cuttings of two typical riparian species of Mediterranean and Alpine streams scarcely used in soil bioengineering: Myricaria germanica (L.) Desv. and Tamarix gallica L. We conducted two experiments, one ex situ and one in situ, with different drought treatments on cuttings of these two species in comparison with Salix purpurea L., a willow very commonly used in bioengineering. The biological traits considered were resprouting/survival rate, quantity of structural roots, above- and belowground biomass, shoot-to-root ratio, and ratio of the biomass increase between the first and second season. T. gallica and M. Germanica showed generally good capabilities for soil bioengineering use. T. gallica showed especially good resprouting rates in drought conditions with a survival rate of 97 % in dry modality of the in situ experiment. M. germanica cuttings presented a much lower survival rate than the other two species in in situ experiments with harsh drought conditions from the beginning. T. gallica had a lower shoot-to-root ratio than S. purpurea for all drought treatments. M. germanica and T. gallica showed a very significant increase in belowground biomass during the second vegetative period, demonstrating that these species can quickly achieve strong anchoring. These observations confirmed the interest of these species in bioengineering.


Drought resistance Myricaria germanica Soil bioengineering Streambank Tamaricaceae Tamarix gallica 



This project was supported by the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture, France. The authors thank the Pépinière Forestière de l’Etat from Aix les Milles, France, its manager Patrice Brahic, and its technical team. We also thank the anonymous referees who have allowed us to improve the manuscript substantially. We thank Jacky Girel Vincent Breton, Hanna Chole, Nathan Daumergue, Céline Emberger, Sophie Labonne, Séverine Louis, Eric Mermin, the trainees Thibault Berchoud, Perrine Gonnet, Baptiste Lemaire, and Sylvie Varray for their assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Lavaine
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • André Evette
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hervé Piégay
    • 3
  1. 1.Irstea, UR EMGRCentre de GrenobleSt-Martin-d’HèresFrance
  2. 2.Univ Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.University of Lyon, CNRS-UMR 5600LyonFrance

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