Plant and Soil

, Volume 443, Issue 1–2, pp 369–386 | Cite as

Dynamics of erosion processes in the tropics: a dendrogeomorphological approach in an Ultisol of southeastern Brazil

  • Renata Cristina Bovi
  • Marcelo Pablo Chartier
  • Fidel Alejandro Roig
  • Mario Tomazello Filho
  • Virginia Dominguez Castillo
  • Miguel CooperEmail author
Regular Article


Background and aims

Soil erosion is one of the degradation processes that historically has caused great impacts on agricultural activities and the environment. It is responsible for soil loss, reduced productivity and various environmental impacts. Given the importance of research related to understanding the soil erosion process, the dendrogeomorphology technique has a significant role in qualifying and quantifying this degradation process. It is a technique that uses the structure of the root and stem wood of trees affected by erosion processes to date these events and measure the rate of soil loss. The objective of this study was to understand the dynamics of the erosion process through the dendrogeomorphological approach.


The changes in growth pattern of exposed roots of Esenbeckia leiocarpa trees (guarantã) were studied, such as growth ring width, eccentricity, vessel frequency and scars.


The results obtained demonstrated the potential of the species for dendrogeomorphological studies, since the changes in growth patterns after exposure allowed to date the first year of root exposition.


The dendrogeomorphology technique proved to be effective in understanding the process dynamics of complex systems, such as the opening of permanent and ephemeral gullies. In addition, it is effective in inferring soil loss rates.


Exposed root Dating Dendrochronology Piping Gully 



The authors thank the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for a graduate scholarship, fellowship and financing of the project. They also thank Jonathan Barichivich for the help in preparing the software scripts used in this paper and the reviewers for the valuable suggestions and comments that permitted to improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

11104_2019_4227_MOESM1_ESM.docx (562 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 561 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Luiz de Queiroz School of AgricultureUniversity of São Paulo (USP)PiracicabaBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas y TecnológicasCentro de Ecología y Recursos Naturales Renovables (CONICET – Universidad Nacional de Córdoba)CórdobaArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales- IANIGLA -CONICET, Laboratorio de Dendrocronología e Historia AmbientalMendozaArgentina
  4. 4.Facultad de Ciencias AgrariasUniversidad Nacional de CuyoMendozaArgentina
  5. 5.Facultad de Ciencias, Hémera Centro de Observación de la TierraUniversidad MayorSantiago de ChileChile

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