Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 51–61 | Cite as

A pilot study of river design for slope stability and frog ecology

  • Yuan-Hsiou Chang
  • Tsai-Fu ChuangEmail author
Original Paper


A pilot study was carried out for the slope design of rivers which took into consideration both slope stability and frog ecology. Ecological engineering is defined as the design of sustainable ecosystems for the integration of human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both. In river engineering projects, the retaining banks and the river bottom are usually constructed of concrete. Although strong, there are no river-like crevices in these structures that can provide habitats, thus organisms are more vulnerable to predation by natural enemies. Ecological river engineering follows the laws of nature and takes into consideration river diversity and sustainable development. It also takes into consideration ecological and safety factors to create river ecosystems and habitats that are diverse, with a reduced impact on the natural environment. So far, there have been no related cross-subject studies on both the needs of amphibians and the slope stability of river banks. In this study, we attempt to increase our understanding and offer insights into current practices in ecological river slope engineering. The research purposes of this study were to examine (1) the climbing abilities of frogs on various degrees of slope and materials and (2) the failure mechanism of the selected slopes using the finite element method (FEM); and carry out (3) safety analysis using the FEM for the selected slopes, and (4) correlation analysis between the climbing abilities of frogs and the safety factors of slopes. The results show that the climbing abilities of frogs on cobblestone are much better than on other materials. Therefore, when considering the survival needs of frogs, the use of rocky revetment should be encouraged for use on ecological slopes. Our results should enhance knowledge relevant to ecologists and engineers for the creation of safe river slopes that also meet the ecological needs of amphibians.


Finite element method Ecological engineering Amphibian Limit equilibrium analysis Safety analysis 


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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental PlanningMingDao University ChanhuaPeetowTaiwan

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