Environmentalist

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 39–48

Impact of Vegetative Cover on Runoff and Soil Erosion at Hillslope Scale in Lanjaron, Spain

  • V.H. Durán Zuazo
  • J.R. Francia Martínez
  • A. Martínez Raya
Article

DOI: 10.1023/B:ENVR.0000046345.44569.35

Cite this article as:
Zuazo, V.D., Martínez, J.F. & Raya, A.M. The Environmentalist (2004) 24: 39. doi:10.1023/B:ENVR.0000046345.44569.35

Abstract

Soil loss and surface runoff patterns over a four-year period (1997–2000) were studied in erosion plots from three hillslopes under different vegetative covers (Rosmarinus officinalis, Triticum aestivum and natural-spontaneous vegetation) in Lanjaron (Alpujarras) on the south flank of the Sierra Nevada of southeast Spain. The erosion plots were located on the hillslopes at 35.5% incline, at 1,480 m in altitude and with 41.8 m2 (21 m×1.9 m) in area. The vegetative covers were tested for effectiveness in controlling the surface runoff and soil loss production. The highest runoff and erosion values, ranging from 114.1 to 1.7 mm yr−1 and from 14,564.3 to 6.6 kg ha−1 yr−1, respectively, over the entire study period, were measured under the Triticum aestivum. In the Rosmarinus officinalis, runoff ranged from 7.9 to 1.3 mm yr−1 and erosion from 156.4 to 2.3 kg ha−1 yr−1, while on the hillslope under natural-spontaneous vegetation, runoff ranged from 4.4 to 0.9 mm yr−1 and erosion from 322.3 to 2.2 kg ha−1 yr−1. According to the results the vegetative covers of Rosmarinus officinalis and natural-spontaneous vegetation reduced the soil losses by 99 and 98%, with respect to the Triticum aestivum, and the runoff losses by 94 and 96%, respectively. Also, the Rosmarinus officinalis and natural-spontaneous plants influenced infiltration by intercepting much of the rainfall water respect to the Triticum aestivum. Monitoring allowed more direct linkages to be made between management practices and their impacts on runoff and soil erosion, thereby enabling to identify problems and take appropriate preventive measures to improve the management practices.

erosion runoff soil management vegetative covers Mediterranean 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • V.H. Durán Zuazo
    • 1
    • 2
  • J.R. Francia Martínez
    • 2
  • A. Martínez Raya
    • 2
  1. 1.Erosion and Soil and Water Conservation GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación y Formación Agraria de GranadaGranadaSpain

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