Mulches for Soil and Water Conservation

  • Khawar Jabran
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Plant Science book series (BRIEFSPLANT)


Although water-short environments produce lower quantities of agricultural commodities compared to the well-watered or irrigated regions, the role of food produced from these areas in the global food security cannot be undermined. Various kinds of mulches may be utilized to enhance the interception, retention, and infiltration and decrease the loss of rainwater in the arid zones of the world. Nevertheless, the use of mulches is equally useful and important for water conservation in the irrigated areas. Along with increasing the moisture retention in the soil, the mulches also reduce the surface moisture evaporation. Mulches achieve this drop in moisture evaporation from the soil surface by acting as a barrier to the evaporating moisture vapors, cooling the soil surface, and reducing the impact of sunlight energy. Plastic (particularly the black-colored polyethylene) mulch is considered more effective than the straw mulch in reducing the moisture evaporation from the soil surface and improving the soil moisture status. A few unique materials such as use of sand and gravel and volcanic residue have also been utilized and provided successful results for increasing soil water retention. Factors such as anthropogenic activities, climate change, or others do result in great loss to soil sustainability. Among several others, mulching has been suggested as a method that can prevent the soil erosion and provide a sustainable use of soil resources.


Mulch Moisture conservation Water conservation Soil conservation Soil properties 


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© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khawar Jabran
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Production and Technologies, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and TechnologiesNiğde Ömer Halisdemir UniversityNiğdeTurkey

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