Revegetation on steep slopes and in subalpine areas using biennial cover plants: A review of Huter’s technique

  • J. Heumader
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences book series (DPSS, volume 103)


In the high-mountain region of the Tyrol in Austria, a special method was developed by Huter and Heumader (1981) for the revegetation of soils lacking humus using biennial cover plants. This method shows good results not only under normal conditions, but also on problematic sites such as steep slopes and in subalpine areas. With the exception of fertilizers, no synthetic components, e.g. bitumen emulsions or soil-fixing adhesives are needed. Biennial varieties of rye (Secale cereale L.) and sometimes vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) are used as cover plants, which produce a lot of organic matter above and below ground. These rapidly growing cover plants prevent surface erosion and protect the slowly growing perennial revegetation plants. After 2 years, the rotting shoots and roots form a green manure, which is important for soil microorganisms. Biennial cover plants, perennial revegetation plants and fertilizer are applied together. On steep terrain small ditches (furrows), running diagonally across the slope, are dug or hoed by hand to control surface runoff and prevent surface erosion and the formation of rills and gullies. This method has proved to be cheap and effective and has the advantage of mostly using natural material.


Cover Plant Alpine Zone Vicia Villosa Synthetic Component Natural Revegetation 
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  1. Huter F and Heumader J 1981 Die Begrünung von Bodenwunden in den Hochlagen mit Hilfe von Winterroggen als Deckfrucht. Wildbach- und Lawinenverbau, Zeitschrift des Vereins der DiplomIngenieure der Wildbach- und Lawinenverbauung, 45. Jahrgang, Heft 2, 57–63.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Heumader
    • 1
  1. 1.Forsttechnischer Dienst für Wildbach- und LawinenverbauungGebietsbauleitung Oberes InntalImstAustria

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