In the Spanish Mediterranean environment, scrub vegetation occupies a greater area than does forest. The impact of wildfire on the scrub vegetation and recovery afterward affects a number of other processes, including water erosion. While recovered vegetation considerably influences soil protection and erosion control, this function has scarcely been studied. This study discusses the behavior and architecture of recovering (or regenerating) typical Mediterranean shrub vegetation and the subsequent impact on soil protection. The study compared two protective forage species (Medicago arborea L. and Psoralea bituminosa L.). The research was performed in field conditions on a set of four experimental plots. A control plot was maintained with no vegetation cover. Runoff and soil loss by water erosion between 1989 and 1992 were studied on each of these plots. The natural vegetation was found to have a more significant protective effect (69.2% decrease in soil loss) than the other species tested. Soil loss on the Medicago plot decreased by 41.7%, and soil loss on the Psoralea plot decreased by 29.3%. That the Psoralea was only recently planted must be considered in evaluating its protective effects.
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- Effect Of Mediterranean Shrub on Water Erosion Control
J. L. Rubio
- Springer Netherlands
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