Title: Ecological mitigation of hillslope instability: ten key issues facing researchers and practitioners
Authors: Stokes, Alexia ×
Douglas, Grant B.
Fourcaud, Thierry
Giadrossich, Filippo
Gillies, Clayton
Hubble, Thomas
Kim, John H.
Loades, Kenneth W.
Mao, Zhun
McIvor, Ian R.
Mickovski, Slobodan B.
Mitchell, Stephen
Osman, Normaniza
Phillips, Chris
Poesen, Jean
Polster, Dave
Preti, Federico
Raymond, Pierre
Rey, Freddy
Schwarz, Massimiliano
Walker, Lawrence R. #
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Series Title: Plant and Soil vol:377 pages:1-23
Abstract: Background Plants alter their environment in a number
of ways. With correct management, plant communities can positively impact soil degradation processes such as
surface erosion and shallow landslides. However, there
are major gaps in our understanding of physical and ecological processes on hillslopes, and the application
of research to restoration and engineering projects.
Scope To identify the key issues of concern to researchers
and practitioners involved in designing and implementing projects to mitigate hillslope instability, we organized a discussion during the Third International Conference on Soil Bio- and Eco-Engineering: The Use of Vegetation to Improve Slope Stability, Vancouver, Canada, July 2012. The facilitators asked delegates to answer three questions: (i) what do practitioners need from science? (ii) what are some of the key knowledge gaps? (iii) what ideas do you have for future collaborative research projects between practitioners and researchers?
From this discussion, ten key issues were identified, considered as the kernel of future studies concerning the impact of vegetation on slope stability and erosion processes. Each issue is described and a discussion at the end of this paper addresses how we can augment the use of ecological engineering techniques for mitigating slope instability.
Conclusions We show that through fundamental and applied
research in related fields (e.g., soil formation and
biogeochemistry, hydrology and microbial ecology), reliable
data can be obtained for use by practitioners seeking
adapted solutions for a given site. Through fieldwork,
accessible databases,modelling and collaborative projects,
awareness and acceptance of the use of plant material in
slope restoration projects should increase significantly,
particularly in the civil and geotechnical communities.
ISSN: 0032-079X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geography & Tourism
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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