How Vegetation Reinforces Soil on Slopes

  • Alexia Stokes
  • Joanne E. Norris
  • L. P. H. van Beek
  • Thom Bogaard
  • Erik Cammeraat
  • Slobodan B. Mickovski
  • Anthony Jenner
  • Antonino Di Iorio
  • Thierry Fourcaud

Once the instability process e.g. erosion or landslides has been identified on a slope, the type of vegetation to best reinforce the soil can then be determined. Plants improve slope stability through changes in mechanical and hydrological properties of the root-soil matrix. The architecture of a plants root system will influence strongly these reinforcing properties. We explain how root morphology and biomechanics changes between species. An overview of vegetation effects on slope hydrology is given, along with an update on the use of models to predict the influence of vegetation on mechanical and hydrological properties of soil on slopes. In conclusion, the optimal root system types for improving slope stability are suggested.


root architecture root reinforcement anchorage tensile strength erosion landslides slope hydrology model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexia Stokes
    • 1
  • Joanne E. Norris
    • 2
  • L. P. H. van Beek
    • 3
  • Thom Bogaard
    • 4
  • Erik Cammeraat
    • 5
  • Slobodan B. Mickovski
    • 6
  • Anthony Jenner
    • 7
  • Antonino Di Iorio
    • 8
  • Thierry Fourcaud
    • 9
  1. 1.INRAMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Halcrow Group Ltd.PeterboroughUK
  3. 3.Department Physical GeographyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands
  4. 4.Department Civil Engineering and GeoscienceDelft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands
  5. 5.IBED, University of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands
  6. 6.Jacobs UK Ltd.GlasgowUK
  7. 7.Milton Keynes Parks TrustCampbell Park PavilionUK
  8. 8.Dept. Chemical and Environmental SciencesUniversity of InsubriaItaly
  9. 9.CIRAD, AMAPMontpellierFrance

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