How to renew soil bioengineering for slope stabilization: some proposals


Giupponi L., Borgonovo G., Giorgi A., Bischetti G.B.

Landscape and Ecological Engineering

Mountain environments play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity despite becoming more vulnerable to colluvial processes primarily induced by extreme meteorological events. Soil bioengineering stabilizes mountain slopes and limits impacts on ecosystems and is increasingly used worldwide, yet its effectiveness requires better assessment through post-intervention environmental monitoring. However such studies are only rarely performed even though they are essential to improve future intervention. This study reports soil and vegetation monitoring data of an area in the Italian Alps in which soil bioengineering work was carried out to restore an area hit by landslides. The monitoring involved an analysis of the floristic-vegetational and ecological features of the plant communities of the area of the soil bioengineering intervention (and in adjacent areas), as well as an analysis of the chemical–physical characteristics of the soils (texture, pH, organic matter, nitrogen content, roots depth) where these communities were established. The results of the monitoring, analyzed in the overall framework of the state of the art of the sector, have highlighted some lines of research and action that should be undertaken by technicians, researchers, and politicians to innovate and to make work aimed at the stabilization of landslides more effective. In particular, it would be extremely useful to study the biotechnical characteristics of herbaceous plants that are still “unknown” in soil bioengineering and to evaluate their possible effects on ecosystems in order to produce seed mixtures that, besides being useful for soil stabilization, can accelerate vegetation dynamics, therefore maximizing the success of such works.

Soil bioengineering, Seed mixture, Best practices, Ecological indices, Green infrastructure, Monitoring
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