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You are here: Home » Past Issues » Volume 7, 2012 - Number 2 » BIOLOGICAL GEOTEXTILES AGAINST SOIL DEGRADATION UNDER SUBHUMID CLIMATE – A CASE STUDY


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Gergely JAKAB1, Zoltán SZALAI1, Ádám KERTÉSZ1, Adrienn TÓTH1, Balázs MADARÁSZ1 & Szilárd SZABÓ2
1Department of Physical Geography, Geographical Research Institute Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budaörsi út 45. H-1112 Budapest, Hungary, e-mail: jakabg@mtafki.hu;
2University of Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1 H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary, e-mail: szaboszilard.geo@gmail.com

BIOLOGICAL GEOTEXTILES AGAINST SOIL DEGRADATION UNDER SUBHUMID CLIMATE – A CASE STUDY


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Abstract:

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of biological geotextiles on soil erosion and on the main physical (porosity, texture), chemical (soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN)) and biological (cellulose decomposition activity) properties of the topsoil. 16 runoff plots were installed in Abaújszántó, NE Hungary, on a slope with 15% gradient. The plots are in orchard, traditional and espalier vineyards. The lower half of 8 plots were covered by Jute, Borassus and Buriti geotextiles respectively, the other 8 plots served as control plots (uncovered). All the used geotextiles reduce soil loss. Higher runoff volume provides a better water retention efficiency of the geotextile. In the measurement period of 30 month no significant (p<0.05) changes could be identified in porosity, SOC, TN content and microbiological activity of the topsoil. Regarding the texture of the eroded soil the filtering effect of runoff seems to be important as the eroded sediment is enriched in fine (clay) fraction. Borassus mats were the most effective geotextiles against soil erosion followed by Jute. The upscaling and the extrapolation of these results are rather difficult because of the high variability of environmental factors. Further research is needed on the effect of the environmental conditions to be able to give a reliable assessment on the protecting effect of geotextiles under the conditions of a sub-humid climate.


Keyword: Erosion, Biological geotextile; Runoff; Soil loss; Soil degradation; BORASSUS project


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