Woody vegetation for integrated gully erosion control in Tigray, Ethiopia


Forest Ecology and Management Research Group Woody vegetation for integrated gully erosion control in Tigray, Ethiopia Focus on methodological framework, plant establishment and root system structure and functionIn the highlands of northern Ethiopia, land degradation is dramatic, with loss of topsoil by water erosion and water induced gully erosion and landslides as most important processes. The contribution of woody vegetation to slope stability and soil erosion control has received a lot of attention in recent years, and especially roots could play an important role in this context. However, understanding the details of soil-plant interaction is a difficult task. Despite a rather well developed intuitive and qualitative understanding of the contribution of roots to soil erosion control, quantitative research on the important protective role of roots has been limited.
Besides the need for an improved theoretical background on the potential role of woody species and their roots in soil fixation, attention has to be paid to practice-oriented approaches. As land shortage is another important problem in the highlands of Tigray, a promising approach in land restoration is the use of multipurpose tree species, not only performing a soil protection role but also providing socio-economical, cultural and/or ecological benefits.
The aim of this research project is therefore the development and application of a methodology for integrated control of gully erosion through the use of vegetation in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, focusing on the function of roots of woody species. More concrete objectives are:
To develop an improved methodological framework for the quantification of root architectural and mechanical characteristics for woody species, and the assessment of the importance of these characteristics for erosion control; To apply this framework to woody species in the research area, for different growth stages and under variable environmental conditions; To increase insight in vegetation implementation possibilities through seedling planting in a practice-oriented approach; To enable a sustainable and justified species selection for erosion control by gaining insight in the characteristics, functions and uses of woody species in the research area, with special attention to the knowledge of local stakeholders.



National {Cooperation status}
European (EU) {Cooperation status}
With High Priority Countries {Cooperation status}
Ethiopia {Geographical scope}
Dry and Sub-humid Lands {Habitat type}
Forest {Habitat type}
Mountain {Habitat type}
Ecosystem Services {Tags}


Name Role Start End
Reubens, Bert member 2005-01-01 2009-01-01
Muys, Bart promotor 2005-01-01 2009-01-01


Name Role Start End
Forest Ecology and Management member 2005-01-01 2009-01-01

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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