Root reinforcement, provided by plants in soil, can be exerted by a mechanical effect, increasing soil shear strength for the presence of roots, or by a hydrological effect, induced by plant transpiration. No comparisons have been still carried out between mechanical and hydrological reinforcements on shallow slope stability in typical agroecosystems. This paper aims to compare these effects induced by sowed fields and vineyards and to assess their effects towards the shallow slope staibility. Root mechanical reinforcement has been assessed through Root Bundle Model-Weibull. Root hydrological reinforcement has been evaluated using an empirical relationship with monitored or modelled pore water pressure. Each reinforcement has been inserted in a stability model to quantify their impacts on susceptibility towards shallow landslides. Considering the same environment, corresponding to a typical agroecosystem of northern Italian Apennines, land use has significant effects on saturation degree and pore water pressure, influencing hydrological reinforcement. Root hydrological reinforcement effect is higher in summer, although rainfall-induced shallow landslides rarely occur in this period due to dry soil conditions. Instead, in wet and cold periods, when shallow landslides can develop more frequently, the stabilizing contribution of mechanical reinforcement is on average higher than the hydrological reinforcement. In vineyards, the hydrological reinforcement effect could be observed also during autumn, winter and spring periods, giving a contribution to slope stability also in these conditions. This situation occurs when plants uptake enough water from soil to reduce significantly pore water pressure, guaranteeing values of hydrological reinforcement of 1-3 kPa at 1 m from ground, in agreement with measured mechanical root reinforcement (up to 1.6 kPa). These results suggest that both hydrological and mechanical effects of vegetation deserve high regard in susceptibility towards shallow landslides, helping in selection of the best land uses to reduce probability of occurrence of these failures over large territories.

Comparison between mechanical and hydrological reinforcement effects of cultivated plants on shallow slope stability / Bordoni, Massimiliano; Vivaldi, Valerio; Giarola, Alessia; Valentino, Roberto; Bittelli, Marco; Meisina, Claudia. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - 912:(2024). [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.168999]

Comparison between mechanical and hydrological reinforcement effects of cultivated plants on shallow slope stability

Valentino, Roberto;Meisina, Claudia
2024-01-01

Abstract

Root reinforcement, provided by plants in soil, can be exerted by a mechanical effect, increasing soil shear strength for the presence of roots, or by a hydrological effect, induced by plant transpiration. No comparisons have been still carried out between mechanical and hydrological reinforcements on shallow slope stability in typical agroecosystems. This paper aims to compare these effects induced by sowed fields and vineyards and to assess their effects towards the shallow slope staibility. Root mechanical reinforcement has been assessed through Root Bundle Model-Weibull. Root hydrological reinforcement has been evaluated using an empirical relationship with monitored or modelled pore water pressure. Each reinforcement has been inserted in a stability model to quantify their impacts on susceptibility towards shallow landslides. Considering the same environment, corresponding to a typical agroecosystem of northern Italian Apennines, land use has significant effects on saturation degree and pore water pressure, influencing hydrological reinforcement. Root hydrological reinforcement effect is higher in summer, although rainfall-induced shallow landslides rarely occur in this period due to dry soil conditions. Instead, in wet and cold periods, when shallow landslides can develop more frequently, the stabilizing contribution of mechanical reinforcement is on average higher than the hydrological reinforcement. In vineyards, the hydrological reinforcement effect could be observed also during autumn, winter and spring periods, giving a contribution to slope stability also in these conditions. This situation occurs when plants uptake enough water from soil to reduce significantly pore water pressure, guaranteeing values of hydrological reinforcement of 1-3 kPa at 1 m from ground, in agreement with measured mechanical root reinforcement (up to 1.6 kPa). These results suggest that both hydrological and mechanical effects of vegetation deserve high regard in susceptibility towards shallow landslides, helping in selection of the best land uses to reduce probability of occurrence of these failures over large territories.
2024
Comparison between mechanical and hydrological reinforcement effects of cultivated plants on shallow slope stability / Bordoni, Massimiliano; Vivaldi, Valerio; Giarola, Alessia; Valentino, Roberto; Bittelli, Marco; Meisina, Claudia. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - 912:(2024). [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.168999]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2980035
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