WIT Press

Geotextile As A Tool Against Soil Erosion In Vineyards And Orchards


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WIT Press


Á. Kertész, A. Tóth, Z. Szalai, G. Jakab, K. Kozma, C. A. Booth, M. A. Fullen & K. Davies


According to practical experiences and laboratory measurements geotextiles may play a significant role in combating soil erosion. Besides the widespread synthetic materials, cheap hand woven geotextiles from organic materials are available as well. They are environment friendly and biologically degradable. The BORASSUS Project funded by FP6 of the European Union (Contract number: INCO-CT-2005-510745) deals with the use of geotextiles made of two kinds of palm leaves (Borassus aethiopum, Mauritia flexuosa), bamboo and jute in ten countries, under different land uses and climatic conditions. Socio-economic benefits of geotextile production in developing countries are also investigated. Within the framework of the project an experimental station was established in North East Hungary (Abaújszántó). 3x4 erosion plots of 10x2 m were built up to measure soil loss, runoff and soil moisture conditions in order to compare slopes covered and uncovered by geotextiles. Soil moisture conditions are permanently measured on the soil surface and at 20 cm depth. Three different land use types, i.e. traditional and espalier vineyards and a new orchard plantation are studied under sub-humid temperate climatic conditions. Our first results covering the period of one year show that natural geotextiles decrease soil loss. Runoff volume was increased on plots under geotextile cover. The effect of different land uses influenced first of all the amount of soil loss. No relationship between land use and runoff volume could be detected. Geotextiles favourably affect soil microclimate keeping the soil surface moist for weeks even in very dry periods. The main conclusion is that palm leaf and jute geotextiles are beneficial for the soil by reducing soil and water loss and by regulating soil moisture. Keywords: geotextile, soil erosion, land use, soil moisture.


geotextile, soil erosion, land use, soil moisture.