Identification of Priority Areas for Soil and Water Conservation Planning Based on Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Using Choquet Integral.
ABSTRACT: Soil erosion risk assessment is an essential foundation for the planning and implementation of soil and water conservation projects. The commonality among existing studies is that they considered different indicators (e.g., rainfall and slope) in order to determine the soil erosion risk; however, the majority of studies in China neglect one important indicator, namely the slope aspect. It is widely accepted that the vegetation and distribution of rainfall differs according to the different slope aspects (such as sunny slope and shady slope) and these attributes will accordingly influence the soil erosion. Thus, existing studies neglecting this indicator cannot reflect the soil erosion well. To address this problem, a flexible soil erosion risk assessment method that supports decision makers in identifying priority areas in soil and water conservation planning was developed in the present study. Firstly, in order to verify the impact of the slope aspect on soil erosion, field investigations were conducted, and its impact on the characteristics of the community in the study area was analyzed. Secondly, six assessment indicators were selected, including slope gradient, precipitation, NDVI, land use, soil texture and slope aspect. Next, a developed multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method based on the Choquet integral was adopted to assess the soil erosion risk. The MCDA method, combining objective data with subjective assessment based on Choquet integral, could solve the weight problem encountered when using the quantitative method. The parameters required can be modified according to the soil erosion types, assessment scales, and data availability. The synergistic and inhibitory effects among the soil erosion parameters were also considered in the assessment. Finally, the soil erosion risk results in the Xinshui River watershed revealed that more attention should be paid to the slope of farmland and grassland during the planning and management of soil and water conservation projects. The methodology used in the current study can support decision makers in planning and implementing soil and water conservation measures in regions with different erosion types.
Project description:High levels of water-induced erosion in the transboundary Himalayan river basins are contributing to substantial changes in basin hydrology and inundation. Basin-wide information on erosion dynamics is needed for conservation planning, but field-based studies are limited. This study used remote sensing (RS) data and a geographic information system (GIS) to estimate the spatial distribution of soil erosion across the entire Koshi basin, to identify changes between 1990 and 2010, and to develop a conservation priority map. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) was used in an ArcGIS environment with rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope length and steepness, cover-management, and support practice factors as primary parameters. The estimated annual erosion from the basin was around 40 million tonnes (40 million tonnes in 1990 and 42 million tonnes in 2010). The results were within the range of reported levels derived from isolated plot measurements and model estimates. Erosion risk was divided into eight classes from very low to extremely high and mapped to show the spatial pattern of soil erosion risk in the basin in 1990 and 2010. The erosion risk class remained unchanged between 1990 and 2010 in close to 87% of the study area, but increased over 9.0% of the area and decreased over 3.8%, indicating an overall worsening of the situation. Areas with a high and increasing risk of erosion were identified as priority areas for conservation. The study provides the first assessment of erosion dynamics at the basin level and provides a basis for identifying conservation priorities across the Koshi basin. The model has a good potential for application in similar river basins in the Himalayan region.
Project description:We present a practical method to control erosion and soil conservation for agrarian activity. The method consists of four steps: (1) analyse the erosive state (as a percentage of the area affected) and soil losses (in m3?ha-1) by means of visual indicators (physical features on the soil surface that have been formed by erosion) and analyse environmental factors (as possible erodibility factors); (2) determine the factors of erodibility; (3) calculate the erosion threshold (value of the erodibility factor beyond which effective control of erosion is achieved), by statistical analysis of the databases collected in the field; (4) verify this result by applying a qualitative assessment of erosive intensity, using visual indicators. The erosion threshold is of particular interest for practical purposes because it can be used to improve the planning of agricultural activity, from the standpoint of soil conservation, thus promoting sustainable land use. This study makes the following main contributions to knowledge in this field: •It presents a new method to address erosion control, based on determining the erosion threshold.•Appropriate environmental and management conditions for effective erosion control are identified.•The method is simple to apply, which facilitates its implementation.
Project description:Soil erosion is a major global soil degradation threat to land, freshwater, and oceans. Wind and water are the major drivers, with water erosion over land being the focus of this work; excluding gullying and river bank erosion. Improving knowledge of the probable future rates of soil erosion, accelerated by human activity, is important both for policy makers engaged in land use decision-making and for earth-system modelers seeking to reduce uncertainty on global predictions. Here we predict future rates of erosion by modeling change in potential global soil erosion by water using three alternative (2.6, 4.5, and 8.5) Shared Socioeconomic Pathway and Representative Concentration Pathway (SSP-RCP) scenarios. Global predictions rely on a high spatial resolution Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE)-based semiempirical modeling approach (GloSEM). The baseline model (2015) predicts global potential soil erosion rates of [Formula: see text] Pg yr-1, with current conservation agriculture (CA) practices estimated to reduce this by ?5%. Our future scenarios suggest that socioeconomic developments impacting land use will either decrease (SSP1-RCP2.6-10%) or increase (SSP2-RCP4.5 +2%, SSP5-RCP8.5 +10%) water erosion by 2070. Climate projections, for all global dynamics scenarios, indicate a trend, moving toward a more vigorous hydrological cycle, which could increase global water erosion (+30 to +66%). Accepting some degrees of uncertainty, our findings provide insights into how possible future socioeconomic development will affect soil erosion by water using a globally consistent approach. This preliminary evidence seeks to inform efforts such as those of the United Nations to assess global soil erosion and inform decision makers developing national strategies for soil conservation.
Project description:Water-induced erosion of iron tailings is a serious problem affecting ecological restoration, but, little is known about how the occurrence of erosion on tailings slopes and types of reclaimed substrates that are beneficial to reducing slope erosion. This study measured the slope erosion characteristics of six reclaimed substrates including loose tailings (LT), crusty tailings (CT), tailings incorporating mushroom residues (TM), tailings incorporating soil (TS), tailings incorporating soil and mushroom residues (TSM) and soil (S) in experimental soil flumes under three simulated intermittent rainfall events, with intensity of 60, 90 and 120?mm?h-1 for the first, second and third event, respectively. Significant differences (p?<?0.05) were found in erosion characteristics among the six reclaimed substrates. TM had the lowest sediment yield but the highest runoff volume without obvious rills. LT, CT and TS had the highest sediment yield rates and severe slope erosion morphology. With the increased number of rainfall events, the runoff rates of the six substrates all increased, but only the sediment yield rates of LT, CT and TS increased, the sediment yield rates of other substrates increased first and then decreased. Therefore, adding agricultural organic wastes such as mushroom residues to tailings and reducing soil addition may be an effective way to reduce erosion and promote ecological restoration in soilless tailings areas.
Project description:The effect of soil and water conservation measures (SWCMs) is usually dependent on time. Thus the trend in reducing runoff and sediment over time is a very important theoretical problem for evaluating the effectiveness of SWCMs. Moreover, there is still a lack of comprehensive assessment of water erosion dynamics following implementing SWCMs despite their ecological significance. Therefore, the long-term impact of SWCMs on runoff and sediment and their relationships was assessed for an orchard on sloping red soil in southern China. Overland flow and erosion sediment were continuously observed for 15 years on citrus experimental plots under one of four treatments: grass strips, strip intercropping, level terrace and clean-tillage. By means of Mann-Kendall trend tests and double cumulative curves, the time series of runoff and sediment under the different treatments were analyzed. Furthermore, we linked the effect of soil conservation and the relationship between runoff and sediment variation to determine the mechanism of conservation measures on sediment reduction. The results showed that the first 4 years was the key period to prevent soil erosion for this orchard, and then the intensity of soil erosion decreased below 500 t·km-2·a-1. Considering economic costs and ecological effect, grass strips were the best protective measure for this test situation. The fitted curves of the effect of SWCMs on sediment reduction over time showed an 'L' form, but on runoff there was an approximately horizontal line. The SWCMs did not change the rainfall-runoff relationship, but did change the runoff-sediment erosion relationship. The erosion reduction mechanism of SWCMs in the early phase was a joint function of reducing runoff and changing the runoff-sediment relationship, and in the post-stable phase it worked mainly by reducing runoff. The results provide the basis for rational allocation of SWCMs considering location and time.
Project description:Both rural and urban development can lead to accelerated gully erosion. Quantifying gully erosion is challenging in environments where gullies are rapidly repaired, and in urban areas where microtopographic complexity complicates the delineation of contributing areas. This study used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetric techniques to quantify gully erosion in the Los Laureles Canyon watershed, a rapidly urbanizing watershed in Tijuana, Mexico. Following a storm event, the gully network extent was mapped using an orthomosaic (0.038 m pixel size); the local slope and watershed area contributing to each gully head were mapped with a Digital Surface Model (0.3 m pixel size). Gullies formed almost exclusively on unpaved roads which had erodible soils and concentrated flow. Management practices (e.g. road maintenance that fill gullies after large storms) contributed to total sediment production at the watershed scale. Sediment production from gully erosion was higher and threshold values of slope and drainage area for gully incision were lower than ephemeral gullies reported for agricultural settings. This indicates high vulnerability of unpaved roads to gully erosion which is consistent with high soil erodibility and low critical shear stress measured in the laboratory with a mini jet-erosion-test device. Future studies that evaluate effects of different soil types on gully erosion rates for unpaved roads, as well as those that model effects of management practices such as road paving and their impact on runoff, soil erosion, and sediment loads are needed to advance sediment management and planning in urban watersheds.
Project description:Compared with arable land, there is a paucity of field-based measurements of erosion rates and controls for lowland temperate grassland supporting ruminant agriculture. Despite this evidence gap, reducing diffuse fine sediment pollution from intensively farmed grassland has been recognised as essential for improving compliance with water quality targets. Improved information on erosion rates and controls within intensively managed lowland grazing livestock systems are prerequisites for informing best management practices for soil and water resource conservation. Accordingly, this study assembled such information using the North Wyke farm platform in south west England where flow, suspended sediment concentration, rainfall and soil moisture are monitored quasi-continuously in 15 hydrologically-isolated (1.54-11.12?ha) catchments. This region of the UK is representative of temperate lowland ruminant grazing landscapes with semi permeable soil drainage. Catchment area was the major control on both water and sediment flux. When normalised to catchment area, sediment yields were controlled by the erodibility of the catchment's soils. Ploughing for re-seeding of grass swards was the major factor that affected this. Whilst total rainfall had a small effect on sediment yields, slope and the damage of soils by livestock had no significant effects. This finding may be due to the overriding effects of ploughing and re-seeding of some fields during the study period. Detachment by impacting raindrops mobilised sediment particles across the entire field with diffuse saturation-excess overland flow responsible for their transport. The majority of erosion occurred during the rising limbs of storm events when there is an abundance of easily detached soil particles. Given that erosion and sediment transport are driven mechanistically by processes affecting the entire field areas, a reduction in sediment yield through the implementation of highly spatially-targeted in-field management such as that for feeder ring use, troughs, poached tracks or gateways would likely be very challenging. Instead, stocking density and grazing regime management, as well as carefully planned ploughing and re-seeding will be more beneficial for erosion control.
Project description:Agricultural soil loss and deposition in aquatic ecosystems is a problem that impairs water quality worldwide and is costly to agriculture and food supplies. In the US, for example, billions of dollars have subsidized soil and water conservation practices in agricultural landscapes over the past decades. We used paleolimnological methods to reconstruct trends in sedimentation related to human-induced landscape change in 32 lakes in the intensively agricultural region of the Midwestern United States. Despite erosion control efforts, we found accelerating increases in sediment deposition from erosion; median erosion loss since 1800 has been 15.4 tons ha(-1). Sediment deposition from erosion increased >6-fold, from 149 g m(-2) yr(-1) in 1850 to 986 g m(-2) yr(-1) by 2010. Average time to accumulate one mm of sediment decreased from 631 days before European settlement (ca. 1850) to 59 days mm(-1) at present. Most of this sediment was deposited in the last 50 years and is related to agricultural intensification rather than land clearance or predominance of agricultural lands. In the face of these intensive agricultural practices, traditional soil conservation programs have not decelerated downstream losses. Despite large erosion control subsidies, erosion and declining water quality continue, thus new approaches are needed to mitigate erosion and water degradation.
Project description:The assessment of ecological security patterns is a topic of conversation in landscape ecology in recent years. However, ecosystem services and human activities are seldom considered comprehensively in the assessment of ecological security patterns. The present study employs the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration as a study area, and uses ecological services to determine the ecological sources. The importance of ecological sources is classified based on logical coding and functional types of ecological services. The research combines regional characteristics to select and quantitatively calculate three human disturbance factors: soil erosion sensitivity, geological hazard sensitivity, and night lighting. Then the basic surface resistance of land use to limit migration is modified and ecological corridors are identified by combining these three disturbance factors. The results indicate that the sources of water production, soil and water conservation, and carbon fixation are mainly provided in mountainous areas, recreation sources are mostly distributed in the plains, and these ecological sources improve the maintenance of ecological corridors. The modification of resistance surfaces significantly changes the length of ecological corridors in Tianjin, Tangshan, Cangzhou, and Beijing, and the modified resistance surface improves the recognition of ecological corridors. This study provides a new research framework for identifying the ecological security patterns of urban agglomerations and provides scientific guidance related to ecological protection and urban planning for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration.
Project description:Population increase and the demand for infrastructure development such as construction of highways and road widening are intangible, leading up to mass land clearing. As flat terrains become scarce, infrastructure expansions have moved on to hilly terrains, cutting through slopes and forests. Unvegetated or bare slopes are prone to erosion due to the lack of or insufficient surface cover. The combination of exposed slope, uncontrolled slope management practices, poor slope planning and high rainfall as in Malaysia could steer towards slope failures which then results in landslides under acute situation. Moreover, due to the tropical weather, the soils undergo intense chemical weathering and leaching that elevates soil erosion and surface runoff. Mitigation measures are vital to address slope failures as they lead to economic loss and loss of lives. Since there is minimal or limited information and investigations on slope stabilization methods in Malaysia, this review deciphers into the current slope management practices such as geotextiles, brush layering, live poles, rock buttress and concrete structures. However, these methods have their drawbacks. Thus, as a way forward, we highlight the potential application of soil bioengineering methods especially on the use of whole plants. Here, we discuss the general attributions of a plant in slope stabilization including its mechanical, hydrological and hydraulic effects. Subsequently, we focus on species selection, and engineering properties of vegetation especially rooting structures and architecture. Finally, the review will dissect and assess the ecological principles for vegetation establishment with an emphasis on adopting the mix-culture approach as a slope failure mitigation measure. Nevertheless, the use of soil bioengineering is limited to low to moderate risk slopes only, while in high-risk slopes, the use of traditional engineering measure is deemed more appropriate and remain to be the solution for slope stabilization.