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Effect of Vegetation Cover on Sediment Yield: An Empirical Study through Plots Experiment

The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE)


Rill and gully erosion is a critical environmental problem in India, where vegetal cover plays vital role in the runoff and soil loss reduction and stabilization of disturbed systems. Here, the impact of vegetal cover on runoff and soil erosion in lateritic environment was assessed through experimental observation on five plots (<5 m2 area), containing varied vegetal cover at successive time period. Runoff and rate of soil loss were measured in each plot under seven natural rain storm conditions and compared them. The observed data showed bare plots experienced larger sediment yield than they are with vegetal cover. The simulation results corroborated significant relationship between the soil detachment and explanatory variables, e.g. runoff volume and vegetal cover (R2= 0.95; P<0.001). A very significant relationship was found between vegetal cover and sediment concentration (Adjusted R2= 0.91, P<0.001). This plot-scale study has the advantage of allowing for detailed process monitoring at micro scale, providing a basic description of the most relevant aspect of vegetal cover on sediment yield. Keywords: Rill-gully erosion; lateritic environment; sediment yield; vegetation cover

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