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Evaluating the potential slope plants using new method for soil reinforcement program

Zhang, Chaobo, Li, Dongrong, Jiang, Jing, Zhou, Xia, Niu, Xiaoyu, Wei, Yang, Ma, Juanjuan
Catena 2019 v.180 pp. 346-354
Chrysopogon zizanioides, Lolium perenne, Paspalum notatum, cohesion, herbaceous plants, models, soil, surveys, tensile strength, China
Herbaceous plants are effective in reinforcing soil in the hilly area of northern China. It is a challenge to select dominant herbaceous species for soil reinforcement. In this study, investigation of plant plots, survey of plant root distribution and tests of root tensile strength were carried out in the north hilly area of Taiyuan city, Shanxi Province, North China. Species importance values (SIV) of nine herbaceous plants were calculated using the four parameters: relative frequency, relative density, relative aboveground coverage and relative underground coverage of the plants. SIV of Lolium perenne L. (32%), Vetiveria zizanioides L. (17%) and Paspalum notatum (14%) accounted for >50% of the total SIV of all species. Root area ratio and tensile strength of the three species were measured, and root cohesion was then evaluated using the Wu-Waldron model. According to the relative root cohesion (RRC) index combining with SIV and root cohesion, the dominant order of the three plants for soil reinforcement was: Lolium perenne L. (1.71 MPa) > Vetiveria zizanioides L. (1.12 MPa) > Paspalum notatum (0.74 MPa). This study provides a new method and data basis for guiding soil reinforcement in restoration projects using herbaceous plants.