Vegetation controls present-day erosion rates


View Original Image at Full Size

This figure illustrates the acceleration of erosion rates following removal of the vegetation. Based on the concentration of cosmogenic isotopes in river sediment, we estimated long-term, natural erosion rates, against which human impact can be measured. Present-day erosion rates were calculated from reservoir sedimentation measurements for 37 catchments; and the fractional vegetation cover of the catchments was estimated from vertical photographs of 1 × 1 m vegetation plots. Our data indicate that vegetation cover exerts first-order control over present-day erosion rates at the catchment scale. Areas with high vegetation density erode at rates that are characteristically similar to those of the natural benchmark, regardless of whether the type of vegetation is native or anthropogenic.

Image 14960 is a 540 by 720 pixel JPEG
Uploaded: Apr28 09


Last Modified: 2009-04-28 06:08:50
The file is referred to in 1 page
Provenance
Created by the author of the page containing
this file.
Reuse
This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.