SP06c Soil erosion in a future climate: Mechanism of soil erosion control by vegetation and their role for soil erosion modeling and integrated water resources management (FOR891_sp06c soil)

Existing land use systems often cause severe soil erosion. Now and in future, processes of changing climate and extreme events (high intensity rainfall, drought) as well as land use changes affect extent and spatial distribution of soil erosion and sediment fluxes. Vegetation could protect very efficiently against soil erosion by water, based on the effect of a plant to keep away the direct impact of a raindrop on the soil surface. The mechanisms that control soil erosion under vegetation are very dynamic in space and time and the processes of reducing splash detachment in relation to the extreme rainfall events and temporal change of the seasonal occurrence are not well understood. Here, we analyse how soil erosion changes with different types of vegetation cover, using both field data and a modeling approach. Two process systems will be analysed, (a) modification of rainfall erosivity by its pass through the vegetation layer, and (b) feedbacks and interactions between surface runoff, sediment transport and vegetation structure. Vertical and horizontal vegetation structure will be analysed with hyperspectral remote sensing and Lidar techniques.