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Hydroseeding Application on Degraded Slopes in the Southern Mediterranean Area (Sicily)

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 29(3): 309-319. (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.13031/aea.29.9825) @2013
Authors:   Mariangela Vallone, Felice Pipitone, Maria Alleri, Pierluigi Febo, Pietro Catania
Keywords:   Degraded area Hydroseeding Reclamation Semiarid climate.
<italic>Abstract.</italic>

Hydroseeding is a technique increasingly used to establish vegetation on degraded areas in order to provide environmental protection. The objective of this article was to evaluate the effectiveness of four different hydroseeding methods (bonded fiber matrix hydroseeding, thick hydroseeding, reinforced hydroseeding plus water retention, and reinforced hydroseeding) on a degraded artificial slope in the southern Mediterranean area determining total vegetation cover, hydroseeding vegetation cover, hydroseeding success index (HSI), natural and hydroseeded vegetation height. The test area does not allow the use of any operating machinery for soil and vegetation management, and the only applicable technique is therefore hydroseeding. After hydroseeding was applied (in December 2010), 21 checks were carried out every 15 days (from January 2011-December 2011) to verify the occurrence and development of the hydroseeded species in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the different hydroseeding techniques in the study area. The results of the first experimentation performed in Sicily show that hydroseeding has good prospects of application on degraded areas in semiarid Mediterranean environments. In our study HSI > 0.8 was obtained only in test 2 (thick hydroseeding, period February-June 2011) where there was the simultaneous presence of earthworm humus and mulch.

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