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Perspectives of Vegetation Ecology and Biodiversity for Management of Ravine Lands

  • Jagdish Chander Dagar
Chapter

Abstract

Importance of vegetation ecology in the abatement of soil erosion and thereby in stabilizing the gullies and ravines has been well known and widely advocated. The indigenous woody vegetation and perennial grasses are considered generally more effective in halting runoff and erosion than cultivated crops and exotics. The native species have adapted themselves against all edaphic and biotic pressure and have capacity to regenerate along eroded slopes. The phytoclimate of the watersheds of rivers having ravines indicates to be therophytic showing biotic pressure of over-exploitation and overgrazing. But at the same time, there are quite a good number of phanerophytes showing that the watershed areas favour the luxuriant growth of both phanerophytes and therophytes provided the over-exploitation of woody vegetation and overgrazing are stopped. Successional trend also indicates that the ravine lands are facing tremendous biotic pressure and the vegetation is a biotic climax. After closing to grazing, it will lead to dry deciduous or savannah forest which consequently will offer more effective check against erosion. Along with herbage cover, the underground parts mainly thin roots also play an important role in retaining the soil and moisture, infiltration of nutrient cycling and ameliorating the soil. This all depends upon the configuration, density and the strength of the root system. The extent of root systems and their soil-binding capacity vary from plant to plant. Therefore, the ecological studies of vegetation including root systems help in understanding the role of different species and plant communities in conserving the soil in watershed areas including ravines and consequently silting of reservoirs, canals, streams and rivers. In the present chapter, an attempt has been made to explore the ecological perspectives of vegetation and terrestrial biodiversity in controlling the ravine formation by stabilizing the soil and protecting the biodiversity for its potential and sustainable use for livelihood and environmental security.

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jagdish Chander Dagar
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Council of Agricultural SciencesPusaIndia

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