Effectiveness of Vegetation in Erosion Control From Forest Road Sideslopes
Abstract.. Forest roads have been identified as the major contributor to sediment production from forested lands, accounting for perhaps as much as 90% of all sediment produced. In recent years, increased concern and societal pressure has focused on the impacts of forest roads and the effectiveness of erosion control measures. In addition, the re–introduction of native species for erosion control has become a priority on many forestlands. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a wood excelsior erosion mat, native species vegetation, and exotic species vegetation treatments in erosion control from forest road sideslopes in the Talladega National Forest in Alabama over a 4–year period. In comparison to bare soil control plots, treatments significantly reduced sediment and runoff yield from the road sideslopes. Mean sediment yield from the native species vegetation, exotic species vegetation, and erosion mat treatments were 1.1, 0.45, and 0.80 g m–2 mm –1 , respectively. The native species vegetation was as effective as the exotic species vegetation and erosion mat in reducing sediment yield from the forest road sideslopes.