Plant age effects on soil infiltration rate during early plant establishment

Anthony Leung (Lead / Corresponding author), David Boldrin, Teng Liang, Z. Y. Wu, Viroon Kamchoom, Anthony Bengough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)
295 Downloads (Pure)


Infiltration rate affects slope stability by determining the rate of water transport to potential failure planes. This note considers the influences of vegetation (grass and willow) establishment and root growth dynamics on infiltration rate, as related to establishing vegetation on bioengineered slopes. Soil columns of silty sand with and without vegetation were tested by constant-head infiltration tests at 2-, 4-, 6- and 8-weeks after planting. Infiltration rate increased linearly with plant age and below-ground traits including root biomass and root length density. Infiltration rate for willow-rooted-soil was an order of magnitude higher than for fallow soil. Plant age effect was more prominent for willow which grew faster and with thicker roots than the grass. Illustrative seepage analysis suggests that ignoring the plant age effects could underestimate wetting front advancement in deeper depths during rainfall, and underestimate suction recovery in shallow depths during internal drainage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-652
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Early online date9 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Partial saturation
  • Permeability
  • Seepage
  • Suction
  • Vegetation
  • Water flow


Dive into the research topics of 'Plant age effects on soil infiltration rate during early plant establishment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this