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 journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)
185 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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
JournalGeotechnique
Early online date9 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Oct 2017

Keywords

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

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