Purpose A monitoring investigation undertaken along the River Ibach, northwest Switzerland over the winter 2012/2013, found that riparian areas recently supporting the invasive plant Himalayan Balsam (HB) recorded significantly higher erosion rates than nearby uninvaded areas. This communication sythesises the latest findings about the influence of HB on sedimentation processes, again, from the Ibach, but also from a second river system in southwest UK. Materials and methods Erosion pins, a micro-profile bridge and a digital caliper were used to measure changes in soil surface profile (SSP) at selected riparian areas supporting HB plants along both rivers. Values were statistically compared against equivalent data recorded from nearby reference areas supporting mixed perennial vegetation. A comparison of source and sediment geochemistry was also undertaken on soil from HB-invaded and uninvaded floodplain areas along the Ibach, to assess the potential for identifying the extent to which either group acts as a sediment source. Results and discussion Erosion pin data indicate that soil loss from HB-colonised areas was significantly greater than soil loss from reference areas in two out of the four periods at the River Ibach site, and in two out of three measurement periods at the River Taw site. Colonisation of
Journal of Soils and Sediments – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2018
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