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Soil erosion dynamics in a small watershed covered by sugarcane and riparian vegetation

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Author(s):
Taciana Figueiredo Gomes
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA/STB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Luiz Antonio Martinelli; Ricardo de Oliveira Figueiredo; Quirijn de Jong van Lier; Marcilio Vieira Martins Filho; José Teixeira Filho
Advisor: Luiz Antonio Martinelli
Abstract

Brazil is the world largest sugarcane producer, with a cropped area of approximately 10 million hectares. Soil erosion and its implications are some of the neglected environmental problems in sugarcane fields. In this study a plot of 6 hectares cropped with sugarcane, encompassing a 30 meters of riparian forest bordering a stream was chosen. Two pluviometers were installed in an open area in order to measure the amount and intensity of rain during the rainy season. Surface runoff generation and soil detachment were estimated by plots installed in cultivated and riparian areas. Bathymetry was carried out in the stream channel to estimate the soil mass settled on the stream bed. The sources of organic matter were investigated by carbon (?13C) stable isotopic compositions. In the earlier stages of the crop, the rain intensity strongly influenced runoff generation and soil detachment; that were minimized with the plant growth. In riparian areas, runoff and soil detachment occurred only during intense events. The total rainfall was approximately 1,500 mm, in one slope of the sugarcane field, approximately 5% of this rainfall drained from the watershed as surface runoff; in the other slope this proportion increased to approximately 11%, and in the riparian forest decreased to less than 2%. The soil detachment was approximately 1,000 g m-2 in one sugarcane slope, and increased to approximately 5,000 g m-2 in the other slope, decreasing in the riparian forest to only 50 g m-2. Using the bathymetry conducted in the stream channel, we estimated that 3.6 Mg of sediment per hectare were settled on the stream bed during the rainy season. The averages ?13C of soil from forest and sugarcane areas and in the stream bed indicated that 30% of this material was generated in the sugarcane areas and 70% in the riparian forest (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/15281-5 - Dynamics of erosion in a watershed covered by sugar cane.
Grantee:Taciana Figueiredo Gomes
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate