Vegetation Impact on Soil Strength: A State of the Knowledge Review
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory hanover United States
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Researchers in a variety of fields have studied using vegetation to alter or reinforce soils. However, investigating the use of vegetation with regard to impacting soil strength and therefore improving vehicle trafficability and mobility, for both military operations and training purposes, is more limited. Much of the soil-reinforcement work reported in the literature deals with trees and larger shrubs appropriate for slope and bank stabilization. Other research efforts are for agricultural or forestry applications and involve crops and, again, large trees. While larger plant species would prohibit vehicle traffic and thus be inappropriate from the standpoint of vehicle mobility, the general observations and the different types of laboratory and field tests performed in these studies still provide valuable insight. This review discusses the issue of vegetation and its effect on a variety of soil-strength parameters. It also reviews work regarding the effect of vehicle operations on vegetation and conversely the effect of vegetation on vehicle performance, or trafficability. The intent is to provide a broad knowledge base of the variety of work done with vegetation and soils with particular attention to the applicability for vehicle mobility and land management goals.
- Soil Mechanics