Cite as:
Vorpahl, P.; Dislich, C.; Elsenbeer, H.; M&auml;rker, M. &amp; Schr&ouml;der, B. (2012): <b>Biotic controls on shallow translational landslides</b>. <i>Earth Surface Processes and Landforms</i> <b>38</b>, 198-212.

Resource Description

Title: Biotic controls on shallow translational landslides
FOR816dw ID: 1380
Publication Date: 2012-08-22
License and Usage Rights: PAK 823-825 data user agreement. (
Resource Owner(s):
Individual: Peter Vorpahl
Individual: Claudia Dislich
Individual: Helmut Elsenbeer
Individual: Michael Märker
Individual: Boris Schröder
In undisturbed tropical montane rainforests massive organic layers accommodate the majority of roots and only a small fraction of roots penetrate the mineral soil. We investigated the contribution of vegetation to slope stability in such environments by modifying a standard model for slope stability to include an organic layer with distinct mechanical properties. The importance of individual model parameters was evaluated using detailed measurements of soil and vegetation properties to reproduce the observed depth of 11 shallow landslides in the Andes of southern Ecuador. By distinguishing mineral soil, organic layer and aboveground<br/> biomass, it is shown that in this environment vegetation provides a destabilizing effect mainly due to its contribution to the mass of the organic layer (up to 973 t ha1 under wet conditions). Sensitivity analysis shows that the destabilizing effect of the mass of soil and vegetation can only be effective on slopes steeper than 37.9. This situation applies to 36% of the study area. Thus, on the steep slopes of this megadiverse ecosystem, the mass of the growing forest promotes landsliding, which in turn promotes a new cycle of succession. This feedback mechanism is worth consideration in further investigations of the impact of landslides on plant diversity in similar environments.
| soil characteristics | landslide | landslide risk | factor of safety |
Literature type specific fields:
Journal: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume: 38
Page Range: 198-212
Publisher: Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Metadata Provider:
Individual: Claudia Dislich
Online Distribution:
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