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Effectiveness of reforestation in erosion mitigation and implications for future sediment yields, East Coast catchments, New Zealand: A review

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Abstract

This paper argues that reforestation of unstable and degraded parts of the East Coast region, predominantly with exotic pines, has successfully stabilised existing erosion forms and prevented the initiation of new ones. Effectiveness is often assessed by capturing erosion scars on aerial photography taken before and after reforestation and any change in scar size is measured in a geographic information system (GIS). Combined with forest age data, modelled reforestation scenarios indicate that sediment generation from earth flows and shallow landslides would be negligible within eight to 10 years after planting, and if all remaining gullies were to be reforested before 2020, sediment yield could halve by 2030 and remain constant thereafter. In a similar time frame, the risk to infrastructure by sedimentation and flooding would likely decrease.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Landcare Research, PO Box 445, Gisborne, New Zealand

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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