Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Managing Soil Erosion in Northern Ireland: A Review of Past and Present Approaches
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Role of Arthropods in Maintaining Soil Fertility
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Agriculture 2013, 3(4), 660-683; doi:10.3390/agriculture3040660

Soil Erosion from Agriculture and Mining: A Threat to Tropical Stream Ecosystems

1
River Culture (Fleuve et Patrimoine), Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Cities, Territories, Environment and Society (CNRS UMR CITERES), Université François Rabelais, Parc Grandmont, 37200 Tours, France
2
Department of Biology, Center for Agricultural Research in Suriname (CELOS), Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Leysweg, Paramaribo, Suriname
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 July 2013 / Revised: 7 September 2013 / Accepted: 13 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion: A Major Threat to Food Production and the Environment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2635 KB, 8 October 2013; original version 30 September 2013]   |  

Abstract

In tropical countries soil erosion is often increased due to high erodibility of geologically old and weathered soils; intensive rainfall; inappropriate soil management; removal of forest vegetation cover; and mining activities. Stream ecosystems draining agricultural or mining areas are often severely impacted by the high loads of eroded material entering the stream channel; increasing turbidity; covering instream habitat and affecting the riparian zone; and thereby modifying habitat and food web structures. The biodiversity is severely threatened by these negative effects as the aquatic and riparian fauna and flora are not adapted to cope with excessive rates of erosion and sedimentation. Eroded material may also be polluted by pesticides or heavy metals that have an aggravating effect on functions and ecosystem services. Loss of superficial material and deepening of erosion gullies impoverish the nutrient and carbon contents of the soils; and lower the water tables; causing a “lose-lose” situation for agricultural productivity and environmental integrity. Several examples show how to interrupt this vicious cycle by integrated catchment management and by combining “green” and “hard” engineering for habitat restoration. In this review; we summarize current findings on this issue from tropical countries with a focus on case studies from Suriname and Brazil.
Keywords: agricultural catchments; headwater stream; siltation; suspended sediment; turbidity; environmental impact; biodiversity agricultural catchments; headwater stream; siltation; suspended sediment; turbidity; environmental impact; biodiversity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wantzen, K.M.; Mol, J.H. Soil Erosion from Agriculture and Mining: A Threat to Tropical Stream Ecosystems. Agriculture 2013, 3, 660-683.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Agriculture EISSN 2077-0472 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top