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Time Scale Effects and Interactions of Rainfall Erosivity and Cover Management Factors on Vineyard Soil Loss Erosion in the Semi-Arid Area of Southern Sicily

Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences (SAAF). University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
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Water 2019, 11(5), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050978
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 2 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology for a Sustainable Land Management. Theory and Practice)
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Abstract

Several authors describe the effectiveness of cover crop management practice as an important tool to prevent soil erosion, but at the same time, they stress on the high soil loss variability due to the interaction of several factors characterized by large uncertainty. In this paper the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model is applied to two Sicilian vineyards that are characterized by different topographic factors; one is subjected to Conventional Practice (CP) and the other to Best Management Practice (BMP). By using climatic input data at a high temporal scale resolution for the rainfall erosivity (R) factor, and remotely sensed imagery for the cover and management (C) factor, the importance of an appropriate R and C factor assessment and their inter and intra-annual interactions in determining soil erosion variability are showed. Different temporal analysis at ten-year, seasonal, monthly and event scales showed that results at events scales allow evidencing the interacting factors that determine erosion risk features which at other temporal scales of resolution can be hidden. The impact of BMP in preventing soil erosion is described in terms of average saved soil loss over the 10-year period of observation. The evaluation of soil erosion at a different temporal scale and its implications can help stakeholders and scientists formulate better soil conservation practices and agricultural management, and also consider that erosivity rates are expected to raise for the increase of rainfall intensity linked to climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil erosion; RUSLE model; rainfall erosivity factor; cover management factor; NDVI soil erosion; RUSLE model; rainfall erosivity factor; cover management factor; NDVI
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Baiamonte, G.; Minacapilli, M.; Novara, A.; Gristina, L. Time Scale Effects and Interactions of Rainfall Erosivity and Cover Management Factors on Vineyard Soil Loss Erosion in the Semi-Arid Area of Southern Sicily. Water 2019, 11, 978.

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