Articles | Volume 12, issue 5
21 Oct 2008
 | 21 Oct 2008

Suitability of soil bioengineering techniques in Central America: a case study in Nicaragua

A. Petrone and F. Preti

Abstract. In the last few years "D. I. A. F." (Department of Agriculture and Forestry Engineering of Florence University), has been testing the effectiveness of soil bioengineering techniques in Central America. The focus of the present study was to find out which native plants were most suited for soil bioengineering purposes, particularly in the realization of riverbank protection in Nicaragua. Furthermore, we have also been aiming at economic efficiency.

These techniques are appropriate for sustainable watershed management especially in underdeveloped countries. Concerning the plants to be used we experimented four native species. Gliricidia Sepium, Cordia dentata and Jatropha curcas are suitable for soil bioengineering more than Bursera Simaruba. Economically speaking, the sustainability of such interventions in underdeveloped countries, has been shown by the evaluation of the cost of riverbank protection using vegetated crib-walls in Nicaragua compared to the cost in different contexts.