Oasification

Oasification

In hydrology, oasificatión is the antonym to desertification by soil erosion.

To help the oasification process Man must apply different methods in order to develop a thriving dense woody plant cover, in other words, to redress the hydrological, edaphic and botanical degradation affecting a slope. This is done through appropriate soil preparation and the introduction of suitable plant species. To be successful, adequate water harvesting systems must be made; the degradation process of the slope itself should be taken advantage of and runoff water be collected in suitably sized microponds around the microsites intendend to be afforested.

The term oasification was coined in 1999 by Andrés Martínez de Azagra Paredes, Doctor Forestry Engineer and professor of Hydraulics, Forestry Hydrology and Hydrologic Models at (E.T.S. of Agroforestry Engineering) in Palencia, University of Valladolid, Spain.

In oasification, soil and nutrient harvesting are regarded as fundamental component parts in the reclamation process of a degraded slope. Besides harvesting water, oasification preserves and accumulates soil and nutrients helping thus to control water erosion so common in arid zones. As a matter of fact, under many different situation all over the world, soil and water conservation should be considered as synonyms. Words to this effect have been expressed by Ludwig et al (1997) when they reported about sloping areas under semiarid conditions in Australia where the landscape is naturally divided into source and sink zones (run-off and run-on areas) which are quickly reclaimed by plant species through retention of water soil and litter.

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