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State of the knowledge of vegetation impact on soil strength and trafficability

Wendy L. Wieder, Sally A. Shoop

Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 78, 2018, Pages 1-14, ISSN 0022-4898,

Abstract: Researchers in a variety of fields have studied using vegetation to alter or reinforce soils. However, using vegetation for soil preservation in long-term land management of military training areas used for off-road vehicle maneuvers is more recent. Much of the work reported in the literature deals with trees and larger shrubs, appropriate for slope and bank stabilization. Other research efforts are for agricultural or forestry applications and involve crops, and again, large trees. This review discusses the issue of vegetation and its effect on a variety of soil strength parameters. It also reviews work regarding the effect of vehicle operations on vegetation and conversely the effect of vegetation on vehicle performance, or trafficability. The reviewed test methods and proposed soil strength models, based on a variety of soil properties, provide a basis for continuing work on models to evaluate areas used for off road military vehicle operations.

Keywords: Trafficability; Soil strength; Terrain; Impact; Mobility; Biomass; Vegetation