Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

mountain Related Abstracts

3 Evaluation of Potential of Crop Residues for Energy Generation in Nepal

Authors: Narayan Prasad Adhikari

Abstract:

In Nepal, the crop residues have often been considered as one of the potential sources of energy to cope with prevailing energy crisis. However, the lack of systematic studies about production and various other competent uses of crop production is the main obstacle to evaluate net potential of the residues for energy production. Under this background, this study aims to assess the net annual availability of crop residues for energy production by undertaking three different districts with the representation of country’s three major regions of lowland, hill, and mountain. The five major cereal crops of paddy, wheat, maize, millet, and barley are considered for the analysis. The analysis is based upon two modes of household surveys. The first mode of survey is conducted to total of 240 households to obtain key information about crop harvesting and livestock management throughout a year. Similarly, the quantification of main crops along with the respective residues on fixed land is carried out to 45 households during second mode. The range of area of such fixed land is varied from 50 to 100 m2. The measurements have been done in air dry basis. The quantity for competitive uses of respective crop residues is measured on the basis of respondents’ feedback. There are four major competitive uses of crop residues at household which are building material, burning, selling, and livestock fodder. The results reveal that the net annual available crop residues per household are 4663 kg, 2513 kg, and 1731 kg in lowland, hill, and mountain respectively. Of total production of crop residues, the shares of dedicated fodder crop residues (except maize stalk and maize cob) are 94 %, 62 %, and 89 % in lowland, hill, and mountain respectively and of which the corresponding shares of fodder are 87 %, 91 %, and 82 %. The annual percapita energy equivalent from net available crop residues in lowland, hill, and mountain are 2.49 GJ, 3.42 GJ, and 0.44 GJ which represent 30 %, 33 %, and 3 % of total annual energy consumption respectively whereas the corresponding current shares of crop residues are only 23 %, 8 %, and 1 %. Hence, even utmost exploitation of available crop residues can hardly contribute to one third of energy consumption at household level in lowland, and hill whereas this is limited to particularly negligible in mountain. Moreover, further analysis has also been done to evaluate district wise supply-demand context of dedicated fodder crop residues on the basis of presence of livestock. The high deficit of fodder crop residues in hill and mountain is observed where the issue of energy generation from these residues will be ludicrous. As a contrary, the annual production of such residues for livestock fodder in lowland meets annual demand with modest surplus even if entire fodder to be derived from the residues throughout a year and thus there seems to be further potential to utilize the surplus residues for energy generation.

Keywords: mountain, crop residues, hill, lowland

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2 Moroccan Mountains: Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity Conservation Strategies

Authors: Mohammed Sghir Taleb

Abstract:

Forest ecosystems in Morocco are subject increasingly to natural and human pressures. Conscious of this problem, Morocco set a strategy that focuses on programs of in-situ and ex-situ biodiversity conservation. This study is the result of a synthesis of various existing studies on biodiversity and forest ecosystems. It gives an overview of Moroccan mountain forest ecosystems and flora diversity. It also focuses on the efforts made by Morocco to conserve and sustainably manage biodiversity.

Keywords: Ecosystems, Conservation, mountain, Morocco

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1 Measurement of in-situ Horizontal Root Tensile Strength of Herbaceous Vegetation for Improved Evaluation of Slope Stability in the Alps

Authors: Michael T. Lobmann, Camilla Wellstein, Stefan Zerbe

Abstract:

Vegetation plays an important role for the stabilization of slopes against erosion processes, such as shallow erosion and landslides. Plant roots reinforce the soil, increase soil cohesion and often cross possible shear planes. Hence, plant roots reduce the risk of slope failure. Generally, shrub and tree roots penetrate deeper into the soil vertically, while roots of forbs and grasses are concentrated horizontally in the topsoil and organic layer. Therefore, shrubs and trees have a higher potential for stabilization of slopes with deep soil layers than forbs and grasses. Consequently, research mainly focused on the vertical root effects of shrubs and trees. Nevertheless, a better understanding of the stabilizing effects of grasses and forbs is needed for better evaluation of the stability of natural and artificial slopes with herbaceous vegetation. Despite the importance of vertical root effects, field observations indicate that horizontal root effects also play an important role for slope stabilization. Not only forbs and grasses, but also some shrubs and trees form tight horizontal networks of fine and coarse roots and rhizomes in the topsoil. These root networks increase soil cohesion and horizontal tensile strength. Available methods for physical measurements, such as shear-box tests, pullout tests and singular root tensile strength measurement can only provide a detailed picture of vertical effects of roots on slope stabilization. However, the assessment of horizontal root effects is largely limited to computer modeling. Here, a method for measurement of in-situ cumulative horizontal root tensile strength is presented. A traction machine was developed that allows fixation of rectangular grass sods (max. 30x60cm) on the short ends with a 30x30cm measurement zone in the middle. On two alpine grass slopes in South Tyrol (northern Italy), 30x60cm grass sods were cut out (max. depth 20cm). Grass sods were pulled apart measuring the horizontal tensile strength over 30cm width over the time. The horizontal tensile strength of the sods was measured and compared for different soil depths, hydrological conditions, and root physiological properties. The results improve our understanding of horizontal root effects on slope stabilization and can be used for improved evaluation of grass slope stability.

Keywords: mountain, Landslide, pasture, grassland, horizontal root effect, shallow erosion

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