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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Soil Loss and Runoff Reduction in Olive-Tree Dry-Farming with Cover Crops

Published source details

Espejo-Pérez A.J., Rodríguez-Lizana A., Ordóñez R. & Giráldez J.V. (2013) Soil Loss and Runoff Reduction in Olive-Tree Dry-Farming with Cover Crops. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 77, 2140-2148


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Soil: Plant or maintain ground cover in orchards or vineyards Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2003–2005 in eight rainfed olive orchards in southern Spain found less erosion in plots with cover crops, compared to tilled plots. Soil erosion and aggregation: Less soil was lost in runoff from plots with cover crops, compared to tilled plots, on seven of eight farms (63–89% less soil). Methods: On each of eight farms, cover crops were grown (two of eight farms) or weeds were not controlled (six of eight farms) on three plots, but weeds were controlled by conventional tillage (depths not reported) on three plots (1 m2 microplots). Plots were surrounded by steel sheets, which routed the runoff into plastic containers. Soil loss was measured in water samples, after each rainfall event.

 

Water: Plant or maintain ground cover in orchards or vineyards Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2003–2005 in eight rainfed olive orchards in southern Spain found that cover crops had inconsistent effects on runoff, but less sediment was found in runoff from plots with cover crops, compared to tilled plots. Water availability: Less water was lost as runoff from plots with cover crops, compared to tilled plots, on four of eight farms (19–56% less runoff), but more water was lost on one of eight farms (15% increase in runoff). Sediments: Less soil was found in runoff from plots with cover crops, compared to tilled plots, on seven of eight farms (63–89% less sediment). Methods: On each of eight farms, cover crops were grown (two of eight farms) or weeds were not controlled (six of eight farms) on three plots, but weeds were controlled by conventional tillage (depths not reported) on three plots (1 m2 microplots). Plots were surrounded by steel sheets, which routed the runoff into plastic containers. Runoff and sediments were measured after each rainfall event.