Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.0 MB byte)

Title: Global synthesis of the classifications, distributions, benefits and issues of terracing

Author: Wei, Wei; Chen, Die; Wang, Lixin; Daryanto, Stefani; Chen, Liding; Yu, Yang; Lu, Yonglong; Sun, Ge; Feng, Tianjiao;

Date: 2016

Source: Earth-Science Reviews

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: For thousands of years, humans have created different types of terraces in different sloping conditions, meant to mitigate flood risks, reduce soil erosion and conserve water. These anthropogenic landscapes can be found in tropical and subtropical rainforests, deserts, and arid and semiarid mountains across the globe. Despite the long history, the roles of and the mechanisms by which terracing improves ecosystem services (ESs) remain poorly understood. Using literature synthesis and quantitative analysis, the worldwide types, distributions, major benefits and issues of terracing are presented in this review. A key terracing indicator, defined as the ratio of different ESs under terraced and non-terraced slopes (δ), was used to quantify the role of terracing in providing ESs. Our results indicated that ESs provided by terracingwas generally positive because the mean values of δ were mostly greater than one. The most prominent role of terracing was found in erosion control (11.46 ± 2.34), followed by runoff reduction (2.60 ± 1.79), biomass accumulation (1.94 ± 0.59), soil water recharge (1.20±0.23), and nutrient enhancement (1.20±0.48). Terracing, to a lesser extent, could also enhance the survival rates of plant seedlings, promote ecosystemrestoration, and increase crop yields.While slopes experiencing severe human disturbance (e.g., overgrazing and deforestation) can generally becomemore stable after terracing, negative effects of terracing may occur in poorly-designed or poorly-managed terraces. Among the reasons are the lack of environmental legislation, changes in traditional concepts and lifestyles of local people, as well as price decreases for agricultural products. All of these can accelerate terrace abandonment and degradation. In light of these findings, possible solutions regarding socio-economic changes and techniques to improve already degraded terraces are discussed.

Keywords: Terracing, Ecosystem services, Worldwide distribution, Land degradation, Food security

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Wei, Wei; Chen, Die; Wang, Lixin; Daryanto, Stefani; Chen, Liding; Yu, Yang; Lu, Yonglong; Sun, Ge; Feng, Tianjiao 2016. Global synthesis of the classifications, distributions, benefits and issues of terracing. Earth-Science Reviews, Vol. 159: 16 pages.: 388-403. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2016.06.010

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.