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Use of vegetation for the recovery of degraded areas

Projects that employ technologies with lower environmental impact constitute an important strategy for the recovery of degraded areas.

The use of bioengineering technologies for erosion control and phytoremediation for soil decontamination is applied increasingly in situations where conventional technologies appear unfeasible due to environmental or economic limitations. These techniques use vegetation as the intervention tool to control erosion along roads, embankments, waterways and reservoirs, following ecological principles and incorporating esthetic values at low cost, with less environmental changes when compared to interventions of conventional engineering.

Techniques employed in the recovery of a given area are classified according to their application, especially mixed techniques that use vegetation as reinforcement or in association with vegetable-based structures and geosynthetics.

In soil decontamination, phytoremediation uses vegetation systems in situ to treat areas contaminated by organic or inorganic polluting agents, by means of phytoextraction, phytoadsorption, phytostabilization or rhizome-mediated remediation processes.

The success of this process depends on local analyses to evaluate all the variables that could interfere in vegetation growth. The choice of native or exotic species and the method of revegetation to be applied are fundamental, considering the implications of plant succession as well as physical, legal and economic obstacles.

IPT develops experimental projects using vegetation to recover degraded areas, ranging from the characterization of the environment’s biotic processes to the introduction of botanical species for restoration and environmental sanitation.