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Haies et boisements pare-congères : de la théorie à la pratique Hedges and afforestration to prevent damage from blowing snow: from theory to practice

Author(s): Florence Naaim-Bouvet, Sylvie Monier et Sylvie Ougier

Journal: Sciences Eaux & Territoires : la Revue du IRSTEA
ISSN 2109-3016

Volume: 2010;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 78;
Date: 2010;
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Lorsque la neige et le vent s'associent, ils créent des congères qui vont gêner la circulation sur les routes et les chemins de montagne. Pour lutter contre ce problème, l'implantation de haies et de boisements apparait comme une solution écologique et durable. Quels sont les principes de fonctionnement ? Où et comment implanter ces haies pour constituer un barrage efficace à la neige ? Quelles essences choisir et quel entretien cela suppose-t-il ? Cet article fait le point sur les connaissances disponibles afin de répondre aux préoccupations des gestionnaires.Blowing and drifting snow can generate snowdrifts on roads and railways. This is an important issue for instance in the Massif Central (France) where limited snowfalls on vast areas can locally lead to huge snow accumulations. This problem is not new and prevention measures were designed and tested as early as the end of the 19th century. However, the development of efficient snow clearing vehicles in the second half of the 20th century led to some decrease of research efforts (mostly a trial and error approach) on traditional prevention measures such as afforestration and hedges. Nevertheless, the renewed interest in ecological engineering, dating from the early 90s has yielded to new research efforts on that topic, even though such measures are not effective on short term. Currently, bioengineering tallies meet the requirements of sustainable development and of long term management, accordingly. In this context, this paper aims at giving a new vision of hedges and afforestration, taken as protection measures against snowdrifting, through the eyes of a fluid mechanics researcher, a forest engineer and a territories manager. The principles of action, setting and species choice are presented through case studies with emphasis on difficulties related to land property and long and short-term maintenance.
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