Abstract: Soil bioengineering is the use of living plant materials to construct structures that perform some engineering function. Often, soil bioengineering is used to treat sites where surface stability and erosion problems arise. The use of plants for soil erosion protection and slope stabilization has a long practice. Old methods with rocks and plants, erections of timber have been used over the past eras. Recently these old soil conservation and stabilization methods have been rediscovered and improved. Methods such as wattle fences and modified brush layers form small retaining walls that can be used to support failing slopes or to reduce slope angles and allow other vegetation to be established. Biotechnical engineering methods have become part of geotechnical and hydraulic engineering and have helped to link the gap between classical engineering disciplines, land use management, landscape architecture and biological sciences. In this assessment, the different uses of plants in geotechnical and hydraulic engineering design are presented. The core of this analysis is a complete overview of the most important biotechnical construction techniques used for soil erosion protection and slope stabilization. Methods, construction procedure, and the major advantages and disadvantages of these biotechnical methods are discussed. Considerations about construction and maintenance costs conclude in this review.
Keywords: Soil erosion protection, slope stabilization, geotechnical engineering, biotechnical construction method.