biosphere processes

basic ecosystem functions

soil loss and soil surface management

Summary: Good soil surface management can stop topsoil loss at the source. Soil needs full coverage, with litter between plants composting at the soil surface, to stop sheet erosion.

We have been managing our property for 25 months using Holistic Management. Ensuring the soil surface is well-covered at all times has made a dramatic difference in soil erosion, as the following photo demonstrates.

Teaching the water cycle with plastic jugs

by Peter Donovan

In September 1997 I attended Allan Savory's biological course at the Regional Training Centre of the Africa Centre for Holistic Management, at Dibangombe in Zimbabwe. Allan shared the following design from Gero Diekmann of Namibia. This simple and elegant apparatus poses questions that are not widely understood. How does the water cycle function on the land? What causes floods and droughts?

drawing of Gero Diekmann's apparatus

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