Soil bioengineering to protect riverbanks


This website aims to present the different types of riverbank development, including soil bioengineering techniques, as well as their effect on biodiversity. The banks of rivers and streams are interfaces that host a great biodiversity of flora and fauna. These environments also fulfill a large number of ecological functions, such as acting as corridors, decontamination, providing shade, recreational use, etc.

The increasing anthropization of these environments frequently leads to their stabilization with riverbank protection techniques, ranging from purely mineral structures using only concrete or riprap, up to soil bioengineering work consisting entirely of living and biodegradable materials (cuttings, coir mats, piles, etc). Finally, some so-called “mixed” techniques combine mineral materials (riprap, wire mesh, etc) and living plants. In the context of the Géni’Alp project, with the support of the Agence Française pour la Biodiversité, researchers at IRSTEA are evaluating how best to incorporate and develop animal and plant biodiversity on the banks of developed riverbanks.