Soil erosion is a widespread problem in agricultural landscapes, particularly in regions with strong rainfall events. Vegetated field margins can mitigate negative impacts of soil erosion off-site by trapping eroded material. Here we analyse how local management affects the trapping capacity of field margins in a monsoon region of South Korea, contrasting intensively and extensively managed field margins on both steep and shallow slopes. Prior to the beginning of monsoon season, we equipped a total of 12 sites representing three replicates for each of four different types of field margins ("intensive managed flat", "intensive managed steep", "extensive managed flat" and "extensive managed steep") with Astroturf mats. The mats (n = 15/site) were placed before, within and after the field margin. Sediment was collected after each rain event until the end of the monsoon season.The effect of management and slope on sediment trapping was analysed using linear mixed effects models, using as response variable either the sediment collected within the field margin or the difference in sediment collected after and before the field margin.There was no difference in the amount of sediment reaching the different field margin types. In contrast, extensively managed field margins showed a large reduction in collected sediment before and after the field margins. This effect was pronounced in steep field margins, and increased with the size of rainfall events. We conclude that a field margin management promoting a dense vegetation cover is a key to mitigating negative off-site effects of soil erosion in monsoon regions, particularly in field margins with steep slopes.
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