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Synthèse bibliographique des différentes fonctions des réseaux de fossés aux échelles du fossé élémentaire et du réseau

Abstract : Ditches are anthropogenic components of hydrographic networks. They have been traditionally created and managed for their functions of surface drainage, surface water transfer or erosion control. Their complementary functions as buffer zones towards pollutants and sediments propagation or biodiversity conservation have been more recently identified. However, what may enhance these complementary functions remains largely unknown. Because the regulatory framework around ditches is pretty flexible it becomes essential to understand their environmental impact as well as the way to improve their management. On the French national territory, roadside ditches are ubiquitous and agricultural ditches are mainly present in waterlogged or irrigated crop areas or areas with high risk of erosion. Ditch networks densities have not often been reported, however the densities described in the literature vary between 25 and 375 m/ha. As a result of the numerous processes involved in ditches’ functioning, ditches play a key role in small watershed hydrology and ecology, sediment transfer and water pollution. Elementary ditch or ditch network functions consist in a combination of processes influenced by anthropogenic or climatic factors. In addition to the well-known target functions (surface drainage, surface water transfer and erosion control), ditches carry out the functions of sediment retention, pollution mitigation and prevention of biodiversity’s erosion. Some functions, like flood regulations, groundwater recharge, regulation of water bodies’ contamination or ecological corridors, emerge as well at the ditch network scale in specific contexts. However, the occurrence of these functions depends on the occurrence and intensity of the processes involved which differ from a function to another. The coexistence of several functions is then based on an equilibrium, which is not yet well known. The processes hierarchy within ditches can vary with the climatic context and the other forcing, which may result in either positive or negative environmental impacts Ditch maintenance is a major factor influencing most processes and determines the occurrence of various functions within ditches. Ditch maintenance has historically been conceived in order to optimize the target functions. It’s nowadays crucial to consider the various functions as a whole when conceiving the maintenance strategy in order to maintain the target functions while limiting the negative environmental impact and maximizing the positive ones. The establishment of ditch network management strategies should enable this. It could thus constitute an efficient tool for the actions carried out to reach a good quality of water bodies as required by the European Water framework directive (DCE). New tools need thus to be created to establish these management strategies.
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Contributor : Migration Prodinra <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 5, 2020 - 2:11:11 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 16, 2021 - 3:29:23 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02796881, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 284914


Jeanne Dollinger, Cécile Dagès, Jean-Stéphane Bailly, Philippe Lagacherie, Marc Voltz. Synthèse bibliographique des différentes fonctions des réseaux de fossés aux échelles du fossé élémentaire et du réseau. Inra Onema, pp.54, 2014. ⟨hal-02796881⟩



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