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http://www.ecorisq.org/docs/Dorren_Rey.pdf

Abstract, SCAPE, 

Terracing is one of the oldest means of saving soil and water. The objective of this paper is to provide information on the different types of terraces and their functioning, and to describe advantages and disadvantages of terraces regarding their efficacy to stop or reduce soil erosion. Existing literature and information shows that terraces can considerably reduce soil loss due to water erosion if they are well planned, correctly constructed and properly maintained. If not maintained, they can provoke land degradation. Terracing has to be combined with additional soil conservation practices, of which the most important one is the maintenance of a permanent soil cover. There are several disadvantages to terracing, therefore hedgerows and vegetation ridges could be good alternatives for terraces, but eventually they work in the same way. A future challenge is to develop conservation practices that are also productive. The ancient farming techniques such as terracing may provide a good basis for that.