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Runesson, Karin (2009) Grassland plant species on road verges in Mid Sweden. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

Semi-natural grasslands have decreased in Sweden and alternative habitats are vital for many grassland plant species. In Jämtland, Mid Sweden, species-rich road verges cover a surface half the size of the remaining semi-natural grasslands in the same area. These road verges may act as substitute for diminishing semi-natural grasslands. However, there is a lack of information about the species composition on these road verges. It is also little studied if semi-natural grasslands in the landscape influence the road verge flora and how road maintenance activities impact the verge habitat. In this study, the flora of species-rich road verges was compared with the flora of meadows. 216 sample plots were inventoried for plant species abundance on 16 roads and 8 meadows. Also, the impact of maintenance activities (ditch drainage, reconstruction) on the road verge flora was evaluated. The results from my study indicated that although many grassland species are found on road verges, the road verge flora differs from the flora of meadows (semi natural grasslands). Present maintenance activities lower the species-richness on road verges and the re-vegetation seems to be slow. Inner verges and outer verges should be treated separately in inventories and studies due to large differences in plant species abundances. Moreover, species-rich road verges in Jämtland have few semi-natural grasslands in their surroundings and may be seen as rather isolated from grasslands with high flora qualities in the landscape. To better understand what influence the flora on road verges, long term monitoring and further landscape analyses, combined with historic land use analyses, are recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: species-rich road verges, road management, plant dispersal, landscape ecology
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Ecology
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Karin Runesson
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2009
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:13
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/3183

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