Share:


Vegetation change in road slopes in the Mediterranean region over 25 years

    Álvaro Enríquez-de-Salamanca   Affiliation

Abstract

Revegetation effectiveness requires long-term monitoring. We analysed 50 road slopes 5–8 years and 22–25 years after revegetation. Plant cover and diversity increased over time, with differences between slope types; herbaceous cover increased greatly between revegetation works and 2002 and was similar in 2002 and 2019, while woody cover decreased from revegetation to 2002 but increased greatly between 2002 and 2019. Plant colonisation was more intense on embankments, but could also be achieved on roadcuts (2.4 points on average over a maximum of 5). The presence of sown species decreased over time, but the presence of planted species remained stable. Hydroseeding had poor results in terms of the resulting plant cover, but nevertheless succeeded in slowing erosion at least sufficiently to allow early plant establishment and thus the start of colonisation. The similarity between surrounding vegetation and the slopes was greater in roadcuts. Roads are a gateway for invasive plants. Native species can improve the results, but many are missing from the market. Slopes’ plant cover changed over time; long-term studies are required.

Keyword : roadcuts, embankments, plant colonisation, hydroseeding, topsoil, planting

How to Cite
Enríquez-de-Salamanca, Álvaro. (2022). Vegetation change in road slopes in the Mediterranean region over 25 years. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 30(1), 94-105. https://doi.org/10.3846/jeelm.2022.16324
Published in Issue
Feb 2, 2022
Abstract Views
250
PDF Downloads
183
SM Downloads
120
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

References

Alday, J. G., Santana, V. M., Marrs, R. H., & Martínez-Ruiz, C. (2014). Shrub-induced understory vegetation changes in reclaimed mine sites. Ecological Engineering, 73, 691–698. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2014.09.079

Andrés, P., & Jorba, M. (2000). Mitigation strategies in some motorway embankments (Catalonia, Spain). Restoration Ecology, 8(3), 268–275. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1526-100x.2000.80038.x

Arenas, J. M., Escudero, A., Magro, S., Balaguer, L., & Casado, M. A. (2015). Woody colonization of road embankments: A large spatial scale survey in central Spain. Landscape and Urban Planning, 141, 52–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.04.009

Arenas, J. M., Escudero, A., Mola, I., & Casado, M. A. (2017b). Roadsides: An opportunity for biodiversity conservation. Applied Vegetation Science, 20(4), 527–537. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12328

Arenas, J. M., Lázaro-Lobo, A., Mola, I., Escudero, A., & Casado, M. A. (2017a). The influence of site factors and proximity of adjacent vegetation on tree regeneration into roadslopes. Ecological Engineering, 101, 120–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.01.007

Arévalo, J. R., Delgado, J. D., Otto, R., Naranjo, A., Salas, M., & Fernández-Palacios, J. M. (2005). Distribution of alien vs. native plant species in roadside communities along an altitudinal gradient in Tenerife and Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 7(3), 185–202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2005.09.003

Aronson, J., Floret, C., LeFloc’h, E., Ovalle, C., & Pontanier, R. (1993). Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems in arid and semi-arid lands. I. A view from the south. Restoration Ecology, 1(1), 8–17. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.1993.tb00004.x

Bakker, J. P., Grootjans, A. P., Hermy, M., & Poschlod, P. (2000). How to define targets for ecological restoration? – Introduction. Applied Vegetation Science, 3(1), 3–7. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-109X.2000.tb00033.x

Béjar, M., Carrasco, M. J., & Enríquez-de-Salamanca, Á. (1994). Restauración vegetal de los terrenos afectados por la Autovía de Levante (N-III). Tramo Arganda-Perales de Tajuña. Rutas, 42, 35–42.

Bochet, E., & García-Fayos, P. (2004). Factors controlling vegetation establishment and water erosion on motorway slopes in Valencia, Spain. Restoration Ecology, 12(2), 166–174. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1061-2971.2004.0325.x

Bochet, E., García-Fayos, P., & Poesen, J. (2009). Topographic thresholds for plant colonization on semi-arid eroded slopes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 34(13), 1758–1771. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.1860

Bochet, E., García-Fayos, P., & Tormo, J. (2007b). Road slope revegetation in semiarid Mediterranean environments. Part I: seed dispersal and spontaneous colonization. Restoration Ecology, 15(1), 88–96. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2006.00193.x

Bochet, E., García-Fayos, P., & Tormo, J. (2010b). How can we control erosion of roadslopes in semiarid Mediterranean areas? Soil improvement and native plant establishment. Land Degradation & Development, 21(2), 110–121. https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.911

Bochet, E., García-Fayos, P., Alborch, B., & Tormo, J. (2007a). Soil water availability effects on seed germination account for species segregation in semiarid roadslopes. Plant and Soil, 295, 179–191. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-007-9274-9

Bochet, E., García-Palacios, P., Peco, B., Tormo, J., & García-Fayos, P. (2011). Procesos ecológicos y restauración de la cubierta vegetal. In F. Valladares, L. Balaguer, I. Mola, A. Escudero, & V. Alfaya (Eds.), Restauración ecológica de áreas afectadas por infraestructuras de transporte. Bases científicas para soluciones técnicas (pp. 101–141). Fundación Biodiversidad.

Bochet, E., Tormo, J., & García-Fayos, P. (2010a). Native Species for roadslope revegetation: Selection, validation, and cost effectiveness. Restoration Ecology, 18(5), 656–663. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2008.00496.x

Braun-Blanquet, J. (1932). Plant sociology: The study of plant communities. McGraw-Hill.

Bray, J. R., & Curtis, J. T. (1957). An ordination of upland forest communities of southern Wisconsin. Ecological Monographs, 27(4), 325–349. https://doi.org/10.2307/1942268

Cotts, N. R., Redente, E. F., & Schiller, R. (1991). Restoration methods for abandoned roads at lower elevations in Grand-Teton National-Park, Wyoming. Arid Soil Research and Rehabilitation, 5(4), 235–249. https://doi.org/10.1080/15324989109381284

De la Riva, E. G., Casado, M. A., Jiménez, M. D., Mola, I., Costa-Tenorio, M., & Balaguer, L. (2011). Rates of local colonization and extinction reveal different plant community assembly mechanisms on road verges in central Spain. Journal of Vegetation Science, 22(2), 292–302. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2010.01248.x

Enríquez-de-Salamanca, Á., Carrasco, M. J., & Varela, J. M. (2004). Seguimiento de la eficacia de la restauración vegetal de los taludes de autovías. Ingenieria Civil, 134, 27–36.

Enríquez-de-Salamanca, Á., Carrasco, M. J., Varela, J. M., & Cachón, J. (2002). Seguimiento de la revegetación de taludes en infraestructuras lineales. Análisis de tres tramos de autovía en la Comunidad de Madrid. In G. Bastida (Ed.), VIII Jornadas Nacionales sobre Conservación de Carreteras (pp. 545–553). ATC, Madrid.

Etxeberría, M., & Ibáñez, R. (2005). Colonización espontánea de taludes de desmonte sobre margas en navarra: establecimiento y fuente de diásporas. Publicaciones de Biología de la Universidad de Navarra. Serie Botánica, 16, 53–70.

Fowler, J. F., Hull, C. Dickson, B. G., & Saab, V. (2008). Exotic plant species diversity: Influence of roads and prescribed fire in Arizona ponderosa pine forests. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 61(3), 284–293. https://doi.org/10.2111/07-059.1

García-Palacios, P., Soliveres, S., Maestre, F. T., Escudero, A., Castillo-Monroy, A. P., & Valladares, F. (2010). Dominant plant species modulate responses to hydroseeding, irrigation and fertilization during the restoration of semiarid motorway slopes. Ecological Engineering, 36(10), 1290–1298. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2010.06.005

González-Alday, J., Marrs, R. H., & Martínez-Ruiz, C. (2009). Soil seed bank formation during early revegetation after hydroseeding in reclaimed coal wastes. Ecological Engineering, 35(7), 1062–1069. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2009.03.007

Hilvers, G., Hopkinson, L., & Davis, E. (2017). Evaluation of revegetation techniques for roadside construction sites. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 25(3), 305–315. https://doi.org/10.3846/16486897.2016.1259166

Hobbs, R. J., Higgs, E., & Harris, J. A. (2009). Novel ecosystems: Implications for conservation and restoration. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 24(11), 599–605. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2009.05.012

International Plant Name Index. (2021). IPNI. https://www.ipni.org/

Jaúregui, B. M., Rivera, D., & Peco, B. (2013). Does topsoil accelerate the decomposition of litter on roadslopes? Ecological Engineering, 52, 88–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2012.12.088

Jiménez, M. D., Ruiz-Capillas, P., Mola, I., Pérez-Corona, E., Casado, M. A., & Balaguer, L. (2013). Soil development at the roadside: A case study of a novel ecosystem. Land Degradation & Development, 24(6), 564–574. https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.1157

Magro, S., Jiménez, M. D., Casado, M. A., Mola, I., Arenas, J. M., Martín-Duque, J. F., Vázquez, A., & Balaguer, L. (2014). Community ontogeny at the roadside: Critical life-cycle events throughout a sequential process of primary colonization. Applied Vegetation Science, 17(3), 493–503. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12095

Martínez‐Ruiz, C., & Marrs, R. (2007). Some factors affecting successional change on uranium mine wastes: Insights for ecological restoration. Applied Vegetation Science, 10(3), 333–342. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-109X.2007.tb00432.x

Martínez-Ruiz, C., Fernández-Santos, B., & Gómez-Gutiérrez, J. M. (2001). Effects of substrate coarseness and exposure on plant succession in uranium-mining wastes. Plant Ecology, 155, 79–89. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1013208305393

Martínez-Ruiz, C., Fernández-Santos, B., Putwain, P. D., & Fernández-Gómez, M. J. (2007). Natural and man-induced revegetation on mining wastes: Changes in the floristic composition during early succession. Ecological Engineering, 30(3), 286–294. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2007.01.014

Martín-Sanz, R. C., Fernández-Santos, B., Martínez-Ruiz, C. (2015). Early dynamics of natural revegetation on roadcuts of the Salamanca province (CW Spain). Ecological Engineering, 75, 223–231. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2014.11.057

Matesanz, S., & Valladares, F. (2007). Improving revegetation of gypsum slopes is not a simple matter of adding native species: Insights from a multispecies experiment. Ecological Engineering, 30(1), 67–77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2007.01.005

Matesanz, S., Valladares, F., Tena, D., Costa-Tenorio, M., & Bote, D. (2006). Early dynamics of plant communities on revegetated motorway slopes from southern Spain: Is hydroseeding always needed? Restoration Ecology, 14(2), 297–307. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2006.00132.x

Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana. (2019). Mapa de tráfico de la DGC. MITMA. https://mapas.fomento.gob.es/mapatrafico/2019/

Mola, I., Jiménez, M. D., López-Jiménez, N., Casado, M. A., & Balaguer, L. (2011). Roadside reclamation outside the revegetation season: Management options under schedule pressure. Restoration Ecology, 19(1), 83–92. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2009.00547.x

Navarro‐Hevia, J., Lima‐Farias, T. R., Araújo, J. C., Osorio‐Peláez, C., & Pando, V. (2016). Soil erosion in steep road cut slopes in Palencia (Spain). Land Degradation & Development, 27(2), 190–199. https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.2459

Nicolau, J. M., Espigares, T., Moreno, M., & Merino-Martín, L. (2011). Ecohidrología: erosión hídrica y dinámica de la vegetación en laderas artificiales. In F. Valladares, L. Balaguer, I. Mola, A. Escudero, & V. Alfaya (Eds.), Restauración ecológica de áreas afectadas por infraestructuras de transporte. Bases científicas para soluciones técnicas (pp. 75–83). Fundación Biodiversidad.

Raevel, V., Munoz, F., Pons, V., Renaux, A., Martin, A., & Thompson, J. D. (2013). Changing assembly processes during a primary succession of plant communities on Mediterranean roadcuts. Journal of Plant Ecology, 6(1), 19–28. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpe/rts011

Raunkiaer, C. (1934). The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford University Press.

Rivera, D., Mejías, V., Jaúregui, B. M., Costa-Tenorio, M., López-Archilla, A. I., & Peco, B. (2014). Spreading topsoil encourages ecological restoration on embankments: Soil fertility, microbial activity and vegetation cover. PLoS One, 9(7), e101413. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101413

Roberts, R. D., & Bradshaw, A. D. (1985). The development of a hydraulic seeding technique for unstable sand slopes. II. Field evaluation. Journal of Applied Ecology, 2(2), 979–994. https://doi.org/10.2307/2403245

Tinsley, M. J., Simmons, M. T., & Windhager, S. (2006). The establishment success of native versus non-native herbaceous seed mixes on a revegetated roadside in Central Texas. Ecological Engineering, 26(3), 231–240. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2005.10.004

Tormo, J., Bochet, E., & García-Fayos, P. (2006). Is seed availability enough to ensure colonization success? An experimental study in road embankments. Ecological Engineering, 26(3), 224–230. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2005.10.003

Tormo, J., Bochet, E., & García-Fayos, P. (2007). Roadfill revegetation in semiarid Mediterranean environments. Part II: Topsoiling, species selection, and hydroseeding. Restoration Ecology, 15(1), 97–102. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2006.00194.x

Tormo, J., García-Fayos, P., & Bochet, E. (2008). Relative importance of plant traits and ecological filters in road embankment revegetation under semiarid Mediterranean conditions. Ecological Engineering, 33(3–4), 258–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2008.05.002

Valladares, F., Balaguer, L., Mola, I., Escudero, A., & Alfaya, V. (Eds.). (2011). Restauración ecológica de áreas afectadas por infraestructuras de transporte. Bases científicas para soluciones técnicas. Fundación Biodiversidad.

Walker, L. R., & del Moral, R. (2009). Lessons from primary succession for restoration of severely damaged habitats. Applied Vegetation Science, 12(1), 55–67. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-109X.2009.01002.x