A Research Report on Roadside Vegetation Management:HR-159, December 1975

(1975) A Research Report on Roadside Vegetation Management:HR-159, December 1975. Transportation, Department of


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According to prevailing ecological theory one would expect the most stable vegetation on sites which are least disturbed (Odum 1971). According to theory one would also expect the most diversity of species on undisturbed sites (Odum 1971). This stable and diverse community would be produced over a period of many years through a process of plant succession where annual herbs are replaced by perennial herbs and finally woody plants would come to dominate and perpetuate the community. Another ecological theory holds that the complexity (structure and species diversity) of a plant community is dependent upon the amount of disturbance to which it is subjected (Woodwell, 1970). According to this theory the normal succession of a plant community through its various stages may be arrested at some point depending upon the nature and severity of the disturbance. In applying these theories to roadside vegetation it becomes apparent that mass herbicide spraying and extensive mowing of roadsides has produced a relatively simple and unstable vegetation. It follows that if disturbances were reduced not only would the roadside plant community increase in stability but maintenance costs and energy usage would be reduced. In this study we have investigated several aspects of reduced disturbances on roadside vegetation. Research has centered on the effectiveness of spot spraying techniques on noxious weed control, establishment of native grass cover where ditch cleaning and other disturbance has left the bare soil exposed and the response of roadside vegetation when released from annual mass spraying.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Transportation, Vegetation, Research Report, HR-159
Subjects: Transportation > Research
Natural resources and environment > Environmental assessments
Transportation > Roads and highways
ID Code: 11298
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 25 Jul 2011 15:22
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2017 15:01
URI: https://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/11298