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Runesson, Karin, 2009. Grassland plant species on road verges in Mid Sweden : influence of semi-natural grasslands and impact of road maintenance. SLU, Dept. of Ecology, Uppsala. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Ecology



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.

Main title:Grassland plant species on road verges in Mid Sweden
Subtitle:influence of semi-natural grasslands and impact of road maintenance
Authors:Runesson, Karin
Supervisor:Hedblom, Marcus
Series:Självständigt arbete/Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för ekologi
Volume/Sequential designation:2009:4
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:Other
Student's programme affiliation:Other
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
Keywords:species-rich road verges, road management, plant dispersal, landscape ecology
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:SLU > (S) > Dept. of Ecology
Plant ecology
Deposited On:31 Oct 2017 12:34
Metadata Last Modified:31 Oct 2017 12:34

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