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Road Landscaping


Newly defined protocols for the development of road margins are defined in the “Guide to Landscape Treatments for National Road Schemes in Ireland” and are regarded by many European practitioners as the “gold standard” for road landscaping in Europe. They provide evidence of the Government’s fulfilment of obligations under international conservation treaties and promote more sustainable practices. The change from landscapes treatments dominated by horticultural design practices (including alien species) to landscape treatments that maintain (or create) connectivity and use native species is a dramatic improvement in biodiversity conservation at a national level. However, the ecological functioning of these road ecosystems: a) along the length of the road corridor; b) in the manner in which they interact on the road botanical fieldworkinterface with adjacent (as well as more distant) semi-natural and agricultural ecosystems; and, c), in the connectivity that they purport to create, requires validation both nationally and internationally. Additionally, it is important to now begin to determine the implications of these new guidelines at the level of intra-specific genetic variation through population genetics and genomics approaches. Finally the study of resistance to invasion as an ecosystem service as a function of biodiversity on road ecosystems has not been researched.


The general objective for WP2 is to determine whether road landscaping practices reduce the negative impact of roads on the biodiversity and ecosystem services and connectivity in the landscape. Specific objectives this WP will address:

  • road landscapesDetermine whether new landscape treatments along roads are resulting in higher levels of native biodiversity compared with former landscape treatments.
  • Assess the degree to which new landscape treatments on roads improve landscape connectivity compared with former treatments.
  • Quantify and assess the interactions between the biodiversity of the road corridor and that surrounding semi-natural and agricultural ecosystems under new and old landscape treatments.
  • Document correlations between biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions and services.
  • Investigate the degree to which management of biotic and abiotic landscape treatments on roads can promote invasion resistance to aliens.
  • Develop Cardamine pratensis as an indicator species for assessment of road management regime impacts on intra-specific genetic variation and selection effects of management regimes for particular genotypes.


Last updated 20 July 2012 by