Navigation Links
Researchers discover potential solutions to New England roadside erosion
Date:12/30/2010

KINGSTON, RI Erosion is a significant problem on highway embankments in New England. To mitigate erosion on the regions' highways, slopes are seeded with a grasslegume mixture that usually including red fescue, a grass preferred for its drought-tolerance and ability to thrive in acidic, infertile soil. "A mixture of red fescue, perennial ryegrass, and kentucky bluegrass is planted to stabilize the soil, but only the red fescue survives long term on slopes", noted Rebecca Nelson Brown, lead author of a report in HortScience. Brown and a team from the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Rhode Island designed a study to identify alternative grass species that could help anchor slopes and prevent costly erosion.

Twenty-two grass species were included in the study conducted in the greenhouse at the Skogley Turf Research Center of the University of Rhode Island, and in additional roadside trials on the shoulder of a nearby state highway. Since federal highway policy strongly encourages the use of native vegetation in highway right-of-ways, the researchers tested grasses native to southern New England, comparing rooting depth, plant height, and adaptation to roadside conditions. Sixteen native grasses and five amenity grasses with red fescue were tested.

Roadside embankments are generally constructed of subsoil and gravel, over which 2 to 6 inches of topsoil is spread. The subsoils are very stony with coarse-textured loamy sand between the rocks; topsoil ranges from medium textured silt to sand. Red fescue is shallow-rooted with most of the root mass confined to the topsoil layer. When root growth is concentrated in a shallow mat with a sharp boundary in the soil profile, slope failure is likely to occur beneath the mat. Identifying alternative grasses that feature more even distribution of root mass with depth could help provide better slope stabilization.

Combined results of the greenhouse and roadside trials showed little bluestem, purple lovegrass, and tall fescue to be the best choices for anchoring roadside slopes. "All species root deeply and are adapted to roadside conditions but are similar in stature to red fescue", stated Brown. The researchers found that big bluestem, indiangrass, switchgrass, and bitter panic grass also combine deep rooting with adaptation to roadside conditions, but were significantly taller than red fescue. "These grasses are likely to be too tall for use on mowed roadsides. However, to the extent that populations of these species differ in height, selection for deep rooting coupled with reduced topgrowth would be effective in developing cultivars better suited to roadside use", noted the report.

The authors observed that little bluestem and purple lovegrass are warm-season grasses and dormant from October through May, adding that the best way to use these grasses would be as a mix with red fescue and other shallow-rooted cool-season grasses with rapid vegetative spread and minimal winter dormancy. The deep-rooted species would anchor the slope, whereas the rapidly spreading species prevented surface erosion, slowed runoff, and provided the green roadsides desired by the public.

According to the study, an added benefit to using a mix of species is cost-reduction, because seed of little bluestem and purple lovegrass is substantially more expensive than seed of red fescue and other traditional turfgrasses and a mix would permit the little bluestem and purple lovegrass to be seeded at reduced rates. "This work should be useful as a guide in choosing grass species to stabilize slopes", the researchers concluded.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UK researchers contribute to sequencing strawberry genome
2. An important breakthrough by IRCM researchers in hematopoiesis and the development of B cells
3. Carnegie Mellon researchers discover mechanism for signaling receptor recycling
4. Researchers discover genetic predisposition for breast, kidney cancers
5. Polar bears no longer on thin ice: researchers say polar bears could face brighter future
6. ONR-funded researchers among Popular Science magazines Brilliant 10
7. BUSM researchers uncover cellular mechanism responsible for chronic inflammation, Type 2 diabetes
8. The orange in your stocking: researchers squeezing out maximum health benefits
9. Researchers discover human immune system has emergency backup plan
10. Link between cholesterol compound and multiple sclerosis unlikely, researchers say
11. Researchers discover compound with potent effects on biological clock
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers discover potential solutions to New England roadside erosion
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016   Acuant , ... verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous ... that add functional enhancements to existing physical ... and venues with an automated ID verification ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The Department ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous ... however Decatur was selected for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case ... Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer ... could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Andrew D Zelenetz ... Published recently in Oncology ... touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the ... is placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems ... With the patents on many biologics expiring, interest ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pleasant Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, ... ... sciences consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free ... webinar is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 ReportsnReports.com ... report to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and ... and much more. Complete report on ... pages, profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 ... http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/601420-global-cell-culture-media-industry-2016-market-research-report.html . The Global Cell ...
Breaking Biology Technology: