Grants
      ECOCLIM Grant
      EXPERTAL Grant
      RASINV Grant
      ECOFIARB Grant
      TALMED Grant
       
 
TALMED Grant
Ecological bases for the restoration of plant cover of motorway
slopes in Mediterranean regions
 
 
 
     
 
The severe environmental impact caused by public works such as roads, railways, canalisations, quarries, etc., has prompted a strong social opposition. Thus, there is an urgent need for evaluating and restoring the environmental damages caused by such works.
 
     
 
 
     
 

However, there is a certain scepticism about the efficiency of vegetation restoration in roadcuts, in accordance with the results obtained so far in the Mediterranean Region, where long periods of drought are associated with intense rainfall events that produce high erosion rates. The high losses of seeds by erosion and predation, the high rates of plant mortality due to drought or nutrient deficiency and the low ability of many species usually used to expand their populations are responsible for the bad results obtained with seed mixtures composed of very few species that proved to be successful in the rest of Europe. When complements are added to the seeds in order to avoid these problems, the economic cost per unit area increases significantly. The evaluation in TALMED of the species currently used in roadcut restoration and the selection of new species in accordance with their morphological and functional characteristics and their plasticity, under different lithological and climatic scenarios of the Mediterranean Region, will improve the efficiency and reduce the costs of vegetal restoration of roadworks in this region.

 
     
 
 
Study of the erosion and the vegetation in a motorway slope (A3 motorway, Valencia)
 
View of gypsum-rich hills in the south of Madrid affected by the construction of the M-50 motorway. Studies of ecological restoration are in progress at this site.
 
     
  The objectives of TALMED are:

A) to produce a list of species useful for the vegetal restoration of roadcuts that takes into account the success of commercial species and of the species that colonizes spontaneously the roadcuts.

B) to identify the morphological and functional features and the phenotypic plasticity that characterise the species able to succesfully colonise Mediterranean roadcuts in order to obtain a predictable model that allows the selection of species in other environmental conditions.

C) to optimise seed mixtures in a Mediterranean context where seeding treatments haven’t been successful so far. In this objective, there will be a link between the research group and the persons in charge of environmental protection of the construction company Ferrovial-Agroman.

The degree of innovation of TALMED results from the lack of investigations that have evaluated the success of seeding treatments with commercial mixtures. TALMED is relevant not only because it fills a gap in scientific knowledge in this field, but also and especially because it establishes a balance between the social demand (protection and restoration of the environment) and the offer coming from the administration and the companies.

 
     
  TALMED is a grant in collaboration with:  
 
 
     
 
 
     
Prof. Dr. Fernando Valladares Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales CSIC .
Serrano 115 dpdo.E-28006 Madrid. Spain
Phone 34 917452500 ext 988120. Fax 34 915640800
e-mail: valladares@ccma.csic.es
 
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