TRIEKOL is a research program that was initiated in 2009 and ended it’s current phases in 2015. The main objective of the research program was to develop methods that can help the transport sector to maintain and improve the ecological functions and qualities of the landscape.
The focus was on developing practical planning tools based on the best available knowledge. In areas where there were critical knowledge gaps, projects with more basic research were conducted. The tools include geographically explicit models (GIS), as well as strategies and guidelines for action in connection with planning, construction and operation.
The program also helped developing the goals of the Swedish Transport Administration (STA) relating to biodiversity. For example, in terms of landscape fragmentation, the degree of barrier impact and noise pollution, and maintenance of the infrastructure’s habitats. The work was based on the national environmental objectives, environmental legislation (primarily general statements in the overarching Environmental code) and in STA’s previous work on environmental targeting (the project ”Mål-och-Mått”).
During the first period (2009-2011) the work was structured in three themes:
During the second period (2012-2015) the results obtained were applied in a model that measures and evaluates the infrastructure landscape adaptation. Parallel to the development of this model, studies related to the former three themes continued.
Here the landscape adaptation is described based on six fundamental ecological criteria that relate to a given road (or railroad) stretch:
|Permeability||Permeable transport corridors = no serious barriers|
|Traffic mortality||No significant fauna mortality|
|Disturbance/pollution||No significant disturbance in valuable habitats|
|Land take/habitat loss||No loss of valuable habitats|
|Infrastructure habitats||New valuable habitats created|
|Invasive species||Only natural flora and fauna = no species invasions|
These are supplemented by criteria on regional level:
|Fragmentation||No splitting of the landscape|
|Degradation||Maintained habitat qualities|
|The unexploited landscape||Maintained quiet and roadless areas|
The programme group consisted of the host and project leaders. Staffing within each project involved researchers and staff from other universities, government agencies and consulting companies. The program’s steering committee consists of four representatives from STA.
TRIEKOL part I and II included a number of projects with partial external funding. To some extent this made TRIEKOL an umbrella for current research and development about ecological effects of roads and railroads in Sweden. International links were established through the IENE network and individual research contacts.