Ecological functions of infrastructure habitats

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The work with species-rich road verges (SRV) has so far largely focused on SRV as a type of meadow vegetation. The importance of infrastructure habitats (IH) for red-listed species has more recently been highlighted. The planned research in road and rail IH (subproject 7 and subproject 8) will no doubt show that IH contribute to biodiversity conservation in more ways than have so far been discussed. An overview of the different functions of IH is important for setting up of conservation goals for different types of IH, and thereby for designing management activities that give the best possible biodiversity effects. 


This subproject uses information from subprojects 7 and 8 on road and rail IH to qualitatively identify different ecological functions of IH, i.e., different ways by which IH can contribute to a better biodiversity conservation status in the landscape. The result will be published as a conceptual scientific paper and presented at international conferences. 


Highlighting of the variety of biodiversity values of IH, as a conceptual base for planning of conservation and management, and for future, more thorough, analysis. Conservation planning of IH will be more efficient with a more diverse target-setting. For example, the value of some types of road verges may not be species richness, but rather their function as nectar/pollen resource, or as dispersal habitat. Knowledge about such functions will influence the choice of conservation target for the habitat, and of management strategy.

Photo: Mats Lindqvist