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Evaluating Management Options to Increase Roadside Carbon Sequestration

Started: October, 2015 End Date: December, 2017 Project ID #4W5840 Status: Ongoing

Objective

The objective of this project is to work with the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) to estimate how much roadside acreage exists and how much carbon is currently being captured and stored along roadsides managed by MDT.

Abstract

Interest has recently been increasing in the potential for roadside vegetation and soils to capture and store carbon through the absorption of CO2 by vegetation and soil (terrestrial sequestration). This project will estimate how much roadside acreage exists and how much carbon is currently being captured and stored along Montana DOT’s (MDT’s) roadsides. Next, researchers will calculate how much of this acreage is available for active carbon management,  then construct experimental plots to determine if changing three different management practices of roadside vegetation and soils can increase existing levels of carbon capture and storage.  The three management practices are: increasing the mowing height within the ROW clear zone, increasing physiognomic diversity by planting native woody shrubs into existing perennial-grass-dominated ROWs, and including  leguminous forbs with seed mixes for roadside re-vegetation projects. The team will be able to compare two of these management techniques that are also being tested in New Mexico. This will allow the FHWA and DOTs to evaluate some of the differences in roadside carbon storage potential in more mesic and colder climates with those of the arid southwest United States.

Contacts

Sponsors & Partners

  • University of Alaska - Fairbanks Sponsor

Part of: Road Ecology, Vegetation, UAF-CESTiCC

Project Tagged In: roadside vegetation, carbon storage

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