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Native Species for Roadslope Revegetation: Selection, Validation, and Cost Effectiveness

Authors

  • Esther Bochet,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación (CSIC, Universidad de Valencia, Generalitat Valenciana), Camí de la Marjal, s/n, Apdo Oficial 46470 Albal, Valencia, Spain
      E. Bochet, email esther.bochet@uv.es
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  • Jaume Tormo,

    1. Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación (CSIC, Universidad de Valencia, Generalitat Valenciana), Camí de la Marjal, s/n, Apdo Oficial 46470 Albal, Valencia, Spain
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  • Patricio García-Fayos

    1. Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación (CSIC, Universidad de Valencia, Generalitat Valenciana), Camí de la Marjal, s/n, Apdo Oficial 46470 Albal, Valencia, Spain
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E. Bochet, email esther.bochet@uv.es

Abstract

Native species arise as an alternative to improve the poor success of traditional hydroseeding with commercial species in degraded areas. The objectives of this study were to (1) establish a procedure to select suitable native species for roadslope revegetation, (2) validate the procedure by means of field sowing experiments, and (3) assess cost effectiveness of the use of native species in hydroseeding as regards commercial ones. Vegetation surveys were performed in semiarid roadslopes of East Spain and species success evaluated according to abundance and frequency. A list of potentially suitable species for revegetation was produced and a subset of species selected and hydroseeded to check their suitability in hydroseeding. Cost effectiveness of the use of native species was estimated. Results support the suitability of the procedure for the selection of native species. Vegetation cover produced by the hydroseeded mixture of native species was high (between 43 and 70% throughout the 4 years) and was 4–20 times higher than the cover produced by a standard commercial seed mixture. The price of the selected seed mixture was 30 times that of the commercial one, but the cost of relevant ecological advantages provided by the use of native species was only twice that of the commercial species on the basis of cost effectiveness assessment. Practical consequences for restorers, policymakers, and practitioners are discussed, and the use of native species is encouraged to improve revegetation success of roadslopes and similar slope types especially in semiarid and arid environments.

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