Invasive Plant Species that Are Spread by Construction Vehicles
Invasive Species/Vegetation Management
Research Idea Scope
The management of invasive species is ineffective when the means of dissemination are unknown. Construction vehicles are likely vectors for the spread of invasive plant species. The use of construction vehicles in the clearing and grubbing of forests leaves them susceptible to contact with roots, seeds and fruits of invasive plants species. Large amounts of dirt and plant material accumulate amongst the tread and machinery of construction vehicles. Once this equipment leaves one site for another without proper cleaning, it becomes a mechanism of spread for invasive plant species. The proposed research aims to identify which invasive plant species are found on construction vehicles. Different types of vehicles may provide differing degrees of potential for the spread of invasive plant species. Data would be collected by visiting construction sites and sampling the soils that are attached to construction vehicles. Field identification coupled with laboratory analyses of plant material will distinguish which species are most likely to spread via construction vehicles.
Urgency and Payoff
A better understanding of the types of invasive plant species that occur on construction vehicles will improve the management of these species. Data may reveal an unknown vector for a particular species; thus, improving the control of the species. The results of the proposed research will enable an analysis of the particular types of construction equipment involved in spreading invasive plant species. A more effective management scheme can be utilized if a relationship between vehicular type and the probability of finding an invasive plant species is determined. An assessment of the role played by construction vehicles in the spread of invasive plant species is necessary in order to control the degree of harm imposed by these species.
Dhaval Vyas, Georgia Department of Transportation, Telephone: 404-699-4429