Managing Rights-of-Way for Biomass Generation and Carbon Sequestration
Air Quality, Environmental Process
Research Idea Scope
Right-of-way vegetation management is a major responsibility of the State DOTs. Traditionally, roadside vegetation was managed for a variety of purposes important to the public, such as safety, roadway integrity, habitat, native plant restoration, invasive plant reduction asthetics, water quality, and erosion control. Increasingly however, the DOTs are now being asked to also manage their roadsides for additional purposes, such as, biomass production, and carbon sequestration. Biomass production and carbon sequestration, when combined with the traditional right-of-way management objectives, will create a huge challenge for DOT vegetation managers. If the challenge is to be met, vegetation mangers will need the most up-to-date tools available, including improved lists of native and non-invasive plants appropriate for roadside use, the latest physical, chemical and biological control techniques that are safe and effective, the latest technology and equipment, and updated training.
- Conduct search of existing programs or specific cases of biomass production on transportation rights-of-way.
- Conduct search of native and non invasive species information and identify those that are most appropriate for biomass production on transportation rights-of-way.
- Search literature for information on the carbon sequestration capabilities of those species identified in item two, including how the carbon capturing capability is measured.
- Assess the capability of the selected species in meeting the traditional functions of roadside vegetation (safety, esthetics, erosion control, etc.)
- Develop a final report which recommends ecosystem–based plant lists appropriate for biomass production and which include the carbon sequestration capabilities of each species. The report will also contain recommended methods for measuring sequestration and possible scenarios for claiming carbon credits.
SCOE, Natural Systems and Ecological Communities Subcommittee