DEVELOPING SEED MIXTURES
Restoration technology: Modification of highway slope vegetation to promote butterfliesTechnology Agency of the Czech Republic no. TH01030300
Highways are usually perceived by the general public as a necessary part of the landscape, but it disrupts the environment not only for people but also other animals and plants. When highways cross the landscape, they may improve habitat connectivity or create barriers. In intensively cultivated agricultural and forested landscapes of Europe, highway buffers are a common last refuge for many resident or migratory species of insects and plants. Pesticides and mineral fertilizers are rarely applied to grassy slopes along highways, as these slopes are usually only annually maintained for traffic safety with mowing or mulching. Highway buffers provide ideal conditions for the growth of heliophilous plants with brightly coloured flowers producing nectar. These are, for example, sage, thyme, cornflowers, plantain, sainfoin, cinquefoil and many others. Low, sparsely vegetated, herb turfs provide excellent habitat for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, which provide important pollination services for orchards, vineyards, and vegetable gardens. In other words, transportation infrastructure may not be only gray, noisy and smelly, but in appropriate locations and with good maintenance, can represent the backbone of the green landscape for survival and dispersal of many beneficial insects. Adjacent road buffers can provide an environment for other important insects as well such as natural enemies of row crop pests. This website provides information and pictures so that you can get acquainted with these topics, including: how motorway slopes modified for pollinators should look, how to convert greened grassy slopes into flowery herb vegetation using hemiparasitic herbs, what technical standards must characterize grassy slopes along highways as prerequisites for habitat restoration, where these restoration technologies are tested, and how and when this issue is presented to the public, whether at academic conferences, professional journals or public media.