Something for Earth Day!
I've worked with road ecology for a while, so it's never a surprise to anyone when I make a work about them in my classes. This time, I decided to grab a subject not well studied in this matter, which is the effects of roadside vegetation.
Describing all the interactions that undergo through this habitat can be hard, and while in my presentation I did some cartoons to make everyone understand and be entertained in the process, for the paper I went for something both serious and simple enough to show the impacts, both positive and negative.
Interpreting this graphic is simple, while green and red mean both positive and negative interactions, the white boxes mean impacts that can be both. For example, with the attraction of fauna, there's also a higher rate of collisions.
If you want to know a little bit about roadsides, here's the abstract of the work:
"Vegetation on roadside verges comprise a unique environment, shaping the diversity surrounding them. They are characterized by grassland of first succession, resistant to disturbance and stress conditions, caused by traffic, pollution, changing soil conditions and frequent mowing. Roadside plants can constitute edge-habitats, creating heterogeneity in the landscape and serving as a shelter to many species, enhancing biodiversity in these human shaped structures. Some groups of species are not only attracted to these habitats for refuge and food density but also for their suitability in connecting habitats, that allow dispersal movements. With this attraction, the mortality rate from collisions becomes higher as well, creating a threat to many endangered species. It's important to correctly manage roadsides, to allow the establishment of plant and animal species, while creating structures that permit animals to cross safely and diminish collisions with larger animals, securing safe conditions for drivers.
If you happen to have stumbled upon this while researching about road ecology or graphics about it, and are interested in using this picture in your work/article, feel free to contact me! I have no problem in providing a higher resolution, with or without caption boxes, even for commercial works. The only thing I ask for is mention of who did the work.