Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Evaluating Temporary Soil Stabilization Methods for Illinois Department of Transportation Construction Sites
by Weber, Irene J., M.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2014, 105; 1560927
Abstract (Summary)

When road construction sites are inactive for several months, establishment of temporary vegetation cover is required to stabilize soils and prevent erosion. Currently the Illinois Department of Transportation prescribes seeding with a perennial rye and oats mixture regardless of date or location within Illinois. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of the currently prescribed method against alternative combinations of different seed mixes, soil preparation, and mulching methods. We preformed experiments at four locations across Illinois, with seeding occurring at each site four times throughout the year. Climatic variation across Illinois, suggests a need for different specifications among regions. Factorial combinations of ten seed mixes by two soil preparation methods by three mulching treatments were tested, with three randomized blocks per planting at each site. Vegetation cover was determined both visually and using analysis of digital photographs in Adobe Photoshop. Annual ryegrass had the highest vegetative cover at most sites, with the exception of cereal rye and sudex being the highest performing seed variety at one site in the fall and summer, respectively. Mulching with either straw or mat was generally beneficial as was rough soil preparation. Annual ryegrass is a non-native species that is not currently of concern in Illinois, but is invasive in other states. More research should be done to test the results of this study on a larger scale and on steeper slopes. Findings from this study indicate that the currently specified seed mix is insufficient and should be replaced.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Minchin, Peter R.
Commitee: Esselman, Elizabeth, Grinter, Mark, Retzlaff, William
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 53/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Biology, Environmental science
Keywords: Construction, Erosion, Roads, Soil stability, Vegetative cover
Publication Number: 1560927
ISBN: 9781321048049
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