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Discuss the Extent to Which Distinctive Ecologies Develop Along Route-Ways. (10 Marks)

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Submitted By hlau1314
Words 272
Pages 2
Route-ways such as roads and railways provide urban niches for specific and distinctive species of plants and even animals. Firstly, the route-way allows exotic and otherwise non-native species of plants to be introduced due to cars and trains bringing in seeds from different areas; increasing the biodiversity of that particular area, an example being windborne seeds such as the Oxford ragwort being carried to different areas by trains. Cars also have their use in introducing distinctive species; accidents caused by cars, producing road kill, provides food sources for birds of prey, an example being the Red Kite, which is becoming increasingly popular around route-ways due to the roadkill available. Additionally, car fumes provide an abundant amount of Nitrogen rich gases from their fumes, allowing plants to accelerate in growth thus providing habitats for a variety of animals, such as foxes and birds. Furthermore, spreading salt and grit over roads allows halophytic plants to thrive and grow, such as Danish Scurvy grass. However, the vegetation is often managed, meaning that these distinctive ecologies may not appear, as actions such as mowing means that there is a reduction in biodiversity, though other management strategies such as planting trees along the side of route-ways for noise reduction from vehicles can increase the biodiversity as different species of animals are able to create habitats in these planted trees, an example being the London Plane tree. Moreover, some areas near railway lines are fenced off in order to protect the vegetation, this allows mammals such as mice, hedgehogs and badgers to thrive as they can feed off small insects and remain…...

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