High security standards regarding transport infrastructure call for effective vegetation control measures targeting unwanted vegetation on railroads and roadways as well as their surrounding areas. Depending on different local site conditions, there are various types of vegetation control measures available. However, the public regards well established chemical control measures increasingly critically. Soon, a ban of Glyphosate, an active substance that is currently the most common one in herbicides, is very likely. Mechanical methods often require high efforts and are thus not very cost effective. Up to now there are either not enough “alternative” methods available or they have not been sufficiently tested in the field, so there is a clear lack of information regarding their effectiveness.
The present study represents a combined effort of technicians, plant physiologists and ecologists to screen available vegetation control measures and test the effectiveness of their application in the field. The most promising methods will then be compiled in a catalogue of methods. Particularly “alternative” methods, that are often not being considered as the method of choice, will be the subject of comprehensive testing. At the same time, it is clear that the cost of the vegetation control measures in general has to be as small as possible. So, the overall objective is to find adequate methods or an adequate combination of methods to guarantee an optimization of personnel and monetary resources.
All available data on the tested methods will be transformed into a decision-support model to determine the most appropriate and efficient method for each case. The people in charge of vegetation control can feed this tool with relevant parameters concerning the site of interest and the decision support model will then provide the most suitable control measures. Thus, the consortium will create a scientifically sound high-end product for users and provide a new decision-making tool for further use.