Railway Tracks - Habitat Conditions, Contamination, Floristic Settlement - A Review

Boguslaw Wilkomirski, Halina Galera, Barbara Sudnik-Wojcikowska, Tomasz Staszewski, Malgorzata Malawska

Abstract


Apart from roads, railways are one of the principal means of transportation. The specificity of rail transportation causes some environmental problems.

The study presents a review of the major environmental problems connected with railway transportation. The construction of railway tracks and properties of used materials, as well as the maintenance of railway infrastructure are responsible for the specific habitat condition with alkaline soil reaction and varying but rather high levels of nutrients, which favour plant encroachment and growth. The results of investigations described in this study show clearly that railway transportation causes typical organic and inorganic contamination. Among the most important railway pollutants are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and to some extent, polychlorinated biphenyls. The study also presents some information about the progress of floristic studies in operating and abandoned railway lines. In addition some trends in the transformation of the flora in abandoned railway areas are discussed: the retreat of alien species with a short life cycle, the encroachment of native perennial plants and an increase in the number of trees.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/enrr.v2n1p86

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Environment and Natural Resources Research   ISSN 1927-0488 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0496 (Online)

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'ccsenet.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.