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SP Hubbell, F He, R Condit, L Borda-de-Água, J Kellner, H ter Steege. Proceedings of the C Grilo, HM Pereira. Ecological Modelling , , . PDF | On Jan 6, , Sean P Boyle and others published L. Borda-de-Água, R. Barrientos, P. Beja, H.M. Pereira. air (Davy et al., ) and water transportation (Bennett and Litzgus, ;van der Hoop et al., ) have. PDF | Railways play a major role in the global transportation system. Furthermore Luis Borda de Agua at University of Lisbon. Luis Borda de.
However, compared to other transportation systems, such as roads, less is known about the impact of railways on wildlife, as well as its specificities. Whereas there is a large body of research on road ecology, much less exists on railway ecology Popp and Boyle Therefore, as the global railway network increases, and more countries promote railways over road or air transportation of people and goods, we feel that a review of the state-of-knowledge in railway ecology is needed.
Railway ecology is an emerging field, but with scarce and scattered information about its effects on biodiversity e. This present book deals with the impacts of railways on biodiversity along four main topics: wildlife mortality; habitat loss and exclusion of species from their habitats; barrier effects; and exotic species invasions and impacts of other environmental disturbances caused by railways.
Although railway ecology shares several characteristics with road ecology, it also has some specificities. For instance, traffic on railways tends to be lower than on roads, but the speed of the vehicles can be much greater. Railway ecology can also benefit from studies on the impacts of power lines, these are present in railways when trains are powered by electricity, but their height is usually lower than that of other power lines.
Therefore, although railways share some characteristics with other linear infrastructures, they also have some particularities that warrant independent consideration. In this book we highlight the characteristics that railways share with other linear infrastructures, identify which measures can be applied to railways, and show what makes the impacts of railways unique, as well as the required mitigation measures.
The impacts of railways on wildlife have received less attention than those of roads probably because one of its major impacts, vehicle-animal collisions, is not visible to the general public Wells et al. Ordinarily, only the train crews are aware of the animal mortality caused by collisions, as railway right-of-ways have typically restricted access Wells et al.
In some cases, researchers have studied the impacts caused by railways combined with those of roads e. However, often only the road impacts are highlighted, probably because the road network tends to be more spatially developed than the railway network. In fact, the co-occurrence of roads and railways is an important aspect to have in consideration, as wildlife response to one infrastructure can condition the response to the other.
For example, in a study in the USA, Waller and Servheen , found that radio-collared grizzly bears Ursus arctos crossed a highway-railway corridor at night, presumably to avoid high diurnal highway traffic, but when railway traffic was heavier, there was a behavior that led to higher mortality rates on the railway than on the road. In another study in Canada, Clevenger and Waltho found that black bears U. It is important to acknowledge the different ways that roads and railways impact wildlife.
We consider the following five to be the most relevant: First 1 Traffic flow is much lower on railways, with several case studies showing that the number of trains moving through railways per unit of time are about 0.
Clair ; finally, although some maintenance practices that use pollutants potential disturbers are shared by railways and roads, like de-icing or the application of herbicides on verges, the impact of vehicles, the most important source of chemical pollutants Forman et al. Especially interesting for our purposes are the studies comparing railway impacts with those of roads, as they highlight their similarities and differences.
These differences and similarities, however, tend to be species-specific.
For instance, Gerlach and Musolf found that in Germany and Switzerland, a year-old highway contributed to genetic substructuring in bank voles Clethrionomys glareolus , while a year-old railway and a year-old country road did not. In tune with the previous work, Yang et al.
A similar result was found for roe deer Capreolus capreolus in Switzerland, although in this case, the authors suggested that the differences could be due to highways being fenced and railways not, as traffic flow was similar Hepenstrick et al. In Canada, Tremblay and St. Clair showed that railways were more permeable to forest song bird movements than were roads, likely due to their narrower width and lower traffic.
Railways are more environmentally friendly than road vehicle transportation, but this does not mean that their negative impacts should be ignored. Therefore, while acknowledging that there is a wide range of situations where priority should be given to the development of railways, or to the maintenance of existing ones, it is also crucial to take into account the impacts on the habitats transversed by these infrastructures, and on the wildlife populations occurring therein.
However, we believe that these impacts can be considerably reduced once they are identified, and once the decision-makers are willing to pursue the required mitigation measures. In the next chapters, we will first review the impacts of railways on biodiversity mortality, exclusion and barrier effects, introduction and dispersal of exotic species and pollution and then present several case studies with a view to identifying problems and proposing strategies to mitigate railways negative effects.
References Arens, P. Genetic population differentiation and connectivity among fragmented Moor frog Rana arvalis populations in The Netherlands. Landscape Ecology, 22, — Railway engineering. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar Clauzel, C. Journal of Environmental Management, , — Performance indices to identify attributes of highway crossing structures facilitating movement of large mammals.
Biological Conservation, , — Annual trends in the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions on the main linear transport corridors highway and railway of Hungary. North-Western Journal of Zoology, 11, 41— Google Scholar Dorsey, B.
Ecological effects of railways on wildlife. Grilo Eds. West Sussex: Wiley. Google Scholar European Railway Agency. Intermediate report on the development of railway safety in the European Union. A multiscale analysis of gene flow for the New England cottontail, an imperiled habitat specialist in a fragmented landscape. Ecology and Evolution, 4, — Railway safety, reliability, and security: Technologies and systems engineering: Technologies and systems engineering.
IGI Global. Google Scholar Forman, R. Road ecology, science and solutions. Washington, DC: Island Press.
Google Scholar Gerlach, G. Fragmentation of landscape as a cause for genetic subdivision in bank voles. Conservation Biology, 14, — Genetic discontinuities in roe deer Capreolus capreolus coincide with fenced transportation infrastructure. Basic and Applied Ecology, 13, — Clair, C. Effects of road networks on bird populations.
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time. Provides a unique overview of the impacts of railways on biodiversity Presents international case studies on wildlife populations in Europe, Asia, and North America Demonstrates how railway ecology plays a major role in transport systems and reducing carbon footprints see more benefits.
download Hardcover. download Softcover. FAQ Policy. Show all. Pages Railways as Barriers for Wildlife: Current Knowledge Barrientos, Rafael et al. Aliens on the Move: