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Many abiotic and biotic factors affect the health of roadside vegetation, including the application of magnesium chloride (MgCl2) dust suppression products. Three hundred seventy kilometers (230 mi) of forested, shrubland, meadow, rangeland, riparian, and wetland roadside habitats were surveyed along major nonpaved roads in two Colorado counties. Dominant species composition and visible damages of woody roadside vegetation were quantified. The majority (72.3% to 79.3%) of roadside vegetation surveyed was considered healthy (less than 5% damage to crown or stem), depending on slope position from the road. Severely damaged (greater than 50% damage) vegetation ranged from 6.4% to 11.4% of roadside cover, with the most...
Investigations of vegetation stress along non-paved roads treated with a range of magnesium chloride (MgCl2) application rates utilized 60 roadside and 79 drainage plots on 15 and 18 roads, respectively. Evaluations were completed of foliar damage, plant health, biotic and abiotic damage incidence and severity, soil and foliar chemistry and other common site and stand characteristics of Pinus contorta, Populus tremuloides, Picea engelmannii, Abies lasiocarpa, and lower elevation plots dominated by shrubs and grasses. High concentrations of soil magnesium and chloride (400?500 ppm), high foliar chloride (2,000?16,000 ppm depending on species) and high incidence of foliar damage were measured in roadside plots along...