par Tanghe, Martin ;Godefroid, Sandrine
Référence Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica, 45, 1-2, page (147-163)
Publication Publié, 2000
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : In Belgium, like in most countries of north western Europe, wildlife habitats are quite well studied, but also rather fragmented as a consequence of the 40 year productivist Common Agricultural Policy. Therefore, even roadside vegetation is gaining a value as wildlife refuges because they escape the negative effects of intensification. Classical phytosociological methods have been used in order to survey, identify and assess conservation value of road verge grassland communities linked to the southern Belgian road network, from highways to small rural roads. The results for four distinct ecological sectors (natural regions) are displayed and discussed. Wild flora and spontaneous grassland vegetation of road verges reflect in a very sensitive way regional and local climate and substrate variations, which is expressed through ecological spectra. Within a given ecological sector, plant associations reflect quite well, through their structure and species combination, the various soil conditions and human influences. Considered as indicator parameters of ecosystem biological quality, species richness and species rarity of road verge grasslands are (1) higher than those of intensively used grasslands thanks to their marginal location; (2) higher than those of little improved or unimproved grasslands scattered through the rural landscape as areal remnants. Moreover, road verges may contain most of the total grassland flora at local or regional scale.