Most suitable plant communities for the slope reclamation of the Zhengzhou-Xinxiang section of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao expressway

Wei Cao, Xiaoqi Wu, Niuniu Zhu, Zhenyu Meng, Chenxi Lv, Xi Li, Guojie Wang

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The construction of expressways in China has produced diverse habitats along slopes characterized by steep gradients, uneven water distribution, poor soil conditions, and no routine maintenance. Manually planting beneficial species is an essential method of effectively improving slope soils to prevent soil erosion. However, few studies have evaluated the reclamation effects and plant community composition and structure used to restore slopes along expressways. This study focused on the Zhengzhou-Xinxiang section of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Expressway. A total of 10 representative plant communities were evaluated using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP)–fuzzy integrated evaluation method. The sites were divided into four layers, namely, plant communities, soil nutrients, soil physical properties, and other ecological factors, and 14 indicators were assessed. The evaluation results showed that four of these plant communities (PCs) were excellent, three PCs were good, one PC was normal, two PCs were poor. The four excellent PCs had high Shannon-Wiener index, pielou index, richness index or community productivity. It is worth noting that most excellent plant community structures were tree + shrub + herb. Based on these results, we recommend that fill slopes should be restored using a combination of trees, herbs, and shrubs; also, the vegetation should include native plants, such as B. papyrifera, U. pumila, A. fruticosa, and Cynodon dactylon (L.). This study could provide ideas for plant community composition and structure of new highway slopes in similar climate environment, and provide theoretical support for plant community composition and structure and soil improvement for the existing slope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0297004
JournalPloS one
Issue number2 February
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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