Road verge cuttings as organic amendment on arable fields: mechanisms, benefits and risks
When road verges are managed more sustainably to improve flower diversity and the pollinator population, the cuttings form these road verges are often a remainder in the process. Using these cuttings from road verges as local organic amendment to improve arable soil quality can be a useful solution. Mainly the Soil Organic Matter content would be improved which can be linked to multiple beneficial effects such as improved water retention, nitrogen cycling and crop production. However, potential risks such as an increased weed pressure or accumulation of heavy metals or other litter need to be investigated before implementing this practice. My thesis therefore aimed to investigate the mechanisms behind the application of these cuttings while also determining the associated possible benefits and risks. Different methods of processing the cuttings (comparing fresh, with composted or fermented via the Bokashi method) were included in the research.
The PhD thesis will be publicly available from December 2023 and the defense of my thesis will be on November 15th, 2023 at 16:00.