Effects of Microbial Biomineralization Surface Erosion Control Treatments on Vegetation and Revegetation along Highways

Microbial induced calcite precipitation (MICP) has been widely studied in laboratories to test changes to soil strength and density. Rarely studied is the biogeotechnology’s influence on real-world conditions. Consideration for the natural environment coexisting with treated soil is important, particularly vegetative responses to biochemical and physical changes from treatments. In this factorial designed study, vegetative response from one-time biochemical surficial treatments is observed in four soil growth mediums: two variants burned soil, unburned side slope construction soil, and Ottawa sand. Treatment objectives are to create a light crust that provides short-term erosion control, protects concurrently applied seeds and provides a beneficial plant environment (BPE). The crust creates a BPE through increased soil water retention and shear soil strength allowing better root and plant stability. An overly dense crust prevents root penetration and is avoided because established root systems are crucial in long-term erosion control. This study successfully created such a crust in all soil types treated. Also studied were influences of solution components on germination rates. Component influence proved highly dependent on soil type as calcium chloride inclusion was highly detrimental to seedling success in clean sand, somewhat detrimental to burned soil with ash layer, insignificant in unburned soil, and beneficial to burned soil without ash layer. These results give an indication of the complex biochemical soil reactions occurring from MICP treatment. This study gives evidence that a one-time application of a seeded biochemical solution has real-world potential as a balanced short-term and long-term erosion control technology for burned and construction soils.

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    • Data are available from the corresponding author (bret.lingwall@sdsmt.edu) on reasonable request. © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2020.
  • Authors:
    • Hodges, Tasha M
    • Lingwall, Bret N
  • Publication Date: 2020

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01745437
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 9 2020 3:05PM