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Determination of the Effects of Anti-Icer Compounds upon the Rare Plant Hackelia Venusta

Description: The objective of the study was to determine whether Washington State Department of Transportation’s winter use of road anti-icer compounds on Highway 2 in Chelan County, Washington, is having an impact on the federally endangered plant species Hackelia venusta. A controlled study was performed in the outdoor facilities at the Center for Urban Horticulture-University of Washington. This study evaluated two road anti-icer formulae available to WSDOT in the 2000-2002 winter seasons by testing the effects of different anti-icer dilutions on plant and soil parameters. Since it was not feasible to use H. venusta in a controlled study during the time of implementation, two other species were used. One species, Mertensia platyphylla, is a phylogenetic relative and the other, Eriophyllym lanatum, is a non-related ecosystem associate. From the analysis, we were able to conclude that both road anti-icers begin to have detrimental effects by causing a decrease in aboveground biomass and survival on the two plant species examined when the concentrations reached 1 part anti-icer: 100 parts solution. Given the information obtained from our study’s results, more work is needed in order to better understand the implications of these results on the effects road anti-icer formulae have on H. venusta..

  • Date Published: March, 2004
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 582.1
  • Last Modified: November 26, 2007
  • Authors: Linda Chalker-Scott, Jennifer Brickey.
  • Originator: Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
  • # of Pages: 52 p., 4,085 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Concentration (Chemistry), Deicing chemicals, Endangered species, Environmental impacts, Impact studies, Plants, Soil chemistry, Soil water, Vegetation, Winter maintenance.
  • Keywords: Decier compounds, hackelia venusta, Chelan County (Wash.), U.S. 2.
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This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008