Impacts of recreation and tourism on plant biodiversity and vegetation in protected areas in Australia
This paper reviews recent research into the impact of recreation and tourism in protected areas on plant biodiversity and vegetation communities in Australia. Despite the international significance of the Australian flora and increasing visitation to protected areas there has been limited research on recreational and tourism impacts in Australia. As overseas, there are obvious direct impacts of recreation and tourism such as clearing of vegetation for infrastructure or damage from trampling, horse riding, mountain biking and off road vehicles. As well, there are less obvious but potentially more severe indirect impacts. This includes self-propagating impacts associated with the spread of some weeds from trails and roads. It also includes the severe impact on native vegetation, including many rare and threatened plants, from spread of the root rot fungus Phytopthora cinnamomi. This review highlights the need for more recreational ecology research in Australia.
Journal of Environmental Management