Differences in resistance of three subtropical vegetation types to experimental trampling
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Experimental trampling trials using a standardized methodology were undertaken in ten replicate blocks in three vegetation types in an urban reserve in the subtropics of Australia. In each block different intensities of trampling (controls, 10, 25, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 400 and 500 passes) were applied, and vegetation parameters were measured pre trampling, immediately after trampling and two weeks later. A fern understorey had low resistance to trampling intensity, with reductions in relative vegetation height and cover with as few as 10 passes. A tussock grass understorey showed moderate resistance with reduction in height at 25 passes and cover at 50 passes. A disturbed grassland dominated by lawn grasses had the highest resistance, with reductions in vegetation height at 100 passes, but cover was affected by as few as 10 passes. The resistance indices (number of passes required to reduce vegetation cover by 50%) of three vegetation types were 210, 360 and 860 passes respectively. When these values were compared with those for 52 other vegetation types considerable variation was found within life forms, climatic zones and vegetation types indicating that the response of a specific community may not always be predictable.
Journal of Environmental Management
© 2009 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Impacts of Tourism
Environmental Impact Assessment