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Trampling impact on relief transformation in the Babia Góra massif - dendrogeomorphological record

Agata Buchwał

Abstract

The main goal of the study was to quantify the effects of trampling activity and to assess the rate of soil loss from the tourist trails in the Babia Góra National Park (Flysch Carpathians). Tourist traffic within the Babia Góra massif (1725 m a.s.l.) contributes to intensification or initiation of various geomorphic processes. Intensive utilization of footpaths contributes to vegetation damage and soil loss, as well exposure of tree roots within the trail surface and their nearest vicinity. The methodological approach consisted of several methods: geomorphological mapping, geodetic surveys and dendrogeomorphological analyses. In additional monitoring of visitors frequency were carried out in the year 2008 and 2009 by using infrared trail counters (pyroelctric sensors) mounted next to two the most important trails. The main method, which has been applied in the study, was a dendrogeomorphological analyse. The study focused on the analysis of anatomical variations in the annual growth rings of exposed roots of spruce (Picea abies) taken form trail surface. Changes in the root morphology and especially in its anatomy offered a great opportunity to situate erosion processes in time and space. Both macro- and microanalyses of root samples were carried out. A considerable majority of the samples have shown a continuous exposure, rather than an erosive event and a sudden changes in a root anatomy. This fact clearly argue an important role of denudational processes in a slope modeling within footpaths. The study enable to indicate tree periods of tourism impact on relief transformation within the footpaths. The highest trampling pressure has occurred from 1961 to 1983, when 70% roots were exposed on trails. The mean denudation rates, obtained from dendrogeomorphological analyses, were in the ranges of 1.93-6.00 mm/year. The highest rate (6.00 mm/year) was indicated for the most frequently used trail, tracked from Krowiarki Pass to Sokolica.The geodetic surveys have improved a significant soil loss from the bare surface prone to trampling and modeling by natural processes. An annual rate of soil loss on the Sokolica (1367 m a.s.l.) view point ranged from 3.2 to 5.0 m3 and was ten times greater than an accumulation rate.This study made it possible to observe that the high mountain environment is sensitive not only to climatic and environmental changes, but also to tourist presence. The dendrogeomorphological method was applied for the first time on tourist trails in the Polish mountains. The results show how dendrogeomorphological techniques are very helpful to evaluate the human impact.
Record ID
UAM5e0b703bd2f04b7fa17114cba7c3da0d
Diploma type
Doctor of Philosophy
Author
Title in Polish
Wpływ ruchu turystycznego na przekształcenia rzeźby masywu Babiej Góry - zapis dendrogeomorfologiczny
Title in English
Trampling impact on relief transformation in the Babia Góra massif - dendrogeomorphological record
Language
pol (pl) Polish
Certifying Unit
Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences (FoGaGS)
Discipline
geography / (Earth sciences domain) / (biological sciences)
Scientific discipline (2.0)
6.7 Earth and related environmental sciences
Status
Finished
Defense Date
17-05-2010
Title date
17-05-2010
Supervisor
URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10593/367 Opening in a new tab
Keywords in English
Dendrogeomorphology, Exposed spruce roots,Babia Góra massif, Denudation rate, Trail erosion
Abstract in English
The main goal of the study was to quantify the effects of trampling activity and to assess the rate of soil loss from the tourist trails in the Babia Góra National Park (Flysch Carpathians). Tourist traffic within the Babia Góra massif (1725 m a.s.l.) contributes to intensification or initiation of various geomorphic processes. Intensive utilization of footpaths contributes to vegetation damage and soil loss, as well exposure of tree roots within the trail surface and their nearest vicinity. The methodological approach consisted of several methods: geomorphological mapping, geodetic surveys and dendrogeomorphological analyses. In additional monitoring of visitors frequency were carried out in the year 2008 and 2009 by using infrared trail counters (pyroelctric sensors) mounted next to two the most important trails. The main method, which has been applied in the study, was a dendrogeomorphological analyse. The study focused on the analysis of anatomical variations in the annual growth rings of exposed roots of spruce (Picea abies) taken form trail surface. Changes in the root morphology and especially in its anatomy offered a great opportunity to situate erosion processes in time and space. Both macro- and microanalyses of root samples were carried out. A considerable majority of the samples have shown a continuous exposure, rather than an erosive event and a sudden changes in a root anatomy. This fact clearly argue an important role of denudational processes in a slope modeling within footpaths. The study enable to indicate tree periods of tourism impact on relief transformation within the footpaths. The highest trampling pressure has occurred from 1961 to 1983, when 70% roots were exposed on trails. The mean denudation rates, obtained from dendrogeomorphological analyses, were in the ranges of 1.93-6.00 mm/year. The highest rate (6.00 mm/year) was indicated for the most frequently used trail, tracked from Krowiarki Pass to Sokolica.The geodetic surveys have improved a significant soil loss from the bare surface prone to trampling and modeling by natural processes. An annual rate of soil loss on the Sokolica (1367 m a.s.l.) view point ranged from 3.2 to 5.0 m3 and was ten times greater than an accumulation rate.This study made it possible to observe that the high mountain environment is sensitive not only to climatic and environmental changes, but also to tourist presence. The dendrogeomorphological method was applied for the first time on tourist trails in the Polish mountains. The results show how dendrogeomorphological techniques are very helpful to evaluate the human impact.

Uniform Resource Identifier
https://researchportal.amu.edu.pl/info/phd/UAM5e0b703bd2f04b7fa17114cba7c3da0d/
URN
urn:amu-prod:UAM5e0b703bd2f04b7fa17114cba7c3da0d

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