About erosion and recreation...

This is our latest work published on erosion:
SELKIMÄKI M, MOLA-YUDEGO B. 2010. Estimating and modelling the resistance of nature to path erosion in Koli National Park, Finland. Boreal Environment Research 16(1): 218-228.

Abstract
We studied the resistance of nature to trampling and path erosion using a case study of Koli National Park. The data are based on 201 field measurements made of paths together with digital datasets in order to identify the main factors affecting path erosion. Additionally, the resistance of different forest types to trampling was studied. Models for path erosion were constructed in order to predict the width and depth of a path. Slope of the path and the number of visitors were the two main factors explaining width and depth. The lowest resistance areas were identified in rocky site forest located on the hilltops, while the deepest paths were on moraine soils. Paths on meadows were highly resistant to trampling and the most resistance forest type was Oxalis myrtillus type. The results of this study can be applied in national park management and can be the basis for the design of measures to reduce path erosion. By mapping the most sensitive areas, the path network can be planned to be sustainable during the long term. Recreational pressure can be redirected to more resistant areas or structures such as duckboard and stairs can be built to protect the most sensitive areas. Developed models can be used for testing where to place new paths in order to minimize path erosion.
Keywords: erosion modeling, nature conservation, path erosion, tourism, vegetation resistance


[Open access to full manuscript]

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