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Rock climbing alters the vegetation of limestone cliffs in the northern Swiss Jura mountains

Muller, S. and Rusterholz, H. P. and Baur, B.. (2004) Rock climbing alters the vegetation of limestone cliffs in the northern Swiss Jura mountains. Canadian journal of botany, 82, Nr. 6. pp. 862-870.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A4279334

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Abstract

Betr. Auswirkungen des Klettersports auf die Pflanzenwelt im Baselbieter Jura Exposed cliffs in the northern Swiss Jura Mountains harbour a highly diverse flora with numerous endangered and relic plant species. On these cliffs, sport climbing is enjoying increasing popularity. We examined the ecological effects of sport climbing on vascular plants at the cliff base and on the cliff face by assessing plant cover and species density at various distances from frequently used climbing routes. Plant cover was significantly reduced at the base of climbing routes. Furthermore, species density (number of species per square metre) at the cliff base, as well as plant cover and species density at the cliff face, tended to increase with distance from the route. We also compared the vegetation of five frequently climbed cliffs with that of seven unclimbed cliffs. Climbing significantly altered the plant composition. Specialized rock species occurred less frequently on climbed cliffs than on unclimbed cliffs. Management plans and conservation actions are needed to preserve the threatened plant species on frequently climbed cliffs. Such plans should include the establishment of climbing-free protection areas on cliffs with a high number of specialized, relic plants and the protection of entire cliffs that are not yet climbed.
Faculties and Departments:?? 455 ??
UniBasel Contributors:Baur, Bruno
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:National Research Council
ISSN:0008-4026
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Sep 2012 06:54
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:04

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