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Recreational use of urban and suburban forests affects plant diversity in a Western Siberian city

Vakhlamova, Tatyana and Rusterholz, Hans-Peter and Kamkin, V. and Baur, Bruno. (2016) Recreational use of urban and suburban forests affects plant diversity in a Western Siberian city. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 17. pp. 92-103.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/52367/

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Abstract

tThe recreational use of urban forests is a highly valued service. However, strong recreational pressuremay contribute to the loss of biodiversity in forests. This study assessed the frequency of visitors and theircharacteristics in 14 urban and 11 suburban forests in the rapidly expanding city of Pavlodar, Kazakhstan,in Western Siberia. Furthermore, the effects of recreation disturbance (trampling, damage to groundvegetation and damage to trees and shrubs) and other human-mediated disturbances (waste deposits,soil disturbance, etc.) on both the vegetation and plant characteristics of urban and suburban forests werequantified. In Pavlodar, urban forests are poorly managed, motivating the people to spend their sparetimein the more distant suburban forests. Urban and suburban forests did not differ in visitor frequency duringthe summer season (July–September). However, the two forest types differed in the age structure andgroup size of visitors as well as in the activities of visitors. Urban forests were more frequently visitedby younger people for walking, sports, sitting and talking, and playing with children, while suburbanforests were often visited by older people for picnicking, fishing and gathering mushrooms. In urbanforests, total plant species richness was reduced by recreation disturbance. Urban forests also harboureda large proportion of alien plant species (0.42; in suburban forests 0.24). Neither recreation disturbancenor other human-mediated disturbance affected plant species richness in suburban forests, while bothdisturbance types enhanced the colonization success of alien species. Alterations in plant life forms can beconsidered as an indicator of changes in ecosystem function. In suburban forests, recreation disturbancecaused a decline of geophytes and an increase of therophytes. We recommended various managementactions to improve the recreation value of degraded urban forests in this Western Siberian city.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Natur- Landschafts- und Umweltschutz > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Rusterholz, Hans-Peter and Baur, Bruno and Vakhlamova, Tatyana
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Urban & Fischer
ISSN:1618-8667
e-ISSN:1610-8167
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:31 Oct 2017 07:30
Deposited On:31 Oct 2017 07:30

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