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Can trail characteristics influence visitor numbers in natural protected areas? A quantitative approach to trail choice assessment

Abstract

Planning for recreational activities in protected areas involves an understanding of multiple and complex factors. Trails constitute the main recreation facility in protected areas. They are an important and common infrastructure that concentrates visitor movement. Their sustainable planning and management requires an understanding of how the visitors made their selection. The aim of this study was to identify the effect of trail attributes on visitor numbers in the Krkonoše Mountains National Park in the Czech Republic. The methods used in this study present an analytical approach involving geographic information system analysis, field monitoring and data analyses using generalised linear models. The results showed the preferential tendencies among visitors to certain trail attributes. Marginal significance and a rather strong variability in preferences (over 10%) were identified for five trail characteristics: the amount of local attractions; diversity of land cover types; dominant land cover along a trail; soil erosion; and the type of trail surface. In our study, we illustrate an analytical framework for the assessment of trail characteristics that can help guide trail analyses and management efforts. On the other hand, our findings raise new research questions and point to the requirements for further research in order to better understand how environmental attributes influence visitor choice and to use this knowledge for trail planning and management.

Open access
The Characteristics of Aftershock Activities of Dien Bien Earthquake on 19 February 2001 and Their Relation to the Local Geomorphological, Tectonic Features

Abstract

This article examines in detail the characteristics of Dien Bien earthquake on 19 February 2001 and its aftershocks. On the basis of the temporal development of aftershocks and the spatial distribution of tectonic faults, five aftershock series have been determined. The analysis of spatial distribution and temporal evolution of these five aftershock series has clarified the development in the source zone of Dien Bien earthquake, which is closely related to the active and recent activities of tectonic faults in the area, especially Lai Chau Dien Bien fault. The comparison between characteristics of aftershock activities of Dien Bien earthquake and geomorphological features as well as tectonic activities in the area has indicated that the magnitude of these aftershocks and their temporal evolution (early or late) depend not only on the closer or further distance compared to the mainshock and the active faults that cause them but also on terrain elevation, slope index, lineament density and their positions relative to other tectonic faults in the studied area.

Open access
Considerations on the Legal Protection of the Atmosphere

Abstract

Air quality is an issue of general, global interest, which requires the implementation of appropriate environmental policies, taking into account the essential connection between the world economy and the environment. Air is an important natural element of the environment, vital for human life and health, as well as for fauna and flora, and it needs to be protected by all means, including legal methods.

Lately, scientific studies and researches have shown that the chemical structure of the atmosphere is changing for natural or anthropogenic causes, which requires more effective monitoring of the impact of human activity on the atmosphere, doubled by the implementation of radical measures, including legal ones, meant to insure the protection of this environmental element.

The increase in the quantity of polluting gases eliminated into the atmosphere causes global warming, destroying the ozone layer and generating other imbalances in the natural environment.

In these conditions, and since pollution knows no political-administrative borders, being a global phenomenon, there is an absolute need for international cooperation based on conventions and treatises on this topic, or directives from international bodies and organisations, and at a national level, the environmental legislation must aim to protect the air in the troposphere as well as the other elements outside the troposphere, such as the ozone layer, which is part of the stratosphere.

Open access
The Contingency of Soil Microorganisms and the Selected Soil Biotic and Abiotic Parameters Under Different Land-Uses

Abstract

Land use changes are local phenomena with global impact. They have an impact in a cumulative sense on biodiversity or soil degradation. This study aimed to examine the effects of different land-uses (arable land, permanent grasslands, abandoned grasslands, forest land) on the selected biotic and abiotic soil parameters in the Slovak mountain study sites Liptovská Teplička and Tajov. Biotic (microbial community structure, earthworm number and fresh body biomass, arthropod number and fresh body biomass), and abiotic chemical soil parameters (pH, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, nutrients) were measured. According to MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight), several bacterial strains were identified. Mutual relations between soil microorganisms and soil biotic and abiotic properties determined by different land uses were analysed. Microbial response expressed as average well-colour development (AWCD) values indicated relations between higher microbial diversity and higher nutrient availability at both study sites. In the comparison of land use types, permanent grasslands (PG) showed the lowest microbial activity in the depth of 0–0.1 m. But in the depth of 0.2-0.3 m in PG of both study sites, the higher microbial activity was recorded compared to the depth of 0-0.1 m. In addition, lower AWCD values in PG were in line with the lower available P and K content but higher earthworm density and biomass.

Open access
Cytogenetic Abnormalities in Seed Progenies of Pinus Pallasiana D. Don Stands from Technogenic Polluted Lands in the Steppe of Ukraine

Abstract

In this study, we compare the pathological mitosis rates, chromosomal abnormalities and nucleolar organizer activity in Pinus pallasiana D. Don seedlings from natural population in the Crimean Mountains and from the urban plantations in the steppe of Ukraine. On the stages of anaphase and telophase of mitosis, such chromosomal abnormalities as bridges were most often found in the seeds of plantations exposed to air pollutants, whereas lead and agglutination of chromosomes were found in seeds from iron ore dump stands. Our studies have shown that P. pallasiana can be used for genotoxic monitoring of technogenic polluted lands.

Open access
Dynamics of Selected Soil Quality Indicators in Response to Land Use/Cover and Elevation Variations in Wanka Watershed, Northwestern Ethiopian Highlands

Abstract

Soil quality (SQ) dynamics assessment vis-à-vis land use/land cover (LULC) and elevation variations in Ethiopia is desirable as elevation impact on land use is highly pronounced. This study examined SQ indicators dynamics across LULC and elevation variations. For this, surface soil samples (0−20 cm) were collected from the recognized LULC categories of different elevations in Wanka watershed, northwestern Ethiopian highlands. Both disturbed and undisturbed soil samples that were taken from three adjacent LULC (natural forest, grazing and cultivated lands) and elevation (2238–2300, 2400–2600, and 2700–2800) classes analysed for the selected physico-chemical SQ indicators. Two-way ANOVA, Tukey’s multiple comparison test and SQ deterioration index were computed. The impact of LULC and elevation was found significant on key SQ indicators. In cultivated and grazing lands, soil organic matter (SOM) and soil nutrients like total nitrogen declined significantly (p < 0.01). Conversely, bulk density increased significantly (p < 0.01). The divalent basic cations (Ca2+ and Mg2+), cation exchange capacity and pH significantly (p < 0.01) decreased in upper elevation. Synergetic effect of LULC and elevation variations was found significant (p < 0.01) on SOM, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, water content at field capacity and soil particle distribution (silt and clay). Thus, elevation specific land management strategies that improve these SQ indicators need to be emphasized.

Open access
Economic Aspects of Manure Management and Practices for Sustainable Agriculture in Turkey

Abstract

Turkish livestock sector plays very important role in the Turkish GDP and the use of manure affects the environment but the farming sector want the farmers to employ the use of more integrated manure practice. The study assessed the economic impacts of integrated manure and chemical fertilizer used and the manure management practices sustainable for Turkish agriculture. Turkey is dependent on foreign countries not only for energy but for chemical fertilizers raw materials. High price of chemical fertilizers is one of the negative impact, manure substitution will lead to stable macro-economy, and environmental friendly economy and agricultural productivity will also impacts. To achieve these impacts, some manure practices suitable for sustainable rural development in Turkey was assessed.

Open access
Extreme Variabilities of Rainfall and Runoff Regime within Vulnerable Hydrographic River Basins. Case Study: Elan River Basin, 2016 (Romania)

Abstract

The present paper analyzes the extreme variabilities of rainfall and runoff regime within vulnerable hydrographic river basins, focused on a case study: Elan river basin, year 2016. This year, due to excess rainfall, the Elan River basin was affected by torrential rainfall, warned against by orange and red code hydrological forecasts. For this reason, this study makes an analysis of the spatial and temporal variability of the surface runoff also considering the main flood events occurring in this river basin. The impact of liquid precipitation on the surface runoff will be highlighted by a statistical analysis of the relationship between monthly average flows and the sum of monthly precipitation in the river basin. The monthly flows series from the Murgeni and Poșta Elan hydrometric stations were capitalized through appropriate statistical analyses. Maximum flows were reported to the thresholds values corresponding to the Defense Levels.

Open access
Floristic Biodiversity of Weed Communities in Arable Lands of Istria Peninsula (From 2005 to 2017)

Abstract

This paper analyses the floristic biodiversity of weed communities in the arable lands of the Istrian peninsula during a twelve year period (2005–2017). A total of 50 fields were surveyed for each sampling time using the seven-degree Braun-Blanquet cover abundance scale in the following agricultural categories: a) permanent crops (vineyards/olive groves), b) alfalfa fields, c) cereals, d) row crops and e) ruderal areas. The taxonomic identification was performed during the full development of vegetation, for cereals in June and July, and for the rest – in August and September. A total of 175 weed species were determined during both study periods with Asteraceae and Poaceae families as the most abundant. Altogether, therophytes were dominant in both surveys, followed by hemycryptophytes and geophytes. Variations in species composition were visible in both study periods (2005 and 2017) as well as in the selected habitat types. Exclusive species were found in addition to those that were common for both surveys. Changes in species composition between 2005 and 2017 referred to the difference in row spacing in earlier period, and ruderal vs. agricultural habitats in the recent survey. The differences in phenological traits between the past and present surveys were greatest for germination season in permanent crops and row crops, flowering start for permanent crops, flowering period for ruderal area and weed height for permanent crops. Significant differences between the past and present survey for other plant traits did not occur.

Open access
Human impact of septic tank effluent on groundwater quality in the rural area of Ain Soltane (Ain Defla), Algieria

Abstract

The impact of individual septic tank effluent on groundwater quality was investigated in the rural area of the Ain Soltane municipality in Algeria. This area has an important number of individual septic tanks, and it is devoid of a drinking water supply and sewerage systems. The septic tank is a pre-treatment solution of sewage by bacteria living without oxygen (anaerobic). The alluvial aquifer in this area is covered by a layer of good permeability on the surface, which can pollute groundwater by vertical transport of pollutants through the soil, including microbial contamination. Groundwater samples were collected from 33 wells in the dry period of 2016. The monitoring of groundwater quality has shown a significant degree of organic and inorganic pollution in the majority of wells, with very high concentrations of sulphate and chloride exceeding 450 mg/l and 250 mg/l respectively. The analyzes also show the presence of bacterial germs in the groundwater of which the origin is faecal (faecal coliform densities are above 10 organisms per 100 ml, and the Total Streptococcus is more than 240 colonies per 100 ml). Monitoring confirms the contamination of these wells from septic tanks and that it was moving into groundwater, which makes it unfit for drinking due to the pathogenic germs. This poses a major problem for public health. This study has identified the effects of septic tank effluent on groundwater quality in this area.

Open access