Tatra National Park is considered as the most visited protected area in Slovakia. Striking a balance between the preservation of natural resources and opportunities for public recreation often forces responsible authorities to make compromises between visitation impacts and protection. In this case, the microbial investigation of recreation effects on water and soil in the Tatra National Park were studied.
The study areas were two valleys – Malá Studená, accessible by trail from south with higher human impact and visitation, including mountain huts Téryho and Zamkovského chata and Javorová, accessible from the northern part with a low number of visitors. Soil samples were taken from the main path, 30 cm away from it and water samples from or near the main path in both valleys. The selected colonies, after the cultivation on TSA medium were also analysed according to the dry and semi-extraction procedure of MALDI–TOF method. Most of the obtained strains are endospore forming, psychrotolerant species like Pseudomonas, Bacillus or Paenibacillus away of path, which corresponds with the climate and geographical conditions. But, the relatedness of soil sample strains in both valleys increases with rising altitude, with distance away from path; in contrast, the relatedness of water samples strains in both valleys increases with increasing distance sample areas from chalet and frequent visitors’ places. Water and soil samples were processed for community level physiological profiling using Biolog EcoPlates. The obtained results of carbon source utilization abilities of bacterial communities in both valleys suggested lower diversity in Javorová Valley, which corresponds probably with less visitor intensity, with less anthropogenic impact as well as with less risk of xenobiotics presence in environment.