Plant diversity in hiking trails crossing Natura 2000 areas in the Azores: implications for tourism and nature conservation.
  • 【摘要】

    The Azores Archipelago, located in the North Atlantic Ocean, with an extensive hiking trail system is a promising destination for nature tourism. Hiking is becoming an important touristic attraction, ... 展开>>The Azores Archipelago, located in the North Atlantic Ocean, with an extensive hiking trail system is a promising destination for nature tourism. Hiking is becoming an important touristic attraction, but negative impacts may arise on trails. We aim to evaluate plant biodiversity along eight hiking trails located inside Special Areas of Conservation in two islands with different levels of population density and touristic activity (Sao Miguel and Flores). Along each trail, 3 plots of 5x5 m were used to evaluate the vegetation at every 500 m. Effects of distance to the trail border, altitude, trail, and island, were evaluated by: (i) diversity measures; (ii) floristic composition (different life forms; different biogeographic/conservation status); and (iii) identifying indicator species. Bayesian models run in WinBUGS and the R package "Indicspecies" were used. In total, 111 plant taxa were found, with: (i) highest species richness and diversity in the plots closer to the trail; (ii) highest evenness at the lowest altitude class; (iii) a reduction in the proportion of introduced species with increasing altitude; (iv) a variation in life forms' composition between and within trails (with the altitude); and (v) the presence of indicator species associated to one altitude, one trail, or one island. The results showed a slight impact on vegetation from the presence of the trails, although with no major changes in the community composition. Presently, factors like the type of land use in areas surrounding the trails may have a deeper effect on plant biodiversity than trail use by visitors. 收起<<

  • 【作者】

    Queiroz, R. E.  Ventura, M. A.  Silva, L. 

  • 【刊期】

    Biodiversity and Conservation SCI 2014年6期

  • 【语种】

    eng