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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020220

The Impact of Tourist Traffic on the Condition and Cell Structures of Alpine Swards

1
Department of Geoinformatics, Cartography and Remote Sensing, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw, Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland
2
Pixalytics Ltd., 1 Davy Road, Plymouth Science Park, Derriford, Plymouth, Devon PL6 8BX, UK
3
Department of Molecular Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Miecznikowa 1, 02-096 Warsaw, Poland
4
Tatra National Park, Kuźnice 1, 34-500 Zakopane, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress and Developments in Imaging Spectroscopy)
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Abstract

This research focuses on the effect of trampling on vegetation in high-mountain ecosystems through the electromagnetic spectrum’s interaction with plant pigments, cell structure, water content and other substances that have a direct impact on leaf properties. The aim of the study was to confirm with the use of fluorescence methods of variability in the state of high-mountain vegetation previously measured spectrometrically. The most heavily visited part of the High Tatras in Poland was divided into polygons and, after selecting the dominant species within alpine swards, a detailed analysis of trampled and reference patterns was performed. The Analytical Spectral Devices (ASD) FieldSpec 3/4 were used to acquire high-resolution spectral properties of plants, their fluorescence and the leaf chlorophyll content with the difference between the plant surface temperature (ts), and the air temperature (ta) as well as fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (fAPAR) used as reference data. The results show that, along tourist trails, vegetation adapts to trampling with the impact depending on the species. A lower chlorophyll value was confirmed by a decrease in fluorescence, and the cellular structures were degraded in trampled compared to reference species, with a lower leaf reflectance. In addition, at the extreme, trampling can eliminate certain species such as Luzula alpino-pilosa, for which significant changes were noted due to trampling. View Full-Text
Keywords: High Tatras; trampling; spectroscopy; vegetation indices; fluorescence; Juncus trifidus; Agrostis rupestris; Luzula alpino-pilosa; Oreochloa disticha; Festuca picta High Tatras; trampling; spectroscopy; vegetation indices; fluorescence; Juncus trifidus; Agrostis rupestris; Luzula alpino-pilosa; Oreochloa disticha; Festuca picta
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Kycko, M.; Zagajewski, B.; Lavender, S.; Romanowska, E.; Zwijacz-Kozica, M. The Impact of Tourist Traffic on the Condition and Cell Structures of Alpine Swards. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 220.

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