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1 February 2017 Assessment of Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Analyzing the Impact of Human Trampling on Alpine Swards
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Abstract

Tourist traffic has been observed to cause changes in vegetation cover, particularly in alpine areas. These changes can be monitored using remote-sensing methods. This paper presents an analysis of the condition of the dominant sward species surrounding the most frequented alpine tourist trails in the Tatra National Park, one of the most visited natural mountain parks in Poland and a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. Hyperspectral measurements of interactions between the electromagnetic spectrum and the morphology and physiology of plants were presented. The spectral properties of plants and remote-sensing vegetation indices could be used at a later date for monitoring, for example from the air. The results identified the species' sensitivity and resistance to trampling and allowed an assessment of their physiological condition. Differences were observed in the conditions of trampled and control plants. The alpine swards in the Tatra National Park were assessed as being in good condition, with only small areas located close to the most popular trails showing damage. The proposed method for analyzing the condition of alpine swards could be a useful tool for the future management of protected areas.

© 2017. Kycko et al. This open access article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Please credit the authors and the full source.
Marlena Kycko, Bogdan Zagajewski, Magdalena Zwijacz-Kozica, Jerzy Cierniewski, Elżbieta Romanowska, Karolina Orłowska, Adrian Ochtyra, and Anna Jarocińska "Assessment of Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Analyzing the Impact of Human Trampling on Alpine Swards," Mountain Research and Development 37(1), 66-74, (1 February 2017). https://doi.org/10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-15-00050.1
Received: 1 June 2016; Accepted: 1 November 2016; Published: 1 February 2017
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