This study was focused on identifying the impact of a ski piste on snow conditions, soil temperature, as well as phenological development and growth of Athyrium distentifolium, and examining differences in species composition between the ski piste and the natural environment. Longer snow-cover period and deeper snow were observed on the ski piste than in the natural surroundings. Lower soil temperature was found on the ski piste during the peak winter period and at the beginning of the growing period. Different environmental conditions on the ski piste caused a delay and shortening of the phenological development of A. distentifolium in the late spring. Individuals of that plant caught up the initial delay in phenological development within 36 days after the beginning of measurement. However, plants only grew to lower height on ski piste as compared with plants in control plots. Even relatively small differences in the time of snow melt and soil temperature development in stands examined on the ski piste resulted in significant changes in the species composition of the studied vegetation towards subalpine tall grasslands.
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Vol. 47 • No. 4