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Transforming Pinus pinaster forest to recreation site: preliminary effects on LAI, some forest floor, and soil properties

Transforming Pinus pinaster forest to recreation site: preliminary effects on LAI, some forest floor, and soil properties

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 186(4): 2563-2572

This study investigates the effects of forest transformation into recreation site. A fragment of a Pinus pinaster plantation forest was transferred to a recreation site in the city of Bartın located close to the Black Sea coast of northwestern Turkey. During the transformation, some of the trees were selectively removed from the forest to generate more open spaces for the recreationists. As a result, Leaf Area Index (LAI) decreased by 0.20 (about 11%). Additionally, roads and pathways were introduced into the site together with some recreational equipment sealing parts of the soil surface. Consequently, forest environment was altered with a semi-natural landscape within the recreation site. The purpose of this study is to assess the effects of forest transformation into recreation site particularly in terms of the LAI parameter, forest floor, and soil properties. Preliminary monitoring results indicate that forest floor biomass is reduced by 26% in the recreation site compared to the control site. Soil temperature is increased by 15% in the recreation site where selective removal of trees expanded the gaps allowing more light transmission. On the other hand, the soil bulk density which is an indicator of soil compaction is unexpectedly slightly lower in the recreation site. Organic carbon (C(org)) and total nitrogen (N(total)) together with the other physical and chemical parameter values indicate that forest floor and soil have not been exposed to much disturbance. However, subsequent removal of trees that would threaten the vegetation, forest floor, and soil should not be allowed. The activities of the recreationists are to be concentrated on the paved spaces rather than soil surfaces. Furthermore, long-term monitoring and management is necessary for both the observation and conservation of the site.

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Accession: 056643049

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PMID: 24306444

DOI: 10.1007/s10661-013-3560-1

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