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Title: The ecological effects of public pressure on picnic sites
Author: Leney, Fiona M.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3608 0856
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1975
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The aims of the project were to study the effects of public pressure on the soil, fauna and flora of picnic sites which had developed in a variety of semi-natural habitats, so that conclusions could be drawn regarding the effects of trampling on sites in general and variations in the reactions of different habitats noted. Public pressure was quantified using a simple mapping technique and correlations between the level of trampling and the vegetation, soil and fauna of each habitat were established. A more detailed examination was made of the response of the vegetation to treading. Experiments with an artificial trampling machine on greenhouse grown plants produced interesting but unexpected results. The damage caused by deliberate treading on a previously untrampled site depended on the manner and timing of the treading, and on the original plant community. Experiments on the sites charted the floristic changes when public pressure was reduced or removed. It was found that compaction of the surface soil affected the entire profile. Animals on picnic sites responded directly to the presence of visitors and indirectly to changes in the vegetation induced by trampling. Pliable plants which can regenerate rapidly were found to be most resistant to public pressure. These species (usually Gramineae or Cyperaceae) invaded trampled areas when the original flora was damaged by treading. The same resistant species were found on trampled areas over wide climatic, edaphic and geographical ranges. They could be encouraged on amenity sites by cultivation, so that a more resistant sward could be produced, but only so long as this degree of artificiality is acceptable on the site.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ecology