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Regular version of the site

Article

RECREATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY OF BOG PLANT COMMUNITIES IN POLISTOVSKY STATE NATURE RESERVE (RUSSIA)

Nature conservation research. Zapovednaâ nauka. 2019. Vol. 4. No. 4. P. 73-80.
Королькова Е. О., Миронова А. В.

The definition of recreational sustainability in bogs is becoming an urgent task in Russia as a result of ecological tourism developed in Protected Areas. In this study, we assessed the impact of recreational nature management on wetland plant communities of the Plavnitskoye Boloto ecological path in the Polistovsky State Nature Reserve solving the following tasks: 1) to determine the threshold of permissible anthropogenic impact on wetland sites with different types of plant communities; 2) to evaluate the recovery of vegetation cover; 3) to determine the relative tolerance of bog plant communities to trampling. Modelling of the direct anthropogenic impact on bog plant communities with different load values has made it possible to assess the damage on the vegetation cover visually and to reveal their resistance and ability to subsequent recover. We demonstrated that the Phragmites-Sphagnum community (Phragmites australis + Eriophorum vaginatum - Sphagnum fallax + Sphagnum angustifolium) was the least resistant to trampling, while the shrub-Carex-Sphagnum plant community (Chamaedaphne calyculata + Oxycoccus palustris + Menyanthes trifoliata + Eriophorum vaginatum - Sphagnum fallax) was the most resistant. After the removal of anthropogenic load on the studied sites, the damaged vegetation cover recovered to different degrees. In the first year, the plant communities of the shrub-Carex-Sphagnum bog had the fastest recovery, where relatively hygrophilous species of Sphagnum mosses predominate under mesotrophic conditions and a higher level of groundwater. The Eriophorum-Sphagnum community (Pinus sylvestris (f. willkomii) - Andromeda polifolia + Oxycoccus palustris + Eriophorum vaginatum + Rhynchospora alba - Sphagnum magellanicum) had the best long-term resilience for three years, and, as a result, it turned out to be the most tolerant to trampling. In some parts of the Phragmites-Sphagnum mesotrophic bog, the original plant community did not recover after three study years. Thus, this type of bog is the most vulnerable to recreational impact.