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A hybrid method for citizen science monitoring of recreational trampling in urban remnants: A case study from Perth, Western Australia

Simpson, G.D., Parker, J., Gibbens, E. and Ladd, P.G.ORCID: 0000-0002-7730-9685 (2020) A hybrid method for citizen science monitoring of recreational trampling in urban remnants: A case study from Perth, Western Australia. Urban Science, 4 (4). Article 72.

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Vegetation trampling that arises from off-trail excursions by people walking for recreation can negatively impact the structure of understory plants in natural spaces that are an essential element of urban green infrastructure in a modern city. In addition to reducing the esthetic quality and environmental values of urban remnant and replanted native vegetation, such trampling reduces the habitat that supports wildlife populations within the urban fabric. This case study draws upon several disparate methods for measuring vegetation structure and trampling impacts to produce a hybrid method that community-based citizen scientists (and land managers and other researchers) could use to simply, rapidly, and reproducibly monitor how trampling associated with urban recreation trails impacts the structure of understory vegetation. Applying the novel hybrid method provided evidence that trampling had reduced the vegetation structure adjacent to a recreational walking trail in an urban woodland remnant in Perth, Western Australia. The hybrid method also detected ecological variability at the local ecosystem-scale at a second similar woodland remnant in Perth. The hybrid sampling method utilized in this case study provides an effective, efficient, and reproducible data collection method that can be applied to recreation ecology research into aspects of trampling associated with trail infrastructure.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Copyright: © 2020 by the authors
United Nations SDGs: Goal 15: Life on Land
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