Assessing Informal Trails Impacts and Fragmentation Effects on Protected Areas using Volunteered Geographic Information

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

22 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Informal trails represent an important visitor-related impact on the natural resources of recreational and protected areas by compacting soil, changing vegetation composition, moving wildlife, altering the hydrological cycle, and fragmenting landscapes. This paper develops an approach to assess the extent of the informal trails network and their trail-based impacts in a protected area within the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal. A total of 28.911,254 km of Volunteered Geographic Information tracks were collected from a fitness and travel web platform. Spatial analysis was performed to assess the extent of the informal infrastructure, and landscape metrics were used to understand the diversity of trail-based fragmentation across the area. A total of 669,6 km were mapped as potential informal trails, hiking being the most popular activity using this infrastructure. Approximately 58% of higher protection areas have been fragmented by informal trails development, representing a loss in the size and integrity of endangered habitat. The proposed approach allowed to produce a significant coverage of information about the levels of impact from informal trails at the landscape scale using a minimal amount of resources. Further work is recommended to validate results at the local scale using onsite trail-based assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management
Subtitle of host publicationGISTAM 2022
EditorsCédric Grueau, Lemonia Ragia
PublisherSciTePress - Science and Technology Publications
Pages48-55
Number of pages8
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-758-571-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022
Event8th International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management (GISTAM 2022) - Online Streaming
Duration: 27 Apr 202229 Apr 2022
Conference number: 8th
https://gistam.scitevents.org

Conference

Conference8th International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management (GISTAM 2022)
Abbreviated titleGISTAM 2022
Period27/04/2229/04/22
Internet address

Keywords

  • Recreation Ecology
  • Informal Trail
  • Landscape Fragmentation
  • Recreation Impacts
  • Volunteered Geographic Information

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing Informal Trails Impacts and Fragmentation Effects on Protected Areas using Volunteered Geographic Information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this