Experimental and comparative research on the effects of trampling on vegetation and soil in different plant communities


Over the past few decades there has been a policy in Flanders of opening up natural reserves and forests as much as possible for public use. This as a result of the growing demand for outdoor recreation areas. However, concerns have grown about the adverse impacts associated with outdoor recreation. It is not as obvious to find optimal balances between the competing goals of nature conservation and recreational use. Therefore experimental and other research is necessary. This proposal focusses on the impact of human trampling on vegetation and soil. On the basis of field experiments and comparative descriptions more attention will be given to this specific topic. The first objective is evaluating the short- (experimental part) and long-term (descriptive part) effects of various trampling intensities on a variety of vegetation types based on the analysis of variables such as vegetation cover and height. Secondly, quantitative models will be generated for the dif ferent plant vegetation types, approximating the relationship between vegetation cover after trampling and trampling intensity. The third objective is evaluating the resistance of the different plant communities to trampling, resulting in concrete information necessary for field management.


trampling, Ecology, Heathland, moorland and tundra, Forests, Cultivated and artificial habitats, Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, Human Dimensions, W-Europe, Central Belgium


Belgium {Geographical scope}
Agricultural {Habitat type}
Dry and Sub-humid Lands {Habitat type}
Forest {Habitat type}


Name Role Start End
Department of Land Management and Economics unknown

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:biodiv

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform