Response and Simulation of Vegetation in Desert Scenic Spot to Tourists’ Trampling Disturbance

Chenhao XUE, Longtang LI, Jie REN


A large number of tourists had a devastating effect to the scenic area. Shapotou and Huangshagudu scenic spots in Ningxia were selected as the research areas. The fait accompli method was used to investigate the response of footpath in the above scenic spots to tourists’ stampede interference. Three different angles and different vegetation types of quadrats were set up to simulate tourists’ stampede mode and observe the vegetation recovery after stampede. The results showed that: (1) The tourist trampling disturbance mainly were limited 0-4 meters distance from the tourist trails, but there was difference for different tourist trails. (2) The index of land cover impact (ILCI) of the investigating sections indicated the 1 meter distance from tourist trail is seriously disturbed; Because of the palisade on both sides of the plank road, the average value of ILCI in north of Shapotou (investigating section 4) is less than 44.9%.(3)With the increase of tourist activity,the coverage of vegetation decline, the height of plant reduce, the quantity and kinds decrease,soil crust fragmentation increase.(4)Because of different angle of sand dune, the impact of tourist activity to vegetation and soil is different.Vegetation and biological crust of sample C which is the biggest angle suffer from the devastation.(5)Based on limits of acceptable change (LAC) visitor questionnaires, the limit of acceptable change in ground coverage was 16.4%. The vegetation coverage should be below this level at desert scenic spots. It shows that there is natural incompatible relationship between tourist demand to the empty and desolate desert and desert ecological management. The results also indicated that the current tourism disturbance had some negative effect on the tourist experience and ecosystem.



Desert scenic spot; Trampling disturbance; Response; Simulation

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