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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

The impacts of ski slopes on biotic and hydrological function of soils and development of models of multifunctional sustainable use of the area at the upper timberline on Krvavec

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.01.00  Biotechnical sciences  Forestry, wood and paper technology   

Code Science Field
B430  Biomedical sciences  Sylviculture, forestry, forestry technology 
Keywords
The impacts of ski slopes on biotic and hydrological function of soils and development of models of multifunctional sustainable use of the area at the upper timberline on Krvavec
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (24)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  29875  Marko Bajc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2009 - 2011  273 
2.  28856  PhD Gabrielle I. Deckmyn  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  48 
3.  24416  PhD Klemen Eler  Biology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  281 
4.  15492  PhD Andreja Ferreira  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  193 
5.  21242  PhD Tine Grebenc  Plant production  Researcher  2008 - 2011  456 
6.  06470  PhD David Hladnik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  249 
7.  28855  Melita Hrenko    Technician  2010 - 2011 
8.  17332  Jana Janša    Technician  2010 - 2011 
9.  07948  PhD Dušan Jurc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2009  669 
10.  27605  PhD Milan Kobal  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Junior researcher  2008 - 2011  338 
11.  05093  PhD Marko Kovač  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2009  350 
12.  07127  PhD Hojka Kraigher  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Principal Researcher  2008 - 2011  1,297 
13.  19721  PhD Gal Kušar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  154 
14.  15108  PhD Lado Kutnar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  767 
15.  29237  PhD Boštjan Mali  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Junior researcher  2008 - 2011  172 
16.  10024  PhD Marina Pintar  Plant production  Researcher  2008 - 2011  810 
17.  11619  MSc Robert Robek  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  292 
18.  10264  PhD Primož Simončič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  680 
19.  27789  Iztok Sinjur    Technician  2009 - 2011  290 
20.  32771  PhD Ines Štraus  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2010  51 
21.  02492  Mihej Urbančič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2009  252 
22.  28224  PhD Andrej Verlič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2010 - 2011  132 
23.  22592  PhD Urša Vilhar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  398 
24.  21137  Daniel Žlindra  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  159 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  11,761 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,117 
Abstract
High montane/alpine ski slopes influence the soil ecosystem and ground vegetation. Although the importance of these impacts were recognized long ago, no research in this field has been done in Slovenia so far. Our study will concentrate on the ski area Krvavec, which is among the most frequented ski areas in Slovenia. In the winter season skiing, snow compaction and artificial snow production are the most important factors, while in the summer time the area is used for cattle grazing, mountain tourism and melioration of ski slopes. Our primary research activities will include studies of the soil, vegetation and landscape, through the analyses of soil water solution, quantitative samples, stability of the soil aggregates, soil humidity. Roots and mycorrhiza will be studied in the sampled soil cores. Vegetation will be studied as a complex bioindicator of the state of the environment. Principal vegetaiton gradients, ratios between plant species and other organisms (such as mycorrhizal fungi) and other environmental parameters (soil condition, humidity, erosion etc.) will be analysed. Vegetation mapping will be done three times in a vegetation season, from which biodiversity indices will be calculated (Shannon, Simpson). Several soil and vegetation strata (4-5) will be chosen depending on the land-use impacts, within which small sampling plots (2x2 m) will be marked. Also land-use history will be studied, based on stereophotogrammetrical interpretation of aerial photographs with stereoplotter DAPI, from different periods in the past 60 years. Spatial development models of the ski area will be proposed according to different environmental impact assessment scenarios.
Significance for science
Our research has contributed to knowledge about dynamics of soil water changes in sensitive environments of high mountain ski resorts in ecosystems at the upper forest border. Good water status is essential for vegetation development, which has also erosion control function on high mountain ski resorts and it impacts to entire hydrological cycle. On the basis of phytocenological mapping and quantification we got the first insight into composition and structure of plant associations within the Krvavec ski resort area. Vegetation is one of the basic components of ecosystems. It plays an important role in water and nutrient cycling, and strongly interacts with other biotic components. The vegetation is a useful bioindicator of environmental state and changes. With vegetation analysis we contribute to findings about conservation stage, degradation of different sites or ecosystems on the ski slopes. We have for the first time in Slovenia identified ectomycorrhizal fungi on roots of Dryas octopetala, and furthermore, identified also a range of other endosymbiotic fungi, new for this plant species. Studies of impacts of ski resorts on natural ecosystems at the upper forest border are not only uncommon in Slovenia but also elsewhere in the world. Ski slopes and skiing related activities may largely affect soil structure, water status and plant growth. Plants especially are particularly important in view of soil protection. Land use change for the purpose of skiing or grazing can cause repercussions of increased erosion and soil water quality. The study considers the impacts of different ski slope construction on natural ecosystems. Furthermore, in our study on soil and vegetation, we have shown that with increasing soil disturbance the ground water regime, soil stability, species diversity and number of plants is worsen or reduced. Correlations between the stability of soil aggregates and the studied soil parameters have shown that texture and pH have a greater impact than below ground biomass of vegetation. This is a new contribution to the understanding of processes in the soil, particularly regarding factors influencing soil aggregate formation in degraded mountain ecosystems, where such studies are still very rare. We assume that an improved water status in the most degraded slope was due to fencing the plot which has disabled grazing and allowed an increased accumulation of soil organic matter. Soil water chemistry has shown relatively normal levels of nitrate and nitrite, thus contributing to the understanding of the impact of grazing on soil water quality. On the basis of detailed vegetation survey, we found a greater diversity of plant species in the preserved areas in comparison with the constructed slopes. The removal of bushes at pasture areas may indirectly affect an increased species diversity. Our results contribute to the assessment of formation of various ski slopes and on the state of conservation of vegetation on grazing land.
Significance for the country
Our study contributes to a comprehensive discussion on ski slope impacts not only on soil and vegetation but also on water quality. The uphill water quality is of special importance for the evaluation of a watershed, under which several capturings of drinking water exist for the water supply of the region. One part of the studied ski resort also belongs to a water protection area. However, till now the study did not show increasing nitrate concentrations, which could potentially influence water quality in this part of region. Soil water in vulnerable areas of ski resorts impacts a lot to some other factors (e.g. vegetation) and indirectly shapes boundary conditions for management of the area outside the skiing season. With the root and mycorrhizal diversity of a local dwarf shrub species Dryas octopetala, we contribute to the development of biotechnical methods for revegetation of the erosionendangered areas. Soil protection against erosion and land overexploitation is the preferential task of Slovenia and EU according to the existing environmental strategies. Results of a survey and analysis of opinions of visitors and local pastoral community members based on questionnaire analyses from 2009 are presented and discussed as an important source of information for landscape management planning.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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