A comparison of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trail impacts in boreal forest, heath and bog habitats within the Avalon Wilderness Reserve and surrounding area

Van Vierssen Trip, Nyssa (2014) A comparison of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trail impacts in boreal forest, heath and bog habitats within the Avalon Wilderness Reserve and surrounding area. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Recreational trails are a source of anthropogenic disturbance in nature reserves and other low human impact areas. Effective management must balance the desire of recreationists to use these natural areas with the need to maintain the ecological integrity of these areas. Low productivity environments may be particularly susceptible due to low resilience to recreational impacts. My study examined 28 all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trails within the Avalon Wilderness Reserve and the adjacent surrounding area in Newfoundland, Canada. My research showed that different habitat types (boreal forest, heaths and bogs) differ in resistance and resilience to both direct on-trail erosion and indirect off-trail vegetation impacts of ATV trails. Dry forested sites were more resistant to direct on-trail erosion but less resistant to indirect off-trail vegetation disturbance. Heath sites were less resistant to direct on-trail erosion but highly resistant to indirect off-trail disturbance. Bogs sites had low resistance to both direct and indirect trail disturbance. There have been limited studies on ATV trail impacts in boreal environments, and these findings provide guidance for managers in Newfoundland and Labrador to manage recreational vehicle use.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6320
Item ID: 6320
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 88-102).
Keywords: Recreation Ecology, All-Terrain Vehicle, Off-Highway Vehicle, Off-Road Vehicle, Heath, Bog, Boreal Forest
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: May 2014
Date Type: Submission

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