Coastal dune ecosystems are increasingly threatened by the mass tourism phenomenon. Intense concentration of human activities and mass tourism are leading to coastal dune loss and fragmentation. Besides the loss and fragmentation of coastal dunes, mass tourism has considerably affected remnant natural areas. To prevent degradation of remnant natural areas, it is mandatory to understand whether, and under what conditions, tourism can be allowed. In the present study I addressed the problem by evaluating the impact of tourism on the structure and resilience of pollination networks in coastal dune ecosystems freely accessible to tourists. Pollination networks represent ecological community structure and depict interactions among species, providing the opportunity for a holistic assessment of ecosystem structure and functioning. I conducted the study on coastal dune sites of the North Adriatic coast, with different levels of touristic pressure. I recorded pollination interactions together with descriptors of human disturbance along sea-inland transects. A moderate level of human disturbance was positively related to the richness of animal-pollinated plant and pollinator species. Besides species richness, the resilience of pollination networks was also highest at moderate disturbance. By assessing the impact of human disturbance on coastal dune ecosystems from the perspective of pollination interactions, evidence arises that moderate disturbance and long-term conservation of pollination networks of coastal dunes can co-exist. However, to achieve this goal, tourism should be regulated, and visitor access to coastal sites managed, so as to prevent intense human disturbance from compromising both the structure and function of coastal dune ecosystems.

The impact of (mass) tourism on coastal dune pollination networks

Fantinato E.
2019

Abstract

Coastal dune ecosystems are increasingly threatened by the mass tourism phenomenon. Intense concentration of human activities and mass tourism are leading to coastal dune loss and fragmentation. Besides the loss and fragmentation of coastal dunes, mass tourism has considerably affected remnant natural areas. To prevent degradation of remnant natural areas, it is mandatory to understand whether, and under what conditions, tourism can be allowed. In the present study I addressed the problem by evaluating the impact of tourism on the structure and resilience of pollination networks in coastal dune ecosystems freely accessible to tourists. Pollination networks represent ecological community structure and depict interactions among species, providing the opportunity for a holistic assessment of ecosystem structure and functioning. I conducted the study on coastal dune sites of the North Adriatic coast, with different levels of touristic pressure. I recorded pollination interactions together with descriptors of human disturbance along sea-inland transects. A moderate level of human disturbance was positively related to the richness of animal-pollinated plant and pollinator species. Besides species richness, the resilience of pollination networks was also highest at moderate disturbance. By assessing the impact of human disturbance on coastal dune ecosystems from the perspective of pollination interactions, evidence arises that moderate disturbance and long-term conservation of pollination networks of coastal dunes can co-exist. However, to achieve this goal, tourism should be regulated, and visitor access to coastal sites managed, so as to prevent intense human disturbance from compromising both the structure and function of coastal dune ecosystems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3746606
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