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This paper addresses the role of soil erosion and mass movements on mountainous trails due to human trampling on steep slopes. This is the case of several trails situated on forested areas in SouthEast Brazil, even those located in protected areas. Two methods were used to achieve the research objectives. Firstly, analyses of microtopography using erosion bridges, which was monitored four times on Caixa D'Aço natural pool trails in Serra da Bocaina National Park. Secondly, disturbed and undisturbed soil samples were collected at 0-10 cm depth at four sites on Água Branca trail in Serra do Mar State Park. Using this methodology, we assessed soil degradation in two different humid tropical environments. Generally, trampling combined with deficient trail management, play important roles in degrading soils in both areas. Bioengineering techniques should be used to recuperate these trails, which are used by tourists and local residents. We hope this research work may contribute towards improved management in Brazilian protected areas.
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Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56; doi:10.3390/soilsystems3030056
Soil Erosion and Land Degradation on Trail Systems
in Mountainous Areas: Two Case Studies from
South-East Brazil
Luana Rangel
*, Maria do Carmo Jorge
, Antonio Guerra
and Michael Fullen
Department of Geography, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-909, Brazil
Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, UK
* Correspondence:
Received: 5 June 2019; Accepted: 22 August 2019; Published: 25 August 2019
Abstract: This paper addresses the role of soil erosion and mass movements on mountainous trails
due to human trampling on steep slopes. This is the case of several trails situated on forested areas
in South-East Brazil, even those located in protected areas. Two methods were used to achieve the
research objectives. Firstly, analyses of microtopography using erosion bridges, which was
monitored four times on Caixa D’Aço natural pool trails in Serra da Bocaina National Park. Secondly,
disturbed and undisturbed soil samples were collected at 0–10 cm depth at four sites on Água Branca
trail in Serra do Mar State Park. Using this methodology, we assessed soil degradation in two
different humid tropical environments. Generally, trampling combined with deficient trail
management, play important roles in degrading soils in both areas. Bioengineering techniques
should be used to recuperate these trails, which are used by tourists and local residents. We hope
this research work may contribute towards improved management in Brazilian protected areas.
Keywords: soil conservation; land conservation; soil erosion; trails; protected areas
1. Introduction
Land degradation occurs globally, being more dramatic in tropical areas, where erosive rainfall
regimes often cause severe soil erosion [1–5]. Forms of land degradation include mass movements,
soil erosion, acidification, salinization and desertification.
Climate change plays important roles in these degradation processes, especially in tropical
countries, where soil degradation exacerbates environmental and social problems [2,3,5–7]. Land
degradation “has emerged as a serious problem during the last few decades, consequently, soil fertility has
declined considerably in many parts of the world due to intensive agriculture, over-grazing, water pollution,
increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides, salinization, deforestation and accumulation of non-biodegradable
waste” [8].
The total land area of the Earth is estimated at 148,940,000 km
, with arable land forming an
estimated 13,958,000 km
. Therefore, arable land constitutes <10% of the land area of the Earth [9]
Total agricultural area has been estimated at 4.889 billion hectares, consisting of arable land (28%),
permanent crops (3%) and meadows and pastures (69%) FAO [9].
Soil erosion and land degradation destroy much of the environment, thus damaging both biotic
and social systems. Trails are one of the landscape components affected by land degradation. These
are used both by local residents and by tourists, especially where geotourism is being adopted. This
economic activity, if not well managed, may cause serious problems affecting both the trails and their
environments. Therefore, this study addresses soil erosion and land degradation, in Paraty
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 2 of 14
Municipality (Rio de Janeiro State) and Ubatuba Municipality (São Paulo State), considering trails
compacted by trampling by both tourists and residents [10].
Trails are integral components of cultural landscapes and have long been used as
communication corridors. In recent decades, geotourism has increased in importance [10–13]. Trails
have multiple functions, including accessing natural environments, nature contemplation, recreation
and sporting activities [14–18].
Trampling can degrade trails [17–19] and trail mismanagement can exacerbate land degradation
(i.e., decreased soil quality and capacity as an environmental regulator [20–23]. Many studies have
investigated soil degradation on trails. Trampling may cause physical degradation, including soil
compaction and erosion, chemical and biological depletion, with associated losses of nutrients and
soil organic matter (SOM) and decreased soil faunal activity [14–16,19,24–26].
It is important that land planners assess the impacts of trampling on trails, to inform the
development of appropriate management strategies [14]. Several authors [23–25] identified
environmental changes associated with trails, including soil compaction, vegetation removal,
modification of existing drainage patterns by topsoil removal and the modification of
microtopography. In turn, these changes influence the microclimate. In addition, erosive processes
can often be observed on trails, including splash erosion, rill erosion and even gullies. These erosive
processes can also impair the quality of user experience and increase the risks of accidents.
Studies on the impact of trampling on trails are essential for soil quality analysis, especially in
protected areas (PAs). It is important that these areas are properly managed, in order to conserve
forest systems. We investigated two trails in PAs that form ecological corridors and receive intense
and regular use.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Study Area
Two PAs were selected from the ‘Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve’, which is the first Brazilian
unit within the ‘World Biosphere Reserves Network’. It is the largest forest biosphere reserve in the
world. The main objectives are the conservation of the biome through implementation of a
continuous ecological corridor of coastal Atlantic Forest, linking existing forest [13].
The PAs are also part of the ‘Serra do Mar Biodiversity Corridor.’ The two PAs are situated in an
area of great touristic area appeal, especially for coastal attractions and waterfalls. They have two
different administrations, one Federal (Serra da Bocaina National Park (SBNP)), located in Rio de Janeiro
State and another (Serra do Mar State Park (SMSP)), located in São Paulo State (Figure 1).
It is important to assess soil degradation on trails and adjacent areas to inform planning and
management in PAs. Therefore, this research evaluates soil quality on two trails, SBNP and SMSP.
Investigations assessed the trampling impacts caused by visitors. The information was submitted in
to the Administrations of both PAs, to assist in decision-making processes regarding land
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 3 of 14
Figure 1. Study area. Organized by Maria Jorge.
2.1.1. Serra da Bocaina National Park
SBNP is composed of granites and gneisses [27,28] and the park coast forms part of a ‘scarp
border’ relief unit, with local slopes >27° [29]. Local soils have clayey to silty textures, corresponding
to associations of Inceptisols, with moderately developed to prominent A horizons [30]. Coastal
vegetation is mainly secondary dense forest, at medium to advanced stages of recovery [30–32].
In the Köppen climatic classification system, SBNP is characterized by a humid tropical climate.
Annual rainfall is 2200 mm, with mean values of 1700 mm [30,31]. Local climate is influenced by
relief compartmentalization and topography, which cause variable spatial-temporal precipitation
and temperature patterns.
Trindade village, where the studied trails are located, is within the Serra da Bocaina National Park
boundaries and is a major tourist destination [31,32]. In addition, due to the aesthetic quality of the
tourist attractions, several trails are intensively used by tourists, particularly the two that give access
to Caixa D’Aço natural pool. This is the trail from Meio beach to Caixa D’Aço beach (MCB), which is
~190 m long, and the trail from Caixa D’Aço beach to Caixa D’Aço natural pool (CNP), which is ~465
m long (Figure 2). The expansion of tourism has caused several land degradation processes, including
erosion, landslides and vegetation degradation. Although there is no official record of the number of
visitors using the SBNP trails, managers estimated that during the 2018 local carnival, ~10,000 visitors
used the trails.
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 4 of 14
Figure 2. Elevation profile, location of ‘erosion bridges’ and division of MCB (a) and CNP (b) trails
into sections based on topography. Adapted by L. Rangel from Google Earth. Image Source: Digital
2.1.2. Serra do Mar State Park
Serra do Mar State Park is composed of granites and gneisses, which overlie the Proterozoic-
Eopaleozoic and Mesozoic crystalline basement. Cenozoic sediments are distributed throughout the
coastal plain [33]. The main soil type is Inceptisols, with substantial areas of Oxisols, Entisols and
Histosols. The Inceptisols are associated with hilly to mountainous relief and the fluvial plains.
Entisols mainly occur on the steep slopes of the Serra do Mar mountain range [34].
The Köppen climatic classification is tropical maritime, being warm and humid, with a mean
annual temperature of 19 °C. Maximum annual rainfall is ~4000 mm, with a mean of ~2500 mm
[35,36]. These high rainfall amounts are caused by humid tropical maritime airstreams advected from
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 5 of 14
the Atlantic Ocean, which condense as they reach the orographic barrier of the Serra do Mar mountain
range [36]. These physical conditions promote the development of Atlantic Forest, which is one of
the 34 world ‘hotspots’ for conservation, due to its high biodiversity and many indigenous species of
flora and fauna [37].
2.2. Land Degradation in Serra da Bocaina National Park
To measure soil microtopography, erosion stakes were installed in cross-sections of the trail bed,
from one border to another [38]. Four points were monitored (EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4), two in each SBNP
trail. These were eroded areas of the trails. Measurements were taken in June and October 2016 and
were repeated in February and June 2017. Four cross-profiles were measured, two on both the MCB
and CNP trails.
The ‘erosion bridge’ was developed by Shakesby [39] and has been adapted for trails by several
authors [13,40]. For the preparation of the profile, 50 cm long wooden stakes are used for levelling.
The stakes remain at the measurement point, so that there are no levelling changes between the
surveys. In addition, 2 m battens (erosion bridge) and a 1 m iron measuring rod are used. The bridge
has 100 holes (analysis points), distributed at 2 cm intervals. To install the erosion bridge it is
necessary to insert the two stakes into the edges of the selected cross-section. Subsequently, a spirit-
level is used to level the erosion bridge, thus maintaining greater measurement accuracy. The values
of each analysis point were measured using a measuring tape, after levelling the bridge (Figure 3).
Chronosequences of topographic evolution were collated using EXCEL software. Analysis of graphs
enables the identification of zones of soil erosion, sediment accumulation and intense trampling and
to estimate soil erosion rates.
Figure 3. Measuring soil microtopography using the erosion bridge on Caixa D’Aço pool trails. Photo:
L. Rangel (2016).
2.3. Land Degradation in Serra do Mar State Park
Disturbed and undisturbed soil samples were collected from 0–10 cm depth at four different
sites on Água Branca trail, which is 4.5 km long (Figure 4). The samples were collected on the trail
itself (TR) and the adjacent talus slope (TA). The undisturbed soil samples were used to determine
bulk density. The disturbed samples were air-dried and soil texture, mineral density, SOM content,
porosity and pH were measured. All soil properties were determined using EMBRAPA protocols
[41]. The Soil Taxonomy system of the United States Department of Agriculture was used [42].
Bulk density uses a 100 cm3 steel cylinder, in which soil samples are collected [41]. In the
laboratory, samples are removed from the cylinder and oven-dried for 24 h at 105 °C. Samples are
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 6 of 14
allowed to cool to room temperature and then sample weight is divided by 100, to determine bulk
density (g/cm3).
Soil texture was determined using 20 g of soil, to which 10 mL of dispersant and 100 mL of
distilled water were added [41]. After that, the mixture was mechanically shaken for 15 min and
washed through a 0.053 mm sieve, which retained the sand fraction. The silt + clay fractions were
filtered into a 1000 mL beaker. After a set time, 50 mL of water and soil were pipetted from the beaker
and the clay fraction was collected. Sampling times are stipulated by EMBRAPA and these vary with
sample temperature, Samples were then oven-dried for 24 h at 105 °C. Finally, samples were sieved
through a 0.20 mm sieve, to separate the fine and coarse sand. Collated data were then plotted on the
textural triangle template.
SOM was determined by wet chemical oxidation with potassium dichromate and three drops of
diphenylamine. The analytical protocol involves multiple stages and SOM is determined by titration
[41]. SOM is reported as g/kg (i.e., C (g/kg) x 1.724). For pH analysis, 10 g of soil was added to 25 mL
of distilled water. The mixture was shaken and allowed to stand for one h. Soil pH was measured
using a calibrated pH meter [41]. Soil porosity (i.e., the total volume of voids within the soil occupied
by water and/or air) is directly related to soil density and compaction and was calculated using
EMBRAPA protocols [41].
Figure 4. Água Branca trail in Maranduba drainage basin, Ubatuba Municipality. Figure prepared
by Maria Jorge.
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 7 of 14
3. Results
Analysis of soil microtopography allowed quantification of erosion and sediment deposition on
the trails. Four transversal profiles were measured on the SBNP trails. However, due to heavy rainfall,
it was not possible to measure soil microtopography on EB3 and EB4 in June 2017.
In the first erosion bridge measurements (EB1) there was a notable rill (depth 16 cm, width ~21
cm). Between October 2016–September 2017 the rill incised by a further 10 cm and some C horizon
soils were exhumed (Figure 5).
Figure 5. (a) Soil microtopographic analysis between June 2016 and September 2017 on EB1. (b) The
yellow arrow indicates a rill containing accumulated litter. The red highlight indicates the onset of
the exposure of the C horizon. Photo: L. Rangel (2017).
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 8 of 14
Figure 6 shows two rills on EB2, one ~20 cm deep and 24 cm wide and another ~13 cm deep and
28 cm wide. The estimated soil loss due to erosion on EB2 was 0.28 m² in June 2019 and 0.29 m² in
October 2019. On EB2, between January and February 2017, a small landslide occurred on the upper
slope of the trail, which became a shortcut for walkers.
Figure 6. (a) Soil microtopographic analysis between June 2016 and October 2016 on EB2. (b) The
yellow arrows indicate rills with litter accumulation in October 2016. (c) Landslide (detail in red) in
September 2017. Photos: L. Rangel (2016 and 2017).
Analysing data from the third erosion bridge survey (EB3), it is possible to identify a rill partially
infilled with leaf litter. Between October 2016–September 2017 the rill incised by a further 5 cm
(Figure 7). On EB4, between October 2016–February 2017, the rill incised a further 12 cm. The effects
of trampling and runoff are evident in the formation of three rills (Figure 8).
By analysing the graphs, it is possible to estimate the area of soil eroded from the cross-sections
(Table 1). On SMSP, soil bulk density showed little variation between talus and trail ground, with
means of 1.08 and 1.19 g/cm3. Values between 1.0–1.4 g/cm3 are considered medium [2]. Inversely,
porosity values were high for TA and a little lower on TR (Table 2). High values promote high water
infiltration rates into the soil. Soil pH values were very low for both TA and TR, which is indicative
of intense leaching processes.
The textural classification of all soil samples were sandy-loam; a texture which is very erodible
[10,13,28,43]. Nevertheless, some characteristics, such as the presence of vegetation on the trail edge
and litter on the trail ground, have influenced the high SOM contents, which may have partially
protected soils from erosion.
Roots were evident on the four sites, but water storage was not. Exposed roots appear on the
trail surfaces due to the high slope angle and the presence of Entisols. Generally, Entisols are very
shallow and stony and do not have B horizons. Entisols and Inceptisols on steep slope angles are at
b c
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 9 of 14
risk of high erosion rates. The main geomorphological processes on Água Branca trail are mass
movements, which decrease of trail width due to the collapse of trail edges. Generally, the trail is
<1.30 m wide, and the width of the adjacent trampled area is ~0.40 m. Roots and litter on trails can
provide habitats for snakes to hide, thus posing a potential hazard to walkers.
Figure 7. (a) Soil microtopographic analysis between June 2016 and September 2017 on EB3. (b) The
yellow arrow indicates a rill with litter accumulation and the red line indicates erosion on the edge of
the trail. Photo: L. Rangel (2017).
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 10 of 14
Figure 8. (a) Soil microtopographic analysis between June 2016 and September 2017 on EB4. (b) The
yellow arrows indicate rills partially infilled by plant litter. Photo L. Rangel (2017).
Table 1. Estimated area (m
) of eroded soils on the SBNP trails.
June 2016 October 2016 February 2017 June 2017 September 2017
EB1 0.39858 0.35816 0.39384 0.38342 0.38948
EB2 0.27912 0.27823 - - -
EB3 0.21172 0.16538 0.19456 - 0.18428
EB4 0.20616 0.19352 0.22512 - 0.22466
Table 2. Soil properties on trails in Serra do Mar State Park. Coarse sand (2.0–0.2 mm), fine sand (0.2–
0.053 mm), silt (0.053–0.002 mm) and clay (<0.002 mm) (source: 41).
Mean Bulk Density (g/cm
Trail Agua Branca Talus (TA) Trail ground (TR)
1.08 1.19
Mean porosity (%)
Trail Agua Branca Talus (TA) Trail ground (TR)
55.51 49.78
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 11 of 14
Mean soil organic matter content (%)
Trail Agua Branca Talus (TA) Trail ground (TR)
7.34 8.55
Mean pH
Trail Agua Branca Talus (TA) Trail ground (TR)
3.71 3.69
Mean texture (%)
Trail Agua Branca
Mean Coarse sand Fine sand Silt Clay Classification
Talus (TA) 45.05 13.39 26.73 14.83 Sandy loam
Trail ground (TR) 50.05 11.99 26.87 11.09 Sandy loam
4. Discussion
On the SBNP trails (EB1), the quantity of material deposited within rills can be associated with
litter accumulation, which varies according to the production and decomposition cycle of the organic
material and the rainfall regime [13]. Soil erosion probably occurred due to a combination of intense
rainfall, local steep slopes and the erodible sandy texture.
On EB2 it was only possible to conduct two monitoring sessions, since in February 2017 one of
the cuttings that served as a levelling base was removed by a landslide that occurred in the upper
slope of the trail and the other was eroded as a result of this slippage. These processes are associated
with the high local rainfall amounts. Between 1 January–3 February 2017 (the dates of the surveys),
rainfall at Paraty Weather Station was 485 mm. During 3-h on 10 January 2017 ~101 mm of rain fell
Silva and Castro [40] also found deep rills on the Perigoso beach trail (Rio de Janeiro State). The
first rill was 20–30 cm wide and 20 cm deep. The second rill was 50–60 cm wide and 30–35 cm deep.
The authors highlighted the negative influences of soil erosion features on the visitor experience. The
same was found in the present study, as several visitors had difficulties walking over the eroded
In EB3, the rill (~50 cm wide, ~15 cm deep) shows the preferential path of runoff and visitors,
who further compact the soil by trampling. On EB4, the presence of three rills may be associated with
steep microslopes.
Soil microtopography is changing due to soil erosion. Observations suggest changes can be
attributed to a combination of trampling intensity, runoff being funneled into rills and high soil
erodibility. Furthermore, the absence of vegetation and organic matter on the trails exposes soil to
erosive rainfall. On the Água Branca trail, SOM content is higher on the trail ground than the talus,
because of leaves falling from adjacent trees.
Erosion processes, such as rills and mass movements, occur on many parts of the trail. Together
with the lack of information and handrails, trails can be dangerous for users and diminish interest in
visiting the area. These trails are mainly used by tourists to access waterfalls and for bird watching.
Therefore, local authorities should ensure the safety of walkers, which will help to promote local
economic development.
The assessment of trail impacts due to erosion processes shows the importance of preparing and
implementing a maintenance plan for the Água Branca trail. Therefore, some measures are advocated
to improve safety and to contribute towards the development of geotourism and natural resource
conservation. Considering suggestions by Jorge et al. [10] and Rangel and Guerra [13], the following
measures are proposed:
1. Construction of steps with handrails, where the trail presents risks to walkers.
2. Construction of drainage on the trail edge, diverting water flow in selected places, and
consequently, arresting erosion processes.
3. Plant suitable vegetation on trail edges, especially where the risk of soil erosion is high.
4. Introduce litter to the trail surfaces, as a means of buffering soil compaction and protecting the
soil surface against direct rainfall impact.
Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 56 12 of 14
5. Establish the best trail route, because there are many bifurcations created by walkers, which can
accelerate erosion and make walking difficult.
6. PROMATA (the local environmental NGO) should co-operate with the State Park
administration and the local community to agree appropriate and viable strategies to improve
the trails.
7. Establish information boards along the trail, including interpretative posters, in a way that the
geosites are clearly explained and in terms that can be understood by non-specialists.
Information should include the trail details and the locally rich and diverse geology, soils, rock
outcrops, fauna and flora. Currently, there is no information provision.
5. Conclusions
The deficient trail management has negative impacts on soil quality. Therefore, it is necessary to
rehabilitate degraded areas. Appropriate strategies include bioengineering techniques, such as the
application of geotextiles; adding organic matter to soils, and the installation of hydrological
structures (e.g., check dams and drainage barriers). Soil microtopographic analysis proved very
effective in measuring soil erosion and sediment accumulation.
The Água Branca trail does not undergo as much human trampling as the Serra da Bocaina
National Park trail. However, the combination of an erodible soil texture (sandy loam), steep slopes
and erosive rainfall has caused much soil degradation on the trail, mainly in the form of soil erosion
and mass movements. The trails need improved management by the State Park authorities. In turn,
by attracting geotourists, better management could assist the development of sustainable tourism
and associated economic benefits.
Author Contributions: Data curation, L.R. and M.d.C.J.; Formal analysis, L.R. and M.d.C.J.; Funding acquisition,
A.G.; Investigation, L.R. and M.d.C.J.; Methodology, L.R. and M.d.C.J.; Project administration, A.G.;
Supervision, A.G. and M.F.; Validation, M.F.; Visualization, L.R., M.d.C.J., A.G. and M.F.; Writing of the original
draft, L.R. and M.d.C.J.; Writing review and editing, L.R., A.G. and M.F.
Funding: This research was funded by FAPERJ (Rio de Janeiro Research Council) Grant Number E-
26/203.309/2017, CNPq (the Brazilian Research Council), and CAPES (Coordination of Personnel of University
Teaching) through PhD grants.
Acknowledgments: The authors thank FAPERJ, CNPq and CAPES for financial support and PROMATA
(Program for the Conservation of the Atlantic Forest in Ubatuba Municipality) for their logistical support.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest
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... Soil erosion is a natural geological process that shapes the landscape through the breakdown, transport and sedimentation of the particles that form the superficial layer that covers parts of the Earth's crust (Rangel et al., 2019;Pereira e Cabral, 2021). When it occurs expeditiously, this process can result in the loss of soil capacity to sustain plant ISSN:1984ISSN: -2295 Revista Brasileira de Geografia Física Homepage: ...
... Soil erosion may lead to the disablement of agricultural areas, soil compaction, removal of nutrients from the superficial layer and the siltation of water bodies. Rangel et al. (2019) and call attention to both inappropriate use and occupation and the lack of conservation practices as some of the main factors responsible for soil erosion. ...
... Porém, com o crescimento dessa atividade, as trilhas geoturísticas podem sofrer impactos significativos, se não forem bem planejadas e manejadas. Diversos autores (TAKAHASHI, 1998;MAGRO, 1999;COSTA, 2008;BOTELHO, 2017;RANGEL et al., 2019b) destacam que o pisoteio das trilhas compacta os solos, alterando sua porosidade, em razão da redução do volume de macroporos, o que eleva a resistência mecânica do solo, aumenta o escoamento superficial, e sua susceptibilidade à erosão e a perda de matéria orgânica. ...
... GUERRA Ademais, ficam evidentes estruturas de manejo instaladas a fim de facilitar a visitação, porém, alguns pontos com erosão da borda e estreitamento do leito representam risco para os usuários, bem como, esses trechos mais erodidos podem condicionar o caminho do fluxo de água, agravando ainda mais, os processos erosivos (Figura 18). Diversos autores, em suas pesquisas (COSTA, 2006;KROEFF;VERDUM, 2011;GUERRA, 2018a;RANGEL et al., 2019b) observaram em seus estudos sobre trilhas, que a perda da borda crítica -área do lado oposto ao talude superior (COSTA, 2006)pode ser ocasionada pela concentração do fluxo de água; pela presença de materiais friáveis no solo, e ausência de partículas agregadoras, como matéria orgânica e argila; e pelo corte inadequado para a abertura da trilha, isto é, quando a mesma não acompanha as curvas de nível, sendo perpendiculares à encosta. b Ademais, verifica-se que a microtopografia do solo está sofrendo alterações, devido à intensidade do pisoteio e ao regime pluviométrico, que facilita a concentração do fluxo de água convergindo para as ravinas, contribuindo para o surgimento de novos processos erosivos, o que aumenta ainda mais a erodibilidade do solo. ...
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This article regards soil erosion in rural and urban areas, and also geotourism and geodiversity, especially erosion on trails in those sites. It adresses several aspects of soil erosion, taking into account concepts, theories and methodologies involved. It shows different techniques to monitor erosion, since the most traditional ones, where stakes are placed into the soil, up to the most modern ones, where VANTs and Terrestrial Laser Scanners are used. The results point out towards the need to carry on investigation on soil erosion, since this geomorphological process is better understood, it may help to avoid environmental degradation in Brazil
... Ainda, como a distribuição espacial das microvariações topográficas no topo do solo resultam de parâmetros físico-químicos que alteram a sua superfície, o levantamento e o monitoramento da microtopografia do solo permite atribuir inferências sobre a resistência à penetração e ao grau de interferência que o pisoteamento está gerando nas trilhas, além de estabelecer relações entre o uso das trilhas e a retenção hídrica ao escoamento superficial (runoff), a infiltração e a percolação de água de água no solo, ao transporte de sedimentos, a formação de crostas na sua camada superficial, as trocas de calor entre o solo e atmosfera, aos parâmetros físico-químicos do solo etc. (GUERRA et al., 2017;RANGEL et al., 2019; MARTINS, 2021;BOTELHO, 2021). ...
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A erosão hídrica superficial é um dos processos responsáveis pela degradação dos solos, especialmente em áreas tropicais, devido aos elevados índices pluviométricos. A análise da microtopografia do solo é um dos métodos de mensurar a evolução e desenvolvimento deste processo, principalmente em áreas sob uso intensivo, como trilhas em unidades de conservação. O litoral do Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, no estado do Rio de Janeiro, apresenta diversos pontos de interesse geoturístico, que atraem inúmeros visitantes diariamente, desencadeando vários impactos ambientais nas trilhas que dão acesso a estes atrativos. Sendo assim, esta pesquisa teve como objetivo avaliar a evolução espaço-temporal dos processos erosivos no leito de duas trilhas deste parque, através do monitoramento da microtopografia do solo em dois períodos distintos. Posteriormente, os resultados foram correlacionados com os dados das precipitações pluviométricos e com as características fisiográficas da área. Constatou-se que ambos os pontos monitorados estão sofrendo com a perda de solo devido, principalmente, aos elevados índices pluviométricos, que se concentram nos meses de dezembro e janeiro. A visitação intensa e desordenada, a cobertura vegetal e quantidade de serrapilheira foram fatores que possivelmente influenciaram a evolução destes processos no leito das trilhas, gerando dinâmicas distintas entre os pontos monitorados.
... Trail science studies increasingly identify trail design attributes, how trails are located and aligned with respect to topography, their substrates, and drainage mechanisms as the most critical sustainability attributes. Based on this review and summary, the most influential "non-sustainable" attributes revealed in recent trail science studies include alignments: 1) with steep TGs, 2) that closely approximate the fall line, and 3) that cross flat terrain, particularly with wet and/or organic soils (Table 1) (Eagleston and Marion, 2020;Marion and Wimpey, 2017;Meadema et al., 2020;Rangel et al., 2019;Salesa and Cerda, 2020). Fall line trails erode rapidly and defy trail maintainers best efforts to drain them, resulting in chronic and substantial soil loss and trail widening on steep grades due to the lateral movement of trail users seeking to avoid eroded treads, rocks, and roots (Table 1). ...
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Protected areas (PAs) provide many important recreational, social, and economic benefits that are largely dependent on their ability to sustain visitation. Trail networks are a critical tourism infrastructure element that directly accommodate high quality recreation activities and experiences while providing access to and protection of irreplaceable natural and cultural resources. Unfortunately, most trail networks consist of historic "legacy" trails that were not sustainably designed and whose intensive use cause unacceptable impacts to PA resources, experiences, and values. This paper provides an international state-of-knowledge review of trail science research within the field of recreation ecology to describe common trail impacts, factors that influence trail degradation that trail stewards can manipulate to enhance the sustainability of trail networks. Two emerging models that seek to rate trail topographic sustainability are presented to illustrate their potential utility to PA managers. Expanding and incorporating trail science research into the sustainable trail planning, design, and Best Management Practice literature are also discussed.
... жение QField. Измерването на ширината и дълбочината на пътеките е извършено съобразно установените стандарти, описани в научната литература (Martin, Butler, 2017;Jewell, Hammitt, 2000;Marion, Leung, 2001;Marion, Olive 2006;Rangel et al., 2019;Salesa, Cerdà, 2020). За анализ на събраните данни е използвано полупроизведението от ширината и максималната дълбочина на пътеките, което е интерпретирано като производен показател за напречно сечение на пътеката, респективно, като индикатор за деградация на пътеките. ...
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The study is of a pilot nature and aims to investigate and document the trail erosion in the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque, Rila National Park, Bulgaria. The width and maximum depth of the trails were measured in 31 randomly selected points on the trail network. The results show that in half of the studied cases there is а trail degradation, but in other cases, recovery processes are observed.
... A systematic study to identify and evaluate proposed trail routes must include factors such as soil properties, drainage patterns, and vegetation. Characterizing soil texture, percent composition of fine sands, and soil permeability on-and off-trails at intervals much finer than those in USDA databases is imperative in determining the most suitable redesign strategy (Wilson and Seney 1994, 78-79;Rangel et al. 2019). During wet seasons, (November 1-December 15; April 1-May 15) (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 1999, 115), access to trails that experience ponding must be restricted. ...
The High Peaks of the Adirondack Park in New York is home to many of the state’s precious natural resources and is a favorite destination for hikers. Severe erosion on trails threatens the region’s environmental health. Most conservation groups advocate for reducing the number of hikers as the primary solution to combatting erosion; however, the scientific literature indicates that reduction of foot traffic is ineffective at combatting already deteriorating trails. Instead, we recommend the state legislature and Department of Environmental Conservation pursue a plan to rebuild these trails using sustainable design principles, which more effectively ensures their longevity. We outline the research and expertise required to successfully rebuild these trails as well as a mechanism to fund this expensive endeavor.
... According to FAO terminology, the total agricultural area has been estimated to be 4.889 billion hectares consisting of arable land (28%), permanent crops (3%) and meadows and pastures (69%) (Rangel et al. 2019). Over the last century, the rate of degradation is continuously lagging behind the rate of land-reforming process. ...
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Degraded land is not only a subject of soil quality but also an indication of declined levels of productivity and economy of a country. India had 29.3% (96.4 million hectare) degraded land area in 2013. It included 1.87 million hectare (0.57%) increment of degraded land as well as 1.95 million hectare reclaimed land. Annual economic loss due to changes in land use or degraded land in India was ($46.90 billion) in 2014–2015, i.e. 2.5% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014–2015. On the other hand, India supports 60–70% workforce in 60.45% agricultural land with a landmark position in most production crops like wheat, rice, milk, etc. However, in the case of yield, its position is not the same when compared to other most production countries, and its agricultural growth also declined from 8.6 (in 2010–2011) to 0.8 (in 2015–2016). The most interesting is the decrease of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which declined from 54% to 15.4% from 1950–1951 to 2015–2016 against in service sector, which grew from 30 to 53% for the same duration. Therefore, land reform is a demanding and challenging area in Indian economy. To focus on this framework, our agricultural management practices play a vital role in which organic farming as eco-friendly, soil-sustaining agricultural technique, sharing highest organic producers of 2.7 million (30%) of total organic producers with 1.49 million hectare organic agricultural land, can play a significant role in land reformation. The chapter discusses some possible opportunities and challenges of organic agriculture in degraded land as reformative measure.
... To achieve sustainable management of recreational trails we must start with knowledge of the resistance of different environmental factors at the time of trail design (Leung and Marion, 2000) and identify the most influential elements on trail degradation that can be dealt by managers. Impacts due to trail use can be avoided or limited so that in an assumed restoration after the trail closure and preferably by using bioengineering techniques (Rangel et al., 2019), a lower accumulation of impacts would allow better recovery. In addition, lack of regulation and trail management can result in damage to vegetation and soil erosion (Barros et al., 2013). ...
... Linear structures are also in the research focus of Rangel et al. [5]. Here, natural trails in forested mountain areas were monitored over time with micro-topography measurements in protected areas of the Serra da Bocaina National Park and the Serra do Mar State Park in south-east Brazil. ...
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Land degradation by soil erosion is still one of the most severe environmental issues of our time [...]
Recreational activities can negatively affect protected area landscapes and resources and soil erosion is frequently cited as the most significant long-term impact to recreational trails. This study applied extensive multiple regression modeling of trail soil loss to identify influential factors that managers can manipulate to improve the sustainability of trail design and management. Field measurements assessed soil loss as the mean vertical depth along 135 trail transects across the Appalachian Trail sampled along three 5 km trail segments in New Hampshire’s White Mountains National Forest, chosen due to its exceptionally high use and impact. GIS and LiDAR data were used to create many new variables reflecting terrain characteristics that were expected to influence trail erosion and improve predictive models of trail system soil loss. A variety of terrain and hydrology characteristics were applied to model trail soil loss at three spatial scales: transect, trail corridor, and watershed. The model for each spatial scale and a combined model are presented. The adjusted R² explaining variation in soil loss is 0.57 using variables from all spatial scales, improving on predictive modeling from earlier studies. Environmental and trail design factors such as slope and watershed flow length were found to be significantly correlated to soil loss and have implications for improved sustainable trail design and management.
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Os impactos negativos decorrentes do uso público em Unidades de Conservação (UCs) são cada vez mais latentes no Brasil. Apesar de possuir avançada legislação relacionada às UCs, o país ainda encontra dificuldades operacionais de fiscalização e de estudos de monitoramento. Neste sentido, este trabalho tem como principal objetivo de avaliar os impactos de uso público na trilha ecológica da Praia do Perigoso, localizada no Parque Municipal de Grumari, Zona Oeste da cidade do Rio de Janeiro. Buscou-se identificar, através da análise da microtopografia do solo, os principais geoindicadores de erosão, em virtude do fluxo de visitantes somado aos fatores naturais. Destacam-se, portanto, a presença em diversos setores, de sulcos de erosão, ravinamentos prolongados e profundos, o que pode dificultar e restringir o uso da trilha.
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Land degradation has emerged as a serious problem during the last few decades. Soil fertility has declined considerably in many parts of the world due to intensive agriculture, over-grazing, water pollution, increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides, salinization, deforestation and accumulation of non-biodegradable waste. Vast tracts of land are facing desertification. Climate change is further aggravating land degradation, soil erosion and soil fertility. Evidence suggests during the last 6-7 decades over 35 percent of arable land has been degraded due to human induced activities. Soil being the natural medium for plant growth supports all life on earth. Rapidly increasing population, growing food-waste and declining soil fertility are posing serious challenges to humanity for future food security. Therefore, land degradation must come to a halt. Education, changes in agricultural policy and technological innovations are instruments that should be used for restoration of degraded land and stop further land degradation.
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Heavy metal(loid)s and organic contaminants are two major groups of pollutants in soils. The fate and exposure of such pollutants in soil depends on their chemical properties, speciation, and soil properties. Soil properties and processes that control the toxicological aspects of pollutants include temperature, moisture, organic matter, mineral fractions, and microbial activities. These processes are vulnerable to climate change associated with global warming, including increased incidences of extreme rainfall, extended dry periods, soil erosion, and a rise in sea level. Here we explain evidence that relates to the effects of climate change-driven soil processes on the mobility, transport, and storage of pollutants in soil. The review found that changes in climate could increase human exposure to soil contaminants mainly due to processes involving soil organic carbon (SOC), surface runoff, redox state, and microbial community. However, uncertainties remain in relation to the extent of contaminant toxicity to human health, which is linked to global change drivers.
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In humid tropical areas, water erosion is a major cause of soil loss. An analysis of the microtopography and the soil compaction allows inferring areas that are suff ering with erosive processes. Geotourism activity can be a way of conserving the natural environment. However, the use of geotouristic trails can cause impacts when there is no planning and management suitable for their implementation and use. The objective of this research was to analyze the impact of the use of two trails located on the coast of Serra da Bocaina National Park (PNSB), in the municipality of Paraty (RJ). For this, four points were analyzed in two trails in the PNSB, being carried out the monitoring of soil microtopography through the erosion bridges method and the evaluation of the compaction through the penetrometry. In addition, some visual impacts were observed along the trails. It was verifi ed that the bed of the trail is suff ering with the eff ect of the trampling, mainly in P2 where the resistance to the penetration was of 29,07 kgf/cm², and with the removal of sediments by the water erosion, mainly in PE 1, where the eroded area was approximately 0.37m². There is a need to readjust the track at some points of the tracks (as in PE 4, where there is already a shortcut created by the visitors), as well as incorporate organic matter and revegetar the tracks edges, mainly in the upper slope of PE 2 where occurred a mass movement.
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Em áreas tropicais úmidas, a erosão hídrica é a grande responsável pela perda de solo. A análise de atributos do solo permite inferir áreas que estão sofrendo com processos erosivos e outros tipos de degradação. A atividade ecoturística, pode ser uma forma de conservação do ambiente natural. Porém, a utilização de trilhas pode acarretar impactos quando não há planejamento e manejo adequados para implementação e utilização. A presente pesquisa analisou propriedades do solo, mapeando a ocorrência de processos erosivos em duas trilhas ecoturísticas localizadas no litoral de duas Unidade de Conservação no município de Paraty (RJ), a Reserva Ecológica da Juatinga (REJ) e o Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina (PNSB). Foram coletadas amostras de solo em dois pontos em cada trilha para avaliar propriedades químicas e físicas como textura, densidade, porosidade, matéria orgânica e pH; foram mapeadas feições erosivas e degradações; e, foi estabelecido o grau de dificuldade nas trilhas. Constata-se que a maioria das feições erosivas mapeadas surgiu a partir da implementação das trilhas, já que o traçado delas não é curvilíneo. A retirada da vegetação e a declividade foram fatores determinantes para o surgimento de ravinas e erosão da borda principalmente na trilha localizada na REJ. O efeito do pisoteio evidenciou-se a partir da densidade crítica do solo (1,4-1,5g/cm³). A grande concentração de partículas finas (areia fina + silte superior a 45%) também foi determinante para que fossem atribuídos grau de dificuldade médio, na trilha do PNSB, e elevado, na trilha da REJ.
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Soil erosion and land degradation are global problems and pose major issues in many countries. Both soil erosion and mass movement are two forms of land degradation and humans play important roles in these geomorphological processes. This paper reviews slope processes associated with mass movement and soil erosion and contributory factors, including physical and human agents. Acting together, these cause diverse geomorphological features. Slope processes are illustrated by reference to case studies from Brazil and UK. The causes and impacts of erosion are discussed, along with appropriate remedial bioengineering methods and the potential of the measures to prevent these types of environmental degradation. Although there are several agents of erosion, water is the most important one. Cultivation can promote soil erosion, due to ploughing and harvesting, which moves soil down slopes. Soil erosion and mass movement data would inform the viability of soil conservation practices. Integrated management of drainage basins offers a promising way forward for effective soil conservation and soil remedial bioengineering in Brazil and UK.
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This paper reviews slope processes associated with mass movements and soil erosion and contributory factors, including physical and human agents. Acting together, these cause diverse geomorphological features. Slope processes are illustrated by reference to case studies from Brazil and the UK. The causes and impacts of erosion are discussed, along with appropriate remedial bioengineering methods and the potential of measures to prevent these types of environmental degradation. Key Words: Mass movements, soil erosion, land degradation, hazards, risks, soil recuperation.
O município de Paraty (RJ) é reconhecido como um dos municípios de maior atratividade turística no Estado do Rio de Janeiro e compreende também 40% da área do Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina (PNSB), uma importante área protegida para a conservação do bioma Mata Atlântica. Nesse contexto, o ecoturismo emerge como alternativa potencial para a conservação da biodiversidade regional e também para a inclusão social, em ambientes ambientalmente e socialmente vulneráveis. Com base nesta afirmação, este artigo incide sobre a interpretação da vila de Trindade, situada no município de Paraty e parcialmente no interior do Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, sobre o desenvolvimento turístico no local. A intenção neste caso é interpretar, pela perspectiva local, os efeitos do turismo sobre os modos de vida na localidade e sobre a conservação da biodiversidade no âmbito do PNSB. No plano metodológico, a pesquisa se baseou em revisão bibliográfica e documental, além de entrevistas em profundidade dirigidas, principalmente, às lideranças da população local de Trindade. A partir dos resultados obtidos é possível afirmar que, ao mesmo tempo em que o aumento progressivo no número de turistas é percebido como vantagem econômica pelos trindadeiros, o turismo é também entendido como ameaça à conservação da biodiversidade na região, em função do aumento da pressão antrópica sobre a base de recursos naturais. Da mesma forma, mudanças no cotidiano local são também identificadas como problemas a serem enfrentados. Diante disso, os trindadeiros não parecem ainda ter clareza sobre como compatibilizar o atendimento às necessidades dos turistas e a demanda por aumento de sua renda, com o compromisso de conservação da natureza e valorização de suas atividades tradicionais. Assim, o ecoturismo representa ainda não uma realidade, mas uma potencialidade a ser consolidada nesta localidade, no futuro. Challenges for ecotourism in the National Park of Serra da Bocaina: the case of the District of Trindade (Paraty, RJ, Brazil) ABSTRACT Paraty (RJ) is recognized as one of the biggest tourist attractiveness among the municipalities of the state of Rio de Janeiro and also comprises 40% of the Bocaina Mountains National Park (PNSB, in Portuguese) area, an important protected area for the conservation of the Atlantic Forest biome. In this context, ecotourism emerges as a potential alternative for the conservation of regional biodiversity and also for social inclusion in environmentally and socially vulnerable environments. Based on this claim, this article focuses on the interpretation of Trindade town, located in the municipality of Paraty and partially inside the Bocaina Mountains National Park, on the tourist development on the site. The intention is to interpret, through the local perspective, the effects of tourism on the ways of life in the locality and on the conservation of biodiversity within the park. Methodologically, the research was based on literature and document review and on interviews in depth mainly with leaders of the local population of Trindade. From the results obtained, it is clear that, while the progressive increase in the number of tourists is perceived as an economic advantage by the inhabitants, tourism is also perceived as a threat to biodiversity conservation in the region, due to the increased anthropic pressure on the natural resource base. Likewise, changes in the local daily life are also identified as problems to be addressed. Thus, the locals are still unclear about how to reconcile the addressing of the tourists needs and the demand for increasing their income, with a commitment to nature conservation and appreciation of their traditional activities. Thus, ecotourism is not yet a reality, but a potentiality to be consolidated at this location in the future. KEYWORDS: National Park; Ecotourism; Development.
Geotourism is a growing activity in Brazil, mainly in Conservation Units, where trails are used by both visitors and local people to access geotourist attractions. The use of these trails can have negative impacts when there is inadequate planning and management. This research investigated two geotourist trails: Caixa D'Aço natural pool trail in Serra da Bocaina National Park (Rio de Janeiro State) and Água Branca waterfall trail in Serra do Mar State Park (São Paulo State). Geodiversity values were assessed at both geosites, adopting the methods of Gray (2004, 2013). Soil quality analysis was also conducted, with physico-chemical analyses of soils from 0 to 10 cm depth. The dominant soil texture on Caixa D'Aço natural pool trail is sandy clay loam, and on Água Branca trail, all samples were coarse sandy loams. Soils on Caixa D'Aco natural pool trail were compact, with a mean bulk density of 1.41 g/cm 3 , whereas on Água Branca trail, the mean value was 1.19 g/cm 3. The geodiversity values at both sites were similar, except for supporting services, where Caixa D'Aço natural pool had a medium value, whereas Água Branca waterfall had a high value. This paper stresses the importance of geoconservation studies in publicizing the geoheritage of Brazilian Conservation Units.