Equus : Keywords Equus erosion National Park protected area track trail Downloaded….

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Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Toowong Version of record first published: 11 Jun 2012 To cite this article: R.

Fairfax, J.

Neldner, M.

Ngugi & R.

Dowling (2012): Patterns of road surface movement after three endurance horse-riding events in protected areas, south-east Queensland, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 19:2, 122-132 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14486563.2012.664949 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-andconditions This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.

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The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management Vol. 19, No. 2, June 2012, 122 Á132 Patterns of road surface movement after three endurance horse-riding events in protected areas, south-east Queensland R.

Fairfax, J.

Neldner*, M.

Ngugi and R.

Dowling Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Toowong Reviews of horse-riding impacts usually mention degradation of trails, watercourses and vegetation.

These potential impacts are of current relevance within some south-east Queensland protected areas where the future of horse-riding is subject to studies on biophysical and social impacts.

This study aimed to provide an indication of soil movement patterns on vehicular roads in response to three separate endurance riding events, which represent the most intense horse use of these roads with up to 300 passes in one day.

A measure of the areal extent and depth of erosion was obtained from at least 16 sections of road at each event.

Across the study, there was an average increase in eroded area of less than 2 per cent and decrease of erosion depth by less than 1 mm.

Linear mixed effects modelling revealed that soil movement was weakly related to slope and field texture, where the steeper the slope and softer the surface the more movement.

Soil movement could be predicted using pre-existing road characteristics alone and the number of horse passes was not significant in soil redistribution.

While no other data on horse-related soil movement from such roads is known, this study supports the contention that harder surfaces (ie graded, built-up vehicular roads) would suffer less soil loss than other track types.

There was no evidence to suggest that the combination of vehicle tracks and horse use compounded soil loss.

Where other maintained vehicle tracks elsewhere within protected areas are like those studied here, it is expected that high-use horse-riding would have little impact on the road surface additional to other uses.

Keywords: Equus; erosion; National Park; protected area; track; trail Downloaded by [UQ Library] at 18:00 18 July 2012 Introduction Protected areas around the world are subject to various potentially compromising land uses.

Contemporary examples from Australian protected areas include grazing (eg Mosley 2011), privatised built visitor accommodation (eg Queensland Government 2010), pipe and power-line easements (eg Johnstone 2009) and mining (Burke 2011; DEEDI 2011).

Visitor use is also expected to increase across the park estate in Queensland (Auditor-General of Queensland 2010).

Recreation and tourism use can have negative impacts on flora, fauna, water and soils (Kelly et al. 2003; Turton 2005; Pickering & Hill 2007).

Issues include uncontrolled access, trampling, dispersal of weeds and pathogens, soil compaction and erosion; with impacts associated with different activities, including bushwalking, mountain bikes, trail bikes and horse-riding (Pickering et al. 2010). *Corresponding author.

Email: john.neldner@derm.qld.gov.au ISSN 1448-6563 print/ISSN 2159-5356 online # 2012 Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc.

Http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14486563.2012.664949 http://www.tandfonline.com Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 123 Downloaded by [UQ Library] at 18:00 18 July 2012 Australian reviews on biophysical impacts of horse-riding document studies relating to: trail widening; erosion and compaction; sedimentation and nutrification of creeks; the spread of weeds and pathogens; disruptions to the fungal mycelial network; and reductions in plant height and cover (Landsberg et al. 2001; Newsome et al. 2002; Beavis 2005; Newsome et al. 2008; Pickering 2008).

However, all reviews variously refer to the dearth of information on such impacts; that existing studies may not necessarily apply elsewhere for a range of reasons, including differences in soil type, trail conditions and the frequency and intensity of use; and that described impacts are not necessarily related to horses alone.

For example, although the combined literature suggests that horse-related erosion on well constructed and maintained roads (such as graded vehicular roads and fire breaks) would be less than on other types of trails, there is limited research on the topic (see also Pickering et al. 2010) and the need for such a targeted study has been described as urgent (Landsberg et al. 2001).

This study aimed to provide an indication of horse-related movement of soil on roads of the Horse Riding Trail Network of south-east Queensland (SEQ).

The surface condition, including levels of soil movement, was assessed before and after three separate competitive endurance horse-riding events.

These events represent the most intense horse use of these areas.

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