Impact of tourism disturbance on forest vegetation in Wutai Mountain, China

  • Liqin Niu
  • Zhanhong ChengEmail author


Tourism is one of the primary disturbances to forest vegetation worldwide. To understand the impacts of tourism, it is important to first identify the ecological characteristics of damaged forest vegetation. Here, we investigate different ecological patterns in disturbed and undisturbed regions of Wutai Mountain, China. Comparisons between disturbed and undisturbed forest community were conducted using two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN) and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA). The TWINSPAN analysis identified 13 association types from 76 total samples collected. The DCA correlation analysis showed that forest community was significantly affected by physiographical factors (such as elevation and slope) in the undisturbed region; however, that was correlated with not only physiographical factors but also intensity of tourism, and the effect of tourism disturbance was stronger than that of physiographical factors in the disturbed regions. In addition, some indicator species were discovered. Our findings provide valuable information about conservation and management of sustainable tourism in the region.


Monitoring and management Indicator species Physiographical factors Disturbance 



We would like to thank Dr. Murphy Stephen at the Yale University for his assistance with English language and grammatical editing of the manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41571141).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment EconomicsShanxi University of Finance & EconomicsTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Tourism ManagementShanxi University of Finance and EconomicsTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China

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