The physical damage of climbing activity on sandstone lichen cover
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonSustainability. 2021, 13 (24), 13590. 10.3390/su132413590
Climbing activities affect cliff site species. With cliff sites harbouring unique species communities, the rise in popularity of outdoor climbing activities is a major threat. In this study, we assessed a previously unclimbed boulder before, during and after 500 climbing ascents. We observed an overall reduction in lichen cover by 4.2–9.5%, located around the footholds and combined foot- and handhold but not the handhold. We found the reduction in lichen cover to be strongest at the very start of the climbing treatment and to lessen over time. Therefore, management should focus on directing climbing activities to selected sites, while protecting sites with high conservation value where climbing is prohibited entirely.