Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Polish primitive horse, forest site type, herb layer, undergrowth layer, understory layer, biodiversity
Online: 21 March 2019 (10:04:14 CET)
The study was conducted in coniferous and deciduous old growth forests in two forest complexes located in: i) the fenced area of the Popielno Research Station of the Polish Academy of Sciences, with free-living Polish pony [Polish primitive horse (Equus ferus caballus)], and ii) open Maskulińskie Forest District managed (harvested) forest, without horses. The impact of forest animals on ground cover layer as well as on understory shrub layer and undergrowth, in i) area (horses and other forest animals) was compared with the results in ii) area (forest animals without horses). Very significant differences in the understory and undergrowth (above 0,5 m) layer vegetation communities structure between both areas and type of stands were found. The results suggest that the presence of the Polish horse substantially changed the species composition and increased the species diversity of the ground layer and shrub layer both on coniferous forest and in the deciduous forest habitats. The height of the shrub layer trees was lower by 30% in the area with the Polish horse.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0099.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest experience; open dump; waste
Online: 7 December 2021 (11:30:56 CET)
Forest recreation can be successfully used for the psychological relaxation of respondents and can be used as a remedy for common problems with stress. The special form of forest recreation intended for restoration is forest bathing. These activities might be distracted by some factors, such as viewing buildings in the forest or using a computer in nature, which interrupt psychological relaxation. One factor that might interrupt psychological relaxation is the occurrence of an open dump in the forest during an outdoor experience. To test the hypothesis that an open dump might decrease psychological relaxation, a case study was planned that used a randomized, controlled crossover design. For this purpose, two groups of healthy young adults viewed a control forest or a forest with an open dump in reverse order and filled in psychological questionnaires after each stimulus. A pretest was used. Participants wore oblique eye patches to stop their visual stimulation before the experimental stimulation, and the physical environment was monitored. The results were analyzed using the two-way repeated measures ANOVA. The measured negative psychological indicators significantly increased after viewing the forest with waste, and the five indicators of the Profile of Mood States increased: Tension-Anxiety, Depression-Dejection, Anger-Hostility, Fatigue, and Confusion. In addition, the negative aspect of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule increased in comparison to the control and pretest. The measured positive indicators significantly decreased after viewing the forest with waste, the positive aspect of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule decreased, and the Restorative Outcome Scale and Subjective Vitality scores decreased (in comparison to the control and pretest). The occurrence of an open dump in the forest might interrupt a normal restorative experience in the forest by reducing psychological relaxation. Nevertheless, the mechanism of these relevancies is not known, and thus, it will be further investigated. In addition, in a future study, the size of the impact of these open dumps on normal everyday experiences should be investigated. It is proposed that different mechanisms might be responsible for these reactions; however, the aim of this manuscript is to only measure this reaction. The identified psychological reasons for these mechanisms can be assessed in further studies.