Effects of trampling on in-stream macroinvertebrate communities from canyoning activity in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area

Nigel Hardiman, Shelley Burgin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Perceived growth in the adventure recreation sport of canyoning in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (Australia) has raised concerns with park management that such activity is resulting in unsustainable visitor impacts to canyon ecosystems. Three levels of trampling intensity were applied within an upland section of a canyon stream to assess the impact of trampling on benthic macroinvertebrate communities. After an initial detrimental effect from trampling, there was a rapid recovery of the macroinvertebrate community. Recovery occurred within one day of trampling ceasing, and overall community composition was similar among treatments after 15 days. However, by day 15 the untrampled sites showed a substantial decrease in animal abundance. This indicated that adjacent habitat contributed greatly to the recolonisation of animals into trampled areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalWetlands Ecology and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


Cite this