Water:Bio:Sphere "glaciers, karst and mountain forests"

Glaciers, karst and mountain forests are three very different habitats united by their being characterised by water. All three play an important ecological role which also benefits humans − they store water. And all three exercise great fascination on recreationalists − hikers, bikers, ski tourers and skiers alike all look for exercise and relaxation and to get away from daily routines.

Next to the exercise it is often the beauty of the environment which attracts people. But intensive recreational use has its down sides too: All too frequently, an increase in traffic boosts global warming which is of especially devastating consequence to glaciers, karst and mountain forests. Careless outdoor behaviour such as leaving hiking trails or marked ski slopes damages plant cover and soil and disturbs animal inhabitants. Additionally, recreational infrastructure is often expanded recklessly − thinking only of short-term economic gain and not taking into consideration sensitive ecosystems and the demands of endangered species of flora and fauna on their habitat.

Water:Bio:Sphere brochure "glaciers, karst and mountain forests" (in German) -->