Lakeshore vegetation: More resilient towards human recreation than we think?

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


Lakes and their shoreline vegetation are rich in biodiversity and provide multiple functions and habitats for fauna and flora. Humans are attracted by the scenic beauty of these ecosystems and the possibilities for recreational activities they offer. However, the use of lakes for recreational activities can lead to disturbance of vegetation, threatening the integrity and functionality of shoreline areas. Recent literature reviews revealed that impacts of the seemingly harmless activities bathing and lingering on the shore on lakeshore vegetation are poorly understood. In this study, we analysed the effects of shoreline use connected with bathing on the structure, composition and diversity of lakeshore vegetation. Vegetation relevés were recorded in 10 bathing and 10 adjacent control sites in the nature park 'Dahme-Heideseen' (Brandenburg, Germany). In addition visitor counts were performed. The species composition and the cover of herbaceous and shrub vegetation differed between bathing and control sites, but all sites had a high percentage of plant species not typical for the community. The vegetation parameters did not correlate with visitor counts. The results indicate that the present visitor intensity in the nature park does not impact the vegetation severely.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10268
Number of pages12
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85165485740
ORCID /0000-0001-7408-425X/work/146165275


DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • Biodiversity, Fresh Water, ecological impact, Recreation ecology, shoreline vegetation, biodiversity, ecological impacts, freshwater, recreation ecology