An exploration of the impact of greenway trail development on riparian habitat /

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Mcfadden, John
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Middle Tennessee State University
Greenways are linear parks generally designed and managed to support recreation and conservation. Ahern's (2004) greenway theory includes three hypotheses: co-occurrence of resources, inherent benefits of connectivity, and the compatibility of uses. The compatibility of recreation and conservation uses was the foundation for the current study. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of greenway development through an examination of trail footprint width (at 8, 10 and 12 ft widths plus their respective mowed areas), trail age, and surface type on percent canopy cover and surface temperature; the secondary purpose was to explore biodiversity through a comparison of tree species diversity for the greenway and a pristine natural area. Two greenways in Middle Tennessee were utilized to achieve the study purposes. Study findings revealed that eight foot asphalt trails do not effect percent canopy cover, while ten and 12 ft trails do effect percent canopy cover ( p = .000) as compared to on and off-site controls. As well, trail center surface temperatures were significantly different from on-site control surface temperatures (p = .000). The main effects model resulting from multivariate analysis of variance revealed that footprint width effects on percent canopy cover and surface temperature were significant; however, further analysis using Tukey's HSD post hoc analysis indicated that there were no significant effects, and the model lacked predictability and explained little variance (r2 = .04). Study findings indicated that trail age had no effect on percent canopy cover. There was a significant, but weak correlation between on-site control canopy cover and surface temperature, yet not between the trail percent canopy cover and surface temperature. T-tests results indicated no significant difference between concrete and asphalt surface temperatures. Finally, descriptive analysis found tree species diversity lower on the greenway when compared to
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