Institute of High Mountain Biology, a biological research facility of the University of Žilina explores mountain ecosystems. Its mission is to facilitate research to understand better the unique processes of biological and physical systems in mountains, and how environmental changes and human impact may affect these processes. In HUMANITA, experts and students will study the impact of tourism on the diversity of soil mite species (Acarina) – a group of small arthropods, important decomposers, and determinants of ecosystem health changes in the soil. The first evaluation of samples from the summer season of 2023 pointed to the fact that these communities are very damaged on hiking trails with a high intensity of tourists. The capture and diversity of soil mites are low in an environment stressed by tourists. Research will continue in the summer season of 2024 at pilot sites and in other mountain ranges.
Monitoring Tourist Impact in Malá Fatra National Park