The Research of Recreation Carrying Capacity of Forest Scenic Areas in the Suburban Mountainous Region of Beijing
|School||Beijing Forestry University|
|Keywords||forest recreation recreation carrying capacity ecological impact environment effect recreation opportunity spectrum|
Building a "livable city" is one of strategic objectives which are proposed first in "Beijing City Master Plan (2004-2020)". As the capital of China, Beijing will be a model for other cities to create beautiful urban landscape and harmonious living environment. Beijing’s urban forest is mainly located in the suburban mountainous area which account for 2/3 of the total area of Beijing. Urban forest has being play an important role in protecting the city’s ecological environment. If it can also play a role of scenic viewing and recreation, the city will be more livable and the urban will be used sustainably.This research identified the content and research methods based on the review of the studies of recreation carrying capacity at home and abroad.This paper developed the framework of "Forest Recreation Opportunities Spectrum" (FROS), and the evaluation system of recreation carrying capacity in the mountainous forest region of Beijing using the research methods of data collection, observation interviews, questionnaires and field surveys and so on. On the base of the former works, the recreation carrying capacity of sample scenic spots, different recreation opportunities and the whole suburban forest region of Beijing are evaluated from dimensions of spatial carrying capacity, ecological carrying capacity, facilities carrying capacity and psychological carrying capacity. There are much field work has been done during 2008,2009 and 2010 years.2465 questionnaires were surveyed,12 forest parks were investigated and 5 representative parks for different recreation opportunities were major investigated of the soil and vegetation impacts and visitor characteristics.(1) The research of characteristics of forest visitors, behavior characteristics and needs of preference show that there are the women are as many as men, there are any age visitors, while the majority proportion is 20-39 years old people (account for 65.3%); visitors have generally higher education(college education account for 79.9%); Occupation of visitors are company employees and students; Income level of visitors is not very different, mainly monthly income are 2000-4000 RMB. Xiangshan Park and Lingshan Scenic Spot have the highest visit rates among the surveyed parks. People’s travel distance of 40 km above the proportion of nearly half (47.5%); majority frequency of forest recreation is 3-5 times one year (account for 40%); Travel motives are "to relax, relieve stress" and "close to nature"; Travel time, mainly on weekends and statutory holidays (account for 66.8%); Preference for a balanced variety of recreational activities, top three are "climbing for exercise", "go sightseeing" and "take photos."(2) Construction of the Forest Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (FROS).Five major forest recreation opportunities are classified on the basis of Forest Service Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) and Water Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (WROS). The five classes are "suburban developed","suburban natural", "rural developed ","rural natural" and "semi-primitive" forest recreation areas. The elements, activities, features and experiences of each spectrum were introduced and the overall benefits are showed. Four criteria of "degree of development", "degree of remoteness", "degree of visitor presence" and "degree of management presence" have been chosen to classify the setting features of different spectrum and five recreation opportunity classes have been inventoried and mapped by GIS. The supply and the demand preferences of the five recreational opportunities are also comparative analyzed.(3) Construction of evaluation system of recreation carrying capacity in the mountainous forest areas. The evaluation system includes four dimensions, which are spatial carrying capacity, ecological carrying capacity, facilities carrying capacity and psychological carrying capacity. Spatial carrying capacity uses "area method" as indicator, ecological carrying capacity uses "soil impact" and "vegetation impact" as indicators, facility carrying capacity use satisfaction of "service facilities" and "infrastructure" as indicators, psychological carrying capacity use "perception of crowding" as indictor. Standards of indicators are defined according normative methods, expert assessment, related regulation and research results. There are four capacity levels, which are "below", "approaching"," at" and "exceeding". Levels of concern are also presented in the paper.(4) This paper evaluates five typical parks of the forest recreation opportunity spectrum (FROS). Xiangshan Park is the representative park of "suburban developed" forest areas, which spatial load level has "reached or exceeded" the carrying capacity; Ecological impact is serious, has "reached" carrying capacity; Facilities and psychological load levels are"suitable"but "overload" in the peak periods. The main problem is the crowding and overload on holidays. Jiufeng National Forest Park represents the "suburban rural" forest recreation areas. The spatial and psychological loading level are low, Ecological carrying level is "close to" capacity, Facilities carrying level overload capacity, and the main issue is improving the facilities. Lingshan Scenic Spot is the representation of "rural developed" forest recreation areas. Its spatial and psychological carrying level are low the capacity, ecological impact is serious, ecology and facilities are overload capacities. The typical park of "rural natural" forest recreation areas is Yunmengshan National Forest Park. Its spatial and psychological carrying level are low, and the ecological and facilities load levels are "close to" capacities. Songshan Nature Reserve is on behalf of the "semi-primitive" forest recreation areas. The carrying level of space and psychology are under capacities, the ecological carrying level is close to capacity and the Facility load level has "reached" carrying capacity. Finally, based on the load levels and visitors’features of different recreation opportunities, corresponding management recommendations are provided.(5) The overall recreational carrying capacity of the suburban mountainous forest areas have been evaluated in this paper. The reasonable spatial capacity of mountainous forest recreation area in Beijing is 734.73 million passengers per day and 185439.7 million passengers per year, the overall space carrying level is low. Ecological impacts of "suburban developed" and "rural developed" recreation areas are most serious.The ecological impact of "suburban developed" and "rural developed" forest recreation are serious. The soil impact index is 16.41%("high"), and the visual impact index of vegetation is 21.7%("approaching"), and the ecological impact index of vegetation is 25.5% ("exceeding")of Xiangshan Park belong to "suburban developed" area. The soil impact index is 19.78%("high"), and the visual impact index of vegetation is 27.9%("at"), and the ecological impact index of vegetation is 20.5%("at") of Lingshan Scenic Spot belong to "rural developed" area, following by "semi-primitive " type, and the ecological impact of "suburban natural" and "rural natural" forest recreation areas are relative smaller. The overall ecological carrying level is "close to" capacity. The satisfaction of the services and facilities for the medium to low (50% or more evaluation "general"), the facilities carrying level has "reached" capacity. Except for Xiangshan Park, the proportion of "sense of crowding" of other forest recreation types are less than 15%, so the overall psychological load level is low. The total evaluation results are the spatial and psychological carrying level of suburban mountainous forest areas of Beijing are low, and ecological carrying level is "close" to capacity, attention should be paid,and facility carrying level has "reached" capacity, the facilities need to be improved.(6) The spatial carrying capacity of forest recreation loops in the suburban of Beijing also be evaluated in this paper. The five forest recreation loops nearly include most of the forest recreation areas in the suburban of Beijing. The overall spatial capacity of the recreation loops is about 498 million passengers per day, equivalent to 2/3 of the overall recreation spatial capacity of forest recreation area in the suburban of Beijing. The spatial carrying capacity of Fangshan-Mentougou Forest Recreation Loop is about 196 million passengers per day, The spatial carrying capacity of Yanqing-Changpin Forest Recreation Loop is about 124 million passengers per day, and of Pinggu-Shunyi Forest Recreation Loop is about 95 million passengers per day, and of Miyun-Huairou Forest Recreation Loop is about 59 million passengers per day, and of Miaofegshan Forest Recreation Loop is about 24 million passengers per day. This paper also proposed adjusting the layout of proposed recommendations Based on the carrying capacities of different loops and recreation resource features.Advice of forest types adjusting was provided based on the resource characteristics and functions and layout of suburban forest. The area of recreational and scenic will be increased from 52253.6 hm2 to 158504.84 hm2,the proportion occupied the total forest area will increased from 8.44% to 25.70%; the area of ecological protective forest will decreased from 378043.8 hm2 to 271792.56 hm2,and the proportion occupied the total forest area will decreased from 60.05% to 43.89%.