Original paper

Human Impacts on Karst Environment: a case study from Central Styria

Bauer, Christian; Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas

Abstract

This paper focuses on different types of human impacts on a ca. 1,000 km² large karstified environment in central Styria, Austria (Central Styrian Karst/CSK). A series of different types of human impacts affect at present and have affected the CSK in the past: (a) water management including water supply and sewage-treatment plants, (b) mining of phosphate in karst caves, (c) large-scale quarrying of limestone (d) touristic landuse practise, (e) military activities and (f ) vandalism of karst landforms. Examples of each of these environmental pressure types are presented and their significance for this karst area is discussed. The impacts on the CSK are evaluated on the basis of the Karst Disturbance Index (KDI). Finally, the benefits and drawbacks of the KDI in the CSK are discussed.

Keywords

human impactanthropogenic changecentral styrian karst