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Iglesias Merchan, Carlos (2014)
Publisher: E.T.S.I. Montes (UPM)
Languages: Spanish; Castilian
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: Medio Ambiente
Esta Tesis Doctoral trata sobre la caracterización acústica de los ecosistemas naturales y la evaluación del impacto ambiental del ruido antropogénico sobre sus potenciales receptores en estos lugares, incluidos los receptores no humanos y sus efectos ecológicos, además, analiza las implicaciones para su gestión a distintas escalas y se lleva a cabo una valoración económica. Este trabajo ofrece soluciones para caracterizar los paisajes sonoros de forma compatible con distintas escalas de trabajo, nivel de esfuerzo técnico y en contextos de recursos limitados que haga viable su tratamiento como cualquier otra variable ambiental en el ámbito de la conservación y gestión del medio natural. Se han adaptado herramientas y metodologías propias de disciplinas como la acústica ambiental, bioacústica y ecología del paisaje, para servir a los objetivos específicos de la evaluación y gestión de los paisajes sonoros y el ruido ambiental en amplias extensiones geográficas. Se ha establecido un método general de muestreo sistemático para trabajo de campo y también se han adaptado métodos de modelización informática, que permiten analizar escenarios sonoros dinámicos en el tiempo y en el espacio, desde localizaciones puntuales hasta la escala del paisaje. Es posible elaborar cartografía ambiental con esta información y se ha representado gráficamente la zona de influencia de distintas fuentes de ruido sobre la calidad de distintos hábitats faunísticos. Se recomienda el uso del indicador del nivel de presión sonora equivalente (Leq) por su operatividad en medición y modelización, y su adaptabilidad a cualquier dimensión espacial y temporal que se requiera, por ejemplo en función del paisaje, actividades o especies que se establezcan como objeto de análisis. Se ha comprobado que las voces y conversaciones de parte de los excursionistas en zonas de reposo, observación y descanso (Laguna Grande de Peñalara) es la fuente de ruido que con mayor frecuencia identifican los propios visitantes (51%) y causa un incremento del nivel de presión sonora equivalente de unos 4,5 dBA sobre el nivel correspondiente al ambiente natural (Lnat). También se ha comprobado que carreteras con bajo nivel de tráfico (IMD<1000) pueden causar estrés fisiológico sobre la fauna y afectar a la calidad de sus hábitats. La isófona de 30 dBA del índice Leq (24h) permite dividir a los corzos de la zona de estudio en dos grupos con diferente nivel de estrés fisiológico, más elevado en los que se sitúan más cerca de la carretera con mayor volumen de tráfico y se expone a mayores niveles de ruido. Por otro lado, ha sido posible delimitar una zona de exclusión para la nidificación de buitre negro alrededor de las carreteras, coincidente con la isófona Leq (24h) de 40 dBA que afecta al 11% de su hábitat potencial. Además se ha llevado a cabo una novedosa valoración económica de la contaminación acústica en espacios naturales protegidos, mediante el análisis de la experiencia sonora de los visitantes del antiguo Parque Natural de Peñalara, y se ha constatado su disposición al pago de una entrada de acceso a estos lugares (aproximadamente 1 euro) si redundara en una mejora de su estado de conservación. En conclusión, los espacios naturales protegidos pueden sufrir un impacto ambiental significativo causado por fuentes de ruido localizadas en su interior pero también lejanas a ellos, que se sitúan fuera del ámbito de competencias de sus gestores. Sucesos sonoros como el sobrevuelo de aviones pueden incrementar en aproximadamente 8 dBA el nivel de referencia Lnat en las zonas tranquilas del parque. Se recomienda llevar a cabo una gestión activa del medio ambiente sonoro y se considera necesario extender la investigación sobre los efectos ecológicos del ruido ambiental a otros lugares y especies animales. ABSTRACT This PhD Thesis deals with acoustic characterization of natural ecosystems and anthropogenic noise impact assessment on potential receivers, including non-human receivers and their ecological effects. Besides, its management implications at different scales are analyzed and an economic valuation is performed. This study provides solutions for characterizing soundscapes in a compatible way with different working scales, level of technical effort and in a context of limited resources, so its treatment becomes feasible as for any other environmental variable in conservation and environmental management. Several tools and methodologies have been adapted from a variety of disciplines such as environmental acoustics, bioacoustics and landscape ecology, to better serve the specific goals of assessing and managing soundscapes and environmental noise in large areas. A procedure has been established for systematic field measurement surveys and noise common computer modelling methods have also been adapted in order to analyze dynamic soundscapes across time and space, from local to landscape scales. It is possible to create specific thematic cartography as for instance delimiting potential influence zone from different noise sources on animal habitats quality. Use of equivalent continuous sound pressure level index (Leq) is recommended because it provides great flexibility in operation for noise measurement and modelling, and because of its adaptability to any required temporal and spatial dimension, for instance landscape, activities or the target species established as study subjects. It has been found that human voices and conversations in a resting and contemplation area (Laguna Grande de Peñalara) is the most frequently referred noise source by national park visitors (51 %) when asked. Human voices alter this recreational area by increasing the sound pressure level approximately 4.5 dBA over the natural ambient level (Lnat). It has also been found that low traffic roads (AADT<1000 ) may cause physiological stress on wildlife and affect the quality of their habitats. It has also been possible to define a road-effect zone by noise mapping, which suggests an effective habitat loss within the Leq (24h) 30 dBA isophone in case of Roe deer and also divide the study area in two groups with different physiological stress level, higher for those exposed to higher noise levels and traffic volume. On the other hand, it has been possible to determine an exclusion area for Cinereous vulture nesting surrounding roads which is coincident with the Leq (24h) 40 dBA isophone and affects 11 % of the vulture potential habitat. It has also been performed an economic estimation of noise pollution impact on visitors’ perception and results showed that visitors would be willing to pay an entrance fee of approximately 1 euro if such payment is really bringing an improvement of the conservation status. In conclusion, protected areas may be significantly affected by anthropogenic noise sources located within the park borders but perturbations may also be caused by large-distance noise sources outside the park managers’ jurisdiction. Aircraft overflight events disrupted quietness and caused Leq increases of almost 8 dBA during a monitoring period with respect to Lnat reference levels in the park quiet areas. It is recommended to actively manage the acoustic environment. Finally, further research on ecological impacts of environmental noise needs to be extended to other species and places.
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