Forest ecology

Forest ecology

The forest is more than just the sum total of all its trees and more than a producer of raw materials: it is a manifold habitat. Trees and bushes, fungi and lichens all grow here. Apart from game many other animals live in the forest. Nature conservation aims at protecting this variety as well as single species. In addition the forest is also used by us for recreation and relaxation. The interaction and reciprocation between the various elements in the forest eco-system provide the framework for an optimal fulfilment of all forest functions.

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The European White Elm defies Dutch Elm Disease

Of the three native elm species, the European white elm is the only one to resist Dutch elm disease. As a floodplain species, it grows large buttress roots and resembles trees in tropical swamp forests. As elm wood is so rare, its price has also more than doubled in recent years.

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The Sweet Chestnut: A Source of Food and Timber

The sweet chestnut was the German tree of the year in 2018. The Romans brought it here 2000 years ago, and it has provided food and wood ever since. The sweet chestnut is a warmth- and light-loving tree species that today grows primarily in southwestern Germany, in the grape-growing climate.

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Insect decline is more extensive than suspected

Compared to a decade ago, today the number of insect species on many areas has decreased by about one third. The loss of species mainly affects grasslands in the vicinity of intensively farmed land – but also applies to forests and protected areas.

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35 000 teabags buried for forest research

Scientists around the world have buried thousands of teabags to better understand the litter decomposition and carbon cycle process in forests.

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Red deer management concept Southern Black Forest

The management concept has been implemented since 2008. The concept is based on extensive research conducted prior to the development process. The key element of this management concept is a spatial concept with regulations concerning not only recreational uses, but also hunting, forestry and habitat management.

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Ozone levels are decreasing, but exposure of forests remains high

Forests in Europe still suffer from excessively high ozone levels. The good news is that ozone concentrations are declining slowly but steadily.

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Cycles and importance of the larch budmoth

The grey larch budmoth is a small moth that reproduces in masses in a regular cycle of eight to ten years. Its caterpillars feed on larch needles, which causes larch forests to turn reddish brown during a mass outbreak.

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Do Wildlife Warning Reflectors Influence the Behavior of Roe Deer?

Every year, 260,000 wild animals are killed in road accidents. Eight-five percent of those animals are roe deer. In Germany, one accident involving wildlife happens every two minutes. Does the light stimulus of the blue reflectors minimize behavior of wildlife that leads to accidents?

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01.03.2018 Wildcats in Bavaria
Wildcats in Bavaria

The wildcat was extinct in Bavaria. Now it is back, especially in the northern part. A monitoring programme based on DNA-analysis provides information on them.

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Income loss and work safety of the Habitat Tree Groups

Since 2010 habitat trees, habitat tree groups (HBG) and small-scale forest reserves have been designated and protected in the Baden-Württemberg state forest, as part of the Habitat Tree and Deadwood Concept (AuT). In order to increase the work safety HBGs are bundled.

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Heading image: Thomas Reich