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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   This biosphere reserve is located in the Thuringian forest and is crossed by the famous German hiking trail ‘Rennsteig’. The biosphere reserve comprises mainly large contiguous mountain spruce forests. Furthermore, beech forests, block and rock forest communities, high-elevation raised bogs can be found. Upland, low-lying and valley meadows reflect the extensive use by people for dairy cow raising. The entire biosphere reserve has been designated as Natura 2000 site and European Bird Protection Area because of black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) and black stork (Ciconia nigra) populations.
The biosphere reserve is only sparsely populated (4,200 people in the transition area in 2001). The area is also important for the protection of water resources. Activities in the transition area are agriculture, fish farming, commerce and retail, forestry, glass manufacture and crafts. Tourism is a major source of income in the region.
Environmental education consists of guided tours, excursions, lectures, courses, special programs for children etc.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mixed mountain forest dominated by Picea abies, Fagus sylvatica and Acer pseudoplatanus, sometimes mixed with Abies alba and Ulmus glabra; mountain clefts with Fraxinus excelsior, Acer platanoides and Alnus glutinosa; mountainous hay meadow with Trisetum flavescens, Geranium sylvaticum, Arnica montana together with several orchid species such as Coeloglossum viride and Dactylorhiza sambucina; mountain springs and streams with Phalaris arundinacea, Mimulus guttatus, Veronica beccabunga etc.; wet meadows; riverine herb communities with Filipendula ulmaria, Petasites hybridus and Chaerophyllum hirsutum; low mountain range grassland as pasture or hay pasture
  Location   50°36'N; 10°48'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   17,098
  Core area(s)   437
  Buffer zone(s)   2,024
  Transition area(s) when given   14,637
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +420 to +982
  Year designated   1979, extension 1986/1990
  Administrative authorities   Ministry for agriculture, nature conservation and environment of Thuringia
  Brief description   Hydrology (water quality)
Abiotic and biotic research and monitoring
Vegetation mapping
Animal populations
Cultivation of Abies alba as gene conservation measure
Vegetation-soil-land use interactions
Ecosystem modelling and restoration
Management research on conservation of biological diversity
Study of succession processes
Recreation and tourism
Socio-economic research
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, hydrology, monitoring/methodologies, soil.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity, conservation, fauna, genetic resources, methodologies, modelling, phytosociology/succession, plants, population genetics/population dynamics, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   Recreation, social/socio-economic aspects, tourism.
  Integrated monitoring   Land use/Land cover, management issues, mapping, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   Johannes Tress
Vessertal-Naturpark Thueringer Wald
Waldstr. 1
98711 Schmiedefeld am Rennsteig
  Telephone   (49.36782) 6660
  Fax   (49.36782) 666 29
  E-mail   poststelle.vessertal@br-np.thueringen.de
  Web site   www.biosphaerenreservat-vessertal.de

Last updated: 16/03/2004

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