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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   This site is one of the three German biosphere reserves situated in the wadden sea. It covers tidal flats, salt marshes, dunes and beaches along the Lower Saxonian coast and most parts of the East Friesian Islands. Three rivers (Ems, Weser and Elbe) discharge into the area and form estuaries. The site is an important nursing ground for fish and provides stepping stone, resting and feeding area for many millions of birds every year. The area has also been selected under the Ramsar Convention and the European Flora Fauna Habitat Directive.
Apart from one ornithologist, there are no people living in the biosphere reserve, however some villages are contiguous to the biosphere reserve. Major human activity is tourism. In the area there are also many visitor centers that inform tourists about the sensitive ecosystem of the Wadden Sea.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate coastal/marine zone
  Major habitats & land cover types   Intertidal sand-, muddy sand- and mud-flats under natural conditions with benthic microalgae (mainly diatoms), blue mussel beds, tidal channels; barrier islands with sand dunes, i.a. primary dunes with sand couch (Agropyron junceum), secondary dunes with lyme grass (Elymus arenarius), sea marram (Ammophila arenaria), and tertiary dunes with Hippophae ssp., Salix ssp. and Calluna heath; salt marshes with characteristic species such as Puccinellia maritima, Sueda maritima, Plantago maritima etc.; agricultural land with pastures (sheep-, cattle-, and horse grazing)
  Location   53°37' to 53°55'N, 6°35' to 8°41'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   240,000
  Core area(s)   130,000
  Buffer zone(s)   108,000
  Transition area(s) when given   2,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -10 to +24.5
  Year designated   1992
  Administrative authorities   Ministry of Environment of Lower Saxony Nationalparkverwaltung "Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer"
  Brief description   Trilateral (Dutch, German and Danish) Monitoring and Assessment
Programme (DEMOWAD: trilateral Data Exchange via Internet (MAP-date Unit))
Studies of blue mussel beds (using resthole sensing for musselbed-identification)
Bird studies
Studies of coastal protection measures (engineering and ecological aspects)
Sensing for identification of vegetation patterns in the salt marshes and dunes
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Birds, coastal/marine, conservation, dune systems, invertebrates/insects/spiders, vegetation studies/plant cover, wetlands.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Mapping, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address    
Nationalparkverwaltung Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer
Virchowstrasse 1
D-26382 Wilhelmshaven
  Telephone   (49.4421) 911 281
  Fax   (49.4421) 911 280
  E-mail   Poststelle@nlpv-wattenmeer.niedersachsen.de

Last updated: 08/12/2005

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