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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Forest soil - a finite resource

Tree crowns are nowadays often used as a source of energy. This means that less crop residue material remains in the forest after harvesting. Important nutrients are lost with it, and soil fertility and soil quality may suffer.

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11.04.2020 In and on the oak
In and on the oak

The oak is not only home to many different species of insects. Many species of fungus also live on and in them. This tree species supports more life forms than any other native trees here, and it is thus very important for the biodiversity.

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Hawk moths and willowherbs

The majority of moth species live in the tropics, however, about twenty of them live here among us. A number of these excellent flying acrobats can also be found in the forests and a couple of these moths truly adore the willowherb.

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Pioneer tree species: ecologically valuable

Pioneer tree species such as goat willow, aspen, silver birch, bird cherry or rowan/mountain ash are the engine of ecological succession in the forest. But why are these tree species so important for the biodiversity of the forest?

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Red wood ants in Switzerland

Red wood ants play a vital role in our forests. With their numbers apparently in decline, it is important that we learn more about them: not only how they benefit the forest but also what they require from their habitat.

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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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Heading image: Thomas Reich