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Lehrstuhl für Biogeografie

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Audorff, V; Beierkuhnlein, C: Biomonitoring at the landscape level: a survey of springs in silicateous mountain regions
Poster, Multifunctional Landscapes, Gießen: 18.05.2005 - 19.05.2005

Vegetation of spring habitats in forested catchments is strongly influenced by hydrochemical conditions. Higher plants, mosses and liverworts have been tested to identify indicator species, which react sensible to changes in water chemistry. We used this knowledge of bioindication for a monitoring survey of the silicateous mountain regions Thüringer Wald, Thüringer Schiefergebirge, Frankenwald, Fichtelgebirge, and Erzgebirge. Our investigations found springs to be a good indicator system to characterize forest ecosystems and their atmospheric deposition loads. Spatial patterns of stress situations have been shown clearly. The experimental setup included aspects of groundwater chemistry and associated vegetation, as well as processes in forested catchments in a holistic ecosystem approach. Springs represent an integrating signal of the state of forest ecosystems. The first sampling period of our long-term investigation was in 1989/1990, at the time of the German reunion. This is an important feature of our project, because in the following years the deposition of acidifying pollutants (especially sulfate) in the investigated mountain ranges decreased significantly. In a current project we analyze temporal dynamics of water chemistry and associated vegetation.
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