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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Master Thesis

Hydrophysik und Vegetation helokrener Waldquellfluren im Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald

Jamyra Gehler (12/2018-05/2018)

Support: Carl Beierkuhnlein, Martin Feulner, David Kienle

Forest springs are important ecosystems with very diverse functioning. According to former studies in other regions of Germany, the analysis of springs in low mountain ranges in the Bavarian Forest National Park should help to better understand these ecosystems. The characteristics of this locality is that it is a protected area and so human impacts in this area are limited, in contrast to other areas like the Thuringian Forest or Ore Mountains, which are used for forestry. Within this study the correlation between elevation and the pH-value was analyzed where a negative linear relationship has been assumed. Furthermore, species richness (α-Diversity), depending on conductivity or light availability, has been observed. Both should be positively correlated with the α-Diversity of herbal species. In a final step it was assumed that there is no difference in the development of species richness of mosses and vascular plants along a gradient of the pH-value. 65 springs where sampled in total. Temperature, conductivity and pH-value where measured in situ, together with other abiotic and biotic factors including species, their coverages and light availability at the springs. With RStudio, linear and non-linear models where generated, tested and proved for correlations. As assumed, the pH-value showed a negative linear correlation with elevation. There were no significant correlations between conductivity (as indicator for the mineral content of the spring water) and α-Diversity of vascular plants. Light availability and α-Diversity of vascular plants showed a positive, but non-linear correlation. α-Diversity of mosses and vascular plants showed no correlations or trends and nor did their differences, so we proved that they react the same along a pH-gradient. The analysis of plant communities showed most of the springs accompanying to the categories Montio-Cardaminetea and Scheuchzerio-Caricetea.

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