baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

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Fauler Ort Nature Reserve, Germany

The small (13.6 ha) reserve is one of the most natural lowland Opens internal link in current window Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forests in Germany 1 . Due to the former management, the area was dominated by Quercus (oak) in the early 1800s 2 . Since the mid 1800s there has been no logging 1 ; at that time F. sylvatica had caught up with Quercus and in 1922 the forest was described as over-mature F. sylvatica forest 2 . The nature reserve was established in 1938 and enlarged in 1990 to 77 ha 1 . Today the original reserve looks very natural without visible signs of human influence.

This reserve differs markedly from another near-natural F. sylvatica forest, Opens internal link in current window Heilige Hallen Nature Reserve , located not far from Fauler Ort. Whereas Heilige Hallen Reserve is almost pure F. sylvatica , in Fauler Ort there are about 10 other tree species mixed, e.g. Opens internal link in current window Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple), Opens internal link in current window Tilia platyphyllos (large-leaved linden) and Opens internal link in current window Tilia cordata (small-leaved linden). Relatively low annual rainfall (approx. 540 mm) and the larger annual temperature amplitude as compared to more western and northern lowland F. sylvatica forest regions are the reasons for the decreased competitiveness of F. sylvatica 2 . Despite its smaller area, Fauler Ort has more variable habitats than relatively monotonous Heilige Hallen. The undergrowth is more abundant and variable, too. Tree species composition varies with different habitats. There are also many wet springs on the slopes.

This reserve should not be confused with a place of the same name in Müritz National Park. Elevation is about 30–50 m and average annual temperature 8.2°C.

References :

1 Sperber, G. & Thierfelder, S. (2005): Urwälder Deutschlands. BLV Verlagsgesellschaft mBH.

2 Rüffer, O. (2015): Der "Faule Ort" - Erkenntnisse zur natürlichen Waldentwicklung in einem Brandenburger Naturwald. Forst Brandenburg.

Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest.
Fagus sylvatica (European beech, right and young trees), Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple, centre), Tilia platyphyllos (large-leaved linden, background left).
The grove of image 2 from opposite direction. Tilia platyphyllos (large-leaved linden, foreground), Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple, background centre right), Fagus sylvatica (European beech, big tree background right and young trees).