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The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

Schlumprecht, H., Laube,

Schlumprecht, H., Laube, J. MONITORING BIODIVERSITY OF THE THURINGIAN GREEN BELT Dwarf shrub heath Area, in hectares P erennial herbs Young forests Water bodies Groves, trees 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Grassland Forest Shrub Arable land Traffic area Bogs, fens 6,7 12,5 10,6 Main types of land cover 5,1 3,3 4,1 3,7 3,5 12,2 42,8 5,7 1,8 5,3 90,2 36 32,2 § protected open land types § protected fores t types not protected 0 25 50 75 100 125 Area, in hectare Figure 2: Land use types with and without legal protection Land us e types of minor value Protected fores t biotopes Protected grassland biotopes Protected biotope types 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 101112131415161718192021222324252627282930 Monitoring‐ID Figure 3: Legal status of biotope and land-use types at the individual monitoring areas

Schlumprecht, H., Laube, J. MONITORING BIODIVERSITY OF THE THURINGIAN GREEN BELT 2.1.2 Threats For each valuable biotope type, threats were recorded and rated from A (minor or no threat) to C (critical threat, threat endangering the continuance of biotope). Threats were present at 119 ha of valuable biotopes. The major part of threats (69 ha) was rated as medium threat (B), 22.3 ha were evaluated as suffering critical threats (C), with urgent need for management measures. About 27.7 ha had no or only minor threats (A). Shrub encroachment (on total of 78.9 ha) and eutrophication (on a total of 47.3 ha), followed by ruderalisation (31.0 ha) and presence of nitrophilic plant species (18.5 ha), abandonment of traditional extensive use (9.6 ha), invasion by non-native plant species (5.6 ha), as well as altered ground water levels (5.2 ha) were the most frequent threats. Shrub encroachment and eutrophication mostly were rated as moderate impairments (B), but abandonment of extensive land use (like grazing or mowing of grassland) were often recorded as severe threats (C). 2.1.3 Shrub encroachment As succession and shrub encroachment were considered as main overall threat for many valuable biotope types, the shrub cover was mapped using an 8-level scale (from “0”: zero or not noteworthy, to “7”: shrub cover 60 - 67 %). Areas with more than 67 % shrub cover are per definition not open land biotope types according [2] and were hence not surveyed in detail. 40.3 % of all biotope areas were free of shrub encroachment (level 0). These are mainly mown meadows. The level of shrub encroachment differs strongly between different biotope types (see Table 1). Critical stages of succession (level 4-7) are frequent at dry basophilic, nutrient-poor grasslands, at species rich ruderal stands, or at mesophilic grasslands. A total of 24 ha is under modest shrub encroachment (up to level 3), mainly at semi-dry nutrient poor grasslands, meadows, and dwarf shrub heaths. Table 1: Critical succession stages for different biotope types Biotope type (with area in hectare) Code 0 % 1 % to 30 % 31 % to 67 % Sedge swamps 3213 0.00 0.27 0.00 Common reed bed in land habitat 3230 1.42 1.81 0.00 Semi-dry nutrient poor grassland, basiphilic 4211 15.91 12.50 2.05 Mountain meadows 4221 9.36 0.00 0.00 Mesophilic to semi-dry grassland (meadows) 4222 33.86 10.42 1.41 Mesophilic to moist grassland (meadows) 4223 1.93 1.14 0.00 Species-rich wet grassland, eutrophic 4230 3.85 0.53 0.00 Species-rich wet grassland, nutrient poor 4240 0.24 0.06 0.00 Moist tall herbaceous fringes 4721 5.24 0.00 0.00 Species-rich ruderal sites, dry and thermophilous 4732 0.00 0.00 1.46 Dwarf shrub heath 5610 6.44 4.14 0.00 2.1.4 Management and land use recommendations For each of the valuable biotope types, proposals for management action were given. A first management recommendation was noted during field work, and then all management 37

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