5 years ago

The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

Norbert Grosser, Valeska

Norbert Grosser, Valeska Krebs ENERGY WOOD USE AS A MEASURE OF LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT – AN APPROACH TO PRESERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY IN THE GREEN BELT? 1 PROJECT ENERGIE WOOD AND BIODIVERSITY The compound research project “Energy wood and biodiversity – the use of energy wood as an approach to conservation and development of habitats of national significance” may be an approach as an agent to enhance or to save biodiversity of habitats and species. The start of the project was in autumn 2009 and it will end in December 2012 [4]. What about the initial situation? We will stop the species decrease caused by wood succession and lack of land use. On the other hand we have the possibility of energetic use of wood from landscape conservation. It seems to be a simple approach to solve our diversity problem – we can use energy from renewable sources and reduce the costs of landscape management connected with existing aims in stopping loss of biodiversity. But it is not that easy as it looks like. We cannot use forest technology for wood harvesting clear of difficulties, for example too big exposure or too wet soil. We don’t have enough experience to estimate the amount of existing biomass and the required logistics from harvesting place to energy wood consumer. Further we have acceptance problems with conservationists in such a radical solution. What about the effects of harvesting technique on soil, biotopes and species? Which kind of use follows on harvesting wood to save the state of the biotope? What kind of land use has to follow: grazing, mowing, destroying greensward by harrow? Will it be efficient enough? In the background there is a lot of work in coordination with land owners, land users, forest authorities, nature conservation authorities and so on. And at last we have in the green belt and other protection areas problems with mines and other munitions. Therefore the aims of the project are integrated in efforts for development and test of a presentable form of using harvest of energy wood as one firmed method of nature conservancy connected with local solutions for energetic use and increased income from this kind of landscape management. We ourselves are working in the subproject 5 (see figure 1) and try to create ideas for managing habitats after harvesting shrubs and trees as energy wood. We cooperate with the colleagues from Anhalt University of Applied Sciences which investigate reaction of flora and vegetation. In more than 40 selected areas (4 of them in the green belt) in Thuringia and Brandenburg we investigate fauna and flora before and after harvesting energy wood. Therefore we developed concrete aims for each investigation area. In these areas plots for vegetation records and transects for animal observation were defined. Depending of the size of area and habitat type indicator groups of animals were chosen to estimate technology effects and effectiveness of measures including following land use in the sense of conservational ideas. The groups of animals are birds (in bigger areas), butterflies (moths in single plots), locusts, crickets and additionally in some plots snakes and lizards. If you calculate the necessary number of investigations to reach very good information and on the other hand the minimal number of personal (a half stead, supposed by occasionally helping students) you have to search for a compromise in the amount and type of investigations. We evaluated available data sources, literature and observe now only special indicator species (restricted to a special biotope type). Their presence or absence, their reaction to the changed environment, their colonization or recolonization of transects, their reaction to disturbances from harvesting technique (for example soil devastation) are indicators for success of measures. The derivation of recommendations for further land use to save biodiversity follows. 46

Norbert Grosser, Valeska Krebs ENERGY WOOD USE AS A MEASURE OF LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT – AN APPROACH TO PRESERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY IN THE GREEN BELT? Figure 1: Project scheme It seems to be a concrete clear concept with some restrictions in time and personal capacity but in practice there are some more difficulties. It is difficult to get continuously data series over the year, comparable between different years depending on the state of literature, empirical knowledge and operational experience, the ability to determine fast moving animals in the field (no automatically traps were used) or laboratory (difficult determination by preparing genitalia slides in insects) and weather conditions. Accurate but flexible time planning, draw up habitat specific lists of (preliminary) indicator species contribute to project success. 3 EXAMPLES AND RESULTS In the following we will show some concrete examples from the green belt concerning as difficulties in the case of single species and also the connection between area specific aims and measures. 3.1 Species examples and management requirements The balance between succession processes and landscape management to reach or conserve high biodiversity and or endangered species in open habitats is very difficult. The larvae of Eriogaster catax (LINNAEUS, 1775) (protected by habitat directive, FFH-species 1074) are feeding on shrubs of Prunus spinosa or Crataegus species. Prunus and Crataegus are widespread but not so Eriogaster catax. In Germany recent populations are observed only 47

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