Ecological Succession of Wetlands

Definition:

 

The process whereby one plant community changes into another. It involves the immigration and extinction of species, coupled with changes in the relavtive abundance of different plants

 

Crawley 1997

 

The nature reserve „Schlammwiss“ in the Syrvalley near Übersyren consists of a vast reedbed, which has naturally established itself around several ponds, and a big marsh area. These two vegetation types would, without any maintenance of an open landscape in terms of a periodical mowing/cutting or extensive pasturing, as we would find it near Mensdorf, be exposed to the natural succession of plant communities. Wood such as several willow species, alders and elms, which can cope with moist soils would claim these permanently and seasonally flooded areas and thus displace the desired vegetation.

 

In order to support a certain structural diversity consisting of meadows, reeds, sedges, some shrubs and trees and so favour linked habitats for diverse insect and bird species, it is essential to carry out maintenance measures. This includes on the one hand removing the spreading wood and bushes especially in the reed area and on the other hand regularly mowing the marsh area to keep it open.

 

Due to the heavy snowfall during January, which has flattened the whole reed and sedge area, accessibility was given and one could easily remove all shrubs and woods. Furthermore a committed participation of many members of the Schlammwiss-team as well as many helping hands from the “Fit by Nature” activities enabled to do the job.

 

Many thanks to our volunteers and Alain Maury (and co.) !

 

Autor: Max Steinmetz

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