National Park Hunsrück-Hochwald - Germany

Basic Information
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Site Name
National Park Hunsrück-Hochwald
Short name
Site Description
The national park Hunsrück-Hochwald is situated in the north-east of the nature park Saar-Hunsrück. 90 percent of the national parks area belong to Rhineland-Palatinate and 10 percent to the Saarland. Founded in March 2015, it is Germanys youngest national park. The basis of its foundation has been a treaty between Rhineland-Palatinate and the Saarland, which was passed through in January 2015. The special quality of the foundation is shown in the successful public participation. The national park contains the biggest occurance of wildcats in Europe. The visitor can see a great woodrush beech forest with moors, rocks and meadows of arnica. Because of the fact, that the forest is left to his own ressources, it offers safe and natural habitats to rare animal and plant species which can be observed. Furthermore, data about the condition of the forest, the air quality and analyses of bodies of water are collected, too.
Last modified
2020-09-02 11:09:42
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Site Status
Year Established
Concerning the animal and plant species in the national park, populations of birds, bark beetles, wildcats, bats and the red deer are observed and analysed in several monitoring programmes. Statistics about Lichens, mosses and fungi have been collected, too. There is also a big programme ongoing which intends to remove the spruces out of the moors. The consequences of this move for the development of the moor are recorded as well as the impacts on climate. Since 1983, there are analyses of bodies of water ongoing. Because of the previous problem of acid rain in the Hunsrück, the air monitoring network ZIMEN was found. The station Hunsrück-Leisel is part of this network. There, ozone, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, temperature, precipitation and other parameters are observed. Every year, statistics of level I about the ascertainment of forest damages and the condition of forest soil are collected. Intensive investigations of level II are carried out, too. Part of these investigations are for example the monitoring of ecosystems in the forest. Parameters while doing this are the state of the treetops, the supply of nutrients, the growth of the forest, the natural vegetation or the mycorrhiza. A further part is the monitoring of immissions and the weather (ZIMEN) as well as the monitoring of the water balance and the natural balance. The last part of the investigations are experiments, e.g. liming the forest and recording the consequences of this action.
In 1981, the first reserve called "Kahlenberg" was formed in the area of today´s national park. The reserve is an area without any commercial use of wood. This part of the forest is left to his own ressources. In 1982, the reserves Gottlob, Springkopf, Langbruch and Ruppelstein were formed. The last reserve, called "Gebück" was set up in 1995. As a consequence, already 30 years ago, a monitoring of biological ecosystems started at these sites. The monitoring apart of the reserves initially started in 1983 as acid rain monitoring by the German states Saarland and Rhineland Palatinate. As a result, the measurement section in Leisel was formed as well as a monitoring of bodies of water. The measurement station in Leisel is a meteorological station and a station where the air chemistry and with that the air pollution are measured. The national park Hunsrück-Hochwald was established in March 2015. The incentive to found it was provided by the state government of Rhineland Palatinate in 2011. In 2015, a treaty between Rhineland Palatinate and the Saarland was passed through by the two federal state parliaments. Since the official opening, animal and plant species are part of new monitoring programmes as well as the development of the whole forest and the associated dynamics in the appearance of the national park.
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Affiliation and Network Specific Information
ILTERThis site is a verified "ILTER" member.
LTER EuropeThis site is a verified "LTER Europe" member.
LTER-D (Germany) (LTER_EU_DE_022)This site is a verified "LTER-D (Germany)" member.

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