TERENO - Gimritz - Germany
TERENO - Gimritz
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The site is located within a protected area near Halle and due to the rain shadow of the Harz mountains the annual precipitation in this area is low (497 mm). The climate is subcontinental with relative high mean yearly temperatures (average 9.1 °C). The area is characterized by a distinct topography with a complex mosaic of soils. On rhyolithic bedrocks rankers are dominating while brown soils and tschernosemic soils occur in the valleys between the hills. This mosaic leads to a considerable variation of soil properties (soil pH varies between 4.6-7.4). On the small rhyolitic bedrocks a mosaic of dry grassland communities occurs correlated with depth of the soil layer, soil pH and exposition. Four plant communities are dominating :Brachypodietum pinnati (soil-pH: 7.4), Euphorbio-Callunetum (4.8), Festucetum rupicolae (5.8), Thymo-Festucetum (4.6). On top of the hills and on the southern slopes, the shallow soils do not allow the establishment of shrubs and trees. Part of the area was irregularly grazed by sheep. Areas with deeper soils were used as arable fields. In 1990 the grazing regime was partially reduced and the arable fields were transformed into grassland, which is mown once per year.
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