Wetlands

Especially on flat surfaces and hollows, surface water often fails to drain off. The constantly wet conditions result in highly specialised vegetation. Mostly grasses and grass-like families dominate. Depending on many other factors, especially altitude, nutrient content and human management, the vegetation can vary greatly. Directly at the edge of lakes, reed belts are usually predominant. In climatically and edaphically unfavourable situations, however, bogs and fens are formed where peat is deposited. We study the very heterogeneous group of wetlands within two categories: lake shores and peat bogs.

Lake shores
Peat bogs

Lake shores

In South Tyrol there are a number of small and medium-sized lakes spread over the country. Often, they were formed in the post-glacial period and are now in the stage of silting up. At low altitudes, shallow lake shores are usually dominated by reeds. As with the moors, there is a great variety of lakes and we had to limit our choice considerably. In biodiversity monitoring we investigate 10 lakes of the colline and montane belt. Methodologically, the surveys partly differ from those of other habitats, e.g. in the botanical survey we work with transects.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) at the shore of Kalterer See/Lake Caldaro

Bladder sedge (Carex vesicaria), Eisack Valley

Reed at the shore of Kalterer See/Lake Caldaro

Common spikerush (Eleocharis palustris agg.) next to Sterzing/Vipiteno

Peat bogs

The bog category contains many different types of vegetation. Included are the stands of big sedges at the bottom of the valley to lowland moors of montane meadowlands and moss-dominated raised bogs at the forest border. In all these vegetation types, peat accumulation occurs. For the monitoring, we selected 10 peatlands which in total reflect the diversity of this habitat complex extensively.

Peat bog on the Villanderer Alm/Alpe di Villandro

Yellow sedge (Carex oederi), Pflersch/Val di Fleres

Peat bog with bog pine (Pinus mugo)

Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), Sarntal/Val Sarentino

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