This exploratory lies within the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin, which was established in 1990 (area: 129,000 hectares). Postglacial geomorphological structures are characteristic of the northern lowlands and result in diverse habitats. Large arable fields dominate the forest free landscape; in contrast, mowed and grazed grasslands are more scarce. Forests, about 25% privately owned, range from natural old-growth beech forests over mixed forests to intensely managed pine monocultures.
The Hainich-Dün exploratory is situated in the west of Thuringia close to the border to Hessen. With a total area of ca. 16,000 hectares, Hainich comprises the largest continuous area of deciduous woodland in Germany. In 1997 one part of it was established as National Park. A broad spectrum of differently used forests occur, including selection forests, age-class forests, so-called “Bauernwald“ which was used by farmers and particularly diverse in tree composition. Extensively managed grasslands were formerly grazed by sheep, while the more fertile intensive grasslands are under pressure to be converted to arable land.
The Biosphere Reserve Schwäbische Alb in Baden-Württemberg covers an area of > 85,000 hectares of sub-montane to montane plateaus. Large of grasslands, for centuries grazed by sheep, cover lime stone soils across rolling hills and are interspersed by large forests and arable lands.