The Hainich-Dün region is located in northwestern Thuringia in the middle of Germany. It includes the “Hainich” forest region in the south and the “Dün” region in the north, connected by the “Obere Eichsfeld”.
|Annual precipitation sum||500-800 mm|
|Elevation||258-550 m a.s.l.; highest point: “Alter Berg” in 494 m a.s.l.|
|Typical plant species||Wood anemone, large stands of wild garlic, mercury, spring snowflake|
|Dominant forest type||European (mixed) beech forests|
|Characteristic management types||Selection-cutting forests (so-called “Plenterwald”) organised in forest cooperatives; extensively managed grasslands grazed by sheep forming juniper heath|
|Specific information||With 16,000 ha one of the largest continuous deciduous forest areas in Germany. Forest sites of the national park since 1935 unmanaged and out of use.|
The forest areas of the Hainich are surrounded by small settlements, arable land, meadows, pastures and limestone grasslands (fig. 3). In the Dün and Eichsfeld region grasslands and agricultural land occur with variable management intensity. Compared with the forest region, the extent of grasslands is relatively small, because they are under a pressure of land-use change. Extensively managed grasslands were formerly grazed by sheep (fig. 4), and these are under pressure of afforestations, while the more fertile intensive grasslands are under pressure to be converted to arable land. Towards the east the Hainch-Dün adjoins the agricultural land of the Thuringian Basin which belongs to the most fertile soils in Germany.
In the exploratory Hainich-Dün limestone (upper shell-limestone) and Loess constantly alternate (fig. 5). Therefore, silty, loamy and clayey soil textures dominate. Because a varying quantity of loess is deposited, the soil depth is varies considerably. While the limy, weathering clays often consist of carbonate, the pH value is between 5 and 6. In loess soils, strong soil leaching causes the development of clayey stagnant horizons and stagnant moisture. Dominating soil types are lessivé and pseudogley. On shell-limestone along hill sides rendzina occurs. Otherwise brown earth is frequent (fig. 6).
Local Management Team Hainich-Dün
Technical University of Munich
Chair for Terrestrial Ecology
Field station Hainich-Dün exploratory
Am Burghof 3
Phone: +49 (0) 36022 159 843