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Biosphere Meadow Seeds

For a flourishing Berchtesgadener Land​

A species-rich meadow is home to 80-150 different types of grasses and herbs. This makes it a habitat and food source for more than 1000 different species of animals. Such meadows are not only ecologically highly valuable, they are also a cultural asset of our region. 

Since 2015, the Biosphere Region Administration Office, in cooperation with the Landscape Management Association and the Lower Nature Conservation Authority, has been harvesting species-rich meadows in the region in order to replant new areas with these valuable seeds together with municipalities, associations, companies, farmers or schools.

Wild & Cultivated. The development of the Biosphere Meadow Seeds

In cooperation with the Salzburg regions of Pinzgau and Lungau, the foundations for harvesting meadow seeds were laid in a three-year Interreg-project.

The aim of the Interreg project was the creation and technical exchange of a cross-border protected area management of the three regions Berchtesgadener Land, Pinzgau and Lungau. The project enabled the establishment of regional seed reproduction of endangered meadows and wild herb communities in the Berchtesgadener Land Biosphere Region. Projects for the protection of species and habitats were developed and a department for landscape ecology and biodiversity was established at the Administration Office.

With the participation of experts from Austria, Germany and Switzerland, both technical and legal foundations were established in order to obtain meadow seeds of high quality on farmland. Since 2021, the seeds have been harvested in cooperation with the Landschaftspflegeverband Berchtesgadener Land Biosphere Region.

The project was financed within the framework of the EU funding program Interreg V Austria Bavaria 2014-2020.

Hay meadows rich in species, the loss of an old cultural asset

Species-rich hay meadows are as diverse as tropical rainforests. They were created through extensive, location-adapted management by humans. Today, these meadows are threatened by a strong decline and also the knowledge about the care or planting of such meadows is being lost. Species-rich lowland or mountain meadows are characterized by a great diversity of flora and fauna. With usually only 1-2 mowings per year and little fertilization, the grasses and herbs have time to grow, flower and develop their seeds. Thus, the meadow’s composition is constantly renewed each year. Many of us remember these fields as traditional, colorful farmer’s meadows with daisies, meadow goatsbeard, bellflowers or widow’s-flowers. 80-150 different species of plants can be found in such a meadow. Due to their importance for biodiversity and their increasing decline, meadow grasslands are protected on a European level and under the Bavarian Nature Conservation Act.

Knowing that it works!

The harvesting of meadows and the creation of new plots involves a great deal of effort. It is therefore important to keep an eye on the quality of the results and to optimize them if necessary. In 2021, two students from the University of Salzburg examined newly planted flowering areas for the occurrence of wild bees and hoverflies. They compared donor, recipient and control plots and came to convincing results: The examined flowering meadows were able to establish themselves successfully at the new location and developed into a new habitat for wild bees and hoverflies, including endangered or rare species. One species of hoverfly was detected for the first time in Germany. The researchers expect even stronger effects on the newly established meadows in the coming years, as they were still “young” at the time of the studies and will continue to develop in their population.

Die Erkenntnisse
auf einen Blick

27 Flächen

wurden bei der Studie untersucht

94 Wildbienenarten und 52 Schwebfliegenarten

wurden dabei gefunden

Erstmals in Deutschland nachgewiesen

wurde eine Schwebfliegenart

Details of the results can be found in the two master’s theses: Teufl, Anna (2022). Diversity of flowering plants and wild bees in species-rich flowering meadows, in meadows created with the seeds of these meadows and in negative control areas. Master Thesis. Paris Lodron University of Salzburg. Nißl, Maria (2022). Diversität von Blütenpflanzen, Wildbienen und Schwebfliegen in Wiesen der Biosphärenregion Berchtesgadener Land. Masterarbeit. Technische Universität München.
Portrait Sabine Pinterits

Your contact person

Sabine Pinterits

Landscape ecology and biodiversity

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