Institute of Geography and Geoecology (IFGG)

Ecological and silvicultural strategies for adapting to climate changes for long-term protection of ecosystems in alluvial forests within the Rastatt’s NSG Rhine Floodplain

  • Contact:

    Gregory Egger

  • Funding:

    LUBW Baden-Württemberg, Klimopass 2014

  • Partner:

    sje Ecohydraulic Engeneering GmbH, Stuttgart; Dr. Volker Späth, gradute forester; Forstverwaltung Landkreis Rastatt und Stadt Rastatt (forestry administration of Rastatt’s administrative districts and Rastatt City)

  • Startdate:

    11/2014

  • Enddate:

    01/2016

Alluvial forests along the upper Rhine in Baden-Württemberg (as well as in France, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse) are affected in threefold manner by the predicted climate changes. The future climate conditions, which are expected to bring about heavily varying and more extreme weather, affect alluvial forests and purely terrestrial forest ecosystems alike. However, climate change further calls for alterations in drainage patterns, impacting flood levels, duration and recurrence rates (as a crucial factor for floodplain locations) as well as soil and groundwater, the latter in turn being strongly dependent on water-levels.

The requested enterprise aims to ensure the preservation of alluvial forests for man and nature by means of ecological and silviculture-oriented adaptation strategies, even under the conditions of climate change. For this reason, the long-term changes in Rastatt’s NSG Rhine Floodplains – in which the Institute for Floodplains Ecology has been scientifically involved for decades – are to be examined on the basis of predicted impacts of climate change by means of a hydrological flood data linked with a floodplain succession model. The results of the floodplain succession model can be used to derive silvicultural uses and the preservation of highly significant ecological adaptation strategies for the future, which can also be implemented in other parts of Ramsar and Natura2000 sites in Baden-Württemberg.