The aim of the FraDivobs monitoring programme is to investigate the effects of ash dieback (ADB) disease on forest biocoenoses. At typical ash tree locations in Schleswig-Holstein (Northern Germany), we record the infestation situation of ash trees and relate the damage to the biodiversity of the stands. To this end, we have established a statewide monitoring programme in order to put the current extent of the ADB in relation to the respective environmental site conditions on a large scale. In addition, we can observe the effects of the ADB disease on the forest communities and the effects of associated forestry practice strategies over a larger period of time and document alterations of the ecosystem.
In spring 2019, we visited more than 400 potential sites throughout Schleswig-Holstein to assess their suitability for monitoring. The aim was to cover a representative selection of habitat types in which ash occurs and to integrate the landscape elements typical of Schleswig-Holstein (e.g. cliffs). In addition, forests with different forest utilisation intensities and known stands with occurrences of endangered or rare fungus species should be included in the data set. A great deal of information from the cooperation partners as well as from private individuals and public institutions was incorporated into this pre-selection.
In the next step, we selected 114 plots according to our criteria and set them up as permanent
plots (hereinafter referred to as "plots"). The selected plots represent
The plots are also distributed in varying proportions across the three large landscape areas of Schleswig-Holstein (marsh, geest and eastern hilly country). Around 60 % of the established plots are located in the eastern hills. This spatial focus is due to the fact that both the overall proportion of forest and the proportion of ash stands are higher in the eastern hills than in the other two landscape types.
Plots of 100 m² each were set up and permanently marked in each of the 114 forest stands by late summer 2020 in order to carry out a complete inventory:
Early purple orchid (Orchis mascula)
Carpet of wild violets (Viola reichenbachiana)
Species of the clavarioid fungi (Clavaria flavipe)
Biologist and Geologist Matthias Lüderitz from the FraDiv Myko-Team
Species of the waxcaps (Kegeliger Saftling)
Soil identification and soil sampling were carried out on all monitoring plots to characterise the soil chemical parameters. All monitoring plots were also equipped with data loggers for continuous measurement of soil moisture. At sites close to groundwater, the water level dynamics are also recorded with data loggers. By means of repeated light measurements on all plots, the direct influence of the ETS on the further canopy opening of old stands can also be recorded and the significance of the changed light conditions for the accompanying vegetation and forest regeneration and rejuvenation can be investigated.
Soil sampling to determine the soil chemical parameters | Repeated recording of hemispherical photos to document the dynamics of the canopy opening above the monitoring plots | Installation of soil moisture sensorsr
A complete inventory of the floristic and mycological species of the ash-rich monitoring plots is now available. This data set represents the baseline situation for FraDiv. In the further course of the project, the development of the biocoenosis on these plots will continue to be observed to monitor success. By analysing this data, we want to help answer the following questions, among others
With repeated surveys of the herb layer and the occurring fungi in the further course of the project, we also want to record the extent to which the increasing loss of ash trees and the progressive thinning of the forest also affects the accompanying diversity of higher plants, fungi, mosses and lichens.
This project is funded by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation with resources from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection.