Berlin Environmental Atlas

05.06. Nature Protection Areas and Landscape Protection Areas (Edition 2003)

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Nature Protection Areas

There are currently 35 nature protection areas (NSGs) in Berlin, which occupy 2.1% of the municipal area (1,879,5 hectares, as of Dec. 2003). A major share of the Berlin NSGs are in the middle of wooded areas certified as landscape protection areas (LSGs). The nature protection areas in the former West Berlin include e.g. the "Ruhleben Creek Meadow," the "Bäkewiese" terrain, or the "Teufelsbruch [devil's swamp] and ancillary mires" and the "Greater and Lesser Rohrpfuhl" in the Spandau Forest. The Havel islands Imchen and Peacock Island (Pfaueninsel), which has been protected since 1941, are also protected areas. In the eastern boroughs, the "Karow Ponds," the "Bog Meadows on Tegel Creek" and the "Faule Lake" were certified as NSGs in 1994. In 1995 another eight areas were added, followed in 1999 by the Schöneberg South Terrain, and in 2002 by the Gatow Windmill Hill, the Marzahn Unkenpfuhle (toad ponds), the Bogen Lakes and the Lietzen Ditch Depression and in 2003 the former Airport Johannisthal.

A main focus of protected-area certification is in Köpenick. This area includes the largest nature protection areas in Berlin, the nature protection areas "Krumme Laake/Pelzlaake," "Gosen Meadows and Seddin Lake (Northeastern part)" and the "Wilhelmshagen-Woltersdorf Dunes." These three areas total almost 900 hectares – over 50% of the overall NSG area.

Table 2 - click to enlarge
[Approx. 22 KB size.]

Tab. 2: Nature protection areas in Berlin (as of Dec. 2003)

[This table is also available in Excel Format (MS Excel is required).]

The last mires still existing in Berlin are remainders of the original vegetation. These include mires in the Grunewald Forest, which are certified as NSGs, such as the "Bars Lake and Pech Lake," the "Teufelsfenn," the "Postfenn," the "Riemeisterfenn" and the "Hundekehlefenn." A typical area is the "Bars Lake and Pech Lake" NSG. Pech Lake emerged at the end of the Vistula glaciation and is located in a valley in the western Grunewald forest. The northern offshoot area has undergone mire formation; the rest of its area is water. The Pech Lake, still classified as nutrient-poor as recently as 50 years ago, developed into a more nutrient-rich site by the middle of the ’80’s, in the area of the nearby quaking meadows. Associated with this development was the impoverishment of the herbaceous layer in the forest area, which was displaced in the northern part by the black cherry (Prunus serotina). The primary cause for the vegetation changes in the Grunewald mires is the strong lowering of the groundwater level due to drinking-water discharge, so that many mires no longer have any groundwater connection. Despite the many negative changes, Pech Lake is one of the last mesotrophic lakes in Berlin. In the "Bars Lake and Pech Lake" NSG, a multitude of rare and endangered plant species occur. Floral particularities of this area include the mud-sedge (Carex limosa) and the white-beak sedge (Rhynchospora alba). In addition to the rare plant species, there also exist numerous animal species which are adjusted to the specific conditions. The area provides a habitat for such remarkable species as the water spider (Argyroneta aquatica), the raft spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus) and the ground beetle Pterostrichus aterrimus. Bars Lake is the most important spawning body of water for the pointed-nose frog (Rana arvalis) and the common toad (Bufo bufo) in West Berlin (cf. SenStadtUm 1991).

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