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      Biosphere Reserve Information



©T.Schaaf, UNESCO
  General Description   The Wienerwald Biosphere Reserve covers an undulating landscape in the area between the Northern Alps and the Pannonic Basin, to the west of the city of Vienna. On the east slopes of the Wienerwald there is a geological rupture zone, with hot springs and impressive marine terraces of a former sea. The limestone part of the Wienerwald is dominated by steep and rugged limestone and dolomite rock formations and sharply cut gullies. The limestone dissolves easily, so the precipitation permeates the bedrock and flows away below the ground, creating various features characteristic of karst.Different geological conditions, different bio -geographical regions, the coincidence of various climatic areas, plus human activities s has resulted in a variety of habitats. The Wienerwald has vast beech forest that is important for Europe. It also has the largest areas of downy oak forests (Quercus pubescens) in Austria, and Sub-Mediterranean pine forests with endemic Austrian Pines (Pinus nigra) of European importance. Not less noteworthy, also in the international context, are the habitats of the cultivated landscape. Typical for the central part of the Wienerwald are large meadows. Here one can still find extensively farmed open land, mainly seasonal meadows as well as rich wet meadows in the valleys. They are a result of the management practices over the last centuries. Along the many watercourses there are remnants of riparian forests.The Wienerwald Biosphere Reserve has 36 core areas with a total area of 5575,8 hectares guaranteeing long-term protection and natural development of the forest area. The mosaic distribution of the core areas protects the different forest types representatively. The individual core zones have an important relevance as "stepping stones" in the protected area network.The Wienerwald is particularly characterized by its location in the congested area of Vienna. Under these basic conditions the biosphere concept can be tested as an instrument for the development of a model region for comprehensive sustainable use in urban-formed areas. About 200,000 inhabitants live permenantly in the Biosphere Reserve. The Lower Austria communities and several parts of the western Viennese districts, which are bordering directly on the green area, have a high quality of life.The tertiary (service) sector is dominating in the biosphere reserve (74 %). Secondary sectoral economic activities have declined in the last years to 24 %. Altogether there is also a strong decrease in the numbers of farms. Forestry is characterized by the dominance of large enterprises. The Wienerwald region is considered among the most important local recreation areas for the congested urban area of Vienna. Important finess locations are situated in the area. Viticultural areas with tourism tradition can also be found in the Wienerwald region.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broad-leaf forest and woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types  
  Location   Central Point:48°08’28’’ N16°04’56’’ O
Northern Point:48°21’05’’ N16°15’28’’ O
Southern Point:47°55’52’’ N16°10’47’’ O
Eastern Point:48°15’33’’ N16°22’13’’ O
Western Point:48°02’44’’ N15°47’40’’ O
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   105,645
  Core area(s)   5,576
  Buffer zone(s)   19,840
  Transition area(s) when given   80,229
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   160 meters to 893 meters
  Year designated   2005
  Administrative authorities  
  Brief description   Forests (63 %): Natural montane, sub-montane and colline broadleaf deciduous forest with beech (Fagus sylvatica), oak (Quercus petraea, Quercus robur, Quercus pubescens), hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Austrian pine (Pinus nigra), etc.
Cultivated landscapes (24 %): dominated by meadows, grassland, fields and vineyards.
Settlements (6 %)
Waters: numerous little rivers

Abiotic research: air-pollution control, soil conditions, hydrological monitoring, land utilization, plant physiology, soil ecologyBiotic research: Evaluation and documentation of the subjects of protection, development of near-natural forests, Nature forest reserves, forest and meadow research, forest birds, development of forestry, forest condition monitoring, wildlife monitoringSocio-economic research: utilization of the forests, basic data collection, regional analysis, recreation use, tourism, traditional use, regional economy, demographic research, sustainable development
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   n.a.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address    
Biosphδrenpark Wienerwald Management GmbH
Deutschwaldstrasse 15/b/1
A-3002 Purkersdorf
  Telephone   (43.2231) 66 804
  Fax   (43.2231) 66 804-50
  Web site

Last updated: 02/12/2008

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