|Biosphere Reserve Information|
© Photo: Weißflog
The Spreewald Biosphere Reserve is situated 100 km south-east of Berlin in the Lausitz region. It is known for its traditional irrigation system which consists of 1,300 km small channels (called ‘Fliesse’) within the 48,400 hectares area. The landscape was shaped during the ice-age. Alder forests on wetlands and pine forests on sandy dry areas are characteristical for the region, however, also grasslands and fields can be found.
About 50,000 people live in the biosphere reserve (1998). Many of them are descendants of the first settlers in the Spreewald region, the Slavic tribes of the Sorb/Wends. Until today, they have preserved their traditional language, customs and clothing. People mostly depend on tourism. Many tourists enjoy the exploration of the Spreewald in punts. However, also agriculture, forestry and fishery are important sources of income.
|Major ecosystem type||Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands|
|Major habitats & land cover types||Forested low moor landscape with ramose system of water bodies dominated by alder (Alnus glutinosa), Salix viminalis and Carex spp.; grassland low moor landscape with ramose system of water bodies with reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea), Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica) etc.; inland dune pine forest and dry grassland with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), silver birch (Betula pendula) and alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus); old fruit plantations; agroecosystems with cucumber, cabbage etc.; forestry systems with alder (Alnus glutinosa), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), oak (Quercus robur) and pine (Pinus sylvestris)|
|Transition area(s) when given||37,204 (including regeneration zone of 14,912 ha)|
|Altitude (metres above sea level)||+44 to +144|
|Administrative authorities||Administration of BR Spreewald is part of the Brandenburg state office for Major Protected Areas under the authority of the Ministry of agriculture, environment protection and regional planning|
|Last updated: 3/14/2005|