Lobau

Lobau Biosphere Reserve is situated about 10 km south-east from Vienna within the Danube floodplain. The site belongs to the formerly sprawling central European riverine forest system and comprises residual softwood and hardwood forests, reed beds, semi-natural dry grasslands on calcareous substrates, natural eutrophic lakes, oligotrophic waters, and a system of backwaters and periodical pools. These habitats support an interesting fauna and flora, including a variety of breeding birds and orchids.

Designation Date: 1977
Surface Area: 1,037 ha
Administrative Division:   Management authority: National-park Donau-Auen GmbH, and City of Viena

Human Activities

There are no inhabitants in the biosphere reserve. However, human activities within the biosphere reserve include forestry, agriculture (e.g. extensive cereal cultures and vegetable growing) and small-scale fishing. Owing to the site’s proximity to the city of Vienna, recreational use of the area (e.g. hiking, swimming and biking on marked trails) is growing.

The main human impact on the landscape is the embankment of the river. The Lobau Museum provides environmental education for visitors, such as guided tours and educational films. In 2003/2004, the municipal forestry department will build a visitors` center (‘Nationalpark-Haus’).

Ecological Characteristics

Lobau Biosphere Reserve is situated about 10 km southeast from Vienna within the Danube floodplain. The site belongs to the formerly sprawling central European riverine forest system and comprises residual softwood and hardwood forests, reed beds, semi-natural dry grasslands on calcareous substrates, natural eutrophic lakes, oligotrophic waters, and a system of backwaters and periodical pools.

These habitats support an interesting fauna and flora, including a variety of breeding birds and orchids. Since its designation as biosphere reserve in 1977, the site has also been declared a Ramsar Site in 1982, become part of the Donau- Auen National Park in 1996, and has been included in the Natura 2000 Network. The area is an important ground water protection area for drinking water supply of the city of Vienna.

Hardwood forest (including partly artificial forest monocultures); hard oligo-mesotrophic waters with benthic vegetation of Chara formations; floating vegetation of Ranunculus on submontainous rivers; natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharion-type vegetation; reed beds; humid and mesophyll grasslands; semi-natural dry grasslands on calcareous substrates.


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                                                                                    Last update: January 2014

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