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The vegetation at Brunnenkopfalm

In the course of the vegetation period 2019, staff members of the Chair of Disturbance Ecology (University of Bayreuth) carried out vegetation studies on the selected permanent observation plots of the Brunnenkopfalm. Within the grazed area there are 10 permanent observation plots of 10 m x 10 m each. Five of them are fenced, five others are grazed by the cows. Within the fenced areas, the entire flora (species lists) and the coverage of the respective species were recorded on permanent squares (cover estimation), and the biomass was harvested. The species lists were compared with those of the year 2018 (beginning of the experiment) and also with those of the unfenced (grazed) permanent quadrants.

The results show that species biodiversity has so far hardly changed as a result of grazing. Winter landslides and avalanches, on the other hand, have probably had a greater influence so far. In addition, it is clearly visible that about 60% of the biomass is eaten by grazing. Since the investigations have only been running for two years, no further statements are possible at present. The project is scheduled for many years, and we expect in the medium to long term to gain insights into the response patterns of vegetation and soil to re-grazing.