Ecological Setting of the Study Area
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Due to Weichselian meltwater and late-glacial dead ice dynamics the Bornhöved Lake District comprises six lakes, in two broadly parallel alignments, namely the Bornhöveder See, Schmalensee and the Belauer See in the southeast and the Fuhlensee, Schierensee and Stolper See in the northwest. Hydrographically speaking, they form part of the Schwentine system which includes a major proportion of ditches in the southern part of the drainage basin. Lake Bornhöved has two outlets, the western one feeding a stream flowing past the Fuhlensee and through the Schierensee to finally emptying into lake Stolpe, while the eastern one forms the Schwentine River proper which connects the adjacent Schmalensee with Lakes Belau and Stolpe (Fig. 1.1).
As substantiated in Section 1.2.2, the study area reflects the relevant ecological structures of an essential part of the German Lowlands. It is the purpose of the present Chapter, therefore, to provide background information on the large-scale setting of the study area in terms of sediments, soils, climate, drainage systems, vegetation cover, and the development of the socio-economic structure of the cultural landscape. On this basis, the following Sections present the major findings of the research scheme, starting with the results of nano- and microscale enquiries into eco-physiological key processes of ecosystem functioning, then turning to energy and material balances of ecosystems and the related biocoenotic dynamics at the small and medium scale in order to finally consider structures and functions of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem complexes of the study area on the macroscale.
KeywordsArable Land Beech Forest Ground Beetle Herb Layer Oribatid Mite
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