Forest ecology at Solling

Whole-day field course: Tour of the research site of the famous Solling project with introduction to forest ecosystem research and ecophysiology, surveys of stand structure and vegetation in a near-natural moder beech forest and a planted spruce stand, thorough soil assessments including grain size determinations and pH measurements of mineral soil horizons and the distinct organic layers of the forest floor, identification of forest types and assessment of abiotic factors based on indicator species groups used in forestry and on ecological indicator values, exploration of adaptations to sun and shade in a 30m spruce canopy from a 50m tower. Depending on weather and time, additional activities may include obtaining a vertical profile of abiotic factors in the spruce canopy, or investigating the spatial distribution of sun and shade plants on the forest floor in relation to measured availability of photosynthetically active radiation.

Longer courses: a comparative survey of structure, vegetation and soil at Göttingen Forest (beech forest on limestone) as well as a (limited) ecophysiological program on sun and shade adaptation could be completed within one additional course day.

Time of year: May to October
Travel expenses: € 8 per person per day or use of own vehicles
Duration: 1 day or longer
Maximal number of participants: 23 with organized travel, 24 with own vehicles