In 1995 Prof.
Dr. Morawetz (University of Leipzig) installed the first canopy crane
movable on a rail track in Venezuela (Estado amazonas) in order to investigate
the canopy ecology of a tropical rain forest. Meanwhile there are numerous
canopy projects in tropical regions, but we find only four similar
projects in forest ecosystems in temperate zones.
Therefore the University
of Leipzig installed a new canopy crane in an almost natural floodplain
forest in the north-west of Leipzig city (Nature sanctuary "Burgaue").
This project was established in co-operation with the Centre
for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle (UFZ) and the city
Like the Venezuelan canopy crane the Leipzig
crane is a construction
crane (Type Liebherr 71 EC) which is 40 m tall and has a jib of 45
m length. The whole crane is movable on a 120 m long rail track. By means
of two types of gondolas the scientist will have the exclusive chance
to perform long term measurements and observations in a forest canopy
area of about 1.5 hectare.
A team of scientists of meteorology, ecology, zoology and forestry will
participate in this innovative and multidisciplinary research project.
Climatic processes on the canopy-atmosphere interface, as well as the
impact of pollutants on the a nature near forest in the city vicinity
will be investigated.
Furthermore research projects on the little known plant-animal interactions
in the canopy and especially questions on biodiversity will be carried
out. The investigations will focus on basic research but also on applied
environmental aspects. The Leipzig Canopy Crane plays the key role in
this project because only this device will enable the research mentioned
of the research project:
gain new knowledge on structure, dynamics and function of the forest
gain more insight in some interactions between the canopy and the city
reveal some interactions between animals and plants in the canopy for
of functional biodiversity
reveal some interactions between organisms of the canopy and the understorey
gain new knowledge on genetic variability of forest trees in order to
results will provide basic insights for future strategies on the conservation
and the use of our forest. Furthermore a better assessment of the importance
of the floodplain forest for the city climate and city ecology will be
possible. In the project area which is part of the nature sanctuary "Burgaue"
thrives a species and structure rich forest
which can be categorised as nature near floodplain forest of the upper
forest in this area is product of long term human impact by using
old oak trees as timber wood while other species were cut much more frequently
and used e.g. as firewood. This way of utilisation ended in 1870. Since
that time tree species which were cut before grew up into the canopy.
Thus the actual canopy is formed by very old oak trees (> 250 y.) and
younger species of e.g. ash and lime tree (>130 y.). A peculiarity of
the stand is its amount of dead wood which provides an important habitat
for some rare and threatened insect species such as some beetle species.
This fact led to the assessment of the area as a very valuable nature
Universität Leipzig Institut für Botanik
Spezielle Botanik & Botanischer Garten, Herbarium LZ
Johannisallee 21-23 D-04103 Leipzig
Tel.: (0341) 9738591
Fax: (0341) 9738549
Permoserstraße 15 D-04318 Leipzig
Tel.: (0341) 235-2242
Fax: (0341) 235-2791
Stadt Leipzig Abteilung Stadtforsten
Stadtforstamt und Forstbehörde der Stadt Leipzig
Teichstraße 20 04092 Leipzig
Tel.: (0341) 309410
Fax: (0341) 3094138
D-88396 Biberach an der Riß
Tel.: (07351) 410
Fax: (07351) 41225