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Sector Specific Portals

Rare tree species

Rare tree species in Germany

The basis of all conservation measures is the documentation of existing forest genetic resources. Up to now, precise information on the location and population size of rare tree species as well as on their vitality, age structure and genetic diversity was missing nationwide. On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food supported a standard survey method to document, phenotypically and genotypically characterise and evaluate rare forest tree species in Germany.

In this survey, the following native tree species were documented nationwide: Common yew (Taxus baccata), wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis), field maple (Acer campestre), downy oak (Quercus pubescens), European bird cherry (Prunus padus), green alder (Alnus viridis), gray alder (Alnus incana), service tree (Sorbus domestica), wild apple (Malus sylvestris) and wild pear (Pyrus pyraster). Prior to this, the BMEL had already supported the documentation of black poplar (Populus nigra) and the three native elm species - elm (Ulmus glabra), Russian elm (Ulmus laevis) and European field elm (Ulmus minor) - using a similar and standardized survey method.

The results should provide an appropriate basis for the selection of populations with regard to adaptability and adaptedness to the ecological conditions, and for the implementation of conservation measures. Therefore, single trees and smaller occurrences with less than 5 individuals as well as plantations in parks, gardens and cemeteries were not taken into account. Another requirement was that an occurrence (at least 5 individuals) must be separated from the next population of the same species by a minimum distance of 1000 m. Accordingly, only those occurrences that meet these criteria were included in the survey. Important population parameters such as abundance, age structure and average vitality of a population were derived from parameters such as number of trees, age and vitality.

Detailed results for the twelve tree species are presented in the final reports.

 

Page-Title: Common Yew

Page-Description:

The yew (Taxus baccata L.) is considered to be endangered nationwide. This assessment is based above all on the regionally limited distribution of yew and its occurrence in small to moderate proportions in beech forest communities.

Page-Title: Wild Service Tree

Page-Description:

The Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis L.) is considered endangered throughout Germany. This assessment is based above all on the regionally limited distribution of the Wild Service Tree and its occurrence in small to moderate proportions in oak forest communities, which are often replaced by beech in the course of near-natural forest management.

Page-Title: Field maple

Page-Description:

The field maple (Acer campestre L.) is regarded nationwide as endangered or rare. This assessment is based on the regionally limited distribution of the field maple and its occurrence in small to moderate proportions in oak forest communities, which are often replaced by beech in the course of near-natural forest management.

Page-Title: Downy oak

Page-Description:

The down oak (Quercus pubescens Willd.) is a rare tree species in Germany, which is located here at the northernmost border of its natural, contiguous distribution area. Its population is endangered by beech and/or non-native species.

Page-Title: European Bird Cherry

Page-Description:

The common grape cherry (Prunus padus L.) is not considered endangered in Germany. Due to its natural distribution area, however, the tree species is rarer in some parts of Germany than in other parts.

Page-Title: Grey alder

Page-Description:

The grey alder (Alnus incana (L.) Monk) is not endangered in Germany. Due to the lack of river dynamics in the floodplain forests, however, the existing forests are changing more and more and developing into hardwood meadows. Therefore, the grey alder has less chance of survival there.

Page-Title: Green alder

Page-Description:

The green alder (Alnus viridis (Chaix) D.C.) is not endangered in Germany.

Page-Title: Black poplar

Page-Description:

The European black poplar (Populus nigra L.) is considered to be endangered nationwide. This assessment is based on the knowledge of the extensive habitat loss of softwood wetlands and the risk of hybridisation with foreign poplar species as well as the observation of dying phenomena on individual well-examined occurrences.

Page-Title: Service tree

Page-Description:

The Speierling (Sorbus domestica L.) is considered as endangered in its continuance country widely. This assessment is based on the regionally limited distribution of Speierling and its occurrence in small to moderate proportions in oak forest communities, which are often replaced by beech in the course of near-natural forest management.

Page-Title: Elm species

Page-Description:

The three native elm species - Flutter elm (Ulmus laevis Pall.), Mountain elm (Ulmus glabra Huds.) and Field elm (Ulmus minor Mill.) - are endangered nationwide. This assessment is primarily based on the effects of elm dying and the extensive habitat loss in the hardwood floodplains and wetlands.

Page-Title: Wild apple

Page-Description:

The wild apple (Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill.) is an endangered tree species throughout Germany. The reasons for its rarity and endangerment lie in its weakness in competition with forestry tree species, which displaces it - also due to a lack of silvicultural support - from used forests in peripheral and extreme locations.

Page-Title: Wild pear

Page-Description:

The wild pear (Pyrus pyraster (L.) Burgsd.) is endangered nationwide. The reasons for this rarity and endangerment lie in its weakness in competition with forestry tree species, which - also due to a lack of silvicultural support - displaces it from used forests in peripheral and extreme locations.