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Species-Rich Grasslands in the Nature Park

Observant visitors to the Erzgebirge/Vogtland Nature Park will notice that the landscape of the uplands differs from that in the lowlands and hill country. The characteristics of the scenery gradually change as the elevation above sea level increases. For example, there are far more forests in the nature park than in the foothills. Even in the unforested areas, the agricultural fields that otherwise prevail are increasingly replaced by grassland as the altitude increases, and the proportion of pastures and meadows rises until almost no agricultural land re-mains at the ridge altitudes.

The landscape alternates between forests, grassland and rural settlements. This small-scale structure and the well-preserved state of the different types of land use are a characteristic of the cultural landscape of the na-ture park that has evolved alongside and in tune with the local way of life throughout history. It is a vital ele-ment of the potential for leisure and experiences that the largest Saxon upland mountain range offers.

Meadows can be very diverse. Wet meadows, moist grassland meadows and mountain meadows as well as nutrient-poor grasslands can be differentiated depending on the intensity of their use and their site. As the name suggests, mountain meadows occur in mountainous areas, i.e. a little higher than 500 metres above sea level; they are classed as moist grassland meadows, or Frischwiesen.

Author: Dr. Wolfgang Böhnert
Böhnert, Wolfgang (2001): “Blütenbunte Bergwiesen im Naturpark ‘Erzgebirge/Vogtland’”
In: Naturpark Spezial issue 4