Regensburg is situated in one of the plant biodiversity hotspots of Germany due to its situation at the Danube river and various geologic surroundings. It is just situated at the edge of Franconian Jurassic Mountains in the west and the Bavarian Forest, which includes the very first German National Park.
In the north, there is a tectonic basin with a large protected area with hundreds of ponds and other kinds of wetlands. In the south, one can find the tertiary hilly land with larger sand dune areas.
We will only cover a part of this high landscape habitat diversity and offer three excursions into different landscapes and a fourth to the Botanical Garden (with more than 6000 species and therefrom 160 strongly endangered and rare native species cultivated as ex-situ collection, and at least one even extinct in Bavaria and the last individuals only maintained by us) and a guided tour through the city which is one of the oldest in Germany founded by the Romans.
Kallmünz is situated at the confluence of two rivers (Naab, Vils) about 30km far from Regensburg. It is together with Eilsbrunn (see excursion B) one of the Bavarian hotspots of the most species-rich habitat, the calcareous grasslands. Beside the floristics (more than 400 vascular plant species), there is an emphasis on the history and development of these grasslands which we studied via pollen and pedoanthracological analysis as well as archive material (historical maps, photographs etc. incl. soil seed banks). We will discuss the actual management of these anthropogenic grasslands but also their restoration.
Eilsbrunn and the Penk valley are situated in the vicinity of Regensburg. In Eilsbrunn we will visit the “Alpiner Steig” which is one of best maintained anthropogenic calcareous grasslands hosting many rare and endangered species. In the Penk valley we visit dry native beech forests with their specific flora including a lot of fringe species which occur in the ecotone between forests and open land, a habitat which becomes more and more endangered in Germany.
This excursion will start in Kelheim which is 40km far from Regensburg where we start with a ship passing the famous breakthrough of the Danube through the Jurassic mountains. We leave the ship at the famous Weltenburg monastery which hosts the oldest monastery brewery in the world founded in 1050 AM. From there, we will cross the Danube in small boats to walk back to Kelheim. We will pass typical native beech forests with their specific flora and outcrops with small dry calcareous grasslands. We will see typical rock species some being relicts of the last ice age. At the end we pass the “freedom hall” which was built by the Bavarian King Ludwig I. at the occasion that Napoleon was defeated.
The Botanical Garden of the university is well known because of some unique collections of rare and endangered species of our native flora (being the Bavarian competence centre of ex situ-conservation) but also alpine species worldwide. In total we host around 6000 species in the glass houses and the garden. We reconstructed several typical (and often endangered) habitats, e.g. dry grasslands, heathland and even a peatland. Unique is a small piece of the shore of the Lake of Constance hosting e.g. the endemic species Myosotis rehsteineri. After the visit of the Botanical Garden you can follow a guided tour through the famous medieval city centre with Roman remains (e.g. Porta Praetoria) and the building of the “Immerwährender Reichstag” (Regensburg was from 1663 to 1806 the “capital” of Germany). The city centre is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
The post-conference excursion will start on Saturday, 3rd of August, and will last four days (until Tuesday, 6th of August).
The excursion will take us from Regensburg to the north of Munich, to the Isar valley, to the foothills of the Alps and the Alps. The excursion will cover a wide range of different habitats, such as steppe grasslands (Garchinger Heide), wild river habitats with an exciting vegetation, peatlands (raised bogs, fens), alpine grasslands, snow bed and rock vegetation.
The alpine habitats are situated in the Karwendel mountains where we go up and down with a cable car. On the way back to Regensburg we will visit wetlands and dry grassland under conservation and restoration management, respectively.
Several past and current research projects of our working group related to seed ecology will be presented at different field sites with a possibility to discuss them among the conference participants.
We stay overnight all days in Bad Toelz which is a typical Bavarian city situated in the Alpine foothills at the river Isar.
The excursion fee is 400€ and includes the fee for the bus and the cable car at Karwendel, three stays overnight in the hotel at Bad Tölz including breakfast, lunch package and dinner but excluding the drinks at dinner.
On the way back to Regensburg we will pass Munich airport in the late afternoon.