Department of Forest Ecology and Soils
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The knowledge of site potential is a fundamental planning element of forest management. Site and Vegetation Research is also an essential requirement for the concerns of nature conservation and environmental protection thus providing the basis for decision-making processes in forestry. The tasks of the Unit of Site and Vegetation Research comprise the assessment of characteristic site parameters, the classification of forest sites according to permanent and variable site factors as well as the spatial presentation of those sites (mapping). Vegetation ecology deals with the classification of forest vegetation in vegetation communities. If we have enough information on ecological demands of forest plants we are able to make prognoses on the site factors that form a forest stand, including its history and use.

Special attention is given to close cooperation with silviculture. In a way, site research provides the knowlegde-based framework for silvicultural activities like tree species selection, stand conversion, utilisation, etc. Within these limits ecologically sustainable forest management is guaranteed.

Emphasis is also placed on forest hydrology. In anticipation of climate change, it is essential to understand the changes in the water regime of forest sites and the consequences thereof. In addition to physical properties, research focuses on soil water chemistry of various forest soils.

Priority Areas of Work

  • Site diagnosis - ecological characterisation of forest sites
  • Site classification and site mapping - assessment of the site potential
  • Characterisation and classification of forest communities
  • Forest hydrology: water regime of forest sites, soil water chemistry
  • Soil taxonomy
  • Humus diagnosis and germination bed studies
  • Vegetation surveys
  • Layout and maintenance of permanent plots for ecological monitoring
  • Operation of measuring sites to assess water regimes, micro and local climate of forest stands
  • Determination of physical soil properties and soil water chemistry
  • Completion of a survey of forest site maps in Austria (DB Metamap)
  • Scientific management of databases: soil, vegetation, meteorology, hydrology
  • Operation of a herbarium


Michael Englisch
Head of Unit +43-1-87838-1203 Schönbrunn, Room103

Forest Hydrology: Water
Regime of Forest Sites, Soil Water Chemistry
+43-1-87838-1344 Schönbrunn, Room 247

Günther Gollobich Site Mapping, GIS
Schönbrunn, Room 217

Edwin Herzberger
Site Mapping -GIS Applications, Purchase of Site Maps +43-1-87838-1319 Schönbrunn, Room 220

Site Mapping,
Organisation, Forest Soil
Room 144

Schaufler Judith

Project "Forest clasification of Sytria"
Room 201

Andrea Silverio
Herbarium +43-1-87838-1321 Schönbrunn, Room 222

Franz Starlinger
Vegetation Research, Vegetation Ecology
+43-1-87838-1317 Schönbrunn, Room 219


Unit of Site and Vegetation
Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8, 1131 Vienn, Austria
Head of Unit: Dr. Michael Englisch

Tel. +43-1-87838-1304, Fax: +43-1-87838-1220

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Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape
Austria, 1131 Vienna, Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8 | Tel.: +43 1 878 38-0,
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