Disturbed Landscapes: Case Study Lusatian Lignite Mining District
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
The Information Society and Enlargement of the European Union
Workshops - Disturbed Landscapes
World-wide Germany is the leading lignite mining nation. Most of the lignite is produced in opencast operations. However, opencast mining causes enormous impacts on natural ecosystems and even on entire landscapes. The extensive production of lignite particularly in eastern Germany results in large devastated areas which so far have been reclaimed only to some part. For the restoration of the post-mining area of more than 80,000 ha the major land use option is the reestablishment of forest ecosystems. However, adverse site conditions of the post-mining landscape such as extreme soil acidification and salt concentrations call for specific recultivation practices. Therefore, after the German reunification new reclamation and reforestation concepts have been developed for these brown coal areas of eastern Germany by the Collaborative Research Center (SFB 565) at the Brandenburg University of Technology at Cottbus (Germany). As a case study our comprehensive investigations into forest ecosystem development on terra nova in the Lusatian lignite mining district, south-east of Berlin, will be presented.