Spring biotopes are highly developed vital spaces which often have taken millenniums to come to their present state.
These specialised habitats frequently only have a size of a few square meters and, thus, are very sensitive to any kind of interferences.
However, if the source has seriously been damaged once, there is no way to repair this. The source is not accessible anymore for its population and, as a consequence, is lost as habitat.
Catchments of sources for e.g. drinking troughs for cattle, pedal basins, fountainsPipe works, lining as well as transfer of sources due to e.g. drainages for the draining and drying of fields, meadows and pasturesIntensive cultivation with excessive fertilisation or chemical treatments of areas surrounding the sourceDamages cause intensive meadowing due to steps and over fertilisationDeposits of waste, chopped fibres or rumble in the source area Encumbering due to sediments of sand or stones because of construction works e.g. road construction in the neighbourhood of sources Fishponds causing eutrophication and increased water temperature in the immediate source area Stepping damages by dear, cattle or human beings; in source bogs some traces will be visible for decadesReforestation with exotic coppices like spruces.
Due to the falling needles the soil becomes acid a s well as the pH-value of the source water. The spruce needles set free humid acids preventing the growth of other plants.
The shadowing throughout the whole year obscures the source area with a damaging impact on the source vegetation. Excessive takings of drinking water drying sources up completely or partly
Discharge of surface waters e.g. from gutters, fields or sewage waters Depression of groundwater due to settlements. drainage or takings of groundwater
Sources are best protected by avoiding any kind of human impact. This is often the case in forests and inaccessible areas which can not be used for agriculture. Cultivated areas should be maintained in a proper way so that the source area is not damaged. Maintenance measures could be:
Establishment of buffer zones and protected areas
Lined and piped sources should be renaturalised
Extension of areas in the neighbourhood of the sources
Information of the population
The source protection programme by the LBV
Due to studies initiated by the LBV has been recognized that most open land sources suffer from heavy damages making them mostly untraceable. On the other hand, the forest sources are less endangered, but also they could be destroyed by reforestation with pine woods and construction of wooden paths. Despite legal protection, sources are still being endangered nowadays.
Knowing fully well that pure source water is a vital necessity for animals and humankind, the LBV founded a protection programme for Bavaria in 1993. Sources are systematically registered in order to be able to evaluate the risk situation and to process a conception for protection and optimisation. This way, the respective sources can be brought back to their natural balance.
Some sources profit from a particular protection due to the purchase of particularly precious source bogs. The LBV is making active public relations for the actual contents not to get lost. With brochures, touring expositions, presentations, guided visits and the support by press and television, it is intended is to sensitize the population and to gain the "specialist publications" for the subject "source".
Until today, 25 extensive projects have been realised, detailed ecological studies have been carried through and tutored doctorates have been created. The data of nearly 2500 sources have been processed; moreover, investigations of fauna and flora have been realised.
Mapping results and suggestions for maintenance regarding sources bogs at Almeding and Tratten at Ramsau (Chr. Niederbichler)
"Sources and source bogs in Southeast upper Bavaria"
Project management: Dipl. Biol. Ralf Hotzy
Texts and Photographs: Dipl. Geogr. Christian Niederbichler, Tannenweg 1, 83346 Bergen, Cooperation (Fauna): Dipl. Biol. Walter Mandl, Chieming