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Site Information

Nationalpark Schwarzwald
Schwarzwaldhochstr. 2
77889 Seebach}
07449 - 92998 0
07449 - 92998 499


Contact person "Scientific research":

You are interested in a spezific research project and want to get in contact with our professionals? Please feel free to contact our team using one of the following email addresses:

Dr. Marc Förschler, Head of Department,
Vertebrates, Species Conservation
Tel.: +49 7442 18018 200
Marc Förschler on ReasearchGate


Sönke Birk, Deputy Head of Department,
Geodata Management
Tel.: +49 7442 18018 260
Sönke Birk on ReasearchGate


Friedrich Burghardt
Wildlife Management
+ 49 162 269 41 34


Dr. Jörn Buse
Invertebrates and Biodiversity
Tel.: +49 7442 18018 230
Jörn Buse on ReasearchGate


Dr. Christoph Dreiser
Remote Sensing and Abiotic Monitoring
Tel.: +49 7442 18018 261
Christoph Dreiser on ReasearchGate


Dr. Stefanie Gärtner
Vegetation and Natural Forest Development
Tel.: +49 7442 18018 220
Stefanie Gärtner on ReasearchGate


Flavius Popa
Mycology and Soil Ecology
Tel.: +49 7442 18018 240
Flavius Popa on ReasearchGate    

Working together with sheep and cattle: maintaining the mountain heaths

In the long term, nature is to be left totally to itself in most parts of the National Park with no human intervention whatsoever. However some areas, such as those on the National Park’s borders, are exempt. So too are the upland pastures that have been grazed for hundreds of years by cattle and goats have become open heathlands which certain species, including  green mountain grasshoppers, adders and meadow pipits, have adapted to. Without human maintenance of such areas, these special animal habitats would be lost. The National Park is therefore committed to maintain the heaths along the Schwarzwaldhochstraße for the longterm. They will continue to be grazed by sheep, goat and cattle. Trees that manage to establish will be felled occasionally to ensure the heaths do not become overgrown. The development of these areas and their living communities is monitored by the researchers in the longterm.

Does forest succession also effect or cause changes to the water? Surveying the Huzenbacher See

Another important task for the research team in the National Park is to monitor climate and soil changes. Known to specialists as long-term hydrological monitoring, one such project is taking place at one of the park’s lakes, the Huzenbacher See. The researchers wish to find out how the water in the lake changes over time. Does the water level rise or fall? Does the water become more basic saltier or acidic, cooler or warmer? The monitoring station that can answer all these questions was installed in 1989 by the Höhn Limnology Office located in Freiburg and was subsequently refurbished in 2015 by the National Park staff. Evaluating all of the water data can also help ascertain how forest and climate changes affect the water and in turn what this means for plants and fungi in the National Park.

Paradise for fungi: research in the Wilder See protected forest

In the oldest forest in the National Park at the Wilder See, nature has been left to its own devices for over 100 years, thus making it a place of particular scientific interest. As part of a joint project, fungi experts from all over Germany have for many years been studying what species of fungi and lichens exist in this somewhat wilder part of the Black Forest. The project partners are the fungi work group from the Natural Science Association of Karlsruhe (NWV), the Karlsruhe State Museum of Natural History, the University of Greifswald and the regional council of Karlsruhe. All species found will be collected and stored at the fungal herbarium of the Karlsruhe State Museum of Natural History where they are available for further research. The highlight to date has been the discovery of a true primeval fungus, the lemon-yellow trametes.

More information on this fungi project

Protection for endangered capercaillies

The capercaillie has played an important role in the cultural history of the northern Black Forest. For instance, it appears on the district of Freudenstadt’s coat of arms. But in recent decades, the numbers of this impressive large bird have severely declined everywhere. One of the largest capercaillie populations in the Black Forest can be found in the National Park. Researchers are monitoring their development closely, for instance, observing the numbers of chicks being raised to ascertain whether they can survive here in the long term. Closely studying their habitat preferences in the National Park is also important so that protection measures can be put in place in these specific areas.

Living space or habitat for rare and endangered species

In the forests of the National Park there are rare and endangered species that can only survive in forests that are close to natural. These forests look quite different from managed forests as they feature both young and very old trees, standing and lying dead wood and large root plates. Particular attention is paid to threatened species such as the rare three-toed woodpecker or nocturnal owls such as the boreal and pygmy owls by research programmes conducted within the National Park. The scientific teams have also got their eyes focused on uncommon insects as they are often a sign that the forest is developing naturally. For example, in the relatively old forest areas, such as on the Hoher Ochsenkopf mountain and in the area of the Wildsee lake, one long-term project is researching beetles that live specifically in dead wood, thus making it possible to examine how the diversity of species develops when the forest becomes increasingly natural. Rare plant species, particularly mosses and ferns, are also part of the research programme in the National Park.

Natural Scientific

With a hands-off approach, if nature makes all the decisions, if nature is allowed to go wild

One of the most important research tasks in the National Park is to observe exactly how the forests and habitats change. What was once a managed forest will now on change only according to the whims of nature, whether in large leaps or small steps, snow breakage, storms, droughts and insects will play a role in changing the face of the forest. This is what the researchers call a mosaic cycle. The mosaic of different forest structures resulting from these natural developments - from the accumulation of dead wood to the unrestricted growth of young trees - forms the basis of life for a large variety of animal, fungal and plant species.

The changes will be observed from a general point of view down to the finest detail. For instance regularly over time aerial photographs, will be taken to document landscape changes and where forest density is increasing or decreasing. The data will be evaluated in collaboration with the State Office for Geographical Information and Land Development (LGL), the Forest Research Institute in Freiburg and the Department of Remote Sensing and Landscape Information Systems (FeLis) at the University of Freiburg.

The researchers will also be looking at selected areas in greater detail, sometimes even microscopically, to conduct fine-detail research. They will for instance be observing, which plants and fungi are propagating and which new ones have arrived. It’s what scientists call vegetation monitoring. Many research institutes are already examining how the forests in the National Park are developing in a variety of locations by means of many individual projects.

Conservation and forest management, both in the National Park and beyond its borders, can benefit from the findings as they get introduced into the practical work conducted by the National Park team with regard to wildlife conservation and guided tours.

Research on nature and people

Research on nature and people

A variety of research is undertaken in the Black Forest National Park. And the focus is not only on nature but on humans too. Protecting the natural processes is of course the ...

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Social scientific

Social scientific

Humans not only have totally different ideas of what a forest should be like, their needs and expectations of nature in general, and of the National Park in particular, vary ...

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Responsibilities & Goals

The responsibilities of the National Park Administration are extremely exciting and diverse. The primary objective of the National Park is summed up in ...

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Neues Leben aus totem Holz

Die Totholzstrukturen der unbewirtschafteten Wälder des Nationalpark Schwarzwald sind ein Paradies für Insekten und Käfer. Allein im Bannwald Hoher Ochsenkopf konnten 2016 insgesamt 206 holzbewohnende Käferarten nachgewiesen werden.