forests and woodlands

Environmental Histories from forest and woodland history; history of the use of wood, history of non-timber forest uses and their social regulation; work from historical woodland ecology.

Most Austrian riverine landscapes and floodplains were heavily modified by the channelization and the following anthropogenic influences in the later 19th and 20th century. In contrast to other Austrian riverine landscapes the Lobau has been conserved as a cohesive floodplain, in spite or because of its vicinity to the city of Vienna. To analyse the complexity of the development of the land use in the Lobau was the main aim of this master thesis.

Fifteen years of observations and collections of data in the alluvial forest of Upper Rhone Valley were used to show the factors which influence riparian vegetation. The structure of the forestal

communities depends on topographical, hydrological and soil factors which are closely imbricated in

a highly heterogeneous environment. Plant successions of different origins as well as the processes

What do we know about the natural productivity of riparian forests on large rivers prior to regulation and about their function as a source of raw materials and renewable energy? Can we draw conclusions for a sustainable resource management based on a historical reconstruction of the available timber resources centuries ago?
The project "Enough wood for city and river? Vienna’s wood resources in dynamic Danube floodplains" is designed to answer these questions.