FOA Landschaftsplanung GmbH

Bergen auf Rügen, Germany

FOA Landschaftsplanung GmbH

Bergen auf Rügen, Germany
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Balla S.,Kirchhofstrasse 2c | Muller-Pfannenstiel K.,Kirchhofstrasse 2c | Luttmann J.,FOA Landschaftsplanung GmbH | Uhl R.,FOA Landschaftsplanung GmbH | Schlutow A.,OKO DATA Strausberg
Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung | Year: 2010

Nitrogen deposition is considered to be one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. Since deposition values are very high in Germany the conservation status of many sensible habitats within areas protected by the Habitats Directive is at risk. In April the Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court) decided once more that critical loads of nitrogen have to be considered when ruling out significant effects of project contributions to nitrogen deposition. This decision had been criticised by K.-U. Battefeld in this journal, proclaiming that there are no justified reasons for prescribing the concept of critical loads to be used within Appropriate Assessments. The authors discuss the pros and cons of the critical loads concept in the context of Appropriate Assessments under the Habitats Directive. They explain, why they think that in fact the concept of critical loads and the scientific work establishing them are what is needed to assess significant effects of nitrogen deposition. Critical loads represent the best scientific knowledge and at the same time the best estimate available as a measure for long term risks and conceivable significant effects. The study considers various legal decisions and their grounds, and points to a research project currently conducted on behalf of the BASt (Federal Highway Research Institute).

Engler J.O.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Engler J.O.,University of Gottingen | Bohm N.,FOA Landschaftsplanung GmbH | Twietmeyer S.,Nationalparkforstamt Eifel | Elle O.,University of Trier
Ornithologische Beobachter | Year: 2016

The reasons for moving range edges are manifold and their understanding is a central part of biogeographical research. Range shifts have been observed for many bird species. A clear distinction between biotic or abiotic factors is, however, difficult and mostly species-specific. The Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta is a migratory passerine that breeds in the Western Palearctic. It has been expanding its range across Central Europe for more than 80 years. At the same time as this expansion, occurring in the same area is an ongoing range regression of its sister species, the Icterine Warbler H. icterina. Both species form a contact zone that moves alongside the shifting range edges of both species. Here we present a synthesis of previous research to understand the reasons behind the shifting range edges in this system. Contrary to previous assumptions, climate change seems to not be directly responsible for the moving contact zone, while the competitive exclusion between the species is the reason for the formation of this range edge where both species meet. Also, an increased individual aggression potential could not be observed in the expansive Melodious Warbler. The generally high mobility of both species further prevented negative genetic effects as a consequence from shifting range edges at the individual to population level. Clines in genetic diversity could neither be observed in expanding Melodious Warblers nor in receding Icterine Warblers. However, due to the changing local breeding densities of both species across the moving contact zone over time, hybridization rarely occurs and leads to asymmetric introgression from the Icterine Warbler to the Melodious Warbler. The rare appearance of hybrids with apparently high genetic effects for the Melodious Warbler is a topic for future research. © 2016, ALA. All Rights Reserved.

Balla S.,Robert Bosch GmbH | Bernotat D.,University of Leipzig | Frommer J.,Umweltbundesamt II 4.3 | Garniel A.,Kieler Institute For Landschaftsokologie | And 5 more authors.
Waldokologie Online | Year: 2014

For the last ten years impacts from nitrogen deposition within appropriate assessments has been a controversial issue discussed by many experts in Germany. More recently results from a R&D project funded by the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) have been published to establish a method on the assessment for road projects. Adverse effects are assessed in a staged approach based on the concept of critical loads: if total environmental deposition is lower than critical loads of the most sensitive feature of the site, no likely significant effects have to be expected. Project contributions up to a de-minimis value of 0.3 kg N ha-1y-1 are considered as being too small to be measurable. Neither could nitrogen deposition of up to this value be detected in the field nor could damages be attributed to projects contributing such small amounts. Project contributions lower than the proposed threshold thus exert only hypothetical risks that do not justify or even demand refusals of project under Article 6.3. Only project contributions above the cut offcriterion have to be considered within an appropriate assessment in combination with other projects. With view on the protected site another threshold of 3 % of the critical load is applied that can be exceeded not only by single projects but also in combination. Its application does not depend on background deposition. It depends on the specific sensitivity of the habitat precautionarily described by critical loads. Examination of scientific results on the effects, particularly along roads has shown that a value of 3 % of a particular critical load clearly lies below detectable adverse effects on the conservation status of natura 2000 habitats. Both thresholds are very low and thus in line with the precautionary approach prescribed by the Habitats Directive. The assessment approach encompasses legal as well as scientific confidence. It also adheres to the principle of proportionality and has proven to be functional in practice. As nitrogen inputs up to 0.3 kg N ha-1y-1 cannot be realistically attributed to a particular project, they should rather be described as diffuse part of the background deposition. High background deposition in turn should be lowered by the most efficient measures to stay in accordance with the requirement under the Habitats Directive to avoid deterioration. Very small project contributions as accepted by the proposed process will not constitute an obstacle for this.

Peters V.W.,Robert Bosch GmbH | Koukakis G.-A.,GOTZE Rechtsanwalte | Jahns-Luttmann U.,FOA Landschaftsplanung GmbH | Luttmann J.,FOA Landschaftsplanung GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung | Year: 2015

The German Environmental Damage Prevention and Remediation Act regulates the liability of damages of species and habitats protected under European Law. Such a “damage of biodiversity” includes each alteration of the respective species and habitats which has “significant negative effects on the restoration or maintenance of a favourable conservation status of these habitats or species”. The enforcement of the Environmental Damage Act requires methods and scales for the evaluation of the significance of damaging events. The valuation standards to be applied in the method proposed have to be brought into line with the scales of the European protection of species and habitats and in this context contribute to a harmonization of the checking tools according to European nature conservation legislation. The scales are embedded in a pragmatic series of checking steps derived from the legal specifications of the Environmental Damage Act. The testing starts with a checking of those aspects which help to exclude the existence of a damage of biodiversity rather simply. Only if a serious damage can obviously not be excluded the significance of damages has to be analyzed in the course of a more detailed investigation and specific scales of significance have to be applied. © 2015, Verlag Eugen Ulmer. All rights reserved.

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