Forest habitat

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"Only the lonely man finds the forest
where several seek him, he flees, and only the trees remain behind."

This poem of the "forest farmer boy" Peter Rosegger describes one of the most essential qualities of our forests – the recreational effect. But our forest is much more than "just" recreational space.

For example, it is an important CO2 reservoir – and thus a central building block in the current climate discussion. Learn the most important data in this post& Facts about our

  • Why is the forest such a good and important CO2 reservoir??
  • What are the functions of the forest?
  • Which animals live in the local forests?
  • What essential numbers, data& Facts about the forest in Austria
  • Why is the forest an important water reservoir?
  • What are forest communities?
  • Which trees are in our forests?
  • What is the difference between natural and artificial forest regeneration??


Not only is our forest an important recreational and natural space where people hike and relax. It serves as a habitat for numerous animals and plants. In addition, forests today are also indispensable CO2 reservoirs.

This carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless and odorless gas that is produced whenever carbon-containing substances are burned. So z.B. in power plants or in vehicles and airplanes. CO2 is also produced during respiration or digestion – so it also occurs through natural processes.

The natural composition
of the air looks like this

How much CO2 is in the air?

Of the CO2 should be no more than 0.1 percent in the air. If this value is permanently exceeded Climate change and thus the Global warmingpromoted.

How much CO2 does a person consume on average?

According to the WWF, CO2 consumption in Central Europe is around 10.6 tons of CO2 per year per person.

How much CO2 can a tree absorb?

When trees grow, they bind carbon (C) in the production of biomass and release oxygen (O2), which is important for humans. The oxygen is therefore actually a waste product of the forest. Another reason why this is so important for all living things.

How much carbon can a tree sequester?

This is difficult to calculate, because every tree is different. Calculations assume, however, that z.B.

  • a 25-meter-high spruce with a diameter (at a height of 1.3 meters) of 45 cm:
  • has stored about 1.8 tons of CO2.
  • Or a beech tree absorbs around 12.5 kilograms per year
  • and therefore in 80 years stores a ton of.

How long can a tree store CO2?

Carbon remains stored in wood as long as it is not rotted or burned. Only then the stored CO2 is released again. This also makes wood a very climate-friendly working material.


According to the Austrian forestry law:


thus the economically sustainable production of the Raw material wood meant. Wood production makes a significant contribution to the supply of the Economy.

Austria’s exports of wood and wood products, paper and paper products alone are worth around 6 billion euros per year. The forest is thus not only an economically valuable raw material, but at the same time also job protection for thousands of people.

The annual wood growth of commercial forest amounts to about 30 million. solid cubic meters of supply, the annual wood use about 26 million. Solid cubic meter of stock. Thus more wood grows again with us, than is taken away.

1 storage meter corresponds to 1 cubic meter of trunk wood including bark.


is the Protection against natural hazards and damaging environmental influences. This can z.B. be avalanches, rockfall, mudflows, soil runoff, scree formation or landslides.


is the impact on the environment. Especially on the Balancing the climate and the water balance, on the renewal of air and water and on noise reduction.


Is the effect of the forest as a recreational area for forest visitors. Relatively new, namely only since the 2002 amendment to the Forestry Act, is the term "habitat" for humans, animals and plants, on which the forest has a significant impact.

Thus, for the first time, a Wildlife habitat rights and, on the other hand, clearly emphasizes that we humans live in symbiosis with animals and plants and should respect and value their habitat – the forest.

Culture and tradition, terms of the Weidmannssprache,


The forest is home to many different species of native animals: for birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians, as well as mammals. A fixed definition of which animals are "forest animals" does not exist in science. It always depends on the forest and the region, which animals live there.

Among the best known forest animals in Austria are certainly the

    , , or. (wild boar).

But also smaller animal species like hare, badger, fox or hedgehog belong to the forest inhabitants.

Not to forget Birds, which often delights us with their songs in the forest. Among the best known are certainly the woodpecker and the nightingale.

make up a not insignificant part of the forest dwellers Insects, amphibians and reptiles from. Countless beetles, ants and also the slow worm or the salamander populate our forests.

The by far most living creatures are in the soil to find. Millions of (rain) worms, larvae, mites and microorganisms live in it. They are indispensable for the forest biotope:

  • than nutrients
  • for the humus
  • and because they loosen the soil
  • and thus make a perfect water reservoir.


The forest is an important water reservoir in two ways:

To one, because it contains water (rainwater, dew) with its leaves and needles catches, which evaporates there again. In this way, up to a third of the annual precipitation goes back into the atmosphere.

On the other hand, because of its "looseness" a forest soil about twice as much water like a "normal" ground save can. This then passes via the roots back into the trunks, branches and leaves of the plants from where it in turn passes into the atmosphere as evaporation.

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