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Site description


The research area is located 50°32'N and 8°41.3'E at an elevation of 172 m a.s.l. near Giessen, Germany, in the floodplain of the rivulet Lückenbach. The station is part of the Hessian Air Quality Monitoring Network; since 1995 an Air Quality Monitoring Station is operated by the Hessian Agency for the Environment and Geology.

The grassland research area of approx. 4.5 ha is divided into an area of 1.5 ha for experimental studies and a micromet area of approx. 3 ha. In 2003 a phenological garden was established which is part of the International Gardens of Europe and the new Global Phenological Monitoring network.

A Ground Truth and Atmospheric Profiling Station was established 2007 by the Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing of the University of Marburg.

The grassland has not been ploughed for at least 100 years. During the last decades, it has been managed as a meadow with two cuts per year and fertilized with 50 - 80 kg ha-1 a-1 N. Since 1995, the fertilization has been reduced to 40 kg ha-1 a-1 N.

The site is characterized by a mean annual temperature of 9.4°C and a mean annual precipitation of 575 mm (observation period: 1996 - 2005).

The vegetation is dominated by 12 grass species, 2 legumes and 15 non-leguminous herbs and can be characterized as an

Arrhenatheretum elatioris Br.Bl. Filipendula ulmaria sub-community.

The soil (FAO classification) is a

stagno-fluvic gleysol on loamy-sandy sediments over clay.