Staff members of the Danube Floodplain National Park and the Gesäuse National Park visited the Tiroler Lech Nature Park in mid-July 2018. On the one hand, the occurrences of the dwarf bulrush(Typha minima) were to be visited, and on the other hand, the last natural stands of the German tamarisk(Myricaria germanica) were to be visited. The goal was to exchange and expand existing knowledge about these two pioneer species. In addition, the opportunity was taken to collect seeds of some individuals of the German Tamarisk at three sites near Elmen, Forchach and Weißenbach by means of a nature conservation permit from the Province of Tyrol and under the supervision of the Nature Park Tiroler Lech. The seeds will be used in species conservation programs to establish populations for the propagation and reintroduction of this species.
During their visit to the Nature Park Tiroler Lech, the staff of the National Parks were accompanied by Mag. Anette Kestler, the Managing Director of the Nature Park Tiroler Lech. Together, three sites were visited at the beginning, where the dwarf bulrush occurs naturally, has been successfully reintroduced and the one from which material is used for conservation breeding. In the Danube Floodplain National Park, the dwarf bulrush has been successfully propagated again since 2011 with source material from the Tyrolean Lech and planted out on a trial basis at potentially suitable sites since 2015. For the near future, it is planned to refresh the planting material with seeds from other sites in order to counteract the genetic impoverishment of the breeding stock.
After visiting the dwarf bulrush occurrences, we went to the stands of German tamarisk. There, seeds of already fruiting individuals were collected. Populations in Elmen, Forchach and Weißenbach am Lech were visited. The Gesäuse National Park has maintained a conservation and propagation breeding program for the German tamarisk since 2005. The HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein also raised a larger number of individuals and successfully planted them out in 2017. This measure is intended to achieve permanent establishment and the seeds collected this year have already been handed over again for cultivation.
The two species dwarf bulrush and German tamarisk occur naturally in open riparian areas and are adapted to dynamic riverine landscapes. These habitats have become rare due to river regulation and the species have thus been pushed back to a few locations. In the protected areas, renaturation projects are attempting to re-establish habitats for these two pioneer species. The long-term goal is to re-establish stable, self-sustaining populations of the two currently highly endangered species dwarf bulrush and German tamarisk.