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Lake Wiegen

by Theresa König last modified 2007-02-19 13:27

Lake Wiegen

In order to reach Lake Wiegen you have to cross thick patches of Mountain Pine at the lower Wiege.  This is another indication of the wet depression that travels east from Aussertafamunt.  It is an area worth being protected as are all natural habitats that are deemed as such by collective interests represented by Dystrophic lakes, near natural highland moors, transition moors and quagmires.

Sheathed Cotton Sedge, Sphagnum moss and other typical highland moor species, like, for example, the Great Sundew or the Few Flower Sedge are common in this type of habitat.
Alongside of the Great Sundew along the path to Lake Wiegen there is a fascinating local meat eating plant.  Nitrogen producing insects are digested in the drops of secretion formed on the leaves.  The insect is caught by a leaf-closing mechanism that is regulated by the fluid pressure in the cells of the vacuoles.  When the leaf is touched, the pressure suddenly changes and the leaf closes.

With respect to their value as bio topes, the Mountain Pine Moors as well as the dwarf shrub areas play an important role for endangered species of birds like the black grouse.  A Nature 2000 area, Lake Wiegen is home to a population of an average of 5 cocks and just as many hens.  The moor land around the lake with the cliffs rising up behind it, is a favourite hunting area for the Golden Eagle and the Eagle Owl (both endangered species), although their nesting grounds lie beyond the area we’re looking at.  Birds of prey as well as small birds find a variety of small animals here to eat on the sunny cliffs strewn with ibexes.  Besides the birds, the area around Lake Wiegen offers reptiles and amphibians an optimal habitat.

To help preserve the area around Lake Wiegen, it is important that hikers stay on the trail.  After all, hikers are the only ones that come to this sensitive area.  Alpine agriculture and forestry is not carried out here and cattle have been banned from the area because it is feared that they will trample and destroy the wet areas in the highland and transition moors.
Lake Wiegen is the best example in the valley for a “biogenous moor dam”.  As a nutrient poor moor lake in the highlands – about 1,900 metres above sea level – it shows a slow but typical siltation in the form of a quaking bog with mud sedge and Rannoch rush.

The lake is in an east to west running sluice and the quaking bogs are primarily on the east and west sides.  The sluice continues eastwards in the form of ponds that are practically completely covered in quaking bogs.  Another “older” lake of this kind is about 200 metres east of Lake Wiegen and is already completely covered by a quaking bog.  Because of the slope of the sluice in which Lake Wiegen lies, the quaking bogs on the valley side are pushed in swells towards the valley.  This process has formed a natural wall that dams part of the water.   This means that the water level has risen above the level of the original lake basin.  The beginnings of such natural moor dams can be seen on the Vermunt, at Winterjoechle in the Silbertal and in the wild reeds.  Lake Wiegen, however, is the most impressive example.

What stands out amongst the typical plants of the highland and transition moors is the Great Sundew.  Besides this unique example of a moor bio tope, in which we also find the small bur-reed, which doesn’t bloom, fen moors, especially highland moors are extremely common.  They are mostly holdings with deep layers of peat covered in tufted bull rushes growing in it.


P10-1 Lake Wiegen.mp3

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