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Kristberg Riader

by Alexander Sohm last modified 2007-01-08 12:38

On the gently inclined mountain slopes underneath the Kristbergsattel, extensive flat moors and fen meadows shape the countryside.  The fen meadows and flat moors are known to the locals as the Kristberger Riader.  The meadows are utilization dependant co-habitations that aren’t fertilized and only mown once every fall for the recovery of straw.  This type of utilization facilitates an especially species rich and unique flora.  Many of the moors and meadows came to being in places where the mountain water was pumped out of the mines.  This is especially typical in the mining areas on the Kristberg and the Bartholomaeberg. 

These “Riads” are frequently created in mountain regions in areas with earth rich in clay and with the underground having been compressed by the glacier.  This has a slack flow effect.  The contours of the land often show mining dumps and terraces.

The most important type of habitat in the „Kristberg Riads “is the Purple Moor Grass – Fen Meadow.  The purple moor grass forms large horsts with small blue-grey leaves that are between 30 cm and 90 cm high.  Contrary to other grasses, the purple moor grass doesn’t have any knots on the stalks.  Instead, you can find underground bulges which serve as storage spaces for nutrients.  In the fall, the minerals from the leaves are stored here and the parts of the plant that are above ground, turn coppery brown.  Because of this, the minerals aren’t lost when the dead stalks are mown in the fall.  If the grass is mown too soon, the grass disappears very quickly.  The long smooth stalk of the purple moor grass was used earlier for brooms and grass ties which were also used to clean pipes.

Besides the purple moor grass, depending on how wet it is, typical flat moor plants appear like the Black Sledge (carex nigra), the Marsh Horsetail (equisetum palustre), Jointed Rush (Juncus articulatus) and the Davall's Sedge (Carex davalliana).  Because of fertilization and the planting of bushes and forests, the bio diversity of the fen meadows is in danger.  The yearly mowing in the fall is therefore very important for the preservation of this unique habitat.


P07-1 kristberg riader.mp3

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