Hier kommt das User Feedback

Phone E-Mail Info
Tannenwipfel © Oostenrijk TV / Bregenzerwald Tourismus

Forest diversity and biodiversity

Forest diversity and biodiversity

Careful observers will notice how different the forests look depending on where they’re located.

Bog forests

Bog forests are typical for such places in the Lower Bregenzerwald as Langen, Sulzberg, Krumbach and Sibratsgfäll as well as the Bödele. These are characterised by shrubby growths, birch and mountain pine, which often grow upright there. These are usually found more in France and Switzerland but, in Austria, they’re only encountered in Vorarlberg.


Wandern im Kojenmoos in Riefensberg (c) Alex Kaiser - Bregenzerwald Tourismus (2)
Wandern im Kojenmoos in Riefensberg (c) Alex Kaiser - Bregenzerwald Tourismus

Gorge forests

The Bregenzerache valley and its side valleys, e.g. the Argenschlucht near Au and the Mellental near Mellau, are characterised by gorge forests. The air here is usually more humid, which favours the growth of sycamore, ash, mountain elm, yew and silver fir there.

Engenlochschlucht, Wasserwanderweg in Hittisau (c) Alex Kaiser - Bregenzerwald Tourismus (2)

Alpine forests

Alpine forests, which extend up to altitudes of around 1,900 metres, consist mainly of spruce. High-altitude mountain trees, such as larch and Swiss stone pine, hardly grow in the Bregenzerwald. They’re too sensitive to snow.

Beech forests

Beech forests thrive in a special geological zone that’s to be found in the area between Andelsbuch and Mellau, which is indicated by the name of ‘Andelsbuch’ (‘Buche’ being the German for ‘beech’).


Sycamore grows in many places. Particularly beautiful specimens are to be found on alpine pastures in the Mellental valley near Mellau where they provide shade for the cows. In the past, alpine herders used to stuff the leaves from these trees into their bed covers.

Bergahorn im Skigebiet Damüls-Mellau (c) Alex Kaiser - Bregenzerwald Tourismus

Feature: continuous cover forests and sustainability

The Bregenzerwald is characterised by its many areas where continuous cover forests grow. This is special because only around 2% of the wooded areas in Austria are managed as continuous cover forests. Such forests have a primeval look about them. Old and young trees grow together apparently at random. Mainly silver fir, spruce and beech in the Bregenzerwald. But they’re carefully managed forests where different species, sizes and ages of tree are allowed to grow. The forest managers’ task is to occasionally but regularly fell large old individual trees to allow young trees to grow back in the wells of light created in this way. That means that they don’t have to invest effort and money into planting young trees. Continuous cover forests rejuvenate themselves through a process of ‘natural regeneration’. The creation of such forests is considered the high art of forestry management because it takes profound knowledge and lots of experience to do the right thing there.

Areas with continuous cover forests play a very important role in the preservation of biodiversity. They’re also significantly more resilient to the effects of climate change. Woods with continuous cover forestry are better able to cope with the harmful effects caused by, for instance, drought and storms and such pests as fungi and bark beetles, than forests consisting primarily of one species of tree.

Wald im Lecknerholz (c) Alex Kaiser - Bregenzerwald Tourismus