The forest vegetation of Luxembourg

  1. Ecology, Syntaxonomy, Chorology and Nature Conservation.
  2. Impact of climatic change on competition behavior of Fagus sylvatica and Quercus petraea.

AbstractDeutsche Version

(1) The past few years have seen the completion of 14.000 relevés of dry site, near-natural forests, all commissioned by the Luxembourg forest administration (Administration des eaux et forêts). In the first project phase these data will be complemented by material from our own relevés as well as from relevés performed in the course of other studies in order to create a complete survey of all forest plant communities in Luxembourg. The results will be published in a monography coedited by the Musée national d’histoire naturelle and the Administration des eaux et forêts.

(2) In the second phase of the project the impact of climate change on the growth of Fagus sylvatica and Quercus petraea will be examined. Dendrochronological analysis will enable us to examine whether modifications of individual climate factors (precipitation deficit during the vegetation period) have been reflected in dilatation growth of these species over approximately the last 150 years. Sites will be selected where modifications in competition dynamics between beech and oak are most likely to occur, such as sandstone soils with a relatively thin humus layer (e.g. ranker) and low water capacity.

Status of Postdoc

Supervisor at university: Prof. Dr. Werner Härdtle, University of Lüneburg.

Supervisor in Luxembourg: Dr. Christian Ries, MNHNL.

Postdoc granted by the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture, Higher Education and Research. Duration: 2 years (01.08.2006-31.07.2009). The postdoc project runned in co-operation with the Luxembourg forest administration (Administration des eaux et forêts) and the consultancy EFOR Ingénieurs-Conseils.

A monograph on the forest vegetation of Luxembourg was submitted for publication in Ferrantia in November 2008.

Dendrochronological analysis is ongoing in a joint project between Leuphana (University Lüneburg) and National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg. Duration: 1 year (2008-2009).


Dr. Thomas Niemeyer

Universität Lüneburg
Institut für Ökologie und Umweltchemie
D-21332 Lüneburg
phone: +049 (0) 4131 677-2857
fax: +049 (0) 4131 677-2808

Musée national d’histoire naturelle
Centre de recherche scientifique
Laboratoire d’écologie
24, rue Münster
L-2160 Luxembourg


  • Härdtle W, Niemeyer T, Assmann T, Meyer H, Oheimb VG (2006) Can prescribed burning compensate for atmospheric nutrient loads in wet heathlands? Phytocoenologia (accepted).
  • Niemeyer M, Niemeyer T, Mohamed A, Fottner S, Härdtle W (2006) Impact of sod-cutting and choppering on nutrient budgets of dry heathlands. Biological Conservation (in press)
  • Mohamed A, Härdtle W, Jirijahn B,Niemeyer T, Oheimb VG (2006) Effects of prescribed burning on plant available nutrients in dry heathland ecosystems. Plant Ecology (in press).
  • Härdtle W, Niemeyer M, Niemeyer T, Assmann T, Fottner S (2006) Can management compensate for atmospheric nutrient deposition in heathland ecosystems? Journal of Applied Ecology 43: 759-769.
  • Niemeyer T, Niemeyer M, Mohamed A, Fottner S, Härdtle W (2005) Impact of prescribed burning on the nutrient balance of heathlands with particular reference to nitrogen and phosphorus. Applied Vegetation Science 8: 183-192.
  • Niemeyer T, Fottner S, Mohamed A, Sieber M, Härdtle W (2004) Einfluss kontrollierten Brennens auf die Nährstoffdynamik von Sand- und Moorheiden. NNA-Berichte 17, 2: 65-79, Schneverdingen.
  • Fottner S, Niemeyer T, Sieber M, Härdtle W (2004) Einfluss der Beweidung auf die Nährstoffdynamik von Sandheiden. NNA-Berichte 17, 2: 80-91, Schneverdingen.
  • Sieber M, Fottner S, Niemeyer T, Härdtle W (2004) Einfluss maschineller Pflegeverfahren auf die Nährstoffdynamik von Sandheiden. NNA-Berichte 17, 2: 92-107, Schneverdingen.
  • Fottner S, Niemeyer T,Sieber M, Härdtle W (2004) Zur kurzfristigen Vegetations-entwicklung auf Pflegeflächen in Sand und Moorheiden. NNA-Berichte 17, 2: 126-136, Schneverdingen.
  • Härdtle W, Fottner S, Niemeyer T,Sieber M, Mohamed A (2004) Nährelementaustrag aus Heideökosystemen durch verschiedene Pflegeverfahren – eine integrierende Betrachtung. NNA-Berichte 17, 2: 123-125, Schneverdingen.
  • Fottner S, Niemeyer T, Sieber M, Härdtle W (2004) Auswirkungen unterschiedlicher Pflegemaßnahmen auf die Stickstoffdynamik von Heideökosystemen in Nordwest-deutschland. – Schriftenreihe für Landschaftspflege und Naturschutz, Bonn – Bad Godesberg.
  • Niemeyer T, Fottner S, Sieber M, Härdtle W (2003) Impact of different management practices on the nutrient dynamics in heathland (Lower Saxony, Germany).- In: Alfred Toepfer Akademy fo Nature Conservation (ed.): 8th European Heathland Workshop, Abstracts p. 23, Schneverdingen, Germany.
  • Niemeyer T, Sieber M, Wiemerslage S, Härdtle W (2002) Impact of different methods of heathland management on the nutrient balance and vegetation dynamic. Ver. GfÖ 32: 129, Cottbus.