Exaggerated densities of ungulates lead to an unnatural decomposition of plant societies resulting in a destabilisation of forest ecosystems and possibly leading to losses of biological diversity. To find possibilities to secure the ecosystem services especially provided by mixed forests, new strategies to establish balance between natural vegetation and ungulate density will be put to test in 5 pilot areas. Vegetation and wildlife ecological conditions will be monitored scientifically before and after the hunting activities have been changed. For the first time, the consequences of changed game management for the vegetation ecology, the game ecology, the forest protection, economics and socio-economics will be integrated examined on representative sites to show quantitative possibilities to evaluate local biodiversity.
As one of the project partners, The Technische Universität München will conduct the modelling and the statistical evaluation of the data. In a first step, the inventory methods will be determined and a function of the probability of regeneration at a given place will be fitted with the data of the third federal forest inventory. This function will be use to objectively select suitable inventory points. At these points vegetation and forestry inventories will be conducted twice a year. The newly collected data will be use to model the probability and composition of the regeneration in dependence of the impact of ungulate browsing. Based on these probabilities, scenarios of pure and mixed forest stands will be calculated. These scenarios will be coupled with risk and the impact of the decomposition on the economic value will be considered. In addition, as a new element of study, the changed productivity and the changed risk of failure will be considered. Additionally, two ecosystem services (carbon dioxide storage and water quality) will be included in the model.