Heath meres are low-nutrient waters on sandy soils. They owe their existence to a retaining layer of clay on the bottom of the water. In our project area, there is a large natural heath mere and a number of smaller ones originating from peat ditches.
Wind and sand formed a large basin over high-flood clay in today’s Flürener Heide, which we know as Schwarzes Wasser. In the moors in Großes Veen and on Schnepfenberg small peat-ditches led to low-nutrient still waters. A low pH level, a lack of nutrients and oxygen only allow for specialised life, block the decomposition of organic material and lend the water its typical brown-black colour.
Ideally adapted to these low-nutrient conditions is, for example, Utricularia minor, a carnivorous hydrophyte. Another botanical gem, Lobelia dortmanna, unfortunately has become extinct, but we hope to “re-activate” it in the course of this project.
On the heath meres, you can find Anas crecca and Tachybaptus ruficollis. The latter are always looking for the larvae of the many moor and heath dragonflies.