Jasmund National Park
Established 1990, 3,070 ha, size of the WHS component part 493 ha,
buffer zone 2,577 ha, Sea level: NLP 0-162 m, WHS 0-131 m
The Jasmund National Park is home to the impressive chalky coastline of the island of Rügen, and the peninsula of Jasmund jutting out into the sea with its hilly plains. Its beech forests, chalk cliffs and ocean provided a fascinating backdrop for artists attracted to the region during the Romantic Period, and it remains an exceptionally charming place, with the beech forest appearing to tumble down into the sea.
The area was first placed under protection back in 1929, prompted by con- cerns that this impressive landscape could be under threat from chalk ero- sion. Other protective legislation followed in 1935 and 1954, until the area was finally designated a National Park in 1990. Since that date, the forest has been left to develop naturally.
Beech forest type
The 3,000 hectare protected area is home to the largest contiguous beech forest on the Baltic Sea coast, covering some 2,100 hectares. The predominant forest type is the Baltic wood barley beech forest, accompanied by orchid beech forests on steep limestone escarpments, with ash-beech forest in brook valleys, as well as alder marshes and peatlands. On the chalk cliff faces, the beech forest gives way to a dynamic mosaic of open areas, bushland and primeval forest. The forests on the cliff faces remain undisturbed due to their steepness and inaccessibility.
Due to the complex interactions between climate, landscape and soil, the Jasmund National Park exhibits an extraordinarily broad range of habitats. The beech forests themselves inhabit a wide range of nutrient-poor to nutrient-rich and dry to damp sites on limestone and glacial deposits, in numer- ous different variants. Different types of peatland are scattered throughout the forest in a mosaic-like pattern, and the limestone plain is dotted with a network of streams. During the Ice Age, glaciers repeatedly crossed, flattened and compressed the Jasmund chalk block. As the Baltic Sea developed in the Post-Glacial Period, this dynamic limestone coastline emerged from the forest landscape, rising steeply out of the sea.
Flora and fauna
This diversity of habitats provides the basis for a wealth of flora and fauna. Particularly noteworthy are the rare lady’s-slipper, the giant horsetail and the coralroot. The limestone cliff face is a breeding ground for peregrine falcons and other birds, and there are several colonies of house martins. The white-tailed eagle also regularly breeds here.
The World Natural Heritage component part
A representative landscape section in the east of the Jasmund National Park, part of which remains undisturbed by humans, has been designated as com- ponent part of World Natural Heritage property. It spans ranging from the drift line of the Baltic Sea, across the steep coast to the plains, and covers an area of 493 hectares, surrounded by a 2,511 hectare buffer zone.