• Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland

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Siegendorf Puszta and Heathland


The “European Conservation Area Siegendorf Puszta and Heathland“ covering 27.69 ha is situated about 4 km south-east of Siegendorf adjacent to the Ruster range of hills and can be subdivided into two parts:

The “Siegendorf Puszta” extending over 21.5 ha in the west is characterized by large, mostly open dry grassland and wetland.



In the east, at the northern border of the Obersee Forest, there is the “Siegendorfer Heathland“, covering 6.3 ha, largely stocked with plants, only interrupted by small areas of dry grassland elements. Both parts are built up of pannonian sands, gravels and, in hollows, of clay deposits. Dominant soil types are tschernosem, paratschernosem, loose soil-brown soil, pre-cultivation soils and colluvian soils. The soils are mostly loamy. This area is characterized by a Pannonian climate with high air humidity. Winters are cold and snowless. The annual mean of air temperature amounts to about 10°C. The mean annual amount of rainfall is about 570 mm.
The floristic composition found in this area is definitely rich and diversified: On the slopes of the Siegendorf Puszta that are exposed to the north, continental Furrowed Fescue-semi-dry grasslands occur, rounded hilltops and areas exposed to the south are colonized by the Astragalo austriaci-Festucetum sulcatae dry grasslands. At the foot of the slopes of the Puszta in a flat salinated hollow in the ground, salt wet meadows have developed. On the less salinated soils Purple Moor Grass ‘Streuwiesen’ (traditionally these meadows were only mown once a year in autumn and the cuttings were used as bedding in stables) and reeds. A small pond in the middle of a crack willow stand is surrounded by large sedges with the Lesser Pond Sedge as the most dominant species. On the deep-soiled decalcified sandy soils of the heathland, the Dwarf Sedge-Furrowed Fescue-dry grassland has developed on acidic soils. The importance of this area is based upon the occurrence of psammophil dry grassland communities with a number of highly endangered species that cannot be found anywhere else in the Burgenland and upon salt marsh meadows and Purple Moor Grass meadows. In order to preserve these mainly secondary dry and semi-dry grasslands that are nevertheless extremely valuable from a nature conservation point of view, grassland management has to be maintained. Grazing the dry grasslands with sheep and mowing parts of the salt marsh meadows every autumn guarantee and improve the preservation status. siegendorfer_heide2_fiala














Protwcted Features:

The slopes and rounded hilltops of the Siegendorf Puszta and Heathland are covered with different types of dry grassland communities ranging from very dry, sandy grassland over dry grassland to deep-soiled semi-dry grassland.

siegendorfer_puta_und_heideSmall sites of sandy dry grassland can be found west of the sunken path and in a small hollow exposed to the north. They have a really open character, which makes a certain interferences of dynamic factors such as wind and constant wear by treading feet necessary. They belong to the habitat type 6260 *Pannonic sand steppes. On the hilltops and slopes exposed to the south-west and west, there are pannonic dry grasslands whose growth performance depends upon the levels of soil depth. They correspond to the habitat type 6240 *Subpannonic steppic grassland.

On the slopes exposed to the north, desiccation by solar irradiation is less intensive so that semi-dry grasslands have developed corresponding to the habitat type 6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia).

At the foot of the slopes of the sand puszta, salt marsh meadows that are rich in species have developed in a flat salinated hollow in the ground. They comprise soil-dependent, natural or semi-natural inland salt habitats of the type 1530 * Pannonic salt steppes and salt marshes. The adjacent, less saliferous soils are characterized by Purple Moor Grass-‘Streuwiesen’ (traditionally these meadows were only mown once a year in autumn and the cuttings were used as bedding in stables). They have resulted from extensive use with late mowing without any fertilization. They correspond to the Council Directive habitat type 6410 Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt-laden soils (Molinion caeruleae). Particularly beautifully grown juniper stands can be found along the sunken path through the sand puszta. This vegetation categorized as 5130 Juniperus communis formations on heaths or calcareous grasslands is typical of extensively grazed or abandoned lean pastures and Low Calluna heaths.

In the sand puszta, in the flat northern area between Molinia meadow and agricultural land around two small ponds a small crack willow stand rich in structure and dead wood can be found, a habitat corresponding to the type 91E0 *Residual alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae).

In the Siegendorfer Heath some stands dominated by oaks have been preserved which can be categorized as pannonic oak-hornbeam forests of the Council Directive type 91G0 *Pannonian woods with Quercus petraea and Carpinus betulus. The low-growing dry grassland stands of the sand puszta are a habitatr for a Ground Squirrel colony (Spermophilus citellus).