Project meeting of STEP at the site of the company ATS - Agro Trading & Solutions in Hardegsen (Photo: DBFZ)

Biomass furnace

Project ID 03KB020

FuelWood - Fuel wood and biodiversity: The use of fuel wood as an approach to maintain and develop habitats of national importance

Wood fuel (Photo: DBFZ)


  • 01.07.2009 – 30.09.2013


Naturstiftung David – Die Stiftung des BUND Thüringen
Trommsdorffstr. 5
99084 Erfurt

Dr. Dierk Conrady – project manager
Telephone: +49 (0) 361 5550-335
E-mail: dierk.conrady‍@‍

Adrian Johst – further contact person
Telephone: +49 (0) 361 5550-332
E-mail: adrian.johst‍@‍


03KB020B - Anhalt University of Applied Sciences (LOEL)
03KB020C - University of Applied Sciences Erfurt

Associated partners

Cooperation partners



Available only in German.


The project “fuel wood and biodiversity” analyses the beneficial effect of using wood from landscape management for energy production with regard to the conservation of endangered habitats in cultural landscapes. Of a prior importance in this project are habitats with species-rich plant and animal communities. On up to 41 plots in Thuringia and Brandenburg, which were selected exemplarily for representative habitats in Germany, different methods of harvesting, biomass processing and transport will be tested and optimised. With the usage of a well-adapted technique the costs of wood production should be reduced without negative effects on these national important habitats.


In this project cost-effective methods for using fuel wood will be developed in areas with a high value regarding nature conservation to maintain these valuable habitats. These methods will be also tested in areas of contamination with ammunition. Existing methods for estimating the woody biomass will be adjusted, and if possible simplified. Technology, which is currently used for harvesting woody biomass, will be evaluated to identify the potentials for a further optimisation of technology. The obtained product – wood chips – will be analysed, evaluated and based on changes in the process chain the quality will be improved. Process chains which are effective and gentle with regard to the CO2 balance and to nature conservation efforts should be developed.


Naturstiftung David

The organisation and monitoring of harvesting activities in 41 project areas in Thuringia and Brandenburg is the main focus of the project. Previous to the harvesting activities the woody biomass for each project area will be estimated. Subsequent to the harvesting, actual values of the biomass that was harvested effectively will be calculated and compared to the estimated biomass. Within the project different adapted process chains, according to the project areas, will be tested and evaluated economically as well as the ecologically (CO2 balance). The quality of the resulting wood chips will be analysed.


Ecological effects of harvesting biomass on species and communities are being monitored by the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences (vegetation surveys; 03KB020B) and the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences (faunistic investigations; 03KB020C). We collect data using permanent plots and transects to survey the vegetation and animal groups (e.g. grasshoppers, birds, reptiles). Surveys are carried out yearly starting in the year before harvesting. Technology effects are recorded and assessed with respect to their potential impact on the development of plant and animal communities.

University of Applied Sciences Erfurt

Investigation of the effects of the using energywood to the protected resource fauna.


Naturstiftung David

  • To gain experiences with the exemption of former open habitats and the processing of harvested small-dimensioned wood in different habitat types, which have a high value regarding nature conservation and are representative for Germany
  • Improvement of the economic outline data based on a scientific monitoring of all measurements/activities
  • Control of success of all measures to preserve and enhance the biodiversity in all habitat types


Data collected in the subprojects (03KB020B, 03KB020C) should provide information about the applicability of particular technologies and logistics for harvesting woody biomass in areas of high nature conservation value, as well as information about the potential and problems in the energetic use of (woody) biomass as a tool in restoration and management of overgrown grasslands.

University of Applied Sciences Erfurt

  • Choice of indicator groups or indicator species serving as control agent of the efficiency of the withdrawal of landscape conservation wood
  • Checking the effect on the biodiversity, the preservation and the advancement of corresponding species of open habitats
  • Development of capture and assessment patterns for the status of the chosen taxa


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