Geological site characteristics
The soil in the surroundings of Göttingen primarily consists of Triassic rocks and Quaternary sediments. In the Fassberg hill area, on the southwestern slope of which the Forest Botanical Garden is situated, parental material consists of Muschelkalk. In the Forest Botanical Garden, Middle and Lower Muschelkalk is represented, originally covered by hillside weathered rock and Aeolian silt deposit to varying degree.
Soil state across the Forest Botanical Garden has been altered considerably by human activities. Not only had soil material been translocated in order to create favourable terrain characteristics, but also the natural Muschelkalk – in itself not an ideal material for planting woody plants – had to be replaced by top-soil material from a development area in the north of Göttingen. The applied top soil contains high proportions of clay, chalk and rock.
Today, depending on the depth of the applied material lime rock occurs at 40-90cm (app. 15-35in) below the surface. The anthropogenic alterations mentioned above render any classification of soil type impossible.
According to the forestal vegetation classification of Germany the Forest Botanical Garden falls into the Vegetation Sector 'Forest of Göttingen' (Wuchsbezirk 'Göttinger Wald'), which is part of the vegetation area 'Highland of southern Lower Saxony' (Wuchsgebiet 'Südniedersächsisches Bergland').
The Forest Botanical Garden lies within the climatic region 'Central German Escarpment' ('Mitteldeutsche Gebirgsschwelle'), being under Atlantic influence with regard to overall rain fall, humidity, and temperature amplitude. Towards the eastern part of this climatic region climate becomes more continental. In result, the climate of the Forest of Göttingen is mild and moderately humid but has a slight tendency towards a more continental climate.
Climate fact sheet of the Forest Botanical Garden
- Air temperature (yearly mean): 8.4°C (65.1°F)
- Air temperature (yearly variation): 17.3°C (31.1°F)
- Absolute temperature minimum: -25.8°C (-14.4°F)
- Yearly mean minimum: -16.4°C (2.5°F)
- Yearly mean period above 10°C (50°F): 150 days
- Chill period (days with temperatures dropping below 0°C [32°F]): 100 days
- Freezing period (days with temperatures not rising above 0°C [32°F]): 28 days
- Snow period: 50 days
- Precipitation: yearly mean: 628mm (24.7in)
- Precipitation: mean of growth period (May-September): 340mm (13.4in)
Long-term mean: 1971-2000, Deutscher Wetterdienst, meteorological station Göttingen
Forest Botanical Garden (office)