A misleading first impression ...

Britz Travel Blog

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Today's excursion led us to the lysimeter station in the middle of the forest near Britz.
Okay, first of all it's kind of handy to know what such a station is used for, right? A lysimeter station is the place where all sorts of ground water and the evapotranspiration released by trees are measured. Just imagine the flower pot on your window sill as a wee lysimeter. So far, so good. But who would have thought that the world's oldest lysimeter station is situated only a stone's throw away from where we live, study and work every day? ... Imposing indeed!
 
When we arrived at the station we didn't even know for sure whether we were on the right track 'cause there was no sign, not the tiniest clue for the station tacked on the high fence. Where were we? The locked door and the fence with barbed wire on top reminded a little bit on a creepy laboratory in a good horror story. ...
After a while we were welcomed by a friendly emloyee who didn't remind on Frankenstein at all. ;) We listened to a fine lecture first and were guided around the lysimeter's maze-like terrain later on.
If you were a clueless mushroom gatherer and you spied this area you'd think of a semi-legal waste disposal at the drop of a hat because of all those tons, canisters and hoses on the trees and on the ground. But all these utensils are highly needed as measurement devices, of course.
 
So, what do we actually need such stations for? The measurement results and research revealed by such an institution give us important information about the forest ecology and the effects of different species of wood on the forest's water balance - you see in the age of dramatically increasing intolerance towards our environment this place delivers significant data day by day - it's just a shame that enormously many people are still underestimating the natural damage caused by humankind. ... 
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