Oberbayerisches Tertiärhügelland

Bavarian Tertiary Uplands

The Upper Bavarian Tertiary Uplands are a part of the Southern German Molasse Basin

The Bavarian Tertiary Uplands belong to the tertiary hill country that extends to Austria. Temperate climate and rolling hills are typical for this region. Its origin goes back to the glacial period when tertiary detritus deposits of the Alps, gravel of the early Pleistocene and sediments of the great Alpine rivers shaped the landscape. Nowadays, the area is characterised by the following:

  • Approximately 20% of the land is forested. The use as wood pastures, grazing land and bedding meadows, the extensive collection of acorns and beechnuts and the heavy forestry have resulted in a radical change of the former natural forest communities. Spruce-pine mixed stands and pure stands of both species dominate the picture today.
  • There are only a few large contiguous forest areas. The majority of the forest is small scaled and highly parcelled.
  • Outside the forest, the land is used primarily for agriculture, mainly for the cultivation of hops and forage crops.
  • Meadows are mostly found at sites which are unsuitable for cultivation, e.g. at steep slopes or on areas with insufficient drainage.
  • The soils are highly susceptible to water erosion.
  • Tourism plays a minor role and mainly concentrates on the near-by towns Ingolstadt and Augsburg as well as on the state capital Munich.
  • The pollution situation is quite remarkable insofar, as the heavy metal contamination is well below the national average.
  • Even within Bavaria, which is generally below average in pollution, the Upper Bavarian Tertiary Uplands show comparatively low contaminant levels.

The sampling area covers approx. 2633 km2 and is located in the German part of the tertiary uplands.


  • Sub-area within an intensively cultivated agrarian landscape


  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • As the most dominant deciduous tree species in Central Europe, it plays a significant role in most nearly natural and also anthropogenically influenced forest ecosystems up to an altitude of 1100 m.
  • The roe deer is the most common of the larger herbivores (first order-consumer) to be found in the wild in Europe.
  • As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
  • Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.


Sampling period

2000 - 2023