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2019 Annual Symposium Excursions Post-symposium Excursion




If you wish to participate in the excursion, you can express your interest during the registration process or write an email to Martin Diekmann ( As soon as we have made the bookings for buses & accommodation and have calculated the excursion fee, we will contact you and open the registration for the excursion.

Wadden Sea Island post-symposium excursion

guided by Maike Isermann


20-25 July 2019

The Wadden Sea islands of the North Sea are part of the coastal National Parks in Germany and of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wadden Sea ( The islands offer the opportunity to see saline habitats with a gradient from pioneer vegetation on tidal flats on sandy to muddy substrates (Therosalicornietea) and perennial salt marshes (Juncetea maritimi) between the southern fringe of the islands and the mainland. At the northern, exposed side of the islands there is a dune series with pioneer vegetation in fertile strandlines (Cakiletea maritimae) and different communities of white and grey dunes (Ammophiletea and Koelerio-Corynephoretea) farther away from the shore. Dune slacks with various plant communities (Littorelletea uniflorae, Isoëto-Nanojuncetea and Scheuchzerio-Caricetea) are small in size, but represent floristic hotspots of the islands. The Wadden Sea islands are also famous for their rich bird life, especially during migration periods. Two East Frisian islands will be visited during the excursion.

We will go to the tiny, only 6.5 km2 large island of Baltrum (with rabbits) and, further to the east, the larger (18.5 km2) island of Spiekeroog (without rabbits). On both islands, we find typical coastal habitats, including salt marshes, dunes and dune slacks with their extraordinary flora and vegetation. Both islands are without regular car traffic, and as it is difficult to rent a bike, we will have to walk. For those who have difficulties with long walks, there is a possibility on Spiekeroog to rent an e-car (involving extra costs) for up to 3 to 6 persons to reach the western part (camping site) as well as the eastern part of the island (National Park Information Centre).
July is high season on the islands, and therefore accommodation is difficult to get. Therefore, we will probably have to stay at different places, hotels with single and double rooms, for some even larger shared rooms, as well as guest houses.

Preliminary programme

Saturday, 20 July

- 9:00 - Bus to Neßmersiel, at 12:00 ferry to the island of Baltrum;
- check-in and then meeting at the National Park Information Centre
- afternoon walk in the Wadden Sea mud flats
Sunday, 21 July

- Baltrum: day excursion to the salt marshes, dune areas and dune slacks, packed lunch.
Monday, 22 July

- Baltrum: Cultural sites (old island houses) and archaeophytes
- at11:45 ferry to Neßmersiel (mainland), bus from Neßmersiel to Neuharlingersiel, there short excursion with shingle bank vegetation (Crambe maritima); lunch
- 16:45 ferry to Spiekeroog; village walk or short excursion to a dune slack with Myrica gale
Tuesday, 23 July

- Spiekeroog: dune vegetation from foreshore to brown dunes
- lunch at the National Park Information Centre
- afternoon excursion to ‘Ostplate’ with a highly dynamic coastal vegetation (site of Eryngium maritimum, Calystegia soldanella)
Wednesday, 24 July

- Spiekeroog: salt marsh vegetation with various communities (Blysmus rufus, Parapholis strigosa, Schoenus nigricans)
- lunch at the National Park Information Centre
- free time
Thursday, 25 July

 - 8:15 ferry from Spiekeroog to Neuharlingersiel
- bus back to Bremen, arrival at noon

Artemisia maritima and Limonium vulgare         Coastal salt marsh on Spiekeroog         Empetrum nigrum and Polypodium vulgare                
Grazed and ungrazed salt marsh                                            Dunes                                                   Eryngium maritimum

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