Institutional Structure: The LTSER Neusiedler See Seewinkel is located at the "Biological Station Lake Neusiedl" in Illmitz. Illmitz is situated at Lake Neusiedl in the easternmost province of Austria. It is a service department of the Office of the Provincial Government of the Burgenland and is part of Department 5-Site Law, Environment and Traffic, Main Division Nature and Environmental Protection. The institute is based upon 40 years of experience and today fulfils essential tasks for the entire province of Burgenland and in addition to that for the entire Pannonian Region (Western Slovakia and Western Hungary: Water analyses, rendering of expert opinions, applied cross-sectorial research and natural landscape and national park management).
The Biological Station provides basic survey and research work for the preservation of protection areas of the Burgenland and in particular for the national park. These are often required with regard to the EU as part of the duty to report in nature conservation. The surveys have been performed in many years of cooperation with universities in Austria and the German-speaking and Hungarian region. This exchange on a university level leads to an inter-cultural exchange and a transfer of know-how.
Objectives and vision: The objective of the station is to encourage international exchange during the following years and grow into a competence centre for the Pannonian region with regard to protection of resources (drinking, ground, surface, lake water as well as natural landscape areas and habitats) and the management required for that.
Staff: The Biological Station has 19 staff members under the leadership of Dr. Zechmeister.
Dr. Thomas Zechmeister (chemist, biochemist): analyses, protein chemistry, environmental toxicology, insects, entomology (Lepidoptera), expert;
Director Dr. Erwin Johann Köllner (biology, botanist): vegetation ecology, neophytes, Natura2000, conservation area management, expert,
Dr. Alfred Grüll (biology, zoology): ornithology, herpetology, Natura 2000, conservation area management, expert
DI Josef Füszi: food expert, regulations, laws, accredited laboratory
Ing. Peter Gisch: quality management, accredited laboratory
Location: Transitional area Lake Neusiedl – area adjacent to the lake – cultural landscape. The station can be reached from Illmitz via a street that is 2 km long and has direct access to the lake via a canal.
Infrastructure of the Biological Station: The Biological Station offers:
• Limnological laboratory
• Chemical laboratory
• Accredited laboratory area
• Comprehensive and up-to-date library on limnology, ornithology, botany, local history and geography of the Pannonian region; map collection
• Herbarium with 27,000 exhibits
• Microscopy and research area for 20 persons
• Lecture room for 80 persons
• Meeting room for 10 persons
• Accommodation + sanitary facilities for 4 persons
• Kitchenette and recreation room
• Several motor boats for Lake Neusiedl
• Off-road vehicle (SUV)
Competence areas (list) for a know-how transfer: Water analyses Accreditation as testing and inspection office by the Ministry of Economy Services offered:
• Chemical analysis and microbiological tests of drinking water and bottled waters according to the provisions of the drinking water regulations
• Chemical analysis and microbiological tests of natural mineral waters according to the provisions of the mineral and spring water regulations
• Microbiological tests of medicinal waters according to the provisions of the Burgenland legislation on healing facilities and health resorts
• Testing of bathing water (swimming pool, whirlpool, whirl bath tubs, soaking tubs, etc.) according to the provisions of bath sanitation regulations
• Testing of swimming waters and small swimming ponds according to the provisions of bath sanitation regulations and the regulations on swimming waters
• Testing of ground water ponds (fish ponds, landscape ponds, etc.) according to the parameters prescribed in the respective decisions on water rights
• Other ground water tests according to the requests of the respective clients placing the order
• Inspection of drinking water supply facilities according to the Austrian standard ÖNORM M 5874 Rendering of official expert opinions
• Stand-by emergency duties for accidents in case of a transport of hazardous goods
• Expert in proceedings in accordance with legislation on water rights
• Expert in proceedings in accordance with bath sanitation regulations
• Expert in proceedings in accordance with food safety and consumer protection laws
• Expert in proceedings in accordance with trade, commerce and industry regulation acts
• Expert in proceedings in accordance with the Burgenland nature conservation and landscape management law Provincial Law Gazette No 27/1994 in the applicable version – NG 1990 Scientific research with regard to nature and environment
• Coordination of scientific research in the National Park Lake Neusiedl - Seewinkel
• Grazing management in the National Park
• Ornithological management in the National Park
• Hunting management in the National Park
• Planning and Implementation of Natura2000 in Burgenland
• Limnological research and inspection of Lake Neusiedl and saline pools of the Seewinkel (chemical and bacteriological routine programme, biomass analysis, abundances of phytoplankton and zooplankton, fishery biological tests)
• Detection and management of epidemics such as avian botulism
• Collection and assessment of hygienically problematic cases such as Vibrio cholerae
• Environmental research focusing upon nature conservation and environmental protection, tourism, hunting, agriculture, fishery etc.
• Botanical research focusing upon compilations of inventories of the native flora, questions of nature conservation and landscape protection and of reed management.
• Ornithological research focusing upon compilations of inventories and monitoring of the breeding success of important Austrian breeding birds.
• Nature conservation and landscape protection: Detailed examination of practical problems and questions from a scientific point of view in order to work out comprehensive approaches to solving those problems.
Aimed at know-how transfer for the Biological Station:
• Management of terrestrial neophytes (goldenrod, black locust, tree of heaven, ragweed) in a cultural landscape and in conservation areas
• Sustainable use and management of reeds taking into account the nature tourist, economic and nature conservationist frame conditions
• Implementation of Natura2000 by involvement of local decision makers and of the population
• Implementation models for nature conservation and nature conservationist measures facing financial resources growing scarcer and scarcer
• Innovative methods for the maintenance of a positive water balance in the catchment area of Lake Neusiedl – irrigation systems, banking-up systems, dotations
• Elemental budget or elemental balances between reed areas and open water zones in shallow water lakes.
• Hygienic risks of shallow water lakes as well as changes in fauna and flora due to global warming – measures for prevention and detection
• Detection methods that can be automated for hygienically questionable germs from shallow water lakes – technological feasibility
• Prerequisites, frame conditions and experience with regard to the establishment of a competence centre for the conservation of resources in connection with water and hygiene research.
Methoden & Expertise zur Forschungsinfrastruktur
Scope of duties Pursuant to legislation on water, on sanitation in public baths and food laws, the accredited assessment and inspection office, the Biological Station, regularly takes samples in technical installations (before all waterworks, public baths, etc.) and food respectively and writes subject-specific expert opinions in accordance with the laboratory findings of the samples taken. Thus the accredited pure water laboratory provides the legally requested chemical and microbiological tests of drinking waters, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, swimming lakes, ponds, wells/fountains and whirlpool facilities. More than 5000 samples are tested per year. Special focus is placed upon the water quality of Lake Neusiedl; in particular the lake-side swimming areas are inspected continuously. Furthermore, the Biological Station fulfils the legally provided expert and surveying function in the field of nature conservation. Pursuant to nature conservation law, many changes in land use are subject to approval (e.g. buildings in grassland, hydro-engineering measures, crop changes in landscape protection areas) or nature conservationist expert opinions have to be rendered (e.g. re-zoning, amendments of laws). In practice this means that the person applying for the approval has to submit an application together with the respective project documents to the competent authority. The Biological Station Lake Neusiedl will then render a nature conservationist opinion. Thus the Biological Station provides bases for decision making with regard to the development of a balanced cultural landscape considering the nature protectionist frame conditions.