Each biosphere reserve represents a specific type of landscape. In the case of the Biosphere Reserve Schaalsee, those are the Baltic beech forests. The location of the Biosphere Reserve Schaalsee at the border of the subcontinental 'Biogeographical Province of Central and Eastern European Deciduous Forests' to the 'Atlantic Province' is reflected in a striking way in the species composition of the most important near-natural ecosystem types, this is especially true for forests and rain fens (raised bogs). The occurrence of Atlantic geo-elements in a broader sense characterises the Schaalsee region as representative of the central area of the Baltic beech forest, which represents the biotope type of 'deciduous semi-evergreen forests' in northern Central Europe.
Typical for the landscape in the Biosphere Reserve is the dense succession of different biotopes. This diversity of habitats is also the reason for the high species diversity.
Some important habitats, typical plants and animal species are presented in more detail below.