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Monitoring projects

Monitoring (environmental observation), performance review, and long-term research are core competences of WSL. WSL has data series which in some cases date back more than a hundred years. Such survey require not only perseverance, diligence and consistency, but also an in-depth understanding of the observed systems, research-related flair, and expertise in storing data and documentation. Much of the data is available upon request for non-WSL people to analyse.

Sustainable use of natural resources

Swiss National Forest Inventory NFI
National Forest Inventory NFI

What does the Swiss forest look like and how does it change over time? The Swiss National Forest Inventory (NFI) tries to answer these questions.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

La Chanéaz Fungus Reserve: Long-term monitoring to discover drivers of mushroom productivity and phenology
La Chanéaz Fungus Reserve

Long-term monitoring to discover drivers of mushroom productivity and phenology

Available languages: German  English  French 

Growth & yield research
Growth & yield research

Long-term forest growth & yield research: Organizational and methodical problems and their consequences on the results for research and practice

Available languages: German  English  French 

Forest ecosystems

Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research Programme LWF

The mission of LWF is to improve our understanding of how natural and anthropogenic stresses affect forests in the long term, and which risks for humans are involved. Consequently, we need to gain a more profound knowledge of the cause-effect relationships in the forest ecosystem and the underlying processes.

Available languages: German  English  French 

Forest health inventory
Forest health

The Sanasilva Inventory has been carried out in its current form since 1985. Its aim is to monitor the health of the Swiss forest using crown and tree parameters as indicators of forest condition.

Available languages: German  English  French 


TreeNet is a biological drought and growth indicator network of forest ecosystems. It provides information about drought responses of trees all over Switzerland and their effects on the carbon balance of forests. TreeNet links the research of the eddy flux super sites Davos and Lägeren to the forest next to your home.

Available languages: English 

Research and effectiveness controlling in Swiss forest reserves
Forest reserves

Most Swiss forests are managed. However, some forests are protected as reserves, in which nature can develop within human interference. Fifty years of research in these reserves shows that the naturalness of these forests increases.

Available languages: German  English  French 

Landscape development

Landscape Monitoring Switzerland
Landscape Monitoring Switzerland

In the scientific part of the project "Landscape Monitoring Switzerland", basic knowledge for new indicators of landscape quality is developed. This includes both landscape ecological and social scientific approaches.

Available languages: German  English 

WaMos 2 - Socio-Cultural Forest Monitoring 
WaMos 2

The aim of the research project WaMos 2 is to assess the attitudes of the population towards forest and wood related topics. In doing so, the project revisits and builds upon work that was done in 1997. The results of WaMos 2 will serve as a basis for forest related policy, and the forest- and environment-related reporting of FOEN.

Available languages: German  English  French 

Wirkungskontrolle Biotopschutz Schweiz
Biotopschutz Schweiz

Das vom BAFU inizierte Projekt "Wirkungskontrolle Biotopschutz Schweiz" geht der Frage nach, ob sich die Biotope von nationaler Bedeutung gemäss der Schutzziele entwickeln und in ihrer Fläche und Qualität erhalten bleiben. Um diese Frage beantworten zu können, wird ein langfristiges Monitoringprojekt aufgebaut.

Erfolgskontrolle von Vernetzungsmassnahmen

Vernetzungsmassnahmen haben das Ziel, den Austausch von Individuen zwischen isolierten Populationen wieder herzustellen. Genetische Methoden erlauben es, diesen Austausch über grosse Räume hinweg genau festzustellen.

Available languages: German 


Swiss data centres lichens and fungi
Data and Information Centres

The data bases SwissFungi and SwissLichens are national centres of species diversity. They record changes in species distribution, host on-line distribution maps and provide the scientific basis for Red Lists or conservation guide-lines.

Available languages: German  English  French 

Vegetation dynamics on permanent plots in the Swiss National Park
Permanent plots

Since the foundation of the Swiss National Park in 1914, one focus of botanical research has always been long-term monitoring of vegetation development. As relevées have been repeated on the permanent plots, the researchers are now able to make precise statements about long-term development of tall-herb communities, nutrient-rich meadows, rich and poor pastures as well as woodland communities.

Available languages: English  French 

Management of natural hazards

Long-term bedload monitoring
Bedload transport

Accurate measurements of bedload transport in natural channels are important to improve process understanding and predictive methods. The geophone sensors of the WSL provide continuous measurements with high temporal resolution.

Available languages: German  English 

Permafrost monitoring
Permafrost monitoring

At various locations in the Swiss Alps, the SLF has been measuring permafrost temperatures and slope movements in the permafrost for more than 12 years. The SLF measuring network extends from Engadine via the Gotthard region to southern Valais. Several of the boreholes containing instruments form part of the Swiss PERMOS monitoring network.