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Landscape Dynamics

Head: PD Dr. Matthias Bürgi                       Deputy: Christian Ginzler


The unit studies patterns and processes at the landscape level caused by ecological and anthropogenic drivers. Ecological and biophysical processes, human activities and the interactions between them are analyzed over short to long time scales. The spatial scales we study range from plots, to small watersheds, larger landscapes, continents and hemispheres, to the globe. Both the analyses and the scaling of patterns and processes along temporal and spatial dimensions represent an integral field of research of the unit.

Partners and stakeholders of this Unit include researchers within WSL and in the international scientific community, land users and public administrations.


Latest key publications from the Landscape Dynamics Units
September 15, 2016
  • Charney N.D., Babst F., Poulter B., Record S., Trouet V., Frank D., Enquist B.J., Evand M.E.K. (2016). Observed forest sensitivity to climate implies large changes in 21st Century North American forest growth. Ecology Letters, 19, 1119-1128. doi: 10.1111/ele.12650
  • Prestele R., Alexander P., Rounsevell M.D.A., Arneth A., Calvin K., Doelman J., Eitelberg D.A., Engström K., Fujimori S., Hasegawa T., Havlik P., Humpenöder F., Jain A.K., Krisztin T., Kyle P., Meiyappan P., Popp A., Sands R.D., Schaldach R., Schüngel J., Stehfest E., Tabeau A., Van Meijl H., Van Vliet J., Verburg P.H. (2016). Hotspots of uncertainty in land-use and land-cover change projections: a global-scale model comparison. Global Change Biology, 17 pp. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13337
  • Szejner P., Wright H. E., Babst F., Belchmecheri S., Trouet V., Leavitt S.W., Ehleringer J.R., Monson R. (2016). Latitudinal gradients in tree ring stable carbon and oxygen isotopes reveal differential climate influences of the North American Monsoon System. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciencecs, 14 pp. doi: 10.1002/2016JG003460.

Latest key publications from the Landscape Dynamics Units
August 18, 2016
  • Büntgen U., Di Cosmo N. (2016). Climatic and environmental aspects of the Mongol withdrawal from Hungary in 1242 CE. Nature Scientific Reports, 6(25606), 9 pp. doi: 10.1038/srep25606
  • Ljungqvist F.C., Krusic P.J., Sundqvist H.S., Zorita E., Brattström G., Frank D. (2016). Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries. Nature, 532, 94-98. doi: 10.1038/nature17418
  • Plieninger T., Draux H., Fagerholm N., Bieling C., Burgi M., Kizos T., Kuemmerle T., Primdahl J., Verburg P.H. (2016). The driving forces of landscape change in Europe: A systematic review of the evidence. Land Use Policy, 57, 204-214.
  • Zurell D., Thuiller W., Pagel J., Sarmento C.J., Münkemüller T., Gravel D., Dullinger S., Normand S., Schiffers K., Moore K.A., Zimmerman N.E. (2016). Benchmarking novel approaches for modelling species range dynamics. Global Change Biology, 22, 2651-2664. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13251

Latest key publications from the Landscape Dynamics Units
May 19, 2016
  • Concepción E., Obrist M. K., Moretti M., Altermatt F., Baur B., Nobis M. P. (2016). Impacts of urban sprawl on species richness of plants, butterflies, gastropods and birds: not only built-up area matters. Urban Ecosystems, 19(1), 225–242. doi: 10.1007/s11252-015-0474-4

Latest key publications from the Landscape Dynamics Units
April 14, 2016
  • Zhang Z., Zimmermann N. E, Kaplan J. O., Poulter B. (2016). Modeling spatiotemporal dynamics of global wetlands: comprehensive evaluation of a new sub-grid TOPMODEL parameterization and uncertainties. Biogeosciences, 13, 1387-1408. doi: 10.5194/bg-13-1387-2016

Latest key publications from the Landscape Dynamics Units
March 24, 2016
  • Gessler A., Treydte K. (2016). The fate and age of carbon – insights into the storage and remobilization dynamics in trees. New Phytologist, 209, 1338-1340.
  • Mathieu J., Backhaus N., Hürlimann K., Bürgi M. (Eds.). (2016). Geschichte der Landschaft in der Schweiz: Von der Eiszeit bis zur Gegenwart. Zurich: Orell Füssli.

Latest key publications from the Landscape Dynamics Units
February 25, 2016
  • Barrett F., McRoberts R.E., Tomppo E., Cienciala E., Waser L.T. (2016). A questionnaire-based review of the operational use of remotely sensed data by national forest inventories. Remote Sensing of Environment, 174, 279-289.
  • Gallien L., Saladin B., Boucher F.C., Richardson D.M., Zimmermann N.E. (2016). Does the legacy of historical biogeography shape current invasiveness in pines? New Phytologist, 209, 1096-1105. doi: 10.1111/nph.13700
  • Pellissier L., Eidesen P.B., Ehrich D., Descombes P., Schönswetter P., Tribsch A., Westergaard K.B., Alvarez N., Guisan A., Zimmermann N. E, Normand S., Vittoz P., Luoto M., Damgaard C., Brochmann C., Wisz M., Alsos I.G. (2015). Past climate-driven range shifts and population genetic diversity in arctic plants. Journal of Biogeography, 10 pp. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12657

Latest key publications from the Landscape Dynamics Units
November 19, 2015
  • Cook E.R., R. Seager, Kushnir Y., Briffa K.R., Büntgen U., Frank D., Krusic P.J., Tegel W., van der Schrier G., Andreu-Hayles L., Baillie M., Baittinger C., Billamboz A., Bleicher N., Bonde N., Brown D., Carrer M., Cooper R., Cufar K., Dittmar C., Esper J., Griggs C., Gunnarson B., Günther B., Gutierrez E., Helama S., Herzig F., Heussner K.-U., Hofman J., Janda P., Kontic R., Köse N., Kristof H., Kyncl T., Levanic T., Linderholm H., Manning S., Melvin T.M., Miles D., Neuwirth B., Nicolussi K., Nola P., Panayotov M., Popa I., Rothe A., Seftigen K., Seim A., Svarva H., Svoboda M., Thun T., Touchan R., Trotsiuk V., Trouet V., Wazny T., Wilson R., Zang C. (2015). Old World Megadroughts and Pluvials During the Common Era. Science Advances, 1:e1500561, 10 pp. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1500561
  • Bürgi M., Li L., Kizos T. (2015). Exploring links between culture and biodiversity: studying land use intensity from the plot to the landscape level. Biodiversity and Conservation, 24, 3285–3303. doi: 10.1007/s10531-015-0970-0

Latest key publications from the Landscape Dynamics Units
October 23, 2015
  • Cuny H.E., Rathgeber C.B.K., Frank D., Fonti P., Mäkinen H., Prislan P., Rossi S., Martinez del Castillo E., Campelo F., Vavrčík H., Camarero J.J., Bryukhanova M., Jyske T., Gričar J., Gryc V., De Luis M., Vieira J., Čufar K., Kirdyanov A., Oberhuber W., Huang J.-G., Treml V., Li X., Swidrak I., Deslauriers A., Liang E., Nöjd P., Gruber A., Nabais C., Morin H., Krause C., King G., Fournier M. (2015). Woody biomass production lags stem-girth increase by over one month in coniferous forests. Nature Plants, (in press).
  • Wang Z., C. Ginzler, Waser L. (2015). A novel method to assess short-term forest cover changes based on digital surface models from image-based point clouds. Forestry, 88, 429-440. doi: 10.1093/forestry/cpv012

Latest key publications from the Landscape Dynamics Units
September 17, 2015
  • Müller G., Hersperger A. (2015). Implementing comprehensive plans: indicators for a task-sheet based performance evaluation process. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 58(11), 2056-2081. doi: 10.1080/09640568.2014.973482
  • Sigl M., Winstrup M., McConnell J.R., Welten K.C., Plunkett G., Ludlow F., Büntgen U., Caffee M.,Chellman N., Dahl-Jensen D., Fischer H., Kipfstuhl S., Kostick C., Maselli O.J., Mekhaldi F., Mulvaney R., Muscheler R., Pasteris D.R., Pilcher J.R., Salzer M., Schüpbach S., Steffensen J.P., Vinther B., Woodruff T.E. (2015). Timing and global climate forcing of volcanic eruptions during the past 2,500 years. Nature, 523, 543-549. doi: 10.1038/nature14565