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Research topics

Biodiversity
Biodiversity

Biodiversity is steadily decreasing in Switzerland. Steps must be taken to protect it so that ecosystems can continue to provide such valuable services as ensuring that soils are stable and fertile. At WSL we have been developing a scientific basis for monitoring and enhancing biodiversity.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

Landscape
Landscape

Landscapes are continually changing. These changes occur on a large scale at a slow pace. At WSL we are investigating their causes and the effects they have on humans and the environment. This research provides a sound scientific basis for sustainable landscape development, which aims at (a) protecting landscape quality and (b) fostering the identification of the population with their everyday landscape. The political commitment to energy change increases the importance of the landscape as a resource for energy production and leads to increasing WSL research priorities on this topic.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

Natural Hazards
Natural Hazards

Natural hazards, such as avalanches, rockfall and debris flow, can cause substantial damage in Switzerland. Research at WSL helps to protect people from such hazards. WSL has established several unique experimental stations to find out more about the processes involved in avalanches, rockfall and debris flow in order to improve protection measures and warning systems when such events occur.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

Snow and Ice
Snow and Ice

At WSL we investigate snow, ice and permafrost in relation to their importance as a natural resource for winter tourism and as a source for potable water and hydropower. We also conduct extensive research into the snow microstructure as well as into the exchange processes that take place between soil, snow and the atmosphere. This is key to a greater understanding of the avalanche formation processes as well as to the role of the snow and ice masses for the earth’s climate.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

Forest
Forest

WSL has from the very start been concerned with the sustainable use of the natural resources wood, water, snow, landscape and soil - resources that provide manifold services. At WSL we are studying the influence of soil, water, air, climate, plants and animals on the growth and development processes in forests, with a special focus on assessing the effects climate changes as well as the impact of political decisions on energy choices.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

 

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