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In focus

June 2014: Natural hazards

RAMMS - RApid Mass Movement System
RAMMS

Avalanches, debris flows and rockfalls are everyday occurrences in the mountains. RAMMS is a software package that allows these natural hazard processes to be evaluated and facilitates an assessment of the influences of protective measures.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

March 2014: Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
How WSL research is contributing to the energy transition
Energy

The Swiss authorities have decided to phase out nuclear energy, with the idea being that alternative energy sources will fill the gap. However, the implications of this move are still unclear. Against this backdrop, the WSL is investigating what impact the energy transition could have on the environment and society.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

March 2014: Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
Nutrient discharges increasing pressure on ecosystems
Nutrient discharges

Nitrogen and phosphorus are nutrients that are crucial to supporting life. However, an increased level of nutrient discharges is altering the equilibrium between these nutrients and exerting stress on ecosystems. The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) is investigating nutrient cycles with a view to understanding how they affect the dynamic processes of nature.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

October 2013: Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
Soil protection
Soil protection

Soils fulfill various functions. As a consequence of land cultivation and of the emission of harmful substances from various sources, the soil functions are endangered. In the research topic “soil protection” the main threats and their effects on the soil functions and hence on soil fertility are investigated.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

October 2013: Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
Drought in Switzerland, the ‘water tower of Europe’
Drought

How can we detect drought at an early point? What are the effects of drought on forests and sensitive ecosystems in Switzerland? There is a wide range of research conducted at WSL in view of these questions.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

July 2013: Natural hazards
Predicting forest fires and researching the consequences
Forest Fires

Several forest fires occur in Switzerland every year. Researchers from the WSL Institute collect event data and develop methods and approaches to assess fire risks. They also examine the effects forest fires have on hillside erosion and on the development of biodiversity.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

July 2013: Natural hazards
Better rockfall protection through research
Rockfall

The WSL is conducting research into the processes involved in rockfalls. The main aims of this research are to improve rockfall risk assessments and enhance existing rockfall protection systems.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

December 2012: Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
Alpine snow and water resources
Alpine resources

The WSL and SLF are engaged in research to measure and pinpoint the country's snow and water resources, and to forecast future variances giving due consideration to the impact of climate change. A conference on this subject for practitioners and researchers took place at the end of November.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

October 2012: Landscape genetics
Landscape genetics: making the invisible visible
Landscape genetics

Landscape genetics combines landscape ecology and population genetics, enabling connections to be made between the dispersal of plants and animals on the one hand and landscape elements that act as barriers or corridors on the other. Landscape genetics therefore provides a relevant basis for the planning and implementation of nature conservation measures.

Available languages: German  English 

August 2012: Landscape Development
Landscape Research Center WSL
Landscape Research Center

In spring 2012 WSL established the Landscape Research Center which has the following aims: disseminate knowledge to stakeholders working in landscape management, act as a link between researchers at WSL and other scientists, promote research and teaching in Landscape Research.

Available languages: German  English  French  Italian 

March 2012: Landscape Development
Research programme Room for People and Nature
Spatial demands

The new WSL research programme Room for People and Nature is examining the future development of intensively exploited regions, and intends to formulate basic principles for managing them in a sustainable way. It is being established and implemented in close collaboration with practitioners.

Available languages: German  English  French 

December 2011: Urban sprawl in Switzerland - unstoppable?
Measuring and preventing urban sprawl
Urban sprawl

Urban sprawl in Switzerland has more than doubled since 1950. Its effects in the long term are alarming. A new method for measuring urban sprawl serves as an instrument to enable more objective discussion among policy-makers and politicians, to assess planning scenarios and to check the effects of urban sprawl prevention measures.

Available languages: German  English  French 

 

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