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Dr. Elisabeth Graf Pannatier - Personal Homepage

Elisabeth Graf Pannatier
Organisational unit Stab Direktion
Address Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf

Room Bi HV G 10
Contact Phone: +41 44 739 2330
Fax: +41 44 7392 215
Web / E-Mail

My research interests:

Water quality in forest soils

Soil water is essential for the nutrition and the transpiration of trees. It is also important for humans, since groundwater coming from forested areas is usually of good quality and is used as drinking water. However, the atmospheric deposition of acidifying substances and of nitrogen compounds coming from human activities represent potential stress factors for forest ecosystems and large excess of nitrate in the infiltrating water might threaten the groundwater quality.

The main questions that are keeping me busy are:

  • What are the effects of atmospheric deposition of acidic substances and nitrogen compounds on the soil water composition in the root zone and below? Do they alter the soil functions?
  • How does the chemical composition of soil water change between the root zone and the aquifer?

Water availability in forest soils

Estimating the water availability for plants in forest soils is also a central topic in my work. Climate changes, especially climate warming and the modification in the precipitation pattern, have an effect on the water availability in the soils and might therefore affect forest ecosystems (e.g. changes in tree growth, in mortality or in tree species).
How is the soil water availability to plants in various forest ecosystems? What is the risk of drought stress with a changing climate? What are the effects on trees?