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Research projects

To be able to protect endangered ecosystems it is essential to understand how they work. Which criteria influence the structure of plant communities? How do carbon and nutrients circulate in these ecosystems? What will be the incidences of global change (biological invasions, land use, climate changes) on their composition, structure, functioning and on the services they render?

subfunc teaser

The functioning of ecosystems

Farming methods and biotic interactions between plants or between plants and soil organisms affect the composition of plant communities and their functioning. Therefore the study of the rules which govern the assembly of plant communities is essential for the understanding of the processes taking place there.

comin teaser

Global change: biological invasions

Biological invasions belong worldwide to the most important threats to biodiversity. As it is very difficult to forecast the success of an invasive species, we try to determine the capacity of resistance of the local plant communities.

climabog teaser

Global change: the effects of climate warming

The climatic changes expected for the coming years will impact on the functioning of eco-systems. We develop field tests in order to evaluate the impact of climate warming on the structure and biogeochemical cycles in plant communities.

Mountland modélisation teaser

Global change: climate and management

Did wooded cover on the Jura pastures increase over the last century? If so, why and how will the Jura landscape evolve during the coming century under changing farming methods and potential climate changes?

Bois mort

Global change: forestry and dead wood

The maintenance of biodiversity is a key issue of sustainable forest management in Switzerland. In particular, dead and old trees play in important role for thousands of forest-dwelling species. Therefore, in order to be sustainable, the Swiss forest management needs a strategy for the maintenance of dead wood and veteran trees.

changement climatique

Climate change: the situation in Switzerland

Because of its location in a mountainous area, Switzerland is particularly affected by climate change. Our analyses of climate evolution allow us to better understand how changes will happen and to anticipate possible consequences concerning forest ecosystems or sectors of human society such as tourism.