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Instrumented field sites and laboratories

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Conducting cutting-edge research requires outstanding infrastructure. Our research scientists work in laboratories or at outdoor instrumented field sites equipped with the latest technologies. We have been monitoring the development of the forest, landscape and rare ecosystems, natural hazards, snow and hydrological processes for decades at thousands of field sites and monitoring areas around Switzerland.

Further information about our work methods is available here.


Experimental plots in the forest

We monitor the condition and development of the forest on over 6000 plots in Switzerland.

LWF test, training and demonstration facility

Step behind the scenes of ecosystem research and find out how we measure the pulse of the forest with 30 sensors, some of them in real time.

Experimented field sites for natural hazards

The WSL operates several unique instrumented field sites for mass movements and natural hazards.

Mountain ecosystem research sites

Field sites located within the slowly changing mountain ecosystems allow data to be compared over generations.

Instrumented sites for snow and ice research

Snow researchers use radar measurements and computer tomography, but sometimes also magnifying glass and grid - just like 80 years ago.

The WSL plant protection lab

The federal government tasked the WSL to build a laboratory where organisms that harm trees and shrubs can be identified and effective measures...

MODOEK - Model Ecosystem Facility

In 16 glass chambers with a sliding roof and lysimeters we conduct long-term ecological experiments with forest trees.


We maintain several state-of-the-art laboratories which enable us to conduct cutting-edge environmental research.

Experimental tree nursery

Our experimental tree nursery produces forestry seeds, propagates forest trees for research and pracitioners and cares for the WSL's ecological park.