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Experimental sites in forests

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For over 100 years long-term monitoring of the condition and development of the forest has been one of our core tasks. The sustainable use of the natural resource wood as well as maintaining the manifold services of the forest require standardised data collection over many years.

The resulting data series are a valuable basis for all kinds of research questions and an indicator for the Swiss forests’ health.

Naturally, we use a multitude of individual research plots for specific, targeted questions. This chapter, however, only concerns the long-term monitoring plots.


Swiss National Forest Inventory

What does the Swiss forest look like and how does it change over time? The Swiss National Forest Inventory (NFI) tries to answer these questions.

Long-term growth and yield data

Our research in forest growth gathers data on forest structure on 390 growth and yield research plots everey 5 to 12 years.

Experimental plantations

We investigate which tree species and seed provenances will grow well in the Swiss forest under the climatic conditions in 50 - 100 years.


Sanasilva Inventory

With the Sanasilva inventory we have been collecting data on the condition of the trees in Swiss forests since 1985.

Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF)

We examine the long-term effects of stresses on the forest and identify the risks that are relevant to people.

Pfynwald irrigation experiment

To find out about pine dieback, we have been comparing tree growth in irrigated and non-irrigated forest plots in the Pfynwald since 2003.


The Seehornwald near Davos belongs to one of the best equipped long-term forest ecology research sites of the world.


TreeNet is an international monitoring and research network measuring tree stem radius fluctuations in terms of forest ecosystem's responses to...

Measuring tower Lägeren

On the southern slope of the Lägeren hill, WSL operates a 47-metre high measuring tower for research purposes, which extends above the forest.