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The LWF test-, training- and demonstration plot


How do trees grow? What are the properties of forest soil? How do air pollution and climate change affect the forest? How do trees react to environmental conditions such as extreme drought? These are some of the questions we investigate in the Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research programme LWF.

In order to introduce and explain our research projects and over 30 measuring instruments, sensors and collectors to the general public, we have set up a test, training and demonstration facility in a forest stand near the WSL headquarters in Birmensdorf (fig. 1).

Besides training and demonstration, the third purpose of this facility is to test new measuring methods and instruments.

Find out here how we measure the pulse of the forest, which instruments we use and which research questions we are currently investigating. 

2 Meteorology 3 Rain collectors 4 Snow collectors 5 Nitrogen dioxine passive sampler 6 Ammonia passive sampler 7 Passive Ozone samplers 8 Ozone monitor 9 decentLab base station 10 Stemflow collector 21 Inventory 22 Crown condition assessment and Sanasilva surveys 23 Foliar analysis 24 Leaf area index 25 Litterfall collector 26 Ozone symptoms 28 Point dendrometer 29 Sap-flow sensor 30 Stem CO2 sensor 31 Ultrasound 32 Permanent tree-girth tape 33 Tree rings 34 Ground vegetation 35 Insect traps 36 Spore trap 37 Deadwood 41 Soil profile 42 Tensiometer 43 Soil water content 44 Soil solution 45 Gas exchange 46 Soil respiration
Fig. 1: Situation map of the LTER test-, training- and demonstration plot. Click on a blue number to learn more about the individual sensors.

Click on the numbers in figures 1 and 2 to display detailed descriptions of the measuring devices.

Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research LWF

The Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research Programme (LWF) examines how human-induced and natural stress factors affect forests in the short (yearly) and the long term (approx. 20 years). These include in particular air pollution and climate change. In order to be able to assess the risks associated with environmental changes and to simulate predictions, we need a deeper understanding of the processes involved.

The LWF carries out measurements on 19 areas all over Switzerland. On average, we record 25 million values per year, measured at one-minute intervals or up to hourly.