The 2018 summer half-year brought Switzerland (but especially Central and Northern Europe) one of the most pronounced droughts of recent decades. This has resulted in record-low runoff, extreme soil dehydration, severely limited water uptake by vegetation and exceptionally early leaf discoloration. The WSL with its core business in the field of forest, hydrology and biodiversity was particularly in the focus of this drought situation and is now required to investigate the events and impacts of this summer and to derive new insights into how to deal with similar situations in the future.
The aim of this extraordinary WSL initiative is to quickly answer specific questions arising from the extreme drought of summer 2018. In particular, the aim is to ensure that the WSL is equipped at the beginning of summer 2019 to assess and predict the situation even better in the event of a renewed drought.
- A2-How extreme? Overall assessment of the 2018 drought
Early detection of drought
- B1-The 2018 drought - how predictable was it?
- B2-Assessing forest vulnerability to drought by intersecting modeled soil water availability (SWA) with remote-sensing derived spectral anomalies
Early leaf discoloration (leaf fall)
- C1-Identification of drought risk zones in current beech stands
- C2-Effects of the drought of summer 2018 and heat on forest canopy greenness
- C3-Analysis of beech litterfall in the drought year 2018
- C4-Droughtindicators: TreeNet meets Sentinel 2
Medium- and long-term effects
- E1-Rapid survey of the short-term effects of the 2018 drought on beech forests in Switzerland
- E2-Response of European beech and silver fir trees on dry sites to the drought in 2018
- E3Medium-term effects of the drought of summer 2018 on beech individuals with early leaf senescence