Mountain ecosystems are characterized by harsh environmental conditions. These include often long lasting snow cover, short growing seasons and topographically related disturbances such as avalanches, rockfall or landslides.Mountain ecosystems and inhabiting animal and plant species are generally well adapted to these conditions. However, they may react sensitively to changes of climate, land-use and disturbance regimes. Activities of the group focus on mountain ecosystems above and below the treeline (mountain forest, alpine ecosystems) and represent links between ecosystem research of WSL and snow and avalanche topics of the SLF in Davos.
Mountain ecosystems are one of the main topics of the CERC research centre.