Wetlands are unusual because they have characteristics of both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Wetlands are recognized as habitat for many rare and endangered species, and for their role in the cycles of water, carbon and nutrients. Wetland also connects the different components of the landscape, from the high mountain areas to the lowlands and ultimately the sea.
Switzerland has a high diversity of wetlands from early succession alpine glacial forefront wetlands to fens and bogs. Many of these wetlands have been impacted by human activities, but others remain in natural or close to natural state. Thus the Wetlands Research Group studies both natural wetlands and damaged ones that may or may not be recovering from perturbation.
- biodiversity and natural dynamics of wetlands ecosystems. Our research spans a broad range of wetlands from Sphagnum-dominated peatlands to floodplains, glacier forefront and tropical wetlands.
- present and past responses of wetlands (and to a lesser extent some other ecosystems) to external forcing such as management (including restoration) and global change