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Forest Resources and Management

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Head: Marco Ferretti

The Research Unit (RU) Forest Resources and Management is principally engaged in four research themes:

  • Monitoring, analysis, assessment and prognosis of forest resources
  • Silvicultural interventions to ensure the provision of forest products and services
  • Availability and optimized utilisation of forest resources, especially timber
  • Development of methods and models related to the three research themes mentioned previously

Among the forest resources, the RU focuses its research on timber and carbon sequestration. Moreover, it provides contributions to protection from natural hazards and to the forest as habitat and recreational area, by covering forest structures and their development.

Although the RU focuses on forests, it also deals with the interaction between forests and other landscape elements. The RU handles its research themes on different spatial levels: from the stand, to the forest enterprise, to the region and up to the national level. Its research has a strong international reach, especially regarding the methods.

The RU administers the major project Swiss National Forest Inventory LFI and executes it by statutory mandate and in co-operation with the Federal Office of the Environment FOEN. Substantial parts of the LFI are carried out within the RU, while other parts are processed in co-operation with other RUs.

Methodically the RU excels at its emphasis on a solid empirical basis and on technologies needed to acquire the necessary data, especially in the fields of data collection, data management, data retrieval and data analysis. Parts of the data series concerning forest structure from the LFI, from growth and yield research and from forest reserves, surveyed over many decades, are worldwide unrivaled. These form the bases for modelling and prognoses. The methodological development of the RU focuses on statistical methods (sampling theory and time series analysis, spatial data analysis), information sciences and technologies (inventory techniques, navigation, data management, GIS) as well as simulation and decision models and their implementation in tools (expert systems as decision supports).

The RU is active in knowledge transfer. Its research projects are usually application-relevant and have an implementation component.