See group Stand Dynamics and Silviculture.
70 percent of Swiss forests are managed – to extract wood or to promote and maintain other forest functions, such as protection against natural hazards. We provide data and models for the development of forests to support their ecological, economic and socially sustainable management.
In silviculture research, we study the dynamics of managed forest stands. To this end, we carry out classical growth and yield analyses for timber production. Furthermore, silvicultural measures are also necessary for the protection and promotion of biodiversity, the preservation of protection forests and drinking water filtration or to create attractive local recreation areas.
That is why our research is very broad:
- The growth and yield research project is based on a network of experimental plots where we have studied tree and forest stand growth and the effects of forestry interventions, some for over 100 years.
- We established a network of 57 experimental plantations with sustainable tree species throughout Switzerland from 2020 to 2022, which we will monitor during several decades.
- With the project on monitoring natural forest reserves in Switzerland and the project on primeval forests in Ukraine, we are monitoring the development of unmanaged or no longer managed forests. (Note: the Ukraine project is currently suspended due to the Russian attack on Ukraine). As a result, we develop a better understanding of the natural growth dynamics of forests. We use this knowledge, among other things, for the further development of near-natural forestry concepts.
- With the National Forest Inventory, we survey the condition of and changes in the totality of Swiss forests, whether managed or not, on an area-wide basis.
- We develop baselines to support forest professionals in regeneration and tending especially of mountain forest regeneration.
- We research how game browsing affects natural regeneration (contact: Andrea Kupferschmid). Game browsing plays a major role especially in the mountains, where a growing deer population limits forest regeneration.
Our research would not be possible without a strong, consistent connection to Swiss foresters and their impetus for new projects.