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The landscape provides habitats for diverse flora and fauna and benefit people in many ways. We study the interactions between landscape, man and biodiversity and develop decision-making bases for sustainable use of the landscape.


Landscapes have a cultural significance for people. They provide habitats for animals, plants and many other organisms. And from an economic point of view, the landscape is a resource, for example for tourism or energy production. Landscapes thus have social, ecological and economic aspects. People, landscape and ecosystems have a reciprocal relationship. We study these interactions and relationships.

The landscape is constantly changing, with consequences for biodiversity and human quality of life. Thanks to comprehensive monitoring, we can recognise and document these changes, both on small and large scales, regardless of whether they proceed quickly or slowly. Thus, we contribute to an early warning system for the benefit of the landscape, and we develop important decision-making bases for government and communities. These can be used, for example, to create landscapes that meet human needs while protecting the environment.

Pooling Knowledge

Landscape research deals with complex topics which require diverse methods, approaches and experiences. An interdisciplinary approach that integrates natural, social and economic sciences is necessary. The Landscape Centre pools the competences of the WSL, while providing an interface for partners such as the federal authorities, cantonal and municipal administrations and non-governmental organisations. The exchange with stakeholders in the field ensures that our research not only serves the purpose of gaining scientific insights, but also provides a benefit to the community and the government.



WSL Landscape Centre

The WSL has a great deal of . The Landscape Centre pools the landscape research expertise and ensures that the research results are available to all...

Landscape Development and Monitoring

We use monitoring programmes to document and quantify how our landscapes change.

Urban Development

The configuration and extent of settlements affect biodiversity and quality of life. We analyse settlement development and its consequences.

Land Use

Land use affects ecosystems and their services. We study how land use changes and develop scenarios for the future.

Quality and Value of the Landscape

We identify which landscape features are important to people and how they affect landscape quality.

Energy and Landscape

Energy Strategy 2050 provides for a conversion of the existing energy system. We identify its benefits and possible consequences for the landscape.

Management and Participation

Land use and landscape development are influenced by numerous stakeholders. We study how, why and by what means stakeholders act.

Landscapes for Health and Recreation

Landscapes with high recreational values contribute to human health and well-being. We study the features of these types of landscapes.

Landscape Ecology

Species and ecosystems are influenced by spatial patterns. We study the interactions and influence of landscape change.



Wie sieht die Schweiz von morgen aus? 1. Schweizer Landschaftskongress am 23. und 24. Aug. 2018 in Luzern.

The hairy primrose (Primula hirsuta) is one of few species whose lower and upper range limits are lower today than they used to be. Image: Niklaus Zimmermann, WSL

Mountain plants are shifting their range upwards faster at the lower limit of their range than at the upper limit.

The max.moor mechanism devised by the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL makes it possible for raised-bog restoration to be used as a way to offset...

During a summer school focusing on land system science, a group of young scholars from around the world analysed landscape patterns and processes. The...