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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.



Tree ferns  in Papua Neuguinea

The first global vegetation database contains over 1.1 million vegetation records.

New book: A new method makes urban sprawl measurable and comparable for the first time. This should help making spatial planning more sustainable.

A European research team is looking for solutions to combine renewable energies with landscape protection. The results are now available.

Common cranes. (Photo: Sepp Senn, WSL)

A new study shows that migrations and wintering areas of migratory birds are not sufficiently taken into account in species conservation.