Forest ecology

Forest ecology

The forest is more than just the sum total of all its trees and more than a producer of raw materials: it is a manifold habitat. Trees and bushes, fungi and lichens all grow here. Apart from game many other animals live in the forest. Nature conservation aims at protecting this variety as well as single species. In addition the forest is also used by us for recreation and relaxation. The interaction and reciprocation between the various elements in the forest eco-system provide the framework for an optimal fulfilment of all forest functions.

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Nature conservation in Bavarian forests

The condition of Bavarian forests is good. This is due in particular to forest landowners and foresters. Never the less, the topic of nature conservation in Bavarian forestry has experienced unusually intense debates, campaigns and assailments.

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Rising CO2 levels are changing how fast forests cycle water

With rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere transpiration of plants may be changing. A better understanding of this process is important because changes to the water cycle can affect flooding, soil moisture, river flow, and weather changes linked to climate change.

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Forest management and nature conservation in the Upper Rhine

With the expansion of the Rhine, local conditions within the Rhine floodplain have fundamentally changed regarding water regime.

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Impact of the cultivation of Douglas fir on forest biodiversity

A literature review compiles the current knowledge about the impact of Douglas fir on forest biodiversity and habitats. Knowledge gaps and research needs are presented.

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More effective avalanche protection forests in the Alps

Forests are spreading increasingly into alpine areas, but are they really returning to where they are most useful, for instance, to steep avalanche release areas?

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European Tree Species Distribution Maps

Did you know that sycamore trees do not grow naturally in Great Britain or in Denmark? Were you aware that the European beech tree can be found on Corsica and Sicily, but not on Sardinia?

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The Queen of the Alps – the Swiss Stone Pine

The five-needled Swiss stone pine is perfectly suited to harsh mountain climates where it braves wind and weather its whole life long. It also has a symbiotic relationship with the nutcracker which disperses its seeds year after year.

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Distribution and occurrence of yew trees in Switzerland

The yew tree population in Switzerland plays an important role in the conservation of this species in western and central Europe. The biggest challenge is protecting young plants from browsing by game.

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Mycorrhiza – a fascinating symbiosis in the forest

Everyone knows about the mushrooms in the forest, but to most people it is unknown as to why the mushrooms grow mostly in the forest and which functions they have. A WSL fact sheet gives insight into the fascinating community of the mycorrhizae.

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Beavers – landscapers with potential for conflict

In Switzerland beavers were wiped out in the 19th Century but they were reintroduced in 1956. Due to their long absence a large amount of knowledge about living with beavers was lost. In regards to conflict free cohabitation we once again have to learn how to live with the beaver.

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Heading image: Thomas Reich