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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Climate change: Forests as a major keeper of greenhouse gases at risk of being lost entirely

Forests might lose their critical role as massive sinks for absorbing greenhouse gases. Climate change-induced environmental stresses threaten to damage forests and even decimate them worldwide.

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Promoting lungwort through commercial use

Like many other indigenous lichen species lungwort is threatened. In Switzerland it is protected. However, lungwort would be better served if an ingenious plan was put into practice. A cough syrup producer is aiming at acquiring a collection permit.

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Mire protection in Switzerland – conclusion after 20 years

Mires and mire landscapes of exceptional beauty and national importance have been protected in Switzerland since 1987. How effective has this protection been?

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Fungi as pioneers after fire

Large trees weakened by fire provide ideal conditions for fungal colonisation. The Research Institute WSL is investigating the reaction of beech, oak and chestnut trees to forest fires and observing which fungi colonise the trees.

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Sunlight and Deadwood – a paradise for wood living beetles

Over the last three decades there have been intensive discussions about leaving deadwood in forests. It is undisputed that more deadwood needs to be left in forests if the variety of species is to be increased. New habitats for many species including rare ones are being created by additional thinning out.

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Red List: More than one-third of the Swiss lichens are endangered

Lichens grow in both glowing deserts and in the Arctic. In Switzerland however, they are fighting for their survival. More than one-third of the investigated species is endangered and is therefore included in the Red List.

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Swissfungi: online distribution maps of mushrooms in Switzerland

Do the yellow bolets and the chanterelles grow in the neighboring forests of my home? Where does the octopus stinkhorn grow? What is the distribution area of the stinkhorn? Swissfungi knows the answer.

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Hydrological Effects of Mountain Forests

The increase in frequency of extreme events such as floods, mudflows and landslides has led to many questions concerning the efficiency of technical control measures, methods of biological engineering and surface management of concerned areas.

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The Scots Pine – Tree of the year 2007

The Scot's pine is known in German speaking countries by several different names. The "resin tree" or "pitch tree" are just two names that are reminiscent of past uses.

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Ozone levels and injury symptoms in the extreme summer of 2003

Extreme weather conditions, always a stress factor for trees, can lead to vitality loss and to the development of visual injury symptoms. Due to exceptional weather conditions the record summer of 2003 affected the forests in many ways.

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Heading image: Thomas Reich