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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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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The black poplar (Populus nigra)

The black poplar is one of the rarest and most endangered species of tree. The main reason is the eradication of the alluvial areas which are their natural habitats. However, the cultivation of hybrid poplars also contributes to the decline of this tree species which is in danger of extinction.

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European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) – Portrait of a Tree Species

European beech may well reach an age of 300 years and, in rare cases, even 500 years. Also, it may reach over 40 m in height.

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Deadwood as a habitat for insects

Deadwood is an important habitat for insects. Beetles are not just the most numerous species within the group of insects, but are also the most diversified in deadwood.

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Insects in the forest ecosystem

When naming the most important organisms in forests insects are often forgotten. They do however play a central role in plant reproduction, soil fertility, sustained forest health and diversity.

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Heading image: Thomas Reich