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WSL, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research


Results 1 - 20 of 29.


Environment - Chemistry - 13.05.2024
Reaction of trees to heat unravelled
Reaction of trees to heat unravelled
At temperatures above 30°C, water loss through transpiration increases in trees, while CO2 uptake decreases - even when there is enough CO2 in the atmosphere. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL were able to show this in a study conducted using a new high-tech facility.

Environment - 17.04.2024
Understanding carbon release from the tundra
Understanding carbon release from the tundra
The warming climate shifts the dynamics of tundra environments and makes them release trapped carbon, according to a new study published in Nature. These changes could transform tundras from carbon sinks into a carbon source, exacerbating the effects of climate change. Open-top chambers (OTCs) in Latnjajaure, Sweden provide a controlled environment to study simulated warming of the tundra ecosystem.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 08.04.2024
Global warming is sinking meteorites
Global warming is sinking meteorites
More than 300,000 meteorites lie on the Antarctic ice. They contain an unprecedented wealth of information about our solar system. With every tenth of a degree of global warming, thousands of meteorites sink. Researchers from WSL and ETH recommend that their collection be promoted. The Antarctic holds a valuable treasure of around 300,000 meteorites lying on the surface of the ice.

Environment - 22.03.2024
Researching the spread of drought
Researching the spread of drought
It is important for water management to understand how drought spreads. In a new study, researchers from the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF show that in every third case, atmospheric drought is followed by low water levels. More rarely does drought have a negative impact on groundwater.

Environment - 14.03.2024
Impact of climate change on biodiversity
Impact of climate change on biodiversity
Ecological communities in rivers and lakes are responding to climate change in a similar way to communities on land. This is shown by the first comprehensive comparison of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems around the globe, co-led by Eawag and WSL. When temperatures rise, warm-loving species are the main beneficiaries.

Environment - 15.02.2024
Advancing forest monitoring
Advancing forest monitoring
Forests are under pressure and rapidly changing. In order to be able to react to these changes, forest monitoring is of crucial importance. The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL launched an initiative (SwissAIM) to improve forest monitoring. A new study sheds light on why the initiative is needed.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 08.02.2024
Erosion promotes species diversity
Erosion promotes species diversity
Madagascar is home to over 11,000 plant species, 80 percent of which are found nowhere else on Earth. A recent study by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and ETH Zurich has put forward a new hypothesis for the underlying cause of Madagascar's rich plant biodiversity, which has been regarded as an unsolved mystery of natural history.

Microtechnics - Environment - 30.01.2024
Robot swings its way to unexplored treetops
Robot swings its way to unexplored treetops
It abseils from a height and swings around obstacles: robot Avocado will one day manoeuvre through the canopy of the rainforest and collect data for researchers about this hard-to-reach habitat. It's called Avocado and does actually look a bit like one: currently being developed by researcher on, the innovative robot has a robust housing similar in shape to the green fruit.

Environment - History / Archeology - 26.01.2024
Ozone stresses European forests
Ozone stresses European forests
Ozone causes visible damage to the foliage of European deciduous trees, as shown by a large-scale study led by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. The researchers found that some plants under certain environmental condition react particularly sensitively to ozone, which is toxic at ground level.

Environment - Life Sciences - 15.01.2024
Monitoring of genetic diversity is insufficient
Monitoring of genetic diversity is insufficient
Genetic diversity plays a critical role in enabling species to adapt to climate change. An international study, jointly conducted with the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), indicates that ongoing endeavors to monitor genetic diversity in Europe are inadequate and incomplete.

Environment - 31.10.2023
Douglas firs with frost damage and new enemies
Douglas firs with frost damage and new enemies
The Douglas firs in Switzerland had a bad year: starting in mid-April 2023, foresters noticed conspicuously red-coloured needles. Investigations show that this is probably frost damage. Moreover, with the first discovery of invasive gall midges from North America in summer 2022, the list of Douglas fir pests has been extended further.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.09.2023
Why the tropics are so rich in species
Why the tropics are so rich in species
Biodiversity is greatest in the tropics. That fact that it is hot and humid there plays an important role. However, climate alone cannot explain the global biodiversity patterns well. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research have now tackled this old problem from a completely different angle - and identified a new, doubly important reason for high tropical diversity.

Environment - 14.09.2023
How forests regenerate - without interference
Forests renew themselves naturally. There has been very little research into how exactly this happens - until now. Researchers at ETH Zurich and WSL have set themselves the task of solving this puzzle. In brief Competition between trees is one of the driving forces in the natural regeneration of forests.

Environment - Research Management - 03.08.2023
European cooperation on forest protection
European cooperation on forest protection
The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is participating in a pan-European project to monitor and evaluate the impact of climate change on forests. The aim is to create a basis for decision-making in practical forest management on a European and regional level. The first calls for grants are now being launched, enabling researchers outside the FORWARDS consortium to contribute to the project's goal.

Environment - 25.07.2023
Forest protection 2022: heat, drought and new pests
Forest protection 2022: heat, drought and new pests
In addition to heat and drought, various invasive beetles and other harmful organisms caused problems in the forest in 2022. Many of the observed insects and fungi are new to Switzerland, as the Swiss Forest Protection Competence Center of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research reports in its forest protection overview .

Environment - Life Sciences - 19.07.2023
Revisiting the past in Greenland
Revisiting the past in Greenland
SLF biologists are retracing two expeditions undertaken 20 and 90 years ago. Like their predecessors, they will be recording the plant populations they come across, and analysing how these have changed over recent decades. They expect this to provide new insights into the effects of climate change. Biologists Christian Rixen and Andreas Gygax from the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) set off for Greenland on 25 July, following in the footsteps of two earlier scientists.

Environment - 06.07.2023
The summer solstice effect
The summer solstice effect
Spring keeps getting earlier, but the timing of leaf fall in autumn has been more of a mystery. For the first time, a study helps solve this mystery by revealing the pivotal role of the summer solstice. The research shows that warming before the solstice triggers an earlier onset of leaf senescence, while warming after the solstice slows down the discoloration process.

Environment - Life Sciences - 23.06.2023
Global warming accelerates CO2 emissions from soil microbes
Global warming accelerates CO2 emissions from soil microbes
When Microorganisms decompose organic material in the soil, they actively release CO2 into the atmosphere. This process is called heterotrophic respiration. A novel model shows that these emissions could surge by up to 40 percent by the end of the century - most significantly in the polar regions. In brief It is projected that by the end of the century, CO2 emissions from soil microbes will escalate.

Life Sciences - Environment - 11.05.2023
Plastic gobblers found in alpine and arctic soils
Plastic gobblers found in alpine and arctic soils
Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL have discovered microbes that degrade plastic at cool temperatures. This opens up new perspectives for recycling certain types of plastic. Most known microbes require at least 30°C for their decomposition work. Microorganisms are great hope for the development of a circular economy for plastics.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.04.2023
Flying drones in Kyrgyzstan
Flying drones in Kyrgyzstan
SLF-scientists Joel Caduff and Yves Bühler trained scientists and practitioners in drone-based snow depth mapping in the Kyrgyz mountains. After packing a lot of equipment including ski touring sets and an eBee-X drone, we boarded the plane to Istanbul on March 29 and then to Biskek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.