Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research LWF

Air pollution and climate change have an effect on the forest. We examine these effects as part of the Long-Term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF) programme.

We need reliable information in order to record the condition of the forest on an ongoing basis and to understand precisely what happens in the forest when the environment changes. An important source of data here is the Long-Term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF) programme. It consists of 19 permanent monitoring sites on which we have regularly carried out numerous measurements since 1994. We have also been recording the health of trees on the monitoring sites of the Sanasilva Inventory, which is part of the LWF programme (see Sites), since 1985. LWF is also a partner with several of its sites in TreeNet, the biological drought and growth indicator network.

We disclose the gathered data, as well as the scientific interpretation of this data, to national and international decision-makers.

With the legally enshrined functions of the LWF programme, Switzerland participates in international research programmes such as the "International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests" ICP Forests and the LTER-Europe Network (Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe).

The Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF) programme is run and financed by the WSL.

Objectives of the programme

  • Early detection and a representative assessment of changes in forest condition
  • Determination of external influences, both from anthropogenic and natural sources and their effect on the forest ecosystem (element inputs, climate)
  • Determination of changes in important components within the forest ecosystem
  • Development of indicators to assess the condition of the forest
  • Integrated risk assessment based on different stress scenarios
  • Extended platform for internal and external research projects