Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research LWF

The LWF test, training and demonstration facility

How do trees grow? What are the properties of forest soil? How do air pollution and climate change affect the forest? How do trees react to environmental conditions such as extreme drought? These are some of the questions we investigate in the Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research programme LWF.

In order to introduce and explain our research projects and over 30 measuring instruments, sensors and collectors to the general public, we have set up a test, training and demonstration facility in a forest stand near the WSL headquarters in Birmensdorf (fig. 1).

Besides training and demonstration, the third purpose of this facility is to test new measuring methods and instruments.

Find out here how we measure the pulse of the forest, which instruments we use and which research questions we are currently investigating. 

2 Meteorology 3 Rain collectors 4 Snow collectors 5 Nitrogen dioxine passive sampler 6 Ammonia passive sampler 7 Passive Ozone samplers 8 Ozone monitor 9 decentLab base station 10 Stemflow collector 21 Inventory 22 Crown condition assessment and Sanasilva surveys 23 Foliar analysis 24 Leaf area index 25 Litterfall collector 26 Ozone symptoms 28 Point dendrometer 29 Sap-flow sensor 30 Stem CO2 sensor 32 Permanent tree-girth tape 33 Tree rings 34 Ground vegetation 35 Insect traps 36 Spore trap 37 Light pollution 41 Soil profile 42 Tensiometer 43 Soil water content 44 Soil solution 45 Gas exchange 46 Soil respiration
Abb. 1: Situationsplan der LWF-Test-, Schulungs- und Demonstrationsanlage. Auf eine Nummer klicken, um mehr darüber zu erfahren.

Click on the numbers in figures 1 and 2 to display detailed descriptions of the measuring devices.

The Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research Programme (LWF) examines how human-induced and natural stress factors affect forests in the short (yearly) and the long term (approx. 20 years). These include in particular air pollution and climate change. In order to be able to assess the risks associated with environmental changes and to simulate predictions, we need a deeper understanding of the processes involved.

The LWF carries out measurements on 19 sites all over Switzerland. On average, we record 25 million values per year, measured at one-minute intervals or up to hourly.




The following persons contributed to the creation and visualization of the LWF test, training and demonstration facility:

Idea and project management: Marcus Schaub - Forest dynamics

Peter Bleuler(✝) - Forest Dynamics

Ivano Brunner - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Albert Buchwalder - Management of facilities Birmensdorf

Anton Burkart - Support

Claudio Cattaneo - Planning and logistics

Paolo Cherubini - Land Change Science

Sophia Etzold - Forest Dynamics

David Frank - Land Change Science

Arthur Gessler - Forest Dynamics

Christian Ginzler - Land Change Science

Jonas Gisler - Forest Dynamics

Walter Godli - Management of facilities Birmensdorf

Eisabeth Graf Pannatier - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Nico Grubert - IT

Sandra Gurzeler - Communication

Matthias Haeni - Forest Dynamics

Frank Hagedorn - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Christian Hug - Forest Dynamics

Stefan Hunziker - Forest Dynamics

Peter Jakob - Forest Dynamics

Dieter Jost - IT

Michèle Kaennel Dobbertin - Communication

Wei Li - IT

Armin Manser - Management of facilities Birmensdorf

Katrin Di Bella Meusburger - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Martin Moritzi - Communication

Birgit Ottmer - Communication

Martine Rebetez - Forest Dynamics

Gabor Reiss - Support

Andreas Rigling - Forest Dynamics

Maria Schmitt Oehler - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Oliver Schramm - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Jonas Schuler - Forest Dynamics

Andreas Schwyzer - Forest Resources and Management

Flurin Sutter - Forest Dynamics

Patrick Thee - Land Change Science

Anne Thimonier Rickenmann - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Volodymyr Trotsiuk - Forest Dynamics

Peter Waldner - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Lorenz Walthert - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Beat Wermelinger - Forest Dynamics

Bärbel Zierl - Communication

Joachim Zhu - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Stephan Zimmermann - Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry

Roman Zweifel - Forest Dynamics