Forests and society

We address all the issues surrounding forest ecology and biodiversity, forest inventory, forest growth, natural forest management and forestry planning.

Forests are fascinating, highly complex and constantly changing ecosystems vital to our society. We conduct research in order to better understand their dynamics and biodiversity and shape their development in line with the demands of forest owners and society at large – in a targeted, efficient, natural and sustainable manner. We harness the benefits of novel technologies in this endeavour.

Services

  • Study of ecological processes and biotic interactions in forests
  • Analysis of the impacts of forest management interventions upon ecological indicators
  • Study of forest biodiversity – including of species and forest structures dependent upon old growth or dead wood
  • Forest inventory: Development of practically viable inventory schemes and efficient tools, based upon modern technologies (remote sensing, smartphone applications, 360° photospheres, etc.)
  • Forest growth: Elaboration of forest growth simulation models appropriate to Swiss conditions for practical applications
  • Silviculture: Elaboration of the fundamentals for natural forest management (e.g. in regeneration ecology), formulation of production schemes (tending, thinning, regeneration, conversion, continuous forest management, etc.), operation of a network of silvicultural permanent monitoring and training sites and of the Sylvotheque.ch platform (visual documentation of forests and silvicultural practices), knowledge management
  • Forest planning: Development of the management approaches and tools needed to guide forest development in a semi-natural, multifunctional and sustainable direction – for forest owners, forestry enterprises and forest services. Interface with economic assessment. Interface with regional planning.

Expertise

Forest ecology

Interactions among species and their habitats, forest regeneration, forest growth

Plant protectants in forests

National coordination centre

Biodiversity and forest management

Species dependent upon old growth or dead wood, primeval forest research, forest structures and habitats, long-term monitoring and follow-up studies

Sustainable forest ecosystem management

Natural forest management, forestry planning, sustainability monitoring

Forest inventory and forest growth

Stand mapping, sample inventories, remote sensing, simulation models of forest growth

Management tools, information and communication technology (ICT)

Data acquisition and data analysis, decision support, knowledge exchange, system engineering, software engineering

New technologies, Industry 4.0

Cutting-edge developments: drones, IoT, sensors, machine learning, image analysis, web-based apps, smartphone use for data acquisition and processing

Infrastructure

  • Entomological traps: flight traps (in situ) and emergence traps (ex-situ).
  • Silvicultural monitoring and training in permanent sample plots (PSPs)
  • Marteloscopes
  • Training course for the use of the MOTI app (in cooperation with the Burgergemeinde Bern civic community)

Projects

Team