Forest Reserves Monitoring in Switzerland

Long term monitoring of natural forests provides insights into ecological processes shaping forests without human intervention. To study natural forest dynamics, the former chair of silviculture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) initiated a network of forest reserves in the late 1940's.
Since 2006, the monitoring is carried out in a cooperation project of the chair of Forest Ecology at ETH, the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The project relaunch led to a streamlining of the reserve network, which now contains 33 of the original reserves and 16 new reserves.
The main goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of the federal reserve policy by analysing to what extent forest reserves differ from managed forests in terms of structure, dynamics, and habitat quality.

Funding Information:

This work was supported by:
  • Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) (link)

Related Publications

  • Cailleret, M., Bircher, N., Hartig, F., Hülsmann, L., Bugmann H. Bayesian calibration of a growth-dependent tree mortality model to simulate the dynamics of European temperate forests. Ecol. Appl. 2020, 30 30:e02021.
  • Hülsmann, L.; Bugmann, H.; Cailleret, M.; Brang, P. How to kill a tree: empirical mortality models for 18 species and their performance in a dynamic forest model. Ecol. Appl. 2018, 28 (2), 522-540.
  • Rimle, A.; Heiri, C.; Bugmann, H. Deadwood in Norway spruce dominated mountain forest reserves is characterized by large dimensions and advanced decomposition stages. For. Ecol. Manag. 2017, 404, 174-183.
  • Commarmot, B.; Wunder, J.; Heiri, C. Auswertung der Stichprobeninventur 2014 im Naturwaldreservat Bettlachstock-Hasenmatt; Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL; Eidg. Technische Hochschule, Professur Waldökologie: Birmensdorf; Zürich, 2017; 67 p.
  • Etzold, S.; Wunder, J.; Braun, S.; Rohner, B.; Bigler, C.; Abegg, M.; Rigling, A. Mortalität von Waldbäumen: Ursachen und Trends. In Wald im Klimawandel. Grundlagen für Adaptationsstrategien; Pluess, A. R., Augustin, S., Brang, P., Bundesamt für Umwelt BAFU,Bern,, Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt für Wald,Schnee und Landschaft WSL,Birmensdorf,, Eds.; Haupt: Bern, Stuttgart, Wien, 2016; pp 177-197.
  • Ballmer, I.; Heiri, C.; Brücker, R.; Tinner, R.; Wunder, J.; Brang, P. Auswertung der Vollkluppierung 2012 im Naturwaldreservat Aletschwald. Aktueller Zustand und Bestandesdynamik seit 1962; WSL Berichte, Vol. 15; Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL: Birmensdorf, 2014; 71 p.
  • Rohner, B.; Bugmann, H.; Brang, P.; Wunder, J.; Bigler, C. Eichenrückgang in Schweizer Naturwaldreservaten. Schweiz. Z. Forstwes. 2013, 164 (11), 328-336.
  • Heiri, C.; Wolf, A.; Rohrer, L.; Brang, P.; Bugmann, H. Successional pathways in Swiss mountain forest reserves. Eur. J. For. Res. 2012, 131 (2), 503-518.
  • Herrmann, S.; Conder, M.; Brang, P. Totholzvolumen und -qualität in ausgewählten Schweizer Naturwaldreservaten. Schweiz. Z. Forstwes. 2012, 163 (6), 222-231. [ ] (
  • Rohner, B.; Bigler, C.; Wunder, J.; Brang, P.; Bugmann, H. Fifty years of natural succession in Swiss forest reserves: changes in stand structure and mortality rates of oak and beech. J. Veg. Sci. 2012, 23 (5), 892-905.
  • Waldreservate. 50 Jahre natürliche Waldentwicklung in der Schweiz; Brang, P., Heiri, C., Bugmann, H., Eds.; Haupt: Bern, 2011; 272 p. online version


Hobi, Martina; Stillhard, Jonas; Projer, Gilbert; Mathys, Amanda; Bugmann, Harald; Brang, Peter (2020). Forest Reserves Monitoring in Switzerland. EnviDat. doi:10.16904/envidat.141.

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Field Values
DOI 10.16904/envidat.141
Publication State Published
  • Email: martina.hobifoo(at) Given Name: Martina Family Name: Hobi Affiliation: WSL DataCRediT: Curation, Publication, Supervision
  • Email: jonas.stillhardfoo(at) Given Name: Jonas Family Name: Stillhard Affiliation: WSL DataCRediT: Collection, Validation, Curation, Publication
  • Email: gilbert.projerfoo(at) Given Name: Gilbert Family Name: Projer Affiliation: WSL DataCRediT: Collection, Validation, Curation
  • Email: amanda.mathysfoo(at) Given Name: Amanda Family Name: Mathys Affiliation: WSL DataCRediT: Curation, Publication
  • Email: harald.bugmannfoo(at) Given Name: Harald Family Name: Bugmann Affiliation: Department of Environmental Systems Science, Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems, ETH Zurich DataCRediT: Validation, Curation, Publication, Supervision
  • Email: peter.brangfoo(at) Given Name: Peter Family Name: Brang Affiliation: WSL DataCRediT: Collection, Validation, Curation, Publication, Supervision
Contact Person Given Name: Martina Family Name: Hobi Email: martina.hobifoo(at) Affiliation: WSL
Publication Publisher: EnviDat Year: 2020
  • Type: Collected Date: 1950-01-01 End Date: 2019-11-01
Version 1.0
Type Dataset
General Type Dataset
Language English
Location Switzerland
Content License WSL Data Policy
Last Updated March 25, 2020, 19:21 (+0100)
Created November 1, 2019, 09:03 (+0100)

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