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Mountain ecosystem research sites

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Mountain ecosystems evolve only gradually. This is why it is all the more important to have long-term research sites that allow data to be compared over generations. The afforestation research at Stillberg and several facilities above the treeline allow us to conduct this kind of valuable long-term research.


The Stillberg field site above Davos was set up in the 1950s. The mountainside was systematically planted with various tree species in 1975, and ever since has provided information on the long-term impact of various environmental factors on the Alpine treeline. In recent years, our research at Stillberg has increasingly focused on issues surrounding climate change as part of wide-ranging experiments.

We have several research sites at our disposal above the treeline which allow us to examine various issues. On one section of the Swiss sites of GLORIA – an international network of permanent sites in Alpine regions – and on other mountaintops, we study how the mountaintop flora changes over the years. In the Swiss ITEX-field sites run by the SLF, we conduct warming experiments in open-top chambers (OTCs). Meanwhile, at the IMIS weather stations we analyse how vegetation growth correlates with weather and climate data.



Stillberg test site.

Trees at the treeline: Stillberg afforestation research

At Stillberg, we study the growth of mountain pine, larch and Swiss stone pine. We conduct climate change experiments alongside long-term monitoring....

Flooding at Perlen-Root (Canton of Lucerne) following the extreme weather of summer 2005

Soil stability field site

With the help of supporting structures, the plants have stabilised the field sites over almost 30 years and defied many a storm within that time.


Research group

Mountain Ecosystems

Activities of the group “Mountain Ecosystems” focus on mountain ecosystems above and below the treeline.