Impacts of climate change on ecosystem services in Switzerland

This project describes the projected changes in ecosystem services and functions caused by climate change for the forest and agriculture sectors and aquatic ecosystems.

Project goals

  • The project team develops a cross-sectoral understanding of possible climate-induced changes for selected ecosystem services and functions (e.g., carbon storage, fodder yields or pollination services).
  • The findings will be made available to various user groups via a digital dashboard. For the development of the knowledge platform, the researchers involved seek the dialogue with representatives and actors of the sectors concerned.

Project content

The project analyses the following topics:

  • Forest: Modelling and presentation of the effects of climate change on Swiss forest ecosystems (e.g., tree species distribution) and ecosystem services (e.g., carbon storage, wood and bioenergy production, protection against natural hazards and biodiversity) using the web-based application FORTE. This also includes interactions, synergies and competing services as well as assessments of suitability for mitigating climate change (e.g., carbon storage vs. wood/energy production) or possible adaptation measures in forest management.
  • Agriculture: Development of scenarios on the climatic effects on crop yields of selected arable crops, green fodder yields, fodder quality and the regulation (carbon sequestration) of ecosystem services. The effects of climate change and other influencing factors on insect pollinators and their pollination performance in the agricultural landscape are also being determined and transferred to the web-based PollinES application, without ignoring synergies and conflicting objectives.
  • Aquatic ecology: For a selection of ecosystem services in rivers, ponds and/or lakes (e.g., heat regulation, sediment retention), existing models and scenarios on aquatic species (e.g. fish, amphibians, invasive species) are merged into the web-based application AquaREL.

The sectoral results listed above are summarized in a joint dashboard and are available free of charge to authorities and practitioners as a basis for decision-making.

Project partners

  • Agroscope (Pier-Luigi Calanca)
  • EBP Schweiz AG (Andreas Zysset)    
  • ETHZ, Dept. Environmental Systems Science, Professorship of Forest Ecology, ETHZ (Harald Bugmann)
  • Universität Genf, Institute for Environmental Science (Anthony Lehmann, Sibylle Stöckli)
  • WSL, Research Unit Forest Dynamics, Group Ecosystem Ecology (Arthur Gessler)

Last modification 03.01.2024

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Project management NCCS
Astrid Björnsen
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL


Project implementation
Andreas Zysset
EBP Schweiz AG


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