Navigation auf


Department of Geography

New Beech Trees for Switzerland’s Forests

Climate change is afflicting indigenous beech trees in Switzerland. Researchers at GIUZ now want to find out what Swiss beech forests might look like in the future. To do that, they are taking an experimental approach, using spectral data to investigate the biodiversity of the beech forests.

Sofia van Moorsel with beech saplings on Irchel Campus. (Photo: Dave Kurath)

Beech forests exist throughout Europe; they even thrive in the dry climate of northern Spain, Croatia, and Italy. Are those southern beech trees more resistant? Are they better equipped to cope with drought? Are there intraspecific traits within the beech species (Fagus sylvatica) that enable beech trees to better withstand periods of hot weather? A team of researchers in the UZH Department of Geography is seeking answers to those questions. Their goal is to gain knowledge about the peculiarities of the beech genome to enable foresters in the future to plant trees that are especially resistant to heat and drought thanks to their genetic makeup.

“We’re combining an experimental approach from the field of ecology with a spectroscopic analysis of the foliage – this is a novel form of interdisciplinary cooperation between geographers and environmental scientists,” says Sofia van Moorsel, the lead scientist of the beech tree project on UZH’s Irchel Campus.

Read more ...
UZH News, 22.05.2024 | Biodiversity Day

Weiterführende Informationen


Sofia van Moorsel, Dr.

Group leader
Spatial Genetics

Tel.: 044 63 55160
Room number: Y25 J 54