Spring 2023

Forests in Crisis: Reassembling the Tösstal WoodlandsDiler Ciftci, Ioannis Davaris, and Lauro Nächt

Since the mid-20th century, global temperatures have risen and irregularities in precipitation have increased. Forests are seen by many scientists as a solution through carbon sequestration and cooling. Renowned forester Suzanne Simard from the University of British Columbia believes they are the only solution. But forests are also under threat. Forest fires are increasing and insect infestations are becoming more frequent. Switzerland has gone against the global trend and has increased its forest coverage in the past few years. However, the forests have become monocultural in some areas and are facing a different threat – The bark beetle. The bark beetle infestation is leading to the felling of Spruce trees throughout Switzerland. The threat is imminent and will only worsen with rising temperatures.

The project focuses on agroecological questions in the forests of the Töss Valley in the Canton of Zurich. Our work addresses the bark beetle phenomenon, predominantly found in forested areas influenced by the southern slope and at the edge of forests commonly found next to low-altitude agricultural areas. What will happen to these forests in the face of climate change and its consequences? Should tree species resistant to higher temperatures due to climate change replace spruce? How can agroforestry be effective in agricultural areas?