Investigating drought damage from the air

Hölstein Canopy Crane image: David Basler

Researchers are hovering high above Europe’s most biodiverse forest laboratory to investigate how trees are coping with climate change and increasing aridity. Their results can help foresters to promote drought-resistant species.

The research site is located in a forested area near Hölstein in the canton of Basel-Landschaft. It is a fenced-off surface of 1.6 hectares – somewhat bigger than two soccer pitches –  that includes a crane. A metal basket enables researchers to rise some 46 metres above the ground and hover over the treetops. This facility is part of a research project that the University will be running for the next 20 years. Ansgar Kahmen, professor for physiological plant ecology at the University of Basel, and his team are investigating how trees are coping with climate change. The team aims to elucidate how different tree species react to dry periods, whether they can adapt – and if so, how – and what our forests might look like in the future.

Prof. Ansgar Kahmen is a member of the Swiss Plant Science Web.

Horizons - the Swiss research magazine
The full article is also available in German and French.