Consortium > WSL

Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft

Organization short name: WSL
web page:

Description of the organization

The WSL is a federal research institute within the domain of the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). It employs 260 scientists, 130 technical and administrative persons, 130 PHD students and 40 master students. The research at the WSL is focused on ecological problems in mountainous regions in the broadest sense. Main topics are natural hazards, management and protection of near-natural, terrestrial habitats, biodiversity and sustainability. Research activities at the WSL are conducted under 15 separate research units – one of which is the Dendro Science Division.

Expertise and experience of the organization

David Frank is the leader of the Palaeoclimatology Group of the Dendro Science Division and conducts research in understanding and reconstructing climate change and its impacts on ecological systems using tree-ring, instrumental, and other proxy data archives. The group specializes in the development and analysis of millennial length tree-ring chronologies and is at the international forefront of utilizing wood density variations for climate reconstruction. Group members regularly publish in top-ranking international journals and are involved in both national and international research projects. Strong collaborative links are maintained with the three other groups of the Dendro Science Division, Swiss, EC, and American researchers.

Selected reference projects

  • MILLENNIUM (EU 6th Framework Contract no: 017008-2)
  • EXTRACT (Swiss National Center for Competence in Research – Climate)
  • ALP-IMP (EU 5th Framework Contract No: EVK2-CT-2002-00148)
  • ISONET (EU 5th Framework Contract No: EVK2-2001-00237)

Responsibilities in CARBO-Extreme

  • Long Term Carbon Measurements and Climate (WP3)

Key scientific / technical personnel

Dr. David Frank (Group-leader Palaeoclimatology); Climate reconstruction & dynamics, time-series and reconstruction methods, early instrumental data.
Dr. Jan Esper (Dendro Science Research Unit Leader). Climate-ecosystem interactions.
Dr. Ulf Büntgen, Long tree-ring chronology development and analyses, growth-climate relationships
Dr. Giovanna Battipaglia, Dendroecology-physiology, stable isotopes Daniel Nievergelt, Technician; Densitometry
Anne Verstege, Technician; Densitometry
Dr. Kerstin Treydte (Group-leader Dendroecology), Dendroclimatology, stable isotopes

Selected recent relevant publications

Esper J, Frank DC, Büntgen U, Verstege A, Luterbacher J, Xoplaki E, Long-term drought severity variations in Morocco. Geophysical Research Letters 34, 2007. link to publisher

Frank D, Büntgen U, Böhm R, Maugeri M, Esper J, Warmer early instrumental measurements versus colder reconstructed temperatures: shooting at a moving target. Quaternary Science Reviews 26(25-28), 3298-3310, 2007. link to publisher

Frank D, Esper J, Cook ER, Adjustment for proxy number and coherence in a large-scale temperature reconstruction. Geophysical Research Letters 34, 2007. link to publisher

Stige LC, Chan K, Zhang Z, Frank D, Stenseth NC., Thousand-year-long Chinese time series reveals climatic forcing of decadal locust dynamics. PNAS 104(41), 16188-16193, 2007. link to publisher

Treydte K, Frank D, and 38 co-authors, Signal strength and climate calibration of a European tree-ring isotope network. Geophysical Research Letters 34, L24302, 2007. link to publisher