Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, CH-8046 Zurich

Modelled forest regrowth in 2021 and biodiversity in alpine summer pastures

The influence of forest regrowth on biodiversity in alpine summer pastures was investigated as part of the joint research project AlpFUTUR. An evaluation of the target and indicator species of the agriculture- related environmental objectives (AEO species) for the alpine summer pastures shows that all regions of the Jura and the Alps are of equal importance for the conservation of AEO species. Forest regrowth up to 2021 was estimated on the basis of a model describing probabilities of land-use change. In the «North-Central Alps», the Tessin and parts of Graubünden, the percentage of forest regrowth can be as high as 50 %. For the conservation of AEO species, it is crucial for the species-rich meadows and pastures threatened by abandonment and forest regrowth to be identified locally, and for a locally adapted land-use concept to ensure that they remain under agricultural management. In the Jura mountains and in the «Northwestern Alps», the percentage of modelled forest regrowth is only between 1 and 5 %. Here, it is important to ensure extensive (i.e. low-input) land use on species-rich land, since intensification threatens the AEO species as much as abandonment and forest regrowth.

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