Ecosystem Processes and Services

Main content

Healthy ecosystems and the goods and environmental services they provide form the basis for our livelihoods and economic subsistence.

Jambi Province (Photo: Patrice Levang)  
Tropical rain forest cleared for oil palm plantations in Sumatra. Researchers in D-USYS are evaluating alternatives for sustainable land development in oil palm and forested landscapes in Indonesia, Colombia and Cameroon. (Photo: Patrice Levang)

Ecosystem processes are vital for the survival of humanity. These proces­ses include, for example, primary production, an essential component of biogeochemical cycles, as well as soil formation and the water and nu­trient cycles. The Department of Environmental Systems Science (D-USYS) investigates the ecological processes underpinning aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, particularly agricultural and forested landscapes, as well as the socio-economic and socio-political factors that enable the provision of ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration or water purification.

The researchers develop and disseminate basic knowledge and tools to ensure the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and secure the ser­vices they provide for humankind. We explore the ways in which ter­res­trial systems interlinked by physical, chemical and biological processes func­tion and interact across different scales in time and space. Through our research, we endeavour to develop environmentally sound and econo­mi­cally feasible ecosystem management strategies that are institutionally and socially acceptable.

Participating Professorships

Agricultural Economics and Policy

Prof. Robert Finger

Aquatic Chemistry

Prof. Bernhard Wehrli

Aquatic Ecology

Prof. Jukka Jokela

Cryopshere and Climate (WSL)

Prof. Konrad Steffen
(Director WSL)

Ecosystem Management

Prof. Jaboury Ghazoul

Environmental Chemistry

Prof. Kristopher McNeill

Environmental Microbiology

Prof. Mark Lever

Environmental Physics

Prof. Nicolas Gruber

Evolutionary Biology

Prof. Greg Velicer

Evolutionary Ecology

Prof. Christoph Vorburger

Forest Ecology

Prof. Harald Bugmann

Grassland Sciences

Prof. Nina Buchmann
Prof. Werner Eugster

Inorganic Environmental Geochemistry

Prof. Lenny Winkel

Land-Climate Dynamics

Prof. Sonia I. Seneviratne

Landscape Ecology

Prof. Loïc Pellissier

Physics of Environmental Systems

Prof. James Kirchner

Plant Ecology

Prof. Jonathan Levine

Plant Pathology

Prof. Bruce McDonald

Soil Chemistry

Prof. Ruben Kretzschmar

Soil and Terrestrial Environmental Physics

Prof. Dani Or

Sustainable Agroecosystems

Prof. Johan Six


Associated Research Groups

Forest Management and Development

Dr. Claude Garcia

Landscape Ecology (WSL)

Prof. Felix Kienast

Natural Resource Policy

Dr. Eva Lieberherr

Subsurface Biogeochemistry

Prof. Martin Schroth

Surface Chemistry (PSI)

Prof. Markus Ammann

Systems Analysis and Water Management (Eawag)

Prof. Peter Reichert


Competence centres and technology platforms

Genetic Diversity Centre

Dr. Aria Minder

Page URL:
Tue Jun 27 22:41:35 CEST 2017
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich