History of wetlands in Switzerland since 1850

Naturally, large parts of the Swiss Plateau are characterised by wetlands and meandering rivers. That this is no longer the case today is the result of centuries of efforts to obtain dry land. But how did this process take place? What were the relevant actors and what were their motivations? And what can be said about the ecological consequences of this development?

In a research project on the history of wetlands in Switzerland since 1700, we conducted (a) a historical analysis of the development of land use in wetlands and the actors involved, (b) a historical-cartographic reconstruction of wetland extent since 1850 and (c) an evaluation of ecological effects of changes in wetlands on various organisms groups.

The series of GIS layers on wetland history stem from the second part of the project. The area reconstruction is based on digitized and homogenized signatures from national map series, as they have been available since about 1850. Details about the digitalization process and the homogenization procedures applied ("Rekonstruktionen") are included in Stuber & Bürgi 2019.

Book Citation:

Stuber M, Bürgi M (2019) Vom «eroberten Land» zum Renaturierungsprojekt. Geschichte der Feuchtgebiete in der Schweiz seit 1700. "Bristol Schriftenreihe", Band 59. Haupt Verlag, Bern, Stuttgart, Wien. 262 Seiten.

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Issued date
January 16, 2019
Modification date
November 3, 2019
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European Forest Institute
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