CCES - Welcome - Research - Sulu - ENHANCE 

News & Events


Teaching sustainability knowledge in a comprehensible and effective manner

CCES «Science meets Practice» Winter School 2017 – now open for applications!

Project overview

ENHANCE Project Info


ENHANCE: Enhancing ecosystem connectivity through intervention – a benefit for nature and society?

Who benefits from connected habitats? (Photo P
Who benefits from connected habitats?

In short:

The ENHANCE project tests and evaluates ecosystem connectivity with state-of-the art molecular genetic experiments and population-dynamic analysis in terrestrial and riparian habitats, prior and after connectivity is enhanced. ENHANCE uses the expertise of WSL, ETHZ, EAWAG and EPFL teams to quantify species-specific population viability in aquatic and terrestrial habitats prior and after structural connectivity is enhanced with experimental interventions. The findings are used to link structural connectivity measures with species-specific responses and to calibrate a set of models to up-scale empirical findings to various biotic and spatial scales. Since enhancing ecosystem connectivity is a nature conservation and management issue of highest priority, we will provide societal and economic assessments of recently perfomed interventions that aim at increasing structural connectivity. Special emphasis is given to evaluate people’s attitudes and perception towards ecosystem enhancement.    >> more 

>> The complete work plan (pdf 292 KB)


Main applicant: Janine Bolliger

Co-applicants: Silvia Dorn, Rolf Holderegger, Jaboury Ghazoul, Anton Schleiss, Armin Peter, Marcel Hunziker, Felix Kienast, Marco Moretti

Lead research questions:

Q1: How does landscape connectivity affect population genetic variability, and what is the potential for management intervention, among selected habitats and model species, to conserve this variability? At what scales are effects visible? Are there spatial or temporal connectivity thresholds?
Q2: What degree of landscape connectivity is needed to enable gene flow and metapopulation dynamics of selected species or species groups?
Q3: How do land-use patterns, processes and composition affect migration, dispersal and recolonisation for species in human-dominated landscapes? How tolerant are populations to land-use changes?
Q4: How does landscape and population connectivity relate to the provision and maintenance of ecosystem function and in which way does this contribute to human social and economic well-being?
Q5: Which (participatory) management and planning approaches and which institutional settings contribute best to make the implementation of ecosystem-management and de-fragmentation strategies effective and efficient?

Work plan

>> Work Plan Overview (pdf)

Module structure

The way ENHANCE is set up reflects the methodological and thematic variety of the project.  Effects of experimental interventions on functional connectivity are assessed at the gene (Module 1) and the population level (Module 2). Module 3 deals with species-specific relationships between functional and structural connectivity and identifies the role of connectivity in explaining genetic patterns on the landscape. Module 4 performs socio-economic assessment of landscapes with different connectivity including cost-benefit analyses. This module asseses whether landscapes beneficial to ecology are also perceived as such by people. We selected species based on module-specific requirements and on joint interests between the modules. ENHANCE assesses effects of connectivity for three habitats and intervention types which are important for Central Europe: agricultural, river/riparian and urban habitats.    

>> the modules


Module 1
Module 2
Module 3
Module 4
Genetics Population ecology Geo(statistical analysis, connectivity measures Societal and economic assessment
WSL: R. Holderegger
ETHZ: J. Ghazoul, R. Billetter
EAWAG: A. Peter

EAWAG: A. Peter
EPFL: A. Schleiss
ETHZ: S. Dorn
WSL: M. Moretti

ETHZ: H. Bugmann
WSL: F. Kienast, J. Bolliger, H. Lischke, N. Zimmermann, Christian Ginzler, Maarten Van Strien,
Gwenaelle Le Lay

Concordia University, Montreal, Canada: J. Jäger

WSL: M. Hunziker, M. Buchecker, I. Seidl

    >> more (pdf)


ENHANCE has one main applicant (J. Bolliger) and eight co-applicants. ENHANCE is structured into four modules whose leaders are: Module 1: R. Holderegger, Module 2: S. Dorn, Module 3: J. Bolliger, Module 4: M. Hunziker. The module leaders are responsible to conduct the module tasks reliably and make their deliverables available in time. Meetings will be scheduled regularly to ensure optimal communication within and among modules and the overall ENHANCE coordination. ENHANCE is a scientific project whose two foci are (a) to produce ISI papers and (b) to outline consequences for conservation and management for connectivity resulting from interventions at the local and the landscape scale. The ENHANCE publication concept includes individual publications within modules but also joint-publications between modules.

   >> more (pdf)

© 2016 CCES | Imprint | Disclaimer | 4 March 2009