The ability of trees, woodlands and forests to reduce downstream flooding is increasingly recognised and valued by society, driving a demand for assessments of this important ecosystem service. This study updates a previous evaluation (Broadmeadow et al., 2018) with improved estimates for the volume of flood water potentially removed by woodland or retained by its […]
An analysis of relevant species trials was carried out to assess the productivity of potential alternative conifer species to Sitka spruce on upland site types in Britain. Data from 87 forest experiments planted between 1929 and 1995 were analysed to compare long-term performance of 52 species with that of Sitka spruce under the same conditions and site type.
Understanding how we can increase the resilience of forest systems to future extreme drought events is increasingly important as these events become more frequent and intense. Diversifying production forests using intimate mixtures of trees with complementary functional traits is considered as one promising silvicultural approach that may increase drought resilience. However, the direction and magnitude […]
As our climate warms, the pressures on global forest ecosystems from extreme climate events are expected to increase across much of the world (Anderegg et al., 2020; Brodribb et al., 2020). Of particular concern is the increasing threat to tree health and productivity posed by drought. Despite a predominantly cool maritime climate, forest ecosystems in […]
This research examines the potential of agroforestry to contribute to meeting greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets outlined in Scotland’s Climate Change Plan, and the economic viability of adopting agroforestry practices. It finds agroforestry has potential to sequester carbon and is generally financially viable, but benefits vary according to different factors.
A project was commissioned to estimate and compare the potential for carbon sequestration (net CO2 uptake) and GHG emissions mitigation that could be realised by creating different types of woodlands.
The analysis assesses the influence of different tree species, site and management factors, including the eventual use of harvested wood, on...
Our climate is changing rapidly, with milder, wetter winters, warmer summers, longer growing seasons and more frequent extreme conditions, including drought periods and heavy rainfall events. The projected rate of climate change is unprecedented and therefore action is essential now to improve the resilience of forests and woodlands, and to protect the benefits that they […]
In cities the climate is significantly warmer than in the surrounding countryside. This is known as the Urban Heat island (UHI) effect. The UHI effect is caused by a range of factors including hard building surfaces which absorb and radiate heat and the design of urban areas which means they...
Can urban forests help cities adapt to climate change?
Urban forests can both help reduce climate change and help urban society cope with its impacts.
As growing trees remove carbon dioxide from the air, storing the carbon in their biomass, urban forests are an important part of our response to...
The changing climate is affecting our trees, forests and woodlands, how they grow and survive and the important ecosystem services they provide. For our forests and woodlands to thrive, adaptation measures must be considered carefully, and action taken. Ten measures to reduce climate risks and improve resilience are presented.
Milder and wetter winters, followed by increased spring rainfall, are likely to enhance the survival and infection potential of many tree pathogens. Hotter, drier summers leading to drought stress in trees will also increase their susceptibility to disease and expand the distribution range of some pathogens. The increased incidence and severity of diseases caused by Phytophthora species reduces the benefits that trees provide, including climate change mitigation.
Many studies quantify short-term drought impact on tree growth relative to pre-drought growth averages. However, fewer studies examine the extent to which droughts of differing severity differentially impact tree growth or shape stand dynamics. Focusing on three droughts in high and low density stands of Pinus sylvestris in Scotland, we calculated pre-drought growth averages using […]
Understanding the impacts of extreme drought on forest productivity requires a comprehensive assessment of tree and forest resilience. However, current approaches to quantifying resilience limit our understanding of forest response dynamics, recovery trajectories and drought legacies by constraining the temporal scale and resolution of assessment. We compared individual tree growth histories with growth forecasted using […]
Sitka spruce is the major conifer species in British upland forests and is predominantly managed as even-aged, single-species plantations with rotation lengths of less than 50 years using a “patch clear-felling” system. Evidence on the impact of clear-felling on the carbon, water and energy balances of plantation forestry is sparse and extreme weather events, such […]
This research aims to find out how to expand woodland cover in a way that maximises ecological and social benefits. The programme complements the other six programmes and follows collaborative principles to produce tools which support land managers, stakeholders and policy makers to increase engagement with woodland creation activities
Protecting our forests from pollutant deposition is and has been a topical issue for some time. Nitrogen, as well as being an essential nutrient for trees, is one of the most important of these pollutants. This article discusses the extent and severity of the issues associated with nitrogen pollution in our forests. By Fiona Kennedy. […]
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