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  • Publications

    The devil is in the detail: Metabarcoding of arthropods provides a sensitive measure of biodiversity response to forest stand composition compared with surrogate measures of biodiversity

    Lead Author: Nadia Barsoum
    We investigated whether biodiversity information obtained from DNA metabarcoding of mass-trapped arthropods and from a range of taxa-based surrogate measures of biodiversity (e.g. carabid beetles, vascular plants) provide: 1) similar estimates of alpha and beta diversity and 2) provide similar forest management related conclusions. We also explored how well habitat-based surrogate measures of biodiversity (e.g. stand structure, volume of deadwood) predict observed biodiversity patterns.
  • Research

    Breeding ash trees for tolerance to ash dieback

    Forest Research have been engaged in efforts to improve tolerance of ash trees to ash dieback caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (previously known as ‘Chalara‘) since the disease was first recognised in Great Britain in 2012. Progress has been made under three main projects: Living Ash Project  Ash dieback mass screening trials  Testing a range of ash species for tolerance to ash dieback Across these three projects,...
  • Publications

    Forest habitat network for Edinburgh and the Lothians

    Lead Author: Duncan Ray
    Booklet describing the contribution of woodlands to promote sustainable development within the regional Structure Plan. By Duncan Ray and Darren Moseley.
  • Publications

    Novel dendrochronological modelling demonstrates that decades of reduced stem growth predispose trees to Acute Oak Decline

    Lead Author: Katy Reed
    • Novel dendrochronological modelling was developed to explore oak stem growth trends. • Trees with long-term AOD symptoms may have been predisposed many decades earlier. • Diseased trees struggle to take advantage of favourable growing conditions. • Historic episodes of stress may impact the future resilience of oaks to disturbance.
  • Research

    Living Ash Project phase II (LAP2)

    LAP2 commenced in 2019 as an extention of the earlier Living Ash Project phase I. The objectives of LAP2 are to: Establish a National Archive of Tolerant Ash based on selections made in the Living Ash Project phase I and from Forest Research's mass screening trials (Future Trees Trust) Intensively screen selected trees using...
  • Publications

    Factsheet: Climate change and biodiversity

    More biodiverse woodlands are better able to resist or adapt to threats, such as climate change. This enhanced resilience supports the continuity of woodlands and the ecosystem services they provide. Biodiversity is the variation at different levels of biological organisation - the genes within a species; the species within a community; and the diversity between communities and ecosystems.
  • Publications

    Species diversification – which species should we use?

    Lead Author: Richard Ennos
    This paper stresses that future use of ‘alternative’ species for diversification should be contingent on rigorous biological risk assessment, results from forestry scale trials, and the establishment of sustainable British seed sources.
  • Research

    Improving stiffness in Sitka spruce

    The grading, and therefore the ultimate value of construction timber is governed by the mechanical properties of strength, density and stiffness. The majority of British spruce timber is graded as C16 but has density and strength characteristics which are usually high enough to achieve greater grades. The factor limiting a greater...
  • Research

    Geneflow in native tree species

    In this project we have examined pollen flow in species such as oak and cherry
  • Research

    Priorities for research on Emerging Species

    An analysis of species diversity of the Public Forest Estate in Britain to help inform the future direction of research on species and provenance.
  • Publications

    Genetic considerations for provenance choice of native trees under climate change in England

    This Research Report provides a review of published results from provenance tests of relevance to English native trees to identify factors which may influence the risk, suitability and desirability of the use of local versus non-local seed under climate change.
  • Research

    UK Forest Genetic Resources Strategy

    Forest Genetic Resources Strategy
  • Publications

    Cryptic genetic variation and adaptation to waterlogging in Caledonian Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris L.

    Exposure to a contrasting novel environment such as waterlogging under common garden conditions can trigger release of otherwise unobservable (cryptic) genetic variation. Under a flooding treatment, there was a greater increase in variability in Scots pine populations originating from drier sites in Scotland which likely reflects a relative absence of past selection. Under climate change this cryptic genetic variation may provide considerable potential to adapt.
  • Publications

    Conservation of black poplar: insights from a DNA fingerprinting approach

    Lead Author: Joan Cottrell
    Black poplar is Great Britain’s rarest native hardwood and there is considerable interest in conserving the genetic diversity present in the remaining population. However, multiplication by vegetative propagation has led to issues in identifying and selecting genetically diverse native planting material. The ability to use DNA markers to identify poplars at the level of the […]
  • Publications

    Using DNA barcoding and metabarcoding to detect species and improve forest biodiversity monitoring

    Lead Author: Nadia Barsoum
    Growing threats to biodiversity from pressure of land use, climate change, and invasive pests and diseases highlight the importance of obtaining accurate baseline measurements of current forest biodiversity, as well as improved monitoring to detect early signals of change. Developments in molecular techniques have advanced to the stage that there are now practical methods available […]
  • Research

    Sitka spruced

    A collaboration between Forest Research, Oxford University and Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh) which will use DNA-marker technology to identify at a very early age those Sitka spruce trees which will have outstanding growth rate and timber quality when felled 30-years later
  • Publications

    Supplying trees in an era of environmental uncertainty: Identifying challenges faced by the forest nursery sector in Great Britain

    Lead Author: Joan Cottrell
    Paper explores challenges faced by the nursery sector in Great Britain in an era of environmental uncertainty In recent years, there have been many studies exploring the management strategies that might be used to enable our forests to better cope with climate change. However, these seldom take into account the practical and economic implications of […]
  • Publications

    The genetic consequences of long term habitat fragmentation on a self-incompatible clonal plant, Linnaea borealis L.

    Lead Author: Joan Cottrell
    Study finds twinflower in Scotland exhibits genetic effects of chronic population fragmentation Habitat fragmentation is widely thought to contribute to the decline of plant species. In part, this is due to the restriction it places on the flow of genes (which occurs through pollen and seed dispersal) within a plant population, creating sub-populations within which […]