Stand structure is an important determinant of habitat quality for forest biodiversity and is influenced by management. In conifer plantations, the varied structure created within a stand by continuous cover forestry (CCF) systems has been expected to be better for woodland birds than the range of discrete stand structures created through rotations of clearfelling and […]
Planted forests of non-native conifers make up around 36% of Britain’s total wooded area. Increasing the area of native woodlands – including converting non-native conifer to native woodland where appropriate – is an aim of the UK Forestry Standard Guidelines on Biodiversity. It is unclear how much conversion is being implemented, what the motivations might […]
Conifer seed provides an important food resource for many woodland mammals, birds and insects, including some of Britain’s rarest species. This Research Note brings together information from a number of sources on cone and seed production by the main conifers planted in Britain. This information can help managers assess the seed resources of their woodlands […]
Predicting future risks of damage by insect pests is an important aspect of forest management. Climate change has the potential to affect forest pests and their impact on trees through higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and more frequent extreme weather events. Warmer temperatures are likely to have complex effects on insects, influencing, among other things, […]
This Research Note presents the findings of a study which examined how biodiversity changes with stand age, with a view to incorporating it into optimal forest rotation length modelling. The study reviewed relevant literature and analysed Forestry Commission Biodiversity Assessment Project data. The review revealed no simple or universal response of biodiversity to stand age. […]
The ecosystem services concept helps describe the benefits which humans receive from nature and natural processes in a way that can influence policy and management decision making. The ability of trees, woodlands and forests to provide a wide range of ecosystem services is very much dependent on where they are located and how they are […]
This Research Note is based on a PhD research study ‘Forests as places of mental well-being: the meaning and use of urban forests by people with early-stage dementia’. The study examines and develops ways for people with dementia (especially those in the early stages) to engage with nature, and with other people, in the context […]
Evidence indicates that woodland creation is generally a cost-effective method of climate change mitigation, when compared with a range of alternatives. However, engaging landowners and land managers in woodland creation schemes can sometimes prove difficult, and this affects prospects for meeting national woodland planting targets and associated climate change mitigation objectives. Although reluctance to plant […]
Horse chestnut is an important amenity tree species which has been significantly affected over the past decade by a widespread outbreak of bleeding canker disease. Symptoms include rust-coloured or blackened bleeding cankers on the stem and branches, which can lead to tree mortality. The causal agent of this disease is the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae […]
Forests and forest management practices can affect surface water acidification in a number of ways. The primary mechanism is the ability of tree canopies to capture more sulphur and nitrogen pollutants from the atmosphere than other types of vegetation. Pollutant scavenging is expected to have peaked in the 1970s when emissions were greatest and led […]
Community woodland groups are growing, and there are now over 650 groups in England, Scotland and Wales. The rise is the result of both social pressure and changes in policy. Groups are keen to learn from each other’s experiences, and policy stakeholders seek evidence of the effectiveness of past and current policy. While some experiences […]
Direct seeding can be a useful method for creating new woodland on former agricultural sites. However, the success of the technique is variable when it is used to restore conifer plantation sites to native species. Seed predation by small mammals, particularly the wood mouse, has been identified as a factor potentially limiting success. Small mammals […]
Understanding the role of the landscape matrix in species dispersal is important when targeting conservation and management strategies. This Research Note shows how least-cost modelling was used to assess invasive grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis dispersal movements within the UK, with a focus on the county of Cumbria. Two major networks were identified separated by the […]
A well-known effect of urbanisation is the warming of the local climate relative to surrounding rural areas, creating a phenomenon known as the ‘urban heat island’ (UHI). UHI intensity varies across a city and over time, but temperature differences may reach 9 °C in the UK. Factors that contribute to a UHI include the thermal […]
During the 20th century large areas of ancient semi-natural woodland were converted to conifer plantations, creating sites now termed PAWS (Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites). Restoration of these sites to native woodland is a current objective of forestry policy throughout Great Britain. Natural regeneration is often regarded as the preferred method for restocking PAWS but […]
Maintaining species’ movement around landscapes is considered important if we are to conserve populations of many species and help them adapt to climate change. Particular features in the landscape have the potential to hinder or facilitate species movement. As each species interacts with the landscape differently, it can be hard to extract general patterns to […]
The removal of tree stumps and coarse roots from felling sites as a source of woody biomass for bioenergy generation is well established in parts of Europe, and interest has been expressed in replicating this practice in some regions of the UK. Overseas research shows that stump harvesting can pose a risk to sustainable forest […]
Street trees and urban woodlands provide a number of environmental and social benefits, including contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation and providing urban green space. This Note presents the results of a review of three approaches to estimating the amenity value of street trees: CAVAT, Helliwell and i-Tree.
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