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The climate is changing, and we need to understand the impacts this is having now and will have in the future on our trees and woodlands, in Britain and elsewhere. Some of the effects are direct (e.g. warmer temperatures affecting the growth and development of plants and animals); some are indirect (e.g. through the need for more tree planting to increase the carbon sequestration).

Our research is improving our understanding of how woodlands will respond to the many environmental drivers associated with climate change (temperature, rainfall, wind, sunshine, humidity, both average change, and extreme events like droughts and floods), and their impacts. This knowledge is being used to assess future changes to tree growth and the functioning of woodland ecosystems, and to develop guidance on how best to adapt woodland management and forestry to these challenges. The impacts of climate change are relevant to almost all areas of forest and woodland research, as the example current and previous projects listed below show.

The development of guidance on climate change impacts and adaptation uses a number of approaches, including impact studies, process and empirical model development and the interpretation of forest monitoring data.

Current research projects


Climate change impacts and adaptation in England’s woodlands

Climate change: impacts and adaptation in Scotland

Impacts of climate change on forestry in Wales

What’s of interest

Past climate change projects

Useful sites

Forestry Staff Bruce Nicoll.24d14a83.fill 600x600 1
Bruce Nicoll

Principal Scientist