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SUPERB – Upscaling Forest Restoration

Research Status:upcoming

SUPERB “Systemic solutions for upscaling urgent ecosystem restoration for forest-related biodiversity and ecosystem services” is a four-year EU Horizon 2020 project with 36 partners in 16 countries. SUPERB is developing 12 large-scale forest restoration Demonstrations across Europe, and Forest Research, in partnership with Forestry and Land Scotland, is leading the UK Demo at Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. Restoration actions being demonstrated include conversion to continuous-cover forestry, high-elevation forestry, and riparian woodlands that include natural flood management measures. We will develop and link practical and scientific knowledge from the Demo, and work with stakeholders with the aim of upscaling forest restoration.

Research objectives

SUPERB links practical and scientific knowledge in actions to enable future forest restoration, including implementing adaptation measures at different scales to provide the ecosystem services that people will need from forests as the climate changes. It is focussed on 12 large-scale restoration demonstrators across Europe, in forests experiencing a wide range of stressors and challenges.

The SUPERB Scotland Demo is a partnership between Forest Research and Forestry and Land Scotland, based in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. It focused on three major restoration activities:

  • High elevation planting to expand the forest above the current treeline with native broadleaf and montane species to enhance biodiversity and reduce soil loss from erosion and landslides.
  • Development of a Natural Flood Management demonstration area, where conifer species are removed from riparian zones, and native broadleaf species are planted and established. Various measures to slow peak steam flow will further reduce risk of flooding to downstream communities.
  • Expansion of continuous cover forestry to encourage improved species and structural diversity in forest conifer stands that were originally planted as even-aged clearfell – replant systems. This will encourage biodiversity, improve resilience against a range of climate change risks, and enhance benefits for forest visitors.

Overall, these measures are expected to improve forest resilience to climate risks, reduce flooding in neighbouring communities, reduce soil loss, improve water quality, increase biodiversity and encourage use of the forest by visitors. Restoration within the SUPERB project will be focused using stakeholder workshops and monitored to ensure it meets a wide range of forest management objectives and provides enhanced ecosystem services for stakeholders and local communities.

The SUPERB Scottish Demo forest demonstrates stakeholder focussed restoration, diversification and climate change adaptation with the aim of scaling these up to the wider landscape.

Our Involvement

Forest Research manages the SUPERB project Scottish Demo in partnership with Forestry and Land Scotland. We gather practical information from on-the-ground restoration actions in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, and from monitoring that is underway across the forest. We are also working with a range of local and national scale stakeholders to focus activities in the forest, and to explore how to upscale forest restoration and climate change adaptation across the wider landscape.

Further information

Funding & partners
  • EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme

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