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Nadeem Shah

BSc, MSc, PhD

Home Staff Nadeem Shah

Nadeem’s research focuses on the effects of forestry on the water environment with the over-arching aim of protecting and enhancing water quality and resources.

In a general sense the research is concerned with forest-water interactions and the function of trees in the hydrological cycle. More specifically it is about the hydrochemical changes associated with forest operations such as planting and felling, both in terms of negative impacts but also the benefits that woodlands bring to the water environment. The work links to international focus areas within integrated catchment management including diffuse pollution mitigation, peatland restoration and natural flood management.

In addition to the applied research, Nadeem has a number of projects with academic partners conducting basic research that aims to improve our understanding of natural processes in forested environments, particularly in relation to the hydrological and global biogeochemical cycles.

The provision of forests and water related advice to government agencies, academic institutions, research providers and industry is a key component of his work.

Nadeem graduated with a BSc in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Glasgow. He was awarded an MSc (Res) and a PhD on the Natural Attenuation of Contaminants in Groundwater by the University of Sheffield where he also completed a postdoctoral research project combining elements of hydrology, geochemistry and subsurface microbiology. Nadeem joined FR in 2008.

Affiliations

 

Hydrologist
Physical environmental sciences

Forest Research

Northern Research Station

Roslin

Midlothian EH25 9SY

UK

Related Research

Research

Forest Hydrology Research Programme

Rationale, approach and students of the Forest Hydrology Research Programme

Status current
The effects of peatland restoration and on-site forest materials on water quality

This is one of Forest Research studies on the effects of peatland restoration on water quality and focuses on in-situ forest residues, particularly mulched tree material.

Flanders Moss restoration

Flanders Moss restoration

The effects of peatland restoration on water quality

We are investigating the effects of peatland restoration by deforestation on nutrient and carbon transport to the water environment.

Impacts of forest fertilisation on water quality

This project aims to monitor the effects of aerial and hand forest fertiliser applications on water quality in sensitive water catchments.

Forestry and Water Quality

Research to understand woodland-water interactions to reduce diffuse pollution and improve water quality

The role of riparian shade in controlling stream water temperature in a changing climate

The role of riparian shade in limiting the impact of climate warming on freshwater ecology

Forestry and Freshwater Ecology

The impact of forestry on the ecological functioning of the freshwater environment

Riparian woodland creation to improve and protect the freshwater environment

Creation of riparian woodland buffers along watercourses to protect water environment from forestry or agricultural practices on adjacent land

Related Publications

Publication

The impacts of conifer afforestation and climate on water quality and freshwater ecology in a sensitive peaty catchment: a 25 year study in the upper River Halladale in North Scotland

  Highlights Good forest practice was effective at protecting water quality. Streamwater acidity and ecology unaffected by conifer afforestation. Hurricanes caused marked changes in streamwater acidity and water colour. Total P increased after fertiliser applications but no impact on ecological status. Findings will inform future woodland expansion within sensitive water catchments. Abstract Our study was […]

Published

Publication

The effect of forest-to-bog restoration on the hydrological functioning of raised and blanket bogs

Howson, T., Chapman, P. J., Shah, N., Anderson, R., & Holden, J. (2021). The effect of forest-to-bog restoration on the hydrological functioning of raised and blanket bogs. Ecohydrology, e2334. https://doi.org/10.1002/eco.2334

Published
Forest clearance for peatland restoration

Phased felling and low impact harvesting can effectively control negative impacts of forest clearance for peatland restoration

Woodland for Water: Woodland measures for meeting Water Framework Directive objectives

This report considers the key issues relating to woodland and the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in England and Wales, but has application to Scotland and Northern Ireland. By Tom Nisbet, Martyn Silgram, Nadeem Shah, Katrina Morrow & Samantha Broadmeadow. Forest Research Monograph: 4ISBN 978-0-85538-830-0 Related pages Forest hydrology Soil sustainability

Other Research

Nadeem is the project leader on the following studies:

Peer reviewed journal articles

Shah, N.W., Baillie, B.R., Bishop, K., Ferraz, S., Högbom, L., Nettles, J. (2022) The Effects of Forest Management on Water Quality. Submitted to Forest Ecology and Management

Ferraretto, D., Nair, R., Shah, N.W., Reay, D., Mencuccini, M., Spencer, M., Heal, K.V. (2022), Forest canopy nitrogen uptake can supply entire foliar demand. Functional Ecology, 36, 933-949

Howson, T., Chapman, P.J., Holden, J., Shah, N., Anderson, A.R.A (2022). A comparison of peat properties in intact, afforested and restored raised and blanket bogs. Submitted to Soil Use and Management

Shah, N. W., Nisbet, T. R., Broadmeadow, S.B. (2021). The impacts of conifer afforestation and climate on water quality and freshwater ecology in a sensitive peaty catchment: A 25 year study in the upper River Halladale in North Scotland, Forest Ecology and Management, 502, 119616.

Howson, T., Chapman, P. J., Shah, N., Anderson, R., Holden, J. (2021). The effect of forest-to-bog restoration on the hydrological functioning of raised and blanket bogs. Ecohydrology, 14( 7), e2334.

Howson, T. Chapman, P.J., Shah, N., Holden, J., Anderson, R. (2020). A comparison of porewater chemistry between intact, afforested and restored raised and blanket bogs, Science of The Total Environment, 144496.

Shah, N. W. and Nisbet, T. R. (2019). The effects of forest clearance for peatland restoration on water quality, Science of The Total Environment, 693, 133617. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133617

Archer, N. A. L., Otten, W., Schmidt, S., Bengough, A. G., Shah, N. and Bonell, M. (2015). Water storage and infiltration rates below ancient forest, planted forest, and grassland in the context of natural flood management. Ecohydrology, Vol 9 (4), 585-600.

Drew, S., Waldron, S., Gilvear, D., Grieve I., Armstrong, A., Bragg, O. Brewis, F., Cooper, M., Dargie, T., Duncan, C., Harris, L., Wilson, L., McIver, C., Padfield, R. and Shah, N. (2013) The price of knowledge in the knowledge economy: Should development of peatland in the UK support a research levy? Land Use Policy, 32, 50–60.

Thornton, S. F., Bottrell, S. H., Spence, K. H., Pickup, R., Spence, M. J., Shah, N., Mallinson, H. E.H. and Richnow H. H. (2011). Assessment of MTBE biodegradation in contaminated groundwater using 13C and 14C analysis: Field and laboratory microcosm studies. Applied Geochemistry, 26, 828–837.

Shah, N.W., Thornton, S. F., Bottrell, S. H. and Spence, M. J. (2009). Biodegradation potential of MTBE in a fractured chalk aquifer under aerobic conditions in long-term uncontaminated and contaminated aquifer microcosms. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 103, 119–133.

FC and FR publications including official statistics

Shah, N. W. and Nisbet, T.R. (2019). The effects of aerial and hand fertiliser applications on water quality in the North Forest Region: monitoring in sub-catchments of the River Oykel, Peffery Burn and Loch Shin, Final Report., Forest Research. Available here

Shah, N. W. and Nisbet, T.R. (2017). The effects of forestry on manganese, water colour and dissolved organic carbon in drinking water catchments. Final report to Scottish Water, Forest Research.

Shah, N.W. and Nisbet, T.R. (2017) The effects of forest felling on water quality in sub-catchments of Loch Shiel – update report. Forest Research.

Shah, N.W. and Nisbet, T.R. (2015). The effects of aerial and hand fertiliser applications on water quality in sub-catchments of the River Oykel and Loch Shin – update report. Forest Research.

Broadmeadow, S., Shah, N. and Nisbet, T. (2014) Opportunity mapping for woodland creation to improve water quality and reduce flood risk in the Diffuse Pollution Priority Catchments of the Central and South Scotland, Perth and Argyll, and Grampian Conservancies. Forest Research.

Broadmeadow, S. Thomas, H., Shah, N. and Nisbet, T. (2013) Opportunity mapping for woodland creation to improve water quality and reduce flood risk in the River Tay catchment – a pilot for Scotland. Forest research report to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Forestry Commission Scotland. Forest Research.

Nisbet, T., Silgram, M., Shah, N., Morrow, K., and Broadmeadow, S. (2011). Woodland for Water: Woodland measures for meeting Water Framework Directive objectives (PDF-1912K). Forest Research Monograph, 4, Forest Research, Surrey, 156pp.

Tom Nisbet, Martyn Silgram, Nadeem Shah, Katrina Morrow, Samantha Broadmeadow (2011). Woodland for Water: Woodland measures for meeting Water Framework Directive objectives (PDF-1440K). Summary report. Environment Agency, Bristol.

Tom Nisbet, Huw Thomas and Nadeem Shah. Short Rotation forestry and Water. In: McKay, H. (ed.) (2011). Short Rotation Forestry: review of growth and environmental impacts (PDF-3255K). Forest Research Monograph, 2, Forest Research, Surrey, 212pp.

Scientific conferences: presentations or posters

SAGES, Global Climate Challenges for a Blue Green Economy: Scientific Evidence, Edinburgh, 2019. Presentation on ‘Water quality in peatland environments: the effects of land use change and climate.’

IUFRO Joint Conference on Forests and Water, Valdivia, Chile, 2018. Presentation on ‘Significant changes in water quality caused by peatland deforestation and extreme storm events in Scotland’.

Scottish Water Catchment Science Conference, Edinburgh, 2018. Presentation on Investigating the effects of forestry on water quality in drinking water catchments.’

Working with Natural Processes (WWNP), Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Edinburgh, 2018. Presentation on ‘The Evidence Behind Natural Flood Management – Woodland Evidence’.

The Flow Country Conference, Thurso, 2017. Oral presentation on ‘The effects of peatland deforestation on water quality’ and a poster presentation.

SRUC and SEPA conference 2016 – Agriculture and the Environment XI. What Future for our Farming Systems? Environmental Challenges and Integrated Solutions. Oral presentation on ‘Using woodland to reduce agricultural diffuse pollution in future farming systems.’

The Flow Country Conference, Thurso, 2015. Oral presentation on ‘The Effects of Conifer Afforestation on a Sensitive Freshwater System – the Upper Halladale Catchment’.

IFM Specialist Conference 2015. Forestry and Fisheries – Where Next? Penrith. Oral presentation on ‘The Effects of Conifer Afforestation on a Sensitive Freshwater System – the Upper Halladale Catchment’.

EGU 2014: European Geosciences Union General (EGU) Assembly, Vienna, 2014. Oral presentation at this international conference on our Halladale experiment entitled ‘The short and long term effects of conifer afforestation on a sensitive freshwater system.’

Scottish Hydrology Group, Royal Overseas League, Edinburgh, 2014. Invited speaker for oral presentation on ‘The Wid and the Watter: Trees, diffuse pollution and WFD objectives.’

UK Forest Products Association (UKFPA) Forests and Water Seminar, Stirling, 2014. Oral presentation on ‘Forest-water interactions: long term research studies’.

Upland Hydrology in the UK, University of Leeds, 2014. Oral presentation on ‘The Effects of Conifer Afforestation on a Sensitive Freshwater System: The Upper Halladale Catchment.’

TRIWA III meeting, Brora, 2014. Oral presentation to forestry and environment protection agency representatives from Sweden and Finland on ‘The long-term effects of conifer afforestation on water quality – the River Halladale catchment.’

Loch Lomond and Trossachs Research Group Seminar, University of Glasgow, 2011. Invited speaker. Oral presentation on ‘Woodlands and Water: Diffuse pollution mitigation and sustainable flood management.’

Carbon Landscapes and Drainage (CLAD) AGM, Glasgow, 2011. Invited speaker; oral presentation on ‘Flanders Moss: The effects of bog restoration on drainage water chemistry.’

Workshop organisation

Acidification workshop at NRS in November 2010 bringing together leading representatives from research organisations, fisheries groups, and the FC to discuss the review of the Water Guidelines and development of a practice guide on acidification.

ForeStClim workshop in February 2010 bringing together six UK partners to discuss progress on this 11 million euro EU INTERREG IVB project.

Project reports

Shah, N.W. and Broadmeadow, S. (2010). Hydrological Benefits. In: Forest Research (2010). Benefits of green infrastructure (PDF-1211K). Report to Defra and CLG. Forest Research, Farnham.