Forestry and water quality
Our diffuse pollution research area seeks to understand woodland-water interactions to prevent and reduce water pollution within freshwater catchments
The effects of peatland restoration by deforestation on water quality
We are investigating the effects of peatland restoration by deforestation on nutrient and carbon transport to the water environment.
Flanders Moss restoration
Flanders Moss restoration
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.
Forest Fertilisation and Water Quality
This project aims to monitor the effects of aerial and hand forest fertiliser applications on water quality in sensitive water catchments.
Nadeem is the project leader on the following studies:
The effects of forestry on water quality in ecologically sensitive catchments
The long-term impact of conifer afforestation in on water quality and ecology
The effects of large-scale land use change and forest restructuring on water quality and flow.
The impact of forestry on colour, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and manganese in drinking water
The effects of forest operations on sediment and nutrient delivery to watercourses
The effects or riparian woodland planting on flood flows – The Eddleston Project
Impacts of nitrogen deposition on the forest and carbon cycle - PhD supervisor (University of Edinburgh)
The hydrological impacts of forest to bog restoration - PhD supervisor (University of Leeds)
Source to Sea: Soil carbon transport from forested environments to coastal waters - PhD supervisor (University of Stirling)
- Forest hydrology
Forest clearance for peatland restoration
Phased felling and low impact harvesting can effectively control negative impacts of forest clearance for peatland restoration
Peer reviewed journal articles
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.’
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.
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.