Biomass Allocation - WP 1


  • Prof. Maarten Nieuwenhuis
  • Dr Brian Tobin
  • Mr Paul Gardiner
  • Mr Samuel Olajuyigbe

Biomass allocation and increment

  • Allocation of biomass for four new species will be sampled. Also, Sitka spruce will be examined on a peat soil, allowing a direct comparison of soil-type differences.
  • Carbon content and basic density will be measured for all constituent parts of the biomass components (above- and belowground).
  • Allometric functions (and conversion coefficients, i.e. BEFs etc.) will be derived from analysis of the collected data. Data will be archived on a database.
  • Trial GPR scan of c. 8 sites and comparison with data from soil cores and biomass functions.

Woody decomposition

  • A long-term experiment will be set up by arranging for measured material to be left in a series of forest sites, for repeat assessments.
  • A chronosequence of woody debris will be selected and the relationship between decay class and basic density determined.
  • Woody debris will be further tested under laboratory conditions to establish the effect of temperature on the rate of decomposition. At least two woody debris size classes will be used in these experiments (e.g. 7-12 cm and 13+ cm).
  • Excavation of stumps / dead root systems to provide sample material for lab and chronosequence experiments, and to validation and improvement of belowground decomposition models.

Biomass sampling involves separating the tree into constituent compartments, recording the fresh weight and taking samples from each.

Cores taken from biomass plots will be used to provide historical girth increment data for modelling.

Hemispherical photographs are being used to analyse changes in canopy structure due to forest age, as well as before and after thinning events.

Ecosystem processes - WP 2


  • Prof Bruce Osbourne
  • Dr Matt Saunders
  • Mr Giuseppe Benanti
  • Ms. Erica Cacciotti


  • * To produce annual NEP budgets for different aged stands across 3 chronosequences.
  • * Non CO2 GHG models.
  • * Exchange NEP and climatic data between collaborators.
  • * Vegetation changes associated with afforestation.
  • * Ecosystem carbon balances to estimate emission factors associated with land use change and management.
  • * Decomposition of thinning residues.

A mobile eddy covariance mast is used to measure ecosystem exchange above the stand canopy. Here the mast is positioned in a 14-year-old stand (canopy height was 10m).

The mobile mast in a 20-year-old stand where canopy height is c. 13m. (Inset: Mast in-situ above forest).

Soil C-stocks and changes - WP 3


  • Prof Tom Bolder
  • Dr Brian Reidy
  • Dr Nuala Freeman


  • Monthly soil moisture, temperature and respiration measurements of 4 different sites from each chronosequence.
  • Characterization of physical, chemical and biological properties of the different soil types in the CARBiFOR chronosequences.
  • Monolith and isotope experiments.
  • Sampling soil cores from selected NFI sites and paired sampling of matching non-forest soils next to NFI plots.

Sampling the soil at a 12-year-old ash stand in Co. Offaly.