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The Forest Ecosystem Research Group (FERG) operates within the Department of Environmental Resource Management, Agriculture Faculty, University College Dublin.

There are about a dozen of us in FERG; academics, technicians, project managers, research assistants and postgraduate students. We are actively researching ecosystem processes in forest and peatland ecosystems. Our core work has been to continuously monitor the chemistry of water from where it enters the forest as rain, to where it leaves as percolating groundwater or streamwater. In recent years, we have extended this work to include a much wider range of ecological monitoring, and are working towards the establishment of an ecological monitoring network for Ireland.

We are also studying management impacts in ecosystems, such as the influence of forestry on freshwater ecosystems, the effects of deforestation on soil development, and the influence of forest harvesting on water quality. Studies in peatlands form an important part of our work, including the redevelopment of industrial cutover peatland into commercial forest production, and assessing the greenhouse-gas impacts of land-use strategies on industrial cutover peatlands.

The common aim underlying all our studies is the development of sustainable ecosystem management. This encompasses understanding disturbance and recovery of forest and peatland ecosystems, and the development of productive and sustainable land uses.

FERG is led by Prof. E.P. (Ted) Farrell.

Back to the FERG homepage.

Last updated:2 February 2006
FERG WebManager