Forest Ecosystem Research Group

Overview of our current research interests


Current Projects

BOGLAND
BOGFOR
CARBAL
CARBiFOR
FOREM  
PENRICH

   

Topics
       Peatland forests     Sustainability
   Acidification
   Eutrophication
   Ecological monitoring
   Atmospheric deposition
   Critical loads
   Forestry practices
   Forest soils
   Freshwaters
   

   Past Projects

   Ammonia
   AQUAFOR
   Ballyhooly
Monitoring

CARBOINVENT
   Catchments
   Critical Loads
   EXMAN
   Squash
   MONSTAC
   Mapping NH3
   Mapping SO2
   Peatlands
   Carbon Balance

   Podzol   Remi
   SALFOR
   USOAK
   Willems-badges
   Seasalts

The Forest Ecosystem Research Group aims to increase our understanding of ways in which we can manage the environmental resources of soil, air and water to achieve a sustainable supply of the economic, social and environmental values of forested ecosystems.

Our main method is long-term biogeochemical monitoring. This approach, combined with relevant biological monitoring, allows us to get a high-level overview of the development of ecosystems over long timescales. We measure absolute inputs to the systems from atmospheric deposition, and we can model the inputs from weathering of primary soil minerals. Within ecosystems, the turnover and internal cycling of elements (often an order of magnitude larger than either inputs or outputs for mature forests), are monitored closely. Outputs from ecosystems can be seen as a drain on the resources available for growth and harvesting, as a necessary disposal of unwanted byproducts, or as an emission of potentially beneficial or harmful substances to receiving ecosystems.

The sustained yield of human value from forest ecosystems can only be achieved when these inputs, cycles and outputs achieve a suitable equilibrium. A constant supply of nutrients is needed, wastes must be removed, and the impacts on receptor ecosystems must be tolerable. Understanding the processes involved, the magnitude of the various contributing parts, and the effects of intervention by management or pollution are needed if sustainable management is to be achieved. Providing a basis for this understanding is the key work of the Forest Ecosystem Research Group.


Last update: July 2008
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