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Climate change - Impacts on UK forests

Forestry Commission Bulletin 125

Human-induced climate change has become increasingly important in our everyday lives and, inevitably, will continue to do so. This Bulletin describes current thinking on the most likely effects of climate change on UK forests and woodlands. Predicted changes in the main environmental drivers - temperature, water availability, wind and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels - are discussed, together with their potential impacts on forest growth and the incidence of pests and diseases. The Bulletin also explores the implications of environmental change for semi-natural woodland ecosystems and for species choice in managed forests.

The Bulletin is recommended reading for forest managers and advisers, students and all those with an interest in the consequences of global change to our forests.

The key findings from each chapter of this Bulletin:

  1. Global climate change: setting the context
  2. The changing climate of the UK: now and in the future
  3. Climate change and damage to trees caused by extremes of temperature
  4. Climate change impacts: storms
  5. Implications of climate change: soil and water
  6. Climate change and the seasonality of woodland flora and fauna
  7. Effects of climate change on fungal diseases of trees
  8. Climate change implications for insect pests
  9. The impacts of increased CO2 concentrations on tree growth and function
  10. Impacts of climate change on forest growth
  11. Modelling the future climatic suitability of plantation forest tree species
  12. Impacts on the distribution of plant species found in native beech woodland
  13. Challenges ahead: how should the forestry sector respond?

A two page summary (PDF-381K) of the main findings of Bulletin 125 is also available.

Next: Chapter 1 - Global climate change: setting the context