Duncan Ray, BSc

Programme Group Manager

Duncan Ray

Email: duncan.ray@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5977
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Prior to working for Forest Research, Duncan studied Geographical Science at Portsmouth University, followed by three years at Stirling University researching rainfall interception. He joined Forest Research in 1982 to research the effects of ground preparation on soil water regimes. He worked on the development of Ecological Site Classification and produced the Ecological Site Classification (ESC) Decision Support System in 2001. Since 2008 Duncan has led the science programme group concerned with decision support, landscape ecology and ecosystem service – currently called Land Use and Ecosystem Services (LUES).

Current role

Programme Group Manager

Managing the science programme Land Use and Ecosystem Services (LUES). The Ecosystem Services Programme has a cross-cutting role requiring close collaborative work with a range of researchers in Forest Reasearch, in the devolved parts of the Forestry Commission and with universities in the UK, Europe and further afield.

Current programmes

Land Use and Ecosystem Services
The ecosystem service agenda is fast becoming a central tenet in environmental policy.  Chapter 8 of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UKNEA), with Forest Research authorship, outlines the many ways in which forests and wooded landscapes provide ecosystem services to society, and this programme will maintain close links to conduct further work on the UKNEA.

Climate change impacts and adaptation
Developing models and planning tools to help forest planners and managers increase the adaptive capacity of UK forests.

Current European projects and affiliations

Expected climate change and options for EU silviculture (ECHOES)
European Cost Action
Integrating the existing scientific knowledge for European forest policymakers and managers who make decisions on adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

Forest Management Decision Support Systems (FORSYS)
European Cost Action
Duncan leads the Working Group on Methods and Model development for decision support tools

IUFRO Group 4.03.03 – Information Management and Information Technology
Duncan is the co-ordinator of this IUFRO Working Group.

Research areas

See above.


Petr, M, Boerboom, L. G. J., Van der Veen, A., & Ray, D. (2014). A spatial and temporal drought risk assessment of three major tree species in Britain using probabilistic climate change projections. Climatic Change, accepted.

Petr, Michal, Boerboom, L., Ray, D., & Van der Veen, A. (2014). An uncertainty assessment framework for forest planning adaptation to climate change. Forest Policy and Economics, 41, 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.forpol.2013.12.002

Mitchell, R.J., Beaton, J.K., Bellamy, P.E., Broome, A., Chetcuti, J., Eaton, S., Ellis, C.J., Gimona, A., Harmer, R., Hester, A.J., Hewison, R.L., Hodgetts, N.G., Iason, G.R., Kerr, G., Littlewood, N.A., Newey, S., Potts, J.M., Pozsgai, G., Ray, D., Sim, D.A., Stockan, J.A., Taylor, A.F.S. & Woodward, S. (2014) Ash dieback in the UK: A review of the ecological and conservation implications and potential management options. . Biological Conservation, 175, 95-109.

Ray, D., Bathgate, S., Moseley, D., Taylor, P., Nicoll, B., Pizzirani, S. & Gardiner, B. (2014) Comparing the provision of ecosystem services in plantation forests under alternative climate change adaptation management options in Wales. Regional Environmental Change, DOI 10.1007/s10113-014-0644-6.

Segura, M., Ray, D. & Maroto, C. (2014) Decision support systems for forest management: A comparative analysis and assessment. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 101, 55-67.

Valls-Donderis, P., Ray, D., Peace, A., Stewart, A., Lawrence, A. & Galiana, F. (2013) Participatory development of decision support systems: which features of the process lead to improved uptake and better outcomes? Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research.

Tene, A., Tobin, B., Dyckmans, J., Ray, D., Black, K. & Nieuwenhuis, M. (2011). Assessment of tree response to drought: validation of a methodology to identify and test proxies for monitoring past environmental changes in trees Tree Physiology, 31(3), 309-22.

Green, S. & Ray, D. (2009). Potential impacts of drought and disease on forestry in Scotland (PDF-2380K). Forestry Commission Research Note 4. Forestry Commission Edinburgh.

Quine, C. & Ray, D. (2010). Sustainable forestry - which species for which site for which world? In Species Management - Challenges and Solutions for the 21st Century (ed J.M.B.a.C.A. Galbraith), pp. 417-34. TSO, Scottish Natural Heritage, Edinburgh.

Ray, D., Morison, J. & Broadmeadow, M. (2010). Climate change: impacts and adaptation in England's woodlands (PDF-1920K). Forestry Commission Research Note 201. Forestry Commission Edinburgh.

Ray, D., Xenakis, G., Tene, A. & Black, K. (2010). Developing a site classification system to assess the impact of climate change on species selection in Ireland. Irish Forestry, 66(1&2), 101-22.

Tene, A., Tobin, B., Ray, D., Black, K. & Nieuwenhuis, M. (2009). Adaptability of Forest Species to Climate Change. In Irish Timber and Forestry, Vol. 18, pp. 16-19.

Watts, K., Eycott, A.E., Handley, P., Ray, D., Humphrey, J.W. & Quine, C.P. (2010). Targeting and evaluating biodiversity conservation action within fragmented landscapes: an approach based on generic focal species and least-cost networks. Landscape Ecology, DOI 10.1007/s10980-010-9507-9.

Xenakis, G., Ray, D. & Mencuccini, M. (2008). Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis from a coupled 3-PG and soil organic matter decomposition model. Ecological Modelling, 219, 1-16. 

Ray, D. (2008). Impacts of climate change on forestry in Wales (PDF-426K). Forestry Commission Research Note 301, Edinburgh. Welsh version: Effeithiau newid yn yr hinsawdd ar goedwigaeth yng Nghymru (PDF-425K).

Ray, D. (2008). Impacts of climate change on forests in Scotland – a preliminary synopsis of spatial modelling research (PDF-921K). Forestry Commission Research Note 101, Edinburgh.

Ray, D., Clare, J., & Purdy, K. (in press). Applying an Ecological Site Classification to woodland design at the landscape scale. In Proceedings of the Restoration of Wooded Landscapes, Heriot-Watt University, Forestry Commission Technical Paper, Edinburgh.

Ray, D., C. Quine, et al. (in press). “Implementing decision support systems in British Forestry: experiences of two PC-based systems supporting sustainable forest management.” Computers and Electronics in Agriculture.

Ray, D. (2003). Predicting National Vegetation Classification (NVC) woodland suitability using the Ecological Site Classification (ESC) Decision Support System (DSS), Chapter in a JNCC Proceedings of the National Vegetation Classification woodlands section, 10th Anniversary Meeting of the NVC Woodlands Publication at Peterborough, April 2001

Ray, D. (2003). Predicting National Vegetation Classification (NVC) woodland suitability using the Ecological Site Classification (ESC) decision support system (DSS). National Vegetation Classification - Ten years' experience using the woodland section. E. Goldberg, JNCC Report 335, Peterborough.

Ray, D and Broome, A. (2003). Ecological Site Classification: supporting decisions from the stand to the landscape scale (PDF-870K). Forest Research Annual Report 2001-2002.

Jones, A. T., H. Gray, et al. (2002). “Strategic application of modelling forest potential: calculating local targets for native woodland Habitat Action Plans in Scotland.” Scottish Forestry 56(2): 81-89.

Ray, D. Pyatt D.G. and Broadmeadow, M. (2002). Modelling the future climatic suitability of plantation forest tree species.  In: Climate Change: Impacts on UK Forests.  Bulletin 125, Forestry Commission , Edinburgh.

Quine, C., J. Humphrey, et al. (2002). “An approach to predicting the potential forest composition and disturbance regime for a highly modified landscape: a pilot study of Strathdon in the Scottish Highlands.” Silva Fennica 36(1): 233-247.

Clare, J. & Ray, D. (2001). A Spatial Model of Ecological Site Classification for forest management in Britain. Proceedings of the 4th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science in Brno, April 19-21 edited by Prof Milan Konecny, 2001.

Pyatt, D.G., Ray, D., & Fletcher, J. (2001). An Ecological Site Classification for Forestry in Great Britain :Bulletin 124 Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Ray, D. (2001). Class structure lives on in woods. Forestry & British Timber 30(5), pp 27-29.

Ray, D. (2001). Ecological Site Classification Decision Support System V1.7 Forestry Commission - Edinburgh.

Ray, D. (2001). Ecological Site Classification Decision Support System (ESC-DSS) ICF News 3, p 4

Anderson, A.R., Ray, D. and Pyatt, D.G. (2000). Physical and hydrological impacts of blanket bog afforestation at Bad a' Cheo, Caithness: the first five years. Forestry 73, (5).

Ray, D. & Nicoll B.C. (1998).  The effect of  soil water-table depth on root-plate development and stability of Sitka spruce, Forestry, 71, 169-182.

Ray, D, Reynolds, K., Slade, J. & Hodge, S.J. (1998). A spatial solution to Ecological Site Classification for British forestry using Ecosystem Management Decision Support.  Procceedings of 3rd International GeoComputation Conference, University of Bristol, September 1998.

Miller, J.D., Anderson, H.A., Ray, D. & Anderson, A.R. (1996). Impact of some initial forestry practices on the drainage waters from blanket  peatlands. Forestry, 69, 193-204.

Moore, R., Anderson, A.R., Ray, D., Walker, C., Pyatt, D.G., Evans, H.F., Carter, C.I., Straw, N.A., Wainhouse, D. and Winter, T.G. (1996). Below ground biodiversity - a literature review for the British Isles, particularly Scotland.  (Poster), In: Taylor, A.G. Gordon, J.E and Usher, M.B/, (eds) Soils, sustainability and the natural heritage. HMSO, London.

Nicoll, B.C. and Ray, D. (1996). Adaptive growth of tree root systems in  response to wind action and site conditions, Tree Physiology 16, p891-898.

Ray, D. and Morgan, J. (1996).  Better establishment and stability from ditch mounding on peaty gleys?  Forestry and British Timber,  25,  p38-40.

Ray, D., Suarez, J. and Pyatt, D.G. (1996). Development of an Ecological  Site Classification System Decision Support System for British Forestry. Proceedings: 1st International Conference on
 GeoComputation, Leeds University, September 1996.

Moore, R., Anderson, A.R., Ray, D., Walker, C., Pyatt, D.G., Evans, H.F., Carter, C.I., Straw, N.A., Wainhouse, D. and Winter, T.G. (1995). Soil biodiversity - a literature review.  Scottish Natural Heritage, Review 17.

Ray, D. (1994).  The Forests and Water Guidelines and riparian management.  In: I. Glimerveen and A Ritchie, eds.  What is the value of river woodlands?  Proceedings of a discussion meeting Melrose April 1993.  Institute of Chartered Foresters and British Ecological Society.

Ray, D. and Nicoll, B.C. (1994).  Effects of soil water on root development and stability of Sitka spruce. Journal of Experimental Botany (supplement), 46 p 47.

Ray, D. and Schweizer, S. (1994).  A study of the oxygen regime of deep peat under plantations of Sitka spruce and lodgepole pine.  Soil Use and Management, 10, p129-136.

Ray, D. (1993).  Clay soils . Report on Forest Research 1992,  Forestry Commission , HMSO, Edinburgh.

Ray, D. (1993).  Forests and Water Guidelines Update.  Forestry and British Timber 22(11), p21-24.

Ray, D., White, I.M.S and Pyatt, D.G. (1992). The effect of ditches, slope and peat thickness on the water regime of a forested gley soil.  Soil Use and Management, 8(2), p105-111.

Ray, D. (1992).  Clay soils.  Report on Forest Research 1991,  Forestry Commission , HMSO, Edinburgh.

Nelson, D.G and Ray, D. (1990).  Establishment of Sitka spruce in relation to mound size, plant handling and soil temperature.  Research Information Note 167,  Forestry Commission, Farnham.

Ray, D. and Anderson, A.R. (1990).  Soil temperature regimes of mounds on gley soils.  Research Information Note 168,  Forestry Commission, Farnham.

Tabbush, P.M. and Ray, D. (1989).  Effects of rough handling and microsite on the establishment of Sitka spruce on clearfelled site in upland Britain.  Forestry Supplement 62,p289-296.

Ray, D., Pyatt, D.G. and White, I.M.S. (1987).  The effect of the frequency of sampling on the observed concentration of oxygen in an afforested peat soil.  Journal of Soil Science, 38 p 115-122.