Forest Research was involved in the components of the project that were concerned with:
- Assessing the influence of climate change on forest ecosystems
- Investigating the mechanisms for improving forest ecosystem resilience to climate change.
This was achieved by:
- Selecting and surveying forest plots on contrasting soil types across the south-east of England to study:
- Patterns in tree growth rings using dendroclimatology techniques
- The diversity of woodland birds and ground vegetation
- The timing of tree seasonal cycles (spring leafing, autumn leaf fall) - see sequence of images above showing opening of oak buds
- The effectiveness of novel biodiversity indicator methods.
- Using climate-matching and climate analogue approaches to identify potential ‘climate-change proofed’ provenance material and to test predictive growth models using real growth data from French and English sites in the region across climate and soil gradients.
- Testing the germination ability of seed from local and more southerly provenance sources across a range of current and projected temperatures.
- Assisting in the establishment of demonstration 'climate change plots' with a range of provenance material and species in both countries as foci for engagement with foresters, the general public and for educational purposes.