Forest Research involvement in the management of multifunctional forests (MULTIFOR) project

    STAGES IN SESSILE OAK (Quercus petraea) BUD BURST. 5 MAY

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.
    RING GROWTH ON LAWSON CYPRESSThe above were compared with surveys in similar French plots, as a ‘transect’ of woodland stands along a climatic gradient.
  • 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.