Elena Vanguelova, BSc, MSc, PhD

Senior Biogeochemist / Soil Sustainability Research Leader

Elena Vanguelova

Email: elena.vanguelova@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5600
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5748
Fax: +44 (0)1420 23653

Forest Research
Alice Holt Lodge
Surrey GU10 4LH

Dr. Elena Vanguelova joined Forest Research in June 2003 as a biogeochemist. She studied for a BSc / MSc degree in Forest Engineering at The University of Forestry in Sofia, Bulgaria. Then she moved to the UK, where she obtained a PhD in soil pollution from Soil Science Department, Reading University.

Current role

Project Manager

Conducting research to ensure that forest practices do not compromise soil sustainability, and investigating the effects of pollutant deposition and climate change on soil functions in order to support sustainable forest development.

Current programmes

Soil sustainability

Project manager and principle investigator in current and past projects:

  • UK BioSoil survey - Forest soil survey and monitoring - Forest Focus EU project
  • Soil baselines establishment at Forestry Commission Scotland and Forestry Commission England Short Rotation network of sites
  • Forest Research contribution to DEFRA’s Terrestrial UMBRELLA “Acidification and Euthrophication of Terrestrial Ecosystems”
  • Peat restoration project for Forestry Commission Wales “ A strategic assessment of afforested peat resources in Wales”
  • Nitrogen deposition and soil and forest biogeochemistry
  • Afforestation impact on soil  carbon and nutrient status, soil health and functions
  • Linkages between different tree species and soil processes, functions and  biodiversity
  • Understanding the predisposition factors to tree health and decline
  • Developing and testing soil carbon models (ROMUL, RotC, ECOSSE) to forest soils
  • Supervision of 6 PhD students at Reading University, University of Central Lancaster, Newcastle University, Essex University, University of Exeter, Aberdeen University and University of Cumbria

Affiliations and achievements

  • Member of British Society of Soil Science
  • Secretary of SEESOIL (South East Soil Discussion Group)
  • Member of EU COST 631 Understanding and Modelling of Plant-Soil Interactions in the Rhizosphere Environment
  • Member of the management committee and Leader of Working group 1 of EU COST E38 "Woody root processes under changing environment"
  • Member of EU COST 0803 “Belowground carbon turnover in European forests”, Working Group 3 “ Soil carbon stocks and pools in EU forests” 
  • Member of EU COST FP1305 “ Belowground biodiversity in European forests”

Research areas

Main recent publications

Official publications, books and conference proceedings

Peer-reviewed publications

Vanguelova, E.I., Pitman, R., Benham, S., Perks, M. and Morison, J.I. (2017). Impact of tree stump harvesting on soil carbon and nutrients and second rotation tree growth in mid Wales, UK. Open Journal of Forestry. 7, 58-78.

Vanguelova E.I., Crow, P., Benham, S., Pitman, R., Forster, J., Eaton, E.L., Morison, J.I.L. (2017) Impact of Sitka spruce afforestation on the  carbon stocks of peaty gley soils - a chronosequence study in the north of England. Accepted in Forestry.

Vanguelova, E.I., Bonifacio, E., De Vos, B., Hoosbeek M. R., Berger T. W., Vesterdal L., Armolaitis, K., Celi, L., Dinca, L., Kjønaas, O.J., Pavlenda, P., Pumpanen, J., Püttsepp Ü., Reidy, B., Simončič, P., Tobin, B. and Zhiyanski, M. (2016). Sources of errors and uncertainties in the assessment of forest soil carbon stocks at different scales—review and recommendations. Environmental Monitoring and Assessments, 188: 630. DOI 10.1007/s10661-016-5608-5.

Camino-Serrano, M., Graf Pannatier,  E., Vicca, S., Luyssaert, S.,  Jonard, M., Ciais, P., Guenet, B., Gielen, B., Peñuelas, J., Sardans, J., Waldner, P., Etzold, S., Cecchini, G., Clarke, N., Galić, Z., Gandois, L., Hansen, K., Johnson, J., Klinck, U., Lachmanová, Z., Lindroos, A.J., Meesenburg, H., Nieminen, T., Sanders, T.G.M., Sawicka, K., Seidling, W., Thimonier, A.,  Vanguelova, E.I., Verstraeten, A., Vesterdal, L. and  Janssens,  I.A. (2016). Trends in soil solution dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations across European forests. Biogeosciences, 13, 5567–5585, 2016, doi:10.5194/bg-13-5567-2016.

Sawicka, D.E., Monteith, D.T., Vanguelova, E.I., Wade, A.J. and Clark, J.M. (2016). Fine-scale temporal characterization of trends in soil water dissolved organic carbon and potential drivers. Ecological Indicators 68, 35-51. ISSN 1470-160X doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.12.028

Ashwood, F., Butt, K.R., Doick, K.J. and Vanguelova, E.I. (2016). Investigating tree foliar preference by the earthworms Aporrectodea longa and Allolobophora chlorotica in reclaimed and loam soil. Applied Soil Ecology, 110, 109-117.

Villada, A. Vanguelova, E.I., Verhoef, A. and Shaw, L.S. (2015). Effect of air-drying pre-treatment on the characterization of forest soil carbon pools. Geoderma 265. pp. 53-61. ISSN 0016-7061 doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2015.11.003

Guerrieri, R., Vanguelova, E.I., Michalski, G., Heaton, T.H.E. and Mencuccini, M. (2015). Isotopic evidence for the occurrence of biological nitrification and nitrogen deposition processing in forest canopies. Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13018.

Waldner, P., Thimonier, A., Graf Pannatier, E., Etzold, S., Schmitt, M., Marchetto, A., Rautio, P., Derome, K., Nieminen, T., Nevalainen, S., Lindroos, A-J., Merilä, P., Kindermann, G., Neumann, M., Cools, N., De Vos, B., Roskams, P., Verstraeten, A., Hansen, K., Pihl-Karlsson, G., Dietrich, H-P., Raspe, S., Granke, O., Fischer, R., Iost, S., Lorenz, M., Sanders, T., Michel., A., Nagel, H-D., Scheuschner, T., Simončič, P., Von Wilpert, K., Meesenburg, H., Fleck, S., Ingerslev, M., Gundersen, P., Stupak, I., Vesterdal, L., Jonard, M., Clarke, N., Benham, S., Vanguelova, E., Potočič, N. and Minaya, M. (2015). Exceedance of critical loads and of critical limits impacts tree nutrition across Europe. Annals of Forest Science, DOI 10.1007/s1359-015-0489-2.

De Vos, B. Cools, N., Ilvesniemi, H., Vesterdal, L.,  Vanguelova, E. and Carnicelli, S. (2015).  Benchmark values for forest soil carbon stocks in Europe: results from a large scale forest soil survey.  Geoderma, 251-252, 33-46.

Dimitrova, V., Lyubenovа, M., Zhiyanski, M. and Vanguelova, E. (2015). Roots biomass and carbon in representative Forest ecosystems in Bulgaria. Journal of Chemical, Biological and Physical Sciences, 5 (2), 2090-2108. 

Cools, N., Vesterdal, L., De Vos, B., Vanguelova, E.I., and Hansen, K. (2014) Tree species is the major factor explaining C:N ratios in European forest soils. Forest Ecology and Management, 311, 3-16.

Rajapaksha, N.S.S., Butt, K.R., Vanguelova, E. I. and Moffat, A. J. (2014) Short rotation forestry – Earthworm interactions: A field based mesocosm experiment. Applied Soil Ecology, 76, 52-59.

Dimitrova. V., Lyubenovа, M. and Vanguelova, E. (2014) Biomass and carbon accumulation in the herb layer of representative forest ecosystems in Bulgaria. Journal of Balkan Ecology, 17 (1), 55-71.

Peter Waldner; Aldo Marchetto; Anne Thimonier; Maria Schmitt; Michela Rogora; Oliver Granke; Volker Mues; Karin Hansen; Gunilla Pihl Karlsson; Daniel Žlindra; Nicholas Clarke; Arne Verstraeten; Andis Lazdins; Claus Schimmming; Carmen Iacoban; Antti-Jussi Lindroos; Elena Vanguelova; Sue Benham; Henning Meesenburg; Manuel Nicolas; Anna Kowalska; Vladislav Apuhtin; Ulle Nappa; Zora Lachmanová; Ferdinand Kristoefel; Albert Bleeker; Morten Ingerslev; Lars Vesterdal; Juan Molina; Uwe Fischer; Walter Seidling; Mathieu Jonard; Philip O'Dea; James Johnson; Richard Fischer; Martin Lorenz. (2014). Temporal trends in atmospheric deposition of inorganic nitrogen and sulphate to forests in Europe. Atmospheric Environment, 95, 363-374.

Vanguelova, E.I., Nisbet, T.R., Moffat, A.J., Broadmeadow, S., Sanders, T.G.M. and Morison, J.I.L. (2013). A new evaluation of carbon stocks in British forest soils. Soil Use and Management, 29, 2, 169-181.

Rajapaksha, N.S.S., Butt, K.R., Vanguelova, E. and Moffat, A.J. (2013). Earthworm selection of Short Rotation Forestry leaf litter assessed through preference testing and direct observation.  Soil Biology and Biochemistry 67, 12-19.

Rajapaksha, N.S.S., Butt, K.R., Vanguelova, E. and Moffat, A.J. (2013). Effects of Short Rotation Forestry on earthworm community development in the UK. Forest Ecology and Management, 309, 96-104.

Benham, S.E., Vanguelova, E.I., Pitman, R.M. (2012). Short and long term changes in carbon, nitrogen and acidity in the forest soils under oak at the Alice Holt Environmental Change Network site. Science of The Total Environment 420. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.004.

Hudson, T.M., Paszkiewicz, K., Lynch, J., Bass, D., Vanguelova, E. and Richards, T.A. (2011). Prokaryotic community complexity in woodland soils: the gap between the active and the inactive biosphere. Submitted to PNAS.

Vanguelova, E., Moffat, A., Morison, J. and Martin, S. (2011). Can we manage the impacts of changing climate on our forest soils? Forestry & Timber News, June, p. 11-12. 

Vanguelova, E.I., Reynolds, B., Nisbet, T. and Godbold, D. (2011). The cycling of pollutants in non-urban forested environments. In: Levia, D.F., Carlyle-Moses, D.E. and Tanaka, T. (Eds.), Forest Hydrology and Biogeochemistry: Synthesis of Past Research and Future Directions. Ecological Studies Series, No. 216, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-1363-5_34, ISBN 978-94-007-1362-8.

Vanguelova E, Pitman R (2011). Impacts of Short Rotation Forestry on Soil Sustainability. In McKay, H. (ed.) (2011) Short Rotation Forestry: review of growth and environmental impacts (PDF-3255K) . Forest Research Monograph, 2, Forest Research, Surrey, 212pp. ISBN 978-0-85538-827-0.

Clark, J.M., Billett, M.F., Coyle, M, Croft, S., Daniels, S., Evans, C.D., Evans, M., Freeman, C., Gallego-Sala, A.V., Heinemeyer, A., House, J.I., Monteith, D., Nayak, D., Orr, H.G., Prentice, I.C., Rose, R., Rowson, J.,  Smith, J., Smith, Jo, Tun, Y.M., Vanguelova, E.I., Wetterhall, F. and Worrall, F. (2010). Model inter-comparison between statistical and dynamic model assessments of the long-term stability of GB blanket peat (1940-2099).  Climate Research 45: 227-248.

Pitman, R., Vanguelova, E.I. and Benham, S. (2010). Effects of phytophagous insects on the nutrient concentrations and fluxes through forest stands in the UK Level II network. Science of the Total Environment 409 (1): 169-181.

Vanguelova, E., Pitman, R., Luiro J. and Helmisaari H-S. (2010). Long term impacts of whole tree harvesting on soil carbon and nutrient sustainability in the UK. Biogeochemistry 101: 43-59.

Vanguelova, E. and Nisbet, T. (2010). Save the soil. Chartered Forester, Autumn, 2010, pages 22-23.

Swain, E. Y., Perks, P. P., Vanguelova, E. I. and Abbott, G. D. (2010). Carbon stocks and phenolic distributions in peaty gley soils afforested with Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Organic Geochemistry 41, 1022-1025.

Vanguelova, E.I. and Nisbet, T. (2010) Protection of forest soils and water in a changing climate – management and policy challenges. SAC/SEPA Proceedings “Climate, Water and Soil Science, Policy and Practice” 31 March-1 April 2010, Edinburg; pp.146-153.   

Vanguelova, E.I., Benham, S., Pitman, R., Moffat, A. Broadmeadow, M., Nisbet, T., Durrant, D., Barsoum, N.,Wilkinson, M., Bochereau, F., Broadmeadow, S., Hutchings, T., Crow, P., Durrant-Huston, T., Taylor, P. (2010). Chemical fluxes in time through forest ecosystems in the UK – soil response to pollution recovery. Environmental Pollution 158 (5): 1857-1869.

Vanguelova, E.I. (2010). BioSoil case study: Evaluation of the quality and changes in UK forest soils. European Commission. Forest soil and biodiversity monitoring in the EU. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union 2010 – 32 pp.; ISBN 978-92-79-14992-4; doi:10.2779/16475.

Langan, S., Fransson, L. and Vanguelova, E. (2009). Dynamic modelling of UK forest soils to changes in acid  deposition using the SAFE model. Science of the Total Environment 407, 5605-5619.

Vanguelova, E.I., Hirano, Y., Eldhuset, T.D., Sas-Paszt, L., Bakker, M., Püttsepp, Ü., Brunner, I., Lõhmus, K. and Godbold, D. (2007). Tree fine root Ca/Al molar ratio – indicator of Al and acidity stress. Plant Biosystems 141 (3): 460-480.

Finér, L., Helmisaari, H. –S, K. Lõhmus; Majdi, H., Brunner, I., Børja, I., Eldhuset T., Godbold D., Grebenc T., Konôpka, B., Kraigher H., Möttönen, M.-R., Ohashi, M., Oleksyn, J., Ostonen, I., Uri, V., Vanguelova, E. (2007). Variation in fine root biomass of three European tree species: Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.), and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Plant Biosystems 141 (3): 394-405.

Ostonen, I., Püttsepp, Ü.,  Biel, C., Alberton, O.,  Bakker, M. R.,  Lõhmus, K., Majdi, H.,  Metcalfe, D., Olsthoorn, A. F. M.,  Pronk, A.,  Vanguelova, E.,  Weih, M. and Brunner, I. (2007). Specific root length as an indicator of environmental change. Plant Biosystems 141 (3): 426–442.

Vanguelova E.I., Nortcliff S., Moffat, A.J. and Kennedy, F. (2007). Short-term effects of manipulated increase in acid deposition on soil, soil solution chemistry and fine roots of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) stand on a podzol. Plant and Soil 294, 41-54.

Vanguelova, E., Moffat, A.J. and Lynch, J. (2006). Impact of forestry on soil quality in the UK. Expert Workshop on Definition of Best Indicators for Biodiversity and Soil Quality for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Proceedings and Conclusions, Guildford, 12-13 June, 2006. ISSN: 1464-8083, pp. 24-27.

Pitman, R. and Vanguelova, E. (2006). Influences of stand age and soil properties on forest biodiversity. In: Forest Research annual report and accounts 2004–2005. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh.

Vanguelova E.I., Nortcliff S., Moffat, A.J. and Kennedy, F. (2005). Morphology, biomass and nutrient status of fine roots of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) as influenced by seasonal fluctuations in soil moisture and soil solution chemistry. Plant and Soil 270, 233-247.

Vanguelova E.I. (2003). Soil acidification and fine root response of Scots pine. Unpublished PhD thesis, The University of Reading, UK.