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Alice Holt Lodge
Surrey GU10 4LH
Tom Nisbet obtained a joint honours BSc degree in biology and geography at the University of Strathclyde in 1980 and a PhD in soil science at the University of Aberdeen in 1984. The subject of his PhD was a study of the effects of soil water regime on the growth of Sitka spruce. He then spent 3 years at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen on a Department of the Environment post-doctoral fellowship studying the transfer of acidity through vegetation and soils.
Tom joined Forest Research in 1987 as a project leader in forest hydrology. His primary interests are in studying the impacts of forestry on the quality and quantity of water resources, and evaluating the benefits of woodland creation for soil and water management, including the use of targeted planting to reduce flood risk and control diffuse pollution. He has played a central role in the development of national forest and water guidelines and maintains strong links with end users through the provision of expert advice and involvement in key stakeholder groups.
Programme Manager for the Changing Physical Environment Research Group
Protecting Soil and Water Resources Research Programme, comprising:
- Sustainable flood management
- Mitigating diffuse pollution
- Sustaining water resources
- Slowing the Flow at Pickering
- Transnational forestry management strategies in response to regional climate change impacts (ForeStClim)
Affiliations and achievements
- Member of British Society of Soil Science
- Deputy Leader of International Union of Forest Research Organisations Task Force on Forests and Water
- Technical Advisor on forest-water issues to Ministerial Council for the Protection of Forests in Europe
- Member of European Expert Advisory Group for Water Framework Directive Implementation in forests
- Member of Forestry Commission’s Forests & Water Guidelines Review Group
- Member of various steering groups for UK catchment studies and related projects
- Research Evaluator for Research Councils, including Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency and the Irish National Council for Forest Research & Development.
- Forest hydrology, including effects of forests on flood flows, base flows, water resources, and water quality, especially acidification, under a changing climate
- The impact of forest management practices on the freshwater environment and the development of measures to mitigate risks and maximise benefits.
Main recent publications
Nisbet, T.R. & Evans, C.D. (2014) Forestry and surface water acidification. Forestry Commission Research Note 16. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
Helliwell, R.C., Aherne, J., Nisbet, T.R., MacDougall, G., Broadmeadow, S., Sample, J., Jackson-Blake, L. and Doughty, R., 2014. Modelling the long-term response of stream water chemistry to forestry in Galloway, Southwest Scotland. Ecological Indicators, 37:396-411.
Helliwell, R.C., Aherne, J., MacDougall, G., Nisbet, T.R., Lawson, D., Cosby, B.J. and Evans, C.D., 2013. Past acidification and recovery of surface waters, soils and ecology in the United Kingdom: Prospects for the future under current deposition and land use protocols. Ecological Indicators, 37:381-395.
Langford, T., Broadmeadow, S., Jones, J., Shaw, P. and Nisbet, T. (2013). Fish and Trees: implications for climatic warming. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, Vol 107, (1), 57-61.
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, 169-181.
Thomas, H. and Nisbet, T.R. (2012). Modelling the hydraulic impact of reintroducing large woody debris into watercourses. Journal of Flood Risk Management 5 (2): 164–174.
Nisbet, T.R., Silgram, M., Shah, N., Morrow, K. and Broadmeadow, S., 2012. Assessing the potential of woodland services for meeting Water Framework Directive Objectives. In: Proceedings of the SAC/SEPA Biennial Conference held at the University of Edinburgh on 3-4 April 2012, pp 20-25. SAC Auchincruive, Ayr.
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.
Gagkas, Z., Heal, K.V., Vieno, M., Nisbet, T.R. and Stuart, N. (2011). Assessing the effect of broadleaf woodland expansion on acidic dry deposition and streamwater acidification. Forest Ecology and Management 262, 1434-1442.
Helliwell, R., Aherne, J., MacDougall, G., Nisbet, T., Broadmeadow, S., Sample, J., Jackson-Blake, L., Doughty, R. and Malcolm, I. (2011). Modelling the long-term response of stream water chemistry to atmospheric pollution and forestry practices in Galloway, SW Scotland (PDF-4144K). Final report to Forestry Commission (84pp).
Moffat, A., Nisbet, T. and Nicoll, B. (2011). Environmental effects of stump and root harvesting (PDF-1244K). Forestry Commission Research Note 9, Forestry Commission, Edinburgh (12pp).
Nisbet, T.R., Thomas, H. and Shah, N. (2011). Short Rotation Forestry and Water in McKay, H. (ed.) (2011). Short Rotation Forestry: review of growth and environmental impacts (PDF-3255K). Forest Research Monograph, 2, Forest Research, Surrey, pp13-34.
Nisbet, T.R., Marrington, S.. Thomas, H., Broadmeadow, S. and Valatin, G. (2011). Slowing the flow at Pickering. Final Report to Defra, 28pp.
Nisbet, T., Silgram, M., Shah, N., Morrow, K. and Broadmeadow, S. (2011). Woodland for water: woodland measures for meeting WFD objectives (PDF-1912K). Forest Research Monograph, 4, Forest Research, Surrey (156 pp).
Nisbet, T., Silgram, M., Shah, N., Morrow, K. and Broadmeadow, S. (2011). Woodland for water: woodland measures for meeting WFD objectives (PDF-1440K) . Summary of Final Report from Forest Research to the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission England. Environment Agency, Bristol (34 pp).
Broadmeadow, S.B. and Nisbet, T.R. (2010). Opportunity Mapping for Woodland to Reduce Flooding in the Yorkshire & the Humber Region (PDF-6947K). Forest Research Monograph 1. Forest Research, Surrey (64 pp).
Broadmeadow, S. and Nisbet, T.R. (2010). Opportunity mapping for woodland creation to reduce diffuse sediment and phosphate pollution in the Lake District (PDF-4969K). Final Report to Cumbria Woodlands.
Broadmeadow, S. and Nisbet, T.R. (2010). Opportunity mapping for woodland to reduce flooding in the River Derwent, Cumbria (PDF-4193K). Final Report to Cumbria Woodlands.
Broadmeadow, S., Jones, J.G., Langford, T.E.L., Shaw, P.J. and Nisbet, T. (2010). The influence of riparian shade on lowland stream water temperatures in southern lowland England and their viability for brown trout. River Research and Applications DOI: 10.1002/rra.1354 Jan 2010.
Gagkas, Z., Heal, K.V., Nisbet, T.R. and Stuart, N. (2010). Comparison of different critical loads approaches for assessing streamwater acid-sensitivity to broadleaf woodland expansion. Science of the Total Environment, 408 (6), 1235-1244.
Morrow, K., Silgram, M. and Nisbet, T. (2010). Can woodland measures in agri-environment policies assist in meeting WFD objectives? In: Agri-environment schemes – what have they achieved and where do we go from here? Editors Nigel Boatman et al. Aspects of Applied Biology 100, Association of Applied Biologists, Warwick.
Odoni, N.A., Nisbet, T.R., Broadmeadow, S.B., Lane, S.N., Huckson, L.V., Pacey, J. and Marrington, S. (2010). Evaluating the effects of riparian woodland and large woody debris dams on peak flows in Pickering Beck, North Yorkshire. In: Proceedings of the Flood and Coastal Management 2010 Conference, The International Centre, Telford 29 June-1 July 2010 (10pp).
Vanguelova, E. and Nisbet, T. (2010). Save the soil. Chartered Forester, Autumn, 2010, pages 22-23.
Vanguelova, E.I. and Nisbet, T.R. (2010). Protection of forest soils and water in a changing climate – management and policy challenges. In: Proceedings of the SAC and SEPA Biennial Conference held in Edinburgh 31 March – 1 April 2010; Climate, Water and Soil: Science, Policy and Practice (Eds K Crighton & Rebecca Audsley), p146-152.
Vanguelova, E. I., Benham, S., Pitman, R., Moffat, A. J., Broadmeadow, M., Nisbet, T., Durrant, D., Barsoum, N., Wilkinson, M., Bochereau, F., Hutchings, T., Broadmeadow, S., Crow, P., Taylor, P., and Durrant, T. (2010). Chemical fluxes in time through forest ecosystems in the UK - soil response to pollution recovery. Environmental Pollution 158 (5): 1857-1869.
Broadmeadow, S., Nisbet, T., Silgram, M. and Morrow, K. (2009). Opportunity mapping for woodland creation to meet the objectives of the water framework directive (PDF-1411K). Final report to Forestry Commission England.
Calder, I.R., Nisbet, T.R. and Harrison, J.A. (2009). An evaluation of the impacts of energy tree plantations on water resources in the UK under present and future UKCIP02 climate scenarios. Water Resources Research, 45, W00A17, doi:10.1029/2007WR006657.
Nisbet, T.R. (2009). Guidance on site selection for brash removal (PDF-1078K). Forest Research, UK (15 pp).
Nisbet, T.R., Marrington, S. and Carter, V. (2009). Slowing the flow at Pickering, Forestry and Timber News, Issue 36, pp 10-11.
Nisbet, T.R., Nicoll, B. and Perks, M. (2009). Stump harvesting: Interim Guidance on site selection and best practice (PDF-905K). Forest Research, UK (18 pp).
Calder, I.R., Harrison, J., Nisbet, T.R. and Smithers, R. (2008). Woodland actions for biodiversity and their role in water management. The Woodland Trust, Lincolnshire (24pp).
Nisbet, T.R., Thomas, H. and Broadmeadow, S.B. (2008). Trees and Water – A Forestry Perspective. Journal of Practical Ecology and Conservation, 7(1): 100-103.
Nisbet, T.R., Orr, H., and Broadmeadow, S.B. (2008). Using woodland for soil protection and sediment control. In Proceedings of the SAC and SEPA Biennial Conference on Land Management in a Changing Environment, Edinburgh, 26-27 March 2008, pp 84-90.
Gagkas, Z., Heal, K., Stuart, N. and Nisbet, T.R. (2006). Forests and Water Guidelines: broadleaf woodlands and the protection of freshwaters in acid-sensitive catchments. In Proceedings of the 9th BHS National Hydrology Symposium, Durham, pp 53-58.
Green, J.C., Reid, I., Calder, I.R., and Nisbet, T.R. (2006). Four-year comparison of water contents beneath a grass ley and a deciduous oak wood overlying Triassic sandstone in lowland England. Journal of Hydrology 329 (1-2), 16-25.
Ireland, D., Nisbet, T.R. and Broadmeadow, S. (2006). Environmental best practice for continuous cover forestry. Environment Agency Science Report: SC020051/SR, 73 pp. Environment Agency, Bristol.
McKay, H.M. and Nisbet, T.R. (2006). Managing diffuse pollution from a forestry perspective. In Proceedings of the SAC and SEPA Biennial Managing Rural Diffuse Pollution Conference, Edinburgh, 5-6 April 2006, pp 144-152.
Nisbet, T.R. (2006). Interactions between floodplain woodland and the freshwater environment. Forest Research Annual Report and Accounts 2004-05, pp 32-39. The Stationary Office, Norwich.
Nisbet, T.R. and Thomas, H. (2006). The role of woodland in flood control – a landscape perspective. In ‘Water and the landscape: the landscape ecology of freshwater ecosystems’. Proceedings of the 14th Annual IALE(UK) Conference, Eds B. Davies & S. Thompson, p118-125. IALE(UK), Oxford.
Thomas, H. and Nisbet, T.R. (2006). An assessment of the impact of floodplain woodland on flood flows. Water and Environment Journal, doi:10.1111/1747-6593.2006.
Wright, K.A.L., Johnes, P.J., Nisbet, T.R. and Sellars, G. (2006). Investigation into best practice for the design and management of successfully engineered wetland habitat systems on brownfield land. In ‘Water and the landscape: the landscape ecology of freshwater ecosystems’. Proceedings of the 14th Annual IALE(UK) Conference, Eds B. Davies & S. Thompson, p248-255. IALE(UK), Oxford.
Barsoum, N., Anderson, R., Broadmeadow, S., Bishop, H. and Nisbet, T. (2005). Development of eco-hydrological guidelines for wet woodland – Phase I. English Nature Research Report 619
Nisbet, T.R. (2005). Water use by trees. Forestry Commission Information Note, FC, Edinburgh
Broadmeadow, S. and Nisbet, T.R. (2004). The effects of riparian forest management on the freshwater environment: a literature review of best management practice. Hydrology and Earth System Science, 8(3): 286-305
Farmer, R.A. and Nisbet, T.R. (2004). An overview of forest management and change with respect to environmental protection in UK. Hydrology & Earth System Sciences 8 (3), 279-285.
Neal, C., Ormerod, S.J., Langan, S.J., Nisbet, T.R. and Roberts, J. (2004). Sustainability of UK forestry: contemporary issues for the protection of freshwaters, a conclusion. Hydrology & Earth System Sciences 8 (3), 589-595.
Nisbet, T., Orr, H., and Broadmeadow, S. (2004). A Guide to using Woodland for Sediment Control. Forest Research, Surrey.
Willoughby, I., Evans, H., Gibbs, J., Pepper, H., Gregory, S., Dewar, J., Nisbet, T., Pratt, J., McKay, H., Siddons, R., Mayle, B., Heritage, S., Ferris, R. and Trout, R. (2004). Reducing pesticide use in forestry. Forestry Commission Practice Guide 15. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
Worrall, F., Harriman, R., Evans, C.D., Watts, C.D., Adamson, J., Neal, C., Tipping, E., Burt, T., Grieve, I., Montieth, D., Naden, P.S., Nisbet, T., Reynolds, B. and Stevens, P. (2004). Trends in dissolved organic carbon in UK rivers and lakes. Biogeochemistry 69 (1), 1-34.
Calder, I.C., Reid, I., Nisbet, T.R. and Green, J.C. (2003). Impact of lowland forests in England on water resources: Application of the Hydrological Land Use Change (HYLUC) model. Water Resources Research 39 (11) 1319-1328.
Nisbet, T.R. (2003). Opportunity mapping for trees and floods. In: Special feature: Forestry, water and flooding. ICF News Issue 1, 4-5.
Nisbet, T.R. and Broadmeadow, S. (2003). Opportunity mapping for trees and floods. Final Report to Parrett Catchment Project Wet Woodland Group. Forest Reesearch, Farnham, 24pp.
Robinson, M., Cognard-Plancq, A.L., Cosandey, C., David, J., Durand, P., Fuhrer, H.W., Hall, R., Hendriques, M.O., Marc, V., McCarthy, R., McDonnell, M., Martin, C., Nisbet, T., O'Dea, P., Rodgers, M. and Zollner, A. (2003). Studies of the impact of forests on peak flows and baseflows: a European perspective. Forest Ecology and Management 186, 85-97.
Birkenshaw, S., Nisbet, T., Parkin, G., Calder, I.R. and Reid, I. (2002). Modelling the effect of a Corsican pine forest on nitrate pollution. Third international conference on water resources and environmental research (ICWRER), July 2002, Dresden, Germany.
Broadmeadow, S. and Nisbet, T. (2002). The effect of riparian forest management on the freshwater environment. SNIFFER (Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research) Report SR(02)06F. Foundation for Water Research, Marlow Bucks. 162 pp.
McKay, H. and Nisbet, T.R. (2002) .Overcoming concerns about the effect of forest management on water resources in Britain. In: International expert meeting on forests and water, Shiga, Japan, 20 to 22 November 2002: proceedings of the meeting. The Government of Japan, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Forestry Agency. International Forestry Cooperation Office, Tokyo, Japan. Pp 210-213.
Nisbet, T.R. (2002). Best management practices for protecting forest watersheds in the UK. Journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry 141, (7), 95-102.
Nisbet, T.R. (2002). Implications of climate change: soil and water. In Climate Change: Impacts on UK Forests (Ed. Mark Broadmeadow), Forestry Commission Bulletin 125. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, pp 53-67.
Nisbet, T.R. and McKay, H. (2002). Sustainable forestry and the protection of water in Great Britain. In: International expert meeting on forests and water, Shiga, Japan, 20 to 22 November 2002: proceedings of the meeting. The Government of Japan, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Forestry Agency. International Forestry Cooperation Office, Tokyo, Japan. Pp 101-112.
Nisbet, T.R., Welch, D. and Doughty, R. (2002). The role of forest management in controlling diffuse pollution from the afforestation and clearfelling of two public water supply catchments in Argyll, West Scotland. Forest Ecology and Management 158, 141-154.
Nisbet, T.R. (2001). The role of forest management in controlling diffuse pollution in UK Forestry. Forest Ecology and Management 143, 215-226.
Nisbet, T.R. (2001). Forestry Operations - A Review of Best Practice Guidance for the Protection of the Freshwater Environment. Environment Agency R&D Technical Report P210. WRc, Swindon, Wilts.
Nisbet, T.R. (2001). Can Forestry Stem the Flood. Forestry & British Timber, June 2001, 18-21.
Robinson, M., David, J., Fuhrer, H., McCarthy, R., Nisbet, T., Rodgers, M. and Zollner, A. (2001). The Impacts of Forestry and Silvicultural Practices upon the Extreme Flows of Rivers (FOREX). Final Report to the EC on Fourth Framework Project FAIR-0235 (1996-2000).
Calder, I.R., Reid, I., Nisbet, T.R., Brainard, J., Green, J. and Walker, D. (2000). Impact of lowland community forests on groundwater resources. In: Proceedings of the British Hydrological Society’s 7th National Hydrology Symposium, June 2000, Newcastle University, Newcastle, pp. 2.83-2.88.