James Morison, BSc, PhD

Climate Change Group Leader

James Morison

Email: james.morison@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5600
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5690
Fax: +44 (0)1420 520180

Forest Research
Alice Holt Lodge
Surrey GU10 4LH

James joined Forest Research in 2008. He has worked for over 30 years on the impact of climate change on plant growth and water use, and on the carbon, water and greenhouse gas balances of vegetation. He previously worked at the universities of Essex (1995-2007) and Reading (1985-1994).  

Current role

Climate Change Science Group Leader

James leads the work of the Climate Change Science Group which spans research and knowledge exchange on climate change impacts on trees, woodlands and forests, adaptation measures and forestry’s mitigation contributions. In developing our understanding of forest C and GHG balance, he works with the results from FR’s long-term measurement site at Alice Holt, and Harwood Forest. He advices on climate change impacts on, and adaptation measures for, forestry. He has contributed to the UK Climate Change Risk Assessments in 2012 and 2017, and co-chaired the LWEC Report Card on the Climate Change Impacts on UK Agriculture and Forestry (2017).

Current projects

‘Assessing Resilience’ Programme
Work package leader for ‘Quantifying Changes to Resilience’, which includes much of our measurement and analysis programme on stand-scale carbon and GHG balance. Also working on climate change risk assessment.

‘Valuing Ecosystem Services’ Programme
Research on including the wider range of impacts that tree planting and woodland creation can have on the climate into assessments.

‘Delivering Resilient Forests’ Programme
Research and advice on adaptation measures

Coordinating FR input through the Harwood Forest C & GHG balance project.

ClimateXChange project
Coordinator of FR work, and member of project Directorate, linking climate change research and policy needs for Scottish Government and agencies.

Affiliations and responsibilities

  • Member of the Royal Meteorological Society
  • Member of the Society for Experimental Biology
  • Member of the British Ecological Society

Recent publications and knowledge exchange activities

Peer reviewed journal articles

Wilkinson, M., Eaton, E.L. and Morison, J.I.L. (2016). Variation in the date of budburst in Quercus robur and Q. petraea across a range of provenances grown in Southern England. European Journal of Forest Research doi:10.1007/s10342-016-0998-z

Pinnington, E.M., Casella, E., Dance, S.L., Lawless, A. S., Morison, J.I.L., Nichols, N.K., Wilkinson, M. and Quaife, T.L. (2016). Investigating the role of prior and observation error correlations in improving a model forecast for forest carbon balance using Four-dimensional Variational data assimilation. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 228: 299-314.  doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2016.07.006.

Wingate, L., Ogée, J., Cremonese, E., Filippa, G., Mizunuma, T., Migliavacca, M., Moisy, C., Wilkinson, M., Moureaux, C., Wohlfahrt, G., Hammerle, A., Hörtnagl, L., Gimeno, C., Porcar-Castell, A., Galvagno, M., Nakaji, T., Morison, J. Kolle, O., Knohl, A., Kutsch, W., Kolari, P., Nikinmaa, E., Ibrom, A., Gielen, B., Eugster, W., Balzarolo, M., Papale, D., Klumpp, K., Köstner, B., Grünwald, T., Joffre, R., Ourcival, J.-M., Hellstrom, M., Lindroth, A., George, C., Longdoz, B., Genty, B., Levula, J., Heinesch, B., Sprintsin, A., Yakir, D., Manise, T., Guyon, D., Ahrends, H., Plaza-Aguilar, A., Guan, J. H. and J. Grace (2015). Interpreting canopy development and physiology using a European phenology camera network at flux sites. Biogeosciences 12: 5995-6015.

Wilkinson, M., Crow, P., Eaton, E.L. and Morison, J.I.L. (2015). Effects of management thinning on CO2 exchange by a plantation oak woodland in south-eastern England. Biogeosciences Discussions 12: 16197-16232. doi: 10.5194/bgd-12-16197-2015.

D'Odorico, P., Gonsamo, A., Gough, C.M., Bohrer, G., Morison, J., Wilkinson, M., Hanson, P.J., Gianelle, D., Fuentes, J.D. and Buchmann, N. (2015). The match and mismatch between photosynthesis and land surface phenology of deciduous forests. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 214-15: 25-38.

Ward, H.C., Kotthaus, S., Grimmond, C.S.B., Bjorkegren, A., Wilkinson, M., Morrison, W.T.J., Evans, J.G., Morison, J.I.L. and Iamarino, M. (2015). Effects of urban density on carbon dioxide exchanges: observations of dense urban, suburban and woodland areas of southern England. Environmental Pollution 198: 186-200.

Barsoum, N., Eaton, E.L., Levanič, T., Pargade, J., Bonnart, X. and Morison J.I.L. (2015). Climatic drivers of oak growth over the past one hundred years in mixed and monoculture stands in southern England and northern France. European Journal of Forest Research 134: 33-51. doi: 10.1007/s10342-014-0831-5.

Harris, Z., McNamara, N.P., Rowe, R., Dondini, M., Finch, J., Perks, M., Morison, J.,  Donnison, I., Farrar, K., Sohi, S., Ineson, P., Smith, P. and Taylor, G. (2014). The ELUM Project: Ecosystem Land Use Modelling & Soil Carbon GHG Flux Trial. Biofuels 5: 111-116.

Wang, S., Hastings, A., Wang, S., Sunnenberg, G., Tallis, M. J., Casella, E., Taylor, S., Alexander, P., Cisowska, I., Lovett, A., Taylor, G., Firth, S., Moran, D., Morison, J. and Smith, P. (2014). The potential for bioenergy crops to contribute to meeting GB heat and electricity demands. GCB Bioenergy 6: 136–141. doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12123

Viger, M., Rodriguez-Acosta, M.,  Rae, A.M.,  Morison, J.I.L. and Taylor, G. (2013). Toward improved drought tolerance in bioenergy crops: QTL for carbon isotope composition and stomatal conductance in Populus. Food and Energy Security 2: 220-239. Article first published online: 3 DEC 2013, DOI: 10.1002/fes3.39

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. doi: 10.1111/sum.12025.

Mizunuma T., Wilkinson M., Eaton, E.L, Mencuccini, M., Morison, J.I.L. and Grace, J. (2013). The relationship between carbon dioxide uptake and canopy colour from two camera systems in a deciduous forest in southern England. Functional Ecology 27: 196-207.,doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12026.

Tallis M.J., Casella E., Henshall P.A., Aylott M.J., Randle T.J., Morison J.I.L. and Taylor G. (2013). Development and evaluation of ForestGrowth-SRC a process-based model for short rotation coppice yield and spatial supply at a national scale. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 5: 53-66.

Stokes V.J., Morecroft M.D. and Morison J.I.L. (2010). Comparison of leaf water use efficiency of oak and sycamore in the canopy over two growing seasons. Trees – Structure and Function 24: 297-306.

Book and book chapters (including published conference proceedings)

Grace, J.,  Morison, J. & Perks, M. (2013) Forests, Forestry and Climate Change, Chap 10 in Challenges and Opportunities for the World's Forests in the 21st Century, T. Fenning, (Ed). Forest Sciences, Vol. 81, Springer., DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-7076-8_1

FC and FR publications including official statistics

Morison, J., Matthews, R., Miller, G., Perks, M., Randle, T., Vanguelova, E., White, M. and Yamulki, S. (2012). Understanding the carbon and greenhouse gas balance of forests in Britain (PDF-7422K). Forestry Commission Research Report 18. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. i–vi + 1–149 pp.

Vanguelova, E., Broadmeadow, S., Anderson, R., Yamulki, S., Randle, T., Nisbet, T. & Morison, J. (2012) A Strategic Assessment of the Afforested Peat Resource in Wales. Report for Forestry Commission Wales, Project No. 480.CY.00075, October 2012., 141 pp.

Morison, J.I.L., Vanguelova, E., Broadmeadow, S., Perks, M., Yamulki, S. and Randle, T. (2010). Understanding the GHG implications of forestry on peat soils in Scotland (PDF-2140K). Report for Forestry Commission Scotland, October 2010, Forest Research, 56pp.

Forestry Commission (2011). Forests and Climate Change. UK Forestry Standard Guidelines. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. i–iv + 1–68 pp. ISBN 978-0-85538-832-4. (member of drafting panel).

Ray, D. Morison, J. and Broadmeadow, M. (2010).  Climate change: impacts and adaptation in England’s woodlands (PDF-1920K) . Forestry Commission (England), Research Note FCRN 201, 16pp. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Contract and project reports – excluding any which are commercially confidential

Morison, J. I. L. and Matthews, R. B. (eds.) (2016): Agriculture and Forestry Climate Change Impacts Summary Report, Living With Environmental Change. 24pp, ISBN 978-0-9934074-0-6, and associated technical papers, http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/partnerships/ride/lwec/report-cards/

Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report, 2016. Contributing author for Chapter 3, “Natural Environment and Natural Assets”, lead author Iain Brown. Published July 2016, c. 200pp. https://www.theccc.org.uk/uk-climate-change-risk-assessment-2017/ccra-chapters/natural-environment-and-natural-assets/

ECI, HRW, Climate Resilience and Forest Research (2013) Assessing preparedness of England’s natural resources for a changing climate: exploring trends in vulnerability to climate change using indicators. Final Report to the Adaptation Sub-Committee, June 2013. (contribution to forestry section).  https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/managing-the-land-in-a-changing-climate/

Morison, J.I.L. (2012) Afforested Peatland Restoration. “Enquiry Response” for ClimateXChange, Scotland. Edinburgh, 8pp. http://www.climatexchange.org.uk/reducing-emissions/carbon-benefits-peatland-restoration/

Moffat, A.J., Morison, J.I.L., Nicoll, B. and Bain, V. (2012).  Climate Change Risk Assessment for the Forestry Sector. Defra, London. 182pp.  http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climate/government/

Trade journal and newsletter articles

Vanguelova, E.,  Morison J., Nisbet, T. & Martin, S. (2015) Taking stock of forest soil carbon. Forestry & Timber News, August 2015.

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

Hemery, G. & Morison J. (2011). The science behind the OneOak project. Chartered Forester. Winter 2010, p. 12-14.

Scientific conferences: presentations or posters

Freer-Smith, P. & Morison, J.I.L. (2016) Climate change and the sustainable intensification of planted forests. Presentation to: International Scientific Seminar on Sustainable Intensification of Planted Forests: how far can we go?; EFI Atlantic/IUFRO, IEFC,  Biarritz, 13th June 2016.

Morison, J.I.L., Moffat A.J. & Gazzard R. (2014) Addressing the risks from climate change, particularly wildfire. Presentation to: Improving forest resilience, ICF SE Regional Conference, 27th November 2014, Windsor.

Grace J, & Morison, J.I.L. (2012) Sitka spruce as a sink for carbon dioxide. Presentation to:  Managing forests for ecosystem services: can spruce forests show the way? IUFRO, Edinburgh, October 8th -11th 2012.

Morison, J.I.L. (2012) The possible contribution of trees, woods and forests to the UK GHG balance. Presentation to: CARBiFOR II Stakeholder meeting, 4th September, Dublin.