Forest Research photo scoops top prize in European competition

An unusual picture, taken from the top of Forest Research's 26-metre (85-feet) carbon dioxide flux tower, has scooped first prize in a Europe-wide photographic competition.

View from the Flux tower

The picture won Forest Research a competition to illustrate scientific research that contributes to Europe’s ‘bio-economy’. The bio-economy comprises industries and businesses which are based on living materials, such as the food, agriculture, forestry, biotechnology and marine sectors.

The competition was held as part of the international ‘Bio-economy Impact 2016’ conference in Dublin, Ireland today. (Thurs 11 Feb)

The photograph was taken by a ‘phenocam’ which has been mounted on the tower since 2009. It takes pictures looking down on the forest every 30 minutes during daylight hours to record seasonal and cyclical changes in the forest. By studying the photos, scientists at Forest Research’s Alice Holt Research Station, which is sited in the forest, can see how factors such as the changing climate affect key phenological events such as the timing of bud burst in spring and the onset of autumn colour.

Scientist Matthew Wilkinson, who leads the research and submitted the winning photo, said,

”As well as providing stunning images, the pictures we take provide vital evidence to help us understand how forests and woodlands respond to climate change.”

Mr Wilkinson and his colleagues in the climate change research team plan to donate the 500-euro prize to a local charity.

The short-listed and winning pictures can be seen on the CommBeBiz website.