Roslin, United Kingdom
Roslin, United Kingdom

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O'Brien L.,Center for Ecosystems | Morris J.,Center for Ecosystems | Marzano M.,Center for Ecosystems | Dandy N.,Center for Ecosystems | Dandy N.,Plunkett Foundation
Forestry | Year: 2017

Recent UK government policy design has drawn heavily on insights from behavioural sciences, however, engagement with these ideas in the forestry sector has been limited. This article critically reflects on the interface between forest policy and 'behaviour'. After considering what the term 'behaviour' may mean in the forestry context, we draw on a literature review to develop four key principles that can be used to guide forestry interventions seeking behavioural change. These recommend that interventions: (1) are grounded on an understanding of individual's and groups' values and motivations, (2) seek to affect the wider social and physical context of its target groups, (3) adopt a multifaceted approach at various scales and (4) facilitate active involvement by participants in project design and implementation. These principles are then applied to the analysis of four UK forestry case studies. We conclude that forestry interventions have affected behaviours but without explicitly linking them to 'behavioural' discourses. Furthermore, robust monitoring and evaluation to track behaviour change is currently lacking. We argue that the principles we have developed can be used in forest programme design to ensure that participatory processes, monitoring and evaluation criteria and adequate periods for reflection are built into interventions. © Institute of Chartered Foresters, 2016. All rights reserved.


Ray D.,Center for Ecosystems | Bathgate S.,Center for Sustainable Forestry and Climate Change | Moseley D.,Center for Ecosystems | Taylor P.,Center for Ecosystems | And 3 more authors.
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2015

To compare the provision of ecosystem services in plantation forests under alternative climate change adaptation management trajectories, we interpolated climatic variables from the UK 11-member regional climate models to use at high resolution in forest management situations. We used expert opinion to derive the links between coarse-scaled UK National Ecosystem Assessment scenarios and forest management alternatives (FMA) in a simulation of forest planning and management under climate change uncertainty. Nine indicators were used to compare the provision of forest ecosystem services from four alternative management trajectories based on FMA types under a changing climate. These show that by 2080 a ‘business as usual’ form of forest management at both Clocaenog and Gwydyr forests will become unsuitable under the two warmest and driest climate variants, marginal under four variants, and borderline suitable under the remaining five variants. This implies that if future forest policy requires the continued delivery of a wide range of ecosystem services, including, home grown timber, biodiversity, and the carbon mitigation benefit from woodlands, then there is 20–50 % chance of failing to deliver on some of these services, unless some adaptation measures to climatic impacts occurs, such as transformation to more diverse species forests managed using low-impact silviculture systems. We show that the benefits of achieving this will be to minimise most of the impacts that climate change would otherwise have on the delivery of ecosystem services from forests. © 2014, The Author(s).


Barsoum N.,Center for Ecosystems | Fuller L.,University College Cork | Ashwood F.,Center for Ecosystems | Reed K.,Center for Ecosystems | And 2 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2014

A mixed tree species composition is frequently proposed as a way to increase habitat heterogeneity and support greater biodiversity in commercial forests. However, although international forest policy is increasingly advocating stands of mixed tree species, there is evidence to question the biodiversity benefits conferred by such forests. Using active ground-dwelling spiders and carabid beetles as biodiversity indicator taxa, we investigated the effect of forest stand composition on spider and carabid beetle community structure and composition. We conducted pitfall trapping in the summer of 2011 in 42 plantation forest stands across three different geographical regions in the UK and Ireland. Three common plantation forest stand types were examined: oak monocultures, Scots pine monocultures, and intimate Scots pine and oak mixtures (oak ≤60% cover). Forest stand type had a weak effect on spider and beetle species richness, with no significant differences in mixed stands compared with monocultures. There were few differences in species composition between the stand types in each region and indicator species analysis found few species specifically affiliated with any of the forest stand types. Land use history is hypothesised to have contributed, at least in part, to the observed important regional differences in spider and beetle assemblages. Our results do not support the perception that intimate mixtures of dominant tree species benefit biodiversity in plantation forest stands. Further research is required to determine the optimum percentages and planting patterns required for mixtures of canopy tree species in order to support forest biodiversity. © 2013.


PubMed | NO 1431 As, Copenhagen University, Research Institute for Nature and Forest INBO, Center for Ecosystems and 11 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental monitoring and assessment | Year: 2016

Spatially explicit knowledge of recent and past soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in forests will improve our understanding of the effect of human- and non-human-induced changes on forest C fluxes. For SOC accounting, a minimum detectable difference must be defined in order to adequately determine temporal changes and spatial differences in SOC. This requires sufficiently detailed data to predict SOC stocks at appropriate scales within the required accuracy so that only significant changes are accounted for. When designing sampling campaigns, taking into account factors influencing SOC spatial and temporal distribution (such as soil type, topography, climate and vegetation) are needed to optimise sampling depths and numbers of samples, thereby ensuring that samples accurately reflect the distribution of SOC at a site. Furthermore, the appropriate scales related to the research question need to be defined: profile, plot, forests, catchment, national or wider. Scaling up SOC stocks from point sample to landscape unit is challenging, and thus requires reliable baseline data. Knowledge of the associated uncertainties related to SOC measures at each particular scale and how to reduce them is crucial for assessing SOC stocks with the highest possible accuracy at each scale. This review identifies where potential sources of errors and uncertainties related to forest SOC stock estimation occur at five different scales-sample, profile, plot, landscape/regional and European. Recommendations are also provided on how to reduce forest SOC uncertainties and increase efficiency of SOC assessment at each scale.


Sands R.J.,University of Manchester | Sands R.J.,University of Southampton | Sands R.J.,Center for Ecosystems | Rowntree J.K.,University of Manchester
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Wildflower mixes are often planted around field margins to provide forage for pollinators. Although seed for these mixtures is often wild-sourced, for species where agricultural cultivars are available, for example red clover (Trifolium pratense), cultivars can also be included. Previous evidence suggests that plant genetic background can have a strong influence on plant-arthropod interactions and therefore the provenance and genetic background of the plants included in wildflower mixes could impact plant-pollinator interactions. We tested the performance of five individual T. pratense cultivars against two commercially available wild-sourced T. pratense populations in terms of their ability to attract potential pollinator species (focusing on bumblebees) and their floral traits using greenhouse and garden experiments. The main bumblebee observed interacting with T. pratense was Bombus pascuorum and we found no difference in the absolute number of B. pascuorum visiting the cultivars or wild populations. However, we found variation among cultivars and between wild populations in their ability to attract bumblebees, which seems to be related to their relative investment in different floral traits. There was a positive relationship between biomass and number of inflorescences produced by the wild populations of T. pratense, which was not apparent for the cultivars. This suggests that artificial selection on the cultivars has changed the G-matrix of correlated traits. We show that agricultural cultivars of T. pratense can be as effective as wild populations at attracting pollinators such as bumblebees, but that the genetic background of both cultivars and wild populations can have a significant impact on the attractiveness of the plant to pollinators. We also show divergence in the correlated traits of T. pratense cultivars and wild populations that could lead to outbreeding depression if the plants interbreed. © 2016 Sands, Rowntree. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Nowell R.W.,Park University | Laue B.E.,Center for Ecosystems | Sharp P.M.,University of EdinburghEdinburgh 9 3 UK | Green S.,Center for Ecosystems
Molecular Plant Pathology | Year: 2016

The diversification of lineages within Pseudomonas syringae has involved a number of adaptive shifts from herbaceous hosts onto various species of tree, resulting in the emergence of highly destructive diseases such as bacterial canker of kiwi and bleeding canker of horse chestnut. This diversification has involved a high level of gene gain and loss, and these processes are likely to play major roles in the adaptation of individual lineages onto their host plants. In order to better understand the evolution of P. syringae onto woody plants, we have generated de novo genome sequences for 26 strains from the P. syringae species complex that are pathogenic on a range of woody species, and have looked for statistically significant associations between gene presence and host type (i.e. woody or herbaceous) across a phylogeny of 64 strains. We have found evidence for a common set of genes associated with strains that are able to colonize woody plants, suggesting that divergent lineages have acquired similarities in genome composition that may form the genetic basis of their adaptation to woody hosts. We also describe in detail the gain, loss and rearrangement of specific loci that may be functionally important in facilitating this adaptive shift. Overall, our analyses allow for a greater understanding of how gene gain and loss may contribute to adaptation in P. syringae. © 2016 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.


Spake R.,University of Southampton | Barsoum N.,Center for Ecosystems | Newton A.C.,Bournemouth University | Doncaster C.P.,University of Southampton
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2016

Functional diversity (FD) is increasingly used as a metric to evaluate the impact of forest management strategies on ecosystem functioning. Management interventions that aim to maximise FD require knowledge of multiple environmental drivers of FD, which have not been studied to date in temperate coniferous production forests. We quantified the relative importance of abiotic (forest management) and biotic (ground vegetation community) drivers of carabid FD and trait distribution in 44 coniferous plantation forest stands across the UK. Carabid FD declined with canopy cover and carabid body length correlated negatively with the percentage of open semi-natural area surrounding a plot. We conclude that forest management could enhance carabid FD through initiatives that emulate natural disturbance regimes through gap creation. We found that neither functional nor taxonomic metrics of vegetation diversity correlated with carabid FD, suggesting that restoration of plant communities, a major goal of forest restoration efforts, will not necessarily enhance carabid FD in coniferous plantations. © 2015 The Authors.


Beal E.J.,Plant science | Henricot B.,Plant science | Peace A.J.,Center for Ecosystems | Waghorn I.A.G.,Plant science | Denton J.O.,Plant science
Forest Pathology | Year: 2015

The effect of allicin (a stabilized garlic extract product) at five different concentrations (0, 20, 30, 50 and 100 mg/l) was studied in vitro on the growth rate of 100 isolates of Armillaria gallica and A. mellea. Isolates were obtained from 41 host genera growing in gardens located in 39 counties in the United Kingdom. Agar plugs of the actively growing Armillaria isolates were added to the centre of malt agar plates infused with allicin, and radial mycelium growth was measured on days 7, 14 and 21. The total number of rhizomorphs and length of rhizomorphs were also measured. Relative growth rates were calculated as the growth rate relative to the controls (0 mg/ l). The relative growth of each isolate at each allicin concentration was used to estimate EC50 values for A. mellea and A. gallica populations as well as individual isolates. EC50 values for both Armillaria spp. increased over time. The mean EC50 values for A. mellea of 16.0, 26.4 and 102 mg/l (days 7, 14 and 21, respectively) were higher than those for A. gallica (8.8, 7.9 and 11.0 mg/l) and probably relate to the more aggressive nature of A. mellea. Isolates with higher EC50 values were also more likely to produce more rhizomorphs. At allicin concentrations of 20 and 30 mg/l, the production of rhizomorphs and the growth rates of A. mellea isolates were stimulated, when compared to the control treatments. From this study's findings, it appears that the field use potential of allicin is limited, due to better inhibition of the less virulent A. gallica, than the more aggressive A. mellea. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Beal E.J.,Plant science The Royal Horticultural Society RHS Garden Wisley Woking Surrey | Henricot B.,Plant science The Royal Horticultural Society RHS Garden Wisley Woking Surrey | Peace A.J.,Center for Ecosystems | Waghorn I.A.G.,Plant science The Royal Horticultural Society RHS Garden Wisley Woking Surrey | Denton J.O.,Plant science The Royal Horticultural Society RHS Garden Wisley Woking Surrey
Forest Pathology | Year: 2015

The effect of allicin (a stabilized garlic extract product) at five different concentrations (0, 20, 30, 50 and 100 mg/l) was studied in vitro on the growth rate of 100 isolates of Armillaria gallica and A. mellea. Isolates were obtained from 41 host genera growing in gardens located in 39 counties in the United Kingdom. Agar plugs of the actively growing Armillaria isolates were added to the centre of malt agar plates infused with allicin, and radial mycelium growth was measured on days 7, 14 and 21. The total number of rhizomorphs and length of rhizomorphs were also measured. Relative growth rates were calculated as the growth rate relative to the controls (0 mg/ l). The relative growth of each isolate at each allicin concentration was used to estimate EC50 values for A. mellea and A. gallica populations as well as individual isolates. EC50 values for both Armillaria spp. increased over time. The mean EC50 values for A. mellea of 16.0, 26.4 and 102 mg/l (days 7, 14 and 21, respectively) were higher than those for A. gallica (8.8, 7.9 and 11.0 mg/l) and probably relate to the more aggressive nature of A. mellea. Isolates with higher EC50 values were also more likely to produce more rhizomorphs. At allicin concentrations of 20 and 30 mg/l, the production of rhizomorphs and the growth rates of A. mellea isolates were stimulated, when compared to the control treatments. From this study's findings, it appears that the field use potential of allicin is limited, due to better inhibition of the less virulent A. gallica, than the more aggressive A. mellea. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Green S.,Center for Ecosystems | Elliot M.,Center for Ecosystems | Armstrong A.,Center for Ecosystems | Hendry S.J.,Center for Ecosystems
Plant Pathology | Year: 2015

From 2011 to 2013, Phytophthora austrocedrae was isolated from diseased Juniperus communis exhibiting dieback and mortality at eight geographically separate sites in Scotland and northern England. The pathogen was also confirmed present either by standard PCR of the ITS locus and sequencing or by real-time PCR on J. communis with symptoms at a further 11 sites in northern Britain. Out of 167 J. communis sampled across the 19 sites, 154 had foliage dieback over all or part of the crown as a result of basal lesions, which extended up the stem. Thirteen sampled trees had aerial branch lesions or discrete stem lesions with no apparent connection to the base of the tree. At 13 sites, dieback was concentrated in areas of poor drainage and/or alongside streams and other watercourses. In artificial inoculation experiments, P. austrocedrae caused rapidly extending stem and root lesions on J. communis and was reisolated from these lesions. Lesions also developed on Chamaecyparis lawsoniana and Chamaecyparis nootkatensis but the pathogen was not reisolated. All P. austrocedrae isolates obtained from J. communis in Britain shared 100% identity across the ITS locus but were distinct at one sequence position from P. austrocedrae isolates collected in Argentina from diseased Austrocedrus chilensis. This study provides clear evidence that P. austrocedrae is a primary pathogen of J. communis and now presents a significant threat to this species in Britain. Pathways for the emergence of P. austrocedrae in Britain, and possible ways in which the pathogen may have spread within the country, are discussed. © 2014 British Society for Plant Pathology.

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