How does large scale native woodland restoration affect

Lead Research Organisation: University of Stirling
Department Name: Biological and Environmental Sciences


How does large scale native woodland
restoration affect biodiversity?
Understanding the ecological impacts of woodland
expansion is crucial for ensuring that the
environmental, social and economic aims of the
underlying land management policies are reconciled. In
the UK, considerable native woodland creation on
open upland moorland is expected over coming
decades through governmental and non-governmental
initiatives. This is predicted to benefit woodland birds
of conservation importance, but impact negatively on
moorland species, which are themselves also of
conservation importance. Negative impacts may occur
through habitat replacement and woodland edgeeffects
on remaining open ground, including avoidance
of trees and increased predation pressure. However,
our knowledge of such edge-effects is derived from
non-native coniferous woodland; there is little
ecological understanding of whether similar effects
result from native woodland, and such information is of
critical policy importance.
Specific questions to address are:
1. How does the abundance and species richness of
woodland and moorland bird communities vary in
relation to the configuration, proximity and
characteristics of upland native woodland?
2. How is the abundance and movement of predators
influenced by different configurations of native
woodland and open ground?
3. How does native woodland expansion in the
uplands affect the demographics of a key bird
species of open ground?
4. Can the impacts of woodland creation on birds be
predicted nationally, by combining site-specific data
on densities and diversities with national bird
distribution data and targeting maps for woodland creation?


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/N009010/1 01/10/2016 30/03/2021
1808946 Studentship NE/N009010/1 01/10/2016 31/05/2022 Eilidh McNab