Seminar To Consider The Role Of Trees In Reducing Greenhouse Gases

The role of forests in helping the UK to meet greenhouse gas emission targets was highlighted at a seminar at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute on 3rd March 2010.

Growing trees have the potential to make a significant contribution to meeting the UK’s challenging emissions reduction targets as they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. This is leading to increased government support for woodland expansion. However, land use change presents a number of risks to soil and water that could threaten sustainable forest management.

Dr Tom Nisbet, Programme Manager, Centre for Forestry and Climate Change, Surrey discussed this topic at his seminar "Woodland creation for a low carbon world: water benefits and trade-offs" which focussed on the potential impacts on water quality and quantity, as well as considering opportunities for new woodlands to aid water and flood management.

Dr Nisbet said, "The role of forests in greenhouse gas emissions is widely recognised, however we must consider the management of forests and their potential effects on water. Well designed and managed forests help to protect water and the wide range of flora and fauna that depend on this important habitat. In contrast, poor planning and management can contribute to water shortages, local flooding and water pollution."

The seminar took place at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen.

Dr Tom Nisbet is the Programme Manager at the Centre for Forestry and Climate Change in Surrey. He obtained a joint honours 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.

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 effectiveness of best management practices in protecting and enhancing the freshwater environment within forests. 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.

This presentation is part of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute's 2010 Spring Seminar Programme.

Published on 02 March 2010 in Climate, water and energy