Long term ecological research

The School has an extensive portfolio of long-term ecological research sites in the vicinity of Bangor and around the world. These are designed to monitor long-term ecosystem dynamics (natural and as modified by climate change, pollution and other factors) as well as the impacts of experimental treatments.

They represent a valuable resource for future environmental research.
In summary:

  1. Natural forests
    • 27 forest sample plots and 26 tree fall gap plots in Coed Dolgarrog (Wales's largest and most diverse woodland National Nature Reserve), established in 1998 and 2000 respectively, and maintained in collaboration with the Countryside Council for Wales.
    • The woodland Aber National Nature Reserve, which is a component of the SENRGY Centre for Hill and Upland Management is an important habitat for BAP lichen, insect and bird species. SENRGY is collaborating with CCW in a range of long-term ecological monitoring programmes.
    • Three control and three tree-fall gap permanent sample plots in montane tropical rain forest in Jamaica subject to hurricane disturbance, established in 1986.
    • Two long-term experiments in areas of Jamaican montane tropical rainforests invaded heavily and lightly by the Australian tree species Pittosporum undulatum. In a network of replicated plots we are comparing the composition and dynamics of forests from which the invasive species has been excluded, allowed to invade and subject to short-term control measures - established 1990-1995. More information
    • Six permanent sample plots in logged and six in unlogged lowland tropical rainforest in the Maquenque area of northern Costa Rica, established in 2005. More information
    • Long term experimental sites in lower and middle taiga forests in Russia. These sites have never been logged or managed and represent unique baseline sites. The sites are used compare the effects of pollution and logging on taiga forest ecosystems.
  2. Plantation forests
    • Conifer plantation forests undergoing conversion to Continuous Cover Forestry in north and mid-Wales at Gwydir Forest, Coed y Brenin, Clocaenog Forest, Trallwm.
    • Bangor-FACE, an experiment to test the above- and below-ground impacts of elevated CO2 on establishing stands of contrasting mixtures of three tree species. More information
  3. Silvopastoral agroforestry
    • Henfaes silvopastoral experiment
    • Multistrata experiment - a 30 ha site in Colombia where different combinations of shrubs, fruit and fodder supplying and timber trees are grown in cattle pasture
  4. Post-industrial land restoration
    • Long-term experiments into the establishment of six tree and shrub species with alternative substrate amendments to increase water and nutrient availability on slate quarry waste tips. More information

Baseline field data

In addition, the school has data sets from past field research projects carried out in a wide range of habitats around the world. Whilst the field plots have not subsequently been maintained for precise monitoring, they have good potential for re-recording to compare with the existing baseline data in order to assess environmental change. Examples include:

  • Secondary forest, hillslope contour hedgerow and tree species trial plots in Jamaica
  • Disturbance impacts on dry limestone forests in Jamaica
  • Community composition of limestone forests along a rainfall gradient in Jamaica
  • Ancient forests conserved in the grounds of 38 churches and monasteries of the Ethiopia Orthodox church; a valuable resource for biodiversity conservation distributed across the Ethiopian highlands. More information
  • Primary succession on lava flows, secondary forest fallow and tree harvesting sites in Cameroon
  • Productivity of high level value tree species in secondary forest fallows in Cameroon
  • Alpine tree-line forests in Italy
  • Forest regeneration in old-fields in Thailand
  • Regeneration in miombo woodland in Tanzania. More information is available on the I-TOO web-site.
  • Impact of harvesting of non-timber forest products and of slash and burn agriculture on tropical rain forest in Madagascar
  • Population dynamics of tree species in sub-tropical moist forest in Argentina
  • Ground flora plots in atlantic oak woodland in a trial of contrasting grazing regimes in Nant Gwynant, Snowdonia
  • Natural regeneration of trees in bracken dominated upland sites in the Aber valley and on Conwy Mountain
  • A range of monitoring data and trials of trees, shrubs and heathland vegetation established during the restoration of slate waste tips using a diversity of contrasting methods. More information

If you are interested in finding out more about any of these sites, please contact Michelle Jones in the first instance.