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Assessing and addressing the impacts of ash dieback on UK woodlands and trees of conservation importance (Phase 2) - TH0139

Description
Background

The report “Ash dieback: impacts on other species and understanding of the ecology of ash” assessed the role of ash as a host tree to a number of other species groups (lichens, invertebrates, birds etc.), and assessed the ecological functions of ash. It also compared the traits of ash to a range of traits found in other (mainly UK native) trees, which may over time fill the gaps left by any ash which dies as a result of Chalara infection. The report examined whether the species dependent on ash could survive on these other tree species, thus assessing the degree of similarity of these other tree species to ash. It then identified a range of woodland management scenarios likely to follow ash dieback and assessed how different species groups would fare under each scenario.

Objectives

Natural England would now like to extend this work to cover the following tasks, with indications given in the tender document about the number of days they would like the contractors to spend on each task:
1. Assess whether the ash-associated species identified in Phase 1 use the 28 alternative tree species (listed below).
2. Undertake a ‘traits analysis’ of these 28 alternative tree species.
3. Examine the ecological function of 11 tree species likely to replace ash and assess how they might affect woodland ecosystems if they became more prevalent (compared with the current ‘niche’/functions of ash).
4. Develop two additional management scenarios to cover ‘thinning’ and ‘felling with natural regeneration’, including higher proportions of ash and implications of some level of resistance to Chalara amongst the ash population.
5. Assess the implication of these management scenarios on obligate and highly-associated species
6. Development of 15 cases studies showing how existing management plans may be adapted if ash dieback arrives at these sites. The case studies will provide worked examples of how the information provided in this and the previous project can be used to inform management choices at a site level.
7. Develop a simple front end to the database to enable woodland managers & decision makers to access the information and link this with other relevant research and guidance.
8. Organise a one-day workshop to discuss management options with site managers and the Steering Group and to present the front end of the database.
9. Oversee and arrange for peer-review of the project report.
Objective
Objectives

Natural England would now like to extend this work to cover the following tasks, with indications given in the tender document about the number of days they would like the contractors to spend on each task:
1. Assess whether the ash-associated species identified in Phase 1 use the 28 alternative tree species (listed below).
2. Undertake a ‘traits analysis’ of these 28 alternative tree species.
3. Examine the ecological function of 11 tree species likely to replace ash and assess how they might affect woodland ecosystems if they became more prevalent (compared with the current ‘niche’/functions of ash).
4. Develop two additional management scenarios to cover ‘thinning’ and ‘felling with natural regeneration’, including higher proportions of ash and implications of some level of resistance to Chalara amongst the ash population.
5. Assess the implication of these management scenarios on obligate and highly-associated species
6. Development of 15 cases studies showing how existing management plans may be adapted if ash dieback arrives at these sites. The case studies will provide worked examples of how the information provided in this and the previous project can be used to inform management choices at a site level.
7. Develop a simple front end to the database to enable woodland managers & decision makers to access the information and link this with other relevant research and guidance.
8. Organise a one-day workshop to discuss management options with site managers and the Steering Group and to present the front end of the database.
9. Oversee and arrange for peer-review of the project report.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2014

Cost: £63,906
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Natural England
Keywords
Trees