Dr Kris Hart explains some of the incredible ongoing research activities at the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiment. Kris is the BIFoR Operations Manager.
"The dynamic response of forests to environmental change, including climate change, is only partially understood. To increase understanding, we have built a Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiment, set in mature, unmanaged, temperate woodland. It is located on private land in Staffordshire (about a 1-hour drive from the main University campus).
BIFoR FACE is a so-called ‘second generation’ forest FACE site. After a ‘first generation’ of forest FACE experiments had built our knowledge base on how young forest plantations are affected by increasing atmospheric CO2, the scientific community has long argued the urgent need for upscaled experiments in mature, complex forest ecosystems. BIFoR-FACE is only the second such facility worldwide, and the only one in the Northern Hemisphere. Recently recognised with awards for its sensitive construction and low-impact integration into the existing woodland, the facility will enable the much needed real world experiment to improve our climate projections and evaluate risks to forest ecosystems and the services they provide."