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Ash dieback and associated vegetation changes in the coppice of Bradfield Woods.

Fuller, R., Casey, D., Melin, M. and Hill, R., 2019. Ash dieback and associated vegetation changes in the coppice of Bradfield Woods. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 113 (2), 102 - 108.

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Abstract

In Britain, ‘Chalara dieback’ (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) was first confirmed in native ash in autumn 2012. Within just five years it has become widespread across the country and severe impacts are now evident in some woods. This article describes some of the changes occurring in Bradfield Woods National Nature Reserve (TL933575) as a result of the disease. The wood has a documented history of coppicing stretching back to the 13th century (Rackham, 2003). The wood is managed by Suffolk Wildlife Trust and, in addition to its function as a nature reserve, acts as a demonstration site for other woodland owners and managers. Approximately 90% of the area is managed as coppice with standards. The coppice is cut on approximately a 25 year rotation with much of the wood sold for firewood. The main coppice species are ash (Fraxineus excelsior), hazel (Corylus avellana), alder (Alnus glutinosa), birch (Betula spp.), sallow (Salix spp.) and field maple (Acer campestre). Ash contributes up to 40% of the coppice stools in individual coppice coupes (Fuller & Rothery, 2013) and many of the stools are ancient with massive woody bases. Ash dieback clearly has the potential to drive enormous changes in the canopy and understorey structures of the wood, as well as altering the tree species composition. Developing an understanding of how the wood responds to the disease will help to inform future management decisions both at Bradfield Woods and other ancient mixed coppiced woods.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0033-5568
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:32709
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:04 Sep 2019 16:11
Last Modified:04 Sep 2019 16:34

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