The carbon dynamics and phenology of oak woodland growing in south-east England

  • Matthew Wilkinson

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The following commentary presents original scientific research and peer reviewed publications submitted for evaluation for the award of PhD by Publication. The central theme for these publications is ‘temperate forest functioning in a changing climate’. Papers are presented on forest carbon dynamics including the impacts of forest management and on forest phenology.
The first two papers focussed on quantifying the carbon fluxes of a deciduous oak plantation. The paper: “Inter-annual variation of carbon uptake by a plantation oak woodland in southeastern England” explored the effects of environmental and other biotic impacts on carbon uptake of an oak woodland. The second paper: “Effects of management thinning on CO2 exchange by a plantation oak woodland in south-eastern England” investigated the impacts of
disturbance following a management intervention. Maintaining the theme of ‘temperate forest functioning in a changing climate’, the next two papers focused on assessing the impacts of climate change on forests through alterations in their phenology. Paper three: “Variation in the date of budburst in Quercus robur and Q. petraea across a range of provenances grown in Southern England” assessed differences in the timing of budburst across 23 different European oak provenances all growing at the same site. Paper four: “Can upward-facing digital camera images be used for remote monitoring of forest phenology?” investigated the suitability of ground-based digital cameras for the automatic monitoring of forest phenology and developed methods to improve phenology quantification.
In combination with the 12 papers that I have co-authored and four recent conference presentations that I have delivered, this series of papers documents the original scientific research that I have carried out over the past 18 years and provides a narrative on this research. The thesis concludes with a set of future research recommendations that have developed from these studies.
Date of AwardAug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorMatthew James Tallis (Supervisor)

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