1st Forest Dynamics Workshop

21.03 - 23.03.2017  
Liverpool, UK
Contact person:
Jennifer Clear, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Workshop report: 
> Access

The first workshop of PAGES' Forest Dynamics working group will be held at Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK, from 21-23 March 2017.


Liverpool Hope University
Hope Park
Taggart Avenue
Liverpool L16 9JD
Tel: 0151 291 3000

Access the Hope Park Campus map here (pdf). Find directions to Hope Park Campus here (pdf).


This workshop is focused on bringing together scientists from multiple disciplines (including but not exclusive to dendroecology, sedimentary paleoecology, geochemistry and forest ecology) who share a common goal of understanding disturbance dynamics in global forested ecosystems. Through the course of this workshop, participants will be guided through a series of keynote talks and encouraged to introduce their own research in short 'lightning' presentations. Then, through directed talks and discussion sessions, scientists and practitioners will challenge their disciplinary paradigms in order to build a cohesive strategy to bridging disciplines to answer specific scientific questions on understanding the spatial and temporal variability in disturbance dynamics.

Ultimately, the workshop seeks to integrate a global perspective on a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding forest disturbance dynamics by synthesizing the available linkage literature and offering examples of how to evolve our future research.


Tuesday 21 March
Conference Day (Location: EDEN Arbour Room)
09.00 – 09.20 Welcome and rationale of PAGES Forest Dynamics – Jennifer Clear & Jesse Morris.
Session chair: Jesse Morris
09.20 – 10.00: Nicki Whitehouse (Invited Speaker), Long term patterns of forest biodiversity, ecological change and extinction in the fossil insect record
10.00 – 10.20: Gina Hannon, Long term vegetation processes and fire in an area of high conservation interest in central Sweden
10.20 – 10.40: Helen Shaw,  Detecting disturbance within the forest: small hollow work towards the bigger picture
10.40 – 11.00: Coffee Break
Session chair: Igor Drobyshev
11.00 – 11.20: Thomas Giesecke, The influence of soil and climate on forest dynamics
11.20 – 11.40: Petr Kuneš, Long term disturbance dynamics in temperate ecosystems revealed from pollen records
11.40 – 12.00: Claire Jones, Holocene fire activity of the British Isles
12.00 – 12.20: Adam Ali, Wildfire activity in boreal forest ecosystems: cause and consequences
12.20 – 12.40: Heikki Seppä, Novel insights into boreal tree population history
12.40 – 13.40: Lunch
Session chair: Jennifer Clear
13.40 – 14.20: Sonia Fontana (Invited Speaker), Drivers and patterns of postglacial vegetation changes in southern South America
14.20 – 14.40: Bérangère Leys, Consequences of nutrient cycling on dynamics of vegetation at millennial time scales
14.40 – 15.00: Vachel Carter, Ecological and disturbance responses to the 8.2 ka event in the Šumava region of central Europe
15.00 – 15.20: Coffee Break
Session chair: Richard Chiverrell
15.20 – 15.40: Suzi Richer, Incorporating cultural and scientific data to further understand historic woodland usage
15.40 – 16.00: Tuomas Aakala, Climate and forest fires in eastern Fennoscandia over the past several centuries
16.00 – 16.20: Igor Drobyshev, Atlantic SST and Scandinavian forest fire activity
16.20 – 16.40: Niina Kuosmanen, Disturbance dynamics in mountane spruce forests in central Europe: an integration of dendrochronological and palaeoecological records
16.40 – 17.05: Lightning Presentations
Karen Halsall: Holocene variation in charcoal fragment quantities in N. Europe
Stafan Kruse: Population genetics across the treeline ecotone in Siberia
Cécile Remy: Spatial and temporal dynamics of fire and vegetation in boreal forest
Francis Rowney: Ecology and climates of early Middle Pleistocene interglacials in Britain
Nick Schafstall: Reconstructing climate and disturbance dynamics in central Europe from insect remains
17.00 – 17.15: Outline for Workshop – Jennifer Clear & Jesse Morris

Wednesday 22 March
Workshop (Location: Hope Park Conference Centre) and Woodland
09.00 – 09.15: Aims and Objectives of Workshop - Jennifer Clear & Jesse Morris
09.15 – 10.15: Breakout 1: Methodology critiques and data integration
10.15 – 10.30: Breakout 1 Feedback
10.30 – 11.00: Coffee Break
11.00 – 11.15: Breakout 1 Review
11.15 – 12.15: Breakout 2: Processes of disturbance: how do we identify causation?
12.15 – 12.30: Breakout 2 Feedback
12.30 – 13.30: Lunch
13.30 – 13.45: Breakout 2 Review
13.45 – 14.45: Breakout 3: Magnitude and frequency in forest disturbance
14.45 – 15.00: Breakout 3 Feedback and Review
15.00 – 17.00: Guided woodland walk (see additional information) with Paul Rooney ending at The Abbey Hotel (a traditional British pub)

Thursday 23 March
Workshop (Location: EDEN 101) and Workshop Dinner
09.00 – 09.15: Overview of Aims and Objectives of Workshop – Jennifer Clear & Jesse Morris
09.15 – 10.15: Breakout 4: Learning lessons from big-data integration: a disturbance database
10.15 – 10.30: Breakout 4 Feedback
10.30 – 11.00: Coffee Break
11.00 – 11.15: Breakout 4 Review
11.15 – 12.15: Breakout 5: Workshop Output: Forest disturbances: a review
12.15 – 12.30: Breakout 5 Feedback
12.30 – 13.30: Lunch
13.30 – 13.45: Breakout 5 Review
13.45 – 14.45: Round table discussion of workshop output and future of PAGES Forest Dynamics working group
14.45 – 15.00: Workshop final words – Jennifer Clear & Jesse Morris
17.00 – 19.00: Workshop Dinner


The goal of Forest Dynamics is to develop new techniques for the integration of multi-proxy data to better understand forest disturbance dynamics.

Our objectives are:
- 1) Compile a spatial geodatabase of reconstructed disturbances from multiple disciplines;
- 2) Integrated dendroecological and sedimentary palaeoecological data to extend our current knowledge of historical forest disturbance dynamics; and
- 3) Assess shifting drivers of vegetation dynamics (e.g. climate change and anthropogenic disturbance) in relation to the emerging spatial and temporal patterns in forest disturbance dynamics.


The 1st Forest Dynamics workshop aims to begin discussions on compiling a spatial geodatabase, and the integration of multi-proxy data across differing spatial and temporal scales. We will undertake a comprehensive review of existing data and outline methodological requirements on how to develop data integration. We aim to present our discussion in a peer reviewed article for which all workshop participants are encouraged to co-author.

Meeting logistics

The meeting will commence at Liverpool Hope University the morning of Tuesday 21 March and end with the conference dinner on the evening of Thursday 23 March.

Lunches and coffee breaks are provided daily. There are no conference fees and accommodation is available onsite. Travel and accommodation support is available for early-career researchers.

Day 2 will involve a local guided woodland walk so it is recommended that you bring a pair of sturdy shoes as the UK can get wet and muddy.


Liverpool Hope University is conveniently located close to two international airports: Manchester and Liverpool. There is a direct bus service from Liverpool airport and regular train and coach services between Manchester airport and Liverpool city center. For more information visit:


Liverpool Hope University has a variety of onsite conference accommodation including double en-suite, single en-suite and single shared facilities. Please indicate if you require accommodation.


Please send your name, affiliation and a brief research agenda to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please indicate if you are an early-career researcher (i.e. have held your PhD for five years or less) and wish to be considered for funding support. 

Registration deadline: 28 February.