This work was commissioned as a preparatory phase to explore options to design and plan a practical research study which answers the question: what is the role of trees outside woodlands in providing habitat and ecological networks? In order to help increase our knowledge of the role of non-woodland trees to providing landscape connectivity.
It reviews and summarises what is known about the underlying biology of the veteran tree ecosystem, the biogeography of trees in the English landscape, and the various techniques which have been developed to study the saproxylic invertebrate fauna associated with those veteran trees. A rationale is developed for targeting the proposed study at the heartwood decay fauna of oak using transparent cross vane window flight-interception traps.
There are three parts to the study:
*Part 1: Designing a field study to test initial hypotheses (NECR225a)
*Supplement to Part 1 (NECR225b)
*Part 2: Supplementary literature review and other notes (NECR225c)
Part 2 was funded by the Woodland Trust.
The work makes recommendations for a suitable design for the proposed study, based on a standardised sampling protocol. Four locations are identified as possible sites for field testing the protocol, but significant shortfalls in our current knowledge of the local tree scapes have been identified, and it is clear that further baseline tree survey is needed before the fully developed study can begin.
In the meantime, a field trial will be considered at one or more of the four identified study sites, possibly using combinations of site staff, the biological recording community and/or students to provide logistical support.