Global Environment & Society Academy

Ash dieback and British carbon stocks

A new study by Dr Dave Reay, School of Geosciences, has reported that Ash dieback could destroy enough trees to fill Wembley Stadium sixteen times over, and cause a 5 million tonne disturbance to the British vegetation carbon pool.

Confirmation of ash dieback was a devastating blow for an arboreal stalwart of the British countryside and the many species that depend upon it. The full repercussions of widespread ash dieback for our woodland ecosystems remain to be seen, but the sheer number of ash trees across Britain means that a high infection rate (90%) coupled with the mortality rate already reported in Lithuania (60%) would represent a major disturbance to national carbon stocks.