Terrestrial ecology is the study of how land-based organisms interact with each other and their environment. This can include everything from the molecular makeup of soil to the migratory patterns of birds. Studies tend to focus, however, on the diversity, distribution, and population of species.

This research has many practical applications, particularly for natural resource management. Industries such as agriculture or forestry would collapse without knowledge of the life cycles of crops and soil nutrients. Understanding soil moisture is part of what allows managers to mitigate the impacts of droughts, and having a broader, long-term perspective on ecosystems is crucial for making conservation decisions.

CEH work on terrestrial ecology

Find out more about science areas on environmental monitoring and obervation, sustainable land management and soil science.


Monitoring Sites

Research facilities

Microscopic life in soil
How can soil health be better measured and managed?
Mountain landscape in Chile
Workshop and collaborative fieldwork with Chilean scientists
Screengrab from CALEDON - a virtual forest survival strategy game
Free forest management sim - make decisions about whether a forest will prosper or decline
Red Forest, Chernobyl in September 2016
How will radiation impact on ecosystem recovery from the effects of forest fire?
Somerset Levels
Long-term strategies for the UK's largest wetland area