Defining biodiversity change and its role in ecosystem structure, function and resilience

Our Biodiversity research maintains and enhances CEH’s capability to monitor changes in biodiversity, to undertake survey and experimentation targeting underlying mechanisms and processes, and to develop evidence-based management and mitigation strategies. Priority areas include national surveys to quantify trends in biodiversity, identification of the main drivers of biodiversity change and measuring and predicting the impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being so that we define the link between biodiversity and function. These enable the development of practical and sustainable adaptation and mitigation strategies to conserve and restore biodiversity across biological and physical scales.

Research topics

Our Biodiversity science is delivered through three interacting topics:

  • BD-1 Observations, patterns and predictions for biodiversity
  • BD-2 Ecological processes in the environment
  • BD-3 Managing biodiversity and ecosystem services in a changing environment

These topics concentrate on detecting environmental changes and identifying their causes; quantifying the causes and predicting the impacts of change; and, where possible, developing solutions to minimise the impact of change and enable us to use our environment in a sustainable way. They are integrated with appropriate Biogeochemistry and Waterresearch areas; data-rich projects are further linked by close working with the Environmental Information Data Centre.


Areas of research

Examples of Biodiversity research projects include:

Collaborative research

CEH biodiversity researchers participate in a wide range of collaborative projects. Some examples include the Insect Pollinators Initiative, ALTER-Net, DAISIE, FarmCAT, the Genomic Standards Consortium and the UK Energy Research Centre. Please click here for more information.

CEH is also involved in many EU Infrastructures projects. Click here for more information.

External support

Research is supported by stakeholders who range from volunteers who submit observations and undertake species recording to agencies and governmental bodies which provide financial support, such as Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Countryside Council for Wales, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, the National Biodiversity Network, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the European Union.