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

Oak tree branches
New projects on tree health and plant biosecurity
eLTER H2020 project logo
Integrated European Long-Term Ecosystem & Socio-Ecological Research Infrastructure
Foxglove - Simon Smart/CEH
A new paper in Nature reveals for the first time how the abundance of nectar-producing plants has changed since the 1930s across Britain
UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme logo
Assessing the status and trends of UK butterfly populations for conservation, research and quality of life
Nick Isaac of CEH presenting at BES2015
British Ecological Society Annual Conference
Common Blue Butterfly (c) Heather Lowther
40 Year Slump For UK Butterflies
Unearthing ecosystem services: what can we learn from soil DNA?
CEH's Rob Griffiths updates us on his work
National Plant Monitoring Scheme logo
Providing an annual indication of changes in plant abundance and diversity
Valuing Nature Programme logo
The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology coordinates the five-year, £6.5m Programme
A national focus for terrestrial and freshwater species recording