Woodland study is breath of fresh air


This spring is especially important to the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR), because it marks 12 months until a major new experiment is switched on. Director, Professor Rob Mackenzie, explains more. 

Carbon dioxide plus water plus light gives sugar and oxygen. That’s photosynthesis, and from the sugar all carbon-based life proceeds, as long as nitrogen, phosphorus, and the other nutrients are available in the right amounts. Like a green carpet of photovoltaic cells, the plant world captures energy, uses that energy to build itself, and sacrifices large parts of itself to us and every other respiration-only organism that hitches a ride on the plant world’s air solidification trick.