Valuing the ecosystem services of Irish forests

Partners: University College Dublin, University College Cork, University of Limerick & Teagasc
Funding Body: Department of Agricutlure, Food & the Marine
Duration: November 2012 - February 2015


This study is the first to address the value of ecosystem services delivered by the forest estate in Ireland.
The results are relevant and have positive impacts for stakeholders and end-users and are being
disseminated through peer reviewed publications, conference presentations and workshops.

Project Objectives

Reflecting the significance now being attached to ecosystem services, the Oslo meeting of the Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests called for the estimation of “the full value of forest ecosystem services across Europe” by 2020 ( This desktop study was undertaken to:

  • Identify the ecosystem services associated with Irish forests.
  • Quantify the benefits from these services in relation to climate change mitigation, biodiversity
    conservation, forest recreation and human health/ well-being, and water quality/quantity.
  • Model the value of the ecosystem services provided by the current forest estate and an afforestation


University College Dublin:

  • Mary Ryan PI, Teagasc

Dr. Vincent Upton, Teagasc

  • Prof. Cathal O’Donoghue, Teagasc
  • Dr Áine Ní Dhubháin, UCD
  • Dr. Craig Bullock, UCD
  • Prof. John O Halloran, UCC
  • Dr. Sandra Irwin, UCC
  • Dr. Ken Byrne, UL

Project report:


  • O'Callaghan, CJ, Irwin, S, Byrne, KA & O'Halloran, J. 2017. The role of planted forests in the provision of habitat: an Irish perspective. Biodiversity and Conservation, 26: 3103-3124. OCallaghan et al 2016
  • Bullock CH, O’Callaghan C, Dhubháin ÁN, Iwata Y, O’Donoghue C, Ryan M, Upton V, Byrne KA, Irwin S & O’Halloran J. 2016. A review of the range and value of ecosystem services from Irish forests. Irish Forestry, 73: 65-95 Bullocketal2016



Forest Ecology

Dept. of Zoology, Ecology & Plant Science, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork