Birmingham Institute of Forest Research climate change resourcesResource
The Birmingham Institute for Forest Research Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (BIFoR FACE) facility at the University of Birmingham is one of the world’s largest climate change experiments. Towers built within mature woodland in Staffordshire pump out carbon dioxide, simulating the atmosphere we are predicted to have in the future. This allows researchers to study the effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide on the ecosystem, exploring carbon storage, plant diseases, soil health, invertebrate activity and how these factors (and more) interact.
BIFoR has its own free online learning platform, BIFoR Education, with resources developed by teachers and researchers for students aged 11+. These include:
- An immersive escape room introducing BIFoR FACE and exploring the potential effects of climate change on forest ecosystems.
- An ecology activity with photos of leaf traps within the facility allowing students to collect data and analyse the effect of elevated carbon dioxide on sycamore tar spot fungus.
- Instructions on how to make and use a DIY dendrometer to measure tree growth in your school grounds or local area.
- Careers profiles to explore the range of jobs that people do at BIFoR FACE.
Visit the BIFoR FACE site to find these activities and more, including the opportunity to explore a mangrove swamp in either virtual reality or on your computer or phone. The resources are being expanded all the time so do check back from time to time to see if there is anything new for you and your students.
BIFoR FACE also features on the SAPS Amazing plants poster with resources to help you link BIFoR FACE to various areas of biology.
You can find out more about the BIFoR FACE programme on their website.