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Queen's University Belfast

NHRP Research Themes

Research conducted by the Natural Heritage Research Partnership (NHRP) falls within four main ‘research themes’ which can be subdivided into specific research areas:
 

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in NI
Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in NI

1) NIEA Statutory duties  

  • Management of designated sites
    • Impact of management prescriptions on designated site features
    • Restoration and recovery management techniques for unfavourable designated site features
    • Grazing prescriptions for designated site features
    • Assessments of the carrying capacity of activities on designated sites

  • Monitoring of designated site features 
    • Quality assurance of condition assessment techniques and comparison of results between monitoring cycle   
  • Specialist survey, mapping and monitoring of freshwater and marine designated sites
    • Habitat and species survey, mapping and boundary rationales for proposed Marine Protected Areas
    • Habitat and species survey, mapping and boundary rationales for proposed freshwater designated sites
    • Condition assessment of specialist freshwater and marine designated site features
    • Management schemes for Marine Protected Areas   
  • Species distribution, abundance and habitat requirements
    • Species protected under the Habitats and Birds Directive
    • Species protected under the Wildlife Order   
All baleen whales are listed as NI Priority species
All baleen whales are listed as NI Priority species

2) Biodiversity in the wider countryside

  • Northern Ireland Priority Species and Habitats

    • Distribution, abundance and habitat requirements of Northern Ireland Priority Species
    • Delivery of NI Habitat Action plan targets
    • Development and analysis of long-term datasets
  • Ecosystem functioning
    • Ecological networks
    • Large scale habitat restoration schemes
    • Ecosystem services and environmental economics   
  • Ecological Genetics
    • Genetic diversity within Northern Ireland species
    • Taxonomic status of Northern Ireland species
    • Impacts of habitat fragmentation on gene flow
    • Impacts of non-native genotypes

  • Invasive alien species 
    • Distribution, abundance and habitat requirements of invasive alien species
    • Impacts on native species, habitats and ecosystem function
    • Management of invasive alien species, including eradication and containment techniques  
  • Human impacts on biodiversity
    • Impacts of disturbance, eutrophication, countryside recreation and access
    • Zonation of human activities
Industrial chimleys emitting CO2

3) Climate Change

 

    • Impacts of climate change and sea level rise on designated site features
    • Climate change adaptation techniques for biodiversity

       

4) Additional themes

 

    • Research projects that do not fall within established themes can be further group ad hoc by mutual consent from NIEA and Quercus.