The F3UES project

Welcome to the web site for the F3UES project.

F3UES stands for Fragments, Functions, Flows & Urban Ecosystem Services, and the F3UES project is a research study looking at how the biodiversity of towns and cities contributes to human well-being.

What are Urban Ecosystem Services?  “Ecosystem services” is a phrase which refers to all the benefits we, as humans, get from the other living systems on the planet – everything from food and water to recreation and climate regulation.  In this project we are trying to understand better how these services are provided in urban areas.

Why Fragments, Functions and Flows? In urban areas, green space tends to be divided up into small pieces, by roads, buildings and other human uses of the land.  So in order to understand how ecosystem services are provided, we need to understand what determines the functions of individual fragments of greenspace, and how these are linked together by flows of materials, organisms, and people.


F3UES started in Sept 2012, and will run for four years. It is being carried out by Cranfield University, The University of Sheffield, The University of Exeter, and the British Trust for Ornithology, along with a range of partner organisations.

The F3UES project is  part of a bigger research programme – Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS), funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council. The aim of BESS is to improve our understanding of how biodiversity supports the provision of ecosystem services in four key types of UK landscape:  uplands, lowland agricultural landscapes, coastal wetlands and urban areas.   F3UES is working on the last of these, but you can find about about the other projects from their individual web sites:

CBESS (coastal wetlands)

DURESS (uplands)

Wessex BESS (lowland agricultural)

This website provides some background on the importance of urban ecosystems, information on what the project is doing, who is involved, how to get in touch with us, and, as outputs from the project are available, these too will be provided here.