Trees are genetically adapted to their local climate. Local populations of trees may become maladapted if climate changes faster than species or populations ability to move or evolve. Recent research on the genetics of Douglas-fir stated that “Current populations are expected to be poorly adapted to future climates.”1 The authors also suggested “Human intervention will be required to ensure productive and adapted Douglas-fir forests in the face of climate change.” An approach to addressing this problem is assisted migration – the deliberate movement and establishment of a new population of a species or genetic type outside its current geographic range to another in order to introduce better adaptive traits.
What types of trees would you plant if you wanted to anticipate a warmer climate in the future? How would you decide? Continue reading