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

By Janean Creighton, Oregon State University, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension

Climate change is predicted to accelerate through the 21st century, leading to changes in forest species distribution, productivity, and disturbance regimes¹. These changes may have profound impacts on the public and private benefits from forests; as well as managers’ strategies to sustain these benefits into the future. As our understanding about potential climate change impacts on western U.S. forests improves, land managers are developing adaptation strategies to meet these challenges.

Sara Lipow at Roseburg Forest Products' seed orchard. Photo: Brad Withrow-Robinson
Sara Lipow at Roseburg Forest Products’ seed orchard. Photo: Brad Withrow-Robinson

How do forest managers perceive climate change impacts, and how is this reflected in their forest management strategies?  To get a land manager’s perspective, I interviewed Sara Lipow, Forest Geneticist for Roseburg Forest Products. Continue reading