Forests can’t adapt to climate change fast enough. So humans are trying to help

By Hanna Hett
National Observer
August 30, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the Earth’s temperature rises, trees … are trying to survive in environments too warm for them to thrive. …With over 300 million trees planted in B.C. every year … there’s an opportunity to help forests adapt to climate change. The Ministry of Forestry made it mandatory that trees planted must be adapted to warmer climates. Through natural selection, tree populations adapt to their specific climate, explained Sally Aitken, a forestry professor at UBC. …the climate is changing 10 to 100 times faster than a forest’s ability to do so. …Traditionally, forests are replanted with locally collected seeds. …Now, seeds are sourced from climates about 2 C warmer than their reforestation site. [So] the trees are adapted for a climate that is expected in about 15 years. …this “assisted migration” is only happening in managed forests. …forests not slated for logging are left to deal with the impacts of climate change naturally.

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