1 Tahrcountry Musings: Forestry and Climate Change – The portents

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Forestry and Climate Change – The portents

Forestry commission of England is keeping one step ahead in anticipation of vagaries of climate change. They have come up with some recommendations to tackle the menace. I found the research note very useful.

Here is an excerpt.

The changing climate presents challenges for forest planning and forest management.  The commission says the projected increases in temperature, changes in the seasonality of rainfall, and an increased frequency of extreme events add complexity to species selection and silvicultural practice. The commission calls for adjusting forest management now to take care of anticipated future changes. There is an urgent need to increase resilience by reducing exposure to risks in forestry and in the goods and services that woodlands provide for society. 

As a result of climate change tree growth will increase in some areas while they will decline elsewhere. The effects will vary with species. Some relatively less known species will become predominant. This could include some species from other continents. New approaches to woodland management will be required to address the threats of drought and risk from pests, diseases, wind and fire. 

There are many uncertainties associated with climate change with imponderable impacts on trees, silviculture and forest operations. This uncertainty should not prevent adaptation but should act as a driver for woodland managers to implement measures that increase resilience whatever climate change brings. A key concept in managing risk is diversification. This include broadening the choice of genetic material and mixing tree species in different ways, to varying management systems and the timing of operations.

The report is free. Click Here if you are keen to read the full report

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