Assisted Gene Flow

Time For Trees To Pack Their Trunks?  As Climate Changes, Ecosystems May Need To Shift


Usually foresters plant seedlings grown from seeds harvested nearby, on the assumption that local genotypes are best suited to local conditions.   The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is anticipating a day soon – possibly within the lifespan of a tree – when a changing climate may make the forest unsuitable for some tree species and varieties that now live there.

“Our goal is to maintain a forest going forward,” says Meredith Cornett, TNC director of conservation science for Minnesota and the Dakotas. “We run the risk of losing forest cover because we don’t have a suite of species that is resilient to climate change – that they won’t be able to hang in there or keep pace with the rate of climate change.”

TNC is jump-starting the future forest to protect not only the forest, but also the goods the forest provides, such as clean water, wildlife habitat, tourism, logs and pulpwood. “We care about that because our livelihoods depend on it,” says Cornett.

Mark’s Rant:  Let it be known that I do not believe in Man-Made global warming, which is just a liberal PC hoax! – Enter your zip code into the interactive map and see your plant hardiness zone, then consider possibly selecting some species that may occur one zone to the south, and within the same physio-graphic province.