Climate-based seed transfer and climate change informed species selection in B.C.

Assisted forest migration can facilitate forest survival and growth under a changing climate. This involves reforesting harvest sites with seedlings of species and provenances that are suitable for survival and growth under a future climate, while still being able to withstand current climatic conditions. The Climate-based Seed Transfer (CBST) project was initiated in 2012 to modernize British Columbia’s seedlot selection system and to facilitate a wider use of assisted migration to help promote healthy, resilient and productive forests and ecosystems in a changing climate. This seed transfer system takes advantage of genecological research, provenance trial data, fine-scale climate mapping, improved climate projections and genomics tools that assess the ability of a seed to succeed under future climate conditions. Another decision-support tool under development is the Climate Change Informed Species Selection (CCISS) tool. This tool will project the suitability of different tree species for planting in ecosystem variants and site series, as described in B.C.’s Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification system. It is intended to be used in conjunction with the CBST tool. Whereas the CBST tool is used to determine the appropriate provenance or origin for the tree species, the CCISS tool will assess potential shifts in ecosystem units based on climate projections, which incorporate climate uncertainty.

Read the Full Story