Canadian Forest Service Publications

The effect of climate change on forest ecology in Canada. 1991. Harrington, J.B.; Kimmins, J.P.; Lavender, D.; Zoltai, S.C.; Payette, S. Pages 49-58 in IUFRO 10th World Forestry Congress Proceedings II: Forests, a heritage for the future, September 17-26, 1991, Paris, France. IUFRO, Paris, France. 10 p.

Year: 1991

Issued by: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 10700

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

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The IPCC (International Panel on Climate change) report has made clear both the great advances made in global climate models during the past decade and their limitations. More accurate GCMs (Global climate Models) will be required before confident predictions of changes in forest ecology can be made. Similarly, the likely response of the forest to climate change is still imperfectly known. Opinions range from confident optimism that enough is known on physiological responses of plants to elevated CO2 to more reserved views on the existence of adequate relevant knowledge on plant ecology, physiology and genetics. It is apparent that improved physiological-ecological models will be needed in anticipation of improved global climate models. In the meantime, the threat of major problems in forestry looms large. Adaptive strategies must be developed, including the improvement of fire management systems. Preparation for climate change will require a greatly expanded research effort in forestry, particularly in tree physiology and forest ecology.