Canadian Forest Service Publications

Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies for the forest sector in Canada. 2009. Johnston, M.; Webber, S.; O'Neill, G.; Williamson, T.; Hirsch, K. In proceedings of the Second Climate Change Technology Conference. May 12-15, 2009, Hamilton, Ontario.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36185

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

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Impacts on forests will vary regionally across Canada, with continental interior locations likely to experience greater extremes in temperature and precipitation. At the species level there will be short-term physiological responses to climate variability and long-term genetic responses to future climate change. Trees that are adapted to the climate at the time of establishment may be considerably maladapted to the climate at harvest time, displaying reduced productivity and increased frequency of pest attack. Although our ability to pro-actively mitigate possible short-term impacts to current climate change is limited, we have the opportunity to assist species and populations with migration to climatically-suitable habitats. This is a management activity called "assisted migration", and represents an important forest management activity to mitigate the negative consequences of climate change. Other possible management interventions to assist the adaptation of tree species include; improved tree breeding, altered silviculture activities, shorter rotation periods, use of exotics and fast-growing species.