Canadian Forest Service Publications

Forest health in a changing world: effects of globalization and climate change on forest insect and pathogen impacts. 2016. Ramsfield, T.D.; Bentz, B.J.; Faccoli, M.; Jactel, H.; Brockerhoff, E.G. Forestry 89(3):245-253.

Year: 2016

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36754

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1093/forestry/cpw018

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Forests and trees throughout the world are increasingly affected by factors related to global change. Expanding international trade has facilitated invasions of numerous insects and pathogens into new regions. Many of these invasions have caused substantial forest damage, economic impacts and losses of ecosystem goods and services provided by trees. Climate change is already affecting the geographic distribution of host trees and their associated insects and pathogens, with anticipated increases in pest impacts by both native and invasive pests. Although climate change will benefit many forest insects, changes in thermal conditions may disrupt evolved life history traits and cause phenological mismatches. Individually, the threats posed to forest ecosystems by invasive pests and climate change are serious. Although interactions between these two drivers and their outcomes are poorly understood and hence difficult to predict, it is clear that the cumulative impacts on forest ecosystems will be exacerbated. Here we introduce and synthesize the information in this special issue of Forestry with articles that illustrate the impacts of invasions of insects and pathogens, climate change, forest management and their interactions, as well as methods to predict, assess and mitigate these impacts. Most of these contributions were presented at the XXIV IUFRO World Congress in 2014.

Plain Language Summary

The purpose of this review paper is to introduce, and provide context for, a series of papers in a special issue of the journal Forestry. The papers in the special issue are based on presentations made at the XXIV International Union of Forest Research Organizations World Congress “Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: The Role of Research” held in Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 2014. They outline how factors such as invasive species and the impacts of climate change affect forests, as well as ways to mitigate these impacts. As this review highlights, the interactions between these factors, and their cumulative effects on forest ecosystems, will make it increasingly difficult to limit these impacts, and understanding these complex interacting forces is an important research focus.