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Comparison of fixed and focal point seed transfer systems for reforestation and assisted migration: a case study for interior spruce in British Columbia

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In forestry, science-based seed transfer systems, the foundation of effective reforestation programs, will likely be used in some form to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. In this study, we developed fixed and focal point seed transfer systems for interior spruce ( Picea glauca (Moench) Voss, Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm., and their hybrids) in British Columbia, Canada, and compared the effectiveness of both systems. Growth, phenology, and physiology traits were measured for 112 populations, and population means were transformed to principal components that were modeled using climate variables and multiple regression analysis. Compared with the fixed seed zone system, the focal point system had a greater area of seed use for a given risk of maladaptation. The relationship between growth and adaptive distance (i.e., adaptive similarity between test populations and populations local to test sites) was used to calculate critical seed transfer distances for focal point seed zones, which were defined according to expected forfeiture of growth. Changes in climate observed over the past 100 years and predicted in the next one third of a rotation were used to calculate appropriate assisted migration distances and develop methods for incorporating assisted migration into a focal point seed transfer system.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Kalamalka Forestry Centre, British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, 3401 Reservoir Road, Vernon, BC V1B 2C7, Canada.

Publication date: 2011-07-05

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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