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Preparing for Climate Change: Forestry and Assisted Migration

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Although plants have moved across the landscape in response to changing climate for millennia, projections of contemporary climate change suggest that forest tree species and populations will need to migrate faster than their natural ability. Therefore, climate change adaptation strategies, such as assisted migration, have gained attention since 2007. Effective implementation of assisted migration can only occur if target transfer guidelines are developed because our current seed transfer guidelines, established to guide the movement of plant materials, lack inherent spatial and temporal dynamics associated with climate change. This limitation restrains reforestation practitioners from making decisions about assisted migration. Lack of operating procedures, uncertainties about future climate conditions, risks associated with moving plants outside their current ranges, and existing policies have hampered formal actions in forest management and conservation. We review the current thinking on assisted migration of forest tree species and provide information that could facilitate implementation.
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Keywords: assisted migration; climate change; forest management; seed transfer; seed zones

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2013-07-01

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  • Important Notice: SAF's journals are now published through partnership with the Oxford University Press. Access to archived material will be available here on the Ingenta website until March 31, 2018. For new material, please access the journals via OUP's website. Note that access via Ingenta will be permanently discontinued after March 31, 2018. Members requiring support to access SAF's journals via OUP's site should contact SAF's membership department for assistance.

    The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.675 (Rank 20/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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