Trees Will Adapt, Migrate or Die
Barbara Crane, US Forest Service, National Forest System (SePPCon 2016)
Barbara Crane, USFS, describes special considerations for trees. Because the are long-lived, they cannot respond quickly to multiple threats from pathogens, fire, drought and climate change. Rates of historic migration of 300 to 1200 ft/yr cannot keep up with the rate of changing climate. Understanding genetic variation related to environment and response to change is necessary to conserve forest diversity. For the USFS Southern Region, which is home to 140 tree species, we developed a Genetic Risk Assessment System and identified the top 10 species at risk from climate change. Barbara gives examples of actions with several species and emphasizes that collecting from southern edge of a species range may capture valuable unique genes.
This work was presented at the Southeast Partners in Plant Conservation (SePPCon) 2016 Meeting. Learn more about SePPCon here.